There is a new Bible translation being sold called the “Me Translation”. While the text of the Bible may be the same as what you find in the Bible on your bookshelf, the ink has an incredible morphing ability. The ink has been technologically modified to have the ability to change to say whatever you want it to say. It is being marketed as the perfect translation for those who consider themselves “spiritual” but don’t want to be constrained by what the original Bible manuscripts actually say and mean. One of the rave reviews for this translation exclaims, “There are many ways in which the Bible is meant to be interpreted. My life is much different than yours or anyone elses, so God speaks differently to each of us. I think that’s why certain verses mean different things to different people.”
The “Me Translation” of the Bible does not actually physically exist but the concept is prevalent in the world today. The “rave review” is an actual quote from a long letter I received from an irate college student who was thoroughly offended when I had talked about part of Christian discipleship is learning to read the Bible for what it says and not what we want it to say. To this thought the young student also penned, “I COMPLETELY disagree with this statement. I was so flabbergasted I didn’t even know what to say.”
Do I believe that different people can be inspired in different ways from the same Bible verse? Yes. Do I believe that the Spirit will use a verse to speak to me about something in my life and use the same verse to speak to another person in a different way about their life? Certainly. Does this mean that the facts of the verse change or that what the verse means in context changes based upon whoever is reading the verse? Absolutely not! It is one thing to be inspired by the Bible, it is quite another to say that the truth and facts of Scripture are relative to the reader. Once we go down that road the Bible is no longer God’s spoken Word and no longer has the authority to teach, reprove, correct, and train us in righteousness (2 Timothy 3:16). Upon deciding that truth is relative and the Bible means whatever we want it to mean we change the Word from a living two-edged sword that pierces to expose the thoughts and intentions of our heart (Hebrews 4:12) into an ice cream scoop only good for packing our mind with unhealthy and heart-clogging “spiritually advanced” convictions that whatever we believe is right.
How we read the Bible matters. Reading the Bible as the Bible enables us to see God for who He is, allows us to see ourselves for who we are, and enables the Spirit to progressively change us to be like our Savior. Taking it as the authoritative Word of God enables us to know and be set free by the truth (John 8:31-32). Robbing the Bible of its authority with the attitude of “there are many ways in which the Bible is meant to be interpreted” based upon the false belief that truth is relative based upon each person’s life is a “theology” of creating God after our image and likeness. The “Me Translation” of the Bible will ultimately keep us enslaved to our sin and stunt our growth as Christians because not even God can tell us that we are wrong.