My husband has been digging his heels into studying God’s Word. In his pursuit for truth he did research on the different versions of the bible. He was looking for the versions that are closest to the original manuscripts. In his search he found people have their personal favorites. Especially those who stick with the King James version. Some of them are die hard on the King James and feel that if you use anything else, it’s flat out wrong. Those are the extreme cases.
My husband wanted to investigate more so he called up two pastors where we used to go to church. He knows these men are well educated in the Word and values their input. The conclusion was yes, there are differences in the different versions of the Bible. For the most part however, these differences are small and the message stays the same. I like how one of the pastors summed it up to my husband. He said if people are wanting to argue over the differences of wording between versions then they probably aren’t really looking for Jesus.
I see the same being true with different denominations in the Christian faith. Though there are differences among the denominations all have the same foundation. The foundation that Jesus, the Son of God, lived a sinless life, died on a cross for our sins, was raised on the third day and through Jesus’ work on the cross we can receive eternal life when we believe in Jesus.
Let me clarify that different denominations are very different then different religions. Different religions do not believe that Jesus is the ONLY way of salvation. We need to steer clear of other religions. God warned the Israelites of this over and over again in the Old Testament and Paul warns us to stay away from anyone who preaches anything other then salvation through the cross of Jesus Christ. We need to continue to take heed to these warnings.
Different denominations are basically the same with some small differences. Like those who are die hard with King James, there are those who feel their denomination is the only correct one. This has resulted in divisions in the body of Christ. Some have been painful and driven people away from Christ altogether. This breaks my heart. I personally do not like denominational walls and would love to see them fall or at least if people could stretch over the walls to join hands as members of one body. Can you imagine all the things we could accomplish in this world if we would join together! All denominations have their strengths (and weaknesses). I believe when we allow the denominations to move in their strengths the whole body of Christ benefits.
When studying the Bible I use many different versions. This gives me a clearer understanding and picture of what God is saying through His Word. We can also get a clearer picture of what God is doing and saying through His people when we encourage each other to move in our strengths. God is moving in all denominations and in every tongue. Don’t close your eyes to that just because you don’t like something about your brother or sister. We will see Him move with even greater fire when we join in unity as one body. Let’s encourage one another because the harvest is great and the workers are few. When non-christians see us fighting with each other it drives them away. There are souls at stake here. Let’s be the body of Christ.
If you are willing, please pray for brothers and sisters in Christ to see each other through the eyes of Christ. Please pray for the bride of Christ to work together at gathering the harvest.