What is the best Bible translation?

(Dennis Venema) #21

See also here for another example where the ESV makes a particular choice that is markedly at odds with virtually every other translation out there and does it for - no surprise - gender reasons.

(George Brooks) #22


There’s really no reason not to have your mouse At The Ready, whenever you want to amplify
your understanding of an obscure word - - - just click on the Bibles button, and you can see
what they all say … and be surprised to find out that one particular version hits it perfectly …
but not always in other parts of the Bible…

I have been using the multi-translation tools of the BlueLetter Bible for years… but the MySword option for Smart Phone use sounds like it does virtually the same thing…



Translations for Psa 82:1
[[A Psalm of Asaph.]] God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.

A Psalm of Asaph. God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:

A Psalm of Asaph.
God stands in the congregation of the mighty; He judges among the gods.[fn]

God stands in the assembly of El; in the midst of the gods he renders judgment.

A psalm of Asaph. God presides over heaven’s court; he pronounces judgment on the heavenly beings:

A psalm of Asaph. God presides in the great assembly; he renders judgment among the “gods”:

A Psalm of Asaph. God takes His stand in [fn]His own congregation; He judges in the midst of the [fn]rulers.

A Psalm of Asaph. God standeth in the congregation of God; He judgeth among the gods.

A Psalm by Asaf. God presides in the great assembly. He judges among the gods.

God stands in the divine assembly; he pronounces judgment among the gods:[fn]

A Psalm of Asaph. God has taken his place in the divine council; in the midst of the gods he holds judgment:

Dios está en la reunión de los dioses; En medio de los dioses juzga.

– A Psalm of Asaph. God hath stood in the company of God, In the midst God doth judge.

{A Psalm of Asaph.} God standeth in the assembly of God, he judgeth among the gods.

A Psalm of Asaph. God standeth in the congregation of the mighty; he judgeth among the gods.

plus LXX and more !

(Christy Hemphill) #23

The ESV has its merits, but also some big problems, from a translation theory standpoint. Check out Mark Strauss’ presentation to ETS on the ESV. It has some really entertaining parts. http://zondervan.typepad.com/files/improvingesv2.pdf

(Christy Hemphill) #24

I was going to be a big person and not mention the gender issues. But since you did bring it up, I can’t resist pointing out this little example from Mark Strauss’ paper.

"One of the most interesting gender issues related to the ESV concerns its translation of the Greek plural adelphoi, a term that can mean “siblings,” “brothers and sisters,” “brothers,” or “fellow believers” (BDAG).

While the original draft of the Colorado Springs Guidelines asserted that adelphoi should always be
translated “brothers,” this was quickly revised when the authors of the Guidelines were informed by Greek scholars that adelphoi was often used inclusively to refer to both men and women, i.e., siblings, or “brothers and sisters.”

This admission did not make it into the text of the ESV, but it did make it into the footnotes. While consistently translating adelphoi as “brothers” in the text, the ESV includes a footnote at its first occurrence in each NT book acknowledging that it actually means “brothers and sisters:” “Or brothers and sisters. The plural Greek word adelphoi (translated “brothers”) refers to siblings in a family. In New Testament usage, depending on the context, adelphoi may refer either to men or to both men and women who are siblings (brothers and sisters) in God’s family, the church.”

Consider, for example, Rom. 12:1 ESV, where Paul is certainly referring to all the members of the church: “I appeal to you therefore, brothers,* by the mercies of God, at present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” One wonders why, if the ESV footnote acknowledges that adelphoi here means “brothers and sisters,” it was not translated as such."

Hope people read footnotes.

(George Brooks) #25


That pdf was thoroughly enjoyable! I learned a lot, all the while the writer was demonstrating how the ESV translators had not learned a lot !!!

(Steve Buckley) #26

Yeah, that’s not a good place to start from. Do you have a link for this, or just making conversation? Here’s an article on the continued value of the TR, and it’s offspring.

ok. I’ve been taught to avoid the NIV at all costs. I’m not familiar with the NLT, so here’s what I found on it.
Nor am I familiar with the VOICE. So, here’s what I found on it.
The goal is to learn to know God, and Jesus whom he’s sent. John 17:3, and Jer. 24:7.

The same people who discuss the above mentioned bibles-- NLT, Voice-- also discuss the NKJV.
I see nothing in there to disregard it, or consider it an inferior text.

As the goal is to learn to know God, and Jesus, my thought would be that as long as the text is accurate to the original language, it then becomes a matter of comfort with the language. As originally stated— start with the basics. The great thing is— there are websites abounding with online bibles, smartphone bible apps, with copious translations available, for satisfying anything from the neophyte’s to the most education individual’s needs.
In my day, everything was hardcopy/paper. Thus, unless you had a serious budget, being limited to a single, or a couple of different copies was the norm.
I have friends who swear by the NKJV, others who swear by the NASB, as well as the ESV, and others. I attend a church which uses the NKJV, and any time I bring up my use of the WEB, I wind up having to explain the reasoning behind it.
I selected it mainly because the bible app, MySword, does not have the NKJV included in its collection. Which is quite ironic, considering it literally includes upwards of 60-70 translations. I have asked about it, and they say there are no intentions of obtaining copyrights privileges to include it-- for free or purchase.
Apparently, MySword has 91 translations available for its users, on their website.
I stopped counting the collection on my phone, at 60. I then scrolled down further, and noticed there are more beyond my stopping point. Several more.
For my interlinear, I use the ABP, aka, Apostolic Bible Polyglot. It’s a Greek-English interlinear, with strong’s #'s included. For my Hebrew-English interlinear, I use the HiSB. It includes Hebrew, transliterated Hebrew, English, and strong’s #'s. These both are modules in the MySword app. Along with the strong’s, commentaries, etc… they keep me plenty satisfied in my learning.
https://apostolicbible.com/ (ABP)
http://www.albesh.net/ (HiSB)

OF course the latter of all this is for someone who has an android phone, and wants a good compilation of bible study tools for their weary and age-worn eyes. I never thought I’d come to appreciate a bible software program so much. I still feel young, until my body gets a say in the matter…

(Wookin Panub) #27


(Christy Hemphill) #28

I guess it wasn’t a formal study, just an article by a Bible translator: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2013/april/knowing-what-bible-really-means.html?share=R5Fn%2BtuiT6v0wozhsMefSfs7w23n1AIi

That’s unfortunate. The NIV is a perfectly decent translation. In my experience, most people who fuss about how this translation or that translation is bad simply misunderstand the goals of the translation. A formal equivalence translation like the NRSV isn’t bad for being very literal, that was its goal. It won’t serve every purpose. A dynamic equivalence translation like the NLT isn’t bad for paraphrasing or using language specific idioms. The goal is to make the meaning more transparent.

(Steve Buckley) #29

thank you. will read it.

which makes me wonder why the ongoing discussion of this topic continues.

I recall back in the 70’s we had a paraphrase called— The Living Bible. It was a paperback, for new Jesus people converts, who’d come out of the drug culture, and weren’t all that good at understanding the more challenging details of the KJV, NASB, etc…
I was given a copy at the time of my conversion, and read it for about a month. At one point I got stuck on reading a passage, and sensed the Holy Spirit telling me to read the KJV. I argued with him, telling him I did not understand all the thee’s, thou’s, wherefore’s, and therefore’s. I felt like my mind was literally shut down, and just could not understand the Living Bible’s language.
After about 20 minutes of reading the same 3-5 verse passage over and over, I responded— “Fine!” in my classic, Steve’s sarcasm, and picked up the tiny KJV pocket bible I’d been given.
I was astonished, because when I began reading it, it literally jumped out at me, and made perfect sense. I came to understand that the thee and thou was old english for you, and the wherefore, meant because of this, the therefore was- in light of these things…
In light of my experience, I’ve come to realize that while I am by no means a KJV-only-er, I do think it’s a sufficient text for newbies. And as the whole goal of the NKJV was to retain the KJV integrity, while updating the thee’s, thou’s, etc…, it is a great text.
Be all that as it is, I’m generally glued to the smartphone app I use, because it allows me to increase the font to the size of my choosing. Which is how I got started to begin with.
I do have several bible apps, which provide me the translations which MySword do not offer.
I use the You Bible, no real tools, but it does have the NKJV, and as I recall, NASB.
I then have a bible app called- Amplified Bible.
Someone made a Nave’s Bible. It appears to be the Nave’s Topical Bible from days of yore. I’d love to get a Wuest Word Study, in a bible app, but so far, no go.
I also have a Vine’s Dictionary, as well as the 1828 Webster Dictionary, and the Easton Bible Dictionary.
As time passes, more and more old, classic study tools are added to the Android library.
But all in all… just having a bible to read is a very powerful tool to learn to know God.
Just focus on reading the bible, and prayer, and you’ll find great success.


Well, what about all those people who have bought into an atheistic New World Order from reading the NIV?



Everyone will suffer you to continue reading KJV, I’m sure…

“Thee” and “thou” don’t exactly mean “you.” I mean, they mean “you” today, but there was a distinction between “thee” and “you” and between “thou” and “you” when the translation was produced…and most people understand the distinction in reverse of the original meanings.

(Christy Hemphill) #32

Yeah, there’s that. People probably buy into evolution and all the other suspect ideas discussed on this site because BioLogos uses NIV for Scripture quotations. It’s all part of Satan’s plan.

(Steve Buckley) #33

Bingo. From the first paragraph.

It reminds me as a very young believer, 18 yrs old, I wanted to study Greek and Hebrew, so this could never be said of me. Over the past 40 years however I’ve come to learn something more…

It’s not that the languages prevent us from understanding. Rather, it’s that God’s Word is Alive, and powerful. And as such, apart from God’s Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, as Jesus called him… we cannot understand that which is spiritually understood. I’m told it was Mark Twain that said— it’s not the parts of the bible I don’t understand which trouble me. Rather, it’s the parts that I do.
God is inviting us to be partakers, and members of his own Kingdom. His Realm. His Family. Jesus told us— unless we deny ourselves, and pick up our cross daily, we cannot be his students/disciples/apprentices.
I don’t know about you, but I am a dyed-in-the-wool DIY-er. I’m a journeyman in my professional, union trade. I’ve had a part in building my own home, repaired my own appliances (because the economy got so bad that I needed to save $ at every turn), fixed my own vehicles, and done general maintenance on my home, as well as adding things when needed. I began this process at ~ 6 yrs of age, when my grandfather took me under his arm, as it were, and had me help him do things.
This is a fantastic heritage, and I’ve enjoyed it immensely, because of the things I’ve been able to do, to save $, and to just enjoy.
I’ve found however that it’s also been something of a struggle, with regards to my walk in Christ. For almost 3 decades, somewhere I got the idea that I had to figure out how to do God stuff, in following Jesus, that were explicitly stated was only possible through the power of the Holy Spirit. It’s only been in the past 8-14 years that I’ve been learning that without God’s Spirit, we are simply not capable of getting it, and understanding the way it was intended to be. 1 John 4, 1 Cor. 2, and Matthew 16:13-23, explicitly, verse 23. I.e., Peter was revealed who Jesus was by the Father, and yet a few moments later, he was not seeing as God sees, but as man sees.
To follow Jesus, to be his disciple/student/apprentice… is to learn to see as God sees. To, as Paul told the Philippians… take on the mind of Christ. We’ve been told in 1 Cor. 2 that we actually have the mind of Christ. Similar in Romans 8:3-7. To think on spiritual things.
While knowing the original languages can indeed be beneficial, some get so bogged down in the minutae that they miss the life of the Spirit, in Christ.

(Steve Buckley) #34

Thee is a more personal, or intimate use of you, as to where thou is a more formal use.

(Christy Hemphill) #35

Actually, ‘thee’ is object case, ‘thou’ is subject case, both are informal. You is formal.
I love thee (object)
Thou lovest him (subject)

(Steve Buckley) #36

strangely enough, I’ve never witnessed this as the outcome of reading the NIV. Aside from the sarcasm of your statement, as noted by the smiley wink at the bottom of your post, did you have some evidence of this?

I’ve found over the years that those who prefer atheism over truth, do so because they don’t want to know the truth. Or, in my more youthful vernacular, from decades past…
They like being treated like mushrooms.
Kept in the dark, and fed lots of cow manure… aka BS.

Which generally agrees with John 3:18-20.

(Steve Buckley) #37

hmm… well, there you go. demonstration of my ongoing dislike (which was why I didn’t want to begin reading it to begin with) of the king’s old english. Probably why I disliked old english 800 malt liquor too back in high school.:stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:


@Steve_Buckley Check out www.logos.com. The core app is free for pc and mobile devices and you can purchase Wuest’s Word Studies for $80.

Or $19 for e-sword it appears.

Goggle online wuest word study for a range of products.

(RiderOnTheClouds) #39

Okay, maybe not ESV, I’m going for the NRSV

(Steve Buckley) #40

I was aware of Logos. E-Sword is the website, not a smart phone app. It was how I was first introduced to the app. I sure wish it was.
Thank you for the links/references.