Monday, March 5, 2012

Do I Look Stoopit?

A while ago there was a rather heated discussion on a men's forum about Bible translations, and the virtues of one translation over another, etc. 

I have to admit to lurking for quite some time before I became properly annoyed and had to add my two cents to the discussion (argument?).  I posed this question:

"Does anyone know if someone is currently working on a word-for-word translation that is not KJV, but one that is written in language that the average Joe (a.k.a. "me") will understand without the need for an easier-to-read companion translation to help with comprehension?"
Wow, what a hurricane of high falutin garbage came back to me in the form of so-called answers to a yes or no question.  Stuff like this:
"The KJV is the only text that supports Strong's Exhaustive Concordance."
(Thank you, yes.  I know.)

"Ultimately, there is no better source than the original text, and also no replacement for the Holy Spirit."
(Soooo ... does that mean I have to learn Greek and Hebrew before I can really read the Bible? Shyeah, right.) BTW - I agree, there is NO replacement for the Holy Spirit.

"The KJV is written at about the 12th grade reading level. the NIV is written at about the 7th grade level. Other translations vary. This may make a difference in the one you choose as a family translation."
(Duh - I gess I is was am stoopit with my 7th grade reading level.  Thanks for that.) :-p~~~

"Obviously, we value education and scholarly study of the scriptures. But not all believers are as well equipped to read and COMPREHEND the Word of God in it's more challenging translations. There is a reason Paul writes about the difference between milk and solid food." 
(Uh  .... Did you just insult me?)

"If it will help you, pick up a few commentaries. I like Matthew Henry - he uses KJV and explains it well. I also have Young's, Barnes' notes and several others on CD. If you can afford it, get a copy of PC Study Bible, it is great. I've got that and Bibleworks, but use Bibleworks more for Greek/Hebrew studies and my version only has one commentary. PC Study Bible has 5 or 6. I also have several versions of the Bible so I can cross check translations/interpretations. My advice is to use several, but have the KJV as your baseline for comparison. Understand though, that the KJV is not perfect and searching through Greek/Hebrew actually gives you a more full understanding. I also have a Hendricks Parallel Bible which has KVJ, NKJV, NIV and NLT. This allows me to see all of these in a verse by verse comparison side by side. However, it doesn't have notes like a Life Application or Scofield KJV does."
(Thanks.  I have commentaries.  And concordances.  And a LOT of translations and paraphrases.  And e-Sword on my laptop, so I can read 4 different translation side-by-side with original Greek and Hebrew translation for each and every single word and comma.)

Thanks for all your help, guys.  I'll just let you all talk amongst yourselves.  Maybe I'll check back in a couple months to see if anyone read my question. 

In any case, for many years my go-to translation has been the NIV (New International Version).  I like it for it's straightforward language and simple paragraph form.  I realize that it is a "thought-for-thought" translation and not a "word-for-word" translation like KJV (King James Version), but I also believe that God is more concerned with whether I follow the principles He has laid out for me and less concerned with which translation I read.  I don't plan on being a scholar, just a follower who leads my wife and family in the best way I can (*side note - my family reads KJV).  It would just be nice to have a simpler word-for-word translation, if one exists, that's all.

Anyway, if in my lifetime someone completes a word-for-word translation of the Bible from the original text, in plain English that the average Joe can understand, I will be one of the first people in line to buy it.   

... Later!

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