Friday, January 12, 2007

Translations - in 10 minutes or less

Some time ago "Larry" asked (by the way, do I know you?):
Jon, I read your blog often and enjoy the material you post. I was just wondering, what is your view on the different translations of the Bible?

Now, I have no idea why anyone would care about my opinion, but then again, why would anyone read my blog???

Well, here's my 2 cents on the different translations of the Bible - in about 10 minutes or less.

Primarily I use the King James Version. However, I am not a KJV only person - even if it "was good enough for the Apostle Paul" as I've heard some crazy people say. I like the KJV because overall it is a good translation of the original languages and it is what I am most familiar with and it is poetic. However, there are times when in church I am uncomfortable using it (although I almost always do) because I have many people who do not understand language from the 1600's and it can be uncomfortable due to some of the places where in modern language it causes me to cuss (I think you probably know what I'm talking about without :-)

That being said, I think there is a place for a more "modern" (for lack of a better term) translation into English as we use today. I like the New King James Version and the New American Standard version (NASB). The NKJV uses most of the same Greek and Hebrew texts that the KJV used when translating. The NASB also uses the great amount of manuscripts that have been discovered since 1611 when the KJV was translated. Many of these manuscipts are older than those used for translating the KJV. I also like the English Standard Version although I have not used it a whole lot. I am not a fan of the NIV.

I am concerned with some of the "thought-for-thought" translations. I do not like any of the paraphrases and would hesitate to even call them a Bible or God's Word. I think "The Message" is terrible.

While I believe there is a place for an "updated" translations, I am concerned about the many translations that seem to be translated with bias.

I am also disgusted with how God's Holy Word is marketed and sold these days. It seems that every week there is some kind of new package which includes God's Word so that some company can make more money.

While I don't have a problem with updating the language to make the Bible more readable, I do have a problem if the words used do not accurately translate what was written in the original language.

And to be honest, I don't think we need a million new translations every year either. (Okay, that's a slight exaggeration but not by much...)

So, that's my opinion on different translations in 10 minutes or less.

Now, if you want an opinion by someone far more intelligent than me, here are a couple of great links for more information on this issue. The first is to a translation comparison chart by Dr. Phillip Brown (teacher at God's Bible School) and the 2nd. and 3rd. links are to Dr. Brown's response to this issue in the God's Revivalist.

Link 1 - Translation Comparison Chart

Link 2

Link 3

1 comment:

  1. No, Jon, you do not know me. And as for your translation post, thanks for taking time to write that. It was very interesting. I use the KJV and thats because I do not like all the changes that the new translations have. Sometimes leaving out a word or even changing a word changes the meaning or context entirely. So that is just my opinion. By the way, what's with changing the layout on your blog so much? I was just getting used to the old one! :)