Bible Translations

Lake Pointe Bible Church

BIBLE TRANSLATIONS

 

The Old Testament was originally written in Hebrew and the New Testament in Greek, (with a bit of Aramaic in each) so most of us require a translation. There are a variety of English translations, so this paper is provided to assist the members of Lake Pointe in their selection of a Bible translation–especially for daily Bible reading and study.  While individuals are free to choose their own version, we believe it is important in our regular services and classes to consistently read from a single translation, so we have chosen the New International Version for use from the pulpit and in Sunday School classes.

 

King James Version (KJV)

Officially named the “Authorized Version,” the KJV was produced by the Church of England in 1611 under the direction of King James I. It is considered a masterpiece of the English language, with beautiful and poetic language, and was essentially the only English version used among Protestants for about 400 years.  However, some of its words and phraseology are no longer in use today so are difficult to understand by some modern readers. ILLUSTRATION: Romans 8:5, “For they that are after the flesh do mind the things of the flesh; but they that are after the Spirit the things of the Spirit.”

 

The New King James Version (NKJV)

The NKJV, released in 1982, is a revision of the King James Version that updates the vocabulary and grammar of the KJV, while attempting to preserve the classic style and literary beauty of the original 1611 version. ILLUSTRATION: Romans 8:5, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.

 

New International Version (NIV)

The NIV was produced by scholars within the National Association of Evangelicals, and was first released in 1978, with an update in 1984. (This is the version in the Lake Pointe pews.). It is currently the most popular English translation of the Bible, though some feel it “paraphrases” too much for detailed study.  Zondervan, which holds the NIV copyright in the U.S., offers the NIV Study Bible as well as the NIV Life Application Study Bible. A 2002 revision is known as “the TNIV”–Today’s New International Version. In 2011 a further updated version of the NIV was released. You will now often see the versions referred to as NIV (84) and NIV (2011).

 

NIV 84: ILLUSTRATION: Romans 8:5, “Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”

 

NIV 2011 ILLUSTRATION: Romans 8:5: “Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.”

 

New American Standard Bible (NASB)

This version, released in 1971,  is widely considered the most exact and literal translation of the Bible currently in print. Some appreciate this exactness, but others find it too “wooden” as to not “flow” well. ILLUSTRATION: Romans 8:5,  “For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.”


The English Standard Version (ESV)

The ESV, released in 2001, is similar to the New American Standard Bible in that it is considered one of the more literal word-for-word translations of scripture, though it is more recent and its “readability” is considered better than the NASB. ILLUSTRATION: Romans 8:5, “For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit.”

 

The New Living Translation (NLT)

Released in 1996 and currently the third best-selling translation in the U.S., the NLT uses the “dynamic equivalent” approach to translation. It is considered extremely readable but not the best option for detailed study. ILLUSTRATION: Romans 8:5,  “Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit.”

 

Contemporary English Version (CEV)

The CEV project began as a result of studies conducted in 1985 into speech patterns used in magazines, television, etc. These studies focused on how English is read and heard. In 1991, the American Bible Society released the CEV, which is designed at a fairly easy reading level to be understood by those with little or no comprehension of “Bible” language. ILLUSTRATION: Romans 8:5, “People who are ruled by their desires think only of themselves. Everyone who is ruled by the Holy Spirit thinks about spiritual things.

 

The Holman Study Bible

Released in 2004, the claim to fame of the Holman translation is that it correctly uses the personal name of God, “Yahweh” instead of substituting “LORD” as do most English translations. ILLUSTRATION: Romans 8:5, “For those who live according to the flesh think about the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, about the things of the Spirit.”

 

The Message

Produced by Eugene Pederson, Professor of Spiritual Theology at Regent College, The Message uses an “idiomatic” approach to translation, using “contemporary idioms” to “keep the language of the Bible current, fresh and understandable.” It is considered very readable but not the best for in-depth study. ILLUSTRATION: Romans 8:5, “Those who think they can do it on their own end up obsessed with measuring their own moral muscle but never get around to exercising it in real life. Those who trust God’s action in them find that God’s Spirit is in them—living and breathing God!”

 

 

 

 

VERSIONS TO AVOID

–The New World Translation, published by the Watch Tower Society, is the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Bible. It inserts the name “Jehovah” in several places in the NT where it does not appear in the Greek, and it offers unusual translations of passages that teach the deity of Christ, which Jehovah Witnesses reject.

–The official version of the Mormons (Latter Day Saints) is the King James Version, but Joseph Smith also produced what is known as “The Joseph Smith Translation” or the “Inspired Version,” portions of which are included in the King James Bibles that Mormons use.

–The New Jerusalem Bible (NJB) is the official English version of the Roman Catholic Church. It is a 1985 revision of The Jerusalem Bible, which was actually a translation not from the original languages but from the French Bible de Jérusalem. Because of the NJB’s gender inclusive language, many conservative American Catholics favor the Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition or the Douay-Rheims Bible. All 3 versions include the Apocrypha, extra books that most Protestant translations do not include.



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