Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Best Bible Translations.

Okay, I was searching for the best biblical Pastors, as I wanted something to listen to whilst having a bath. Now when relaxed I want only the best. But in the search came up best bible translations..which got me thinking best for what? Reading? Preaching?

Let's divide that up.

For reading, you are going to want something READABLE. You want to be engrossed, you don't want some rubbish B movie on TV to pull you away from it. Sadly many Christians miss this, expecting mystical divine power to hold their interest, but sadly neigh..knowing that we can grieve the Holy Spirit..its evident that God isn't going to force us to be bored by a bad translation. So what's the most readable Bible? Probably a paraphrase! I know..crazy huh?! But yes, if you can find a good paraphrase such as J.B. Phillips, you would be in good company. The Good News Bible is a strong contender as well, I would discourage use of The Message because its far too loose, so much so that in the NT its almost nothing like the Greek. I've given my copy of the Message away..its near useless to me. I would also promote the NEB, it can be found on both EBay and Amazon, As well as the REB, which I've warmed to..although it still seems like a revision that went too far.

Now whilst I love those above translations, a church does need a formal translation, if a Pastor is preaching doctrinally, often a paraphrase or "loose translation", simplifies it that the strength of the Greek is missed, the NEB/REB would perhaps be okay here (REB more so), and maybe the REB would perhaps be an all round contender. I dispute any church using the KJV nowadays, may as well use the Wycliffe! So we need a modern translation that is effective for preaching and doctrinal issues - and this is where I fall flat, because - I just don't know what would be best! There is no best translation. For reading I could recommend one or two, but when it comes to church I think that the preacher should have his own translation set forth and if needs be members can bring their own. There isn't that much difference!

I suggest that you use whatever bible you understand, and a church use an NIV or ESV, use the bible you understand to explain what is being read, then let your pastor teach in exposition. Never use a KJV in church.

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