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Thread: Compare and contrast Bible translations

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  1. #1

    Question Compare and contrast Bible translations

    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?

  2. #2

    Lightbulb Comparing Bible Versions

    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 . 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 .

    David McKay
    www.davidmckay.info

  3. #3

    Default

    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[/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

  4. #4

    Default

    David, which versions are feminist in their approach to feeling ill to the titles of FATHER, and SON for God and Jesus? THanks

    alan

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Posts
    25

    Thumbs down Inclusive Version

    Quote Originally Posted by alan1979
    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.

  6. #6

    Default

    David,

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

    alan

  7. #7

    Default

    Sorry about the multiple posts, my computer is acting up and didn't let me know that the first reply worked.


    Thanks,

    Alan

  8. #8

    Default Feminist bibles

    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

  9. #9

    Default Overview of Bible versions

    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
    Mark G. Vitalis Hoffman
    Professor of Biblical Studies
    Lutheran Theological Seminary at Gettysburg
    ltsg.edu - CrossMarks.com
    Biblical Studies and Technological Tools

  10. #10

    Default Text Comparison Settings

    Quote Originally Posted by William A. Francis
    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.
    Joe Fleener

    jfleener@digitalexegesis.com
    Home Page: www.digitalexegesis.com
    Blog: http://emethaletheia.blogspot.com/

    Annotated Bibliography of Online Research Tools: www.digitalexegesis.com/bibliography

    User Created BibleWorks Modules: www.digitalexegesis.com/bibleworks



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