So Which Translation is for Me?
Fine scholars using the many thousands of manuscripts available today have produced most of these translations and they all have their strengths and weaknesses. The obvious solution is not to rely on one, but use them for their strengths and be aware of their weaknesses
If you are interested in study of The Bible, including grammar and vocabulary, you will want a more literal translation, such as the Revised Standard Version; New King James Version; or English Standard Version. However, it is always good to compare several translations, especially for passages that are difficult to understand.
If you are interested in reading The Bible in large sections to become more familiar with it, you probably will prefer one of the freer translations, such as the New International Version, New Living Translation, Good News Bible or New Jerusalem Bible
One translation committee suggests a balance of Accuracy, Beauty, Clarity and Dignity.
· Accurate to both the original and the final languages
· Beauty with a natural flow as good literature should, but not flowery
· Clarity respecting the idioms of both languages
· Dignity rather than vulgarities or slang
A good translation is the balance of all these things that is right for you. A good translation is neither too much nor too little.
· It is neither too slavish a reproduction of the Greek and Hebrew,
· It is not too free in its handling of the original.
· It is neither too modern nor casual;
· It is not too stilted and formal.
· It is not too much like the KJV, nor does it depart too far from the time-honoured beauty and dignity of that seventeenth century classic.
In short, the best translation is one that has avoided the extremes and has achieved instead the balance that will appeal to the most people for the longest period of time.
Translating The Bible is a never-ending task. As long as English remains a living language it will continue to change, and therefore new renderings of the Scriptures will be needed. Furthermore, as other more ancient manuscripts come to light, scholars will continue to evaluate the language of the original texts.
And then alongside these developments in translating The Bible, there always remains the duty of believers to translate the teaching of the scriptures into our personal lives.
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