Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Why You Should Read from More than One Version

Many of us grew up reading a certain version of the Bible; for those of us older, it was probably the King James Version (KJV). For the current crop of college kids, it was likely the New International Version (NIV).

But I want to encourage you to alternate reading between several different versions.


Because otherwise you are trained according to the translators' biases, not according to what God actually said.

Here's an example from 1 Corinthians 7:1, wherein Paul is addressing a question concerning marriage/sex asked by the Corinthians.

In the KJV, it says:
1Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: It is good for a man not to touch a woman.
And in the NIV:
1Now for the matters you wrote about: It is good for a man not to marry.
But the Holman Christian Standard Bible renders it thus:
1 About the things you wrote: "It is good for a man not to have relations with a woman."
Whoa! Those quotation marks change the meaning of the passage entirely.

The English Standard Version also adds the quotation marks.

And here it is in The Message:
1 Now, getting down to the questions you asked in your letter to me. First, Is it a good thing to have sexual relations?
If you had read only the KJV all your life, you'd have thought that God said it was good for a man to not have sex. You'd likely think the same thing if you had read the NIV if you don't pay attention to footnotes.

But by reading several versions, you'll see some of these differences between versions and realize that what you thought the scriptures taught may not be what the scriptures taught.

So finish reading your Bible in your current version, then start over with a different version. It'll do ya good.

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