Thursday, December 1, 2011

Sharing a Bible Verse (Different Versions)

Missy, here. I wanted to share some Bible verses with you. Yesterday, I was fine-tuning the premise of my wip and thinking about theme verses. I came across this very familiar passage. But for a different perspective, I clicked over to the same verses in The Message. The wording really brought the passage alive for me, and I thought it might for you, too. I'll post both the NIV and The Message. I'll also share a new translation which I like as well, The Common English Bible (Published in 2011). These are all pasted from

1 Corinthians 13 (NIV)

 1 If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

1 Corinthians 13 (CEB)

Love: the universal spiritual gift
 1 If I speak in tongues of human beings and of angels but I don’t have love, I’m a clanging gong or a clashing cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and I know all the mysteries and everything else, and if I have such complete faith that I can move mountains but I don’t have love, I’m nothing. 3 If I give away everything that I have and hand over my own body to feel good about what I’ve done but I don’t have love, I receive no benefit whatsoever.

1 Corinthians 13 (The Message)

The Way of Love
 1 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don't love, I'm nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. 2If I speak God's Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, "Jump," and it jumps, but I don't love, I'm nothing. 3-7If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don't love, I've gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I'm bankrupt without love. 

So what do you think? What are your favorite translations/versions of the Bible?


  1. Hi Missy:

    I can’t locate the quote right now but a famous person once said that he didn’t know whether the Bible was divinely inspired or not but the King James translation certainly was.

    I don’t like the other translations. Each new translation seems to be the product of a different agenda – and not necessarily the literal truth.

    Changing the King James version is like rewriting Shakespeare to make it easy to understand. If you change Shakespeare, it’s no longer Shakespeare!

    << 1 Corinthians 13 >>
    King James Version

    1. Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2. And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3. And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.

    Why did the other translations change ‘charity’ to ‘love’? Is it the ‘God is Love’ version of Christianity? Why say ‘move’ mountains? Is it to conjure up a vision of a mountain moving from point A to point B? To ‘remove’ a mountain, as to build the great canal at Corinth, can be done with faith and many shovels.

    << 1 Corinthians 13 >> NVMT
    New Vince Mooney Translation

    1. Eloquence without charity is noise. 2. Wisdom, foresight, and faith without charity is but an abyss. 3. The greatest acts of charity, if given without purity of heart, are but ashes upon the sea.

    Feel free to use my translation if you’d like. : )


  2. LOL, Vince! I love it. Just think how short the Bible would be in the NVMT. :) We could read through it much quicker. hehe

    You know, I do love the poetry of the KJV. But though I'm no scholar, it seems there are other versions that translate closer to the original texts. The Greek word in these verses is agape--selfless love for others, inspired by the love of God in Christ for us. (Yeah, I had to dig out my commentary for that). :) Since Paul has been talking about spiritual gifts (and can't you just see the Corinthians arguing over whose is more important?), charity probably does fit as well. But overall, I like the word love here. :)

    Hey! I just checked, and my very favorite version that I use most of the time (The New Revised Standard--New Oxford Annotated) does still remove those mountains! :) No moving them from point a to point B. :)

    Thanks for stopping by today! Did you take a day off from writing after pushing through Nanowrimo?

  3. 1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

    This is my favorite translation--the New King James Version.
    They did change charity to love. Hmmm. Wonder what the Greek says.
    But I do stick with the NKJV most of the time. I think it keeps a lot of the cadence of the KJV--but it's a little easier to read for me.

    Thanks for the discussion.

  4. I like different versions to help me understand better! KJV is always good though. I use The Message and English Standard Version, and I really like going to biblegateway to compare several versions. Glad you posted on this, Missy.

  5. Jackie, I like Biblegateway just for that reason, too!

  6. I actually like comparing translations all the time. I do it particulary to find a better understanding or perspective when I'm questioning something that's harder for me to catch.

    One thing I really like about the different translations is that it follows the concept of translating the scriptures into the language of the people. Since language changes all the time, I feel it's important to translate so people can understand.