It amazes me when people seek precision accuracy in Bible translation, but then don’t apply what they read with anywhere near the same fervency. Thought-for-thought translations have been preferred for accessibility and yet spurned for inaccuracy, whilst the reverse might be said to be true of the word-for-word versions. In the end, anything compromising the intent of a verse is surely problematic. The attached diagram gives a guide to approaching the translations.
I would suggest that the twin bumpers on the bowling alley of life, those which keep the ball heading toward the pins and out of the gutter, are the Word and the Spirit. We need to fully embrace the Bible as the Word of God and this warrants consideration of context and content, but we also need the illumination of the Spirit who encoded the revealed Word of God in the first place. The Bible is a dynamic book which speaks afresh to our world as long as we interpret in consistently and apply it diligently. After all, as has been popularly said, “Those with the Spirit, but not the Word, blow up; those with the Word, but not the Spirit, dry up; but those with the Word and the Spirit, grow up!”