Selecting a Bible Translation
If you are a new believer in Christ you may not have a Bible of your own. Or, perhaps you have an old 1611 King James Bible but find it difficult to understand. If so, then ‘Job #1′ for you is this:
Prayerfully select a Bible translation you understand.
I don’t just mean a Bible in a language you understand, although that too would certainly be necessary, but I mean a Bible translation that connects with your world, your vernacular and generation.
Consider for example the differences in these renditions of Hebrews 1:3
King James Version (KJV) – 1611
“Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high:”
New Living Translation (NLT) – 1996
“The Son radiates God’s own glory and expresses the very character of God, and he sustains everything by the mighty power of his command. When he had cleansed us from our sins, he sat down in the place of honor at the right hand of the majestic God in heaven.”
Both bring the same message, but the second, though a bit longer, uses words that many find easier to understand. There is only one Word of God, but there are many ways to convey it.
Consider this: When Jesus called the fishermen brothers Peter and Andrew, He said, “Come…and I will send you out to fish for people.” (Matt. 4:19). Jesus did not call Matthew in this way. Matthew was a tax collector. What did Matthew know about fishing? But all twelve were called to the same calling – to testify to Christ’s ministry and become evangels of the gospel.
In one of his letters to the Corinthian believers Paul alludes to the need for clear communication,
“Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying? You will just be speaking into the air.” (1 Cor. 14:9)
Paul knew the value in framing the gospel to relate to his audience. Elsewhere he writes, “I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.” (1 Cor. 9:22).
Here in Canada we are blessed with an enormous abundance of freely available Bible translations, study aids and devotional materials. Take your time… try several out; perhaps ask a mature believer or bookstore salesperson to help you.
Once you’ve made your selection and are ready to read, develop right away the habit of praying before you begin. Invite the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to what the Lord wants to say to you today. When you do this, you will never read the Bible alone.
“Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law.” (Psalm 119:18).
Are you interested in being discipled one-on-one in the fundamentals of new life in Christ? Or, perhaps you would you like to know how to begin this journey and take the very first of the First Steps by turning from your current path and committing your path to Christ? — Use the Contact page and we’ll get you started.