the Bible

Does it translate?

“The Bible makes no sense to me.”

I think this is a common experience of all who read the Bible or who have tried and eventually put it down. If this is you, you are in good company.

Remember, the only reason to read the Bible is to know Jesus better. He is as committed to making a connection as you are. More committed. So as you reach for him, he is reaching for you.

Both of you want it to translate.

Pick a translation that reads naturally to you. Don’t struggle with an old one. If a voice in your head (or in your ear) says you should read the King James Version – heaven help us – just don’t. Period. Unless early modern English is your native language. Which it isn’t. So, none of that.

One recent translation you may want to try is called The Message by Eugene Peterson.

You might want to pray briefly and simply before you read. Something like “Jesus, I want to know you more. Help me hear what you have to say.”

Pause your reading when it feels natural. Don’t feel the need to read some prescribed amount every day. (Although there is nothing wrong with that, either.) It will translate better if you don’t feel pushed or rushed.

When you read a passage you don’t understand or that troubles you, that’s okay. Jesus has a lot to teach every one of us.

Hang in there with your thoughts and feelings. Trust that Jesus hears you, right where you are.

Maybe risk a little conversation, formulating what words you can. Listen for a response – thoughts or feelings that are new.

See, you are praying!

Grace and peace to you…


6 replies on “Does it translate?”

Great post, DW. I mostly agree, although I personally like/enjoy the King James Version. I think it’s beautiful and some of its passages resonate with me more than any other translations. I own probably…well, here’s what I have: King James, New International Version, Revised Standard, New Revised Standard, New King James, New Living Translation, New Life Version and the Holman Christian Standard Bible. I use HCSB and the King James version more than anything else, but I enjoy reading different translations. It really helps with deep study.

Liked by 1 person

Thank you, Pam 🙏. You know, I agree with you. Just thinking of folks who are trying to get started – King James English, though beautiful, can be a barrier.

I like your collection of translations! Very similar to mine. We are so fortunate to have the access we do to this wonderful book! For a time I was seriously thinking about working with Wycliffe Bible Translators – I’m still fascinated by their work.

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