Balancing Bible Translations Brings Color to a Black and White Text

I have been anxious a bit lately. So, remembering the sermon from Sunday I pulled out my Bible to look at Philippians chapter four. It was a real help.

Looking at it again this morning I saw that verse five can be translated in a bunch of different ways. The Greek word must be richer in meaning than our English expression. So, in this case, the English is black and white text while the color is in the Greek. It says:

NAS |  Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near.
ESV |  Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand;
GW  |  Let everyone know how considerate you are. The Lord is near.
KJV |  Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand.
NET |  Let everyone see your gentleness. The Lord is near!
NCV |  Let everyone see that you are gentle and kind. The Lord is coming soon.

If you just say gentle then you miss reasonable. If just reasonable you miss considerate. But if you read all six of these then you get a picture of the quality that Peter is saying that everyone should see in a follower of Jesus.  Its a reasonable, considerate person who is gentle and moderate. That is the kind of person everyone should be able to see after they get to know us. Why? Because the Lord is near.

Putting the sense of each translation together brings out the color in the verse.

[The picture comes from the blog post “The Olive Presses of Klazomenai” It is a post that show how history and archeology can bring out the color in a Bible text. It concludes with the statement, “The Bible cannot be fully understood with out attention to its various contexts, including the historical and archaeological ones.”]

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