Soul to Soul
Does the word “paraphrase” sound like fingernails on a chalk board to you?
If you cringe when you think about the Bible being rendered into a thought-for-thought paraphrase, then I want to toss out some thoughts about why a paraphrase is sometimes the best translation.
First, let me say that we love word-for-word accurate translations. We need them. Unless you’re fluent with Greek and Hebrew, it’s the only way to build rock-solid reliable theology. ESV, NASB, KJV or whatever your favorite one is–they’re great. I use them all the time.
Second, a Christian with years of Bible study experience reads the Bible with totally different eyes than someone new to the Bible. Example: I know of someone who read the Bible cover to cover, didn’t understand a word of it, put it back on the shelf and concluded that the Bible was not meant to be understood. We live in an age of Biblical illiteracy, and the syntax, jargon and sequence of word-for-word translations sometimes makes little sense to the uninitiated.
We need a bridge from no Bible to whole Bible, from Biblical illiteracy to that great translation that you or I might prefer.
Example: Which is going to make more sense to a new reader?for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me; And shewing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my commandments. / Exodus 20:4b-5 KJV
- or -Don’t think that you can screw up your life and it doesn’t matter. It does. It hurts your children, your grandchildren, even your great-grandchildren. Most of all, it hurts Me, because I care deeply about you. That’s why I’m so eager to show love to you and anyone else who loves and obeys Me. / Exodus 20:4b-5 The Easy Bible®
I heard today that Oprah Winfrey left the church because she couldn’t stand the idea of God being a jealous God. I don’t know if that’s true or not. But, maybe if she had started with The Easy Bible® things would be different.
A paraphrase will never replace an accurate translation, but a well conceived paraphrase can be the best first step into the Bible for many, many readers.
Originally posted http://theeasybible.com/365-why-a-paraphrase-is-sometimes-the-best-...