Fear Of Whales

Archive for April, 2017

In Answer To Your Question…

without comments

I know I said I was done with FearOfWhales, but two young confirmants asked me a question while I’m still in Texas, and this is the best way to reliably send answers to them with all the pictures I want to. (If you click on the pictures they should get bigger)

Their question was:

Do you think it is okay to have more than one version of the Bible?
Why or why not?


And My answer is: YES! Absolutley it’s okay. As a matter of fact, I myself havt quite a collection


Like…Probably Too Many


Of course not all of those are different Bibles, but about a third of them are depending on what counts. I want to give you a “Tour” Of some of my favorites


This first one is my “Main” Bible. It’s the one I always carry, the one I brought with me to Florida when I met you

I really like The translation, the NRSV which is a very precice and accurate translation of the Greek and Hebrew. I also like that it fits in my pocket even though it has the whole Bible included New and Old Testaments. A lot of pocket Bibles are just the New with maybe Psalms and Proverbs from the Old. This has it all. Which is good, because the OT is about 2/3 of scripture, and if someone needs me to read something from Genesis, I can be ready if I have this trusty long skinny guy.


PocketNLTTextPocknetNLTCoverWhen I was your age I didn’t read the NRSV, because it uses a lot of hard english words, and can be difficult reading. my Olb Bible is an NLT. It’s a bit bigger, and hardback (which is good because that makes it durable)

If you zoom in on that text you can see that both bibles communicate the same basic ideas, but the one with the duct tape on it says it a lot more simply and conversationally. That makes it easier to read. By the way, speaking of duct tape, some people think it’s sacreligious to have a damaged Bible. I couldn’t disagree more! I want to see Bibles get used. A Bible that has had notes written in it, with torn pages and drinks spilled on it is a bible that’s done it’s job. Someone with a Bible like that loves the Bible. If you never hurt it because you never open it it does you no good at all.


OldKJVTextOldKJVCoverThe Last one I held up in the video is one of my KJV Bibles. This is one of the oldest english translations, and by far the most popular. It’s really beautifully written and phrased, and a lot of people (myself included) memorized verses out of this translation. You will notice the text of the Lord’s prayer is familiar “Who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name…”

The downside is that people don’t talk the way they did in 1611 anymore, so that makes it hard to understand when you are reading a large portion of the text. And Jesus didn’t speak Shakespearian english either (he didn’t speak english at all) so there is no reason to insist you have to read it this harder way.

You might also notice those citations in the margin there. Those are Chain References. Which help you look up related verses. I’ll talk about those kinds of extra goodies in a bit

GreekNTTextGreekNTCoverBut wait a sec! If Jesus didn’t speak english, and there are all these different translations, Does that mean every Bible is just somebody’s interpretation?!?  Of course not. Every English Bible has had to be translated, and translation is not an exact science, but we have people who do it very carefully and have lots of people checking their work. But you don’t have to use an English Bible. Here’s one of my Greek Bibles

See those little squiggles? That;s what the apostles actually wrote down about Jesus. And if you wanted to, you could learn Greek and know how to read them.

There is only one version of the Greek New Testament because it’s not a translation. So different copies are just about formatting and footnotes and stuff.

Sometimes for my quiet time in the morning I will open this Greek Bible and begin to make my own personal Pastor Gaffney translation of a few verses. It takes me a long time though because I’m not a Greek expert. I have to have paper and a dictionary out and go word by word.

Same story goes for the Hebrew Old Testament. I have some of those too!

CheaterGreekParallelTextCheaterGreekParallelCoverIf I want to go easier on myself and have a way to look up Qreek quickly ans easily during a Bible Study or something, when someone might ask me a question I’m not expecting, I pull out my Cheater Bible. The Greek English Parallel New Testament.

It’s Awesome! It’s got a standard English Translation on the side, with the Greek words, and the literal english meaning for each word underneath it. Those little numpers on the top are Strongs numbers witch coorespond to an ever bigger doorstop of a book with more information about each word.

This one, ::Ahem:: Does not fit in my pocket.

Of course we can have Bibles in other languages too, besides Greek and English. And this parallel idea comes in really handy for that. Here is SpanishParallelCovermy English/Spanish Parallel Bible. I SpanishParallelTextknow just enough spanish to try to read the spanish side, and if I get lost or confused I just look over to the English side. Sometimes the Spanish language does a better job of communicating a particular idea. Sometimes English is better.

KoreanParallel CoverWhen I worked at a Korean Church, I used my Korean/English Parallel Bible. I don’t speak Korean (I can sound it out sorta) but It was handy to be able to open to a page to KoreanParallelTextread a verse, and show someone who speaks Korean better than English that same verse in the language they are more confortable with.

People should always chose a version of the Bible that they are confortable with. That way they will actually read it!

You will notice that the english text of both of these is exactly the same. They both use the NIV, which is the most popular English translation, and a darn good one too!

I have just a couple more that I think are cool.

GreenBibleCoverGreenBibleTextThis one is called “The Green Bible”. Do you notice how some Bibles have the words of Christ in bed? Well this one has words that deal with Creation and the Enviornment in green.

I Know! It’s a really touchy subject and it annoys a lot of people that this was done. Maybe it annoys you a little.

I think it’s an interesting example of how a Bible’s presentation can affect how it is read. This has exactly the same words and verses as my Red letter NRSV. It’s just…Green.

Also, the hemp cover is really cool and cheaper than leather.

Next we have the big heavy Bible they recommened for my Seminary. SeminaryBibleCoverYou can see I didn’t use SeminaryBibleTextAndFootnotesit much, but it’s a good reference. Besides the scriptures it’s got a bunch of footnotes that reference theologians talking about that verse.

SeminaryBibleBonusIt also has the Apocrapha. Which is a set of books that were written in between the time of the Old and New Testaments. We don’t think they are a part of God’s Word, but some Christians do, and they are good Historical documents to have handy if you are a big Bible geek like me.

LifeApplicationTextAndFootnotesLifeApplicationCoverSpeaking of footnotes, this Life Application Bible is nice. It’s not as schooley as the Seminary Bible and has footnotes that deal less with what Theologians think, and more with questions that a regular everyday Christian might wonder about. It also has some great charts and maps. You can see the Bonus content is more than half the page!

LutheranStudySpineYou have to be careful with these though, because in the same book, printed in the same kind of ink, you have the words of Holy Scripture that are inspired by God, right next to something that’s just somebody’s oponion and comments. You don’t want to get confused about which is which. The comments that come with these tend to be very useful, but also very biased theologically. So I use a couple different ones when I am writing a sermon of something, and I pay attention to the author of the particular suplements I’m reading. The Lutheran one at right for instance, is of course going to have footnotes written from a Lutheran perspective, even though the Verses are exactly the same as in my Pocket NRSV

You can go overboard though. How many comments is too many? If you get enough you might end up with something like this:


Believe it or not, that’s a Bible… In 13 Volumes. It’s got every single verse of scripture there in the right order, but it also has pages and pages of notes and comments and historical background info. 90% of every page is notes. Which is great, but obviously not what anyone would pick as the Bible they bring to Church for instance.


I could literally do this all day, showing off advantages and disadvantages of my favorite Bibles. TorahTranslationTextTorahTranslationCoverLike the SuperCheater Amplified Bible at Left, or the Begining of the Old Testament translated by Jewish people at Right, but then where would it ever end?

Eventually I just have to say “Yes” I think it’s totally awesome to have more than one version of the Bible. I also think it’s okay to stick to just one, like my wife. Who likes to write in her Bible and wants to be able to find it again.

If you want to look thorugh any of these in person just let me know when I get there in a little under 2 months.

Written by admin

April 16th, 2017 at 11:16 pm

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