Romans

You Give Me Fervor

(Romans 12:19-21 and other subjects)

This morning I sat down with a church member who is experiencing a call–

to Bible Study.

I don't know about you other pastors out there, but when I hear someone experiencing a call to Bible Study, I want to pay attention to it. We discussed what sort of program we might offer and when it could be and what might be the appropriate parameters and whether we had time for it at all, and then she showed me what she had been reading this morning.

Now I will admit to being an NRSV snob. Occasionally I'll look to see how Eugene Peterson approached a text in "The Message," and there are a few things I still love in the King James Version, but really, I'm an NRSV reader on most occasions. So when I saw her Bible and the letters on the front, NIV, I drew back ever-so-slightly.

But something wonderful happened.

She gave me fervor.

For the verse I would have read this way in the NRSV–Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord.–came out this way in the NIV:

Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord.

Oh.

The Bible Study is on the calendar.

8 thoughts on “You Give Me Fervor”

  1. That’s why my favorite kind of Bible study has everybody bringing different translations (sometimes even NOT translations as in original Greek or Hebrew) and comparing them for the different insights they bring. Good for you and the person called to Bible study!

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  2. I confess to being a huge NRSV snob. So much so that I *strongly* recommended NRSV study bibles when we started a bible study last winter. And most people got them. But we have a few other translations represented to–particulary NIV and New English. Makes for interesting conversation at times.

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  3. As a big Peggy Lee fan, I Love your post title. And as a small group Bible study person (not large group are-we-all-on-the-same-page lecture style, I like comparing other translations to one another and discussing what the different words tells us.
    In a couple of weeks our “Bag Lunch Bible Study” begins. One of my favorite hours of the week. Though we don’t have any NIV’s — yet.

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  4. Another NRSV snob here. But I have to say, if a member told me they preferred any other translation but the KJV, I surely would sit up and take notice too. Fervor indeed!
    Great story!

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  5. What a great story! Add me to the NRSV snob ranks, and to the HarperCollins fan list (great footnote). I made everyone who claimed to want to buy a bible for my relatively new bible study, buy the HarperCollins.
    Have you heard of the New Interpreter’s Bible Pastor’s Bible Study? (Yes, it needs a shorter name). I bought a volume at the Festivel of Homies this year. Very nice. Good attention to language issues, source criticism, probing questions to link the passages to today… some studies by book, some by theme. I haven’t used it “as is”. Though it’s been helpful in the “Let’s start at Genesis 1:1” study we have going here at St. Sociable.
    I love bible study.

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  6. I was given a Revised Standard Version by my Sunday school in 1968. It’s white, which is a stupid color to give to a seven-year-old. I still have it, even though the poor thing is battered and a big chunk of the spine is torn off.
    Is NRSV “new revised standard version?” An update of my old Sunday school version? And what’s NIV? Enlighten this heathen.

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  7. NRSV is indeed the NEW Revised Standard Version. NIV=New International Version, which is more generally loved by more conservative Christians–although the College Republicans who also belonged to InterVarsity, back in my day, had a preferential option for the New American Standard Version of the Holy Bible, a name they loved so much, they sang it!

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