Posted in Christianity, College, Life, Thoughts

Bible Translations

I started reading my Bible every day when I was 13 or 14. With my love of reading, it wasn’t a hard habit to develop. At first it was about a chapter a day – and yes, you can get through the Bible that way, but it takes a long time. After that, I started various ways of reading through it in a year.

By the time I got to college, I had done this several times, and in a few different translations. When I took Scripture Interpretation, I discovered that my favorite teacher has a list of 63 (if I counted correctly) English translations arranged in order of literalness – and he has read most of them. He has read through the Bible every year for a long time, a little bit each day. He has nearly two book cases in his office filled with different translations.

I’ve decided that I want to be that person someday. So I’ve started collecting Bibles. I did that already, to some extent, but now it’s on purpose, and I seek out new translations. This year I’m reading the New Revised Standard Version, which I like. Of the ones I’m familiar with thus far, I like best the English Standard Version for studying and the New Living Translation for reading.

And you know what? It’s an incredible blessing that I can write a post like this. One day in chapel, my school’s president told a story about being in a foreign country (I don’t remember what country; maybe Russia?) and giving a man a Bible in whatever language they spoke there. The man cried, because he had never before held a Bible in his own language.

He cried.

Because he had never before held a Bible in his own language.

I’ve been holding Bibles in my own language since I was old enough hold anything. There are currently three in my dorm room, plus several on my Nook, and I don’t know how many on my bookshelves at home. Not to mention all the ones I could access online in seconds. I think nothing of it.

But this man cried.

Sometimes we get caught up in debates about which translation is better. And you know what? None of them are perfect. But we have them. And that’s incredible.

Because this man cried.

“For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven
and do not return there but water the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,

giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but
it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

– Isaiah 55:10, 11

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