PDA

View Full Version : Compare and contrast Bible translations



William A. Francis
02-20-2005, 01:55 PM
I'm a longtime student of the Bible and user of the Revised Standard Edition (from college days), and a new owner of Bibleworks. I'm currently heading up a weekly men's group that is actively deliving into Biblical passages and issues. My dilemma: Bibleworks contains such a long and varied list of Bible texts, I'm a little overwhelmed. As a group we are trying to show and study different translations to discover nuances within the text. If I were to have several recommendations of OTHER translations beyond the RVS that would provide an interesting and thought-provoking debate, I would be most grateful. Your suggestions?

Gontroppo
02-20-2005, 04:12 PM
G'day William.
Here are some interesting bible versions incorporated into BibleWorks:

The venerable King James Version, actually an 1800s edition of the original 1611 bible. This one has had the widest influence, both on the English language and its spread, and on Christian thinking.

It is based entirely on versions of the Hebrew-Aramaic Old Testament from around 1000 AD, and on a few late manuscripts of the New Testament available in the 1500s.

The New King James Version is easier to read, but is mainly based on these same manuscripts.

The New American Standard Bible [use the NAU databases for the most current edition] is based on the same OT manuscripts, but the New Testament is based on a wider and older range of manuscripts. This version aims to bring otu the form of the original, as much as possible. It is not easy to read in big chunks.

The English Standard Version is an update of the RSV, which you are familiar with. These versions use the same variety of NT manuscripts as the NASB, but also look at ancient versions of the OT in other languages, such as the Septuagint, the first Greek translation of the OT.

The ESV changes a few renderings in the RSV which some folk saw as unorthodox, in passages such as Isaiah 7:14 and 1 John 2:2, but it also sometimes modernises the English by using more contemporary language, and by using generic language where the original does not contain masculine language.

If you compare the New Revised Standard Version with the ESV, you will see that the translators have more frequently updated the language to be inclusive of both sexes. But some people feel that the NRSV has at times done this inappropriately, and possibly with a feminist agenda. But it does not go bananas like the few feminist versions which are squeamish about calling God "Father" and Jesus "Son" for fear of being sexist!

The New Jerusalem Bible was originally French and is interesting to compare, because it is independent from the KJV/RSV/NASB/ESV tradition. One example of this is its use of "Yahweh" where these versions have "the LORD."

The New Living Translation began as an attempt to make the rather loose Living Bible more accurate. It is based on the same variety of texts as the NRSV/ESV [and most modern translations], but the language is more conversational and contemporary. If you have downloaded the update to the NLT, known as the NLT2, you will have a version which has distanced itself even further from the Living Bible. It is a substantial revision of the NLT and is much more different from the NLT than the TNIV, the upgrade to the NIV, is different from its predecessor.

I don't suppose you need me to say much about the NIV. It stands between the RSV and NLT in its effort to be accurate, but also understandable, I think. You can download the update to the NIV, the TNIV from www.tniv.info (http://www.tniv.info) . This version is only a little different from the NIV, but updates that 25 year old version with contemporary language, use of gender inclusive language [standing between the ESV and NRSV in its willingness to do this] and in the light of contemporary scholarship.

Going beyond BibleWorks, you can also access the Good News Bible and the Message in the free and terrific e-sword program, which you can download from http://www.e-sword.net (http://www.e-sword.net/index.html) .

David McKay
www.davidmckay.info (http://www.davidmckay.info)

alan1979
02-20-2005, 04:57 PM
David wrote>>>
If you compare the New Revised Standard Version with the ESV, you will see that the translators have more frequently updated the language to be inclusive of both sexes. But some people feel that the NRSV has at times done this inappropriately, and possibly with a feminist agenda. But it does not go bananas like the few feminist versions which are squeamish about calling God "Father" and Jesus "Son" for fear of being sexist!

David McKay
www.davidmckay.info (http://www.davidmckay.info)[/QUOTE]

Alan<<< David, which versions have become more feminist in their approach to the titles of father and son used for God and Jesus? I am curious, thank you

alan

alan1979
02-20-2005, 04:59 PM
David, which versions are feminist in their approach to feeling ill to the titles of FATHER, and SON for God and Jesus? THanks :)

alan

alan1979
02-20-2005, 05:01 PM
David,

Which versions have become squemish about referring to God as Father and Jesus as Son? Thanks

alan

alan1979
02-20-2005, 05:03 PM
Sorry about the multiple posts, my computer is acting up and didn't let me know that the first reply worked.


Thanks,

Alan

Gontroppo
02-20-2005, 07:39 PM
None in BibleWorks, Alan.
I saw a Women's bible in a shop once.

And there is a bible called the Inclusive Version.

Don't know much about them. Sorry

David McKay
www.davidmckay.info (http://www.davidmckay.info)

MGVH
02-20-2005, 10:31 PM
Some online summaries of English translations that are worth checking include:
http://www.zondervanbibles.com/translations.htm (provides continuum locating literal to dynamic translations)
and
http://www.kenanderson.net/bible/which_version.html for a more detailed description of many versions.
TLbwy!
Mark

pastorsteve
02-21-2005, 10:46 AM
David, which versions are feminist in their approach to feeling ill to the titles of FATHER, and SON for God and Jesus? THanks :)

alan

Just to echo David, the only version I know of that does this is The Inclusive Version. Last time I checked, it was only available in the New Testament. Some people basically took the NRSV and further revised it, removing all gendered references to the persons of the Trinity. Therefore, the Son is called "the Child," the Father is called "the Creator," etc.

Joe Fleener
02-21-2005, 11:03 AM
As a group we are trying to show and study different translations to discover nuances within the text.


Hi William,

If you are using BW 6.0, which if you are a new owner I assume you are.

You can use the 'Text Comparison Settings to quickly see the textual differences between versions.

Just pick the 4 or 5 or 6 or whatever # of English versions you want to compare.

Display each of those in your results window.

Now go to tools - Text Comparison Settings

You will see a dialog for 'Versions to Compare'

Click on Edit.

Choose your base version (for you maybe RSV) and then choose all the version you want to compare to the RSV. Make sure you have all the ones you select displayed in your results window or you will not see all this work.

One you have done this choose the text and background color in which you want the differences displayed.

Check the 'Enable' box

Choose the LCS Method

Make sure 'Cross-compare All versions' is unchecked

Click OK.

You will now see all the differences the non-RSV versions have compared to the RSV (assuming RSV is your base version).

Hope this helps.

dbielby
03-10-2005, 12:41 AM
I would recommend you take a peek at Gordon Fee's 3rd Revision of New Testament Exegesis. He has an excellent section there on using different translations (whether one knows the original languages or not) and some practical steps to guide you in the process of discovering what the Bible means in context and how to apply that to us today.

He recommends you compare seven translations with one another.

Here are some of my notes and modifications from his stuff. He has a different list of versions. These are the ones I prefer.

By the way, his book gives some good advice on how to integrate diagramming (a new feature of BW) into your bible study habits. I recommend that as well. Here are my notes adapted from Fee.


For those without Greek (Those with Greek may find this very helpful also)
From “NT Exegesis” pgs. 37 & 38

__ Read the paragraph through in several translations.

__ Secure at least five different translations (preferably NKJV, NASB, NRSV, NIV, NLT, NJB) ++

__ Make a photocopy or a word document you can edit with all the texts.

(use colored markers to identify differences in approach)

__ Determine the significant textual differences.

__ Try to determine whether the differences are from various original texts,

grammatical issues, or lexicography (word studies).



Fee says to read seven translations. Some of the ones he recommends are not in BW. Just substitute any good modern translation. Also with the text comparison feature that Joe mentions in this thread, you do not need to make photocopies of anything. You can do it all in BW, which is really slick.

I am pretty jazzed up about BW6.0. I think this company listens to customers and things that were suggested several years ago are now standard features in the product. It's very encouraging!

I hope this helps you out.

Take care.

jgjackson
03-11-2005, 03:01 PM
The NET bible is wonderful for understanding the translation process because of its copious notes that often go into great detail on textual, gramatical, exegetical, iodomatic and cultural issues that effect the translation, so even if you think their rendering of the main text is wrong, the notes shed light on the various alternatives more so than any other translation (or most commentaries for that matter).

Gontroppo
03-11-2005, 04:28 PM
If you would like to compare the TNIV [Today's New International Version] with the NIV, you can now do so at www.tniv.info (http://www.tniv.info)

You will immediately see how similar they are, especially in the Old Testament.

I used to joke about the ESV's similarity to the RSV, calling it the Extremely Similar Version.

But I can't find a decent acronym yet.

David McKay
www.davidmckay.info (http://www.davidmckay.info)