Posted by: Jivani Lisa | July 21, 2011

A Multiplicity of Bibles

I had extra time so I decided to browse around the Barnes and Noble in Virginia Beach.  Bookstores are some of my favorite places in the world.  I once saw a bookmark that said:  “When I have a little money, I buy books. If there’s any money left over, I buy food.”  That’s me – although I do try to keep myself under control.

Surprise, surprise:  I ended up in the Spirituality section of the store.  Same place I usually go.  Well not quite, because specifically, I found myself looking at the Bibles.  I usually look at Eastern Religions or Comparative Religion – places where my heart tends to be drawn.  Anyway, back to the Bibles….

Nowadays there are lots and lots of Bibles.  This year marks the 400th anniversary of the King James Version of the Bible.  Poor old King James would be shocked to see our modern multiplicity of The Good Book, but I kinda like the variety. 

However, a few years ago, when I was a diehard, ultra-conservative, ultra-orthodox Roman Catholic, I was very bothered by all the different Biblical translations.  I believed people were coming up with these various translations to satisfy their own desires for what the Bible “should” be saying.

Some available Bibles are:  Men’s devotional; Women’s devotional; study Bibles; Student’s Bible; the Word in modern English – or in “street” English; a Bible that highlights most-searched-for verses; a chronological Bible.  And a fascinating one (at least to me) called, The Story, which presents the Bible in narrative form like a novel.  I was really tempted to buy that one.

These books are exciting to me because I enjoy many types of holy scripture.  Currently, I’m reading Paramahansa Yogananda’s two-volume commentary on the Bhagavad-Gita called, God Talks With Arjuna.  I truly believe the Bible and other scriptures contain important lessons and timeless truths for all people.  If it takes dozens – or hundreds – of English translations to get people interested in seeing what the Bible’s all about, then so be it.

As long as we don’t take the Biblical stories literally, and as long as we aren’t trying to beat each other over the head with them, we have a chance to be inspired in our daily lives.  The Word speaks to each of us.  All we have to do is open our ears, minds and hearts.

I’ll leave you with a reference to my favorite psalm.  I hope you’ll pick up a Bible and read the entire psalm yourself:  “The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom should I fear?” (Psalm 27)


  1. Wonderful & full of light! Yogananda had great insights into Christ & practical personal spirituality. In fact, he offered the real key to the Kingdom through his teachings on Kriya Yoga. I know. I practice and teach his traditional lineage’s methods & philosophy and see lives changed daily as they discover the kingdom of Love, Joy, Peace that is within and around us all.

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  3. […] my earlier post, “A Multiplicity of Bibles,” I mentioned my fondness for psalm 27.  A reader objected because the psalm speaks about […]

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