My Bibles: The Working Translations

So here they are, the translations I routinely use:

1. The NET Bible: No suprise to anyone who regularly reads this blog. It’s something of a median translation, with lapses (some books read more formal than others, needs an overall stylist once over). It’s strength is in the 60,000 notes, which enable you to understand the why behind its and other bible transltions actual word choice. Alas, some of the notes are a bit biased, but I’ve yet to find a study bible that wasn’t biased in some way.

2. NRSVA: “Literal as possible, free as necessary”. This is still the gold standard in academia, notable for being in the KJV tradition (it follows along fairly well with the KJV) and having editions with the Apocrypha that include the extra-Protestant books of the Roman Catholic and Orthodox persuasions, making it very handy when dealing with those folk and with more technical scholarly works which cite the Apocrypha along with other literature.

3. NLT se: Probably the most readable dynamic/ functional translation without crossing the line into paraphrase.

4.  HCSB: The translation of my denomination, “literal as possible, free as necessary” seems its philosophy as well. Interesting to see the difference in how that plays out between NRSV and HCSB.

5. KJV: Also used by my denomination in its Sunday School literature, this is the one almost everyone inevitably has some familiarity with. I’m one of those who think it might be better called the “Largely Tyndale Translation”.

6. JPS Tanakh, New: Another “standard” translation by people who tend to know their Hebrew much better than Christians (imagine that!).

7. NETS: New English Translation of the Septuagint, this is the English Septuagint most everyone with any Greek recommends.

8. Rotherham Emphasized Bible: Very Literal 19th Century translation quite useful for comparisons.

9. New Jerusalem Bible: Though I ‘m becoming quite fond of the New American Bible, Revised, this is my go to Roman Catholic translation, mainly for the printed edition’s fine study notes and the translation’s more elevated language.

So there you have the translations I generally use, prolly in about the priority of use. This is hardly the only translations I have available, however.

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2 responses to “My Bibles: The Working Translations

  1. I’m surprised to see Rotherham on here. I suppose I should be surprised at the New Jerusalem Bible too, but I’m not really. These days I’ve been using the ESV, NIV2011, TNIV, KJV, and NLTse regularly. The NRSVA almost as much.

  2. Rotherham is almost an interlinear so it’s a good double check, if you can deal with the antiquated language.

    New Jerusalem reads better than NAB and has the unique property of translating much of Acts according to the longer manuscript tradition, making it a good comparison again. And the notes in the hardback full version are quite good for their brevity.

    I could never warm to the ESV, but then I have never seriously used it, either.

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