Published August 1, 2017

Shelia Shares
"The Unchanging Word"

You are probably very familiar with Psalms 23. In fact, many of you can repeat it without missing a word.

Just as an experiment, I used an online translation program to translate Psalms 23 into Spanish, back to English, then to Spanish, then back to English, then to Italian, back to English, then to German and back to English.

I started with the English version in NKJV. It reads:

   The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
   He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters.
   He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness
   For His name's sake.
   Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil;
   For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.
   You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil;
   My cup runs over.
   Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life;
   And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.

After all the back-and-forth translations, here is the final version.

   The lord is my shepherd; I will miss nothing
   He drops me into green meadows. It leads me back into the water.
   Restoration of my soul; Lead me on the paths of justice by the name of his name.
   Although through the valley of the shadow of death, I will not be afraid of evil;
   Because you're with me His staff and his staff comfort me.
   Prepare a table before me before my enemies; They bump my head with oil;
   My cup is gone.
   For goodness and mercy will follow me. Every day of my life;
   And I will dwell in Jehovah's house. Forever.

Do you see how similar the translations are? Do you see the differences? Do you see the parts where the meaning is changed with the translation?

How often do we make those tiny changes with God's Word? How often do we change a word here or there to make it easier to accept? And, when we tell others what the Bible says, do we change particular phrases to say what we want it to say? How often do we change what the Bible says to fit better into our culture and to be more acceptable?

God's Word is not to be altered. We are instructed not to add to, nor subtract from, God's Word.

We need to be sure we are getting (and passing along) a clear message from God, not our opinions or wishes. God doesn't change. Neither does His Word.

- Shelia

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