Monday, July 13, 2009

Interesting Bible Transalation Chart

I ran across this Bible translation chart. I found it helpful in visually explaining the goal of different English translations. The number in parenthesis is the grade level readability. The chart comes from Lion Track Ministries. I can't speak to it's accuracy.


12 comments:

Onesimus said...

I don't think I'd put the AMP in such a good position on the Word for Word side of the chart.

That translation can at times be more like a "choose your own adventure" version; where people can choose a favoured word/phrase option to suit a meaning closest to their own doctrine.

It's a useful tool, but not one I would recommend without additional reference to other translations.

It's translation of John 3:16 in particular ADDS to the actual text and changes its contextual meaning.

Kevin Jackson said...

"Choose your own adventure" - great analogy. :) I see your point on how that could be abused.

The Amp makes for a nice study tool, but is a real pain for regular reading.

Onesimus said...

Kevin,
It was the bible that I wanted to use for my regular reading because I thought it gave a more accurate translation.
However, its format is open to abuse, its translations are not always accurate, and as you say it's a "pain for regular reading".

The most accurate bible possible is not necessarily the best bible to depend upon - IF that bible is not practical for reading.
Even the best original manuscripts would do most of us no good at all because we don't read the language they were written in.

I currently read the TNIV because the edition I have is the best I've found so far for reading. It omits chapter and verse numbers and it arranges the books into a better order, with Acts following Luke, and the OT prophets presented in their correct chronology instead of according to length of book.

Both of these features make it MUCH easier to read things in their correct context.

Other translations are readily available to clear up any issues regarding the translation itself when it comes to study rather than day to day reading

Kevin Jackson said...

Hi Onesimus,

I currently don't have a TNIV, but would like to get one. I'm currently using the ESV for reading at home. I have found it to be a generally good transalation (despite the fact that it's the Calvinist's favorite). :)

Onesimus said...

Kevin,
The edition of the TNIV that I have goes under the name of "The Books of the Bible".

I have found that the text is very similar (identical in parts) to the NIV.

My wife and I also use the ESV and haven't noticed any overt Calvinist influences. We use it mainly when listening to the Bible on CD (is that showing my age in this day of ipods and mp3 players? At least I don't listen to it on cassette or vinyl).

Tim

The Seeking Disciple said...

I use the ESV most of the time but read some from the NIV and the NKJV. I am thinking of going KJV only.

Bob Brewer said...

Believe it or not while a member of a reformed baptist church one of the men shared as a "great concern" that his nephew was considering buying the TNIV.

Kevin Jackson said...

Hi Tim, It sounds pretty useful. I have wanted to get a chronological type Bible, maybe I'll add it to my wish list.

Roy said:
"I am thinking of going KJV only."

You're scaring me. :)

Bob, That's IS funny. At least the nephew didn't want an NRSV, that would be a clear indication of reprobation. :)

Bob Brewer said...

Kevin,

It would be funny if it weren't for the fact that at the time I shared his opinion. Oh well, God is good and I am oft the fool.

Onesimus said...

Hi Tim, It sounds pretty useful. I have wanted to get a chronological type Bible, maybe I'll add it to my wish list.
---------

Kevin,
my bible keeps all of the books intact. Some chronological bibles are a cut and paste job in which the editor determines where a particular part of the bible fits in a chronological history.

I also have one of the latter type but never use it.
If God saw fit to give us scripture in books, then I'm not too keen on tampering with that choice.
Putting the whole books in a more suitable chronological order is another issue. I find that reading the books more or less in the order of writing gives a more coherent perspective.
And its surprising how much of a difference the absence of chapter and verse numbers makes.

Kevin Jackson said...

Hi Tim,

I can see how the absence of the chapters would be particularly helpful in the case of Romans 9-11. Calvinists often take 9 in isolation, but it's pretty clear that the three chapters go together as one thought.

Onesimus said...

So true Kevin, They are very familiar with:

“I will have mercy on whom I have mercy”
and
“It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy”

But they don’t bother to read far enough to find that: “God has bound all men over to disobedience so that he may have mercy on them ALL”


Tim