Don’t do anything only to get ahead. Don’t do it because you are proud. Instead, be free of pride. Think of others as better than yourselves. None of you should look out just for your own good. You should also look out for the good of others. You should think in the same way Christ Jesus does (Phil 2:3-5, NIrV).
This summer the kids and I have begun to review all the memory verses we derived from our two previous Family Mission Statements (that makes 24 verses total). This week we are still on the first list, and this scripture is our third family verse under the Value called “Love Others“.
Today I wanted to discuss Bible translations. Many people are loyal to a particular translation of the Bible – I know I am. I love the ESV, the English Standard Version. The ESV is well known for the accuracy of its translation of the original language. There are many differences between the original Hebrew and Greek and our English translations. Translators have many English synonyms to choose from in order to give meaning to original words – sometimes the meaning can get lost in translation. We often visit Biblegateway.com to compare translations to better understand the verse. I still like to always look at the NIV, the New International Version and I often check the NAS, the New American Standard and the KJV, King James Version too. My mom and I really like the NLT, New Living Translation, too for a more accurate modern language translation.
All of that being said, I think that when we are teaching our kids, we must use wording that they can understand. When mine were little, I tried this two ways. First I read to them from the “grown up” Bible and translates it for them myself – but this was cumbersome and disjointed. It was hard to teach the meaning when I was stopping so many times to explain something. Then I began to use the NIrV, New International Readers’ Version (cue the sound of angels singing). Then when they could read, I bought them their own Bible in this version. This year, they both have advanced enough in their reading skills that they graduated to the ESV, Student Study Bible.
In teaching your children, there is no substitute for the actual Word of God. Bible story books are a great adjunct, or additional resource for teaching, but they are NOT the Bible. Even toddlers benefit from hearing God’s Word, from the Bible. The verses you choose to share with them must be simpler, to be sure. But if you delay giving your kids the Word until they can read it for themselves, you will miss great opportunities to build a biblical foundation for their understanding of the world.
For memory work, I would often read to them from the NIrV and then we would memorize a grown-up version of the verse. Today’s Bible verse was first taught to them in the NIrV when they were 3 and 5 years old, but we memorized the NIV 1984 because I thought it was a beautiful translation that was still easy to understand:
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus (Phil 2:3-5, NIV 1984).
What is your favorite translation of the Bible? How do you use Scripture to teach your children?
Britta ~ I am justAgirl…just like you!