Is the Bible Boring You? Try Switching Translations

girl-yawning-reading-book

The Bible can be boring. 

Yes, it’s okay to say it. After hearing the same words repeated in the same way, over and over again, our brains tune out. Familiarity causes us to gloss over words we’ve heard before.

If the Bible has become boring, the simplest way to kick-start your interest is by switching translations.

Here are 4 ways switching translations helps.
  1. A new translation helps us hear truth in fresh ways. Rather than gliding over the same old-same old, our minds are jolted awake through fresh expression. Like seeing an old friend in a fancy suit, we admire them in new ways.  I love the New Jerusalem Bible for this very reason.
  2. A different translation pushes our standard interpretations of certain passages. While most passages of Scripture differ very little in content, there are a few where the translation differences are quite stark. This indicates difficulties translators had with the original text, cautioning us against dogmatic interpretations and leading us to consider other possibilities within Scripture.
  3. An alternative translation grows our appreciation of the Scripture’s breadth.
    Switching Bible translations can take us to surprisingly new destinations.
    Switching Bible translations can take us to surprisingly new destinations.

    When we hear in fresh ways and consider different interpretations, we see how deep and rich the Bible really is. The words no longer sit flat on a page, but leap out and take form before our eyes. I know this has been the experience of many when first encountering The Message. 

  4. A fresh translation breaks through our common defenses. Having “heard it all before”, we can become immune to truth. New translations of Scripture sneak around our complacency and surprise us with challenges. Just as a person who’s repeatedly beat one opponent will fall to fresh tactics from another, our common defenses can fall to new expressions of God’s Word to us. The New Living Translation has done that for me.

So, a bit bored with the Bible? Try something new. Over the last few years, I’ve switched my daily reading translation yearly and I so appreciate the richness I’ve received from each one.

What translation have you found surprising to you?

Why do people resist different translations of Scripture?

4 thoughts on “Is the Bible Boring You? Try Switching Translations”

  1. I find I’m reading the Common English Bible a lot these days. For some reason I don’t trust it yet for serious study (though Fuller has adopted it as their official translation), probably because they dared to actually undo some of our cherished traditional ways of translating (“Human one” for “Son of Man,” for instance).

    But it’s a delight to read. I’d put it in the NIV/NRSV group on the translation spectrum, but it does away with some of the traditional “churchy” English wording. Not a great example, but this morning I ran across “change your heart and mind” for “repent,” which I think is accurate.

  2. You are exactly right. I have only used the NIV and have now gone to the New Living Translation and can’t believe how exciting it is – okay Alpha has also helped tremendously but I find my self excited once again!

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