Biblegateway.com has a cool feature that will show all the English translations of a single verse. This can deliver a wide variety of perspectives.
Today’s verse-of-the-day is Psalm 1:1-2.
Compare these versions of verse 1:
God blesses those people who refuse evil advice and won’t follow sinners or join in sneering at God.
Happy are those who reject the advice of evil people, who do not follow the example of sinners or join those who have no use for God.
Of course, those whom God blesses are happy! It’s our concept of what constitutes a ‘blessing’ that might need more consideration. Is advice or the people giving it evil? Is sneering at God the same as having no use for Him?
Seeing these different interpretations gives me plenty to consider about my own thoughts and behaviors, feelings and actions. (See what I did right there with those last 6 words? Heheh)
Verse 2 has even more (insert your own synonym for ‘variety’ – hey, it’s 3am and I’m a little slow right now):
Instead, the Law of the Lord makes them happy, and they think about it day and night.
Instead, they find joy in obeying the Law of the Lord and they study it day and night.
‘Think about it’ implies a more passive action toward the Word vs the very active ‘study’. This prompts me to ask myself which I’m doing.
Other translations, which help me to consider how I stay in the Word:
Meditate on it
Delight and desire in the law (precepts, instructions, teachings)/meditates (ponders and studies)
These persons love/and recite [it]
His (the reader’s) will is in the Law of the Lord
You thrill to God’s Word/chew on Scripture (delicious!)
Reflect on His teachings
Finds pleasure in obeying
[it] gives them joy
The Eternal’s Word is your happiness/your focus from dusk to dawn
I really like alternatives to “Law” – that word has come to have negative associations. I like “instructions” or “teachings” or “recommendations” or “they’re more like guidelines”.
(Tomorrow, we’ll talk about the usefulness of movie quotes.)
My favorite for today is TLB:
But they delight in doing everything God wants them to, and day and night are always meditating on His Laws and thinking abut ways to follow Him more closely.