Sunday, June 3, 2007

Changing Translations

I’ve had to change Bible translations. - Again.

See, you need to understand that this is a very big deal for me. I was raised in fundamental Christianity. We NEVER used anything but the KJV. Ever. “It was good enough for Paul, it is good enough for us.” (I actually heard this from a pulpit in my parents church once) (Yes, they meant the apostle Paul) (The guy before all the English guys)

So, in coming out of my fundamental roots,26 years ago I switched to a brand new NIV Bible and warded off the fears that I was certainly going to hell. (and wrapped it in brown paper when I visited my parents church) This Bible I carried with me through out all the questioning years and new theology years. I marked it up with how gifts still exist and operate, how there could be another ending to the world than I had been taught and about how to lead and operate a Kingdom church. My NIV talked about grace and mercy but pretty much, like Wayne Jacobsen says, it took Old Testament law, slapped New Testament titles on it and called it grace.

Now I find that I cannot read my NIV without still hearing the New Testament Law that I believed only a few months ago.

So the other day I started reading Romans in the Message. WOW. Did anyone ever see the grace that is in that book? I kept reading a part in the Message and then going over to the NIV to see if they were really telling the truth. They were. It just sounded so different to me that I could see the writings in a whole knew light. It amazes me. I am dumbstruck to see what I have been missing.

Listen to this from Romans 5: All that passing laws against sin did was produce more lawbreakers. But sin didn’t, and doesn’t, have a chance in competition with the aggressive forgiveness we call grace. When it’s sin versus grace, grace wins hands down. All sin can do is threaten us with death, and that’s the end of it. Grace, because God is putting everything together again through the Messiah, invites us into life—a life that goes on and on and on, world without end.

Guys, there is Grace woven all through this Good News that we speak of. (I know I’m a little slow but this is so wonderful to me right now!)

So I am switching to The Message. Just to write that seems like a “coming out.” In the religious sense – not the gender confusion sense.

Maybe I should stage a parade. The banners would read – GOOD NEWS -


Anonymous said...

The Message is great, very refreshing. A couple of other translations I also like are the New Living Translation and the Contemporary English Translation. If you're looking for something that goes a step beyond The Message, then have a look at The Street Bible by Rob Lacey.

I'm glad you're managing to "shake off the dust" so to speak. Bless you.

Jim L said...

Out of all my translations, I am also reading the Message now and really enjoying it. We use it in the service I attend, too. I am actually reading it in a parallel Bible with the NIV, so if I have a question like you did ("Is that REALLY what it says?") I can look at the other column and see what the NIV says. I have not found anything yet that leads me to believe that the Message is anything but a wonderful, grace-full testament.


Erin said...

Congrats on your new discovery!

TKB said...

I have enjoyed reading your blog. I have a silly question. What is the CLB?

Barb said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Barb said...


CLB is an acronym for Church Left Behind. Many of the bloggers have been using it as I read their stories of the churches and situations they have left behind.

Anonymous said...

First I must say that your blog (which I found from Emerging Grace) echoes a lot of what we have been going through. Although we were only at our CLB for just over 3 years, we also found ourselves sucked into the "system" and liked the attention of being in the inner core. Now that we have left we can see that so much of what we were participating in was legalism and a works based gospel, and it makes us sad to think of all the people still there that are so decieved.

I too have been reading The Message recently - Galatians just blew me away in that translation. I feel as if my eyes have been opened to the true gospel of freedom and grace.

If you have not already done so, I would also recommend the novel "Paul" by Walter Wangerin - it is a great portrait of how life may have been in the 1st century and how passionate Paul was for the true gospel of grace and freedom.

God Bless!

Unknown said...

The novel, "Paul", by W.W. is a phenomenal read. Fictitious though it may be, it does weave fact and history into a great story!

Barb said...

Thanks for the novel recommendation. It will be my next read.
It truly is amazing to read these passages in another voice. Thanks for the encouragement.

Former Leader

TKB said...

I thought CLB might stand for some kind of denomination... I haven't heard of shunning except in regards to the Amish and Mormons.
We left the purpose driven church planting movement. Now I struggle with seeing all of the church marketing etc and attractional stuff...