There are over 400 different versions and paraphrases of all or part of the the Bible in the English language today. Some think this is a positive development, but I think it has served to create confusion as to which represents the true word of God. The devil is the author of confusion… 1Corinthians 14:33 “For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints.” The production of so many different versions and paraphrases has also led to a culture within modern Christendom of ‘tailored’ Bibles. In other words, man is searching for something to worship that he has control over. This is part of our sinful nature and is not too different from the pagans in the Old Testament (Jeremiah 10:2-5), or even today in foreign lands, who go into the woods, cut down a tree, and carve themselves a god to worship. These efforts by publishers to produce ‘Bibles’ tailored to particular audiences are also copied by many churches who, worshiping the ‘god of growth’, tailor music, sermons, and services to the tastes of the world in an effort to be ‘seeker friendly’.
All of these things are, in essence, putting the cart before the proverbial horse. First, Christ told us in John 3 that man loves darkness rather than light. Our sinful nature would rather the truth bend to our will than the other way around. Second, the apostle Paul wrote in 1Corinthians 2:14 “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” Paul was explaining that the unsaved man cannot understand God’s word and that it is foolish to him. Fallen man, since the tower of Babel, has been trying to reach heaven on his own efforts or works, to justify himself. But God has preserved His word and we should seek for the truth, not for a version of the truth which will justify our lives. For that kind of ‘truth’ is not truth. The only way we can know justification is for Jesus Christ to save us. Then we will know the truth and the truth will make us free.
Charles Spurgeon said it best, “Strange that there should be men so vile as to use the penknife of Jehoiakim to cut passages out of the word, because they are unpalatable. O ye who dislike certain portions of Holy Writ, rest assured that your taste is corrupt, and that God will not stay for your little opinion. Your dislike is the very reason why God wrote it, because you ought not to be suited; you have no right to be pleased. God wrote what you do not like; he wrote the truth. Oh! let us bend in reverence before it, for God inspired it. It is pure truth. Here from this fountain gushes aqua vitae–the water of life–without a single particle of earth; here from this sun cometh forth rays of radiance, without the mixture of darkness. Blessed Bible! thou art all truth.” (from the sermon ‘The Bible’ delivered Sunday evening March 18, 1855)
“I have written to him the great things of my law; but they were counted as a strange thing.”–Hosea 8:12
Think on these things …