21 January 2014

Choose Your Weapon

A few years ago, I was looking to purchase a new deer rifle. I went into one store and the salesman presented me with a single shot rifle, telling me how his father had killed more deer with that gun than I would ever kill in my lifetime. He was deadly accurate with it. Part of the reason why he was so accurate was that he knew every inch of his gun well. He knew exactly what to expect when he used it.

As a practiced shooter, he could probably use some else's gun well too, but not as well as he could use his own.  His single shot was an extension of his body and so it made sense for him not to use a new gun every time he went hunting.

I suspect this familiarity applies to other implements as well.  Swordsman get to know the weight and balance of their own swords. Golfers use their own clubs because they know how they will perform. Chefs prefer certain knives because they know exactly how they will perform. Though they may be accomplished with these instruments in general, their precision comes from their own objects becoming a part of them.

I believe this lesson applies to Bible as well. The more we familiarize ourselves with one translation, even one Bible, the more it becomes a part of us.  Granted, we will certainly be able to navigate other Bibles and translations better than we had before, but our ability to make a Bible our own rests in engaging with the same text again and again.

I know that many people switch translations year by year. No doubt this offers fresh perspective on God's word, but I suspect it limits the ability to truly own the text and write it deeply on our hearts.  This is Grant Horner's Bible. Horner has been using the exact same Bible for 25 years. Do you think he knows it well?  In this audio clip, John Piper also makes a plea for finding a translation and sticking with it.

My encouragement is to get a good Bible, written on real paper, in a standard translation (ESV, NIV, NASB) and read it until it becomes a part of you. 

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