Just as all religions aren’t the same, modern Bible translations are also different. How can we tell which one’s best? Why does it matter?
Well, if we’re not committed to obeying our bible then it really doesn’t matter; we’ll go with whatever happens to make us feel good … hardly noticing when it encourages men to abuse their families, as many of our newer English translations actually do.
But if we’re hiding our bible in our heart, meditating on it daily and conforming our lives to every word of it, then I think the version we choose makes a big difference: we should trust it as God’s inspired Word. Is any translation worthy of our trust? How can we know?
As it turns out, I don’t think we need a seminary degree to nail this one; no need to master ancient biblical languages. The history of where our bibles came from sheds some invaluable light: most of our English translations are based on a patent absurdity: The Syrian Recension.
Of the few that remain, the King James Version (KJV) empowered two Great Awakenings, was the backbone of the English speaking world for nearly 300 years, and is the only English bible to have ever been generally accepted as inspired by God’s people. In my humble opinion, this one’s a no-brainer.
The Bible isn’t just any old book; it’s alive and powerful. (He 4:12) God’s Word is food for our soul (Je 15:16), a light to our way (Ps 119:105), a map for our journey (1Ti 3:16-17), and the Spirit’s sword, our weapon of war. (Ep 6:17) Let’s choose our bible wisely; pick one we trust, and obey it as the very Word of God to us. Our spiritual health depends on it.