I love it when I’ve woken without inspiration to write with and then in the process of fellowship God sparks my thinking. The question this morning:
Which Bible version to use and why?
Many people swear by one version over another, and whilst we all have preferences based on our own leanings and what we’ve come to know—and therefore accept—it is a good thing to have an inclusive view; one that doesn’t reject one version of God’s Word over another.
Why is this?
All the commonly-known Bibles have been constructed by worthy biblical scholars—entire groups of people we can trust as far as correct transliteration (or as close as) and therefore translation is concerned. Let’s have faith that God gifted these very knowledgeable men and women—very godly people—to enhance our journeys with God and not derail them.
A belief I hold is that anyone who is taught that one version of the Bible is necessarily bad has been taught wrongly and their sources are therefore engaging in false teaching; an area the latter New Testament writers spoke most particularly of.
God would not allow a mass-produced and commonly-known Bible version—written by foremost biblical scholars—to continue to exist if it were ‘evil’. It’s nonsense.
We can read all commonly-available Bibles with confidence; they’re all God’s Word.
The Importance, Always, of Inclusivity
The biggest danger, of course, in making our hard and fast selections against one version compared with another is we block the flow of biblically-backed love in our relations with people. Our left- or right-winged views will inevitably harm our relationships.
In other words, we miss God’s entire point because Satan has blinded us through false teaching. It is not God’s will for us to reject God’s Word—any version of it—or those having their view; if they believe in God and the words of the Bible that should be enough for us. We love them, period.
In all of this, we can still have our preferred Bible version.
When we’re blinded by this view that one Bible translation is inferior or superior to others we can very easily begin to ostracise people and/or coerce them into our thinking.
It is God’s thinking we’re to be interested in, not ours or listening to others’ exclusive thoughts to jettison reason and respect for the processes of the making of God’s Word in words that are meaningful for today.
Which Bible to Use and Why?
Many people I know use the Bible Gateway resource. Any of those versions available there are acceptable. I’d also include the New Revised Standard Version as it was the preferred text for use when I was studying, for scholarly purposes especially.
The main point is, when we get hung up on one version over others—rejecting one or some—we become separatist, skewed and even ‘selective’ in how we receive God and it affects how we relate with others.
God is hearkening us to inclusivity more than anything else.
© 2010 S. J. Wickham.