We can learn so much from the Scriptures when we leave the word alone. I understand why we may find it necessary, sometimes, to rephrase the Scriptures to understand it better; however, so often we lose the most important elements. We would do better, I believe, to let the Father’s inspired word stand on its own and adjust our understanding to it, rather than adjust the word to fit our understanding.
Consider this example that a friend posted today:
Furthermore, we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called in accordance with his purpose. (Romans 8:28, CJB)
Check out the same Scripture from the Concordant Literal New Testament:
Now WE ARE AWARE that God IS WORKING THE ALL together for the good of those who ARE LOVING God, who are called according to THE purpose. (emphasis mine)
I ask you, how does “Now we are aware” become, “Furthermore“? How does, “God is working the all” become “God causes everything“? What’s the difference between, “those who love,” and “those who are loving,” or “His purpose” and “THE purpose“?
Rather than answer the above questions, let me pose these: When you and I read, “Now we are aware,” do our brains wonder, “Am I aware, and if not, why not, and how may I become more so?” I would suggest that no such curiosity is raised when we read, “Furthermore.” When we read, “God causes everything,” does it sound like He set it all up and left us on our own to deal with it; versus the present-time action in, “God is working the all.”?
These questions and others are ones to which answers are worth seeking, I believe, because, “the Lord searches all hearts and understands every plan and thought. If you seek Him, He will be found by you…” (1 Chronicles 28:9, ESV)
Reading the word is enjoyable, certainly, but there’s more at stake:
Endeavor to present yourself to God qualified, an unashamed worker, correctly cutting the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15)
I would invite you — or challenge, if you prefer — to search the Scriptures beyond the Bible you’re used to, and let the Father’s Spirit reveal differences in versions of the Scriptures as you investigate. I pray that you may come to a greater understanding of His word, its importance to you, and that your study may deepen your relationship to Him.
Here are a couple of places to begin an investigation:
- Concordant.org – uniquely and directly translated OT and NT, plus other resources
- Scripture4all.org – online interlinear Greek and Hebrew Bibles
- BibleHub.com – “Search, Read, Study”
- BibleGateway.com – 46 English Bible versions
- BlueLetterBible.org – My go-to source for online lexicon searches
Blessings and joy ion the journey.