What’s in a translation?

In this article, author Diana Butler Bass explores how her travels through faith have always been accompanied by the Bible—but, she notes, not always the same translation. Her essay relates a journey from her first, now dog-eared Revised Standard Version given to her in 1967, through more evangelical-friendly editions in the 70s, to an eye-opening moment in 1989 when the NRSV provided her with a fresh insight into Ephesians 5:21-22.

For more than a decade, I had struggled with that teaching in Ephesians — only to discover that my struggles were not with Scripture. Rather, I was struggling with an interpretation of Scripture provided by the editors of the NIV.

I put that Bible away, never to trust it again. And I busied myself reading my new NRSV, often finding that difficult passages were clearer through its translation and notes. Reading the NRSV was like a reunion with an old friend, familiar but new. As an adult, my childhood Bible had come back to me, only better. We had a lot of catching up to do.

Read the essay at Episcopal Life Online.

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