How Do You Choose Which Translation?

As most of you know, I am very fascinated by Bible translations. I don’t know Greek. I don’t know Hebrew. I don’t know Aramaic. But it is fascinating to me to read various English translations and how they came to be, what features each offers, and who is reading and preaching from what. In fact, a couple of months ago, I posed the simple question: which translation do you use? The responses were great.

For the last 6 months or so, I have been studying and preaching from the Today’s New International Version (TNIV). Prior to picking up the TNIV, I used, almost exclusively, the New International Version (NIV). Recently, I have picked up and began reading and studying the English Standard Version (ESV).

Here are some thoughts…and then I have a question to pose to you. The TNIV is a very readable translation that offers more accuracies, I think, than a paraphrase. Translations, by nature, are going to be more accurate to the original text than paraphrases. The TNIV prides itself on being a translation of today’s English. Where the original language may say “men” and refer to all people, the TNIV will go ahead and translate it “humankind” or “all people.” I have enjoyed using the TNIV on Sunday mornings, and find that many people don’t mind the translation at all, especially since it mirrors the NIV so closely, and that still is the translation most people seem to carry.

However, in reading through the ESV over the last many weeks, I have found that it seems much more accurate. The ESV is a word-for-word translation, which will naturally provide for a more accurate rendition of the original writing. However, sometimes you lose the “readability” of a word-for-word translation. But, even despite this fact, the ESV is easy to read.

I have not used the ESV in any sermons. I have a feeling that if I were to do so, people would make remarks about it, simply because what I would be reading would not be that similar to what they have in their Bibles (primarily the NIV).

So, I pose this question: how do you decide which translation to preach from? Do you go for accuracies over readability? Do you go for ease of read? Do you go for what is popular?

I spoke about this with my wife, Keri. She made the simple observation that most folks still carry the NIV. Therefore, the NIV or TNIV would be the least offensive translation to continue to use. Of course, you could do some teaching of your people regarding the various translations, and thus open the door wide to use other, lesser known translations, like the ESV.

Interesting thoughts. Also, I found this paper written by Mars Hill Church pastor Mark Driscoll as to how their church came to the decision to use the ESV in their worship services. (Open the PDF file and read the whole thing). It’s long, but a fascinating read.

Oh well. Thanks for reading. I love thinking through this stuff.

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52 thoughts on “How Do You Choose Which Translation?

  1. Pingback: Better Bibles Blog

  2. You said: “The ESV is a word-for-word translation, which will naturally provide for a more accurate rendition of the original writing.”

    I think you have fallen into a subtle trap of thinking that word-for-word equals accuracy. If we are looking to really understand what the text really means, shouldn’t a good translation of the MEANING equal accuracy? This would result in what you call “readability.” In my impression, the NLT or CEV are more “accurate” translations in that they better convey what the Scriptural authors MEANT, not just what they SAID.

    That being said, on to your question. I would advise that you primarily use the NIV or TNIV from the pulpit. You don’t want your congregation to miss a major point you are trying to make because they are distracted by the difference in what you said with what they read. At the same time, bring in the ESV (or other translations) to give the congregation alternate readings, as needed.

    Great question!

  3. Jungle Pop,

    Thanks for stopping by and thanks for your thought provoking comment.

    Could I make the argument that a translation that attempts to convey their idea of the meaning of the passage would be guilty of writing into the translation their own commentary? (I know, every translation would be guilty of that to some degree! It’s too bad we all don’t still speak Greek or Hebrew).

    My point (and subsequent question) would be: how can we determine what is the most accurate? If each translation will have its own commentary “translated in,” how are we to find for ourselves the most accurate?

    Thanks for your thoughts…and I went to your blog for a quick minute and love what I see. I will be spending some time there today as I write my sermon for Mother’s Day using, primarily, the TNIV!!!

  4. Pastor, I agree with your sentiment. A version that is more word-for-word within the limitations of English, is a more accurate translation. The comment before mine suggests that it is a translator’s job not only to translate the text, but also to tell the readers what it means. In other words, where the actual words of a text may allow for various meanings, the translators are supposed to pick one and lock the readers into it. Instead, I very much prefer a translation that does as little of that as possible and allows modern English readers to go through the same interpretive process that the ancient Greek and Hebrew readers did. Then, as a pastor you can first make observations from the text to your congregation, showing them what it SAYS, and then from your own study of the passage, explaining to them what it MEANS. The ESV is step up from the NIV, And the old ASV is yet another step up from that.

    • Well…are you saying we should use interlinears then? Just what I know from English linguistics there is interpretation by the translator and interpretation by the reader as well as projection of what the listener expects to hear. Then we get into issues of not having a fluent, native-born speaker of Koine Greek and so on. There is safety in a multitude of witnesses, supposedly, so let the translating committe determine the most accurate rendering and footnote any close ties.

      Pastors can say what it means…but I have a duty to search the scriptures daily to see if those things are so. Which includes multiple translations. I’ve chosen to stay with TNIV, but my PC parallel bibles are: NAS95, NRSV, NET, TNIV, NLTse with KJV, ASV, YLT, BHS and several Greek testaments for secondary/tertiary work if the issue is that important.

      I still have ESV, electronic and paper and I really tried (from 2003 – 2009) to use it and like it, but I kept going to the NASB ’95 Update instead. I chose KJV in 73 with The Navigators, followed in the migration to NIV in 85 and tried ESV in 03 to no avail. Now I’m holding with TNIV till the “new” NIV comes out in 2011. Then I’ll go through the review process all over again. Though now, thanks to computers, I have my 2003 and 2009 notes to build on.

  5. Eric,

    Thanks for stopping by. I think we were typing our posts at the same time!

    I am curious about this statement you made:
    “And the old ASV is yet another step up from [the ESV and NIV].”

    Would you care to elaborate? Just curious…

  6. Have to confess that out of all the newer versions the NIV is the least good to me – many have documented how there are serious omissions and changes in many texts throughout it, and that would concern me. While I’m not into Ye Olde Worlde Englishe, the KJV does tend to (seemingly) be closer to the Greek or Aramaic renditions, and my Hebrew friends certainly hold it higher than most other translations.

    http://www.hissheep.org/kjv/a_comparison_of_the_kjv_niv.html

    But I accept the point that those who hold the NIV up as better that the language of the likes of the KJV make it difficult to read and/or understand. I actually got a Living Bible (UK version) when I became a Christian in 1974 and used it right up until 2 years ago, when I was reading more of the KJV and kept finding so many verses that had almost totally different meanings it was scary. The 50,000 versions available just make me want to go and learn Greek or Aramaic (already learnt some Hebrew), in order to truly get the original context where possible.

    Think this one will always be a fiery debate :). Blessings, TKR

  7. To answer your question in as simple and direct a way as possible: I now use the ESV, but our church has NIVs in the pews and uses this for the readings. I prepare from the ESV (noting any major disagreement with the NIV), but in the sermon I quote from the NIV when refering to the principal passage from which I’m preaching. Occasionally, I’ll offer the ESV rendering as an alternative to a particular verse or phrase. But when quoting from elsewhere in Scripture, I mostly use the ESV, not expecting the congregation to actually turn to the passage concerned. Occasionally, I paraphrase the NIV, or quote from the TNIV, when the former is gender exclusive, but I don’t draw attention to this.

  8. The ASV is the most literal version I am aware of that is currently in print (now by a small publiser, Prince Press if I remember right). The ASV uses “thou” as singular in distinction from “you” in plural for the second person. It is very word-for-word and even follows the word order of the original as much as possible (it’s often impossible). It is the forebear to the NASB (~1965) and the updated NASB (~1995).

  9. In my former pastorate, my church was a KJV church. I found that the ESV allowed some familiarity to my sheep when I preached. In your case, it might be a better idea to stay in the NIV/TNIV family, even though I personally am not a fan of the TNIV. My personal view is that the translator should never try to replace the preacher. It is my job to tell the people what the Bible means. So I like a translation that is more transparent to the Greek and Hebrew that leaves the difficulties so that I can do my job as a pastor to smooth them out. So I prefer to read from the ESV and NASB.

    Martin Luther placed a great deal of weight upon learning the original languages. At my website I have complied a lengthy quote from him where he basically says we loose the gospel if we loose the original languages. I really recommend that you invest yourself in learning the biblical languages. This will help you decide which is the better translation. The address for the quote is: http://www.hank.masstheology.com/archives/luther-and-piper-on-the-biblical-languages/.

    Also, I don’t know what you think of John Piper, but his church adopted the ESV almost as soon as it was published. He played a role in the translation process by reviewing the translation and giving suggestions. He gives his own reasons why his church adopted the ESV and why he wants it to replace the NIV as the standard read, preaching, study, and memorizing Bible in the English speaking world. His arguments are found here:http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/Articles/ByTopic/54/1534_Good_English_With_Minimal_Translation_Why_Bethlehem_Uses_the_ESV/.

    I hope this helps some.

  10. Pretty good conversation going on over here…

    As to your reply to my comment, I think that while it IS possible for translators to write “commentary” into it, I think it is not as big of an issue as you think. Most of these contemporary natural translations have been done by a large team of highly qualified scholars. The decisions they make are no more “commentary” than those of translators of literal translations who leave things in to retain the form, even at the expense of meaning.

    But I think we may be missing the point and unfairly attacking translations. I may have implied, but I didn’t mean to, that literal translations do not accurately convey the meaning of the text. In most cases, they do. Likewise, assertions that a translation which embraces a natural, clear transmission at the expense of the Greek word order and form are equally flawed.

    Eric points out that in areas “where the actual words of a text may allow for various meanings, the translators are supposed to pick one and lock the readers into it.” While this may not be a real live issue with most of the Greek text, the times it does occur force EVERY translator – whether “literal” or “meaning-based” – to make an exegetical decision.

    No translation is without interpretation.

    (I especially appreciate this post as I just finished a class on the theory and practice of translation, and am now in an exegesis class. It’s getting my gears turning!)

  11. Well, Pastor, quite frankly I do not understand why you have been using the faddish, politically correct TNIV at all. Personally speaking, I have never trusted the NIV. In using the ESV, you will be using a version which is much more faithful to the Greek texts, plus it has a history behind it which the Zondervan twins do not. I would encourage you to use the ESV, and even check out the HCSB, which is also very accurate, and uses modern English as well. But, this, too, has no history. I would definitely scrap the TNIV. I threw mine in the garbage. They say it is the Bible for ‘this’ generation. Well, I am of ‘this’ generation, and it ain’t mine. God bless and keep you always and may He guide you into all truth.

    • I thought we did the NASB to “counter” the RSV…of which the ESV is a…well, I’d almost call it a clone. My choice for a Type 1 translation was/is pretty much NAS95 but my pastor talked me into at least looking at the NRSV, which I am in the process of doing. That said, for reading, memorizing and so on I prefer a Type 2…such as NIV, TNIV and NET. My mom likes the Type 3 NLT but I like the mix of concordance and literary style a Type 2 provides.

      Frankly, I seldom see anything significantly different to do more than pause when studying through my parallel bibles and can usually reconcile differences with the built-in commentaries, BDB, etc. and very rarely play “puzzle the pastor.”

  12. If your sermons are heavily exegetical, no English translation (not even ASV) is transparent enough to the original languages, not even the transliteration in the Greek or Hebrew interlinear. To some people, ESV is probably a good compromise between extremely word-for-word translations and paraphrases. Personally I prefer HCSB for serious study, and NLT2 for devotional reading. I have notices that when I read from other versions (including ESV and BCSB), many people with NIV often have hard time following the verses. TNIV made many improvements over NIV (yes, it is controversial). Of course, some people hate it much more than they hate their own sins. An upcoming ISV looks very good so far. Overall, I think believers in this country make too big a deal about the differences between different translations. I guess I am not very helpful to answer your question.

  13. David,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I have often done what you do…which is use the TNIV for the main passage, but quote from other translations, not thinking the congregation will follow along in their Bibles.

    Lately, however, I have been sticking with one translation throughout, except when there are MAJOR differences.

  14. Hank,

    Thanks for stopping by. I have read Piper’s arguments. And thanks for sharing about Luther, too. I have often thought to myself, “You know, if we all could just speak the original languages and KNEW them, this might be easier.” I am planning on returning to graduate school within the next year, where I will get a healthy dose of both Hebrew and Greek. I am quite looking forward to it.

    Thanks for your links…I look forward to reading through them.

  15. Jungle Pop,

    I think you nail it when you say, “no translation is without interpretation.”

    So why do we have this discussion? Why do I find it so interesting? Why does it get so heated?

  16. sdonahue,

    Welcome to the discussion. You obviously feel quite strongly against the TNIV. You allude to some of your feelings in your comment, but you never come out and say exactly why you hate the translation so much. Would you care to elaborate?

    I have read, and quite enjoy, the HCSB. Again though, it’s tough to preach from because it differs so greatly from the NIV/TNIV family…or the Zondervan twins, as you refer to them.

    I look forward to hearing your thoughts.

  17. Joo,

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. You don’t necessarily have to answer my question…I do just enjoy the conversation.

    And I think you hit on something too…our making a big deal in this country about translations. Why do we do that? Is it because we have so many to choose from?

    It reminds of a time in college when I struggled mightily with the idea of many denominations. Who is right? Who is wrong? Why does anyone have to be right or wrong? I think it’s good for me to wrestle with these ideas…it sharpens me and helps me to grow and “own” whatever decision I come to.

  18. Hey Brandon:
    Sounds like you ultimately want to compare the TNIV to the ESV and in my mind the TNIV is by far the best translation. I find it concise, accurate and READABLE…where the ESV goes back and forth, sometimes readable, sometimes downright 16th century. It’s interesting that some of your responders have trashed the TNIV or refused to really check it out. It was translated by scholars and linquists and is owned by the International Bible Society who licenses it to Zondervan, unlike the ESV who is owned and distributed by Crossway Books. Unfortunately some of the mis-information is still being distributed by Wayne Grudem who is a part of the ESV team. You’ll note that Zondervan or IBS doesn’t stoop to such levels – they are never trashing the ESV. It’s a sad day when Christians feel compelled to trash their brothers and sisters. I’ve used the TNIV for over a year and love to put it next to the NASB for a nice parallel of thought for thought and word for word.
    Woody

    • Amen! Precisely! I’ve been using NAS95 vs NIV the last few years and have recently replaced the NIV with the TNIV. I also like the notes in the NET, and my mom likes the NLT (which I read aloud to her about three times through while she was sick without noticing any real issues). With those four and others in reserve I don’t think you can go wrong.

  19. Brandon,

    I have to second Woody here, the TNIV is much more congenial to being read (esp. aloud) than the ESV. However, one of my buddies that actually preaches out of his NA27 Greek NT has replaced his pew Bibles with God’s Word translation. He finds it works well for reading out loud and is pretty faithful to the text.

    On the other hand, if you want a nuts-and-bolt translation that will get you as close to Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek that an English reader can get, I’d suggest the NETBible. It has extensive translation notes telling you why they translated the text the way they did. Personally, I don’t always agree with their choices, but at least they give you enough info to know what the other translation options are.

    Good luck in your quest,
    Jim Getz

  20. First let me say that I think people get too upset about English translations of the Bible, leveling accusations of translations being “inaccurate”, when the reality is that most English translations of the Bible are accurate translations of the Bible translated by committed Christians who sincerely wanted to translate the Bible to the best of the their ability.

    I want to share my story of the ESV though. When I first heard the accusations against the the TNIV and the reasons for the ESV I jumped on the bandwagon and went out and bought an ESV. I have somewhat come to regret this decision. I don’t think that the ESV is a bad translation, but I have realized that the wording and grammar are not very readable at all. I think that this would be a real hindrance to people who have not grown up in the church and become accustomed to archaic wording. I realized that I had fallen for the bad press about the TNIV without looking into the issue with clear eyes. I agree with Woody that there is a lot of misinformation about the TNIV and it is very sad that the careful work of committed Christians is being bashed by people so much.

    As for one other commenters remarks about tradition and history adding value to a translation, I think that this can be more of a hindrance than a help in a lot of cases. Let’s face it: we know a lot more about what the original greek and hebrew said now than we did when the historical predecessors of the ESV were created. For instance, in Psalm 23:4, we understand now that the what is usually translated “valley of the shadow of death” is just a hebrew idiom meaning “the darkest valley”. The accurate translation is the meaning of the idiom, not the exact words as we are not all versed in hebrew idioms. The ESV keeps the historical translation (although it puts the meaning of the idiom in a footnote), even though it is known not be really accurate anymore. This is also what is meant by people like Jungle Pop when he states that the “literal” translation is not always more accurate.

    Personally, I would like to recommend the NET Bible (www.netbible.org) to you as a combination of a very readable version with a wealth of translation notes that detail the word-for-word translation and the reason behind translation decisions. It is a great study Bible and has helped me understand so much more about the reasons behind translation decisions. It makes me feel like I have all the information.

    I also would recommend the HCSB version as a very readable, but accurate translation without all of the baggage of the TNIV (again, not saying that the “baggage” is accurate, but it may hinder a congregation from accepting a version). If I were picking a new pew Bible, I would definitely pick the HCSB.

  21. There is no connection between literalness and accuracy. They are different translation parameters. A translation can be literal but not accurately communicate the meaning of the biblical text. A translation can be readable but inaccurate. Accuracy should always be the highest priority for any Bible translation.

  22. as a Bible student for over 35 years, I have found each version has its peculiars and its quirks. The King James,while rich in tradition, is a version I rarely use. As I am more of a researcher than the average Bible user, I tend to use Diaglotts and Interlinear translations for my work. NO version is accurate in every respect.

    My hard life experience response to your question is to use the wording that fits the occasion or text or sermon in hand. On my site, I have available for download, many Bible translations that are available for comparison side by side, word for word and source by source.

    The overall message contained within each translation seems to be the same. Accuracy and readability is another issue.

    Blessings
    http://www.cfmin.com

  23. Woody,

    You’re right…with the purpose of this post, my thoughts out loud were regarding the TNIV and the ESV specifically, but I don’t want to be exclusive to just those. Those just happen to be the two translations I have in front of me at the moment. I’d love to hear some thoughts (and we are) on other noteworthy translations. The HCSB has come up a lot here.

  24. Brandon, My own solution, I think would be to remain with the TNIV but have a good more literal translation like the ESV to find the places where the TNIV interprets. Then I’d study the passage and make a decision as to whether the TNIV made a good choice or not, probably based on context as well as on scholarship. If I ran into too much over time, in choices I think are questionable, then I’d probably opt for the ESV or the like.

    As for myself, I do have some working knowledge especialliy of Greek (Hebrew is more than rusty, I sadly admit). I want translations that have good language. ESV isn’t too bad that way, but it’s not natural in our way of expressing. Whereas I see the TNIV as natural yet not to the point of being too free.

    My own thoughts. God bless you on this. And he will, regardless of your decision. Peace on that.

  25. I do like traditinal versions, however, I find much has been added to the ESV that was not in the KJV. For example, Junia had been downgraded, both in the ESV and the NET, on dubious grounds and in the ESV without a footnote. The NET the xtensive footnote misrepresents the facts. In Cor. 11:10 “a symbol” has been added into the text. In 2 Tim. 2:2 a verse that certainly applies to all people, the ESV renders it “men”. These are examples. Oddly in most of the places where the ESV deliberately choses a non-literal translation and one that marginalizes women, there is usually no footnote.

    When I first read the ESV I was very surprised to see how much has been added that is not literal and does not occur in the Greek as all.

  26. I have just read through the comments more thoroughly and am surprisd to find Luther mentioned along with a recommendation for the ESV. His translation varies considerably form the Tyndale/KJV tradition but it did have this in common. In Tyndale, KJV and Luther, God had one Son, and he had children. This is more marked in Luther to the extent that in Luther the “adoption of sons” is translated ” adoption of children.”

    “The peacemakers shall be called the sons of God” falls harshly on the ears of a woman brought up in the KJ tradition. I cannot consider the transfer from KJV to ESV seamless. It is not.

  27. Suzanne, Thanks for your points here. It just goes to show that we need to be more diligent at studying this for ourselves. Though we so much appreciate those who have already did good study, such as yourself.

  28. Brandon asked:

    So why do we have this discussion? Why do I find it so interesting? Why does it get so heated?

    Brandon, when you find the answer to the last question please let me know the answer and please blog about it. I’ve been wondering the same thing for years. There really are not very many differences between the various English translations, for the most part. There is usually a high degree of accuracy. There are different levels of readability but even there there is something for almost everyone’s tastes. I think we would all be better off, and so would those we interact with, if we paid more attention to the Bibles we already have than attack those we think have some problems.

    And we should never forget that while we have a glut of translations in English there are several thousand language groups around the world who have no Bible translation in their languages. We would do well to send share more of our exegetes and financial resources with the effort to bring God’s Word to those who do not have it in their language.

    Thanks for being as mellow as you are with this post and our responses to comments on it.

  29. I wanted to tell you all that I have several thoughts brewing I’d love to share with you here…but don’t have the time as of right now. I am traveling and will be internet-less for a couple of days. When I get back…I’ll post some responses.

    In the meantime, you guys KEEP AT IT. I am loving this conversation. I hope you are too!

  30. And we should never forget that while we have a glut of translations in English there are several thousand language groups around the world who have no Bible translation in their languages. We would do well to send share more of our exegetes and financial resources with the effort to bring God’s Word to those who do not have it in their language.

    Amen to that Wayne! Most of us haven’t realized how blessed we are with so many great translations. Through all of our debates about which is the best version for us, God is still in the picture. Great conversation.

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  32. I agree with others that literalness does not necessarily equal accuracy. The ESV is a lot more like the NIV than many people realize. It flows in and out of literalness and has points of gender neutrality as any other Bible. My beef with the ESV is not it’s translation so much as with its translators/promoters, ie: Grudem, Piper, et al. The real reason for the ESV is not to carry on the legacy of the KJV, though that is how they market it. The real reason is purely political, they cannot stand the TNIV and eschew any effort at geneder neutrality and elevating women to any status beyond submission to husbands, and they absolutely do not believe women should be in ministry or preach from the pulpit. Others may disagree but this is how I see it.

    Also, many try to say the ESV is the translation the closest represents the original Greek and Hebrew. This is hooey! No one translation best represents the original, first off because we do not have the originals, and secondly because even in literal translations, some degree of interpretation takes place. Even you said it yourself, you liked a certain translation because of how it sounds or reads, Wel, there you go, that is really the biggest difference between English translations: style. Which style do you like the best? That is the one you will read most. It is pastorally irresponsible to mislead your congregation by saying one translation is “better” than another or that one is closest to the G or H. Instead, explain that each translation has it purpose and is not necessarily better than another.

    So, how do you pick a translation that works best for you or your congregation? Go with the one of which you feel the most comfortable stylistically. It sounds like the TNIV/NIV is better for you to stick with for the present as it is meeting the pastoral needs of your congregation.

    ps. being able to translate the Greek and or Hebrew to something like the TNIV or NLT2, in my opinion, represents a better, more thorough understanding of the how the biblical languages work that to offer up a strictly literal translation.

    I hope this helps some.

  33. It is a logical error to assert that because all translations contain an element of interpretation, that they all interpret to the same degree. Translations vary tremendously in the degree of interpretation they apply. Generally speaking, Tyndale-family translations tend to be fairly literal. Perhaps the best study work is the excellent Cambridge KJV/RV Interlinear edition (which features the ASV changes in an appendix) and has wide study margins. The ISBN is 0521508606. This work is useful because it includes the translator notes of both the KJV and the RV.

    For public reading, I know of no Bible superior to the KJV, with its rich cadences.

    If you need an easier-to-understand Bible, I would suggest using the RSV or NRSV — the latter in particular is widely available in a variety of study Bible editions that that can make the text available to any audience. I would not recommend the ESV because it dropped most of the useful textual notes of the RSV and adopted some dubious readings in parts.

  34. I think Suzanne and Ted both make good points…we need to be responsible enough, as students of the Bible, to look deeper into each translation.

    And Wayne, you also make a great couple of points. First of all, I’m still not sure why I am so fascinated with Bible translations. When I read through a new one, I get excited…like I just found money. And, we do have a plethora of English translations and many of them are great. If you read a passage in the TNIV or ESV, and then read it in the NLT, the words are different…but what is said is usually the same. Interesting. And we are so fortunate to have as many translations as we do–when there are so many who yet to have one…or who have only one.

  35. Anonymous…

    Like Wayne said earlier, I’m a pretty easy going guy. I like the comments and community that we get to participate in on this blog. And, I’m glad you are here. But have to be honest with you…if you have an opinion or idea, why be anonymous? At least be brave enough to put your first name with your post.

    That said…thanks for your comment!

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  37. Marc and Suzanne’s posts of 5-10 have profoundly interested me; I have read similar but must have glossed over the thoughts. Now, I am not, and I am going to regroup and re-assess my own opinions on this; so, I am going in to suspended animation on the subject while I pore over the NRSV the NLT2 with the Greek text. If I am wrong, I am more than willing to admit it.

  38. Sorry to get in on this post so late. I have really taken a liking to the HCSB (Holman Christian Standard Bible….or Hard Core Southern Baptist, if you prefer, jk). It is a wonderful balance of biblical scholarship, original language authenticity, and readability. I highly recommend it.

    Also, there is a “minister’s edition” of this translation that is super duper.

  39. Tony,

    Better late than never! And is “super-duper” the official review of the HCSB Minister’s Bible?

    I was just reading through some HCSB this morning…and I do like it. It sounds funny, but I really like that God, Him, His, Me (when referring to God or Christ or the Spirit) are all capitalized. I’ve always written it that way, so it’s cool to see a Bible publish it that way. I know some find it annoying…but it’s a neat preference of mine.

    I am considering buying the Minister’s one…

  40. Brandon,
    Hey I “accidentally” stumbled on your blog – this a great post. I have become quite the translation collector myself. I grew up on the NIV & in my ministry (8 years vocationally) I have used it. The church I serve in now is an NASB church, so I preach from it a lot now. However, I have to agree that the HCSB is great! I am using it in my personal devo times & just love it. I agree that the capitalization (which the NASB has too) is great – it shows reverence to God! I think if I was starting over, I’d be in the HCSB a lot.

    Great blog!

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  44. Well…I’ll never touch the “Hard Core Southern Baptist” version till it goes more “gender accurate” and they allow women to be co-laborers.

    I’d picked TNIV…perhaps I can wait a couple years and see what the 2011 NIV looks like. Right now I’m left with NRSV – NET1 – NLTse but NLTse is (at best) a Type 3 close intepretive…much better than the original NLT, but…. I’m sure there are glitches in all of them of some kind or another. NRSV is almost as old as the NIV….

    Guess it’ll be stick with TNIV for now, along with NET1 and get an NLTse for reference/comparison with the NASB95 for study/reference and retain KJV/NIV due to existing memory work….

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