Across the world and throughout churches everywhere, we know there are literally dozens of versions of the bible. Be it from the NIV to ESV, KJV to AKJV and from the Message to NLT as well as The Word on the Street, used by some youth and children groups. The list could go on and could appear to be confusing.
But think about this: In any of the translations, is the love of the Father and the message of eternal life through His Son, Jesus Christ still being portrayed? When we answer YES to this question, then the translation / version is no longer important but rather the fact that we get the message being put across.
I love having a discussion with our children when reading from different versions and focusing on one passage and how it differs from each other’s. Its starts a debate which fascinates me as each one believes their version is the right one but then when we talk about how God’s word is always right but sometimes written in different ways for different people, their minds start to change direction and it opens up in new ways completely.
One of my favourite scriptures is 1 John 3:1 and I know it is translated in many different ways but for me the NIV does it best. “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”
The word lavished here in this translation simply adds that personal touch that portrays a loving Father and means “to be rich in abundance of or to be rich in the presence of.” The message will always be the same in any translation with the importance focused on a Father who loves us dearly and calls us His children.
My hearts prayer in all of this is that we may never be caught up in focusing on which version or translation may say it better but rather allow our children to see, understand, believe and take grasp of the message itself.