Ken Taylor died this month. He paraphrased a version of the Bible called The Living Bible. It was passages of this Bible, that formed the first Christian book I ever read – a devotional book called “The Living Light” that my youth group leader gave me when i was 12. Phil Johnston has more about Ken.
Like you, that was my first real Christian book. I was 5 or 6 and my dad’s church bought Bibles for all the kids. My parents looked at it and exchanged the King James Version that had been ordered for a Living Bible. They wanted me to have something I could understand. 😉
In my early 20’s I had the opportunity to meet Mr. Taylor. I was taking Dr. John Perkins to catch a plane at O’Hare when I was working for a ministry in Chicago. We left several hours early so that he could go out and meet Ken. It was totally unannounced. We walked into the Tyndale’s main office and Dr. Perkins said, “I’d like to see Ken Taylor.” The receptionist asked who he was and then called up (fully expecting Taylor to be too busy for an old black man and a young white kid. Within minutes Taylor was bounding down the stairs totally stoked to have Dr. Perkins stop in to see him! Up in his personal office, he was encouraging Dr. Perkins to use the Living Bible more often in inner city churches. “It’s so much easier to read and understand. If you’ve got people who have suffered educationally, why do pastors insist on using the King James Version?!?” He definitely raised a point I could relate to.
Bob – thanks for the story
i also appreciate Ken’s ministry and read his stuff as a pre-teen.
Although i have to say – i have never responded well to paraphrased versions since then. I dont even like Peterson’s The Message (although i respect him a lot also). I like to know what the Greek words are and the versions that are closer to the “code” seems to work for me.
someone gave me the living light when i was about 12 as well. really impacted my life and got me into reading the bible. i’m 42 now. and i still have the very tattered copy of “the bible in pictures for little eyes” that was mine as a toddler. it first came out in 1956. -lisa