You can’t win when you talk about versions…
No matter what you say people you tick people off
The very fact you are talking about the issue lets people know you are “one of those”
but “those” have such a detailed and expectant view on what someone should or shouldn’t say you can never be one of “them” unless you agree with them on every “jot and tittle”
You lose before you get started
At the same time, it is an issue.
It does create confusion
and you have to stand somewhere
It is not coincidental that the first words out of Satan’s mouth in the garden are to question the words of God.
It obviously matters to God…He claims His word is truth…but when His word, in certain versions says different things…how do we choose?
Shouldn’t we assume “the serpent” is still casting doubt, still minimizing, still questioning?
All versions are not created equal. They come from different places…from different texts…through different hands and cultures…and say different things
So how do we decide?
I don’t think its necessary to tell you which version you should use.
I obviously have a preference, but I think the following are some baseline ideas
If you do not believe you are holding the words of God…
then what is the point?
I recently listened to a man who claimed, and accepted the mercy and grace of God, but chose to reject Satan and hell because the Bible was written two thousand years ago, we have no comprehensive original text, and culture has changed…incredibly convenient logic (completely indefensible, but convenient)
This is obviously an extreme example, but we tend to be more free to pick and choose words like that sting more, or seem less culterally tenable when we can pawn them of to not being as perfect as they were in the original text
If you don’t believe ALL of the Bible is God’s inerrant or infallible word, then how do you decide which to base your life on and defend, and which to throw aside as inconsequential or trivial? How do you guard against convenient, self serving acceptance of some text, and avoidance of those texts that seem unsavory, or you are unwilling to abide by?
If you believe you are holding the words of God, preserved for you in your language…
1. Don’t be so obnoxious about it!
Why are people to whom the whole version debate is so important…people who believe they are holding the words of God, tried and preserved in their language….the most mean spirited, narrow thinking, mocking, pharisaic crowd in the conversation.
Shouldn’t people who claim to put such an emphasis on the Bible be the most adherent to the spirit of it? You shouldn’t get a pass on character because of the version of the Bible under your arm. Holding a certain version doesn’t compensate for your anger problem. Holding a certain version doesn’t hide your pride. Rather it exposes it.
If you are going to make such an issue of “defending the word of God”…live it first…it makes your case more viable to the onlooking community
2. Ask yourself…can or does God only choose to use the version you claim?Or does He use whatever He sees fit?
If you are more selective than God, then God either needs to get as serious as you are about the Bible, or you need to ask yourself why it is really an issue for you.
I have a version I like…prefer…even think is the best…at the end of the day we all need to decide if the book we hold in our lap is trustworthy. More than a feeling, we need to know why the book we hold in our lap is trustworthy. Regardless of the acronym on the binding, can you base your life, and eternity on it? If not, find a new version
Equally, we need to admit that there is some choosing of our battle. The Bridge exists in a urban, college community…do you think I should be more willing to celebrate one of our students reading/studying the Bible, or criticize his selection of version?
The version debate truly is a Christian debate…no one in need of Christ knows, or cares what you mean when you say the KJV is an obviously superior text to the NASB…they simply know they can understand one better than the other. The only people who even know what our acronyms mean are people who have been in the church long enough to not have any friends who are apart from God. In the end, what battle do we need to win? Maybe it should dictate which battle we fight?