How many versions of the Bible do you have in your home? I hope you have at least one – if not, let me know and we’ll fix that ASAP! It’s likely, though, that you have a few different translations of the Bible available to you, whether they are in your home or at church or somewhere else. Do you realize how fortunate we are?
I didn’t choose to learn English when I was a child, but I am sure glad that I did. There are dozens and dozens of translations of the Bible available to us English speakers, and they cover a wide variety of uses. Each has its strengths and weaknesses, because no translation perfectly captures the meaning of the original Hebrew and Greek texts. When we study the Bible, it is good for us to compare several translations so that we might gain better insight into what the Lord is saying to us.
People who speak other certain languages are not as fortunate as we are. Bible translation is still an active field of study all around the world. Through organizations such as Wycliffe Bible Translators and World Missionary Press (to name only two), the Word of God is being translated into more and more languages and is being placed in the hands of people who claim those languages as their own.
One fact has been proven true time and time again through this process: people with limited access to the scriptures have a tremendous desire to read them. People will travel for hours and stand in long lines to receive their first New Testament – and you should see how they eat it up! Just as startling is the inverse truth: people (like us) with scriptures coming out of our ears tend to take the Bible lightly. We read it when we feel like it, until we’re tired of it, and then we move on to something more interesting. Friends, this should not be!
We truly are privileged to have so many different English translations of the Bible. I challenge you with this thought: the next time you see a Bible sitting on your shelf, desk, or nightstand, give thanks to God that his word is so accessible to us. Then open it up and read it!