Re: Bible translations

james w. campbell (
Tue, 21 Jan 1997 05:36:58 -0800

David McKay wrote:
> 21st January, 1997
> As a distinguished bunch of august translators, I guess we don't really
> need 'em, however I'm wondering if interested list members could share
> which translations they favour and why?
> Over the years, I have read books on the current English translations, such
> as Sakae Kubo's "So Many Versions?" (I forget the co-author...sorry!) I
> recently bought Philip Comfort's "Complete Guide to Bible Versions," but
> was disappointed to discover that he works for Tyndale, who publish The New
> Living Translation, and his "review" of that book was taken from the
> preface to the book itself!
> David McKay

The question of Bible translation was dealt with a few years ago by the
Elders of Westminster Orthodox Presbyterian Church and we determined to
purchase copies of the New King James Version for the pews. It is used
by both ministers as a pulpit bible as well.
I advocated this for three reasons:

1. I am pursuaded by the argument for the Majority Text and
although it differs from the Textus Receptus, the NKJV seemed the best
choice on this count. (The real alternative in our discussion was the
2. The "dynamic equivalence" approach to translation seems
flawed, in my opinion. The NKJV attempts to provide a more literal

3. The fact that the NKJV stands in the tradition of English
Bible translations seemed important as well. Many of our people, myself
included, use the KJV for private devotions and memorization, so it was
felt that the NKJV was a familiar text.

I think it safe to suggest that the Elders as a body were pursuaded by
arguments 2 and 3. They were not opposed to my position of number 1, but
we did not take as much time as we ought to have done in that discussion.

If it matters, I use the NKJV, New American Standard Version, and New
International Version in my study, along with the Greek and Hebrew, and I
have only recently purchased the BibleWorks program. I still use the old
KJV in my devotional reading and probably pick it up first when I reach
for a Bible.

I hope this information is of some interest in response to your inquiry.

Very truly yours,

The Rev. James W. Campbell, Th.M.
Teacher and Associate Pastor
Westminster Orthodox Presbyterian Church
Hamden, Connecticut