Which Is It?
by James Glaser
November 28, 2011
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I ran out of books to read this weekend. I love reading and feel so sorry for the millions of Americans who have no idea that you can read for pleasure. I understand that with our current education system there are millions who can't read. Sadly, there are millions more who have the ability to read, but who use the television, movies, computer, or sporting events for their entertainment. My beef with that is that you don't get to use your imagination with any of those, except if you pretend in your mind that you are that linebacker who just sacked the quarterback, or it was you who caught that end zone pass. There are millions of guys who live vicariously through those sports stars.

Hey. I'll admit that I am right there with some of the heroes of the books I read, but also I don't need tickets to watch them, I can put them on a shelf and pick them back up any time I want, or if they are good enough, I can read the book all over again years later.

But this isn't what I was going to write about. Twenty miles north of us in Lake City, Georgia, there is a book store that sells Bibles, plus any hard cover book they have for $2.94. That is the hard cover book price, not the Bible price.

So, Sunday afternoon I drove up there, and as I was the only person in the store, I struck up a conversation with the check-out lady. I said that before moving to the South, I never knew there were so many different Bibles. They have Bibles for Mothers, the Dad's Bible, KJV, New Standard, The Living Bible, the New KJV, The Revised Standard, and at least 50 more different ones. In response to my comment about the variety of Bibles, she said it didn't matter, because they were all the same.

Well, they are not, and I know this can be a touchy subject with a lot of Christians, but I couldn't let it go. So I explained how in Valdosta, Georgia, just north of there they have a monument next to a church with the Ten Commandments on it. The 6th one says. "Thou Shalt Not Murder." I went on to tell her that in Madison, Florida, twenty miles south, they have a monument on the back of a truck with the Ten Commandments. (They are looking for a home for it.) In the Madison monument the 6th commandment says, "Thou Shalt Not Kill."

Then I told her that both of these monuments were produced with the commandments that came directly out of a Bible. To which she said, "Murder and kill mean the same thing." I didn't want to offend this lady or get into some long religious debate, but I just mentioned that if you can't kill, that takes away any loop holes in God's Law. But if you believe God's Law says you can't murder, then you can still kill as long as it is not murder.

I then said that is why many Christian churches can back America's wars. Those churches believe killing in war is not murder. (However, I didn't get into what it means if a solider kills a little kid.)

So, I repeated that just this one difference in these Bibles made me wonder about all of the many versions, and if she wanted she could look up and see that every version is different that the others is some way.

Maybe to her, and much of the Christian faith, changing the Bible makes little difference, but to me, it makes me ask, which way did God want us to believe? I learned a long time ago that you can't have it both ways, or in this case many ways. There is one right answer, but if you read all the Bibles you will have a hard time finding it.

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