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It always amazes me how many Christians I meet who don’t know what the Bible teaches. The Bible is the manual for the Christian life and is the revelation of God Himself, who we must love more than anything in order to be saved in the end. Matthew 10:37 Do we read the instructions for a new electronic device, which will wear out in three years or less and need replaced? How much more crucial it is to read and understand the information that will determine our eternal salvation or damnation and that of those we love.

It is dangerous to simply believe everything you hear from another person, even a preacher. We are all imperfect humans and make mistakes. God tells us to “work out your salvation with fear and trembling”. Philippians 2:12 We alone are accountable to God for what we believe and how we live. We need to know what He has told us, so we can obey Him and will know when we are hearing lies.

Many people think the Bible is difficult to understand, so they don't try. Actually, it was written on a 6th grade level. Sure there are topics that are open to differing opinions, but the majority is easily understood, especially when you ask the Holy Spirit to enlighten you as you study. The Rabbis of old said that scripture has 70 layers of meanings, so after we learn the obvious meaning of a passage, there is still a wealth of knowledge to be gained from further study, with His help.

I am going to "demystify" how to study the Bible in a few short, easy lessons in the hopes of encouraging you to explore the riches it holds for you. Look in the label cloud under "Christianity 101" for lessons you have missed and God bless your efforts! I'm always available to you in e-mail and I pray for everyone who visits here.

CHRISTIANITY 101 - Using Your Bible Lesson 8

Buying A New Bible – Paraphrases, Versions & Translations

There are “paraphrases”, “versions” and “translations” of the Bible. This is not meant to be an exhaustive and perfect coverage of this very serious topic, but rather a quick and easy summary to be helpful.

A “paraphrase” Bible is the loosest possible rendition of God’s Word. The main emphasis is on being very easy to read by dumbing down the text, not in preserving the accuracy of the original text. Paraphrases convey the opinions of those publishing it. Paraphrases can be written by an individual whereas “translations” are written by a team of carefully chosen individuals to act as checks and balances for the truth. Paraphrases have the widest probability for not accurately conveying the truth God has given us and leading us into error. There are many websites that reveal the perversions of many of the scriptures in these books.
Examples of “paraphrases” are:
The Message
The Living Bible

Generally speaking a “version” of the Bible is taken from previous translations. They do not go back and translate from ancient manuscripts of the scriptures, but reword it. This increases the possibility of errors and can involve their own personal beliefs. There are many websites that reveal the perversions of many of the scriptures in these books.
Examples of “versions” are:
Today's New International Version (based on NIV)
Good News Bible
New Revised Standard Version

A “translation” is the product of going back to very old manuscripts of the scriptures and literally translating them again, word for word or thought for thought. Translations are produced by a group of people carefully chosen for their expertise, with the goal of being checks and balances with the main emphasis on accuracy and preserving the truth. Those doing this make every effort to accurately translate the original meaning into our language, leaving their own personal beliefs out. This is our best option to obtain God’s truth.
Examples of “translations” are:
New American Standard (NAS)
King James (KJB)
New King James (NKJB)
Amplified (AB)
American Standard (ASB)
New International Version (NIV)

Bibles most renowned for their accuracy and readability are the New American Standard, New King James and the Amplified Bibles. I recommend reading the same passage from more than one translation to help you in your understanding.

You can buy a “parallel” Bible that has four translations in one book. When you open the book, you see four vertical columns, one for each of four translations of the same text. This makes it very quick and easy to read several translations of the same passage. Not all stores will carry a Parallel Bible with the exact four translations you want in it. Most Christian book stores are happy to special order for you and don’t charge extra for it. Keep looking and you’ll find it!

A word for those who have been taught that the King James Version is the only true/acceptable version of the Bible. King James is undeniably beautiful to read and other than having “transliterated” (instead of “translated”) the word “baptizo” into “baptize” out of fear that a true translation of “immerse” would get them killed by King James who had commissioned the translation and had only been sprinkled, it is basically doctrinally sound. However many words used in it are so antiquated today that when we read them, we do not fully understand their meanings, as readers of that time would have. It is important that we understand what we are reading. There is nothing extra “holy” about “thee’s and thou’s”. It would do you no good to read from an original manuscript (unless you are fluent in those ancient languages). It will do you less good trying to gain insight reading a translation like King James who’s words have lost their full meanings, than if you read a reliable translation in more current vocabulary along with it. New King James preserves the beauty of King James, but is much more readable.

Today's freebie is a Rectangular Frame I made from my Marbles (at the bottom of the post). Yesterday I gave you the Oval Marble Frame. This preview below is to remind you of other marble gifts I've given you that are still available in the archives in the left column if you have missed them!
If you download, leave me some love at the bottom of the post and God bless your use of it!
Download here. Check out my TERMS OF USE here.
The password is jesuschristislord.

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