Wednesday, March 18, 2009

How can we gain an accurate understanding of Scripture?

Have you ever noticed that each version of the Bible has a unique take? In my Bible study group we have several translations represented and sometimes they don't seem like they're saying quite the same thing. For instance, take 1 Corinthians 7:1.

In the King James and New American Standard it says, "It is good for a man not to touch a woman." The New International Version reads, "It is good for a man not to marry." The Message puts it, "Is it a good thing to have sexual relations?"

Which is it? Now if you take them together and read on, we see the point, but what if you only have one version? What if you miss the nuance? Is it necessary to do our devotions out of several Bible translations? Should we start studying Greek and Hebrew (OY! Lotta pressure!)? How can we be sure we are gaining an accurate understanding?

It can make a person a little dizzy.

If I think about it too much (and you know me), I could get intimidated and give up. I've got to reconcile this so I continue to seek God and grow in my faith. There is only one way.

I've got to rely on the Holy Spirit.

But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

John 14:26

I absolutely should work hard at it, investigating other translations, reading entire passages, cross-referencing verses, and yes, perhaps take a crack at the Greek, but first and foremost, I have to depend on the Holy Spirit to do His thing.

Yet another way to trust God.


e-Mom said...

John 14:26 is one of my favorite verses. Thank God for His Spirit working in and through us. :~D

I didn't realize that 1 Cor 7:1 was interpreted so differently in all those translations. Interesting!

Susan said...

Wow, what an example of so many Misinterpretations. Thank God for the Holy Spirit.

I know the KJ seems out dated, but when I'm studying, I use it. I also love to check out the Greek and Hbrew during my studies as well.

There is just so much more in there we miss.

For me it is like going on a treasure hunt.

I'm weary of all these new translations. I'm glad you pointed this out.

Studying to show my self approved!

Tami Boesiger said...


"Studying to show my self approved!"

AMEN, sister! That is the goal. Thanks!