more on translations

Andrew Kulikovsky (
Wed, 22 Jan 1997 20:58:04 +0900

Gordon Fee and Doug Stuart in "How to Read the Bible for all its Worth"
- which is a book I recommend any new comer to Biblical studies should
read - its worth every cent - a chapter summarises nicely the main
points in choosing and reading translations.

As Ed Hobbs also wisely pointed out, they suggest consulting as many as
possible, while using 1 good one as a primary translation - they suggest
the NIV or the NRSV. The chapter contains all the good advice mentioned
on this list and much more!

I use the NIV because I believe it to be one of the most accurate and
one of the easiest to read.

Another advantage of the NIV and NRSV is their paragraphing. This is
especially useful for new comers to the Bible - it emphasizes the
structure of a passage so the argument can be followed more easily and
shows that the Bible is a literary work not just a list of rules.

Unfortunately most modern translations follow the verse and chapter
numbering of Robert Estiene's (Stephanus) 1551 Greek text, which he
inserted while riding his horse on a journey (so the story has it) -
which would explain some of the bizzare verse breaks. The KJV picked up
these verse divisions and the rest is history. Now every modern
translation adopts these breaks for the sake of tradition. However, the
NIV and NRSV lays the text out in sensible paragraphs unlike most
literal translations which present (artificially) every verse as a
paragraph. This makes finding verses easy but reading difficult.

The NIV and many other modern translations also show poetic langugage
and OT quotations in verse format and parallelism is emphasized by
indentation. Basically, a lot can be gained from the way the text is
layed out as well as what it actually says.

I haven't seen the New Living Translation, but considering the calibre
of the scholars who worked on it (ie. D A Carson, Moises Silva William
Lane etc.) it should be good. Does anyone else have any comments on the


ps. Check out my Biblical Hermeneutics Web Page at:

I'm still putting it together but I'd appreciate any comments
anyone has....

| Andrew S. Kulikovsky B.App.Sc(Hons) MACS
| Software Engineer
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