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Bible Translations

PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2006 5:35 pm
by brandon
This is a very sticky topic, and I know that there are many Christians with opposite views on this subject. The question I have is on that of Bible translations. The Bible that I own is the NLT (New Living Translation) and the other two I owned before I wandered from God were both NIV.

I've heard many arguments for the KJV being the only acceptable translation, and I've heart that pretty much all of 'em are OK. Where's the balance?

I don't believe in the paraphrasings of the Bible, such as "the Message," but where does one draw the line?

PostPosted: Thu Oct 12, 2006 8:54 pm
by Holly
Hi Brandon,

Good question! There are many good translations. The best one to use depends on your purpose.

The New American Standard Version (NASV) is known to be one of the most literal translations of the Greek, word for word, into English. It is harder to read because the word for word doesn't always translate smoothly into English. However, if you want to closely study a passage of Scripture, it is good to read this version or, at least, consult it.

The New International Version (NIV) is also a good translation. However, it isn't translated word for word from the Greek, but, instead, is translated phrase by phrase. Although this is a less literal translation, sometimes a phrase-by-phrase translation can be closer to the original text because the phrase used in the Greek may not make sense to us today and may even convey something different in the English than intended in the Greek. For example, the Spanish phrase "Como se llama?" would literally be translated, word for word, into English as "How you call?" However, the phrase translated into English is "What is your name?" Which one is more accurate? That depends. The first one is more accurate word for word. The second is more accurate in conveying the meaning of the phrase.

As far as the New Living Translation, it is more paraphrased than the NASV and the NIV. However, one of my hermeneutics (the study of Bible interpretation) professors at Talbot, Walt Russell, who is respected by conservative Christian scholars, told our class that the New Living Translation (not to be confused with the Living Bible) is actually a very accurate translation, one that he uses for devotional Bible reading. It's also highly readable. It is good when your purpose for reading the Bible is devotional (as opposed to a close study of a Scripture passage). I, also, use the New Living Translation for devotional reading.

The Living Bible and the Message are highly paraphrased and are, generally, not thought to be the best for regular Bible reading. However, I think they serve purposes. My parents gave my brother and me the Living Bible when we were kids, so we could have a version of the Bible that we could understand. They were afraid that if we had a version we couldn't understand, then we might get turned off to the Bible. I'm not too familiar with The Message, but it might be edifying for someone to read devotionally or for a new Christian or non-believer.

The bottom line is that the NASV is known to be best for a close study of Scripture, and the NIV and NLT are thought to be good for devotional reading (like one may do in his or her daily devotionals). It's also good to have multiple versions to consult. By comparing them, you might gain helpful insights into understanding a passage. A lot of times, when I'm reading the NLT devotionally, I will wonder if a certain passage is accurate to the original text or if it contains some of the interpreters' bias. So, I will go to the NASV to see.

The King James Version is generally not regarded as the most accurate translation we have today because we have discovered more reliable manuscripts since its translation. Also, the language is so archaic that it is difficult for many modern readers.

Hope this helps!


PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 6:38 am
by alimakjames
***edited by grace2all***

This forum is for questions about reasons to believe in the Bible and our Christian faith. The questions are for Holly only. One poster per thread please.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 4:21 pm
by grace2all
Hi alimakjames,

Please check your Message Area. I sent you a PM. :grin:

Thanks and welcome to the board.


PostPosted: Fri Jan 05, 2007 6:56 pm
by Holly

Here is a link to an article that explains why the King James Bible is not regarded as the most accurate translation. Hope it helps!

Why I Do Not Think the King James Bible is the Best Translation Available Today by Dan Wallace

Re: Bible Translations

PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2017 6:07 pm
by brett
And here's an article explaining why the above article is WRONG and in fact the KJV is the superior translation: