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IBC Women’s Ministry Blog – May 7, 2020

IBC Women’s Ministry Blog – May 7, 2020

Translations

By Jodie Montgomery

I have been walking in my neighborhood more regularly due to the quarantine. Many are doing the same. The weather has been incredible. I’m thankful for the timing of this gorgeous spring season.

As I walk, on many occasions I meet up with the neighbor that lives in the first house on the right in my subdivision. She walks with a cane and a large brimmed sun hat. She walks with a great smile. I enjoy seeing her. Her friendly expression lightens my step. We greet one another but haven’t said much else to one another. The lack of communication and understanding of one another isn’t due to social distancing. We’ve discovered that I speak English and she speaks Spanish and that I do not speak Spanish and she does not speak English. We have a barrier. We need a translator.

Every time I open God’s Word I am relying on a good, precise, translator of the original writings collected as the Bible in order to know what the authors intended to convey. The translation tremendously influences my interpretation and application of God’s Word. The translation impacts my understanding of God. 

There are a lot of translations (https://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-versions/). There is a lot of information available for Bible readers who want to seriously consider the translation they use for their daily “Word from God”. There are a lot of language scholars that have invested their lives in developing sound translations of the Scriptures. The information on which Bible is “reliable” can be overwhelming. I know some that have studied Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek just to gain more confidence in choosing a translation for study.  A basic resource on choosing the translation best for you is found on the Bible Society webpage, https://www.biblesociety.org.uk/explore-the-bible/which-is-the-best-bible-translation.

I like the preciseness of language and think it is key to know word for word what someone is saying to you so I prefer the more word for word translations of the Bible. These are referred to as “literal” translations such as the New American Standard Bible (NASB) or the English Standard Version (ESV). Some say that these are too “formal” translations lacking a contemporary ease in conveying the message. I encourage you to go online, read the same passage from several different versions of the Bible and see if you find the translation “too formal”. Consider the scholars that have worked on the translation and their motivation for translating the Scriptures. Remember we are dependent on God’s revelation of Himself to get to know Him. Time in His Word is to help us draw close to our Maker.

The Scriptures are meant to be meditated on and applied in our lives with great humility. We go to the Word remembering that it is a translation of other languages, a great translation through scholars, but until we see Him face to face, we do have a bit of a communication gap. Thankfully, we have enough information to know where we will ultimately meet up with Him and that we are dearly loved. We also have much to apply here as we await His return. Let us be a people that continue to draw near to God and one another through His Words to us, thankful for His Spirit’s illuminating presence as we long to know God.

2 Timothy 2:15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.