I worked like crazy this past week-end unpacking the garage and getting my yard tools arranged; and since I have been busy so many week-ends, Janet and I decided to golf late Sunday afternoon. It was kind of a celebration for us after all the non-stop stuff we both have been dealing with since we moved in last January. Andrew was available and he is getting us on this fitness kick so we all went together. In fact, he treated us – which made it even more enjoyable. It was my first time on the golf course in the last four years so I didn’t expect too much.
The truth is, I was already pretty tired when we went out. I was dehydrated and Janet urged me to drink water so I wouldn’t get faint. Well, you know what happens when you drink quite a bit of water in a short amount of time. Prudence dictated that I should visit the washroom before we went out on the first tee. The washrooms in the pool area of the club were closed so I asked for directions to the nearest open facility, if you know what I mean.
I found an older teenage boy who worked handing out towels to people in the pool area and politely asked him for directions to the “washroom.” He responded, “Huh?” So I asked again and he advised me that they don’t have any washing machines on site that are open to the public… I couldn’t believe it. I was a little taken aback and tried to rephrase the question, finally settling on asking him for directions to the “restroom.” He finally understood what I was asking and we parted ways after I thanked him. But I couldn’t forget the brief exchange.
After all, language that is so common to me was something that this teenager had never heard before. I wondered if he knew who “Lucy and Ricky” were, or Andy Taylor and Barney Fife; or Beaver and a host of other people from the past. It reminded me of the time when I was growing up and there was a quiz about the names of rock ‘n roll groups. My father had never heard of any of them but I received a perfect score. That day was probably the first time in my life that I recognized the generational differences between us and how the social norms for people differ. Today, I would be like my Dad – I wouldn’t be able to pick out the names of current rock ‘n roll groups.
Today got me thinking about the Bible and how the wording has changed throughout the last 400 years. The King James Version uses language that most people wouldn’t understand today and it also used all kinds of linguistic tools to make various points. All this gave rise to different versions of the Bible that have made their way into our culture throughout the years. Unfortunately, most of the Bible translations available today bear little resemblance to the KJV – which is still the most accurate English translation of the Bible that has ever been written.
Each successive version of the Bible has become a little more relaxed in the translation from the original Greek and Hebrew, with a little bit of Aramaic in places. Today, we have phrase by phrase translations and even paraphrase translations – far different from what was around 400 years ago.
But the Bible itself is timeless. So whatever version you read, try for a deeper understanding of God’s message to us. The verse for tonight is one that has been handed down through the ages. From Prov. 3:5, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding…” That’s where prayer comes in. My encouragement this evening is that God can still speak to us through His word, regardless of the translation. My prayer is that you will yearn for a deeper understanding and stay committed to the study and reading of the Scriptures. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…