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kgillion

Bible Translation Choices

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I am a progressive Christian seeking some advice on bible translation choices. Particularly, I am seeking some guidance in selecting a study bible that is the most accurate translation with the least amount of doctrinal influence in its translation. I have read that the King James Version, while beautiful and lyrical, is tainted by doctrinal influences on which modern Christian Fundamentalism is founded.

Please provide any insight.

 

Thanks,

Kevin

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Guest jeep

kgillion:

 

My recommendation would be to avoid the Bible and pick a more modern treatment.

 

I am currently pursuing "The Course in Miracles" which uses more modern language, and may well supplant or replace the Bible which is now in so many versions as to be almost useless, except as a background reference. I have read it through several times in the past, in several versions, and am finding "The Course.." much more face-valid.

 

Marcus Borg's "Reading the Bible Again for the First Time" will help in the transition.

 

Join me in discussing the Course on the Book Discussion pages of this Message Board.

 

Jeep

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I like the New Revised Standard Version. It is a literal translation and uses gender-inclusive language. I've tried several other versions and keep coming back to this one.

 

~Sophia

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Thanks for both of your replies.

 

Sophia,

From your response and other reading, I think I will probably give the NRSV a try. Can you suggest a publisher that is not affiliated with fundamentalism? I am wary of Zondervan, but they comprise the majority of bibles on the shelves of all of my local bookstores. In addition to finding a good translation, I would prefer to spend my money with a progressive publisher.

Thanks again for your advice.

 

Ciao,

Kevin

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KGillion:

 

I have used the New Oxford Annonated Study Bible (by Oxford Press) for years and like it very well. Two others for consideration are the Harper-Collins Study Bible and a a fairly new study bible of the NRSV is The New Interpreter's Study Bible (I'm not sure of the publisher but may by Abingdon Press which is the publishing arm of the United Methodist Church). I usually try to order through Cokesbury since part of the proceeds go directly back into the United Methodist church (as flawed as it is, for now it's still "home"). All of the above study bibles are scholarly study bibles and strive not to present a particular theological position. If you have a Cokesbury store nearby you should be able to find all of these to peruse.

 

~Sophia

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kgillion,

 

I'll second the New Oxford Annotated Study Bible. I have the 2nd edition with the Apocrypha, which is out of print now. You can still find them on christian book distributors' website at a very reasonable price. I like the 2nd edition because it has wider margins to write notes in.

 

All translations have bias in them. It is practically impossible not to have any, which stinks. The difficult thing about translating from Greek to English (not to mention the various Greek texts that may vary slightly) is that Greek words do not always have an exact English word to represent them (which is true of all languages). Translators must choose the word they feel is either the most exact or a phrase of words that gets the author's point across. This is why many Bible translations have alternative readings as footnotes. This helps, but sometimes there are several alternative ways of translating a sentence. It would be too difficult to list all of them in our Bibles.

 

The KJV is not used very often by scholars because it did not use the most reliable Greek manuscripts. Many more reliable manuscripts were uncovered after the KJV was composed. It is just not a very reliable translation. The problem is (unless I'm mistaken), the New KJV actually used the same Grk manuscript. Too bad.

 

Hope you find the best one for you (unless you want to learn Greek instead).

 

RB

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Thanks, everybody. I located a Cokesbury store and picked up a copy of the NRSV. The Oxford was there but a little out of my price range right here at house payment time of the month. I'll probably pick that up later.

 

I had lost my old New King James somehow, and I took the opportunity to ask around instead of simply replacing it. Y'all have been a great help. This website is really terrific.

 

Kevin

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Guest jeep

kgillion:

 

I suspect my message to you was viewed as an "April Fools Day" diversion. But it was not, and the messages you received must leave you in a quandry.

 

If you could see your way to check out what may well be the source of inspiration for the second Axial Age unfolding as the first unfolded on the invention of writing, as we move into the implications of cyberspace, you may be surprised.

 

Jeep

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