The deep conversation with Michael Strickland.
Listen to the previous episode to get to know Michael (Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Atchison, Kansas), what makes him angry, what he is into, and why he loves the book of Nehemiah (along with other books of the Bible… actually he just really loves the whole Bible).
Jonathan and Michael talk about Bible translations and all of the difficulties and challenges that are found with that topic. Michael is stubborn and will not say what translation is the best. Instead, he is determined to be as ambiguous as he can be about versions of the Bible, claiming that different translations have different gifts, strengths, and weaknesses.
Realizing that there is no perfect translation should bring us to a place of humility when approaching the Bible. We need to be cautious when quoting scripture in such a way that tries to claim power or authority because we may not be getting the intent or meaning of the text exactly right. We are imposing our own cultural ideals, expectations, and baggage upon the text when we read it, translate it, and that can skew the meaning(s).
It is important to read the Bible, to read multiple translations, but to keep a healthy awareness that with every translation we are a step or more away from “what the text actually says.” Yet that is where we look to the presence and movement of the Holy Spirit to connect the gap, because what we want, when reading the Bible in a religious context, is a connection with God.
Next Episode – a conversation with American Baptist of New York Associate Executive Minister Jerrod Hugenot