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Church Message
The Best Translation is the One You Live.
By Pastor Stuppy

Church sponsors2 24apr14Church message imageAs I prepare for my sermon each week, one of the things I often do is to look up the portion of Scripture I am studying in a number of different translations. One of the more popular translations is the King James Version or KJV.. That's the version with which I grew up. It is the version from which I memorized passages. I still favor that translation when it comes to the account of our Lord's birth as recorded in Luke chapter two. I will never favor a modern translation of Psalm 23 to the one I've learned from the KJV. I am sure that you are well aware that there are an abundance of Bible translations available today. With the changes that take place in our language there will always be the need to have translations which take the Bible from its original languages of Hebrew and Greek and put them into words which people can easily understand in their day and time.

It reminds me of a story about four clergymen who were discussing the relative merits of the various translations of the Bible. One older pastor spoke nostalgically about his love for the King James Version. It was the Bible he grew up with and he still quoted used it as the source of the quotes he had memorized. Another expressed his preference for the Revised Standard Version since, he felt it was more literal and came closest to the original Hebrew and Greek. The third had a strong preference for the New International Version because, as he put it, "It speaks the language of our day."

The fourth pastor remained silent through much of the conversation until asked to express his opinion. He surprised his colleagues with the simple statement, "I like my mother's translation best!"

He made a good point. It's possible for scholars to translate the original languages of the Bible into our modern idiom, but it takes a simple heart of faith captured by the power of the Holy Spirit through the Word to translate the Bible into humble, God-fearing and people-serving actions. This pastor's mother had translated the Scriptures into something which even a little child could read and understand. Her love, her patience, her gentleness, her spirit of joy and forgiveness through Christ were translations of the Word as she put them into practice in her daily life. They were readily understood by others and had an impact on their lives.

So, each of us is a translator of the Bible. As we take what we have learned and put it into practice, people "read and learn" about what it means to be a Christian. They may be a neighbor, a family member, a co-worker, or the person we meet at the supermarket.

Our Savior has in fact called us as his witnesses - to be translators of his message. He says, "So let your light shine before people that they may see the good you do and praise your Father in heaven". [Matthew 5:16 - from God's Word to the Nations or New Evangelical Translation (NET).]


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