5 thoughts on “Bible Translation Poll

  1. JOHN February 27, 2015 / 4:25 pm

    I have noticed the ESV getting used alot. What is the difference between the ESV and the NKJV? I use the NKJV but I have not done much research to know what translation I should be using.

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    • Micah Jahns February 27, 2015 / 6:11 pm

      The New King James Version is a more “modern” rendition of the old KJV, still sticking to the original’s style but replacing some of the older words that aren’t used anymore. I’ve never really used the NKJV before, so I don’t know it’s exact nuances or “strengths.” The English Standard Version is a heavily researched and scholarly translation, and it is regarded highly in most Christian circles for its accuracy of translation. It’s a little bit more “formal” than, say, the NIV, but it also avoids the use of obscure or antiquated language. The language might sound a little wooden or mechanical, but I think it’s really great for Bible study, because you get the richness of the original texts. I also do like the NIV 1984 edition, because it’s not too formal that it’s difficult to understand. When they redid the NIV for 2011, the translators were a little liberal and politically correct, but it’s still not as bad as The Message Bible or other such paraphrases. (Paraphrases rely heavily on how the translators “interpret” the text, which leads to biases and loss of the original meaning.)

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      • JOHN February 28, 2015 / 5:27 pm

        When these people write ‘another’ version of the bible what are they using to write it from? Being that the very original papers are no longer, what is being used to create a new bible?

        NIV has always been too wordy for me.

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      • Micah Jahns February 28, 2015 / 5:32 pm

        Some of the paraphrased Bibles aren’t even paraphrases of the original texts, but paraphrases of a certain English translation. Every Bible translation with any credibilty is copiled and translated using the oldest copies of the OT and NT texts we have today (we don’t have the original copies, but there is a staggering number of copies that are close to the writing of the original texts, so we know they are accurate. There are certain differences in some of the old texts we have, for example, when the KJV was written, a certain older manuscript had not yet been discovered, so the KJV has portions that were translated using texts that aren’t as close to the original. This is fascinating topic, and hours and hours can be spent reading about it. One book I would recommend is F.F. Bruce’s “The Canon of Scripture,” which does a great job describing how we got the Bible that we have.

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