How Tribalism Is Hurting Bible Translation

best Bible translation

What depresses me about Bible translation debates today is tribalism. Some have raised the bar of this conversation to such heights that variation is tantamount to heresy. But let’s have a little fun with the tribalism that does exist, that seems almost inevitable, that does sometimes lead to uncharitable divisiveness, but that can lead us to see ourselves in humorous tones at times.

No one person, and not even a committee, can translate and not have some bias. There is then no unbiased translation though some translations are more committed to closer proximity the original text in its original language.

Which Is the Best Bible Translation? It Really Depends on Who You Ask

Translations can also be a window to our heart and theology and preferences. So here goes with a sketch of tribalist translation tendencies. Each of these is partially true but not wholly true, so let’s not reify but have a little fun…

NRSV for progressives, mainliners and Shane Claiborne lovers;
ESV for Reformed complementarians;
HCSB for LifeWay store buying Southern Baptists;
NIV for complementarian evangelicals;
NIV 2011 for peacemakers who are still not for the ESV. (The TNIV, which was for egalitarians, is now taken up its above in the NIV 2011.)
NASB for those who want straight Bible, forget the English;
NLT for generic brand evangelicals;
Amplified for folks who have no idea what translation is but know that if you try enough words one of them will hit pay dirt;
NKJV and KJV for Byzantine manuscript-tree huggers;
The Message for evangelicals looking for a breath of fresh air and seeker sensitive, never-read-a-commentary evangelists who find Peterson’s prose so catchy.
CEB for mainliners who read their Bibles.

Translations are now officially and unofficially connected to tribes, and it is not a little bit humorous and also at times quite sad.

Continue reading:

Is Every Sin Outside the Body except Immoral Sex?

Weighing Whether 1 Corinthians 6:18b Is Paul’s Statement or a Corinthian Slogan

(Podcast) Is Christianity a Mere Comic Book Tale?

Developing a Relationship with God the Holy Spirit — He Is a Person!

While we acknowledge that some Christians overemphasize the Holy Spirit, many of us overlook Him. As the so-called “Shy Member of the Trinity,” the Holy Spirit indwells each believer and is intimately involved in our becoming more like the Lord Jesus.

But is He personal? Yes! He has all the characteristics of personality: emotions (He can be grieved, Eph. 4:30), intellect (He is the substitute Teacher in place of the Lord Jesus, John 16:12-15), and will (He selects Paul and Barnabas for certain work, Acts 13:2). Emotions, intellect, will — these are the standard aspects of personality.

However, the Holy Spirit does not have a body. Someone has said, “The only body the Holy Spirit has — is yours!”

IF the Holy Spirit is personal, He can be prayed to. One part of my thesis in these posts is that we can have a personal relationship with God the Holy Spirit which includes praying to Him. I don’t believe the Bible forbids the believer from directing his or her prayers to the respective member of the Godhead who is most intimately connected to a certain ministry.

For example, I can pray to the Father and give thanks for His creative work. I can pray to the Son for His saving work. And I can pray to the Spirit for His convicting work. We will look at a number of the Spirit’s ministries to and in the believer, but my point this morning is that the Holy Spirit of God is personal. I can speak with Him. And He can speak back to me through the Word of God.

If the Holy Spirit is personal, we can pray to Him. I am not saying that we must, but we can. When I pray for my unsaved friend John, I can ask that the Spirit of God would bring conviction of sin to his heart (conviction of sin is one of His primary works in unbelievers). When I am studying a section of God’s Word, I can pray that God the Holy Spirit would illuminate my mind and help me to understand and apply the Word to my life (the written Word of God is the Holy Spirit’s primary tool).

Challenge: In your prayer time today, thank God the Holy Spirit for His work in your life. And ask Him to do His mighty convicting work in someone you love! (to be continued)

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Sound Doctrine – It Matters

~ Ray MacDonald

2 Timothy 4:3

For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.

In this day and age – sound doctrine and truth are under attack – always has been – always will be. The Bible is under attack – and the attacks are not all coming from outside the church. There are whole denominations – pastors – and laity – calling themselves followers of Christ – who are putting aside sound doctrine and truth. There are those who want to redefine sin – creation – and human design. Some want to re-write the Bible or delete parts that don’t sit well with them. Some want a reader’s digest version – one they get to pick and choose from to make up their Bible.

The rest is at:

Are Heaven and Hell Consistent with a Good and Loving God?

Do Not Grow Weary in Well Doing

“There is nothing so fatal to character as half-finished tasks,” wrote David Lloyd George.

Life is full of challenges, tasks, and burdens that can wear us out, wear us down and fill our hearts with weariness.

Possibly, you’ve heard about this man who exemplified persistence and perseverance to an incredible degree. His life story is condensed in these events with his age when they occurred on the right.

Failed in business 22
Ran for Legislature–defeated 23
Again failed in business 24
Elected to Legislature 25
Sweetheart died 26
Had a nervous breakdown 27
Defeated for Speaker 29
Defeated for Elector 31
Defeated for Congress 34
Elected to Congress 37
Defeated for Congress 39
Defeated for Senate 46
Defeated for Vice President 47
Defeated for Senate 49
Elected President of the United States 51

That’s the record of Abraham Lincoln, our 16th President.

The Bible often calls for Christians to overcome spiritual fatigue that can render us ineffective and unproductive in the Lord’s work.

To the Thessalonians, Paul urged, “But as for you, brethren, do not grow weary in doing good” (2 Thess. 3:13).

He offered a similar exhortation to the Galatians. “And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up” (Gal 6:9)

The Hebrew writer also warned, “not to grow weary or fainthearted”(Heb 12:3).

The term often used in our culture for weariness is “burnout.” Defined burnout “is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands.”

Yet, the Bible challenges us not to allow discouragement, discontentment, and disillusionment to dissuade us from our spiritual duties.

(1) Don’t grow weary by the wickedness of the world.

We live in a world obsessed with wealth, material possessions, and sex. These idols are worshiped by the masses. It can sometimes feel like no one is listening to the simple message of the gospel. And furthermore, no one cares.

Yet, there are many scattered throughout the world who are faithfully serving the Lord. Shunning evil allurements. Letting their light shine. And holding fast to spiritual values.

Take heart. Be strong. Stand fast.

Read the rest: