30 November 2011

King James: 400 years old but is he still the "only one"?

I was ruminating with my dad today about Bibles. A while back he introduced me to a neat website you can check out here which led to our discussion. He asked if I have a translation of choice and in thinking about it I realized that I really do not. I grew up on the New International Version and so a lot of the verses I have memorized are that translation though I do not tend to read that one much anymore. I sometimes prefer my New Living Translation, sometimes I want to read my New King James and other times I wish I had a New American Standard because I enjoy that when looking up certain text online. I do however have a translation I DO NOT prefer and in fact, it tends to turn me off. That is the old King James. I believe the reason for the King James Bible at the time was great. He wanted the common man to be able to read The Word in the language of the people. What has always bothered me as an adult is the great "hanging onto", so to speak, of this translation. King James wanted the Bible to be read AND understood by the common person and we do not speak the same way as they did 400 years ago. Therefore why do so many adhere to this translation as "the only one"?
I also must defer to Jesus on this point because, of course, His opinion on the subject is really the most important. Did He say anything that I could relate to this matter? Did He do anything that causes me to believe He may just agree with me on this point? Let me see what I can find. . .
Then some Pharisees and scribes came to Jesus from Jerusalem and said, “Why do Your disciples break the tradition of the elders? For they do not wash their hands when they eat bread.” And He answered and said to them, “Why do you yourselves transgress the commandment of God for the sake of your tradition?
Matthew 15.1-3 NASB

To me this is a wonderful example of the "hanging onto" of the King James Bible. If we are so bent on not allowing a modern translation to be used by our pastor, church or congregation for the sake of tradition that we alienate people who do not understand the language how are we following the command of the Great Commission?

What else might Jesus say that relates to this subject?
But when the Pharisees heard that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered themselves together. One of them, asked Him a question, testing Him, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him, “ ‘YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND.’ This is the great and foremost commandment. The second is like it, ‘YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”
Matthew 22.34-40 NASB

To me this relates in that He is explaining what is most important. More important than what translation we read, what type of music we sing, whether the sermon is topical, expository or a bit of both. What is important is that we allow ourselves to be tools of Christ's love in order to reach the lost of the world. If that means putting our King James Bible aside and pulling out our New Living Translation to be better understood by one who has never read the Bible how can this be a bad thing?! I have heard the arguments that Bible translations have been "watered down" and "meanings get changed". I think that is all a bunch of nonsense, if the Holy Spirit is working we could really be reading (please read with exaggeration and humor) Dr. Seuss and the person would be hearing about Jesus and His love. I am not suggesting we be foolish but instead that we have already been foolish in the "hanging onto" of the old King James. Of course, this Bible had it's place in our history and it was and is a wonderful thing but we must be reasonable and practical, as well. It is not the only Bible that has been God-breathed:
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness;
II Timothy 3.16 NASB

*On another note regarding Bibles in general I highly recommend this particular entry from the aforementioned blog.

15 November 2011

One of those trimesters. . .

I am feeling frustrated by mommyhood. Yeah, I admitted it. I am currently hugely pregnant with heartburn almost all day long, pain in my knees, my back and my sciatic nerve on both sides (and those are only the "regular" pains). And I have a child who now wants to end every day with a fit. I am fairly certain a lot of his fit throwing has to do with the baby that is coming. I am sure he has figured out that he is not going to get mommy's full, undivided attention any more but I would rather he get it out in the middle of the day or the morning. By the end of the day I feel so horrible I have a hard time enjoying our quiet, reading, getting ready for bed time but I do it. He is usually so very pleasant up until the time I actually leave the room and then it all begins. I was responding the first few nights and now I do not. As a result the fits have become shorter but still have not disappeared. Am I asking too much for it to just stop? I want our end of day to be pleasant and wonderful like it always has been before. I know he is probably thinking, I know this is going to change when baby comes.
Life is changing and since I hate being pregnant I can not wait until the day this child comes into the world but life will change. I know this child is and will be a blessing as my older one is but change is still change and we are all going to have to learn to adjust to this and adapt and make it all work. Have I mentioned I have friends with four, six, seven kids? What were THEY thinking?!

I am sure they were thinking what a joy and blessing from the Lord that children are. And I agree wholeheartedly but for the moment I am just going to have to remind myself of that every five seconds. And when I finally meet this new little one and I see his brother be a GREAT big brother I will be reminded why we do this. And on other days I will just have to remind myself a little bit more.

Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19.14 NASB

At that time Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children." Matthew 11.25 NIV

Isaac pleaded with the Lord on behalf of his wife, because she was unable to have children. The Lord answered Isaac’s prayer, and Rebekah became pregnant with twins.
Genesis 25.21 NLT

So it came to pass in the process of time that Hannah conceived and bore a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, “Because I have asked for him from the LORD.”
1 Samuel 1.20 NKJV

12 November 2011

Alas, not another list but. . .

just some books worth mentioning I am reading.

I am currently reading Tortured for Christ by Richard Wurmbrand and I recommend it to anyone and everyone! I can not believe it sat on my shelf for so long.

"I had the grace to be one of the chosen of God for reasons that I don't understand. These reasons had nothing to do with my character because [it] was very bad."

". . .after having seen the Bride of Christ in prison, I . . .love the Underground Church almost as much as I love Christ Himself. I have seen her beauty, her spirit of sacrifice."
~Richard Wurmbrand

Here is a link to the Voice of the Martyrs website where you can actually request a free copy and explore and support the outreach the Underground Church is doing.

I am also currently reading My Utmost for His Highest. Another classic that I have never read completely. I have picked it up here and there and just read some entries but I have now started from the beginning. It is interesting, I am only on day five and it already seems like several people might have written it and not just one. I have already been uplifted and yet also questioned one passage. I have decided to read five passages every day, a new one and the previous four. It helps me digest them better and already I am finding new things in each passage as I re-read it.
Here are some examples of things that have struck me so far. I pray that I may be able to heed Mr. Chambers words as I pray I continue to grow in the knowledge, grace and love of Christ.

Here is a link to a blog about Oswald Chambers and it includes devotionals.

"Let the attitude of the life be a continual 'going out' in dependance upon God, and your life will have an ineffable charm about it which is a satisfaction to Jesus."

"When it is a question of the providential will of God, wait for God to move." ~Oswald Chambers