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Old 03-29-2001, 10:43 AM   #1
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Question What translation of the Bible should I read?

One of these days I plan to get around to actually reading the whole thing cover to cover. What version might be recommended? I would prefer to read the King James version, because I love the cadence of its Elizabethan-era poetry, but I have also heard it is rife with inaccuracies. Someone recommended the Rotherham Emphasized Bible as being the most accurate.

My goal in reading the Bible would not just be to pick it apart for contradictions, but to try to get at the spirit of the thing, and get a sense for why it was written, what was the mindset of its author(s), and how well its ideas hold up to a modern mind. I think King James might be good for these purposes, since its Shakespearean language would help to capture my imagination, but on the other hand I don't want a large number of inaccuracies or mistranslations to give me a false view of the book's contents.
 
Old 03-29-2001, 05:43 PM   #2
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I like the one with the 'pop up' Adam and Eve story in it!

Seriously, I've always been partial to the Revised Standard version. It keeps alot of the imagery of the King James, but it's much easier to read. I don't know how 'accurate' it is supposed to be however.
 
Old 03-29-2001, 09:52 PM   #3
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I also use the Revised Standard Version whenever I make a citation. I have heard the same thing, that it preserves the imagery of the KJV. I do know that bible versions vary for a variety of reasons. One important reason is that the ancient fragments they are translated from also have variations, so then which fragments are accurate representations of the originals? Thanks to the internet, I can look up verses in any other version someone else might prefer. I maintain a folder with links just for that purpose.

I also would like to know what version others here prefer or recommend.
 
Old 03-30-2001, 05:27 AM   #4
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I highly recommend the Skeptic's Annotated Bible.

--W@L
 
Old 03-30-2001, 08:12 AM   #5
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W@L, Skeptic's Annotated is the King James translation I think. Which gets me back to the question of whether the King James is too inaccurate to be the main one I would read.

Anyway, I can't read a web-based one all the way through, my eyes would bug out. I need a print-and-paper book.

[This message has been edited by gcameron (edited March 30, 2001).]
 
Old 03-30-2001, 09:53 AM   #6
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I've heard that the KJV was re-interpreted in order to better suit his majesties' tastes. They make comparative bibles, with three of four versions laid out page by page, so that you can compare different translations. I looked for one last year, as my old revised standard is falling apart, (it was a gift from my grandmother 21 years ago!) but none of the local bookstores carried one, and I didn't feel like going into a Christian bookstore. It made me uncomfortable buying the one I ended up with!
 
Old 03-30-2001, 10:18 AM   #7
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I don't think King James had the Bible reinterpreted to suit his tastes.

I think the inaccuracies in the KJV have more to do with the faulty greek behind it. I believe that Erasmus used only a few old MSS and rushed to print his Greek version in order to beat another to it. Perhaps someone else can elaborate or correct me.

As far as translations go, I use mainly the New International Version (NIV), but I have begun to go more toward the literalistic New American Standard Bible (NASB). I have heard of the RSV that was mentioned above and many good scholars seem to use it.

Ish

[This message has been edited by Ish (edited March 30, 2001).]
 
Old 03-30-2001, 10:24 AM   #8
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Doubleday's Anchor Bible series contains the most comprehensive assemblage of available scholarship I've ever seen. It also features comparatively recent translations.

Unfortunately, since it generally devotes an entire volume (or more) to each individual book of the bible, the entire set consists of more than 40 individual hardcover volumes, including the apocrypha.

Plus, it's expensive as hell, although there are generally always a few volumes available on eBay, if not at your local library.

Although its authors are ostensibly "people of faith," it doesn't seek to push the disingenuous agenda of most bible commentaries.
 
Old 03-30-2001, 10:44 AM   #9
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I'd stay away from the NIV.

I tend to read Young's Literal translation. There is one edition of Young's Literal Translation still in print and available.

The YLT attempts to preserve verb tense and word order from the original languages.
 
Old 03-30-2001, 11:03 AM   #10
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Talking

Quote:
<font face="Verdana, Arial" size="2">Originally posted by Bookman:
I'd stay away from the NIV.</font>
Good lord yes! After all, it was edited by lesbians.
 
 

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