"And this is what he says to all humanity: 'The fear of the Lord is true wisdom; to forsake evil is real understanding.'"
Job 28:28 NLT
KJV. NIV. NLT. NKJV. The Message.
In my women's discipleship class we would have frequent discussions referencing various scripture (naturally...) and the ladies would quote a passage that meant something to them. Frequently I would hear two particular ladies say a passage from the bible then say "The Message". Now me, a bit slow at times, was thinking "What on earth?..." But after hearing it a few times I got it: The Message was the Bible translation they were reading from.
Now I was always a King James Version kind of girl - enjoying the olde world feel and sound of it. I would think of the Bible figures with their sandals and robes on, sitting on a big stone in the wilderness and such, holding a tablet of rough hewn rock speaking to the people. (How's that for imagery?) I was drifting in darkness because I couldn't really follow the meaning of what God had to say to me through His word. I was not reading my bible daily, nor was I taking classes or going to bible study regularly to gain a better understanding of God's truths. So in 2000 I bought a People's Parallel Edition Bible in King James Version & New Living Translation. I still kept reading the KJV though because the NLT seemed watered-down and not quite 'holy' enough for me. Well, one day I was reading and praying and came across Galatians 2:20 and I was so moved by what God was saying to me that I cried.
"I myself no longer live, but Christ lives in me. So I live my life in the earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." NLT
To me this passage so awesomely details the walk that we face daily. Having life and having it more abundantly is God's gift to us as believers through Christ Jesus. I promise you that I have read that passage before, but it had not resonated with me the same way. Then I understood why: it's all in the translation! I read the same scripture in KJV - a little heart prick. Then in the NKJV - eh, maybe a pinch that time. Then again in NLT - there it is! Light bulb moment!
Each of us has to find a Bible translation that works best for us. The Bible can't show you the path that God has for your life if you can't clearly understand it. You may have an electronic device or other item at home that you don't use to the fullest potential because you haven't figured out how to work it properly. God forbid you read the manual, right? (no pun intended) If you don't already have a Bible that you can read and understand, go out and get one. Plenty of Christian book stores and churches in the area that sell a number of options. Take it from me girls, read the Lord's manual for your life. It will make your walk as a Christian so much stronger. Amen!