The Authorised or king James Version of the English Bible was made by 47 Godly men in 1611 and was used by English - speaking peoples for over three hundred years, it forms, with Shakespeare, the two glittering jewels of the English language.
There are a number of modern translations however, and the one that has superseded the A.V. in many churches today, is the New International Version.
Sometimes free translations, or paraphrases are made that seek to interpret Scripture using completely modern idioms, the danger, of course, with this, is that it tends to be more an interpretation of the translator than a translation.
One of the most popular of these is "The Message" by Eugene H. Patterson. This is how he translates the Beatitudes of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount - Matthew chapter 5.
"You're blessed when you're at the end of your rope. With less of you there is more of God and his rule.
"You're blessed when you feel you've lost what is most dear to you. Only then can you be embraced by the One most dear to you.
"You're blessed when you're content with just who you are- no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can't be bought".
"You're blessed when you've worked up a good appetite for God. He’s food and drink in the best meal you'll ever eat".
"You're blessed when you care. At the moment of being ‘care-full,’ you find yourself cared for."
"You're blessed when you get your inside world - your mind and heart - put right. Then you can see God in the outside world."
"You're blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family."
"You're blessed when your commitment to God provokes persecution. The persecution drives you even deeper into God’s kingdom."
A paraphrase must never take the place of a true translation, it is not intended too. But it is valuable because it gives the opportunity to see God’s Word from an unusual angle.
When we know that we cannot save ourselves and we give our lives over to God we shall certainly be blessed. It is He who loves us more than anyone and from him comes all other loves. We cannot buy happiness at any price, and those who try, end up less happy than they were before. It is still true that the basic things that really matter cannot be bought, and the greatest of these is the salvation of our souls. Jesus said: What good will it be for a man if he gains the whole world, yet forfeits his soul? Matthew 16: 26.
Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty - John 6: 35. If you care for others you will know a satisfaction and a blessing that those who always take can never appreciate, and what is more, you will please God. Even so, the care that you show must be the result of a heart in harmony with God, the inner motive must be right.
If you always try to bring about reconciliation instead of conflict you will know that God’s blessing is with you, but if you stand firm for the truth in all circumstances do not expect to be loved and appreciated by all. Some will go to all lengths to crucify afresh the Christ in you, because they are opposed to Him and want to do the will of their Father the devil.
Come to the Heavenly Father right now, in the Name of Jesus Christ and you will be forgiven your sins and begin a pilgrimage that ends in heaven.
Gordon Guillermo Burgess,
Church Of The Good Shepherd
(English Speaking Church In Alicante)
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