I admit I’m really old school when it comes to Bible study. I only switched from the KJV to the NKJV because of my MacArthur study Bible (which I love and highly recommend, by the way). I’m not against modern translations, I just like to stick with the familiar. In the last couple of years, I’ve been comparing modern translations to my NKJV as I study and I’ve gotten some great insights. I use Bible study software to open all the other translations and they automatically synchronize to the same verse. That way I don’t have a desk full of open books.
For example, this morning I read a great verse of encouragement given to King Asa in 2 Chronicles 15:7 “But you be strong and do not let your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded.”
In the NAS, the part about weak hands reads “…do not lose courage”. That’s more straightforward. In the New Century Version, it’s even simpler. “Don’t give up.”
In God’s Word translation, the verb tenses are highlighted. “But you must remain strong and not become discouraged. Your actions will be rewarded.”
Finally, in the Contemporary English Version, it reads “So you must be brave. Don’t give up. God will honor you for obeying Him.”
Side note: The thoughts of GOD honoring ME for anything… that’s too much to grasp. I’m gonna have to think about that one for a bit…
So put all those together, and we see that Asa’s task is not an easy one. In fact, it was ridding his country of idol worship. From ‘be strong’ and ‘brave’ we know he was going to face some stiff opposition from man and from Satan. We know it wasn’t going to be accomplished overnight, but that he’d have to stick to it, maybe for his whole reign. But we also know that his work and dedication wasn’t going unnoticed. God Himself promised to honor and reward that work. Wow!
Try pulling a modern translation or two alongside when you study, and see if it doesn’t deepen your understanding.