Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Given to Change, Part 3

I don't want to start an argument over Bible translations. I have my convictions and they are quite strong. However, at the moment, I'm just trying to make a point. It seems like we change Bible translations about as often as we change our socks. Why? - So that we can keep up with our ever deteriorating English language? The sad truth today is that most people can't speak proper English anymore; let alone read it. So we come up with a new translation every couple of years to respond to that felt need. Again I say, "Where is the fruit?" Are people reading their Bibles more today than they were yesterday now that their Bibles are "easier to read"? No, they’re not. Do the people know their Bibles better today than they did yesterday because of their "easier to read" versions? Again, the answer is an emphatic no they don't.

As a matter of fact, with the introduction of Power Point, people don't need to carry Bibles at all anymore. After all, someone is going to spoon-feed it to them anyway. There is nothing more discouraging than to stand up in front of a congregation of people who don't have Bibles in their hands. I'm not so sure we are doing them any favors by not expecting and waiting for them to turn in their Bibles to a portion of Scripture and read it along with us. In the end, that slick Power Point presentation isn’t going to be there when the dark clouds roll in and life becomes too much to bear alone? They need to know their Bibles.
Of course, I realize that the proliferation of modern translations has in many respects made Power Point a better option because at least the preacher can get the entire congregation reading the same words. I don’t know about you, but I find it discouraging to stand up in front of a congregation to read from a portion of Scripture knowing full well that "their Bible” doesn't say it that way. The newer translations are supposed to bring clarity, but all I see them creating is confusion and doubt. Sadly, in the end, congregational reading is really no longer possible unless it is with a Power Point and Scripture memory is a thing of the past because every time they hear the verse, it’s a different version. I can tell you from experience that most of my Scripture memory was not deliberate, but just came as the result of hearing the same verses over and over again throughout childhood. Sadly, that simply does not happen anymore.

1 comment:

  1. As a friend said, "God doesn't care which translation you're using, if you're just planning to disobey it."


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