Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed


Translation Tribalism

posted by Scot McKnight

Translation.jpgI am very confident about the prospects of the new NIV (2011). I know those translators and know they are devout and they are accurate translators. I hope you are praying for them, and I hope you listen carefully to what Doug Moo, the chair of the Committee on Bible Translation, has said about philosophy. 

But what depresses me about Bible translation debates today is tribalism. Some have raised the bar of this conversation to such heights that variation is tantamount to heresy. I want to do a few posts on translation next week, but today let’s have a little fun with the tribalism that does exist, that seems almost inevitable, that does sometimes lead to uncharitable divisiveness, but that can lead us to see ourselves in humorous tones at times. Translations can also be a window to our heart and theology and preferences. So here goes with a sketch of tribalist translation tendencies. Each of these is partially true but not wholly true, so let’s not reify but have a little fun…

NRSV for liberals and Shane Claiborne lovers;
ESV for Reformed complementarian Baptists;
HCSB for LifeWay store buying Southern Baptists;
NIV for complementarian evangelicals;
TNIV for egalitarians; 

NASB for those who want straight Bible, forget the English;
NLT for generic brand evangelicals;
Amplified for folks who have no idea what translation is but know that if you try enough words one of them will hit pay dirt;
NKJV and KJV for Byzantine manuscript-tree huggers;
The Message for evangelicals looking for a breath of fresh air and seeker sensitive, never-read-a-commentary evangelists who find Peterson’s prose so catchy.



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T

posted September 4, 2009 at 12:51 pm


Classic!
In lawschool, when I was part of a Vineyard church in Gainesville, I was told that NIV stood for “Necessary In a Vineyard” because it was the standard choice. As you say, partially true!
And, from your list, I guess my Southern Baptist upbringing still has a hold–I like my HCSB!



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Will Adair

posted September 4, 2009 at 12:53 pm


You had me at “NRSV for liberals and Shane Claiborne lovers;” but as for the ESV, it is also for Presbyterian folks too :)



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RJS

posted September 4, 2009 at 12:57 pm


I guess I’ve avoided the translation tribalism trap – as I almost exclusively use NASB which has eluded classification.



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Clay Knick

posted September 4, 2009 at 1:16 pm


Good one Scot! :)



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Ben Wheaton

posted September 4, 2009 at 1:22 pm


If the NIV was good enough for the apostle Paul, it’s good enough for me. Says a proud NIV-onlyist (although I also have an NRSV).



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pds

posted September 4, 2009 at 1:27 pm


RJS-
NASB may not have a clear tribe, but doesn’t it say something about age demographic? (I am in that same demographic.)
I still use the original RSV primarily, so I guess I avoid easy tribal classification too. I believe in multi-tribalism.
Scot, thanks for the Bible buying guide. :)



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Rich Goulette

posted September 4, 2009 at 1:28 pm


RJS, the NASB tribe would describe the NIV as the “Non Inspired Version.”



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Travis Mamone

posted September 4, 2009 at 1:32 pm


Oops, looks like I should be reading the NRSV!



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Terry

posted September 4, 2009 at 1:35 pm


I am so laughing at this. As someone who is NIV+ in a KJV world I dare not add to this brilliant list for my tribe’s spies are no doubt watching.



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RJS

posted September 4, 2009 at 1:42 pm


I thought the KJV was for ivory tower purists – The King’s English the way it was meant to be.



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Terry

posted September 4, 2009 at 1:46 pm


I am so laughing at this. As someone who is NIV+ in a KJV world I dare not add to this brilliant list for my tribe’s spies are no doubt watching.



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MatthewS

posted September 4, 2009 at 1:58 pm

Your Name

posted September 4, 2009 at 2:05 pm


Oooh, ooh! Can we do one for the various study bibles?
Life Application: For those who slept through Sunday School
Life Recovery: I suppose… but do you mind sitting in the back?
Patriot: You got your religion in my political history! No, you got your political history in my religion!
Green: Dude! You can’t roll one with Genesis 2! Use Romans 1 or something!
Quest: I know, I was thinking more along the lines of “Choose Your Own Adventure” too…
Apologetics: Sorry?



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Nick Mackison

posted September 4, 2009 at 2:09 pm


Scot, I was depressed by this statement from Al Mohler:
“The issues of concern related to the TNIV remain. For the sake of the Gospel, we must hope and pray that we do not confront these same issues in the updated NIV.”
Looks like the tribalism is set to continue ‘for the sake of the Gospel’ when the NIV2011 is publicised with its inevitable gender accurate language.
I count myself part of the Reformed crowd and there is cerainly a positive (or otherwise) peer pressure to use the ESV. It sometimes feels that use of ESV is a sine qua non of Reformed-ness (an example of Reformed ‘works of the law’?). Thankfully there are some glorious exceptions (D.A. Carson and Doug Moo himself).



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Darren King

posted September 4, 2009 at 2:10 pm


My favorite was the NRSV. But that came to an untimely demise when I forgot it the roof of our car; only to see it smashed to smithereens across the interstate a few minutes later.
I’m fairly fond of my NKJV – authorized as a popular Eastern Orthodox Bible. I like the colorful icons that decorate the pages. There I go – still opting for picture-books!
Also, I confess to steering clear of the NIV – merely because it was TOO common amongst evangelicals.



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James

posted September 4, 2009 at 2:10 pm


Blech, above is me, forgot the name.
And one more Bible for the list:
Nestle-Aland 27: For the NT Scholar who wants everyone to know that it will be brought, is being brought, and has been brung. (I’m looking at you Scot!)



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Scott Morizot

posted September 4, 2009 at 2:10 pm


Since I don’t read Greek, I approached my personal readings of Scripture in the same way I tended to approach my reading of any ancient text, spiritual or otherwise. I’ve always tried to read the interpretations of multiple individuals or translation teams. That way I get some feel for the biases that make it into the text itself that you don’t find in the notes.
As far as personal preferences go, though, I would probably say the NKJV is the one I most enjoy reading privately. It retains a rich and poetic use of English without the archaic forms in the KJV that even trip me up. (I’m not a scholar, but I’ve been reading Shakespeare since I was 8. A segment from King Lear marked my first public performance in a talent show when I was 9. And I enjoy other writings in 16th century english. Even so, I’m far enough removed from the language and culture that I don’t understand some of the forms.)
When I’ve taught students or for other public usage in a simpler form or English, I tend to prefer the NCV over the NLT or NIV. I find it does a better job of preserving the poetry of the text. The NIV especially has always seemed very bland to me. Not sure how else to describe it.
I will often look at the NASB, but its insistence on trying to find the closest English equivalent on almost a word by word basis tends to render it fairly wooden in my opinion.
I’m not sure I belong to a tribe. I’m always aware that anything I’m reading in English is not only a translation from a different language, but also represents an attempt to bridge very different cultures and cultural assumptions.



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kent

posted September 4, 2009 at 2:46 pm


Uhhh, what about the Jerusalem Bible? I like that, it is for those who like to read their Bibles and do a little weight training at the same time. Divine multi-tasking.



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Randy

posted September 4, 2009 at 2:58 pm


My favorite quote about the NASB: The best English never spoken.



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PreacherTeacher

posted September 4, 2009 at 2:59 pm


NA27 and BHS, for those serious about the Bible in their God-given languages and who want to be able to talk to people that matter in Heaven.



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Syler Thomas

posted September 4, 2009 at 3:01 pm


I remember around 1997 when there was a Christianity Today cover story where Wayne Grudem and Grant Osborne each gave their side of the debate for gender-neutral vs. non-gender-neutral. It was a good, friendly point-counterpoint. And then a certain Council on one side of the debate took out an ad in the same magazine, complete with signatures from all the prominent evangelical leaders they could find, endorsing that view. I thought that was pretty heavy-handed of them. “Don’t read and make your own decision: just trust all these leaders, OK?”



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Mark D. Roberts

posted September 4, 2009 at 3:03 pm


KJV – for people who want a divinely-inspired translation
Good News for Modern Man – for people who like stick-figure drawings
Phillips – for people who would like the Message but they’re too old



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Barb

posted September 4, 2009 at 3:03 pm


I think you forget the JB Phillips New Testament for those who still see themselves as they were in Young Life in the 60s.
As for ESV being “Presbyterian” in our church we’re NIV, and The Message.
I needed a study Bible for a class and I bought an ESV because of the pictures, maps, etc–they are fantastic. BUT when I found the complementarian bent I almost sent it back–



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Barb

posted September 4, 2009 at 3:06 pm


Also “The Books of the Bible” version of the TNIV for those who just can’t stand being told what order the books should be in. Am I the only one who loves that one?



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Theo

posted September 4, 2009 at 3:07 pm


I guess J. B. Philips is old hat these days, eh?



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James

posted September 4, 2009 at 3:08 pm


What’s funny about that Syler, is that your vagueness will lead people to either recall the events if they were aware of them, themselves, and may therefore remember a timeline involving a lot more, shall we call it underhandedness?, than the one ad you’re talking about.
Or it may cause them to look things up themselves, which I would say would be advisable, but then that might lead them to find a lot more controversy than an ad, right?



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Elizabeth Chapin

posted September 4, 2009 at 3:11 pm


I enjoyed #13′s list as well. I hadn’t read the NRSV until one of my profs at George Fox required it. I own a BUNCH of Bibles of different translations – except that one. Now it’s my second electronic Bible the WEB in pdf and html was my first.
I got a free copy of the TNIV called “The Books of the Bible” without verse and chapter markers and organized a little differently than other Bibles. We are reading through it as our read-through-the-Bible version this year. I doesn’t work well for looking up stuff, but reads well.



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Theo

posted September 4, 2009 at 3:13 pm


Don’t forget the (New) Jerusalem Bible and the Revised (New) English Bible for those readers who don’t care about the order of material within each book!



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Pat

posted September 4, 2009 at 3:18 pm


Hey, what about the Living Bible and Good News for Modern Man?



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James

posted September 4, 2009 at 3:20 pm


Hey Scot,
As long as you’ve got a good solid mass of folks feeling uncharitable and spunky for a fight over translation issues, can we have a post about end-times theology?
I mean, we really should have a good knock down drag out fight, not only over KJV only, and the evils of complimentarianism, but let’s really identify who’s a post-tribulational pre-rapture infratranslapsarain variagated coventental nomistic (1957 confession mind you!) evangelical, and who’s not!
That’ll really let the world know who Christ’s followers are, and who’s just a pretender!



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Jim Vining

posted September 4, 2009 at 3:27 pm


Scot -
Thanks for inviting us to take a laugh at this. I did. It was refreshing. I am really looking forward to your posts next week!
Generic Brand Evangelical



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John Harris

posted September 4, 2009 at 3:33 pm


ESV, for people who would like the RSV but still minister in a church that remember that is the devil’s bible, or are too young to remember.



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John Harris

posted September 4, 2009 at 3:34 pm


NASB (or NASU): for pastors who mastered the Greek language in 2-4 semesters, or knew someone who did… ;-)



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Pat

posted September 4, 2009 at 3:38 pm


“NASB (or NASU): for pastors who mastered the Greek language in 2-4 semesters”
Thanks, John Harris. Now I’m feeling sufficiently superior about reading the NASB!



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Alan K

posted September 4, 2009 at 3:52 pm


Hi Scot,
Thanks for the laughs. As you wade into translation tribalism, I think one of the necessary matters you must discuss is what sort of book is the Bible. I’m certain the tribalism arises from differences over what scripture actually is.



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Paul D.

posted September 4, 2009 at 3:54 pm


CEV for those who want to keep it simple (and those who feel sorry for the ABS.)
GWT for LCMS folk who can’t read Luther’s German Translation.
NAB for Roman Catholics who want to read the Bible for themselves.
NJB for Anglo-Catholic wannabe’s.
NCV for Max Lucado fans.
WEB & NET for those who refuse to read anything not on a screen.



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#John1453

posted September 4, 2009 at 4:20 pm


I always thought that
KJV: for those whol like to read Paul’s letters in the original language.
The Message: for those who like to read their Bible by candlelight and/or incense.
Scofield Reference Bible: For those who want to know how much term life insurance to buy.
Regards,
#John



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RJS

posted September 4, 2009 at 4:27 pm


Well Scot and Randy (#19),
I admire the clarity of the NASB. A joy to read.
Of course no one ever claimed that scientists were connoisseurs of fine English (or for that matter clear English).



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RJS

posted September 4, 2009 at 4:29 pm


Well Scot and Randy (#19),
I admire the clarity and precision of the NASB. A joy to read.
Of course no one ever claimed that scientists were connoisseurs of fine English (or for that matter clear English).



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Bob Smietana

posted September 4, 2009 at 4:34 pm


ESV has a strong PCA following. The King James is strong in the African American Baptist Churches.
I like http://blog.beliefnet.com/jesuscreed/
Main Indexthe RSV because it still sounds like a Bible



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joanne

posted September 4, 2009 at 4:49 pm


I love the NLT. I guess i am generic.



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paul

posted September 4, 2009 at 5:25 pm


I love the NASB comment, “forget the English”!



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Jeremy Anderson

posted September 4, 2009 at 5:58 pm


You forgot the ever so accurate and lyrically awesome ISV… although not yet in its complete form.



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karen

posted September 4, 2009 at 6:05 pm


The audio version for auditory learners?
The Kindle version for true techno nerds?
Mama’s version? The kind where she interprets it to suit her purposes.



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Rebeccat

posted September 4, 2009 at 6:08 pm


I’m not a very good joiner, so I’ve held onto the NAB put out by the Roman Catholic Church. It was the first bible I read all the way through way back when I was still Catholic. It doesn’t do a very good job on the gender stuff, but for the most part it’s pretty accurate and I really like the notes they have in it.



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Theo

posted September 4, 2009 at 6:42 pm


As an indication of how touchy the issue of bible translations can be, when the gospels were translated from koine Greek into demotic Greek (the modern spoken language) at the turn of the last century, there were riots in the streets in Greece. Things have cooled down since then. I have in my library a modern Greek translation of ? ?a??? ??a???? in demotic Greek, published by the United Bible Societies in 1989. It has the imprimatur of the Holy Synod of the Church of Greece, the Patriarch of Alexandria and the Patriarch of Jerusalem, but, tellingly, only the Patriarch of Alexandria wrote his endorsement in demotic Greek.



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Wayne Leman

posted September 4, 2009 at 6:50 pm


Scot, you left my wife’s and my favorite version off your list:
CEV Clearest English Version: written the way English speakers actually speak and write
The CEV is the successor to the Good News Bible. No stick figures in the CEV, unfortunately. Also, unfortunately, it has not been promoted well, so it is little known. So, among the versions promoted well among evangelicals, we like the NLT best. But The Message is what we use for our breakfast Bible reading and when we want to be spiritually moved.
I myself am a person of mixed race ancestry, so I don’t mind having more than one tribal affiliation.



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Ted M. Gossard

posted September 4, 2009 at 7:09 pm


Interesting, Wayne. I could have predicted that from you, or guessed it, based from what you’ve said on the excellent blog you’re part of!
I have used the NIV for years as it became the evangelical Bible, and I’ve basically been an evangelical. But I would choose a good updated one on my own. I like the English (and the TNIV became closer to the NLT as to clearer English). But I’m not convinced that a Bible has to be exactly, all the time in the everyday language of the people, because I’m not sure Scripture was all the time (e.g., Ephesians, Colossians). But I do think by and large it should be clear and natural to the receptor language.
And I do pay attention to what evangelical scholars use, the ones I read such as Scot here, Gordon Fee, etc. So that I end up gravitating to what they use: the NIV, TNIV, NRSV. And I do like myself the NLT and CEV, though I want translations that keep theological phrases and words that are pregnant with much meaning and are foundational, such as “in Christ.” I’m not sure everything has to be in language devoid of some mystery for a good translation.



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Ted M. Gossard

posted September 4, 2009 at 7:12 pm


NLT is good at least for the most part in keeping phrases or words I like, but CEV rather departs from that- all this in my memory bank, but haven’t looked at either for awhile.



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Steve Mook

posted September 4, 2009 at 7:24 pm


I heard our president uses the TNIV and the ESV. What a peacemaker our president is…
I heard Claiborne used the ESV until he found out Driscoll used it…
I heard Bell just carries a hebrew and greek bible, no english…
Lastly, I heard that Scot uses whatever his new publisher uses…



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len

posted September 4, 2009 at 7:50 pm


I often read from the NEB for the beauty of the prose. If I need a quote that connects on Sunday morning I find myself in the Message.



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Gwen Meharg

posted September 4, 2009 at 10:01 pm


WAYNE, I found a CEV recently! I guess it was from high school. I was reading it again and thought it was the Good News bible, but it said CEV and I was a little confused. Thanskf or clearing that up.
My SUnday School class is a very eclectic group, everybody with a different version. The ONE THING all our versions have in common is LARGE PRINT!
I am of the LARGE PRINT TRIBE!



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Scot McKnight

posted September 4, 2009 at 10:07 pm


Wayne, so well known I haven’t seen the thing.



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Mike S

posted September 4, 2009 at 10:59 pm


This is a good question Scot. I look at all the Bibles I’ve had over the years and realized they were all purchased/received due to a need to reach, teach or be a part of a certain tribe (or be taught by a certain tribe)
New English Bible: because my dad said so
NIV: because in college it was the newest and coolest and my folks didn’t like it
Good News Bible: because Pat Robertson said get it (I’m easily led I guess)
NASB/U: because serious Christians used it and campus ministries wanted me to be a serious Christian
KJV: because grandma left me hers after she passed away
Darby Bible: } because
Douay-Rheims American: } Hermeneutika 1.2
Webster Bible: } let me have them
RSV: because the Old Testament profs said I needed it to pass their class
NLT: because I wanted to be able to read out loud in English in church
CEV: because Coach McCartney said take one as you leave the Mall
ESV: because no one else at church had one and all my pastor friends had one
TNIV: because Don Carson said so and I wanted my kids to read the Bible for themselves
New World Translation: because those nice people in suits and dresses left me with one
NRSV: because last spring someone at church thought I needed a “real” Bible
NET: because Linux won’t run Hermeneutika 3.5, but it will run GNOMESword
So…anyone want a Bible? I might have one that will fit your needs/tribe.



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Charlie

posted September 4, 2009 at 11:46 pm


I just recently purchased the Orthodox Study Bible (I am not Orthodox). It uses the NKJV version and the OT is based on the LXX. I have thoroughly enjoyed the translation but also the church history that is woven throughout the book. A great resource. As for every day reading IMO it is hard to beat the NLT. It is a truly “readable” modern translation and it’s accuracy is impressive.



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BenB

posted September 5, 2009 at 1:15 am


NRSV is for Liberals… usually translates to the following:
“NRSV is for Arminians.” lol. That’s what I’ve encountered from my Hyper-Reformed ESV-thumping friends. I simply use the NRSV because I’ve never had a professor use anything different, and all my favorite scholars tend to use it.



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Daniel

posted September 5, 2009 at 1:28 am


I use the the ESV as my daily driver (the bible I use most often) for the very spiritual reason that you can get a single column edition. I also have the single column TNIV books of the bible, but its binding won’t stand up to daily use. Is there a single column tribe?



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Maria

posted September 5, 2009 at 3:37 am


Looking at the bibles on my shelf, I see that it is true – they all remind me of a connection to a certain tribe. As I look at my bibles, I think of who I am most likely to be with if I use that particular bible.
NET – because I am a geek and don’t always have internet service mobile device, but am too cool to carry a paper bible.
TNIV – because I don’t like to be called a brother, son or a man. (And if I’m honest, I kind of like doing what conservative types tell me not to.)
Good News – because the stick figures remind me of Lutheran School in the 70′s when they thought that the stick figures would make the bible more real to us kids.
NASB – because that’s what the smart kids were reading.
NIV Study Bible – because it was easy to read, but was really heavy so anyone carrying it must be pretty serious.
The Message – because I’ve heard it all before, and it is nice to have a fresh perspective. (For the been there, done that crowd.)



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John W Frye

posted September 5, 2009 at 7:25 am


Don’t forget the…
AMERICAN CONFEDERATES BIBLE for those Southern Christians who believe the South shall rise again. It’s a spin-off of the AMERICAN PATRIOTS BIBLE, but with a Southern drawl, and notes about the glories of USAmerican slavery, and a complete copy of the “constitution of the Confederates States.” “Yeee-ha, the South shall rise again!” The Rebels will not cotton to any AMERICAN PATRIOTS BIBLE that diminishes their place in ‘Amuricun’ history, y’all.



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Mark Pike

posted September 5, 2009 at 9:17 am


Though I use the NIV frequently at heart I am an NASB man. Have been since my mom gave me one in the late 70s. I must confess your description of the NASB reader is spot on: I want my Bible straight, forget the English. That was reinforced the other day when I was reading from Ephesians to my children before the left for High School. The English was so obtuse in the NASB, I had to pull out the NIV. If I had read the NASB to them they would have said, “huh”?



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Brian

posted September 5, 2009 at 9:38 am


When I was in seminary a fellow student asked the prof, “How come the NIV doesn’t italicize the words that weren’t in the original Greek like some other translations do?”
The prof responded, “Well, I guess because the whole thing would be italicized.” HA!



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Brian

posted September 5, 2009 at 10:36 am


I guess it was my understanding that, while not uniform, for all intents purposes the ESV had become the official Bible of the Reformed (Calvinist) churches in America. So it’s not just limited to the Baptists?
NRSV – it this not the Bible for academic study?
Amplified – the multiple choice Bible
These are funny!
I give exclusive preference to the TNIV (though refer also to the NRSV and the NLT and of course my USB4 and BHS)



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Bill S.

posted September 5, 2009 at 12:49 pm


I think this is the perfect time for me to launch “The Tribalist’s Bible”. Just tell me your favorite translation, your least favorite translation, and then send me $100. In return, I will send you your customized “Tribalist’s Bible”, which includes your favorite translation, as well as detailed study notes which bash your least favorite translation.



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Bill S.

posted September 5, 2009 at 12:59 pm


Oh, before I forget. I am getting a lot of questions about this. Yes, we can bash additional translations in your customized “Tribalist’s Bible”. To have two translations bashed, it’s $150. Three is $175. Sorry to those of you who wanted four, five or more translations bashed. We only have room in the study notes to bash three translations.



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Bill S.

posted September 5, 2009 at 1:26 pm


Okay, sorry for all my sarcasm. I was totally kidding (my wife made me clarify that!). I just find all the translations wars sooooo depressing. I pray that Christ unifies us, somehow, through all this.



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James

posted September 5, 2009 at 9:36 pm


So then, since I use almost all those on a regular basis…am I a Translational Universalist, or a Bible-Unitarian?



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Wayne Leman

posted September 6, 2009 at 3:25 pm


Scot, here’s a helpful overview of the CEV:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Contemporary_English_Version
The CEV is not for those who want their Bible to “sound like a Bible”! Its English is too natural for that.



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Lowell

posted September 6, 2009 at 4:10 pm


“The Books of the Bible” version of the TNIV: the raw Biblical books in a new canonical order for the non-conformist, free thinking, egalitarian who doesn’t want to be distracted by any extraneous notes, poems, drawings, maps,or chapter and verse numbers. Now if only they would leave out the spaces between words like in the original manuscripts.



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Daniel

posted September 6, 2009 at 11:16 pm


I may be weird, but I like the NRSV and ESV the best of those mentioned. The NIV, TNIV, and NLT treated Paul as the first Lutheran.



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David Dewey (UK)

posted September 7, 2009 at 5:26 am


I used to read the NIV – the Nearly Infallible Version – but now I’ve switched to the ESV – the Extremely Sound Version. Thanks, Scott.



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Rick in Texas

posted September 7, 2009 at 8:37 am


an old copy of JB Phillips – for aging boomers who were involved in Young Life in the 60s and 70s and can’t let go of the first “Message” – who prefer to use a copy that has the red and blue “cookbook” cover – but are glad they can still find it online at
http://www.ccel.org/bible/phillips/JBPNT.htm



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Martin

posted September 7, 2009 at 1:11 pm


I remember the acronyms from my college days around KJV-only pentecostals:
NIV = Nearly Inspired Version
NAS = Not Actually Scripture
NRSV = Not Really Saved Version



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Richard

posted September 7, 2009 at 2:25 pm


I’m ELCA Lutheran so yeah NRSV!
BTW ESV is used by LCMS Lutherans.



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John

posted September 7, 2009 at 2:33 pm


Okay, can someone help a poor middle-aged mainliner?
Why do people say the NIV makes Paul sound like a Lutheran?
What are the issues with the NRSV? Is it Isaiah 7:14 and inclusive language only? Or is there more?
Links to resources welcome.



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Audin V. South Texas

posted September 7, 2009 at 2:46 pm


KJV ~ Byzantine manuscript-tree huggers, Now that’s funny.
I grew up on this one and as far as translations go it had to be prior to 1960 for it to be of any relavance. I’ve read other versions, but I’m uesed to the older version.



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Daniel

posted September 7, 2009 at 7:46 pm


The NIV and the NLT are decidedly against the New Perspective on Paul. The NIV, following Luther, is inconsistent in how it translates the nomos “law.”
Isaiah 7:14 is probably the main reason that the NRSV has branded as liberal. The NRSV is also much more willing to go with the LXX than the Hebrew in the OT. But overall, it is not that much different than the ESV.



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#John1453

posted September 8, 2009 at 9:50 am


Here’s another definition for the NASB: For people who like to drink Buckley’s cough mixture straight up in a shot glass whether or not they have a cold.



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luke

posted September 10, 2009 at 12:46 pm


I want to at least share this story about a recent encounter with translation tribalism.
I’m in an Old Testament class that’s run by an educational group in our diocese, with degree accreditation from Newman University. All that to say: it’s Catholic.
One of the students is a lady who converted something like 30-40 years ago. She had to buy a Bible for the class, so she went to a Catholic bookstore and bought Catholic Women’s Devotional Bible. When she brought it to class, she said she was uncomfortable with it because it was copyright (NRSV) by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ.
Even after the instructor tried to explain that the NRSV text is a perfectly good translation, and that all Bibles labeled as Catholic are declared ‘nihil obstat’ and ‘imprimatur’ by a panel of Catholic clergy, she still wasn’t satisfied and resolved to take it back for a different, “more Catholic” Bible.
Next class, she came with The Ignatius Holy Bible: RSV, Catholic Edition. Ignatius Press is, I think, the largest Catholic publisher in the world. And our teacher explained that this particular Bible is the most-commonly used English Bible in all of Catholic education and study. But she still saw the RSV copyright from the Churches of Christ so she only reluctantly resolved to keep and use it.
In her defense, I could sympathize a bit with a point she made – that many Protestant churches deny any credit or validity of Catholic institutions. (Even though early Catholic Tradition gave us the canon of Scripture in the first place!) But, to use that as justification for a retaliatory attitude just seems like mettlesome tit-for-tat tribalism.
Especially considering that the Protestant traditions are, quite bluntly, far ahead of Catholic institutions in terms of Biblical and Scriptural translation, study, and analysis. We Catholics owe a great deal to the monumental endeavors of Protestant translators over the centuries and we should be eager at the opportunities we have to catch up to them and participate with them in discovering God’s Truth in the text of the Bible.



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steved

posted September 10, 2009 at 3:49 pm


I started off not listening to the Scriptures in our liturgical church which was the RSV. I then progressed to the 1967 New Scofield(with word changes for the reader); back to the RSV for the Harper Study Bible for a few years, while the parish used the NAB. I’ve been through NAS77, NASBU, NKJ, KJ, NJ, and a few others. When I was laid off last September and was quite frightened, the Lord spoke to me marvellously and wonderfully through the Psalms of the GNT. Since I do not advocate the use of inclusive language, I’m using the KJV, RSV, and the HCSB(which I like very much). I am now(after 30 years!) discovering the NIV also, but really don’t trust it that much. IMHO, if the 2011 NIV is a repeat of the TNIV with the inclusive language debacle, I think people will jettison the NIV entirely and move to either the ESV or the HCSB.



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