Reading the Bible: Which Version / Language?

The question of which Bible to read is one that a pastor will probably answer 278 times in the course of his ministry. There are of course many ways to answer that. Is one looking for a very easy to read Bible that flows naturally in the English language? Is one looking for a Bible that reflects the sentence structure and a word-for-word equivalence to the original languages? Usually for most people the answer falls somewhere in between.

Personally, I continue to be impressed by the Lutheran Study Bible, which I now have in book form, Libronix format, and most recently: Kindle format.  Each serve their purpose, and I would say, the tried and true ink-on-paper book format is my preferred.

What got me thinking about this was that in the class I am teaching at Hope Lutheran High School, we have several international students.  Now part of the program is to help them learn English by immersing them in the language.  So the question is, should they read in their native tongue or in English?

Personally, I think an approach in both languages is best in this case.  I truly believe that the version of the Bible that you should read is that one that you WILL read.  To put it another way, the whole question is pointless if you never actually open the Bible up and read it.  For international students many times there isn’t just a language barrier, but a faith barrier.  Now, in my class I cannot grade on belief, that I leave up to the Holy Spirit.  But since the Spirit works through the Word, I truly believe we should be providing our international students with both English and native language translations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *