Getting Real About Life, about Love, and about God

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

What Translation of the Bible Should We Read?

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. 
Romans 12:3 (New International Version)

 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. 
Romans 12:3 (King James Version)

Because of the privilege and authority[c] God has given me, I give each of you this warning: Don’t think you are better than you really are. Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.
Romans 12:3 (New Living Translation)

I’m speaking to you out of deep gratitude for all that God has given me, and especially as I have responsibilities in relation to you. Living then, as every one of you does, in pure grace, it’s important that you not misinterpret yourselves as people who are bringing this goodness to God. No, God brings it all to you. The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him. 
Romans 12:3 (The Message)

For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith. 
Romans 12:3 (New American Standard Version)

Por la gracia que se me ha dado, les digo a todos ustedes: Nadie tenga un concepto de sí más alto que el que debe tener, sino más bien piense de sí mismo con moderación, según la medida de fe que Dios le haya dado.
Romans 12:3 (Nueva Versión Internacional)

As a pastor people will often ask me what translation of the Bible should they read.  I always tell them they should begin with one that they can understand.  I do not know Spanish.  I can't even begin to understand what God is speaking to me when I read a translation of the Bible in Spanish.  This is the very reason that the Bible is translated and we have multiple translations.  So  that we can hear and understand what God is saying to each of us through the scriptures.  

We need to find a translation that is easy for us to read and understand.  The blessing of the many translations is that we can usually find one that is written in a manner that  we can understand.  When preaching I tend to read from the NIV because it is pretty easy for many to understand and is not filled with language that is different from the everyday speech of the people of my congregation.  However, when it comes to study of the scriptures and meditating on their meaning I will read multiple translations.  They help me to think bigger and understand more deeply the thought being expressed.

Romans 3 says to think about myself soberly or with sober judgement.  What does this mean?  Well, by looking at other translation I can see that this is about being honest in my evaluation of myself.  It means that I should not think that I am better than I really am and that I should not misinterpret as someone that brings goodness to God but that God brings goodness to me.  

As you make scripture reading and reflection a daily part of your life I encourage you to read multiple version and reflect upon what the different translation help to bring out for you.  Allow His word to be written on your heart and your life so that others might understand more fully what God is saying to them through you.

It has been said many times that we may be the only Bible that some people will ever read.

Love today.

In Christ's love and mine,
Doug

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