Now THAT’s a Good Question!

Why in the world do you switch between 2 different Bible translations when you preach?

Great question.images

By far, my favorite translation of the Bible is the English Standard Version (ESV). I am not, by any means, saying it is THE translation or the ONLY one you should use. I believe it is a very accurate English translation. I did a three part series on ‘Why I Use the ESV’ last summer. Part 1. Part 2. Part 3.

I read a quote from Rick Warren several months ago that struck me, then stuck with me. He said something to the effect of how reading different Bible translations helps you stay more focused, rather than always ‘knowing’ what is going to come next. Since I had found myself doing that (reading a passage I had read before and skimming it because I ‘knew’ what it said), I decided to try reading the New Living Translation (NLT) for daily, personal use. I found what Warren said to be true. I was much more ‘engaged’ with the reading because I wasn’t ‘use to’ the language.

I also noticed something else: while the ESV is more accurate (which is crucial!), the NLT was much easier to read and – in a lot of places – easier to understand. The translators of the NLT, in my opinion, really did a great job of helping difficult concepts easy to grasp.

So now – when I preach – if I believe the NLT to can help communicate the truth of the passage better, I use it.

I guess, to answer the question, I go back and forth between 2 translations while I preach because it is my job to help the listener’s understand. If the people in the pew aren’t ‘getting it,’ I am not doing my job. So, to help FBC understand with clarity what I am trying to communicate, I try to find the translation that will best help communicate what I believe the Lord would have us learn.

What translation is your favorite? Why?

Have you ever tried a different one to help you better focus?


4 thoughts on “Now THAT’s a Good Question!

  1. Rodney Wimberly says:

    Grew up with KJV, but have to say my favorite now is NKJV (probably because of what I grew up on), but to your point, I have come to really enjoy and get a lot out of The Complete Jewish Bible, “for He opens doors for me doors I’m unable to see…”.

  2. Rodney Wimberly says:

    p.s. thank you for not taking a holiday today and posting this

  3. Ilene Harral says:

    I agree about the holiday favor; thanks for making sure we had your comments to read today! Richard gave me my hardest Bible that I have, the Geneva Bible from 1599, a new printing. I like to double check it with more current translations because wording does vary, but Geneva is very formal and has tiny print and can be tedious. Ilene

  4. Libby says:

    I do not really have a favorite translation of the Bible. I like many of them: NAS, NIV, Message, & ESV. When I am in church, I prefer to read the translation that the preacher uses. Thank you for an awesome message on Sunday!

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