Monday, October 29, 2018

Words in The Word

One of the interesting quirks of Bible study is the use of different translations of the Bible. The studies themselves usually quote from the New International Version, the same translation we use in worship. But when we get down to answering the study questions we'll read from The Message (Peterson), the Good News Bible, the New English Bible or even the King James Version.
      I admit a preference for the KJV.  It's the Bible I learned as a child.  As an adult, I respond to the beauty of the words. The archaic language seems to carry more weight to my ear. "And they were sore afraid," Lk 2:8 KJV holds more power for me than "they were terrified." Lk 2:8 NIV.
     But, when it comes to study, I'm glad to have the luxury of many versions to read from.  Modern language translations can make a passage clearer, and as Rev. Irwin often reminds us, some Greek or Hebrew words don't have a direct English equivalent. Reading different interpretations can give us a fuller sense of what the writers of scripture said.
     Sometimes, a new version can surprise. Last week one of the devotionals from the Presbyterian Church in Canada quoted from the New Living Translation. In the passage from Hebrews, Paul spoke of being an old man. He urged those with "tired hands" and "weak knees" to stay faithful to the end. Since my knees were particularly achy that day, the passage really spoke to me.

     We have several translations, including The Message, KJV, NIV, Good News and a Children's Bible, in our library at the church. Feel free to take one out and look up passages you may have found confusing in another translation.

    Of course, Bible Gateway is a wonderful website where you can find 59 English translations, as well as foreign language versions. 
     If you'd like discuss Bible passages from any version, you're always welcome at Bible study, Wednesdays at 9:30 pm or 6:30 pm at SPPC, 9296 E. Saanich Rd. tel 250 656-2241.

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