Considering the church and not just my individual self as the temple of God (which many professing Christians do) emphasizes such things as the importance of being at worship, learning from others, serving together in the church, etc. Recognizing many of the epistles were written to congregations or to ministers serving them can help apply the Word more fully to the body of Christ.
Maybe we need a Southern Bible Version (the SBV)?
Or perhaps a Pittsburgh one?
One of the regular reminders I give hermeneutic and homiletical students is that English uses the word “you” for both the singular and plural. So it can be easy to misunderstand many portions of the Bible. For an example, Paul asks the Corinthian church, “Do you not know that you are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in you?” (1 Cor. 3:16) Is the “you” that is used three times in this verse singular or plural? When studying the Bible, it is important to note that both original languages of Hebrew in the Old Testament and Greek in the New make a distinction between the second person singular and plural. In this verse, both the Greek and the context make it clear it is plural as Paul is telling the congregation at Corinth it is God’s temple.
That’s why a Southern Bible version might clarify this issue a bit. Paul’s question would become “Do y’all not know that y’all are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in y’all?” In Pittsburgh where I work, the natives are known for using the word yinz (a shortened form of “you uns”?) like y’all down south. So using this word would also make this distinction, though that’s starting to get too close to The Message for my liking.
Dialectical fun aside, those leading a Bible study, teaching, or preaching might want to make sure they are getting this pronoun correct. Especially in the United States, where the individualistic spirit is strong and people already read the Bible or hear a message to see “what’s in it for me” anyway, people need to be helped in seeing not only the individual but also the corporate application of Scripture.