Bible Translations - suggestions?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by queenbee, Feb 28, 2008.

  1. queenbee

    queenbee
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    Hi: my name is queenbee and I'm new to the BB. Posted this question earlier and another member suggested I redirect to this forum, so here goes....

    I'm interested in getting into the discipline of some serious bible study. I currently have the NASB '71, but frankly, having trouble w the thee's & thou's in this and other translations and the general awkwardness. A paraphrase makes for great novel reading IMO, but it definitely isn't my first choice for serious study. I've been hearing some good things about ISV, the Net, TMB, NLTse and even considering studying from original Hebrew/Greek or the complete Jewish Bible for a more rounded perspective. I want accuracy from the original languages, but at same time, would like readability. Would any of you recommend any of these versions?? Is there such a thing as a parallel Greek/Hebrew and modern day English bible?? Seem to be getting more confusing the longer I do research. Ideas/comments?
     
  2. TCGreek

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    Queenbee, welcome to BB.

    1. If you still want to continue in the NASB line, you might want to try the updated of the NAS 71 which was done in 1995, removing the "thees" and "thou" and made other attempts to make the 71 text more readable.

    2. The NET is a fine choice. You might want to consider the HCSB. If you want to move beyond the NAS altogether but want an essentially literal translation try the ESV.

    3. The TNIV is an improvement of the NIV.
     
  3. StefanM

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    I'd recommend the ESV to you. It's more readable than the NASB (even the updated version), but it's still quite literal.
     
  4. franklinmonroe

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    Welcome to the BB, queenbee! I think you've come to a sound place for advice on this subject. BTW, you are right about paraphrases (they should not be the basis of study). Your current NASB is a fine translation.

    I basically agree with TCGreek. I do like the NET. Typically, the more 'accuracy' that is demanded from an English translation, the less 'readable' it will be (due to differences in ancient languages and our own). Reading and studying are really two different activities. Both 'accuracy' and 'readability' are somewhat subjective (for example, "thee" and "thou" don't bother me). But if you're sure you don't want to deal with any Elizabethan English then the NASB'95 may be for you.

    To answer your other specific question: Yes, there is a relatively expensive Hebrew-Greek interlinear (meaning that the English is printed just above or below the original language) by Jay Green. Some computer software and websites (which can be free) will allow the same kind of study, if you don't mind looking into a monitor instead of onto pages.

    Bible study is a big subject and you want to start by focusing on a smaller portion; perhaps, just the New Testament. Multiple versions are often recommended for more serious study, and a parallel New Testament can be an affordable way to get 2, 4, and as many as 8, different translations side-by-side in the same volume.

    The version you chose is important, but don't neglect other elements of Bible study. You will need to be disiplined (reserve a specific block of time); you will want a space conducive to study (comfortable, without many distractions, good lighting); you may want 'helps' nearby (Bible dictionary, atlas, commentary, etc.). If you can find a partner, that can be encouraging. Pray before you begin.

    May God bless your efforts, and we hope to see you post again in this forum!
     
    #4 franklinmonroe, Feb 28, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 28, 2008
  5. hawg_427

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    I started with the NASB updated version. and held out on the KJV because of the thee's and thou's but know I am split between the two. I use both versions.
     
  6. todd93

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    My wife and I attended "Riverways Ridgecrest" in August, and attended a bible course at that conference. The instructor made the point that the NASB is actually the most literal translation (not saying I agree, just simply saying what was stated). Personally, I prefer the NKJV, but am interested in looking at a NASB sometime. What I would suggest is for you to look into the program esword. It has A LOT of translations, you can go through and choose which one you like best, and the best part is it's free (I think you have to pay for the NASB, though). Myself, I don't use Windows, I use Linux, and there is a bible software available for Linux that is VERY good, it's called gnomesword. In gnomesword, there is a translation that I have downloaded that is called AKJV (American King James Version). I had never seen this translation before, so I was looking at it, and what it is is the KJV, without the thees and thous. it still includes words that the KJV uses, however (i.e. the word ass is used instead of translating it to donkey, as in the NKJV, or other translations). But I digress. I have been reborn for about 13.5 years, and all that time I have used the NKJV. My wife, on the other hand prefers the KJV, mainly because she reads a lot of literature in King James English, so, she doesn't have the trouble that I have with it, she absolutely loves it, and when it is read out loud, I would have to admit that there is no prettier version to be read than the KJV, it is a beautiful translation, but there are some words in it that can throw me for a loop, so I'll just stick to reading my NKJV.

    I hope this is valuable input for you.

    God Bless

    Todd
     
  7. lossforgain

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    I am brand new to the board also, and see a lot of debate going on about translations. Blech!
    I like the NLT, although nobody else I have seen around here seems to like it. It reads aloud the most naturally for me.
     
  8. todd93

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    Well, I wasn't debating, when talking about Bible translations, basically, it's a very personal thing. I prefer the NKJV, I get more out of that than other translations, I'm not saying that you're going to hell if you read NIV, or Holman, I'm just saying that it makes the most sense to me. I frequently look into a lot of translations when I come to certain passages to get a more broad outlook on certain things. Good sound commentary is essential too, such as Scofield, or Thompson Chain. I have a Scofield 3, my wife has a Thompson Chain, we both enjoy our commentaries very much, and frequently look in each others bibles for the different commentaries and footnotes.

    Basically, you need to use the translation that is easiest for you to understand. I would make a note to stay away from translations such as the NWT (New World Translation) and the JST (Joseph Smith Translation) for obvious reasons. Other than that, it's whatever is easiest for you to understand. Look at different translations, that is why I recommend esword for the computer, it allows you to download many translations, look over them all, pick out a few passages, compare them, and go with the one that speaks to your heart the most.

    Let's face it, the better you understand your Bible, the more you will get out of it, and the more God will work in your life. There is nothing worse than reading something, and only understanding a portion of it due to the translation. True, there is no possible way to understand everything that is read from the Bible, however, that is why we pray before we read. We don't pray to understand it all, we should ask God to show us what He needs us to understand. He will do that happily.

    I will also admit that I wasn't very good at daily reading until a deacon at my church allowed me to copy the reading schedule he has. It is an excellent schedule, it takes you through the entire Bible in one year, on January 1st you start with Genesis, On December 31st you finish with Revelation. You read all the books, in their order. There are also different schedules, such as Hank Hanegraaff's Legacy study plan that jumps around, but you still read the entire Bible in one year. I prefer to read the books in order, and believe that is why they are in the Bible in the order they are, because they were meant to be read in that way, however, that is just preference, not wanting to debate over that, because it is not really a debatable subject in the sense that both ways will reach the same end, one path is not wider than the other, and at the end of the year, I have read the same as anyone else that is using a different plan than mine to read the entire Bible in a year.

    I have my reading schedule on my computer and am happy to offer it to anyone, if you want it, just PM me and I'll get it to you. Myself, it has helped me because I am EXTREMELY organized and can't stand dis-organization in any aspect of my life (some people call that obsessive-compulsive). :thumbs:

    I hope what I've said is insightful, I know I riled some people up with my stance on music, however, we all should agree that we must devote time to God's word. God's word was given to us for a reason. It is our instruction manual for life. I tell the children in my Sunday School class that it is really cool because it has battles and wars and suspense, joy, happiness, and everything, all rolled up into God's word. We must not just read it, but we must apply it in everything we do.

    I hope this helps!!

    God Bless

    Todd
     
  9. thomas15

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    OK I will give you my opinion on this topic. Like many here I have numerous copies of the Bible in many translations and versions, including the English translation of the Old Testament published by the Jewish Publication Society in 1985.

    Let me just say this, at the end of the day, I first reach for the NKJV and the NIV. Those are the 2 that I use the most.

    As for methods of study, this has been an issue for me for years. There are lots of ways to study, as I'm sure you know but a suggestion that I got from the McArthur Study Bible (NASB95) is to take a small NT book ie: 1 John (or a few chapters from a larger book) and read it, the same chapters every day for 30 days. I have been doing this for a couple of months and it is really working well for me. I try to stay away from commentaries but do use them if I just cannot figure a passage out.

    The NET Bible (which I really like) is not as literal as you might think and the Jewish OT mentioned above is a dynamic translation also. I perfer the NASB95 over the ESV and the HCSB but they are good don't get me wrong. Pick one and study it.

    Tom
     
  10. robycop3

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    My first choices are the NKJV & the newer NASB.
     
  11. Rippon

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    I love the NLTse ! It's an important translation .
     
  12. queenbee

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    Thanks for all your suggestions and comments on various translations & methods of Bible study. I've certainly been busy checking them all out. I seem to be zeroing in on HCSB, NLTse & Net. I did have a couple of further questions if anyone can help me out.

    1. It seems to me that NET & NLTse are both about the same. True? or is one regarded as being more literal than the other?
    2. A specific question for TCGreek. Checked out your blogspot and noticed that you have really endorsed the HCSB and yet quite impressed with TNIV at same time. What was your rationale for choosing HCSB versus the TNIV?
    3. Finally, one last question. Can anyone recommend either Holman illustrated or the Holman Apologetics?

    Many thx
     
  13. Ed Edwards

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    Queen Bee: //Finally, one last question. Can anyone recommend either Holman illustrated or the Holman Apologetics?//

    I recommend The Apologetics Study Bible (Holman, 2007) which contains the Holman CSB (HCSB = Christian Standard Bible /Holman, 2003/ ).

    The Apologetics CSB is is the Fourth HCSB I've had. The one I bought pre-release in 2003 I didn't get until 2004. It was missing MAPS.
    I bought the second CSB with MAPS. Then I bought a third CSB: a Hand Size Giant Print Reference Edition (Holman, 2005) -- my eyes are getting dim on the close vision, so that Giant Print came in handy (except on the footnotes :( ).

    I haven't used the Aplolgetics CSB enough to know all about it. I think it is weak on Eschatology input. But that is fine for me, I've been a student of deep Eschatology for 2008-1968 = 40 years. Anyway, I've got a couple of Eschatology commentaries with KJVs in them:

    Tim LaHaye's PROPHECY STUDY BIBLE (AMC Productions, 2000) and Grant Jerffery's KJV PROPHECY STUDY BIBLE (Zondervan, 1998)

    The Apologetics Bible is like unto Lifeway literature for Adults (in style of writing, information discussed, etc. I use the Lifeway Literature for Adults. (I teach a men's Sunday School class, new men 46-60-yers-old, current active men 58-69-years-old)

    I really love the HCSB! It has been in the Lifeway literature since like 2001. Lifeway was paying more and more for the NIV (which isn't all that great and was going to charge an arm & a leg for their new TNIV and other NIV variants. So those money grubbing Lifeway folk figured it would be cheaper to make their own Translation. The HCSB is as close to the KJV as one can get in 21st century (2001-2100) English. Like the KJV, the HCSB uses all available manuscripts. Unlike the KJV (1605-1611) the HCSB (1999-2003) was translated using real-time programs (saving lots of horse rides). Also in the HCSB, programs that collect the data from multiple sources also print exactly what was determined to be in the HCSB. So the first Bible off the printers was correct. Unlike the necessary revisionism of the KJV through 100s of 'Editions', the HCSB doesn't need any revisionism (just adding MAPS and commentary, etc).
     
    #13 Ed Edwards, Mar 1, 2008
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 1, 2008
  14. OcalaGator

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    I have read 16 translations of the Bible. Several, more than a few times. My favorite, since it's release is the NASB 94. However having read the HCSB for the sixth time, it is fast taking the place of my "reach for" Bible. I would at least give it a real good lookthrough before I counted it out.
     
  15. TCGreek

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    queenbee, thanks for checking out my blog.

    I like the HCSB for several reasons:

    1. It's a fresh translation from the original languages.

    2. Its faithful rendering of doulos and its cognates as "slave" and so on.

    3. It's rendering of Christos as "Messiah" rather than "Christ," when that seems to be the better choice according to the context.

    4. Its faithful rendering of naos as "sanctuary" rather than "temple," which is hieron in the Greek, the "temple complex."

    5. It strives to be readable and at the same time faithful to the original languages.

    It's a fine translation.
     
  16. TCGreek

    TCGreek
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    Regarding the TNIV:

    1. It has fixed most of the problems I had with the NIV, making it more accurate.

    2. It has maintained the readability of the NIV while remaining faithful to the original.

    3. I like its gender accuracy approach, though it is not perfect at times.

    4. Its rendering of identical Greek words and phrases the same is very impressive, when the context makes this obvious.

    5. It renders Christos "Messiah" but not as much as the HCSB, when the context makes this obvious.

    I wish more people would give the TNIV a chance.

    I hope that both of my responses prove to be helpful.
     

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