© 2014 by VALERIE KEYSER.                                   Email: valerie@valeriekeyser.com

Bible Translations

September 19, 2014

Questioning what Bible translation to use?


Let’s start off with saying; unless everyone wants to learn Hebrew and Greek (the Bibles original languages) we will need a translation. Yes even the KJV is a translation for all you KJV only people. ;)


God worked through various human authors to write His Word. It’s inspired by God. As Paul said to Timothy, “All Scripture is God- breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness.” (2 Timothy 3:16)


Translations prior to 1611 (KJV was printed 1611) were the Vulgate, The Wycliffe Bible, the second edition of The Wycliffe Bible, English New Testament (which was produced by William Tyndale. He didn’t live to finish the OT.) Coverdale Bible, Matthew Bible, the Great Bible (revision of the Matthew Bible, was the 1st English translation to be read in the Church of England), Geneva Bible, The Bishops Bible, and the Douai-Rheims Bible.


Since all of these translations did not satisfy the English Church the KJV was produced in 1611. There were 2 editions made named after their different translations of Ruth 3:15. The “He” and “She” edition. Both had mistakes. The 1611 version also included the Apocrypha which is a group of Jewish books recognized as canonical by Catholics but NOT by Protestants. This brought opposition. In spite of the criticism the KJV was the most used Bible. Over the years the English language has changed which required the KJV to be revised. There have been major revisions since the 1611 version. They are 1629, 1638, 1729, 1762 and the 1769 which is known as the Oxford Standard Edition.  Many people are unaware that the 1769 edition differs in thousands of places of the 1611 edition.


In spite of the dangers associated with Bible translation (people were killed for translating), translators were committed to the ongoing (yes to this very day) ministry of making the Scriptures available in the language of ordinary people. I personally know Bible translators who work day and night to translate the Bible into a language that does not have any Bible translation. Can you imagine not having a translation that you could read in your mother language?


My advice from here is to find a translation that is easy for you to understand. How is one able to apply Scripture into their everyday life (not only by reading but by doing) if they can’t understand it? Modern English is best in my opinion because it the most current to today’s spoken English. Also, choose a translation that is based on the standard Hebrew and Greek text. And give preference to a translation by a committee over against one by an individual.


I personally use the ESV and also the NIV. The ESV is the newest to my collection but now has been my preferred Bible.


Hope this helps! :)

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