Which Bible version?

Ask the question you always wanted to ask, and were afraid to. There is no dumb question. Be courageous, for here you will find people ready to talk.<P>All Villagers may post here.

Moderators: jochanaan, MatthewNeal, jimmy, natman, Senior Moderator, Moderators

Which Bible version?

Postby balaam » Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:36 am

Which translation of the Bible do you use, and why?

This is an English language forum, and there are a great number of Bibles around, so which one is best. People who speak more than one language have even more choice.

My Bible history:
When I became a Christian at age 20, 43 years ago, I got myself an RSV. I still have it. It now has pages held in with sellotape and has a leather cover not for show, but to hold together a book which is falling apart. I love this translation, but find the use of archaic language when people are talking to God or in Psalms to be irritating as there is no language division like this in the original languages.
Then I got a Good News Bible. It was what I needed at the time, something that was east to read, like a novel. This has been read through several times.
I used to have a Living Bible, a paraphrase. I do not know what has happened to it. My wife still has a copy.

What I use now:
NRSV: It is the translation in the pews of the church where I worship. I bought one to check on things like the readings for the day when I would be leading church intercessions.
ESV Study Bible: Because od all the study tools it has. I have a need these days to go deeper in my study.
My wifes KJV: ainly used for checking whether the passage is aimed at individuals (thee, thou etc) or to groups of people (ye, you).

Repeat:
Which translation of the Bible do you use, and why?
Fearfully and wonderfully mad
Love the dinner, hate the din.
User avatar
balaam
Native Resident
 
Posts: 99
Joined: Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:04 pm
Location: The hub of the Multiverse (West Yorkshire)

Re: Which Bible version?

Postby Petros » Mon Nov 27, 2017 8:03 am

An ongoing question. I will use whatever is at hand, though English versions later than the NIV - which I do not like - tend to be unsatisfactory. But often each will have some nuance the others miss. I still have the copy of the RSV given me in my childhood, and can be comfortable, but for choice I go to the KJV for reasons I think I have stated elsewhere. With Herself though I will read the NKJV, which she prefers.
The truth, the stark naked truth, the truth without so much as a loincloth on, should surely be the investigator's sole aim - Basil Chamberlain
User avatar
Petros
Native Resident
 
Posts: 5435
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 2:01 am
Location: Wisconsin

Re: Which Bible version?

Postby balaam » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:03 am

All the versions have problems of translations. King James I of England would not allow the publication of a Bible which had anything negative about kingship in it, so there were bits the translators had to change before publication.
The NIV does not like tradition so where the same Greek word παράδοσις, is used positively it is translated traditions and where positive it is translated teachings.
RSV: as mentioned above regarding archaic language
NRSV: The politically correct version. Uses inclusive language (people instead of men), which is good, but not where the context of the original text shows it is talking about males.

Then there's the type of translation.
KJV, RSV. NRSV and ESV use a word for word translation
Good News Bible, NIV, are translated by phrase, trying to get the best meaning for each phrase in the original.
The Living Bible, The Message: These are paraphrases.

I prefer to use more than one translation and be aware of the translator's bias.
Fearfully and wonderfully mad
Love the dinner, hate the din.
User avatar
balaam
Native Resident
 
Posts: 99
Joined: Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:04 pm
Location: The hub of the Multiverse (West Yorkshire)

Re: Which Bible version?

Postby jochanaan » Mon Nov 27, 2017 3:24 pm

I find myself most often using the Authorized (King James) version. I am very much aware of its shortcomings and biases, yet I use it for two reasons:
*It is the version I grew up with, and the one I most often use when memorizing. Probably because the words are not often our everyday words, I find it easier to memorize with the KJV.
*There is no issue of copyright. While "fair use" most likely applies when quoting on a forum like this one, I'd rather not take any chances.

Now, if I had an easily-accessible Geneva Bible...!
You can live your life in fear--or you can live your life.
User avatar
jochanaan
Councillor
 
Posts: 6342
Joined: Tue Jun 20, 2006 11:58 pm
Location: Denver

Re: Which Bible version?

Postby Maverick » Mon Nov 27, 2017 7:41 pm

I currently use the ESV and have read the whole thing over the past year. I like this translation and the number of footnotes to provide alternate translations or clarify meaning. I prefer a word-for-word translation and try to consult resources on history and culture to clarify passages and deepen their meaning.
In nuditate veritas.
User avatar
Maverick
Native Resident
 
Posts: 816
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2015 11:14 am
Location: DFW, TX

Re: Which Bible version?

Postby Jim » Mon Nov 27, 2017 9:10 pm

jochanaan wrote:Now, if I had an easily-accessible Geneva Bible...!

It's accessible as a computer that's connected to the Internet:
https://www.biblegateway.com/versions/1599-Geneva-Bible-GNV/
User avatar
Jim
Native Resident
 
Posts: 258
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:36 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: Which Bible version?

Postby nakedpreacher » Mon Nov 27, 2017 10:58 pm

I use the NIV for general reading, but the NASB (New American Standard Bible) for study because of its word for word translation. One copy I had even Italicized any word which was not in the Greek which had to be added to make the passage make sense. I have not studied Hebrew, however I would imagine the same care was taken with the OT as was with the NT. In my study I have compared many translations against Greek and found it to be consistently better than either the KJV, or the NIV. The accuracy, however comes at a price; Greek has different rules of grammar than English so the NASB is more difficult to read than the NIV. For most that is a trade they are not willing to make. For general reading I recommend the NIV; for Study, the NASB; for memorization, the KJV. Thankfully in America, we have the luxury of owning multiple bibles, if only we had the discipline to actually read them.
If, when we judged others, our real motive was to destroy evil; we should look for evil where it is certain to be found, and that is in our own hearts. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
nakedpreacher
Native Resident
 
Posts: 387
Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2014 8:59 pm
Location: Lexington, South Carolina, USA

Re: Which Bible version?

Postby bn2bnude » Mon Nov 27, 2017 11:08 pm

I tend to use several different versions, including the King James Version.

I think there is a difference between readers versions and study versions, however, and that doesn't even address the so-called "study-bibles"...

For readers versions, I prefer "The Voice" and "The Message" (The Message is a paraphrase, not a translation).

For translations for study, I tend to like the NIV (I actually have the TNIV) & NLT.

As far as "Study Bibles", my TNIV is a Zondervan Study Bible and my NLT is a "Jesus Centered Bible". I tend to shy away from them until I've looked at the text myself...
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus. (Rom 8:1 NLT)



If I speak with the tongues of men and angels but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. (1 Cor 13:1)
User avatar
bn2bnude
Native Resident
 
Posts: 2712
Joined: Fri Jul 21, 2006 8:09 am
Location: Denver

Re: Which Bible version?

Postby naturaldon » Tue Nov 28, 2017 1:36 am

I use NKJV. I grew up KJV and the NKJV still keeps me in ye ole English loop, sort of.
-Don
He must increase, but I must decrease. (John 3:30)
User avatar
naturaldon
Native Resident
 
Posts: 520
Joined: Tue Sep 24, 2013 12:03 am
Location: NW MO

Re: Which Bible version?

Postby Petros » Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:12 am

As philologist involved in Bible translation I raise both eyebrows at the characterization of the KJV as "word for word"and of the RSV as "archaic" on language. Of course there, I have been told my speech and writing is archaic. One authority said I went for Archaic British.

Traduttore traditore - every translator inserts in every translation views and "facts" which the author never intended. One reason to go for the version with the fewest axes to grind - and to check several.

Note the same applies to our source manuscripts, the product of many accidentally and intentional mistranscriptions.
The truth, the stark naked truth, the truth without so much as a loincloth on, should surely be the investigator's sole aim - Basil Chamberlain
User avatar
Petros
Native Resident
 
Posts: 5435
Joined: Thu Aug 26, 2010 2:01 am
Location: Wisconsin

Re: Which Bible version?

Postby Bare_Truth » Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:48 pm

I use multiple Bible Translations and generally avoid the paraphrases and take denominational translations with a hefty grain of salt. I generally start with the King James Bible, and where there may be its questionable translation of some passages and potential biases are reasonably well known.

I use the Xiphos bible program and do most of my study that way as it allows me to switch between translations quickly and easily while still displaying the particular verse that I may wish to compare according to different translations. So my selection of translations looks like what is shown in the following image.
Bibles.jpg
Click for larger image

I would like to call your attention to BBE translation as that is my favorite "Go To" text when I suspect that the verse in question is maybe a bit hard to understand in 1611 English. Of this particular translation, Wikipedia says:
The Bible In Basic English (also known as BBE) is a translation of the Bible into Basic English. The BBE was translated by Professor S. H. Hooke using the standard 850 Basic English words. 100 words that were helpful to understand poetry were added along with 50 "Bible" words for a total of 1,000 words. This version is effective in communicating the Bible to those with limited education or where English is a second language. The New Testament was released in 1941 and the Old Testament was released in 1949.

Bible in Basic English
Full name ------------- Bible in Basic English
Abbreviation --------- BBE
NT published --------- 1941
Authorship ------------- S. H. Hooke (ed.)
Textual basis --------- Hebrew / Greek
Version revision ------1965
Publisher --------------- Cambridge University Press
Website ----------------- http://www.o-bible.com/bbe.html


The BBE is not an ordinary word for word translation as it sometimes requires multiple common simple English words to translate a single Greek or Hebrew word, it is not a paraphrase either ! I have frequently found it a useful aid to grasp what the passage is really getting at, or at least get a conceptu of what the older English is trying to say. So I think it is a useful translation to keep handy.

However, when considering what is the best translation of the Bible to use, of comparable value is what commentaries one might choose to have at hand, and the Xiphos program has a substantial library of those available. The ones I generally use are shown in the following screen shot.
Commentaries.jpg
Click for larger image
That TSK in the list is not really a commentary and it is only occasionally useful as it only provides a list of other scriptures using the same words, and more often than not the connections are tenuous at best, but occasionally one "hits pay dirt" in finding a cogently related reference. With rewpect to the MHCC commentary Xiphos also offers a Matthew Henry concordance but it is usually so lacking in topical focus as to be useless so I stick to just the concise version of that commentary. For the most part I find the JFB and Wesley commentaries the most useful.

All that being said, The number of translations and Commentaries etc.that Xiphos offers is much larger and if you choose that program or its windows or other variant I strongly recommend searching their other options. It is all free and takes very little time to discover ones that you may like.
I never met anyone that I could not learn something from.
User avatar
Bare_Truth
Native Resident
 
Posts: 2515
Joined: Mon Sep 06, 2010 10:07 pm
Location: Ozark Plateau, Southwest Missouri

Re: Which Bible version?

Postby Jim » Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:19 pm

Petros wrote:As philologist involved in Bible translation I raise both eyebrows at the characterization of the KJV as "word for word" and of the RSV as "archaic" on language.

Maybe "archaic" for the RSV is not correct in a technical meaning of the word "archaic". Opening it up in the middle, I first glanced at Psalm 80. It has "thou who leadest...", "Thou who art...", "how long wilt thou...", "Thou didst make us...", etc. "Thee", "thou", "art" as a form of "be", and the "...est" ending of verbs is archaic in the common meaning of the term. It makes what should sound current sound old-fashioned.
User avatar
Jim
Native Resident
 
Posts: 258
Joined: Mon Aug 25, 2008 10:36 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: Which Bible version?

Postby balaam » Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:19 pm

jochanaan wrote:*There is no issue of copyright. While "fair use" most likely applies when quoting on a forum like this one, I'd rather not take any chances.
KJV is still under perpetual copyright of the British crown. If copyright is a problem, the NET Bible has been published under Creative Commons. Quote as much as you like as long as you don't change the text.

On the other hand, Copyright exists until 50 or 70 years after the death of the author, depending on where you are. If we are saying a Bible is out of copyright are we saying God is dead? :butbut: :butbut: :biggrin:
Fearfully and wonderfully mad
Love the dinner, hate the din.
User avatar
balaam
Native Resident
 
Posts: 99
Joined: Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:04 pm
Location: The hub of the Multiverse (West Yorkshire)

Re: Which Bible version?

Postby nakedpreacher » Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:51 pm

I, however, have never heard of God suing for copyright infringement, though, like the publishers of netbible, he does frown upon changing the text. :D
If, when we judged others, our real motive was to destroy evil; we should look for evil where it is certain to be found, and that is in our own hearts. Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship
nakedpreacher
Native Resident
 
Posts: 387
Joined: Sun Aug 24, 2014 8:59 pm
Location: Lexington, South Carolina, USA

Re: Which Bible version?

Postby Maverick » Tue Nov 28, 2017 9:08 pm

I'll make a sidenote that the Lexham English Bible (LEB, online only) was put out by Logos Bible Software and is said by some to be the most thorough word-for-word translation.

From Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lexham_English_Bible

According to its foreword, the translator's intent was to achieve:

"unparalleled...transparency with the original language text.... It was produced with the specific purpose of being used alongside the original language text of the Bible. Existing translations, however excellent they may be in terms of English style and idiom, are frequently so far removed from the original language texts of scripture that straightforward comparison is difficult for the average user.... The ability to make such comparisons easily in software formats...makes the need for an English translation specifically designed for such comparison even more acute."
In nuditate veritas.
User avatar
Maverick
Native Resident
 
Posts: 816
Joined: Tue Aug 25, 2015 11:14 am
Location: DFW, TX

Next

Return to Unanswered questions about Christianity

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests