Favorite Bible Version

Favorite Bible Version

By Paul R. Blake



            “But what do you think? A man had two sons, and he came to the first and said, 'Son, go, work today in my vineyard.' He answered and said, 'I will not,' but afterward he regretted it and went. Then he came to the second and said likewise. And he answered and said, 'I go, sir,' but he did not go. Which of the two did the will of his father? They said to Him, The first. Jesus said to them, Assuredly, I say to you that tax collectors and harlots enter the kingdom of God before you” (Matt. 21:28-31).

            Four Christians were discussing the merits of their favorite translations of the Bible. One liked the King James Version because of its majestic flavor and somewhat poetic wording. Another preferred the more scholarly American Standard Version because it is closer to the original Hebrew and Greek. Still another liked the New King James Version because of its easily understood contemporary vocabulary.

            The fourth Christian was silent for a moment and then said, "I like my mother's translation best." Surprised, the other three said they didn't know his mother had translated the Bible. "Yes," he replied. "She translated it into life, and it was the most convincing and understandable translation I ever saw."

            Rather than focusing on translations, faithful Christians remember that the most important matter should be living what they learn from God’s word. That was the top priority of Ezra's life. As a scribe, he studied the Law, obeyed it, and taught it to the Israelites (Ezra 7:10). “For Ezra had prepared his heart to seek the Law of the LORD, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel.” He was effective because he lived what he read.

            We often sing the hymn “We are the World’s Bible.” What version of the scriptures are lost sinners reading in our lives?

            Some Christians do not pray in restaurants, and they often order the waitress around like a personal servant. What version of the Bible are we displaying at Sonny’s BBQ or at Cracker Barrel?

            Some brethren treat a male visitor with an earring or a woman with a tattoo like they are bad smelling lepers. What version of Holy Writ is being read in our manners in the church building when we do that?

            “I’ve got my King James Bible under my arm; I’m on my way to heaven.” “I study from the American Standard Version, the most accurate translation; I know I’m saved.” Really!? Don’t tell others what translation of the Bible you are reading; show them what translation of the Bible you are living. Perhaps the Pharisees read from the “King James Version” of the Law of Moses, too.

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