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THE WORD OF GOD: JUNK FOOD OR FILET MIGNON?

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THE WORD OF GOD: JUNK FOOD OR FILET MIGNON?
I know I will probably offend someone with this piece, so if your a 'King James Only' adhearant, you may want to stop reading now, lest I cause you to sin. If not, please, continue.

A few years ago our men's Bible study group got into a row one night over the issue of versions of God's Word. One of the guy's had a question about a verse in Song of Solomon that we were studying, and quoted from his Living translation. The leader of the study, a good, devout man of God, said he could understand how this brother could be confused because he was using an 'inferior' version to his, which was a New American Standard or something. The study leader said that all other versions were- in his opinion -vastly insufficient and severly lacking and were the main reason so many false teachings had filled the church.

Well, this crushed my friend to say the least, and who wouldn't feel that way, right? Especially if you were a new Believer. He remarked that his Living Bible was the first Bible that he could really understand and comprehend. And while the leaders version might be better, what difference did it make if he could still "see Jesus" on every page? As the discussion went on, it all got me to thinking about this subject and into some serious research. By the way, no one got out of hand. No one got smacked-down with the Scriptures. In fact, the study leader eventually apologized after it all cooled-down.

Quickly, the first mass-produced copies of the Bible were printed and distributed by a german man named Guttenberg, who also invented the printing press. It was the first project he completed with his new invention. Later, he was persecuted and killed by leaders of the Roman Catholic Church for his "blasphemy" of distributing them to the masses. Back then remember, only the priests were allowed to read and explain the word of God. The peasants they believed, were not intelligent enough to do it for themselves.

Now, have you ever tried to read a Guttenberg translation? I have. It's impossible even when translated into english! However, when compared to the almost equally impossible King James, it's like comparing War and Peace to a Superman comic!

Many more different versions came afterward during the Great Reformation period. Some better, some worse, and all had their own critics. Then finally, Englands Godly King James, commissioned a select group of scholars and within a few years time, his approved tome was completed and placed into general circulation. It remains today- with a few updates and revisions -the same as it was then: a beautifully written rendition of the Word, though as time has passed, it's Elizabethen linguistic prose and style, has rendered it almost obsolete among the common-man of today, which by the way, was the main reason James had it done in the first place.Since that time, many, many, many, others have sought to replace it, more than there might be space to mention here. I will say this though, I still use the King James from time to time in sermons and studies. It's rendition of the Lords Prayer and the Psalms are truely classic!

During the opening years of the United States' fledgling government, one of the first things the Congress spent money on was the printing of an American Bible to be distributed to all it's citizens free of charge. (It was money well spent, I might add! Our current leaders could learn alot from our Founding Fathers in this reguard- well, actually, in MANY reguards, if you ask me!) This work became known as the American Standard Version.

In more recent history, various other editions have emerged onto the scene. Most notably the New International Version, New King James, and the afore mentioned Living Bible. Some have been newer 'word-for-word' translations, while others have sought to more closely convey the essence and thoughts in some way, of the biblical writers in order to help better understand the Holy Spirits intentions.

In my ministry, the main text I prefer to use is the NIV, almost exclusively. It is in my opinion, the optimal version on the market today. It's the best combination of the 'word-for-word' and 'dymanic equivalent' renditions. Also, it's written in a more modern style of the english language, therefore, more easily understood by those the Lord would want to hear it. And isn't that, after all, the main reason God has revealed His word to us in these 'latter days'? This is not to say it is perfect in every way. Truth is, no version is.

To sum all this up, I go back to the title of this bloviation: "Junk Food or Filet Mignon?" What does it really matter to God if a person gets saved reading a Living Bible or the KJV? True, one may be a Twinkie, but it still fills you up, right? Just like a cheeseburger from In-and Out, or a burrito from Del Taco. It's all food like a steak is, only to a greater or lesser degree of nutritional value.

So let's not get all caught up in these "meaningless controversies." One man's Top Sirloin is another man's burger. What really matters is if he has a personal relationship with Jesus Christ or not. I don't really think God is going to be standing at the so-called 'pearly gates' asking everybody what Bible they read while on earth! No one will be going to hell for having a copy of the NIV, either, as I've heard some claim! It's all about Jesus, the Jesus of the Bible, reguardless of the version, translation, or language.

God Bless you.

Pastor Mike
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Re: [pastormike] THE WORD OF GOD: JUNK FOOD OR FILET MIGNON? In reply to
Excellent word, Pastor Mike.
Blessings ~ Sarah
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Re: [pastormike] THE WORD OF GOD: JUNK FOOD OR FILET MIGNON? In reply to
I completely relate to your post, pastormike. With great respect to Bible scholars who can understand the original languages (Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic and then Latin) I am no linguist and happy to stick with an English version. I personally like the "Good News Bible", sometimes called the "bloodless Bible" by its critics, I understand!!

However, let me further explain how I have only recently (in the last fifteen years) arrived at this sort of understanding, and it began by my wondering whether or not, in my writings, I should use an upper case "W" or the lower case "w"?

There are many threads here at Praize on the subject of the Word of God. For instance in this thread, where barryac also refers to the business of the case of the letter W:

http://www.praize.com/...rd_of_God%3F_P82452/

Briefly, for me, to reach out to the Word of God is a spiritual search because I am reaching out for Jesus; "The Word" (John 1, e. g. verse 14: "The Word became a human being and, full of grace and truth, lived among us"). The written words I read, in any Bible of my choosing, help me in my spiritual seach, but I am aware that all Bibles are the result of the works of man, inspired by God but prone to error and even deliberate misunderstanding.
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Re: [pastormike] THE WORD OF GOD: JUNK FOOD OR FILET MIGNON? In reply to
Obviously God would not judge us for which version of the Bible we read lol But, many people have had issues with Bibles such as the NIV because many verses have been removed from the NIV that are indeed important, many needed words, phrases etc. have been removed or twisted and stray from the original intent of the verse. btw pastormike, you're opinion is not offensive at all lol In fact, the majority of Christians especially in theological seminaries agree with you. Anyway, I'd say that the best way to read the Bible would be to compare all of the versions in order to possibly deepen your understanding of the text......unless....you can read Aramaic! =D
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Re: [mystic37] THE WORD OF GOD: JUNK FOOD OR FILET MIGNON? In reply to
Hi Pastor Mike : Greetings : Hi mystic37 :

I am aware that all Bibles are the result of the works of man, inspired by God but prone to error and even deliberate misunderstanding.

I think (to use the analogy of fillet steak to beef burgers), the ‘Living Bible’ would be (for me) at the junk food end of the spectrum, purely because it has been so ‘processed’ and ‘homogenised’ by the overtly Evangelical translators. Inevitably it’s truths are pre-digested and dill pickle added to give a distinctly ‘Evangelical’ flavour to the version. It is in fact not strictly a ‘translation’ but a Paraphrase which has the advantage of both appealing to the masses at a literary level and presenting the Gospel in a forthright easy to understand style. Just the kind of ‘meal’ you might appreciate to ‘quickly fill you up and get you going’, especially if you have not previously encountered 'The Word'. Not however the kind of diet it is good to permanently subsist upon.

From a gourmet point of view I would not take my sweetheart out to a ‘Big Mac Deal Meal’ if I wanted to pop the question. Ronal Macdonald might be OK for kids parties but singularly inappropriate for a dinner meeting of the FGBMFI. Neither would I choose The Living Bible to discuss fine theological points with a view to getting a fuller understanding of the ‘original texts’. The Revised Standard Version (RSV) would be my choice since it avoids colloquial speech and tries to retain the exact word structures of the original (without being ridiculously pedantic at the cost of clarity of meaning, or overtly denominationally biased ), like for instance The New World Translation of The Jehovas Witnesses or in a few instances even the NIV.

The use ‘in public worship’ of a reliable, easily understood, accurate, generally acceptable version of The Bible is essential and so the NRSV, NKJ, NIV or the good old KJV are usually heard in church. A good 'meat and two veg' ballanced nutritional option.

We should bear in mind, I think, that no translators can come to the original text with a completely blank mind, with no preconceptions or particular religious prejudices, so inevitably every translation will contain slight differences of emphasis and favoured ‘choices of words’ in which to render the ‘original’. It is for this very reason that we need to be able to compare many versions before deciding very fine points of theology.

However there is usually a surprising agreement in the main thrust of any ‘translation’ of the Holy Scriptures. The overall message contained in The Bible, i.e. the preparation by God of a Chosen Nation equipped to receive The Saviour, The ministry of The Saviour, His teachings, The emergence of his followers The Church, the requirement for change and commitment in the individual, the all suficiency of Christ's sacrificial atonement etc. all versions convey without error or misunderstanding the basic elements of 'this message'.

It would seem to me that the Denominations which most insist upon the exclusive use of only one particular version of The Bible, are the ones whose distinctive ‘doctrines’ are most heavily supported by the particular ‘wording’ of their version of choice.

It strikes me that our burger analogy might be used to suggest that these 'one Bible only' sects and denominations are ‘anorexic vegitarian super-tasters’ who prefer to try to live exclusively on an unexciting diet Quorn.

Regards Chris.

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rdrcofe: Jun 1, 2011, 2:49 PM
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Re: [mystic37] THE WORD OF GOD: JUNK FOOD OR FILET MIGNON? In reply to
Keep reaching for Jesus, my friend, His nail-scared hand is always reaching back. God bless

Pastor Mike

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pastormike: May 27, 2011, 9:15 PM
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Re: [rdrcofe] THE WORD OF GOD: JUNK FOOD OR FILET MIGNON? In reply to
rdrcofe-
I would also throw The MESS-age into the 'junk food' pile. Thanks for the expansion on the thought. Much appreciated and well put. God bless...

Pastor Mike
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Re: [godschild247] THE WORD OF GOD: JUNK FOOD OR FILET MIGNON? In reply to
godschild-
Thanks for your response. In my preparations I use many differing versions in order to get the widest view and understanding of the given text I may be studying. I feel that others who refuse to open their minds to differing interpretations loose out sometimes, on what God has to say to them.
In reguards to your statement about certain words & phrases being omitted or "twisted" in the NIV, understand that the translators of the NIV used the oldest known manuscripts, some predating those used for the KJV by a century or more. Depending on how you want to look at that, they could be more accurate and less likely to have been, shall we say, 'corrupted,' due to their earlier authorship.
In any event, I think we're both on the same page here, brother. God bless...

Pastor Mike
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Re: [praizeop2] THE WORD OF GOD: JUNK FOOD OR FILET MIGNON? In reply to
Thank you my dear, for your continuing encouragement. God bless...

Pastor Mike
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Re: [pastormike] THE WORD OF GOD: JUNK FOOD OR FILET MIGNON? In reply to
I am in total agreement, Pastor Mike.

Most churches I've been part of chose the KJV for public reading mainly because they were readily available, and use of the same text kept all hearers in tune. I still don't care to hear any version other than what I'm carrying, sometimes not sure which verse the reader is on.

Many folks have been so overly warned about the supposed dangers of reading a bad version that they put off ever reading the Bible. Fear is taught, discouraging learning. The vital thing for a new believer is to read the whole Bible asap. Just start somewhere. Over time it becomes easier to sort out errors as one learns to study, able to compare versions, learning how the difficulties of proper translating produced variations of messages, though usually minor differences. One thing that helped me was learning how various Bible publishers settled on a certain chosen manuscript source or older version that added/omitted some verses. Being true to the principle of sticking with one source, the resulting translations reflect what was missing or added.

In the other thread I explained how the KJV was my first Bible, the only one my family had. Some years later I told a fellow church member how I was struggling with the KJV, it taking too long to read through. The next week he handed me a copy of the NIV, which I read straight through in a week, then several more times the rest of that year. It gave me a fantastic overview of the Bible, helping me use the KJV better. I gained so much knowledge that year I came to believe I would be a minister, being so very fired up, submitting to an extra water baptism. I became a teacher early in my Christian walk, teaching wherever we landed through the years. Now I can pick up any version and work through any part of it with confidence, though admit it has taken 4 decades to get where I am.

Jim
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Be fishers of men
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Re: [dovegiven] THE WORD OF GOD: JUNK FOOD OR FILET MIGNON? In reply to
Jim-

Much like you, if my godly wife had not presented me with an alternate version of God's Word (the NIV) on my birthday 10 years ago, I might not be where I am today- saved, spirit-filled, and an ordained minister. I thank God for her all the time! She's my 'Proverbs 31 1/2' wife. God's not just good, He's amazing!

Pastor Mike
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Re: [godschild247] THE WORD OF GOD: JUNK FOOD OR FILET MIGNON? In reply to
godschild-

While no, I don't read Aramaic, I have done some exhaustive comparative studies on the most popular and widely-read translations & versions of God's Word. From what I can tell & from what the Holy Spirit has shown me, there is no such thing as a 'perfect' Bible. So weather it's the NIV or your beloved KJV, or anything in-between, all are the best at what they are.

Now as for your assertions reguarding the NIV having had certain words or phrases "removed or twisted," it really depends on your personal perspective, and nothing with the exogesis of the text. Yes, old words have been replaced with more modern one's, and some suspicious passages have been relegated to footnote status in some cases, but overall the two convey the exact same message and intent. That being, to lead sinners to repentance and salvation through the message of the cross and Christ's finished work there. Isn't that the only thing that should matter? It's all that matters to God. It's the reason He sent His "one and only Son." At the end of the day, it's all that should really matter to us, as well.
God bless.

Pastor Mike


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Re: [pastormike] THE WORD OF GOD: JUNK FOOD OR FILET MIGNON? In reply to
I took a course in Greek and we touched on Aramaic, but found nobody I preached or taught really cared to hear such things. All that effort has helped me study, though. Lots of scholars have already done all that and much more, preparing wonderful Bible versions that mostly declare the same message. Verse for verse I find no value in trying to certify any significant errors between most versions, including the NIV. However, using the KJV does require special knowledge of extinct usage of English as popular in the 1600's. Due to the lack of teaching concerning the King's English many still struggle with that Bible as much as they do with Shakespeare. If you study Shakespeare enough you will catch on to the KJV properly. When I passed through high school we studied those writings extensively, but it still took a great while for me to apply that skill to the Bible, partly because I was still blinded to scripture, not born again.

You can find some scathing reviews opposing the NIV. A typical criticism is it says Joseph was Jesus' father. Critics often insert claims not found in scripture, saying the NIV claims Joseph was Jesus' biological father. They repeat the same errors they claim corrupts the NIV! A complete understanding will include the realization Joseph was required to adopt Jesus according to the Law of Moses when he took Mary as wife, giving her son full right to his name and heritage. In the eyes of the community of his day, Joseph was Jesus' father as Mary was his mother.

Enjoy the NIV, but mostly study whatever sources you can touch. You will find it all comes together quite accurately.

Jim
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Re: [dovegiven] THE WORD OF GOD: JUNK FOOD OR FILET MIGNON? In reply to
Tyndale house when they published the Living Bible work did a great service to America and the body of Christ but it was published not as a translation but a paraphase of the Bible. It was published mainly to reach new converts.
Right now in our library we have over 40 translations going as back as far as the Darby work. One thing I don't think the validty of the work is important as long as they call Jesus Lord.
There is one version released in the last 10 years that does away with masculinty aspect. I will have the name of this work later. Iwould tell you enjoy what the work says but have your mind sharpened by time with the Holy Spirit before you begin to study.
m7th
tHE TRANSLATION i WAS REFERRING TO AS FAR BEING CAREFUL WITH IS THE TNIV AND IT IS SET APART BECAUSE IT IS GENDER NUETRAL
m7th--circle of revival

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m7th: Jan 4, 2012, 9:57 AM
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Re: [m7th] THE WORD OF GOD: JUNK FOOD OR FILET MIGNON? In reply to
I don't believe the latest Today's NIV is a translation by definition of "translation" , but contains mostly properly translated scriptures, and too large a share of mistranslated words. It isn't available in local bookstores, owners understanding the problem. A translation isn't a translation if the translator didn't seek out the original textual meanings of words when sufficient resources are known, but rather chooses terms that appease a modern movement, culture, or politico.

From what I know about TNIV, though, contains enough of the true Word of God that perhaps a militant feminist (or other anti-male-genderist) choosing it and reading it might be saved. Once meeting Jesus she would realize His gender, and what must be the gender of Father God since once you see Jesus, you've seen the Father Smile according to John 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?

Pray God will use the truths in the TNIV to accomplish His will regardless of the poor work assembling it.
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Re: [dovegiven] THE WORD OF GOD: JUNK FOOD OR FILET MIGNON? In reply to
UNDER THOSE CONDITIONS DOVE I SAY AMEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
m7th--circle of revival
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Re: [dovegiven] THE WORD OF GOD: JUNK FOOD OR FILET MIGNON? In reply to
Hi Dovegiven :

Having read your post on the difference between 'translations' and 'Paraphrases' would you be up to debating the subject - :

"Given that God is referred to as 'a Father' and Jesus is a man, in what ways exactly can woman be made in God's image and likeness"?

"Can John 14:9 be understood to imply literally God is of exclusively mail gender"?

"Would this mean that either the Holy Spirit must also be male or, if female or any other gender or none, not therefore fully God"?

What Biblical Theological perspectives can you bring to bear in answering these questions?

Regards Chris.
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Re: [rdrcofe] THE WORD OF GOD: JUNK FOOD OR FILET MIGNON? In reply to
 A true translation collects the best accepted definitions of original words, then assembles them into another language while retaining the original intent of the author, using words most closely capturing that intent. It's considered proper to add minor words as needed to make a Greek or Hebrew verse more intelligible for those readers not familiar with the grammar of those languages. The translator should use his theological skill to choose the best-fitting modern word(s) when an original word has more than one meaning, but not press his theology into the verses for it to be a true translation. Sometimes there is no comparable word in another language, an added phrase being required. Next in line is a paraphrased Bible like the Living Bible which tends to re-word whole verses and bypass certain theological terms like "justification" adding many new words to include definitions of those words otherwise understood only by studying other occurrences of a word, or consulting study aids. All that is OK as long as the reader understands the modern contributors have injected their individual theology(ies), who are sometimes on record as in disagreement on some parts, or not fully pleased with the product as finalized by a chief editor.
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dovegiven: Feb 10, 2012, 1:21 PM
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Re: [pastormike] THE WORD OF GOD: JUNK FOOD OR FILET MIGNON? In reply to
pastormike wrote:
Quote:"From what I can tell & from what the Holy Spirit has shown me, there is no such thing as a 'perfect' Bible. So weather it's the NIV or your beloved KJV, or anything in-between, all are the best at what they are."

Agree totally!
Quote:
Quote:"Now as for your assertions reguarding the NIV having had certain words or phrases "removed or twisted," it really depends on your personal perspective, and nothing with the exogesis of the text."

I've encountered that attitude many times over the years...and it all boils down to just what they're comparing newer translations to. Most often, what they do is mindlessly make the assumption that the KJV IS God's 'inspired' original...and then anything that varies from THAT 'benchmark'...is obviously 'wrong'.
The RCC did much the same with the Tanakh (OT Scriptures). They had their Latin Vulgate....and came to view IT as if IT was the 'inspired' Scripture....even when compared to the copies, in Hebrew and Aramaic...of the ORIGINAL language manuscripts.

All we can do is compare with the Greek manuscripts (for the NT) and Hebrew/Aramaic manuscripts for the OT....and NOT set up any 'translation' as if it possessed the 'authority' of the original Scrptures.

Quote:
Quote;"Yes, old words have been replaced with more modern one's, and some suspicious passages have been relegated to footnote status in some cases, but overall the two convey the exact same message and intent. That being, to lead sinners to repentance and salvation through the message of the cross and Christ's finished work there. Isn't that the only thing that should matter? It's all that matters to God. It's the reason He sent His "one and only Son."

Absolutely. I used to turn up my nose (pharasaically) at 'paraphrases' like the 'Good News Bible'...until I met some guys who stopped me in my tracks. It turns out that it was from reading THAT 'paraphrase'....that they became convicted, and converted into born-again followers of Jesus Christ. I've not made that mistake again.

Blessings,Smile

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Re: [sojourner] THE WORD OF GOD: JUNK FOOD OR FILET MIGNON? In reply to
Welcome back, Walt! I have to admit that I have really missed you. I hope you stick around for a while.

I have quite a few Bibles and I love them all. (Just sent one to Camaroon, which was confiscated and never arrived. :( Those that do that kind of thing will pay for it! )

But my absolute favorite is the Living Bible. I have, at times, taken flack for this. Some say that that is not even a Bible. But you know what? I ENJOY reading it. I understand it. It speaks to me. And if I want to dig deeper, I can always go to another version. So I don't really care what version you read as long as you read the Bible!
Blessings ~ Sarah
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Re: [praizeop2] THE WORD OF GOD: JUNK FOOD OR FILET MIGNON? In reply to
Hey Sarah...I pop in from time to time....but...for whatever reason....the 'christian debate' forums are DEAD! I posted on 4 threads way back in July....and nothing yet has been posted in response.

Anyway....I won't criticize you for the 'living Bible'....if you don't criticize ME...for liking "The Message". Sometimes it takes someone to put it in everyday vernacular (sorta like koine Greek....as opposed to classic Greek).....for truths to leap off the page and smack you in the forehead....LOL!

Blessings,Smile
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Re: [sojourner] THE WORD OF GOD: JUNK FOOD OR FILET MIGNON? In reply to
Hey you OLD ONE BOUT TIME YOU SHOWED UP. AS for the Bibles the only one i have a problem with is the TLNC which in all truthfulness has been changed in a non Biblical sense. Deb just finished a new edition called the Spiritual Warfar Bible. She did the edit on most of the the notes for the Bibleas well as the teaching that is done . The contributtors are some of the Charismatic leader group today. We now have close to 50 copies of the Bible and each a different edition. Since i have not been called to be an editor I just enjoy and learn from them.
By the way Old one may be the reason the forums are dead is because maybe your light isn't showing in there.
m7th
m7th--circle of revival
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Re: [m7th] THE WORD OF GOD: JUNK FOOD OR FILET MIGNON? In reply to
Hey Jim (aka: older than Methuselah)
Yeah....unlike some old folks I know....I try to become more open and approachable...as I inch my way to 'seniordom'! LOL!

I habitually use software that contains anywhere from 15-20 different translations...when I study....and look at them all. Sometimes it's a translation's use of a different word or phrase...that opens up a verse more explicitly for us to understand (hopefully) the original intent of the author.

Re: 'my' forum....I guess YOU haven't been there lately....I made a number of insertions of 'light' there in mid-July....and no one at all has posted since. Guess no one either LIKED what I posted...or DISLIKED what I posted....enough to bother to agree or disagree!

Hope you and Deb are doing okay.

Blessings,Smile