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  #1  
Old 03-09-2022, 8:14 AM
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Default Edited~Heathen Looking For Recommendations For A Bible For Beginners

I went ahead and pulled trigger and ordered an ESV Bible.
Funny thing, my friend that gifted me the NIV study Bible happened to call me at work today, something he never does. He thought the ESV would be fine for me.
So many choices, thanks for y'alls input, it is greatly appreciated.




Born into the Roman Catholic religion when masses were said in Latin, like many Roman Catholics, I ditched church as soon as was of age to do so.

I have found many regular churchgoers to be hypocrites and others to just go for social reasons.
My mother was a social churchgoer. My first wife, a Methodist, was a social/hypocrite churchgoer.

My first wife would scold me for not attending church with her but instead go out on my road bike (I was a 150-200 mile a week cyclist living in prime mountain riding terrain).
My reply was that I was much closer to God out on the road than she was sitting in church so she was seen by neighbors attending church, something I still firmly believe today.
I'm not looking for a religion or a church, I just would like to get a better understanding of the bible.

I read daily and finding books I'm interested in is becoming more and more difficult.
A couple days ago I pulled out an NIV study bible, the name escapes me at the moment, that a friend gifted me some 25 years ago. I have tried to read this bible a few times over the years and I seem to develop ADD when I do. I just can't read it.

After doing some research, I think an NLT bible sounds like it would suit me, not sure if I need or want a study bible though.
So many choices online, if the Valley Book and Bible store was still open I'd take the drive to Van Nuys to look, hold and learn from the store employees but it is now closed.

I was interested at first in the Every Man's Bible but think I'd prefer a straight forward copy of the NLT bible, not one steered by an editor at a particular gender.

Any recommendations would be greatly appreciated. Large print, not giant, might be good, and I think Red Letter would be nice.

Thank you in advance for any rec's or opinions may you may have.

Last edited by VictorFranko; 03-09-2022 at 2:43 PM..
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Old 03-09-2022, 8:25 AM
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KJV 1611



https://www.thekjvstore.com/1611-edi...e-hendrickson/
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Old 03-09-2022, 8:26 AM
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Get an ESV
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Old 03-09-2022, 8:37 AM
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ESV is good.
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Old 03-09-2022, 9:10 AM
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Originally Posted by M76 View Post
KJV 1611

Isn't 1611 King James akin to suggesting Atlas Shrugged to someone that should be reading Green Eggs and Ham?
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Old 03-09-2022, 9:29 AM
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OP, If only non-hypocrites were allowed in church, the church building would be empty. Even pastors are hypocrites. After all, we are all sinners. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Our measure of moral uprightness isn't against other people, but against the holiness of God. Nonetheless, the bible tells us to meet with one another for corporate worship and fellowship with other believers. Some people think that their spiritual life is just between them and God so there's no need to go to church where there's hypocrisy and other personal conflicts. But that's not God's will.

As for the bible version. NIV is great. The sentence structure reads smoothly. Our church uses ESV, which is a good word for word translation, but doesn't read as smoothly as NIV. NLT is too simplified in my view. I would stick with the NIV.

As for an antidote to ADD while reading the bible, depends on the book. I would read John. Keep reading it over and over. Even the same chapter multiple times before moving on to the next chapter.
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Old 03-09-2022, 10:08 AM
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I am glad to read that you are going to read the Bible. I use a NKJV, a KJV is the closest English translation of Scripture, but I need more of an Americanized version of Scripture.

Don't judge God by who professes to be his believers (hint, some of them aren't).
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Old 03-09-2022, 2:15 PM
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New King James reads well, there is a lot of slack in the NLT and the NIV, just my not so humble point of view.

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Old 03-09-2022, 2:30 PM
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One of the reasons why I like the NIV Study Bible is because it has a ton of footnotes.

I would also suggest finding a men's group, be aware that some are better then others.
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Old 03-09-2022, 2:45 PM
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Thanks to all, and to Randy and Brotha, thanks for the words.
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Old 03-09-2022, 3:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike.h View Post
One of the reasons why I like the NIV Study Bible is because it has a ton of footnotes.

I would also suggest finding a men's group, be aware that some are better then others.

I was going to recommend a study bible. My ESV study bible makes for a more enriched read.


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Old 03-09-2022, 4:16 PM
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Originally Posted by jbj View Post
I was going to recommend a study bible. My ESV study bible makes for a more enriched read.
As mentioned in the OP, I have a study Bible (NIV) and it's a bit overwhelming for me for some reason, I don't know why.
I want just a simple, straight-forward Bible to read for now.

It seems people end up with more than one or two Bibles, if the ESV works for me an ESV study Bible may very well be in the future.

Thanks for you input though!
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Old 03-09-2022, 11:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Wordupmybrotha View Post
OP, If only non-hypocrites were allowed in church, the church building would be empty. Even pastors are hypocrites. After all, we are all sinners. All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. Our measure of moral uprightness isn't against other people, but against the holiness of God. Nonetheless, the bible tells us to meet with one another for corporate worship and fellowship with other believers. Some people think that their spiritual life is just between them and God so there's no need to go to church where there's hypocrisy and other personal conflicts. But that's not God's will.
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I am glad to read that you are going to read the Bible. I use a NKJV, a KJV is the closest English translation of Scripture, but I need more of an Americanized version of Scripture.

Don't judge God by who professes to be his believers (hint, some of them aren't).
... don't get distracted and be put off by hypocrites. your salvation doesn't depend on them. keep reminding yourself that Jesus is your only Savior and your relationship with Him will save you.
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Old 03-10-2022, 3:29 AM
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Very encouraging news, VictorFranko and congrats on your desire to get into God's word.

I started with NIV and the same thing as you described happened to me. NLT was the way to go for me at the time I started reading the bible, as it was more plain spoken and helped me to understand. Amplified bible was also one I kept for study because I liked the nuances of the words.

I use ESV nowadays on the YouVersion app when I read in the middle of the night and it suits me just fine. Just keep reading whatever version and don't stop.

Church is for sinners, not perfect people, so you will find a lot of us there, as noted even pastors. Just keep your eyes on Jesus and when you fall don't condemn yourself, ask for forgiveness, repent and get back up.

I recently came across this quote from John Newton the former slaver turned abolitionist and pastor who wrote Amazing Grace, about his conversion and it summed up our total depravity nicely:

Quote:
I am not what I ought to be. Ah! How imperfect and deficient! I am not what I wish to be. I abhor what is evil, and I would cleave to what is good. I am not what I hope to be. Soon, soon, I shall put off mortality, and with mortality all sin and imperfection. Yet, though I am not what I ought to be, nor what I wish to be, nor what I hope to be, I can truly say, I am not what I once was—a slave to sin and Satan. And I can heartily join with the apostle, and acknowledge, “By the grace of God, I am what I am.
This also echoes many verses in the NT well IMO.

Anyhow, glad you are taking advantage of one of the greatest treasures we have on this planet and I hope you find the version that is just right for you.
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Last edited by PogoJack; 03-10-2022 at 3:33 AM..
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Old 03-10-2022, 4:07 AM
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Wow surprised to see so many fans of the ESV I was raised on either KJV or NIV.

And still use both.

I will have to look into the ESV.
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Old 03-10-2022, 8:20 AM
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Aside from having a good physical copy of The Word, I also use Bible.is and their app for searching, and also that it has almost every non-study Bible included in the contents. The app includes spoken-word Bibles and narration of others, so you can listen along podcast-style if you can’t read (for whatever reason).

I know some will say that listening along is not giving your full attention to the word, but I do like to do so while working, in addition to Bible study group with my church and reading a chapter each day.

The only thing I wish that the app had, which is understandable why they don’t, is the study Bibles or Greek cross-reference. Those apps cost money as there is copyrighted work involved in each translation. They should be free as glory to God, but sadly most aren’t, from my search.
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Old 03-10-2022, 8:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VictorFranko View Post
As mentioned in the OP, I have a study Bible (NIV) and it's a bit overwhelming for me for some reason, I don't know why.
I want just a simple, straight-forward Bible to read for now.

It seems people end up with more than one or two Bibles, if the ESV works for me an ESV study Bible may very well be in the future.

Thanks for you input though!
When I started reading the Bible, I also felt overwhelmed, and I had the benefit of being able to talk to a couple of friends about my concerns. I was hoping they would give me a simple answer that would clear everything up. They gave me a simple answer which was, "Keep Reading". It did not immediately clear up everything. This is my view of what was going on. I approached God, and he did not immediately respond. I believe it was my sincerity and continued effort in reading the Bible that resulted in clarity.
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Old 03-11-2022, 5:03 AM
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Do not use the Message Bible written ( paraphrase) by Eugene Peterson of Colorado. It is NOT a translation of Gods word. It’s a dumbing down of the Bible
so it’s easily read ( not understood). Used by mega church people like Rick Warren because “ it draws a crowd “,so it must be good. A good study Bible will help you understand the importance and meaning of Gods word.
Click on the picture and read the “ Lord’s Prayer” from the Message Bible.

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Old 03-11-2022, 7:17 AM
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Once again, thanks for all your comments and recommendations, greatly appreciated.

I received my ESV Bible (Crossway publisher) yesterday. It is exactly what I was looking for and so far I am very happy with it.
Imitation leather cover is nice, larger print (not giant) is really nice and the page paper is nice quality, text from next page does not bleed through.
It is a nice size and comfortable weight.



Instead of seeing all this on every page:



I see this, just what I wanted:

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Old 03-11-2022, 7:51 AM
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Your life will never be the same. The “ Good News” is for everyone.
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Old 03-14-2022, 10:54 AM
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very nice!
The truth of the gospel doesn't change, but it hits me in different ways depending on my life circumstances when I read it.
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Old 03-14-2022, 6:30 PM
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I'd suggest getting an ESV MacArthur Study Bible in addition to the one you just got. The MacArthur has the best verse interpretations (for those of us who want an accurate, in-context, interpretation that hasn't been analogized, etc.)

God bless!
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Old 03-14-2022, 6:59 PM
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Never read the A bible, raised and practicing Catholic. So I can't help on a bible. but after 40+ years of church, I finally found someone that has moved me even closer to Faith

Father Mike Schmitz

Sunday Mass, wonderful sermon Starts 10:00 min and goes for another 20min
https://youtu.be/7NhN5dRfUtQ

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Old 03-14-2022, 8:56 PM
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My best recommendation for reading the Bible is find a reading plan that goes from Old Testament to New Testament. You will be surprised how well it reads and how much quick and better of an understanding you develop.
Congrats on getting back into it. As a hypocrite, liar, and sinner I welcome you!
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Old 03-16-2022, 8:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billvau View Post
I'd suggest getting an ESV MacArthur Study Bible in addition to the one you just got. The MacArthur has the best verse interpretations (for those of us who want an accurate, in-context, interpretation that hasn't been analogized, etc.)

God bless!
It is a very good bible but the print used is horrible. Had trouble reading it. Couldn’t find a large print version at the time.
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Old 03-18-2022, 4:47 PM
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ESV or NKJV are easier to read and understand. KJV can be difficult to grasp, because we don’t talk in old Elizabethan English anymore.

Avoid NIV, unless it was published BEFORE 2011. NIV-1984’s were the best but out if print. eBay has the fantastic Zondervan NIV-84 study bibles still once in a while that pop up and their study bibles were second to none. I bought one for each immediate family member.

Note: The new NIV’s (2011 and later), sadly went politically correct and GENDER NEUTRAL! Garbage.
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Old 03-23-2022, 5:59 PM
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Note: The new NIV’s (2011 and later), sadly went politically correct and GENDER NEUTRAL! Garbage.
Really? That's unfortunate. Awhile ago I went searching for the most accurate translation of the Bible available and I saw the NIV being touted as most accurate. Maybe that was in reference to the earlier prints as you stated. I usually read NKJV but maybe I should give ESV a try.
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Old 03-24-2022, 8:11 PM
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KJV Only is the way I go. It unlocks mysteries and codes that allow you to understand what you need to know. All other translations are not genuine and can fog the true meaning of God.

The most important part is ABC's of Salvation that's the way to go it may be too late to learn what's about to happen anytime now until September starting the Tribulation ending after 7 years and leading to the millennial reign.


Dr. Gene Kim has some videos on youtube or Robert Breaker.


Google ABC's of Salvation images only way to leave earth before it gets ugly.

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Old 03-29-2022, 7:59 AM
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Sounds like your objective is to just gain an appreciation for the Bible. Any of the more "spirit" translations will work (spirit of the text, not the literal translation). Children's bible versions are great at that. The NIV leans that direction, as does the ESV. But they are still adult translations. I'd check out a Phillips or Living translation. Those give you the gist -- paraphrases really. You can dig into depth with something more academic like an NRSV, ESV or something else from the more literal families. No one translation does it all. But the paraphrases will help get you through it in quicker time.

I know plenty of people with college degrees in Biblical studies who have never read the entire Bible cover-to-cover. Oddly, most programs don't require it. I took it upon myself to do it when I was in highschool, reading at least one chapter every night though often more. It took me until about midway through college to finish. It's rarely gripping reading, especially at the end of the day when we're tired. Sometimes, I'd just "Psalm it" (read one Psalm and then hit the sack). But that diligence pays off in time. You can always go back and read things later in more detail, do some in-depth study, etc. If you want to really understand what you're reading, then I think a good history book or two (or 20) will help make sense of what the author(s) are saying & why. Context, context, context.

I hear you about road cycling -- I haven't been doing it much lately but I get it. For me, I quit attending church when I picked up surfing. I was consistently leaving church feeling frustrated, bitter, angry, etc. at people and at God. But I felt great about life and God whenever I was in the water. After a while, I just asked my pastor to take me off the roles because I didn't plan on ever coming back. Haven't attended church regularly since. I don't really even consider myself a Christian anymore either. But there's good in it. It was good for me for many years and I still find it fascinating, along with many other religious and spiritual practices. Having an in-depth understanding of Christianity gives me an appreciation for Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, ancient paganism (not really the modern stuff), animism & even some new-age mumbo-jumbo from time to time.

Wish you all the best.
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Old 03-29-2022, 8:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VictorFranko View Post
[COLOR="blue"]

My first wife would scold me for not attending church with her but instead go out on my road bike (I was a 150-200 mile a week cyclist living in prime mountain riding terrain).
My reply was that I was much closer to God out on the road than she was sitting in church so she was seen by neighbors attending church, something I still firmly believe today.
I'm not looking for a religion or a church, I just would like to get a better understanding of the bible.
Interesting that you mention cycling. I'm a cyclist - training about 8-12 hours/week and racing some / gravel events some. BUT, as a Christian, being in church with the people of God FAR exceeds my extraordinary love for being outdoors on my bike in the Norcal mountains. No comparison.

In fact, fellowship with the saints is not only commanded by Christ (Heb. 10:24-25), but it is the greatest desire of Christians. The NT speaks FAR FAR FAR MORE about the Corporate nature of our salvation than it does about our individual salvation. Why? Because we are saved to serve Christ by serving other Christians (using our gifts) and witnessing to non-Christians.

There are NO "lone-wolf" / "stay-at-home" / "church-hopping" Christians in the NT and its expectations. To be one of those is to either not be a Christian OR to be severely backslidden and in need of immediate repentance / restoration.

Blessings,
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Old 03-29-2022, 9:04 AM
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As stated a few responses up...

I started out by reading the Bible cover to cover, old to new when I was in high school. Since then, I've read it that way a few more times. Now I "study" versus from the Bible. I find this the be a great way to do things.
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Old 03-29-2022, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
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As stated a few responses up...

I started out by reading the Bible cover to cover, old to new when I was in high school. Since then, I've read it that way a few more times. Now I "study" versus from the Bible. I find this the be a great way to do things.
I'd encourage you to study whole books verse-by-verse and not just verses. Context is everything. Verses taken out-of-context is called "proof-texting" and it's an abuse of Scripture to do that.

Ask me some time about "Wherever two-or-three are gathered in my name..." or the mis-interpretation of the word "baptism" (because of it being mis-translated from the Greek...).

Blessings,
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“Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason- I do not accept the authority of popes and councils [i.e. any man]- my conscience is captive to the Word of God…” Martin Luther
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Old 03-29-2022, 7:58 PM
Garand Hunter Garand Hunter is offline
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HI Bill, from Garand Hunter, I made my input further back in this thread.

Psalm 1
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  #34  
Old 03-29-2022, 11:40 PM
IronsightsRifleman IronsightsRifleman is offline
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I recommend the Confraternity edition.

ESV, NIV, KJV are all okay. The language of the KJV is too archaic for me, while the NIV is overly simplified. Many like the ESV because it strikes a better balance.

I use the Confraternity Bible, which was the Catholic standard in the US back in the 1950s and 60s. Now you can only find them used, but there are plenty on eBay.

Compare John 3:21...

KJV: But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God.

Confraternity: But he who does the truth comes to the light that his deeds may be made manifest, for they have been performed in God.

ESV: But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.

NIV: But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.

Choose whichever version you will most enjoy spending time reading.

The Confraternity is hard to find online, this is the only source I am aware of:
https://johnblood.gitlab.io/haydock/...ity/index.html
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  #35  
Old 03-30-2022, 1:17 AM
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Each version of the Bible strikes a certain cord. Individuals find meaning in words and translations are just that. All these Bible types were derived from the original works of early language scripts passed down from verbal traditions in many cases.
Study/read all versions for best understanding. God has given all free will and comprehension to establish a relationship with Him. His message thru the Bible is simply to know Him and follow what He has explained thru his Holy Word the Bible.
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  #36  
Old 03-30-2022, 5:31 AM
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billvau billvau is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Garand Hunter View Post
New King James reads well, there is a lot of slack in the NLT and the NIV, just my not so humble point of view.

Psalm 1
Saw your post above. NKJV is my second favorite version for accurate translation. I wish that they'd use better/older Greek texts, though. That would get rid of their conflation problem (longer readings due to scribes trying to normalize texts to say the same thing).

The NLT is far off my radar. Never looked at it. To me, all of the phrase translations are garbage. Give me the word-for-word translation, and I'll go to an accurate commentary for understanding.

Of the phrase translations, the old NIV is the best. But, it's still to much of built-in commentary and doesn't allow you to do one of the most critical parts of Bible Study - observing word repetition. Another critical miss- accurate verb translations.

People suggest reading the NIV for devotions. I stick to my study/teaching version because I know what God means from it (and that's what I need for devotions) and using the same version deepens my memory of Scripture.

Blessings!
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Pastor Bill

“Unless I am convinced by Scripture and plain reason- I do not accept the authority of popes and councils [i.e. any man]- my conscience is captive to the Word of God…” Martin Luther

Last edited by billvau; 03-30-2022 at 9:37 AM.. Reason: above not below! :)
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  #37  
Old 03-30-2022, 7:17 PM
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King James Version
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