Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Getting the Message Out

I turned off my laptop today. It was actually not too horrible. Of course, I still had my iPhone with me the whole time so I could check email, twitter, and even read a few blogs.

As much as I love my iPhone and wouldn't know what to do without it, my biggest comfort, joy and satisfaction is my cute macbook pro laptop. Really, it is something I don't think I could live without. That and WiFi. I could easily give up television, my favorite food, and many other things but not my laptop.

There's so much I can do with a laptop and WiFi. I can connect with people via twitter, Facebook, and email. I can watch videos. I can listen to a podcast or videocast. I can listen to sermons from churches all over the world. I can read blogs and I can give money to organizations. I can buy anything I desire on the internet. I can do research, study the Bible, and even read e-books online.

I really love all this stuff.

I have heard it said that too much information is actually unhelpful; Our brains don't want to be faced with 100 different choices daily about mundane stuff like which cereal to choose.... but I love information; I can't get enough information. (This is not a good trait.)

Today I was introduced to an iPhone application that includes multiple translations of the Bible and even offers them in a wide variety of languages. At prayer time this morning my pastor closed by reading Psalm 65. I was struck by the beauty it described and at first I thought he'd memorized it as I did not see a Bible in his hands. (yes, I peeked) When he was said "Amen" he cited the Psalm and added it was read from The Message....he had that translation as well as several others on his iPhone that he'd gotten for free. It's an application called Youversion and it's so cool. (It's now on my iPhone too) You can download it on itunes and I also saw it advertised at There's even daily Bible readings.

I don't normally read Scripture from The Message. I grew up believing that such a paraphrase was "cheating". ...... it was someone else's interpretation of the Bible and ideally a "good christian" should study and come to their own interpretation carefully and prayerfully. (of course, to do so I did use commentaries and relied heavily on other's opinions anyways) Several months ago I actually bought my own The Message hardcover book. It seemed strange but I thought it was a good "tool" in Bible study, much like a commentary or even listening to a preacher's interpretation via a sermon.

Today I thought the Psalm read in The message was "alive" to me and beautiful, yet I still struggle with reading it. It's strange, I know. I have talked to many others that prefer this translation The simpler the better, right? I am not one that believes the Bible is only accurate in the 1611 King James. I actually prefer a newer version, the English Standard Version but I do like and use several others. I have lots of scripture memorized and it's all in the NIV translation.

All this to say, what's your favorite version? Do you have one? Do you have four? What do you think of paraphrase Bibles like The Message? Would you memorize scripture in that translation?

Oh, and today (thursday) I just downloaded for free the kindle version on my iPhone of Suffering and the Sovereignty of God by Justin Taylor and John Piper. All you have to do is download Amazon's Kindle for iPhone (free) and then you can read many titles on your iPhone. I love technology!


  1. I really have enjoyed the Amplified version and sove of the direct Greek/English translations. Sometimes it just is beautiful, the grammer may not be perfect, however the picture these versions describe or leave in my heart are rich and wonderful.....Here here to multple versions of the same book, to give us deeper nuances of life.

  2. Maxine, I also enjoy the luxury of having multiple versions on my bookshelf and now even more on my iPhone! My favorite lately has been the ESV version though I do enjoy several others.