As a teenager, the first church I started attending, after coming to have personal faith in Christ, was an Independent Baptist church. My closest friend at the time took me there, as it was known for its expository teaching from the Bible, something that was lacking in my more nominal Protestant upbringing.
They also had great potluck suppers.
These people loved their Bible, and I was hungry for it. I devoured what the preacher had to say. The problem was that I had a hard time understanding the Bible version they were using:
It was the King James Version (KJV).
Do not get me wrong. To this day, I love the KJV. There are aspects of modern translations that simply do not hold a candle to the KJV. But some of the KJV English can be rather…confusing. For example, take the all time classic, Psalm 23:1:
- The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
The first phrase I got, as a 17 year old, but “I shall not want?“… I shall not want, what? Shall I not want the Lord to be my shepherd??
So, I went down to the local bookstore, to see if I could find a Bible translation that was easier for me to understand. I found something called the “NIV” (New International Version):
- The Lord is my shepherd; I lack nothing.
Ah, that made better sense. Because the Lord is my shepherd, I have all that I need.
But here was the catch: In addition to the NIV, the book store had a whole shelf of different Bible translations. Today, the situation can be even more bewildering, with even more Bible translation choices available. Which one do I pick? Continue reading