A number of observers have commented on, or rather asked about, our use of more than one translation on Sunday mornings, specifically, Why do I read from the KJV first and then the NLT or NIV? I would like to offer some understanding and, hopefully, wisdom on this matter…
I use two translations, primarily, to give us a well-rounded sense of the text for the morning. Many of you, my beloved, have English as a 2nd or 3rd language and so I use NLT and NIV because they are very easy to understand and, generally, are the most readily available translations outside the United States. Indeed, in Asia, the NIV and NLT are in a statistical tie for the dominant English translation of the Bible.
As for the KJV, I use it because it has stood the test of time, and I am not only referencing the fact that it has been the Bible of the English speaking world for over 400 years. 31 years ago, at the age of 5, I learned to read and my mother and grandmother taught me to read using phonics and the King James Bible. While it has not always been my main Bible, there has never been a point in my time as a disciple when I have not owned a King James Bible. It is familiar, an old friend if you will, who always leads me before the Throne of Grace. There are times when I struggle with depression and it is the KJV Psalms that I turn to for ministering to my soul.
KJV is also the Bible I heard in church for the first 25 years of my Christian life. It is the same for many of our members and for a large swath of Christianity, the KJV is what they envision when they hear the word Bible. It is timeless, beautiful, powerful, a salve for the hurting soul and the very life of our worship.
Lastly, I use 2 translations to minister more effectively to all who come to church. The true Gospel divides, as it should, separating the wheat from the tares and it does so well enough on its own; there is no need to have a particular translation of the Bible alienate someone. Christ, our Great Shepherd knows His sheep and we know well His call. Our desire is, always, to make sure that you hear the call and, ultimately, that is why we use more than one English translation. We want you to hear the call of our Savior to come to Him and live, regardless of your familiarity with the English Language.
Grace to you my beloved.