In How to Read the Bible and Love It, I share ten ways of staying engaged with Scripture. Today I’m taking my own advice with variation #1 – try a different translation.
Ever since its publication last year, I’ve been wanting to read the First Nations Version: An Indigenous Translation of the New Testament by Terry M. Wildman, First Nations Version Translation Council (IVP Books, 2021). Below you’ll see why I’m so intrigued—with the First Nations Version of Romans 12:1-2 compared with some of my other favourite Bible translations. You can also download a sample from the IVP website.
First Nations Version
My current Bible reading.
BECOMING A TRUE HUMAN BEING
So then, my sacred family members, because Creator has shown us such mercy and kindness, I now call on you to offer your whole beings, heart, mind, and strength, to the Great Spirit as a living sacrifice. Do this in a sacred and spiritual manner that will make his heart glad.
Do not permit the ways of this world to mold and shape you. Instead, let Creator change you from the inside out, in the way a caterpillar becomes a butterfly. He will do this by giving you a new way of thinking, seeing, and walking. Then you will know for sure what the Great Spirit wants for you, things that are good, that make the heart glad, and that help you to walk the path of becoming a mature and true human being. – Romans 12:1-2
The Bible in conversational English, written by Eugene Peterson.
PLACE YOUR LIFE BEFORE GOD
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. – Romans 12:1
New Living Translation
The Bible in clear, contemporary English.
A LIVING SACRIFICE TO GOD
And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. – Romans 12:1
New International Version
The translation used most often in the liturgy of my congregation.
A LIVING SACRIFICE
Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. – Romans 12:1
New Revised Standard Version Updated Edition
The New Revised Standard Version published in 1989 has been my basic go-to Bible for personal reading, study, and writing. This updated version was published in 2021.
THE NEW LIFE IN CHRIST
I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, on the basis of God’s mercy, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your reasonable act of worship. – Romans 12:1
Writing/Reflection Prompt: What is your go-to Bible translation, and why?
For more on writing and other acts of faith,