Conversing with GOD’S WORD

Matthew 5:3 GW

We’ve talked about the GOD’S WORD (GW) Translation of the Bible before, but recently God’s Word to the Nations Mission Society sent me two newer editions attractively covered in flexible Duravella—one a two-tone gray and the other a two-tone burgundy and gray.

Both editions have large print, but the latter also has wide margins, which encourage us to respond to GOD’S WORD with whatever thoughts or prayers come to mind. This “conversation” becomes a spiritual diary of sorts as we claim a Bible verse or prayer, especially if we add the date as a reminder. And, it can become a private study edition as we jot down insights and relevant notes, making this a priceless heirloom to hand down to the next generation.

The most important feature of the GW translation, however, is its accuracy. In an accompanying brochure, the “Word Choice” column lets us know: “The translation team chose words that were natural in context and as easily understood as possible without sacrificing accuracy or faithfulness to the original Hebrew and Greek texts of the Bible.”

When it comes to “Gender References,” the brochure explains that “GW avoids using words like man and he if the Hebrew of Greek is speaking about people regardless of gender.” If, however, the text refers to a specific group such as the Jewish council, which consisted exclusively of men, the text will reflect that.



As a poet and writer, I particularly appreciate GW’s “Translation Philosophy,” which does not “attempt to make all books or passages function on the same level. The more difficult books of the Bible are translated to the same level of difficulty as the original languages. In addition, abstract concepts in Greek and Hebrew are translated into abstract concepts in English, and concrete concepts remain concrete in translation.”

Both of these editions include an A to Z topical reference to Scriptures on “The Teachings of Jesus,” providing an excellent resource for Bible study. Both also contain A to Z topics with their biblical references for “Life Applications.”

If you consider the Lenten season leading up to Easter as a time of intense reflection, you might turn to Psalm 51 as a memory-booster prior to corporate or private confession. Many churches refer to that psalm during Lent, but one of my favorite guides into reflection or meditation is the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5, which helps to align our attitudes with the ones the Lord wants us to have. Thanks to the highly readable GW translation, the Beatitudes become even more accessible:

“Blessed are those who recognize they are spiritually helpless.
The kingdom of heaven belongs to them.
Blessed are those who mourn.
They will be comforted.
Blessed are those who are gentle.
They will inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for God’s approval.
They will be satisfied.
Blessed are those who show mercy.
They will be treated mercifully.
Blessed are those whose thoughts are pure.
They will see God.
Blessed are those who make peace.
They will be called God’s children.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for doing what God approves of.
The kingdom of heaven belongs to them.
Blessed are you when people insult you,
persecute you,
lie, and say all kinds of evil things about you because of me.
Rejoice and be glad because you have a great reward in heaven!
The prophets who lived before you were persecuted in these ways.”
Matthew 5:3-12 GW

May God help us to take GOD’S WORD to heart, soul, mind, and spirit in Jesus’ Name.

Mary Sayler, ©2020, poet-writer, reviewer