Acts 17:11 Bible Studies

On Use of Various Translations

A) Consistency

One of the benefits of the topical nature of these studies is for people to see the incredible consistency of Scripture. Thus, faith is encouraged that we truly have in our hands a message from God.

B) Grouping Concepts, Dynamics, And Words

To bring word studies together in English that belong together in the original languages, often more than one translation must be used in the flow of a study. Thus, each reference is proceeded by a three letter acronym in parenthesis to note which translation it is from.

C) Meaning and Context

An intersection of several translations should be sought for any difficult texts or emphasis of meaning.

Verses should never be used out of context, even if popularly understood this way. Whenever there is any doubt as to context, the text should not be used to make any major point, and the primary context should be noted. Given these rules, it is usually more efficient to just avoid vague and/or obscure texts to make any major points.

D) Freshness

We think it good to use various translations so that the selected passage strikes us in a fresh way, especially when the text is too familiar or falsely applied as taught by tradition. The idea here is to help people out of translation "ruts".

When Bible verses become too familiar, often an "odd" but accurate translation will initially be disagreeable, since we have "explained away" the traditional rendering of the verse, and we are irritated to be confronted with the raw truth. When we realize that the "odd" translation is the same idea couched in different words, we have yet another chance to embrace God's point of view. The hope is that repentance will result.

In the case where the traditional rendering is falsely applied by quirk of English double meaning--or is caught in some other rut of tradition--use of fresh translations can be useful to call us back to the original meaning.

E) Commentary And Italics Within References

Commentary within Scripture references should be minimized. When needed to make the context clear, it will always be in [full brackets] to differentiate from parentheses included in the text itself.

Italics and bolds should be used sparingly, but are useful to bring the reader's attention to a particular phrase or word within the reference.

Italics and bolds are not brought in from the few translations that use them. Thus, the designation (italics mine) is considered unnecessary, since this will always be the case.

F) Power

Different translations have value in being able to impart the meaning of various texts. No one translation is always best suited, although it can be said that some are better than others in general. Sensitivity to this will help to find the best possible translation to make this particular point--in a powerful way.

2 Cor 4:2 (NIV) ...We have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.

These sections are THREADED. To go to the next in sequence click on bold link below.

Mission Overview | On Use
Group Suggestions | Strategy
Greek & Hebrew | On Translations
Acronym Legend | Principles
History | R & D Section
Extra Stuff | Doctrinal Statement