O Me of Little Faith

Here’s Part 5 of our survey of popular biblical translations, based on Chapter 7 of Pocket Guide to the Bible. Previous entries: the KJV, the RSV, the Jerusalem Bible, and the New American Bible. Today’s subject? The Living Bible.

The Living Bible (TLB)

First published in: 1971, by Tyndale House Publishers

Translation style: Paraphrase

Quick description: A bestseller in the early 70s, The Living Bible is a flat-out paraphrase by publisher and author Kenneth Taylor. The language is as clear and conversational as, well, a conversation.

Why you should read it: It’s as readable as any Bible gets. Taylor got the idea while trying to explain difficult passages to his children, so he wrote it with that audience in mind. In that regard, it works pretty well. Unless you’re reading the really violent parts.

Not so fast: It’s a paraphrase of an English translation (according to Taylor, he paraphrased it from the 1901 American Standard Version), so it’s not the most accurate Bible on the shelf when it comes to the original languages.

“You shall not make yourselves any idols: any images resembling animals, birds, or fish.” (Exodus 20:4)

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

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