Skip to main content

The One You'll Read

Lately, I have come across a lot of nit-picking of what translation of the Bible is the best one. Some churches insist that the only one to read is the KJV while other’s claim that the ESV is a better translation, still others profess that the NLT is the greatest translation around. I, myself, had read the KJV, NKJV, NIV, NLT, and ESV and I am actually hoping to get the Amplified Bible next (Whenever I finish reading through one translation, I reward myself with a new one)--- but you know what I discovered while reading all of these translations? Every single one of them is flawed in its own way!

The KJV- The King James Version was not translated directly from the original Greek and Hebrew, instead, it is a translation of a translation! The KJV was translated into English from the Latin Vulgate. Due to it being a translation of a translation, there are many flaws in the word choices they used. The term: lost in translation applies very strongly to the KJV. I am not saying that if you read the KJV you are wrong, but I assure you, with 1000+ mistranslations, the KJV is definitely not without error!

The NKJV- This one poses the same issue as the KJV except as some of the errors were presented, they were corrected and updated. However, there is still quite a bit lost due to the fact that it’s still originally translated from the Latin as opposed to the original scriptures.

The NIV- The New International Version was translated from the original Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic but it too has its flaws. The original version was published in 1978 but was updated in 1984 after discovering some translation errors. The 1984 version was also riddled with error and was updated again in 2011. The main issue with the NIV though is the fact that it was written to be easily read. During the translation process, the scriptures were simplified and dumbed down, therefore a lot was lost in this translation as well.

The NLT- The New Living Translation is a translation based on a paraphrase. Due to this fact, the translation is inherently flawed. According to Craig Bloomberg (one of the NLT reviewers), the Bible was separated into six parts and translated by individuals, then submitted to the editor. The issue with that is there was little to no accountability to the accuracy of the translations.

The ESV- The English Standard Version is a word for word translation from the original Greek and Hebrew texts, and the translations were checked through various sources. However, just because it is a word for word translation does not make it without error. The meanings of words are lost due to the literal translating of the passages. Just as someone saying, “You’re so cool!” in the United States may be misunderstood as “You’re Cold.” by someone who is unfamiliar with American slang, so is the ESV. Some meanings are lost due to the translator’s assumption that every word should be taken as the dictionary definition.
***
Keep in mind, these are only the versions I have read. Of them, I do have my personal favorites. I love the NKJV and the NIV. I understand their inaccuracies and I do not live with my head in the sand about them. I know that the only copy of the Bible that is without error is the original. Someday, I would love to learn Greek and Hebrew so that I can better understand what the scriptures say.
The issue I am having, however, is the fact that one section of the church is screaming that the translation that they use is perfect while all others are flawed, and the rest of the church is screaming back that theirs is the one flawed and the translation they use is the perfect one. For one thing, people, the Bible was written by people. It is God’s inspired word, but it was written by people… and translated from the original text by people. To me, it is a beautiful example how even in our imperfections, God’s perfection shines through.

Think of it this way, you’re playing in your room as a child and your older sibling comes in and says, “Mom said to clean your room.” If you’re not wanting to get into trouble, you’re going to clean your room and not say that just because your mom did not audibly tell you, it does not matter. You’re also not going to scream that it is the wrong sibling who is telling you that your mom said to clean your room. Likewise. The Bible was written by people who were inspired by God and we should not be freaking out that King James is not the one telling everyone what God said. 

You want to know what translation of the Bible is best? It's the one you'll read!

Comments

  1. I always keep in mind that my opinion is just that, my opinion. As long as a translation is in line with the Greek & Hebrew then that is all that is necessary. There are going to be problems in any you do read because they were translated by a group, and they are not inspired. I always keep that in mind. I refuse to argue with people about translations. It is not my place to do so. If someone asks me about what version I use, then I will be happy to share but only with the explanation that I am not the final say on this, but we must be diligent ourselves to know the scriptures well enough to realize what is truth and what is not truth. If it is a new convert then working with them diligently on KJV vs. NKJV vs. NIV, & so forth as to what to watch out for is vital. I must always keep in mind that God is still God & I am only a vessel that He uses to help spread the truth of the Bible.

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

A Change in Tides

Well, I thought I would share a little of our personal journey with you all today. My husband, Jason, has recently accepted a position as Senior Pastor to Meadville Church of the Nazarene in Meadville, PA. We will be starting up there on the 27th of this month (August) and we have a lot of packing to do! This week, I have also started classes again. I started "History and Polity of the Nazarene Church"-- it also has "Foundations of Women's Ordination" intertwined in the curriculum. I am so excited about taking this class! I am learning a lot and there is a lot of confirmation of the results of my own studies. Super exciting. BUT-- the class is going to be taking place WHILE we move... so I am a bit on the stressed side. Somehow while taking care of the kids, cleaning our current home, and unpacking in the new parsonage, I will have to find time to do the assigned reading as well as the assignments-- this next month is going to be exciting.  But God has got

Digging for Water

  When I was a little girl, I would often go visit my grandparents on the weekend. While there, I had the privilege of drinking fresh well water.  Now, I don't know about you, but I loved the natural flavor that came from well water. I loved the fact that there were no added chemicals to clean it or enhance it. It was just good, pure, untainted, drinking water.  From the time I was a little girl, I became a bit of a water snob. Unless it is well water, I hate drinking from the tap. I can smell the chlorine (even though it has been filtered out) when I turn on the sink in a city. City water just does not taste as pure--as fresh. It is tainted. I have always preferred drinking from the well.  But most people don't have wells on their property nowadays. Why? Well, because they require work to install. In order for a well to produce good drinking water, someone has to dig deep into the ground. They can't just dig until they hit mud either, they have to continue to dig until inc

"Whom Shall I Send?"

When I was eight years old, I experienced God speak to me for the very first time. I remember, I was listening to my Bible on audiocassette and I felt the pull of God on my life strongly. I ran to my [now] adoptive mother and excitedly told her, “Mommy, God wants me to be a pastor when I grow up!” I distinctly remember her response because it was that response that drove the next eighteen years of my life. She smiled, and said, “Oh honey—” And you know the “Oh honey” that she said. It was the “Oh honey” that was saying, “There is no chance that you will ever live up to that dream—you are not capable of it.” But she continued. “Nicole, you can’t be a pastor. You’re a girl, and only men are allowed to be pastors. A girl pastor is just not done. The Bible even says so. It says that women must be silent in the church.” I never wanted to go against the Word of God, so I suppressed the call that I felt. For eighteen years, I kept reminding myself that God could not use me. God called men