Thursday, January 8, 2009

Which Translation?

Never a great way to start a blog, but as a Kutless fan I just found out about the Bible Study Magazine (put out by Logos Bible Software) because they are offering a free Kutless MP3. If you like rock music and want music that glorifies our Savior Jesus Christ - check out Kutless.

I have to admit that I am unfamiliar with the magazine (though I am considering subscribing since I am a fan of Logos/Libronix) but there is a good preview article on Bible translations that is written by Daniel B. Wallace. He discusses the pros and cons on the approaches to translating from the original languages to English (or any other language for that matter). The two approaches are "formal equivalence" or "word-for-word" translations (KJV, NASB) and "dynamic/formal equivalence" or "thought-for-thought" translations (NIV). Included in the article are overviews of most major English translations. If you are considering buying a Bible this may provide helpful information before making your purchase.

I have to agree with Wallace's overall suggestion - use at least two translations - a formal and a dynamic. My favorite formal translation is the NASB - generally regarded as true to the original languages and widely used in Bible churches (at least the ones I have attended). My NASB has served me well for nearly a decade. My favorite dynamic translation would have to be the NET Bible. I find it to be very easy to read. The added bonus with this translation are the translator notes. They give easy access to more literal "formal" translations, different interpretations of the passage, and textual differences in the manuscripts. The NET is probably my favorite translation overall, though I have to admit there are many verses where I still prefer the rendering in the NASB. This is due to the fact that I have become so familiar with them in that translation since I have used it for a longer period of time.

If you are interested in more information about translations or church history, Wallace offers an excellent overview on the History of the English Bible. I highly recommend reading all four parts.

Wallace ends the third part with the following prayer:

"Enable us, Father, to love this book, to study this book, to read it, search it, embrace it. Forgive us for our apathy and our laziness. Give us a passion to know your Word, Lord, that we might know you."

Wise prayer and good advice indeed. No matter what translation you use, read it and get to know God.

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