January 8, 2023


Sunday – Poetry

Psalms 4-6

“Don’t sin by letting anger control you. Think about it overnight and remain silent.”

Psalms 4:4 NLT

Some versions read, “In your anger, don’t sin.” Surprisingly, the newest version of the NIV reads “Tremble and don’t sin.”

I was going to make this commentary about anger but when I dug into it, this is a good time to say a few things about Bible versions.

Let me lead off with the fact that I believe that the Bible in it’s original texts was the inspired, infallible Word of God. While those original texts no longer exist, there are far more early copies of those originals than any other writing of those eras. Therefore, today’s translations are remarkable accurate and the differences are almost entirely in presentation rather than meaning.

I see two main reasons for differences in today’s translations.

First, the source texts used. Some, use source texts found long ago but date to a later time. Some use more recently found texts that are very early.

Second, the target audience. The King James Version was translated for the well educated people of England in the 17th century. The NLT was translated to be understood best in 21st century North America. Some of the latest versions of several translations have been altered to not offend. The NirV is translated into simple language that beginning readers can understand.

The question then becomes, which translation do we trust most?

When I want to dig deeper into the meaning of a passage, I will read several versions of it as well as commentaries about that passage. There are several good websites that have commentaries as well as many Bible commentary books you can buy.

Before, during, and after those studies, I ask God to show me what He wants me to learn from them. Usually He does.

How do you go about studying the Bible?

Any tips you would like to offer the rest of us?

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