A Bible Version for Christians in Laos

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Priscian, Apr 13, 2010.

  1. Priscian

    Priscian
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    What 'English' version to use in a multinational church here in Laos?

    This one is tricky, since one has to be accurate and sensitive.

    My suggestion is that we use KJV since everyone has some exposure to it and most have positive feelings towards this version, albeit it is linguistically distant for most of us.

    My arguments for KJV are not political or ideological, but rather practical and perhaps cultural. It is an excellent translation with some of the most majestic language that English can offer. It provides solid doctrine and at the same time allows us second language learners’ access to the finest pieces of English prose and poetry.

    Again, let me reiterate this has neither political motivation, since I live in a Communist country, nor theological because Laos is Buddhist.
     
  2. Rippon

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    How strong is their English? It sounds like a varied lot. I certainly would not suggest the KJV. If you want to go basic -- then it's the NLTse. Otherwise, you can select the HCSB or NIV. I'd also say the TNIV but since that's controversial (with no justification,btw) then the latter two.
     
  3. Trotter

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    Rippon is right. If the people can readily understand English the closest you could go would be the NKJV but even it is a high grade reading level. We use the NLTse (I think) in our English as a Second Language classes and it works well. It is about a third grade reading level but still has words that we have to explain to the classes.

    The KJV is a good translation, but it is a hard translation for native English speakers to understand due to its outdated (400+ years) language and syntax. It is majestic, but the people would not be able to readily read and understand it. I might can read French by sounding out the words, but I would not understand it. The people need to be able to understand the scriptures so God can apply them to their hearts.
     
  4. TomVols

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    All the "easy reading" translations (NLT, NIV, TNIV, GW, even the Message paraphrase) would require some explanation at some point.

    I'd say NLTse or NIV/TNIV. ESV would be as literal as I'd go.
     
  5. Rippon

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    Easier, not necessarily easy reading. And as long as you are lumping such disparate versions together -- the HCSB belongs in that grouping. It reads as smoothly or more smoothly than the TNIV -- yet not as fluidly as the NLTse.
     
  6. annsni

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    I'd most likely use the NIV. That's what we're using with the Chinese students who have started attending our church and they are doing well with it. I'd definitely not use the KJV - MAYBE the NKJV but the KJV would be entirely too difficult since it's in a language that no one speaks today and it would be SO hard for them to really grasp.
     

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