A straight diet of candy


“Reading only The Message Bible is like a straight diet of candy.”

My wife when asked why she still reads her NIV.

Don’t get her wrong. She loves the Message and she just got a gorgeous two-toned leather bound version that she reads every day.

How does your Bible version make you feel?


Like this?


Or like this?


A delicious part of a balanced breakfast?


More like this?


What does the Bible say that it should taste like?  

6 thoughts on “A straight diet of candy

  1. Dan says:

    The Word is a feast for me. Not Spam. Not cotton candy. Not holding my nose taking caster oil. (Okay, SOMETIMES it hits me like caster oil because it HAS to go down and I’m not liking it at that point.)

    For me…a feast.

  2. richie says:

    Like Jeremiah 15:16 – one of my favorite verses – especially as translated in a KJV/Tyndale tradition Bible like the ESV, NRSV, etc.

  3. eclexia says:

    You stole my answer! Only I was going to say, like Jeremiah 15:16 in the old New Living Translation (1996) :-).

    Would you believe they went and changed the wording of that verse in the 2004 NLT?! The thing is, I discovered this verse during an awful time I was going through in 2004. Every single phrase spoke to me powerfully, and though I appreciate the verse in other translatons, THIS one that had the words I treasured so much during that time still seems to say it best for me.

    I really like that whole chapter. Jeremiah gave me words for some of my other feelings in verse 18, too. That’s the thing–NLT feels like how I feel and think. Maybe that’s narcissistic, but it feels comfortable somehow, like it’s really how I think. During that same time I had almost stopped reading the Bible. My brain was fragile and fried from the suffering I was experiencing, and I had a hard time thinking straight or making sense of things I read. I discovered this NLT I’d been given years before, and was surprised that I didn’t have to think hard to understand it. The words just made sense. Sure, there were concepts and ideas that were complex and hard to get, but the reading was smooth. I had no mental energy for figuring out fancy literary style or anything.

    CEV is also simple, but it is almost too simple and sometimes feels like it causes a jolt because of it. I find that even the Message does not feel anywhere near as natural and smooth to me as the NLT does. It’s not that every single sentence is perfectly natural English of my style, as much as the whole thing flows in ways that are linguistically comfortable for me. I don’t have to be on edge, analytically, to figure out what’s being said.

    Hmmmmm…..so maybe New Living Translation feels like hand cream to me. It is smooth and soothing and comfortable. Of course the message it communicates is not always smooth and comfortable, but the words just feel right to me. They free me up to think about what is being said. It’s like the reading is so natural as to be automatic or unconscious, so I’m not distracted in my thinking about it, by having to put a lot of energy into the reading process.

    Also, it just feels like speaking and thinking English (perhaps I should specify “American English”)

    And David, aaaahhhhh, it makes me feel wonderful to be asked about my favorite Bible translation in such feeler language :-).

  4. John Hobbins says:

    Jeremiah 15:16 NLT first edition is beautiful – I reproduce it because it is, I believe, no longer in print:

    Your words are what sustain me. They bring me great joy and are my heart’s delight, for I bear your name.

    Note, however, that NLT1 de-metaphorizes and de-poeticizes the Hebrew. Here is a translation that maintains the metaphorical language and the poetic structure:

    Your words appeared; I devoured them,
    Your word became, for me,
    the delight and joy of my heart:

    Your name, pronounced over me,
    Yhwh, God Sabaoth.

  5. Wayne Leman says:

    John wrote:

    Your words appeared; I devoured them,

    I like that, John. I think the idea of devouring words has been used enough in English that many (most?) can understand it. So this would be a metaphor that I would recommend retaining in English translation.

    I’m assuming that you are retaining poeticality (?!) of the Hebrew partly through your translation’s line structure? That’s an important thing to do which is missing in some English translations. On this matter it has nothing to do with a translation’s position on the literal-free translation continuum, since both literal and freer translations can maintain line structure.

    But you may also be retaining rhythm, perhaps even syllable counts? If so, that’s a difficult job, but you’ve done it well. I can understand the 2nd and 3rd lines of your translation. I think I’m understanding it with my normal English language intuition and not the biblish dialect intuition that I learned in childhood.


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