The only “real” truth in a world full of lies.
Pastors translate passages of the bible and call it a sermon, authors write books and bloggers write blogs around snippets of scripture, and much our culture has been trained to read the bible via a daily devotional email or in hard-copy devotions that were made so popular over the last couple of decades.
I’m not going to bag on pastors or authors. I enjoy reading and listening to other people’s viewpoints about scripture, for sure, but I don’t always accept their view as “gospel truth.”
I know alot of people who say that certain authors break down the scripture in such a way that they can understand it.
That bothers me, because just the change of a word or a phrase, and the use of only one verse, can change the whole meaning and therefore the interpretation of scripture as well. When that happens, we are relying more on man’s interpretation than on God’s word to enlighten us to His truths.
I get a few different email devotions every morning and I read them, then I look up the same verses in different translations other than what the devotion used, and I look at the scriptures around the verse to get a sense of the context.
This brings understanding to God’s word.
For example, earlier this week someone shared a verse with me that had alot of meaning for them and they gave it as an encouragement to me. The verse Jeremiah 29:11 is well known in the NIV translation; it goes like this:
For I know the plans I have for you, “declares the Lord,” plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
This verse is one that inspires such hope for Christians, but this is a bit different than what the King James version states.
KJV says “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you an expected end.”
To put context ( vs. 1-13) around this verse, God is speaking to the elders, priests and others whom Nebuchadnezzar had carried away captive and is warning them against false prophets. He implores them to listen to Him and gives instruction to them about seeking Him and praying to Him alone.
In many devotions, verse 11 in the NIV has been pulled out of context and is primarily crafted around “our plan, our prosperity, our hope.”
It’s a feel-good verse for sure, but how many Christians do you know who never get to realize positive plans, lose jobs/livelihoods, feel hopeless over a terminal illness or sudden death.
It’s seems a false hope to me.
The KJV version of this verse seems to say that the Lord was thinking about His people in captivity, thought of peace and no evil for them, and that they would have an expected end.
An “expected end” could mean anything but I would never assume it meant prosperity.
As the scriptures get whittled down even further and get mingled with the interpretations of man, I know I must remain vigilant in searching for God’s truth, even in a feel-good devotion or an uplifting sermon.
Hail to the King!
The King James version, that is.