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  • Writer's pictureJane Wheeler

The Word

I listened as the man in front of me talked about his time in prison. He said the only thing he thought the Bible was good for was smoking. He would rip out a page and fashion it into some kind of cigarette and smoke it. This was very common in the prison where he was as each prisoner got his own Bible.

To him what kind of Bible it was made no difference. One day he decided to read a page before smoking it, it got him thinking, he read more a bit at a time, he ended up a believer. He was one of my tour guides in Israel.

I was having a conversation with a friend about the Bible and all the different interpretations.

Does it make a difference which one you use?

An awesome question and it generates some very strong answers with some folks. There are some who draw a line in the sand and say “only this one!”

Me being the stubborn one, did take a Bible school class where they taught us how to go back to find the original “root” language word to decipher for ourselves different meanings. It takes a very long time as you look up each word separately.

The problem really is that the original manuscripts or books of the Bible were in different languages- none were in English. The Old Testament was mainly in old Hebrew, not even a language used today. Some of the Bible was in Aramaic and other parts Greek.

Languages are funny, some words can be easily translated yet other words are more difficult because sometimes one language does not really have that meaning. Some interpretations can be in error because of this, the original translator had to insert the word he thought was best.

Take the word “love” for example- in English I can love a person, a dog, an ice cream, or even a colour! Those are fairly different kinds of love but we use the same word “love” for each of these.

There are 4 distinct words that mean love used in the Bible and one of them is Gods love- not even something we can truly comprehend. How do you translate that?

I had witnessed a discussion about a passage that read differently between 2 different Bibles.

There was some debate. The weird thing was the questions had nothing to do about God but more about a person mentioned in the Bible.

Basically in the long run- the differences did not take away from who God is.

There are 37 million churches in the world with 45,000 different denominations (Christian). Christians make up 31.2% of the world’s population, 2.4 billion people, that’s a lot of God praising people!

According to the Bible Project there are over 900 English versions of the Bible. Wikipedia says there are 3,142 versions of the Bible in over 2,073 languages on

How can you possibly choose? I doubt any one person has read all 900 English versions.

Some people only read the New Testament, thinking the Old Testament does not matter anymore. (This statement almost makes this Bible teacher morph into something ugly! Of course it matters!)

God tells us in the Bible that His Word is useful for teaching, correcting and rebuking. 2 Timothy 3:16-17

God said He created the world with His Words, He spoke it into being. This lets us know that God “words” are extremely powerful and important, and so are ours.

There are so many scriptures about how powerful Gods Word, the Bible is. All scripture is “God breathed”. All scripture.

There is no qualifying version and you know there is not even a recommended version of what to read, mentioned in the Bible. Similarly there is no mention in the Bible of what “denomination” is the “best” to be attending. To be honest and maybe it’s a spoiler alert, most folks in the Bible turn out to be Jewish- not all but a good number.

I can guarantee you that the passing question at heavens entrance is not “which church do you attend” or “which Bible did you read?”

The man that I met in Israel read a page here and there and became a believer in God. There are all kinds of similar stories, it seems that God is very creative getting some people’s attention and using His Word is one of His tools.

What page did he read and smoke?

It doesn’t matter- it was Gods Words.

Well what version did he read?

It doesn’t matter- it was Gods Words.

What language did he read it in?

It doesn’t matter (but it was Russian).

ALL scripture is God breathed. The words on the page are Gods words. If His words can create a whole world- then a simple page of His words can make a huge impact in a person’s life. There are testimonies of this through out the whole world over and over again.

It may only take one page, maybe two or more, but when God says there is power in the Word-He means it!

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