ENGLISH BIBLE TRANSLATIONS- Introduction
Bible Translations! It seems that there are hundreds around today! So how do you choose the right one?
ENGLISH BIBLE TRANSLATIONS- Common Sense
Well here’s some good news! To discern which Bible translation is going to be most reliable, all you need is to use some common sense. To begin with, you should realize that translations vary in purpose and style (as well as, of course, in quality). Some translations are written so that children and others with a limited vocabulary can easily understand them — others are written for serious adult students of the Bible. Some are fairly literal (word-forward translations), while others are very loose paraphrases. And you don’t have to know the original languages to be able to tell the difference. You see, most translations really do have their place.
ENGLISH BIBLE TRANSLATIONS- Some Precautions
However, you need to be wary as to which make sensationalistic claims for themselves — for example, saying that theirs is the only unbiased translation. Also be wary of translations that were sponsored by a religious group that claims to be the only true church. They’re generally pretty shoddy and they can’t help slipping in their own aberrant teachings. Translations by committees — especially large, inter-denominational committees — are generally more likely to be trustworthy than those done by one or two men. This is particularly true because it is indeed difficult for any one person to be an expert on both the Old and New Testaments. Stick with bible translations which are produced by people who accept the whole Bible as the inspired word of God. You can bet that biblical scholars who don’t think the Bible is inspired, and don’t think it’s the Word of God, tend to take undue liberties with the text.
ENGLISH BIBLE TRANSLATIONS- The King James Version
All other things being equal, translations in contemporary English are clearer than translation in Old King James English. On the other hand, newer isn’t necessarily better. And I can tell you from years of experience that King James English is not only beautiful, but it is memorable as well.
ENGLISH BIBLE TRANSLATIONS- Conclusion
If you follow the above guidelines, I think you’re going to find out that the best English translations of the Bible are the New American Standard and the New International Version. The King James Version, as I said, uses somewhat archaic English, but otherwise it’s still the masterpiece and I love to memorize it. On choosing a Bible translation, that’s the CRI Perspective. I’m Hank Hanegraaff.