The Lord's Prayer in the Message, a modern-day Bible version
The Lord's Prayer in the Message, a modern-day Bible version

If you are looking for a good translation of the Bible, here is some thing that you should consider.
Do you want a Bible that helps you understand what you are reading?
Do you want a Bible that helps you understand God’s word correctly?

Recently, I went to a church in Auckland and was impressed that they had copies of the Bible in the pews, for everyone. But I was sad to find that the Bible was a paraphrase that was not accurate.

Fox News has an article today entitled Best-Selling Bible for Conservative Evangelicals to Undergo Revision

“We want to reach English speakers across the globe with a Bible that is accurate, accessible and that speaks to its readers in a language they can understand,” said Keith Danby, global president and CEO of Biblica, a Colorado Springs, Colo.-based Christian ministry that holds the NIV copyright.

This sounds so noble. And the intentions may be good. But there is a serious danger here that most Christians seem to be blissfully unaware of.

Please don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating a King-James-only approach. I like the Bible I use to be in contemporary English. I would rather not use ‘thee’s, ‘thou’s, ‘thine’s, and ‘wherefore’s. So what is the fuss about?

I believe in the verbal plenary inspiration of the Holy Scriptures. Do you believe in it? Does your church? Virtually all conservative churches believe it. One definition of verbal plenary inspiration goes like this:

“God the Holy Spirit so supernaturally directed the human writers of Scripture that, without waiving their intelligence, their individuality, their personal feelings, their literary style, or any other human factor of expression, His Complete and Coherent Message to mankind was recorded with perfect accuracy in the original languages of Scripture: the very words bearing the Authority of Divine Authorship.”

It becomes crucial to all those who believe this, to ensure that they hold a Bible that is as close to the original as is possible. The modern-ness of the language is not as important as the integrity of the text.  The text must attempt to mirror the original grammar and sense. This is a tall order.
Great attempts were made by men of God over the ages to translate and bring the text to us in its purity. Many have lost their lives to accomplish what they did.

So the criterion when looking for a Bible should be faithfulness to the original first and only then should you look for modern language. Please read my post about the English Standard Version translation where the advantages of literal translations over paraphrases has been discussed.

Satan is so crafty that he is placing a piece of fine literature in the hands of church goers who will imagine that they hold the word of God, and in so doing he is taking people further away from the life-giving words of his Arch Enemy.