Monday, June 4, 2012

How to Choose a Bible

What is a Catholic girl like me doing in a place like the King James Bible? I tried to use my old one, but once I dusted it off I realized it wouldn't work anymore. I now need larger print. Thinking that most Bibles were basically the same, I set out to find the one that represented Christianity's earliest, most widely used and easy to read Bible. 

The more I learned on my quest, the less I knew. I cannot tell you which books were added to or eliminated from one Bible to the next, or why. One seems to need a degree in Biblical studies to get that right. I'm also quickly finding out that I know very little of what the different Christian denominations believe in, and the huge disparity in how each one interprets God's word. 

I did find one trend that almost every Bible seems to be in accordance with. It has to do with their revised editions, and it's actually quite disturbing. In order to get the copyright needed for a new version, significant changes have to be made. Thousands of ever-important words, verses and doctrines are being lost in translation.  

For example, Luke 4:4 in the King James Version (KJV) states: And Jesus answered him , saying , It is written , That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. The same verse in the New International Version (NIV) has been revised to: Jesus answered, "It is written: 'Man does not live on bread alone.' ". Given that I had only previously heard the latter, my take on this was that God is more important to us than our human needs, which is good. However, with the verse intact, it looks as if He is strongly encouraging us to study His word, the food of life.  

It gets much worse. Some Bible translators, whether directly or indirectly, have even had the audacity to interchange  Jesus with Lucifer, and God with Allah! Below are excerpts from charts used with permission from G.A. Riplinger's book "New Age Bible Versions". They give much more chilling examples of the eroding tide. Keep in mind that 'new age' in this case involves all the new versions, not excluding the new version of the King James. 

As we enter into this season of Lent, and forevermore, let us all be mindful that we must never let mankind forget who died on the cross for us and why. I consider myself lucky. At worst, learning from a revised edition may have kept me from years of Bible study. Imagine if the part that I was tripped up on was my salvation!

Please remember, BIBLE BAIT is written by a novice Bible study student, not a Bible scholar. If something doesn't look quite right to you, do some digging for yourself. I promise you this: You won't get bored!