The Bible study that I host in my home on Thursday nights is such a blessing to me. I simply adore having people over to read and discuss God’s word. We eat together. We laugh. We shed tears. We debate. We seek clarification together. We question. We engage. It sort of feels like Acts 2:42 in action. The small group has thus far read all of the gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. We begin the book of Acts this week, so excited am I because I simply love reading the accounts of the early church and the apostles. And I just adore reading and unpacking God’s word with fellow followers of Jesus Christ. So that brings me to the subject of this post.
It’s about having new eyes. How so? Read on. A few of us in our Bible study decided early-on that we would read out loud the New International Version of the Bible (NIV) for our weekly study. (Of course we consult other translations and online websites when we come across particularly perplexing passages.) Now mind you, my go-to Bible version is the New American Standard. And though I don’t know what Rodney’s go-to Bible version is, it seems that, like mine, it is not the NIV. Kenny prefers the King James Version of the Bible, and Emma reads the Easy to Read English Version. So what do Bible translations have to do with having new eyes? Well, I have to say that the group has consistently marveled aloud that we don’t remember the text we’re reading.
Yes, we have read the Bible numerous times and heard it preached, but not necessarily using the NIV. There were many times during our readings of the gospels that one of us remarked that we didn’t remember ever having read the text. It was really weird because we are all rather familiar with the scriptures. In order to gain better understanding, there were times when Emma and Kenny would read aloud their versions to ascertain differing perspectives. And each time they did, we fairly delighted in the fresh text. New eyes. Friend, my point here is that, as you read your version of the Bible, spending time with God and learning what He wants you to know, perhaps you could consult another version of His word for a fresh perspective on the text.
The fresh perspective, or new eyes as I am titling this post, caused all of us in my Bible study group to re-read several verses or passages during our studies of the gospels. The fresh perspective, different translation, and new eyes all bring forth marvelous understanding and joy while communing with our God and Father. The psalmist professed God’s word as a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path (Psalm 119:105), and we are blessed by the plethora of means by which we can now access, read, and comprehend His word in our pursuit of becoming more like Him. Consulting other versions of the Bible is as easy as doing an online search for Bible versions.
Go ahead and try it when you need clarification or want more information on that which you are reading and studying. Different translations of the Bible. Fresh perspectives. New eyes.
Kimberly Lancaster January 16, 2017