Remember a couple of days ago I was encouraging you to motor thru reading some of the more difficult passages in Romans? It occurred to me that I didn’t talk about one of the most useful resources available! That is the paraphrase.
Way back when the podcast started, we talked about the three different categories of Bible translations: word-for-word, thought-for-thought, and the paraphrase. The reason a paraphrase is so useful in navigating difficult texts is that it’s not so much a translation as it is an interpretation.
Where the other two translation types tell us what a passage says, a paraphrase is more useful in telling us what it means. And, wow…I don’t know about you, but I need that sometimes!
The Three I Use
I have three paraphrases that I use regularly: The Message, The NLT or New Living Translation, and the TLB or The Living Bible. It was actually the TLB that caused me to fall in love with reading the Bible when I was 19 or 20. Coincidentally, it was Romans 7, which is the subject of the podcast today. I came away amazed that I could finally relate to the Bible and how it applies to my life. Please read this chapter in the TLB and let me know if it opened your eyes too!
The Message, written by Eugene Peterson, has an interesting introduction by the author. Amazon lets us read most intros and I encourage you to do so. There’s a link at Lifting Her Voice.com. I use this Bible all the time and so does my pastor.
I hope you’ll find one or all three of these interpretations useful in your daily study. Tell me below in the comments whether you’ve used any of the above or already have a favorite. Also, if you have a favorite that I didn’t mention, let us know about that too!