reading level of various Bibles

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by mcdirector, Jan 10, 2010.

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  1. mcdirector

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    This is from christianbooks.com. I saw it just yesterday and since "easier" has come up in a discussion about Bibles, I thought I'd post it.

    Their note:
     
  2. Deacon

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    Putting it in perspective:

    The average reading level for the United States is 8th grade (meaning that half fall below that level).

    Rob
     
  3. Baptist4life

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    I agree. Those charts are meant for people who can actually READ. 12th graders today would struggle with an NIV, I think. I've seen college kids who are pretty close to being illiterate! I don't know how they graduated high school.
     
  4. Harold Garvey

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    What's missing is the fact that many who would be judged as illiterate can and will read the bible and through hearing they will know it and know it when they read it. The standard should remain high and not dragged down to a lower reader's level. The Lord said ye shall hear the truth and be made free, not read it and be made free. Are we really so willing to accept ignorance and fail to teach? If this is so then we have become just plain lazy! I'd think if taught on a 12th grade level eventually one who knows reading at an 8th grade level would move up. Keeping it at his present level would not help him learn but would keep him down. if its all a matter of reading skill then why not a 1st grade version?
     
  5. franklinmonroe

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    People may dispute the actual Grade Levels assigned to each translation, but I found in my experience that the relative differences in reading level to be approximately correct (I have read ten of these NTs completely; I have read some portions but not the entire NT of the NRSV, GW, and NIRV). In other words, the order is about right. For example, if the reading diffculty of the KJV is evaluated as either being a higher or lower Level, then the ESV would need to be also adjusted about the same number of Grades; and so on.

    I also think that the Levels cannot be lowered (much) since the NCV is clearly not below 3rd Grade Level.
     
    #5 franklinmonroe, Jan 10, 2010
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  6. Trotter

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    In other words, if it is explained to them they will understand it. Given enough explanation anyone can understand just about anything... but that has nothing to do with someome reading it and understanding it on their own.

    I have to agree with this. My own experience with these (all but the NIRV) attest to it as well.
     
  7. Jerome

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    Some interesting observations by readability-scale originator Rudolf Flesch:

    The Art of Plain Talk (1946), p. 43:
    The Art of Readable Writing (1949), pp. 210-212:
    How to Be Brief: An Index to Simple Writing (1962), p. 16:
     
  8. Rippon

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    I disagree with the position of the NKJ. It reads at a higher level than the NIV and HCSB. The NKJ version is at least at the 11th grade level.

    The Message is certainly more difficult than to be assigned a 4th or 5th grade level.
     
  9. Rippon

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    Jerome, if you are trying to establish that the KJV is actually an easy read -- you are quite mistaken.

    I think the NLT and GW versions use good, strong English. The English of both of these exceeds that of the KJV.

    If you like an older style (yet not as old as the KJV) try out the Revised English Bible -- it's beautiful. It's more dynamic than the TNIV, but more ornate.
     
  10. Johnv

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    If that's true (which it's not), it's true of any common translation.
    [off topic]
     
    #10 Johnv, Jan 11, 2010
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  11. preachinjesus

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    Ironically the Greek used in the NT is Koine Greek which was the average person's language. It is written at (in a loose parrallel equivalency) about a 6th grade vocabularly.

    It only has around 5,000 common words which is not awfully stressing on a vocabularly (a large number of which reoccur so frequently that learning the 50 frequently used words is a key to understanding the text.) So to say the text should not sink down to a lower level seems to forget the true nature of the Greek text.
     
  12. webdog

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    I always though the age of accountability was before third grade :laugh:
     
  13. Johnv

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    That's absolutely correct. The authors could have used more formal languages known at the time, including formal languages spoken by the well-educated and aristocratic, but the authors of the NT chose Koine Greek, which was the "common man's Greek". It was the common written tongue of the average person, not the high language of aristocracy.
     
  14. Harold Garvey

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    :applause: One learns to read by hearing first then sight.

    I'm dumbfounded at your response, but not surprised.

    [off topic]
     
    #14 Harold Garvey, Jan 11, 2010
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  15. Harold Garvey

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    Then just by7 that analogy alone English, in and of itsself is A HIGHER STANDARD, and anyone who reverts back to the Greek is "dumbing down". Maybe that's where Ruckman gets his psuedo-ideas from?
     
  16. Johnv

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    Why would you be dumbfounded by the fact that your original claim is so easily refuted by objectivity? There is absolutely nothing factual or objective in your original statement.
     
    #16 Johnv, Jan 11, 2010
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  17. Harold Garvey

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    [the topic is grade level of English versions - off topic comments snipped]
    Back to grade level of the English versions.:1_grouphug:
     
    #17 Harold Garvey, Jan 11, 2010
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  18. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Mod note:

    All off topic posts, attempts to derail a thread, and responses to such are being deleted. I am trying not to let agenda driven members shut down discussion by trolling attempts to divert a topic.

    Members would help greatly by not responding to these attempts to stifle discussion by getting threads closed.
     
    #18 NaasPreacher (C4K), Jan 11, 2010
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  19. Harold Garvey

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    Pre-K 3 starts with pictures and then words for visualizations accompanied by the sounds of the words relating directly to the pictures. It's a BASIC cognitve approach to phonics. It is the beginning of the soon to be grade level.
     
  20. Johnv

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    Which has nothing to do with the OP. Like I said, the authors of the NT could have used more formal forms of Greek at the time, such as the "high" form of Greek we sometimes refer to as "Ancient Greek" today, but the authors of the NT chose Koine Greek, which was the "common man's Greek". It was the common written tongue of the average person, not the high language of aristocracy. Since the NT authors wrote in the common tongue of the day, a translation of that should likewise be into the common tongue of whatever language is being translated to. There's no objective logic to translating a writing, whether it's scripture, or any other literary work, from its original language form to a different form of its translated language.
     
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