WHICH ENGLISH BIBLE TRANSLATION IS BEST?

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Michael Anda | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Jun 12 2011 9:24 PM

Literal: The New American Standard Bible, 1995 Update

Paraphrase: God's Word

 

 

 

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Bohuslav Wojnar | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 13 2011 2:44 AM

BillS:

Matthew C Jones:

May I amend this simple truth to say, "The one you read and heed."? Coffee

 

SmileYes

Yes, Amen Yes

I like how the Introduction to the NET Bible says it:

The most important translation concept
The most important translation of the Bible is not from the original languages to English, but from the printed page into your life. If you have never read through a complete book of the Bible, we suggest you begin by reading the Gospel of John. We encourage you to recognize that the Bible is not merely a book. It is God’s message to us all, and God continues to speak through it today. There is, after all, a reason far more Bibles have been produced than any book in history. Read it and see.

(Biblical Studies Press. (2006; 2006). The NET Bible First Edition)

Bohuslav

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Milford Charles Murray | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 13 2011 5:58 AM

Michael Anda:

Peace to you, Michael!                                      and!

                                                      Always Great Joy in the Lord!

           I think if you check it out, God's Word is indeed a translation, NOT a paraphrase.  (The Message IS a paraphrase.)

From Logos.com:

GOD’S WORD Translation (GW) communicates the saving, life-changing Good News about Jesus in clear, natural English. Translated directly from the Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek by a committee of scholars, GOD’S WORD is an exceptional Bible that consciously combines scholarly fidelity with natural English.

By implementing the translation principles of Closest Natural Equivalence, the translation committee seeks to translate the best available texts into English with the closest possible accuracy. This commitment to accurately translating the Bible includes expressing the meaning naturally and in a style that preserves the characteristics of the source text.

The combination of accuracy and readability makes GOD’S WORD ideally suited for the following:

Devotional reading and in-depth studyPreaching, teaching, and worshipMemorizationDiscipleship

Philippians 4:  4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand..........

Posts 736
Frank Sauer | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 13 2011 6:05 AM

Loaded question Wink

The better question may be which translation is most relevant for my need at the moment.

What I'm getting at is this, some love the KJV - however if we are all honest the unchurched look at believers who try to minister to them in olde English a little funny - why, it's just not how we speak any longer. So the KJV may be relevant in some local churches, however a translation like the NIV, NLT or comparable would be most effective in ministering to the unchurched and to the younger generation in the church.

Ultimately I agree that studying with a good core of translations is most effective for the minister and believer alike, but until we get the believer energized for the discipline of study, start them with something they can connect to...

The students will enjoy a variety from KJV to NIV to ESV to Amplified and will be relevant stirring them up to dig deeper...

Just my 2 cents

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Fred Chapman | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 13 2011 6:56 AM

This question can really open a can of worms. In a broader sense I think the Holy Bible is the best. Smile

For many years I used the NKJV as my primary bible for teaching, preaching and reading. I began using the NASB95 for study and continued preaching from the NKJV. In recent months the ESV has been my primary bible, though I still consult several different translations during study and reading time.

I am convinced that if had been around then Paul would have carried an ESVWink

Posts 255
Pat Flanakin | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 13 2011 7:43 AM

I think that Mr. Caswell summed it up well.  An English translation must begin with a basis on the best original texts and then...only then, can an English translation be weighed.

I am not sure (and someone please correct me if I am wrong), but I do not believe a recent (in the past 20 years) an English translation has been created (for the N.T.) based on the Majority text.  I see little to any discussion of this.

I agree that most of the Bible may be understood well from most of today's English translations for devotional and other light study needs; yet, as man continues to decline until Christ returns, future translations will reach further and further from the veracity of the original to the relativity of the individual.

Posts 635
Randall Cue | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 13 2011 10:52 AM

I would suggest that you read Leland Ryken's book The Word of God in English. The question asked is neither trivial or arcane.

Soli Deo Gloria,

Randy

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 13 2011 12:18 PM

from one of my notes:

Something I just ran across in a Journal of Hebrew Scriptures review that might be of interest regarding selecting a translation (Of course, it's one person's opinion).

In Part One (chapters 1 and 2) Gorman discusses the task and text of exegesis. In chapter one he briefly defines exegesis before discussing the strengths and weaknesses of various ways in which exegesis has been done. He compares and contrasts the synchronic approach (focusing on the final form of the text as seen, for example, in narrative-critical, social-scientific, or socio-rhetorical readings) with the diachronic approach (the historical-critical method) and the existential approach (his name for readings which focus on hermeneutics, transformation, or theology, such as missional interpretation, sacred readings, postcolonial criticism, or liberationist exegesis). He argues for an eclectic approach in which synchronic exegesis is the first among equals. In chapter two Gorman focuses on the selection of an English translation for exegesis. He expresses a preference for formal-equivalence translations and divides translations into four categories: 1) preferred for exegesis (NRSV, NAB, TNIV, and NET), 2) useful for exegesis, with caution (RSV, NIV, NASB, REB, ESV, HCSB), 3) unacceptable for exegesis, but helpful in others ways (NLT, NJB, CEV, GNB, The Message), and 4) unacceptable for exegesis (KJV, NKJV, LB).

Gorman, Michael J. Elements of Biblical Exegesis: A Basic Guide for Students and Ministers
(Revised and Expanded Edition; Peabody MA; Hendrickson, 2009). Pp. xii+286, Paperback, US$19.95, ISBN 978-1-59856-311-5

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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David Ames | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 13 2011 12:28 PM

Pat Flanakin:

I am not sure (and someone please correct me if I am wrong), but I do not believe a recent (in the past 20 years) an English translation has been created (for the N.T.) based on the Majority text.  I see little to any discussion of this.

There is one and it uses the LXX for the OT. 

Posts 493
Michael Anda | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 13 2011 12:34 PM

Milford Charles Murray:
I think if you check it out, God's Word is indeed a translation, NOT a paraphrase.  (The Message IS a paraphrase.)


I paraphrase the word paraphrase then. Geeked

 

Isaiah 5:18 | NAS

Woe to those who drag iniquity with the cords of falsehood, And sin as if with cart ropes; 

 

Isaiah 5:18 | GW

How horrible it will be for those who string people along with lies and empty promises, whose lives are sinful.

 

In any event, I LOVE both versions.

 

 

 

 

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Milford Charles Murray | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 13 2011 1:44 PM

As do I!         *smile*

             And!   Really love and appreciate some paraphrases like Moffit and JB Phillips!

Philippians 4:  4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand..........

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Matthew C Jones | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 13 2011 2:27 PM

MJ. Smith:
Something I just ran across in a Journal of Hebrew Scriptures review that might be of interest regarding selecting a translation (Of course, it's one person's opinion).

Which just goes to show the folly of trusting one man to make spiritual decisions for the rest of us. Surprise

Logos 7 Collectors Edition

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Mike Childs | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 13 2011 3:17 PM

Obviously, there is no agreement on this question.

"In all cases, the Church is to be judged by the Scripture, not the Scripture by the Church," John Wesley

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 13 2011 3:37 PM

Matthew C Jones:
Which just goes to show the folly of trusting one man to make spiritual decisions for the rest of us

Or, it is nice to get an "expert opinion" to support one's own opinion ... since 3 of the 4 he recommends for exegesis are in my top five. But I really need to talk to Gorman about JPS and The Community BibleWink

More seriously, it is a reminder of the need to know the credentials of someone whose judgement you are trusting.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

Posts 1674
Paul Golder | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Jun 13 2011 5:30 PM

Take a look at:

How to Choose a Bible Version

The Complete Guide to Bible Versions

How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth

"As any translator will attest, a literal translation is no translation at all."

Posts 286
Dr. Charles A. Wootten | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 14 2011 6:09 AM

As usual, I'm late to the conversationStick out tongue!

I am in agreement with the comment that the best Bible translation is the one you'll read. Perhaps the OP is not a native English speaker, thus he should choose a version that is understandable to him and stick with it until better proficiency is achieved.

For those of us who are native English speakers, and who sometimes write like we aren'tDevil, we have no excuse for being biblically illiterate. There have been a multitude of quality translations since the 1970s that give "slow readers" to "speed readers" the opportunity to grasp God's Word. Yet, despite the abundance of translations polls like Gallup, for example, still show modern society as being the most biblically illiterate at any time in our history. (There are solutions to this, but this forum is not the appropriate place for that kind of discussion.)

L3 and L4 both have actually increased not only my daily reading over the years, but have actually helped slow me down enough to actually comprehend what is really being said in the Scriptures. I actually look forward to opening the Bible every morning, and afternoon, and evening, and night...heheh... Big Smile

La. 3:22ff was part of the reading for me today, and one of the notes told me "(Syriac, Targum; Hebrew) Because of the steadfast love of the LORD, we are not cut off."  And my response, with the author, is La. 3:24, “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” Folks will never know the joy of that if they don't read it.

{charley}

running Logos Bible Software 6.0a: Collector's Edition on HP e9220y (AMD Phenom II X4 2.60GHz 8.00GB 64-bit Win 7 Pro SP1) & iPad (mini) apps.

Posts 493
Michael Anda | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 14 2011 8:28 AM

Dr. Charles A. Wootten:

La. 3:22ff was part of the reading for me today, and one of the notes told me "(Syriac, Targum; Hebrew) Because of the steadfast love of the LORD, we are not cut off."  And my response, with the author, is La. 3:24, “The LORD is my portion,” says my soul, “therefore I will hope in him.” Folks will never know the joy of that if they don't read it.

 

 

Proverbs 4:20–27 | NAS

My son, give attention to my words; Incline your ear to my sayings. Do not let them depart from your sight; Keep them in the midst of your heart. For they are life to those who find them And health to all their body. Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life. Put away from you a deceitful mouth And put devious speech far from you. Let your eyes look directly ahead And let your gaze be fixed straight in front of you. Watch the path of your feet And all your ways will be established. Do not turn to the right nor to the left; Turn your foot from evil. 

 

 

 

Posts 110
Ron Cook | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Jun 14 2011 11:25 AM

You will not get a consensus on this question.  There are simply too many English translations and too many applications for the Word to ever come to a conclusion that there is one best translation.  With that said I have several translations that I am partial to.  My primary translation is the NASB 95 Update.  I have stuck with the NASB for most of my life because I appreciate studying from a very literal translation.  However, as a Christian counselor I talk with people everyday from all walks of life and I rarely recommend that they go out and purchase the NASB.  For those very young in the faith I often recommend the NLT for its superb readability.  Lately I have found myself studying more and more from the ESV because it is a great translation and also has what may be the best study Bible on the market.  The NIV probably accounts for the greatest number of Bibles sold in the U.S. but I tend to only use it in "text comparison" mode.  As several have said it depends on what you will be using it for.  This week I talked with someone who struggled greatly with sitting down and really spending time in the Word.  I pulled a Message Remix off the shelf and let him read some of it and he immediately connected with it.  That one is not even a true "translation" but a "paraphrase."  Good luck with the search.  

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Kent Tisdel | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 16 2011 8:43 AM

I use the NASB and the ESV. The NASB is a word for word and so is the ESV mostly.

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jun 16 2011 12:51 PM

Ron Cook:
You will not get a consensus on this question.  There are simply too many English translations and too many applications for the Word to ever come to a conclusion that there is one best translation.

We often confuse our favorite with the best. Or worse, we may ask a translations to be slanted to support our current theological understanding. I do believe that a small subset of "best" can be reasonably chosen if one determines what the criteria for best is.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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