Bible Translations

Bible Translations

For over three hundred years the King James Version, published in 1611, was the prominent translation used in most Protestant churches. However, as the English language continued to change, it became increasingly more difficult for people to understand the Old English vernacular. Faced with the obvious need for our society to understand God's Word, scholars sought to update the scriptures into more contemporary language. Apart from existing bible versions, there are numerous study Bible editions, such as the Scofield Reference Bible, the Open Bible, the Thompson Chain Reference Bible, or the Spirit Life Bible, etc., but these are not different translations. These volumes merely feature special study helps, commentaries or references added as a supplement to a particular translation. By Dr. Dale A. Robbins
The King James Version (KJV): Translated in 1611 by 47 scholars using the Byzantine family of manuscripts, Textus Receptus. This remains as a good version of the Bible. It has been the most reliable translation for over three centuries, but its Elizabethan style Old English is difficult for modern readers, especially youth. This is still a good translation for those who can deal with the language.
The New International Version (NIV) : Over 100 translators completed this work in 1978 which was composed from Kittle's, Nestle's and United Bible Society's texts, which include the Alexandrian Family codices. This is considered an "open" style translation. It is a good, easy to read version.
New King James Version (NKJV) : 130 translators, commissioned by Thomas Nelson Publishers, produced this version from the Byzantine family (Textus Receptus) in 1982. This is a revision of the King James version, updated to modern English with minor translation corrections and retention of traditional phraseology. This is a very good version.
New American Standard Bible (NASB) : Translated in 1971 by 58 scholars of the Lockman Foundation, from Kittle's Biblia Hebraica and Nestle's Greek New Testament 23rd Ed., which include the Alexandrian Family codices. Though academic in tone, it is said to be the most exact English translation available. A very good version.
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) : The NRSV is a direct descendent of the King James Version. It is excellent for study and has largely been successful in removing spurious gender bias without going overboard. It has fewer controversial renderings than before and has excellent scholarship.
Today's New International Version (TNIV) : The TNIV Bible is a text that reflects the NIV, but also clarifies and updates passages and words to provide a more timely, contemporary English translation for a new generation of Bible readers. The TNIV uses gender-accurate language only where the meaning of the original text was intended to include both men and women.
The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language was written by Eugene H. Peterson and published in segments from 1993 to 2002, is a paraphrase of the original languages of the Holy Bible and "crafted to present its tone, rhythm, events, and ideas in everyday language." The Message was written in order to recreate the spirit of the original language of scripture which was written in the street language of the day.

New Living Translation (NLT) – the translators set out to render the meaning and style of original texts to the closest natural equivalent in clear, contemporary English. The words and phrases were translated as simply and literally as possible. If the literal approach resulted in a hard to understand or misleading translation, a more dynamic approach was used to clear up difficult metaphors and terms. The goal was “to create a text that would make the same impact in the life of modern readers that the original text had for the original readers”.

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