Has anyone noticed the array of Bible translations available to us today? The buffet of scripture commentary and theology displayed for our spiritual enjoyment and growth? What is THEOLOGY after all but, “the study of the nature of God and religious belief”. The STUDY of God and religious belief. A commendable undertaking, to study God. But my question is, how does one STUDY God?
By what textbook do we derive our knowledge of God? Understandably the Bible. But then how did Abraham understand God when God tapped him on the shoulder and said, ““Get out of your country, from your family And from your father’s house to a land that I will show you”, in Genesis 12:1. Or any of the Patriarchs for that matter?
We have an extreme advantage, in that their entire story is in the palm of our hands. They did not have such an advantage. We assume too much about their experience with all disclosure at our fingertips, but how did they come to understand and know God? We know that at the time of King David, they had the Torah (the first 5 books of the OT) thanks to the Holy Spirit and Moses.
But have you noticed that with each generation, God was still writing their story and His story down through the ages? And each generation had the writings of the one before them to base their experience on, but they still experienced God in a unique way in their current generations. We can see, through the Old and New Testaments that God has not changed. And He is still writing His story in our lives every day.
With Hebrews 1: 1-2, the final Word came to us in Jesus Christ;
” God, who at various times and in various ways spoke in time past to the fathers by the prophets, has in these last days spoken to us by His Son, whom He has appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the worlds;”
If any of us wants to know what God is saying, according to this declaration in Hebrews 1, our ears need to be tuned to Jesus and what He has said in the gospels and through the Holy Spirit as the one sent to us to take of what is Christ’s and show it to us.
John 16:13 -14 ” However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak, and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.”
But what does that mean for us today? Obviously, the Word of God, The Bible is our source for all things God and Jesus Christ. But what do we do with a Word that’s been translated over and over and each claims that the newest translation is the most accurate with careful dissection of the original Hebrew and Greek? The choice could be mindnumbing.
I have recently discovered a translation called THE SCRIPTURES that is transforming my understanding of God and the history of God according to scripture. It is also inspiring a reverence for God in my heart that is quite remarkable. Here is just a little snippet from the description that I believe may prompt you to check it out:
This edition of the Scriptures, while attempting to be an accurate translation, seeks at the same time to introduce the reader to something of the Hebraic mindset and culture which are very much a part of the original. Indeed, we see this is as absolutely necessary for the serious student of Scripture. The events of Scripture did not occur in the modern western world, with its Anglo-Hellenist mindset, but within the very different world of the ancient middle-east, and the Semitic mindset of the People of Yisra’ĕl. While we have sought to accurately translate rather than to interpret, aiming at producing a literal translation rather than a paraphrase, we have tried to provide the student of Scripture with a tool which in some way helps him or her to “experience” the Scriptures as Semitic rather than Hellenistic.
This translation of scripture was used in a video experience I had recently. A popular internet businesswoman who is very passionate about the Lord recently took a trip to Isreal w/ a group and the tour was not your typical “Christian” tour but one that went a little off the beaten path. It followed the footsteps of the Patriarchs and Jesus and was very moving and transformational for those attending. A spiritual pilgrimage of sorts.
As I was taken into their experience via video, I was moved by what was happening to each participant and the passion at which this woman and tour guide ministered to them and shared scripture together. Her guide would share from the Bible in the Jewish language and she would share the same scripture in English from THE SCRIPTURES translation. And Jesus and the entire Jewish culture came alive. Not to mention, the understanding that it opened up for some passages that we have Americanized that, in my opinion, have lessened the impact of the original thought or experience.
I encourage you to investigate this translation if for nothing else, to see God and Christ in a light that I believe is most accurate to the true place of the origin and birth of our faith!
Let Christ be glorified in all!