Monday, December 5, 2016

Which English Bible Translation is the Best? (Part 2)

Please see Part 1 of this Blog to better understand it as a whole. Here is the continuation of the list:

·      New King James Version (NKJV)
o   Strengths:
§  Provides a modern King James Version for people who love the King James Version
o   Weakness:
§  Includes passages latter added by scribes into the Biblical text in order not to hurt sales.
§  Cowardly approach to such passages as 1 John 5:7
o   Format: Word for Word – a revision of KJV
o   Reading Level: 7th Grade

·      New Living Translation (NLT)
o   Strengths:
§  Reads very smoothly
§  Excellent for reading large sections of the Bible
§  Good translation for new Christians, people with low grade level reading, like children.
§  Good paragraphing
o   Weaknesses:
§  Not a good verse by verse study bible
o   Format: Dynamic equivalence or though for thought.
o   Reading Level: 6th Grade

·      English Standard Version
o   Strengths:
§  From the KJV tradition of translation
§  More theological work, does not sacrifice author’s intent for inclusive or gender neutral language.
§  Excellent Translation for a serious student of bible and theology
o   Weakness:
§  Use of theological works like propitiation may be confusing for young believers.
§  The ESV’s use of “wife” as a translation of γυνή in 1 Corinthians 11 is very questionable. This passage is about the status and behavior suitable to womankind, not just of wives.
§  Some of the faults are quite annoying. But mostly they are the kind of minor faults that may be observed in any version.
o   Format: Word for Word following the RSV tradition of translation
o   Reading Level: 10th Grade
·      Holman Christian Standard
o   Strengths:
§  Readability- smooth reading great for use in a local church
§  Good Paragraphing and Designation of Poetry
§  Only minor move towards thought for thought format
o   Weaknesses:
§  inconsistent way in which YHWH is translated within the Old Testament (sometimes by Yahweh, sometimes as LORD)
§  tendency toward colloquialisms, and its utilization of an "optimal equivalence" translation method which occupies a position part way toward dynamic equivalence from formal equivalence—representing a small movement in the direction which eventually leads to paraphrase.
o   Format: Balanced approach between thought for thought and word for word, although I believe it leans more towards word for word.
o   Reading Level: 7th Grade
·      The Message
o   Strengths:
§  Stimulating devotional literature
o   Weaknesses:
§  Long and formal sounding words replaced with punchy phrases.
§  Often portrays scripture more colorful than the original.
§  Has a psychologizing tendency, never to be a stand-alone read for a believer.
o   Format: Extreme colloquial. It is not be understood to be a bible but rather a paraphrase for a devotional supplement only.

o   Reading Level: 4th Grade

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