Monday, September 08, 2014

Bible Everywhere with Bible Gateway

As you can see in the sidebar, I am a member of the Bible Gateway Blogger Grid.  Bible Gateway is a most helpful tool for the study and reading of Scripture.  Most English translations can be found here -- including the two I use the most New Revised Standard Version and the Common English Bible, along with numerous other languages.  Whenever I post something that has a Bible reference, I will link it to Bible Gateway -- so if you see a Bible text, you might want to click on it and go to the text itself.  If you don't like my choice of translation -- most often the NRSV, then go and choose your own.  

One of the most valuable aspects of this site is that I can compare multiple translations of the text.  This allows me to compare and contrast readings.  Why might this be important?  Well, whenever one translates something from one language to another  the translator engages in interpretation.  By reading several translations, from different perspectives one might discern that a word or passage has stimulated the translator to move in one direction or another.  It is important to note that one's theology enters into the process.  Thus, the NIV, one of the most popular translations of our day, because its ease of use, is rooted in evangelical theology.  The NRSV, on the other hand, which is published under the auspices of the National Council of Churches, is more moderate to liberal.  Translators make all kinds of interpretive decisions, some of which are conscious, and many that are unconscious.  This is why I feel that it is best to use a translation translated by a committee rather than one offered by one translator.  Thus, for primary reading, I use the NRSV.  On occasion I will look at Eugene Peterson's The Message or JB Phillips's New Testament.  They are freer in their interpretations, and therefore need greater care in reading them.   The rule of thumb, always start with a formal translation -- NIV, NRSV, prior to going to a freer, more idiosyncratic translation.  

Happy Reading.  And if interested, you can download the app for the site on phones, etc.   


1 comment:

John McCauslin said...

My understanding is that the story of the Exodus is the narrative heart of the people of Israel and in truth, the narrative of what it means to be human.

In some sense we are always on the road, always leaving behind the straitjacket of what was, always looking back with regret, always looking forward with hope and with fear, to a future that is unknown and unknowable.

We are equipped only with hope, if we are equipped at all. In the absence of hope, life is a struggle through a desert with no end in sight. Even with Hope life is a struggle. The land of milk and honey is always just out of reach. Few of us ever reach contentment and those of us who do, get there not on the basis of having reached the land of milk and honey, but on the basis of having accepted what we have as enough.

The barrenness as well as the temptation's of the desert are always desperate, and whether we know it or not, deliverance is always from God.

The Jewish narrative it is founded on the "myth" of Exodus. The stories of Genesis, the stories of "The Exile," the stories of Jesus and the birth of the church in the book of Acts, all echo the Exodus - wandering in the desert, aimlessly searching and struggling for what we cannot comprehend, and if we are blessed, ultimately glimpsing the Kingdom that lies ahead, always ahead.

Even stories of the glory days of King David and King Solomon are nothing more than a retelling of the story of the Golden Calf: the people wanted a king other than God and God let them have one. The end result was ceaseless war and ultimately, ruin and exile.

The story of The Exodus is the narrative of God's people and it is the narrative of each of our lives.