Through the years I have worked my way through many translations of the Bible. My Nana only ever bought us King James Versions, so that’s what I had when I was first converted. I love the KJV and it greatly helped me understand a lot. The language was beautiful and it captivated me. The first Bible I bought on my own was a New Living Translation. I didn’t want to go NIV because, in truth, EVERYONE had NIV. I wanted something different for my ears. Something sweet. the NLT fit me there.
You can tell, I was not at all academically minded. I didn’t really care how close it was to the original. I was concerned with the language and how it effected me, how it made it able for me to fall in love with Him who had called me.
Now, I read ESV. When I hear other translations its usually in Sunday School where the minds meet and we all end up reading out of our myriad of translations the same passage. (It’s especially great when it gets to be my friend’s, Brent’s, turn. He reads the Message and there is no real verse demarcation…) Tonight, my Bible was just too far away, so I asked to read from my wife’s NLT a passage from Rom 8:
12 Therefore, dear brothers and sisters, you have no obligation to do what your sinful nature urges you to do. 13 For if you live by its dictates, you will die. But if through the power of the Spirit you put to death the deeds of your sinful nature, you will live. 14 For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
I like the ESV a lot. But I love how the NLT says this: “You have no obligation”. This is freedom and Great News! No obligation, we do not need to follow through with the evil that lurks in our hearts. “Human Nature” is not an excuse, nor can it hold us back from following thru with what God has for us, specifically to honor and obey Him.
“No obligation”. This is such good news to me… it just resonates within me. It makes me happy. Because if there is no obligation to do evil, then there was no obligation to be freed from it. It was a loving choice, made by the Father to bring us close. Amazing.