Preferred Bible Version

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Preferred Bible Version

Postby Rvaughn » Tue May 16, 2017 9:45 am

Just as a matter of interest, thought I'd sorta poll respondents for their favorite Bible version or versions. I read and preach from the King James Version. I listen every morning on radio to Max McLean's "Listen to the Bible," in which he reads from the New International Version. The differences I hear catch my attention and make me think on things I might not otherwise. On another board where I post, I'd guess that the NIV, ESV and NKJV are the most popular Bibles (but that's just a guess).

(Since we are primarily English speakers, I'm thinking mainly of English Bible translations, but perhaps you read in another language as well. I've read bits and pieces of the Bible in Spanish.)

What is your preferred Bible version? (Intended more as friendly chat rather than a Bible versions debate.)
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Re: Preferred Bible Version

Postby Sandy » Tue May 16, 2017 2:14 pm

For reading, and devotionals, it's The Voice. For the kind of study to prepare for teaching and preaching, I prefer the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV).
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Re: Preferred Bible Version

Postby David Flick » Tue May 16, 2017 3:12 pm

.
.

    My favorite is NASB...
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Re: Preferred Bible Version

Postby Rvaughn » Tue May 16, 2017 3:37 pm

Interesting, David. I don't hear as many people mentioning the NASB as much as I did when I was a young preacher. But maybe that's a reflection of who I know. Do you find the NASB to be popular with others you know?
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Re: Preferred Bible Version

Postby Tim Bonney » Tue May 16, 2017 4:09 pm

NRSV is my personal favorite though I also preach a lot now out of the Common English Bible - a new translation sponspored by the UMC, ELCA, UCC, DOC and TEC.
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Re: Preferred Bible Version

Postby Shawn Koester » Tue May 16, 2017 5:14 pm

A list of my favorite Biblical translations include King James Version, New International Version, Common English Bible and the New Living Translation. I have love-hate relationships to the Message and the NRSV.
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Re: Preferred Bible Version

Postby David Flick » Tue May 16, 2017 6:15 pm

Rvaughn wrote:Interesting, David. I don't hear as many people mentioning the NASB as much as I did when I was a young preacher. But maybe that's a reflection of who I know. Do you find the NASB to be popular with others you know?

    It's a rather long story, Robert, but I suppose it's worth sharing here. I began my theological training before finishing college. I entered the ministry in the spring of 1964. I had completed about 60 hours toward a degree in Animal Science at Oklahoma Panhandle State University in Goodwell OK (which was then Panhandle A&M College). Not wanting spend time finishing a college degree in order to get on with my theological training, I found a Bible school which offered a three-year degree (certificate) for those wanting theological training without previously earning a college degree. I went to Florida and enrolled in Baptist Bible Institute, which is now Baptist College of Florida.

    I attended BCF for two years then transferred to William Carey University in Hattiesburg, MS, and obtained my BA, then on to Southwestern to earn my M.Div.

    The story about why I prefer the NASB dates back to my experiences at BCF. It was there that I experienced my first formal study of Bible survey courses. All students taking Bible Survey courses were required to have an American Standard Version (ASV) 1901. The ASV1901 version was said to be (at least by the BCF faculty) the most accurate translation of the Bible available. At that time of course, I had no knowledge about that fact one way or the other. I just believed what the professors declared. But that was the version I cut my theological teeth on. I still have the ASV1901 I used at BCF. (ASV1901a *|* ASV1901b)

    When I enrolled in SWBTS and began studying Bible survey and intensive courses. Since there were no specific requirements as to a particular version to use, I used the NASB as my study Bible. Over the first several years of my preaching ministry, I generally preached from a KJV because it was the version my people used. But I was never a diehard KJV person. Finally, slowly at first, I transitioned to preaching from the NASB. I went through several NASB Bibles. This is the last Bible I used prior to retirement (NASBa *|* NASBb). I was always impressed with the four points on one of the flyleaves (about NASB). The points were sufficient for me to stay with the NASB. It was simply a matter of choice on my part. I have no doubt that most other versions of the Bible are just as good as the NASB, but it was, and still remains to be my favorite. Just a matter of preference on my part.

    You asked if I find the NASB to be popular with others I know. No, I can't say that I do. Some of my contemporaries, i.e those above the age of 70, (I'm 75) still use the KJV. Many, however, use NIV, RSV, or a more modern translation. In fact, I don't personally know anyone who uses the NASB. My observation these days is that few people still carry a Bible to church. Many churches print the Bible texts in the bulletin or post them on a screen on the wall as the preacher delivers the sermon. There are dozens of ways the scriptures can be visually distributed to the congregation while the sermon is in progress. Sopmething I've never gotten accustomed to at my age. at my age, I'm still old style. :D
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Re: Preferred Bible Version

Postby Rvaughn » Tue May 16, 2017 9:32 pm

Intriguing story, David. Thanks for sharing. I knew that some of the preachers just older than me (now 65-75) preferred the NASB, but I had decided that popularity might not have transferred to the next generation. I guess there are just so many Bibles to choose from now.

I wrote a little about my "Bible journey" here, http://baptistsearch.blogspot.com/2017/03/kjv-to-unv-to-kjvo-journey.html, so won't take time to write it over again.

I was also interested in your mention of the old 1901 American Standard Bible, whose copyright ran out. I recently learned that the World English Bible is a new translation/revision based on the old American Standard. http://ebible.org/web/webfaq.htm The WEB also is not copyrighted. It is in the public domain but the title is trademarked, so any revisions or derivatives cannot use that name.
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Re: Preferred Bible Version

Postby KeithE » Tue May 16, 2017 10:11 pm

For devotion reading I like The Good News translation mainly because it is a single column version and I'm used to reading that way.

To see the range of possible translation I like The NET Bible because it has multiple translators notes that talk to variations in texts and word translations - very often there are many possible meanings/translations.

I use the NRSV for adult teaching SS (the Spiritual Formation version for its notes and special articles). Occasionally I use the explanatory additions (in italics) in The Voice also for SS teaching.
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Re: Preferred Bible Version

Postby Haruo » Tue May 16, 2017 10:59 pm

In English, I think my favorites are KJV and Moffatt; I also like the Goodspeed Apocrypha. In Esperanto there's only one complete version, consisting of the 1912 New Testament, the 1926 Old Testament, and the 1997 Deuterocanonicals; the currently available edition (2008, published by KAVA/PECH) incorporates the Deuterocanonicals into the OT in the traditional Roman Catholic order. The previous edition (2003, not sure of the publisher) placed them between the testaments à la KJV-with-Apocrypha.
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Re: Preferred Bible Version

Postby David Flick » Wed May 17, 2017 12:14 am

Rvaughn wrote:I wrote a little about my "Bible journey" here, http://baptistsearch.blogspot.com/2017/03/kjv-to-unv-to-kjvo-journey.html, so won't take time to write it over again.

    Your story is more interesting than mine, Robert. Thanks for sharing it.
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Re: Preferred Bible Version

Postby Haruo » Wed May 17, 2017 12:27 pm

Haruo wrote:In English, I think my favorites are KJV and Moffatt; I also like the Goodspeed Apocrypha. In Esperanto there's only one complete version, consisting of the 1912 New Testament, the 1926 Old Testament, and the 1997 Deuterocanonicals; the currently available edition (2008, published by KAVA/PECH) incorporates the Deuterocanonicals into the OT in the traditional Roman Catholic order. The previous edition (2003, not sure of the publisher) placed them between the testaments à la KJV-with-Apocrypha.

I was going to say that all Esperanto Bible editions/reprintings from 1926 to 2002 contained the Protestant 66-book canon, but then it occurred to me that I actually do have a tiny (not more than 2 inches tall) edition of the OT only put out in Israel and presumably for Jewish use. But it's reprinted from the 1926 OT, so the books are all in the Protestant order, which destroys the continuity of the Tanakh's book order (and naming conventions) (factors that I almost never see mentioned in Christian exegesis).
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Re: Preferred Bible Version

Postby Haruo » Wed May 17, 2017 12:55 pm

David Flick wrote:
Rvaughn wrote:I wrote a little about my "Bible journey" here, http://baptistsearch.blogspot.com/2017/03/kjv-to-unv-to-kjvo-journey.html, so won't take time to write it over again.

    Your story is more interesting than mine, Robert. Thanks for sharing it.

Yes, your story is indeed interesting, Robert, but there are a couple points I didn't understand. I put them in a comment on the blogpost, but maybe I should ask them here:
I wrote:Interesting bit of historiography, Robert. I have two questions, though.
1) What does "UNV" stand for? I'm guessing your Bible College was NOT the University of Nevada...
2) In what sense do you consider yourself KJVO?
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Re: Preferred Bible Version

Postby Shawn Koester » Wed May 17, 2017 1:30 pm

For translation of the Greek into English I personally love Young's Literal Translation (YLT)
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Re: Preferred Bible Version

Postby Sandy » Wed May 17, 2017 1:32 pm

Rvaughn wrote:Intriguing story, David. Thanks for sharing. I knew that some of the preachers just older than me (now 65-75) preferred the NASB, but I had decided that popularity might not have transferred to the next generation. I guess there are just so many Bibles to choose from now.

I wrote a little about my "Bible journey" here, http://baptistsearch.blogspot.com/2017/03/kjv-to-unv-to-kjvo-journey.html, so won't take time to write it over again.

I was also interested in your mention of the old 1901 American Standard Bible, whose copyright ran out. I recently learned that the World English Bible is a new translation/revision based on the old American Standard. http://ebible.org/web/webfaq.htm The WEB also is not copyrighted. It is in the public domain but the title is trademarked, so any revisions or derivatives cannot use that name.


I guess, being about the same age, the experiences are similar. I had a nice, black, leather bound KJV that I got when I was in ninth grade, which I took to college with me (and which I still have). When I got there, I discovered that the required translation in Bible class was the NASB. The bookstore carried a hard cover version, so I bought one with my textbooks and used it the whole time I was in college. Biblical studies was one of my minors, and what our professors taught regarding translations was that the original autographs were inerrant and infallible, but that God has the power to preserve his word through translation. The NASB was the preferred choice of the professors, because, according to them, only parts of the KJV came from verified manuscripts, and part of it had to be translated using the Bishop's Bible and the Vulgate, making it a translation of translations rather than a translation of the word. The NASB was superior to the KJV because by the time it was made, many more manuscript discoveries had occurred, and the whole text of the New Testament could be translated from earlier manuscripts than were available to the KJV translators, making it much more accurate to the original autographs than the KJV, though the originals are still not available, and likely never will be.

The NASB was easier to read and study, and I never went back to using the KJV. The one that I have, that I got in ninth grade, is the only one I ever owned. The first New Testament course I took at seminary was on the book of II Corinthians, and the professor who taught the class had just written a commentary on it, so I bought it, correctly guessing that I had his class notes. It was keyed to the NRSV, and that was the hook for me. When I was teaching Sunday School, I used the NIV and the HCSB, because the text was in the quarterly. I started using the ESV when it came out, instead of the NIV, but I always kept going back to the NRSV, and I've more or less stuck with it. The Voice, which is a scholarly translation in a readable style aimed at younger believers, came out about 10 or so years back, and I happen to know the guy who led the translation team, so I got one. I love it for reading, but I still use the NRSV for study and teaching.
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Re: Preferred Bible Version

Postby Rvaughn » Wed May 17, 2017 2:15 pm

Haruo wrote:Yes, your story is indeed interesting, Robert, but there are a couple points I didn't understand. I put them in a comment on the blogpost, but maybe I should ask them here:
I wrote:Interesting bit of historiography, Robert. I have two questions, though.
1) What does "UNV" stand for? I'm guessing your Bible College was NOT the University of Nevada...
2) In what sense do you consider yourself KJVO?
I’ll give it a shot, and try to remember to answer over there as well. The latter part of the answer is basically a cut and paste of the answer I gave my friend Will Fitzgerald at another place on my blog (Will is also a Sacred Harp singer; you may know him). Discussing it with him was what caused me to decide to write out my “journey.” Most people, not Will particularly, think “You’re just an old geezer Baptist who has always used the KJV with no thought of anything else.”

The first paragraph of answer # 2 might be helpful in introducing the second paragraph.

1. Yea, that really wasn’t very clear, was it? I intended it to mean something like “unaligned (with any) version.” I was brought up on the KJV, somewhat ambivalent toward it, a candidate for a more modern version who arrived back where he started.

2. In his book The King James Only Controversy: Can You Trust the Modern Translations? (Minneapolis, MN: Bethany House Publishers, 1995), James White provides five “KJV Only” categories: (1) those who like the KJV best, (2) those who support the KJV textually [e.g. those who “are joined by their common belief that the underlying Hebrew and Greek texts used by the King James translators are, for various reasons, superior...”], (3) those who are Received Text only, (4) those who believe the KJV is inspired and inerrant, (5) those who believe the KJV is advanced or new revelation [e.g. Peter Ruckman].

Undertaking categorization such as this can be helpful but always leaves some oddballs in a limbo between the categories. I’m one of the oddballs. I support the underlying texts of the King James (Majority/Byzantine), and also support the accuracy and trustworthiness of the King James translation itself. I might come in as a “3.5” because I would not apply the terminology “inspired” to the translation of the KJV, and I also don’t agree with some of the 4’s and 5’s on whether two different translations can both be the words of God. For example, I believe “Thou art the man” and “You are the man” and “You’re the man” would be God’s words to David (in English, obviously, though Nathan didn’t speak English; and though there might be reasons to prefer one over the other).

Hope that helps.
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Re: Preferred Bible Version

Postby Haruo » Wed May 17, 2017 2:41 pm

Thanks, that's a pretty good explanation. Most of the folks I've heard describe themselves as KJVO (most actually prefer KJBO) have been under- or at least extremely narrowly- educated, and have at least claimed to be in your category 4.

I was raised on the RSV at church (except for the psalms, some of which at least were KJV, but at home we had at least KJV (including Scofield's Reference Bible, which my dad detested but didn't toss) , ASV, RV, Moffatt, Goodspeed, Montgomery and Berkeley's NTs, etc. Many of the churches I've attended as an adult had NIVs, or less frequently NRSVs, as pew Bibles, but I've never been overly fond of either.

More later...
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Re: Preferred Bible Version

Postby John Sneed » Wed May 17, 2017 3:23 pm

For myself, I had been NKJV for many years. I don't preach very often anymore but when I do, I still use the NKJV. I feel I know it best. I use the ESV for devotional reading, although I like the Holman Bible a lot too. I will sometimes move back and forth between the ESV and the Holman. I own several other versions, but I don't really use them. I think my one remaining KJV is the one my mother gave when I became a Christian in 1965. So, the NKJV, ESV and Holman Bibles, there you go.

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Re: Preferred Bible Version

Postby Sandy » Wed May 17, 2017 3:41 pm

I still have the grey hard bound NASB that I bought when I started college. I was just looking through it, and remembered that the Psalms are still rendered in King James English. There are no notes inside explaining why that is. Is that characteristic of all NASB translations, or just the earlier ones?
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Re: Preferred Bible Version

Postby Haruo » Wed May 17, 2017 4:15 pm

My favorite specific copy of the Bible, which alas I appear to have lost along the way, was a Living Bible, bound UPSIDE DOWN, given to me by my sister Peggy while she was in college. She worked a summer job at the Tyndale House bindery, and had access to their cast-off factory seconds. The combination of an upside-down Bible with my favorite Bible footnote, the Living Bible's tortilla note to Genesis, was unsurpassable.
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Re: Preferred Bible Version

Postby Joseph Patrick » Wed May 17, 2017 7:29 pm

From Joseph Patrick...aka Gerry Milligan
When I enrolled at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary one of my first courses was Nahum, Habbakkuk and Zephaniah. We were to outline one of these three and submit it to the professor the first week of class. Having a terminal case of lazy I reproduced the outline on Nahum straight out of my Schofield Bible. I was given a zero on that submission and told "Use a real Bible." Since that time it has been the NIV for me.
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Re: Preferred Bible Version

Postby Rvaughn » Wed May 17, 2017 9:00 pm

Haruo wrote:...the currently available edition (2008, published by KAVA/PECH) incorporates the Deuterocanonicals into the OT in the traditional Roman Catholic order. The previous edition (2003, not sure of the publisher) placed them between the testaments à la KJV-with-Apocrypha.
Is this change related to the theological tradition of the particular publisher, or more of a demand issue?
Haruo wrote:Most of the folks I've heard describe themselves as KJVO (most actually prefer KJBO) have been under- or at least extremely narrowly- educated, and have at least claimed to be in your category 4.
I don't claim being well-educated, but some of the men who have written from a KJVO position are. I've noticed one awhile back who had a doctorate from Princeton (can't remember which one at the moment). Peter Ruckman had a bachelor's degree from the University of Alabama, and a Masters and a PhD in religion from Bob Jones University. Using the term "King James Bible" rather than "King Jame Version" is quite common among some "KJVO" adherents -- the point being that it is the Bible rather than a version of the Bible. On the other hand, there are those who favor "Authorized Version". Many of the folks like James White who take it upon themselves to define "KJVO" are often sort of "anti-KJV" and most certainly "anti-KJVO". As for me, worrying about KJVO or KJBO and such like is too much ado about nothing. For the most part I just use whatever is the common abbreviation. (Interestingly, that gets one using ASV and NASB.)
Sandy wrote:I still have the grey hard bound NASB that I bought when I started college. I was just looking through it, and remembered that the Psalms are still rendered in King James English. There are no notes inside explaining why that is. Is that characteristic of all NASB translations, or just the earlier ones?
I used a hardback Bible in college. Don't like them that much, but found it handy in class. I'm not that familiar with the NASB, but had never heard that about the Psalms being in KJV English. That's curious.
Joseph Patrick wrote:When I enrolled at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary one of my first courses was Nahum, Habbakkuk and Zephaniah. We were to outline one of these three and submit it to the professor the first week of class. Having a terminal case of lazy I reproduced the outline on Nahum straight out of my Schofield Bible. I was given a zero on that submission and told "Use a real Bible." Since that time it has been the NIV for me.
I'm not a fan of the Scofield Bible, and I wouldn't advise one taking outlines from it (or any other) to pass off in class! But, to me, the professor saying "use a real Bible" reveals some of the kind of bias and arrogance that is all too common in seminaries. The text of the Bible, sans Scofield's notes, is a "real Bible" that has stood the test over a long period of time (a King James Version). On that Scofield note, it is really odd to me that C. I. Scofield was able to get his Bible published by Oxford University Press.
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Re: Preferred Bible Version

Postby Haruo » Wed May 17, 2017 11:50 pm

Rvaughn wrote:
Haruo wrote:...the currently available edition (2008, published by KAVA/PECH) incorporates the Deuterocanonicals into the OT in the traditional Roman Catholic order. The previous edition (2003, not sure of the publisher) placed them between the testaments à la KJV-with-Apocrypha.
Is this change related to the theological tradition of the particular publisher, or more of a demand issue?

I don't know. My guess is that there are more Catholic Esperantists than Protestant ones, and it's not a huge number in either case. The number of Protestant Esperantists who would pay to keep the deuterocanonical books out of their Bible is probably far smaller than the number of Catholic Esperantists who will pay to have them integrated in the manner to which they are accustomed. So I guess that means, probably a demand issue.

BTW the leading online Esperanto Bible site, at steloj.de, only has the pre-2003, Protestant version.
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Re: Preferred Bible Version

Postby Rvaughn » Fri May 19, 2017 1:16 pm

Interesting. Do you know the underlying original language texts of the Esperanto Bibles (the ones you mention and the one linked)?

You may remember, but likely not, that I took the Correspondence Course from the Esperanto League of North America several years ago. Unfortunately I have not kept up and lost much of what I learned. I thought I might purchase an Esperanto Bible as a way to practice. I found that most of them on Amazon are Kindle books rather than print, and that the print editions there can be quite expensive. I don't do Kindle, but if I did there is a Parallel Bible with the La Sankta Biblio 1926, New Heart English Bible 2010 (which I had not heard of before) and the King James 1611 that looks appealing.
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Re: Preferred Bible Version

Postby Haruo » Fri May 19, 2017 1:47 pm

Zamenhof translated the Old Testament, purportedly from the Original Hebrew, which presumably subsumes the original Aramaic where the Tanakh is in Aramaic. A number of books were published by Hachette during his lifetime, and the whole testament was revised by the British, probably all Anglicans, prior to its publication in 1926 by the British and Foreign Bible Society and the National Bible Society of Scotland. Those societies remained the publishers of record until KAVA-PECH took over in 2008. There is a very interesting monograph by D. B. Gregor, probably 50 or more years old now, about the evidence for the influence of various national-language translations on Zamenhof's choices where a variety of possible renderings present themselves. I'm not sure how strong his command of Hebrew actually was. He was a non-practicing Jew raised by a modernist father, though his mother may have been somewhat observant. Not sure if he was Bar Mitzvah. But he was a dedicated polyglot, and spent some years as a Zionist while in College, so he may well have had more Hebrew than his upbringing might suggest.

The NT was donfacebook.com, purportedly and I think probably, from the Greek by a committee of Anglicans led by John Cyprian Rust, who also composed the first indigenous Christian Esperanto hymn and hymn tune, DOKSOLOGIO. My impression is that Rust used the Revised Version (1881-85) as his model in resolving points of potential dispute among translations.

The Dutch Protestant (Remonstrantist) clergyman Gerrit Berveling, who did the now standard Deuterocanonicals, has been working on a new NT translation for decades. Portions have been published, but I'm not sure how close he is to finishing it.
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