When I grew up I had to spend some time with a babysitter. She had lunch prepared for me when I got home from school – a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The only decision I had to make was whether I wanted Peter Pan, Skippy or Jif. I always chose Jif because “Choosy mothers choose Jif.” I really didn’t think about the decision, the clever advertisers “made” the decision for me.
But is this how most of us choose a Bible translation?
I think it might be worth our while to spend a little more time thinking about what translation we will use for our personal Bible reading and study and what we choose to use in our churches.
Leland Ryken has written a 30 page booklet entitled, “Choosing a Bible,” that will help one to make an informed decision. He explains clearly and briefly the difference between the two different approaches to Bible translation – Dynamic Equivalent and Word-for-Word. Ryken says that one negative effect of Dynamic Equivalency is we get what the Bible “means,” vs. what the Bible says.
It is a quick read and Ryken explains these complex concepts with simplicity. I highly recommend this booklet, especially if you don’t want the clever advertisers to make the decision for you.
Brian L. Spivey