A More Literal Text

I have been considering changing the version of the Bible I preach from for 5 years now.  Certainly, there are more pressing issues to deal with. However, this not an unimportant one. I currently study out of three versions on a regular basis (NASB, NIV, ESV). But I preach from my least favorite of the three (NIV). I have used the NIV for 25 years, and have seen God use His Word in amazing ways to transform the lives of people. However, I am continually frustrated with the amount of “interpretation” that the NIV gives, as opposed to, simply rendering the Greek text, and letting the reader grapple with the “interpretation.” We will see another one of these texts coming up in a couple of weeks in 1 Timothy 3.

Someone in my church sent this to me this last week, and it cause me to think again about changing the version I preach from.  I thought I would post it here for your comments.


5 Responses to “A More Literal Text”

  1. I think the main objection I have to the more “dynamic equivalency” translations (this is NOT even to go so far as to talk about paraphrases or even gender inclusion; I mean “dynamic equivalency” insofar as a translation is intending to in fact translate, but on a more “thought for thought” basis such as the NIV) is that the translators are, in the methodology, attempting to do the work that God gave his own Spirit and TEACHERS and PASTORS to the Body to do.

    The Word is the Word is the WORD. When it comes to “interpretation” – we ought to trust the Lord to illumine by his Spirit, and trust teachers who are CARE-FULL to rightly divide that WORD of truth (and, by the way, are accountable to God for doing so). When we begin to mix our own interpretations into the very TEXT itself – however well-intentioned we might be – we are in effect taking the authority of God for ourselves. I do not believe this is overstating the matter….What other “hill” is worth “dying on” if the ONLY WORD that is God’s own self-revelation is also the only word that reveals to us the Christ of God as he really is, namely as our salvation…..I submit there is NO battle worth fighting but that of the preservation of God’s Word. And short of all of us learning Greek and Hebrew, we should get AS CLOSE AS POSSIBLE to what God has revealed of himself, and be as diligent as we can in these fallen-yet-redeemed, limited bodies to nevertheless appropriate this Word by which we have LIFE!

    Forgive the passion exposed in the exclamation points and all caps sprinkled throughout the above. But man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God….Only to the extent that our translations render to us those “every” words without detraction and without embellishment can we be said to have a copy of the Word of God.


    • kevinwilkening Says:

      Sorry it took me so long to reply to this. As always, I appreciate your passion and concern for the Word of God. Thanks for you challenging words.

  2. Dennis Wilkening Says:

    Kevin, in your search for a great Bible that contains all the words… consider switching to the same Bible used by George Whitfield, John Bunyan, Charles Spurgeon, Billy Sunday, and D.L. Moody. The Authorized Version (King James).

    • kevinwilkening Says:

      My dear brother, and friend, and co-laborer for Christ . . . there is so much I want to say, but I will say only this – “I will consider it, but don’t crucify me if I choose otherwise.” I love you, man.

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