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View Poll Results: Which (Christian) bible translation do YOU read most?
KJV (includes all KJV editions, 1st, 2d, AV, 1873, etc...) 10 25.00%
NKJV 9 22.50%
NIV (includes all versions, 1984, 2011 etc...)) 4 10.00%
ESV 3 7.50%
NASB 9 22.50%
RSV 0 0%
NRSV 1 2.50%
ASV 0 0%
Message 0 0%
Geneva (1560, 1599) 0 0%
Catholic (including all versions etc...) 1 2.50%
Other 3 7.50%
Voters: 40. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 12-15-2017, 11:37 AM
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Default Which (Christian denomination) bible translation do you use most?

As the title says....

Also, this isn’t a debate about “my Bible translation is better than yours...” It’s just a simple survey to see what everyone here reads within the Christian faith alone. Some may think that a few of the Bibles listed in this survey are not even considered “real” bibles and I get that argument. So let’s try not to get too personal with one another on the issue, but discussing differences in bible translations are welcome.

Thanks.

*** Due to limited poll spacing as well as simplicity, I had to lump a few bible translations together, encompassing all versions of a particular translation.

*** Edited on 12/19 to clarify the discussion “tempo.”
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Old 12-15-2017, 11:39 AM
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KJV
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Old 12-15-2017, 12:02 PM
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NASB
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Old 12-16-2017, 6:09 AM
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ESV
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Old 12-16-2017, 6:28 AM
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KJV
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Old 12-16-2017, 9:51 AM
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NASB, NA28 for Greek
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Old 12-16-2017, 1:48 PM
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NLT
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Old 12-17-2017, 2:19 AM
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NIV,NKJV
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Old 12-17-2017, 4:02 AM
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NKJV
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Old 12-17-2017, 5:33 AM
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I voted NASB because it's the one I rely on the most for Bible study.
If I'm just reading for the sake of reading I may use an ESV or Amplified Bible.
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Old 12-17-2017, 8:15 PM
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I’m shocked at how few read the NIV. That was the #1 bible in the early 90’s and as far as sales went,it lead all Bible sales for over two decades.
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Old 12-17-2017, 9:28 PM
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NASB, NKJV
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Old 12-17-2017, 9:34 PM
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Originally Posted by TrailerparkTrash View Post
I’m shocked at how few read the NIV. That was the #1 bible in the early 90’s and as far as sales went,it lead all Bible sales for over two decades.
That's my second go-to, and the NLT is my third. Having the bible app on my phone and iPad makes it easy to compare translations.
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Old 12-17-2017, 9:36 PM
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KJV 1611
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Old 12-17-2017, 9:38 PM
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Old 12-18-2017, 9:31 AM
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When I decided to read the Bible cover to cover I wanted to read a version that had the least translations as possible that was in English.
My research said that the King James Version (KJV) was what I was looking for so I chose that one.

Man, there are certainly quite a few versions out there now.
One of the newer ones has translations that are gender neutral now.
That is, the word he or man is replaced with a term that means man or woman.

Does it matter? To me it does because I think that there has been enough meanings lost in translation already.

Anyway, I voted KJV.
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Old 12-18-2017, 8:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Rizzo View Post
One of the newer ones has translations that are gender neutral now.
That is, the word he or man is replaced with a term that means man or woman.

Does it matter? To me it does because I think that there has been enough meanings lost in translation already.
Yes I agree with you on the gender neutral stuff. That is why the Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod) IIRC has stopped using the NIV-2011 edition. The 2011 was when the NIV went from a great bible to a politically correct rag in my opinion. My go-to Bible I grew up with (along with my NKJV) is my beloved NIV-1984, before it became politically conforming when they ruined it in my opinion back in 2011.

Also, John MacArthur has dropped the latest NIV translation for his study Bible, since the publisher of the NIV refuses to sell any 1984 NIV editions anywhere, not even on website bible study tools etc... MacArthur switched his study bible over to the ESV as one choice and has maintained the NKJV as an optional translation. The ESV by the way is an excellent English translation. It’s very close to the old NIV-1984 edition.
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Old 12-18-2017, 8:37 PM
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Originally Posted by TrailerparkTrash View Post
Yes I agree with you on the gender neutral stuff. That is why the Lutheran Church (Missouri Synod) IIRC has stopped using the NIV-2011 edition. The 2011 was when the NIV went from a great bible to a politically correct rag in my opinion. My go-to Bible I grew up with (along with my NKJV) is my beloved NIV-1984, before it became politically conforming when they ruined it in my opinion back in 2011.

Also, John MacArthur has dropped the latest NIV translation for his study Bible, since the publisher of the NIV refuses to sell any 1984 NIV editions anywhere, not even on website bible study tools etc... MacArthur switched his study bible over to the ESV as one choice and has maintained the NKJV as an optional translation. The ESV by the way is an excellent English translation. It’s very close to the old NIV-1984 edition.
Well, now wait. You asked:

Quote:
this isn’t a debate about “my Bible translation is better than yours...” It’s just a simple survey to see what everyone here reads within the Christian faith alone. Some might think that some of the Bibles listed in this survey are not even considered “real” bibles and I get that, but I’d prefer we don’t debate that issue in this particular thread.
So, with respect to your wishes, I refrained from reasoning why I chose the particular translations I did. But if you are introducing commentary, I have much to say...
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Old 12-18-2017, 8:49 PM
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ESV, but I also like my Lego version.

Seriously best way to make them visual for kids
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Old 12-19-2017, 9:01 AM
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Well, now wait. You asked:



So, with respect to your wishes, I refrained from reasoning why I chose the particular translations I did. But if you are introducing commentary, I have much to say...
Oh yeah, you’re right. My bad. I shouldn’t have explained it like there’s “no debate” allowed. I just didn’t want it to get downright nasty between two people. I should have clarified more. By all means, please say away.....

I’ll see if I can edit my original post to clarify.
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Old 12-19-2017, 9:09 AM
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WASR10,

There I fixed post 1. Thanks for pointing that all out to me.
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Old 12-19-2017, 9:18 AM
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Oh yeah, you’re right. My bad. I shouldn’t have explained it like there’s “no debate” allowed. I just didn’t want it to get downright nasty between two people. I should have clarified more. By all means, please say away.....

I’ll see if I can edit my original post to clarify.
Sorry for elaborating on what I voted on.
I got carried away.
Interesting thread. Thanks.
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Old 12-19-2017, 3:15 PM
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Originally Posted by TrailerparkTrash View Post
Oh yeah, you’re right. My bad. I shouldn’t have explained it like there’s “no debate” allowed. I just didn’t want it to get downright nasty between two people. I should have clarified more. By all means, please say away.....

I’ll see if I can edit my original post to clarify.
Cool, man. I get it. Thanks for clarifying.
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Old 12-19-2017, 4:25 PM
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If anyone is wondering "how" to choose a translation, I've always used Dr. Robert Thomas' "How to Choose a Bible Version." He was the elder statesman Greek professor at seminary and did a couple versions of this book to keep it up-to-date. He just passed away a couple of months ago.

Translations run from (1) extreme word-for-word accuracy, to (2) total focus on message content. I'll ignore the ones that have agendas (e.g. gender-neutral, etc.).

(1) Word-for-word accuracy gives you the closest, precise-est word for each Greek word (and Hebrew, but I'll use Greek for this post). This is awesome when also doing a Greek study or working with commentaries. The downside is readability. The term "woody" is used to mean that they read stiff and precise rather than flowing and smooth. Best modern examples are NASB and ESV. NKJV comes close but it's based on a much more recent Greek text and has "conflated" passages where at one point in history, scribes tried to fill-out similar passages to be the same - hence, longer readings. I don't include KJV since it is based on very old English English and many find that they have to do a second translation from old English to modern English. The NKJV is based on the same Greek text as the KJV. I heard that they were considering moving to the Greek text that NASB uses. Don't know the status of that.

(2) Message content is called "dynamic equivalence." To help people understand what they are reading, the translators rephrase a verse to read with more understanding. This leads to much longer and wordy verses, but adds some context, simplifies phrasing, and reads easier. The obvious drawbacks are (1) you're buying into the translators interpretation as the text is more like a commentary than the original Greek text, and (2) it's harder to study with commentaries as they are "often" working off word-for-word translations. The best modern example of this kind of translation is the NIV (not the newest NIV, but the 1980s one). An extreme example of this kind of translation is "The Message."

So, how do you choose? The first thing is to see what your pastor preaches with and your teachers in church use. Why? It's frustrating to sit there using an NASB (word-for-word) when the Pastor preaches from the NIV! Same for Sunday School or Bible Studies. Not impossible to deal with, but not as easy as "being on the same page" by using the same type of translation. You may just want to use the Pastor's translation.

Second, consider having both types. Have a word-for-word for your studies and a message/content/dynamic equivalence for your devotionals. The only drawback with this approach is that it's harder to memorize and remember verses with multiple translations.

Third, consider having a shelf of Bibles so that you can cross-reference translations. Even though I use Greek for my sermon prep, I learn a LOT from comparing NASB, ESV, and NKJV translations for each passage I work with. I also point out significant differences when I preach knowing that not everyone has my translation. I think I have a couple of dozen different English translations if I include my Bible Software (Logos and Bibleworks).

Obviously, I've covered this from the perspective of "Protestant" translations. Catholics, Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, etc. have their own translations and often require people to use only theirs. Many places in these Bibles, the translation is identical to protestant versions. Usually, there are a few particular passages that differ dramatically because of the church's theology.

Note: I had no intention of attacking anyone's translation in this post. If I left yours out, sorry! I was just picking for examples from very common versions. A wise seminary professor once told me that there is more than enough truth in any Bible version for someone to be right with God!

God bless and I hope this was useful to some. It's a topic I like!
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Old 12-19-2017, 5:23 PM
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Bill gave an excellent run down of the basic translation approaches. There are word-for-word, dynamic equivalent, and also there are paraphrases.

Dynamic equivalent translations change the wording just enough that it conveys the intent in an equal way, to be sensical for modern languages. Paraphrases take that a step further and actually reword the message to make the intent more apparent. Paraphrases aren’t actual translations but attempts to produce representations of what is thought to be the essence of the text, in a way people today can easily understand. The problem is, when we read these types of translations, we are subject to someone else’s idea of what is being conveyed. Word-for-word translations remove that element, yet take a little more effort to understand or to read with clarity.

The intent of translation is, of course, to convey the word of God as He intended. If we are working to understand the Truth, then we must have the Truth before us. I have seen the study of certain translations or paraphrases lead to false teachings. This is why we must be careful to use a translation that will assist us in understanding exactly what God has revealed rather than an agenda or preconceived notion. I have studied ancient Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic.; their syntax, idioms, colloquialisms, etc. I choose to study from the NASB and the NKJV. I have found them to be the most accurate English representations of what we know to have been written.
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Old 12-19-2017, 7:19 PM
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Originally Posted by Rizzo View Post
Sorry for elaborating on what I voted on.
I got carried away.
Interesting thread. Thanks.
All good brother.
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Old 12-19-2017, 7:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billvau View Post
If anyone is wondering "how" to choose a translation, I've always used Dr. Robert Thomas' "How to Choose a Bible Version." He was the elder statesman Greek professor at seminary and did a couple versions of this book to keep it up-to-date. He just passed away a couple of months ago.

Translations run from (1) extreme word-for-word accuracy, to (2) total focus on message content. I'll ignore the ones that have agendas (e.g. gender-neutral, etc.).

(1) Word-for-word accuracy gives you the closest, precise-est word for each Greek word (and Hebrew, but I'll use Greek for this post). This is awesome when also doing a Greek study or working with commentaries. The downside is readability. The term "woody" is used to mean that they read stiff and precise rather than flowing and smooth. Best modern examples are NASB and ESV. NKJV comes close but it's based on a much more recent Greek text and has "conflated" passages where at one point in history, scribes tried to fill-out similar passages to be the same - hence, longer readings. I don't include KJV since it is based on very old English English and many find that they have to do a second translation from old English to modern English. The NKJV is based on the same Greek text as the KJV. I heard that they were considering moving to the Greek text that NASB uses. Don't know the status of that.

(2) Message content is called "dynamic equivalence." To help people understand what they are reading, the translators rephrase a verse to read with more understanding. This leads to much longer and wordy verses, but adds some context, simplifies phrasing, and reads easier. The obvious drawbacks are (1) you're buying into the translators interpretation as the text is more like a commentary than the original Greek text, and (2) it's harder to study with commentaries as they are "often" working off word-for-word translations. The best modern example of this kind of translation is the NIV (not the newest NIV, but the 1980s one). An extreme example of this kind of translation is "The Message."

So, how do you choose? The first thing is to see what your pastor preaches with and your teachers in church use. Why? It's frustrating to sit there using an NASB (word-for-word) when the Pastor preaches from the NIV! Same for Sunday School or Bible Studies. Not impossible to deal with, but not as easy as "being on the same page" by using the same type of translation. You may just want to use the Pastor's translation.

Second, consider having both types. Have a word-for-word for your studies and a message/content/dynamic equivalence for your devotionals. The only drawback with this approach is that it's harder to memorize and remember verses with multiple translations.

Third, consider having a shelf of Bibles so that you can cross-reference translations. Even though I use Greek for my sermon prep, I learn a LOT from comparing NASB, ESV, and NKJV translations for each passage I work with. I also point out significant differences when I preach knowing that not everyone has my translation. I think I have a couple of dozen different English translations if I include my Bible Software (Logos and Bibleworks).

Obviously, I've covered this from the perspective of "Protestant" translations. Catholics, Mormons, Jehovah Witnesses, etc. have their own translations and often require people to use only theirs. Many places in these Bibles, the translation is identical to protestant versions. Usually, there are a few particular passages that differ dramatically because of the church's theology.

Note: I had no intention of attacking anyone's translation in this post. If I left yours out, sorry! I was just picking for examples from very common versions. A wise seminary professor once told me that there is more than enough truth in any Bible version for someone to be right with God!

God bless and I hope this was useful to some. It's a topic I like!
Excellent information Bill. Thank you!
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Old 12-19-2017, 7:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WASR10 View Post
Bill gave an excellent run down of the basic translation approaches. There are word-for-word, dynamic equivalent, and also there are paraphrases.

Dynamic equivalent translations change the wording just enough that it conveys the intent in an equal way, to be sensical for modern languages. Paraphrases take that a step further and actually reword the message to make the intent more apparent. Paraphrases aren’t actual translations but attempts to produce representations of what is thought to be the essence of the text, in a way people today can easily understand. The problem is, when we read these types of translations, we are subject to someone else’s idea of what is being conveyed. Word-for-word translations remove that element, yet take a little more effort to understand or to read with clarity.

The intent of translation is, of course, to convey the word of God as He intended. If we are working to understand the Truth, then we must have the Truth before us. I have seen the study of certain translations or paraphrases lead to false teachings. This is why we must be careful to use a translation that will assist us in understanding exactly what God has revealed rather than an agenda or preconceived notion. I have studied ancient Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic.; their syntax, idioms, colloquialisms, etc. I choose to study from the NASB and the NKJV. I have found them to be the most accurate English representations of what we know to have been written.
I used to attend a church in Yorba Linda where the awesome pastor taught from the NASB. It’s one of my favorites, especially when reading Proverbs. I also own a Hebrew-Greek-NASB translation study Bible (with no commentary), that I absolutely love and refer to it all the time.

***Billvau, what do you think of the Geneva Bible? I own a copy of a first edition 1560, with Calvin’s and his assistant’s notes printed in the margins on each page. Personally, I neither can read the old gothic Elizabethan English text, nor do I ascribe to all of Calvin’s beliefs. The biblical portion of the text uses the letters V as a U and I’s for J’s. For example, Jesus is spelled “Iesus.” King James himself read from the Geneva as a young man, until he became king and decided that he didn’t like the notes by Calvin, that constantly promoted God above any monarch ruler. Hence James commissioned the making of the KJV and several years later, it was finally published in 1611.

The Geneva is considered really the first “study” bible. I also have a 1599 Geneva which eliminated some of the notes that Calvin published in the margins of the 1560, specifically calling the Pope the “anti christ” in Revelation. Besides the margin notes, I really like the Word of the 1599 Geneva, as it’s written in traditional Roman text and very similar to my 1st edition KJV copy. Although the 1st ed. KJV has the Apocrypha, while the Geneva does not.

Oh, I forgot to add, personally I don’t think the “message” bible written by Eugene Peterson is “biblical” to say the least. But I have a few friends that would disagree with me on that subject. I also don’t think that the New Living Translation (NLT) is close to being a copy of God’s Word either. But that’s just me.
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Old 12-20-2017, 2:45 AM
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This is some good info. Not trying to hijack this thread and pardon my ignorance but, can someone show me where they have used “political correctness” in the NIV or other versions?
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Old 12-20-2017, 6:03 PM
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***Billvau, what do you think of the Geneva Bible? I own a copy of a first edition 1560, with Calvin’s and his assistant’s notes printed in the margins on each page. Personally, I neither can read the old gothic Elizabethan English text, nor do I ascribe to all of Calvin’s beliefs. The biblical portion of the text uses the letters V as a U and I’s for J’s. For example, Jesus is spelled “Iesus.” King James himself read from the Geneva as a young man, until he became king and decided that he didn’t like the notes by Calvin, that constantly promoted God above any monarch ruler. Hence James commissioned the making of the KJV and several years later, it was finally published in 1611.

The Geneva is considered really the first “study” bible. I also have a 1599 Geneva which eliminated some of the notes that Calvin published in the margins of the 1560, specifically calling the Pope the “anti christ” in Revelation. Besides the margin notes, I really like the Word of the 1599 Geneva, as it’s written in traditional Roman text and very similar to my 1st edition KJV copy. Although the 1st ed. KJV has the Apocrypha, while the Geneva does not.

Oh, I forgot to add, personally I don’t think the “message” bible written by Eugene Peterson is “biblical” to say the least. But I have a few friends that would disagree with me on that subject. I also don’t think that the New Living Translation (NLT) is close to being a copy of God’s Word either. But that’s just me.
Ah, the Geneva Bible! VERY famous Bible in the history of Bible Translations. You own a very important Bible! I had to learn about this translation when learning the historical background of Bibles. According to Dr. Thomas in his book, "Several Britich reformers, including Miles Coverdale, John Knox, and William Whittingham, fled England because of the persecution of Queen Mary. In Geneva they found refuge under the protection of John Calvin, who exercised some authority there. The group, with Whittingham probably taking a leading part, produced the Geneva Bible in 1560. The work included a revision of the Old Testament so thorough that it could be considered a new translation. For this reason, it usually stands apart from the Tyndale tradition. The new translation was necessary because the books of the Old Testament not translated by Tyndale from Hebrew and Aramaic were for the first time put into English directly from the original languages. The basis of the translation in the New Testament was the 1534 edition of Tyndale...The Geneva Bible achieved almost immediate recognition and a rapid popularity...it was the first English Bible to have verse division. Its impact was so profound that Scripture quotations in the introduction to the KJV derived from the Geneva Bible. The call for some 180 editions of the Geneva Bible, the last of them in 1644, attests the widespread popularity of the version." So, AWESOME Bible!

I didn't comment on "The Message" because the OP asked we not start a translation war. The biggest problem with a Bible like that is that the very people reading it are often the ones least able theologically to understand the translation decisions made. It leaves people vulnerable to accepting a theology they might not otherwise agree to.
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Old 12-20-2017, 6:06 PM
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NLT
Ditto
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Old 12-20-2017, 6:18 PM
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This is some good info. Not trying to hijack this thread and pardon my ignorance but, can someone show me where they have used “political correctness” in the NIV or other versions?
By politically correct, I was referring specifically to the TNIV (The new NIV) translation done in 2005 and the NLT (New Living Translation). The most notable thing that they did was to change all the gender references to gender neutral references. You can't tell the he's from the she's! Some people don't like the fact that God reveals Himself as a "He." So, these aren't a "translation" but a re-write to fit someone's agenda. The TNIV was very unpopular and discontinued. The publisher then updated the original NIV with a lot of those same changes but kept the NIV name. That's why people reject the latest NIV (see some people in this thread saying they do that and still use the 1984 NIV).

I'm sure other loose translations / paraphrases / message-oriented versions do the same thing in subtle ways. They're just applying their cultural bias onto the Bible. It becomes a commentary more than translation.

This is why I give up some ease of readability for word-for-word translation. I can check the Greek and see if I agree with the English translation. I'm not perfect, but I am accountable to God for what I teach, so have to use every tool I can to be accurate in teaching the meaning of the text. Sermons take a LONG time!
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Last edited by billvau; 12-20-2017 at 6:20 PM..
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Old 12-21-2017, 3:04 AM
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By politically correct, I was referring specifically to the TNIV (The new NIV) translation done in 2005 and the NLT (New Living Translation). The most notable thing that they did was to change all the gender references to gender neutral references. You can't tell the he's from the she's! Some people don't like the fact that God reveals Himself as a "He." So, these aren't a "translation" but a re-write to fit someone's agenda. The TNIV was very unpopular and discontinued. The publisher then updated the original NIV with a lot of those same changes but kept the NIV name. That's why people reject the latest NIV (see some people in this thread saying they do that and still use the 1984 NIV).

I'm sure other loose translations / paraphrases / message-oriented versions do the same thing in subtle ways. They're just applying their cultural bias onto the Bible. It becomes a commentary more than translation.

This is why I give up some ease of readability for word-for-word translation. I can check the Greek and see if I agree with the English translation. I'm not perfect, but I am accountable to God for what I teach, so have to use every tool I can to be accurate in teaching the meaning of the text. Sermons take a LONG time!


Thanks for the reply. I certainly appreciate the information. I’ve been using a NIV study bible, mainly because that is what was recommended to me when started studying and it’s what my church uses most. I have recently picked up a NKJV MacArthur study bible and use it in conjunction with the NIV, it seems to help me get a clearer picture and understanding. (note I said “clearer” not “clear”) Anyway thanks again.
Mark


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Old 12-21-2017, 4:42 AM
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Thanks for the reply. I certainly appreciate the information. I’ve been using a NIV study bible, mainly because that is what was recommended to me when started studying and it’s what my church uses most. I have recently picked up a NKJV MacArthur study bible and use it in conjunction with the NIV, it seems to help me get a clearer picture and understanding. (note I said “clearer” not “clear”) Anyway thanks again.
Mark


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The NKJV is an excellent translation and I consider the MacArthur Study Bible the best of the study Bibles. I'd suggest you start collecting MacArthur's Commentaries and listening to his sermons (www.gty.org). To me, he's the clearest Bible teacher of our generation. Necessary disclosure: I went to seminary at his seminary and studied under him. God bless!
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Old 12-21-2017, 4:57 AM
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The NKJV is an excellent translation and I consider the MacArthur Study Bible the best of the study Bibles. I'd suggest you start collecting MacArthur's Commentaries and listening to his sermons (www.gty.org). To me, he's the clearest Bible teacher of our generation. Necessary disclosure: I went to seminary at his seminary and studied under him. God bless!


LOL Love the disclosure! I enjoy listening to his podcasts and am currently reading his book, The Gospel According to Jesus. As I have told my wife, the book hasn’t necessarily made me “see the light” but it has definitely made that light brighter! Enjoying the book! I also have picked up his bible study book of Luke. I look forward to starting that very soon. Thanks for the recommendations.


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