I have to admit, I have been mostly a New King James girl. It is the Bible that I have had and have read for years. I love the accuracy, and comfortable reading style.
I did just buy tradesman an ESV (English Standard Version) study Bible for our anniversary. He was thrilled.
Our church has switched over to using the ESV exclusively for scripture readings and such and he has been dying to get his hands on one.
He is LOVING it. The study content is very extensive and according to John Piper the translation is very accurate to the original wording in the Greek, Hebrew and Aramaic texts.
But I have a confession to make.
I have been reading "the message" as of late.
I have been a bit of a Bible snob and was unwilling to even look at that translation as I considered it completely false and misleading.
I am not saying that I recount those original thoughts completely. I think that we do have to tread carefully when reading translations that are thought- for -thought based. Many
interpretive decisions that should be made by the reader are already made for the reader by the translator. The context, meanings and expression of the original can be lost.
However, since going through the loss of the twins I have abandoned my regular style of reading through the scriptures temporarily and instead have been reading everywhere and anywhere throughout my Bible. And one of my favorite things to do has been to use Bible Gateway.com.
I love that I can look up any scripture in a variety of translations. I found this to be most comforting at times. If you look through some of my more recent posts, you will see that I have a fair bit of scripture posted in the New Living Translation and The Message.
I still always go back to my trusty New King James for Study and context, but I have rather enjoyed the narrative style of The Message. I picked up a soft cover one for rather cheap at the Christian bookstore and have barely been able to put it down.
Maybe, I am just a bit more simple minded or enjoy the easy flow, but I find it comfortable.
Using it for depth or interpretation of scripture I would not, but an enjoyable, relate-able version it is. I believe that it should not replace the actual reading of Gods word from a reliable version, but as an added pleasure with discernment, I could recommend it.
For example, today I was reading in Romans some favorite verses below.
"And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope. Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us." Romans 5:3-5 (NKJ)
Beautiful! Can you not just picture that? God has poured out His love to FILL our hearts! I loved that and was curious how "The Message" might word the same scriptures.
Here's Romans 5:3-5
"There's more to come: We continue to shout our praise even when we're hemmed in with troubles, because we know how troubles can develop passionate patience in us, and how that patience in turn forges the tempered steel of virtue, keeping us alert for whatever God will do next. In alert expectancy such as this, we're never left feeling shortchanged. Quite the contrary—we can't round up enough containers to hold everything God generously pours into our lives through the Holy Spirit! "
This is EXACTLY how I feel. And it was a blessing and an encouragement to me to read.
So hence... my closet "Message reading" has been revealed, and strangely I don't feel bad about it. :)