April 27, 2020

Be Their Shepherd

O save your people, and bless your heritage; be their shepherd, and carry them forever.
—Psalm 28:9

Bible translations can be a touchy subject, and it's often said that the old translations (and I usually hear this about the KJV in particular) are more poetic and beautiful (even if a bit more difficult to follow).  But here's a case, I think, where the beauty of a more modern translation eclipses that of its ancestors.

Where the NRSV has "be their shepherd" in Psalm 28:9, the Geneva Bible and the King James Version translate this simply as "feed them." The actual Hebrew uses "shepherd" as a verb, so either interpretation is acceptable. But in this case, the more modern translation helps bring home the rôle God plays in our lives. A shepherd doesn't just feed, but also guides and protects.

Just as one Bible translation might do a better job than another of portraying who God is and what God is about, so can the life of an individual believer. May my life better mirror to others who God is and what God has done in my life.

Good Shepherd of the sheep, by whom the lost are sought and guided into the fold; feed us and we shall be satisfied, heal us and we shall be whole, and lead us that we may be with you, with the Father, and the Holy Spirit.
A New Zealand Prayer Book
I pray now in the Name of the Jesus, the Good Shepherd, who taught me to pray: Our Father...

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