To ESV or not to ESV, that is the question.

Today’s Theology Thursday post is a seemingly simple one so I’d like 100% participation please and thank you. As you may have noticed from my blog title today’s post has to do with Bible translations. Whether or not to use an ESV though is not really the question, I just thought it rhymed well with the old Shakespeare quote.

I lead a small group at our church where in we study the Bible based off the previous week’s sermon. A lot of times when I’m preparing the questions and what-not for discussion I use exclusively a ESV Bible, it is the Elect Sanctified Version after all, sometimes I’ll use a NKJV though. I’d really like to get my hands on a NASB…maybe for Christmas…anyway…different people in our small group use different versions of course.  Some people, more than two, in my small group use The Message Bible. Now, if you’re not familiar with The Message Bible it is in contemporary English and it’s a pretty laid back version, I think I saw the recipe for Rice Krispy treats in there once and of course in The Message Jesus turned the water into wine coolers (*rimshot* thank you Tim Hawkins) also if you want some real fun try using a Message Bible for Bible drills, hilarity will ensue.

But seriously, I do not like The Message Bible at all, for several reasons: first, it is a paraphrase of the Bible, a lot of the richness of the language is lost. In the case with my small group  I had a point to make based on 1 Peter 2:1-3, where it says:

So put away all malice and all deceit and hypocrisy and envy and all slander. Like newborn infants, long for the pure spiritual milk, that by it you may grow up into salvation—if indeed you have tasted that the Lord is good.

The above is how it reads in my ESV bible…my entire point here was based on the word “IF” in verse three. “If you have tasted that the Lord is good” this is an unassuming statement. My point was that just because the scripture says something is true does not automatically make it true of you, hence the word “if.” The problem was I asked someone to read who was using a Message Bible wherein that verse reads:

So clean house! Make a clean sweep of malice and pretense, envy and hurtful talk. You’ve had a taste of God. Now, like infants at the breast, drink deep of God’s pure kindness. Then you’ll grow up mature and whole in God.

The Message changes it to more of an assuming statement. I had to read the verse out of my Bible to make the point, and then we got on a bunny trail about Bible versions. Beyond annoyances at little things like these, in a few weeks we are going to be in 1 Peter 3 and there are several differences in the text there, mostly because the word “submit” is completely lost. Other problems include its
leaning toward Gnosticism, it’s less defining of God as a man, it lack of authority in the Word of God,  in some places, while it claims to be a contemporary version, it’s too concise and in others too verbose. There is a laundry list of reasons I don’t like this “paraphrase.”

My questions for discussion are these:

Do I discourage use of The Message Bible as a whole, even to those who would say they have a hard time understanding a different translation?

Do I warn of its many shortcomings (because I kinda already have)?

What would be a better translation to point someone to in this kind of situation? (The latest NIV has just as many gender problems.)


I kill me sometimes, this is part of a flyer I made for work, the event is long over now of course, but the two fake news “headlines” at the bottom crack me up. Found this digging through some old files at work and thought I’d share. My fake newspaper looks pretty darn good, also I’m super-awesome at being humble.


Theology Thursday, October 20, 2011

Since my last Theology Thursday post went over so well…(you can’t tell but that was extreme sarcasm) I am posting another one (somewhere a cricket is chirping) And this one concerns dispensationalism, since tomorrow is October 21 and all (again that was a joke.) Tough crowd today. Anyway…I do not have a strong point of view on dispensationalism. As far as I’m concerned it does not change my duty here on earth as a Christian. I am to enjoy God’s grace and make His name known among the nations…that’s the entirety of my job as a Christian. So I don’t spend too much time thinking about the subject of dispensationalism. Wherein lies todays Theology Thursday question and this is for those that consider themselves Amillennialist, as I have been informed that all Calvinists should be. I am not Amil however, I an a mid-mil dispensationalist.  My question for those Calvinist Amillennialist is this: If we take the Bible literally, as we should, (we believe in a literal six-day creation, Adam and Eve were literal humans, the Flood was a literal event, Jonah was in the whales belly for three days, Jesus literally was born to a literal virgin and died a literal death and rose again on the third day literally) Why would we take the book of Revelation on the subject of Christ return then figuratively? It makes no sense to me and seems completely contrary to our stance that the Bible is a literal book that can be completely trusted. So I leave this question up to you, the Calvinist Amillennialist.

Why would we take the book of Revelation on the subject of Christ return then figuratively? Discuss…

Friday, October 14

~These stupid protests have got to stop. Who are you even protesting against? You’re not fooling anyone, if you were really against big business you’d be wearing hand-made clothes and shoes. You’d never eat fast food. And your house would be owned and paid for by you, not a bank. Please go home, you’re more annoying than a group of dead heads with the munchies. And you’re not accomplishing anything.

~Another Friday…

~I saw “We Are Marshall” last night…it was a great movie. I think I have a man crush on Matthew McConaughey…and I’m okay with that.

Because I’m not all that talkative in the morning…here is something that made me laugh today:

Thursday, October 13

~ My life is exactly half over. I am thirty-six, I will probably live to be 72…statistically speaking and barring some tragedy, so that’s it, It’s half way gone.

~ I need to travel more.

~ I’d love to go see New York and Boston…maybe even LA or San Fransisco again.

~ I’m kind of depressed now.

~ I was hoping to be an accomplished writer by now.

~ But all I write is three different blogs with only minimum readership.


~ On the bright side, I have three great kids and I have not regretted much in my 36 years.

~ Also I am going to Chicago in a couple of weeks so that should be fun.

~ That’s it for now…off to work.


Wednesday, October 12

10. So, I missed a post yesterday…no one seemed to notice…and the world is still spinning.

9. Actually I’m having trouble coming up with ten of these everyday.

8. It’s like trying to write ten tweets at once.

7. Who can do that? Except for the person with nothing of any real importance to say. For example, Um…Ahem  @aplusk….

6. Number 6….Hmmm…six…

5. Number 6….Hmmm…six…

4. Who am I kidding…deep and profound thoughts don’t always come that often…not to me anyway.

3. It’s like a band whose first album is their best and the rest of them suck…they used up all there creativeness on the first album.

2. Soon I’ll be writing things about the soup I had for lunch: “Clam Chowder…it’s good…you should totally eat some.”

1. It’ll be like those awkward silences you get on a first date with someone, those are the worst.

Some days are better than others I guess

What Would Jesus Brew?

I would first of all like to apologize to the regular readers of this blog and my fellow contributors for not posting more frequently. I will make a more concerted effort to post more as often as life permits.

A few months ago a pastor I have great respect for came out firmly against the consumption of alcoholic beverages by christians. He raised some good points in defense on his stance on the issue and I had an interesting experience recently (that I will go into further detail about in a future blog post) concerning this same topic, but first I’d like some feedback from you all.

Is it wrong for a christian to consume alcoholic beverages? Please answer in the poll below.