2010-11-25 / Editorial Page

Quit quibbling over translations

TO THE EDITOR: I recently read a disappointing letter to The Journal which targeted the usage of Biblical translations other than the King James Version among Christians.

As a born-again believer in Jesus Christ, I found this perspective disturbing on a number of levels.

Setting aside the fact that the modern translations are more authoritative (they draw from Biblical manuscripts, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, that date from centuries before what was available in England during the 1500s), as a Christian, I am called first and foremost to love. My chief priority in sharing this love is to place the Word of God into the hands of the lost. Unfortunately, the archaic language of the KJV can be difficult, even a turnoff, for infant believers. Fresher translations, such as the NIV or New Living Testament (NLT), offer a new kind of accessibility to the scriptures for twenty-first century students.

Ultimately, Christ’s sacrifice on the Cross to atone for the sins of all mankind is, by definition, universal. God’s free gift of love is for everyone. We know that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” Christians should let the masses “hear” by not quibbling over translations. The message is of Christ’s burning desire to have an intimate relationship with each of us is always preserved.

In the third chapter of Titus, the Apostle Paul admonishes us “avoid stupid controversies.” In the end, Christ isn’t concerned with what translation of the Bible we use; He is concerned with whether we love Him with our whole hearts. Perhaps, instead of wasting any more time on the question of translations, we should devote ourselves more fully to the sharing of the Gospel message.


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