There is no shortage of Bibles for sale in our country. Go to any bookstore, Christian or not, or online and you will find numerous selections to choose from. Some of these choices are helpful, since pocket size Bibles and a larger study-size Bible are used for different purposes. However, I am increasingly concerned that the smorgasbord of choices we have may be hindering us from the actual Bible itself.
Contemporary English Bibles come in a variety of translations. While some might quibble the amount of different translations, I believe anyone who understands the difficulty and impossibility of offering a translation that conveys the meaning and intent of the original language and yet is free from criticism understands the need for a plurality of Bible translations. The point is that if we have nothing else but a Bible translation (no additional commentary), we still are reading through a certain amount of lenses that all have their particular biases. So why do we add more biases?
Allow me to explain. Let’s look at some of the different choices of Bibles we can purchase. There is the TNIV Strive: The Bible for Men, NIV Adventure Bible Updated; NCV Livin’ Out Your Faith Bible; NIV Celebrate Recovery Bible; Holman Christian Standard Bible Apologetics Study Bible; NCV Maximized Living Bible; NKJV Life Principles Daily Bible; The NKJV American Patriot’s Bible; NLT Abundant Life Bible New Testament; The Evidence Bible: Irrefutable Evidence for the Thinking Mind Comfortable King James; The NRSV Wesley Study Bible; NKJV New Spirit-Filled Life Bible. This is just a sampling. What each of these Bibles has in common is that in addition to the Bible itself, there are articles and/or additional commentary dealing with the particular slant suggested in the title.
To complicate matters, I read an article online today about a group from Charleston, West Virginia who is translating a Bible with the purpose “…to create a Bible suitable for contemporary conservative sensibilities…” Apparently, it is no longer appropriate to allow the Bible to criticize and change our thinking. Instead we will create a translation in such a way so it is in closer harmony with our particular mind-set, be it cultural, political, religious, etc…
I am concerned that our consumer approach to the Bible is getting in the way of hearing the Bible for what it is. That instead of hearing what God wishes to communicate to us, our little additions are subtly forcing the Bible to communicate more and more what we want it to communicate. This only leads to idolatry, where we place our image of God and our expectations of God and his will upon God rather than see God for who he is and hear him as he speaks, conforming to his will. What are your thoughts?
 http://www.comcast.net/articles/news-national/20091203/US.REL.Conservative.Bible/. Click on the link to read the full article.