UPDATE: The following piece is a humorous satire that is not true.
Living Word Bible Chapel has found a way to use every translation of the Bible at one time during Sunday morning services, a key way of connecting with the broad range of generations in attendance. “We call it the scripture translation service,” shared Pastor Ronny Steggles. “The Bible is relevant to people where they are, and I believe serving up a wide variety of Bible translations is the best way to do this. “
The translation team lines a box next to the sound booth in the back of the sanctuary, each with a different version of the Bible at his/her finger tips. As people enter the sanctuary, they pick up head phones, plug them into a jack in the pew, and then turn a dial to the translation of choice.
“I totally love the translator who reads The Message during the service,” commented Pastor Steggles teenage daughter, Jeanie. “I like using slang and when I IM my friends we use hyphens all of the time, like if a boy is super-hot or a girl is a stupid-plain-faced-dork. So the Message, with its hip phrases and over-reliance-on-hypens, really relates to me.”
Ann Pewter prefers the New Living Translation. “I sometimes have a hard time following the sermon, but then I hear the New Living Translation version of the scripture passage we’re studying and it’s as if I’m hearing the voice of God inside my head. Of course it’s really just the translator speaking into my head phones.”
Not everyone in the church enjoys the benefits of the translation service. Long time NIV supporter Mildred Stickler refuses to sample another translation through the headphones. “It’s one thing to toss aside the King James Version, I mean, that really isn’t English anyway. But once people start playing with all these versions of the Bible, there’s no telling what people are going to make the Bible say. Now that we have the NIV there is no reason to play Biblical potpourri.”
Though Living Word Bible Chapel provides a wide variety of translations—NIV, KJV, NKJV, NASB, NAS, RSV, NRSV, and ESV—there are a few that have not made the cut. “I read on a web site somewhere that the TNIV is trying to feminize God,” said Pastor Steggles. “That is simply unbiblical. We can’t have that, and I refuse to endorse any translation that attempts a gender change of God.”
As it stands, the program has been a tremendous success with 60% of attendees citing the scripture translation program as their number one reason for attending on Sunday morning. “It’s so nice to hear the Bible in words you understand,” shared Jeanie Steggles. “I think this makes our church really nice to visit. We accommodate everyone, except for those bad feminists who wrote the TNIV.”