GUIDELINES IN CHOOSING A BIBLE TRANSLATION
Many people get really hung up on Bible translations, and understandably so, with all of the different ones out there. A person doesn't know where to begin. Here are some guidelines that may be of help.
1. The number one factor is how true is the translation to the original language. Two translations that have been generally considered good in this regard are the King James and the New American Standard (NASV). If you do not like the old language in the King James then you can read the New King James, which is similar to the King James, without the old language. For example "thou" has been changed to "you."
2. The translation must adhere to the basic tenets of the Christian faith and teachings of Christ: salvation by grace through faith apart from works, the Trinity, Jesus being God in the flesh, and how we are to live godly lives. (I know I have left out a lot of teachings, but I think you get the idea.)
3. Many errors in translation are nothing more than grammar, punctuation, misplaced commas, and wrong chapter divisions, so it doesn't effect the doctrine of faith and how to live one's life.
4. Keep in mind that a modern day translator is NOT the same as an original inspired writer of the Scripture.
5.The Amplified Bible is beneficial to many people, helping them more fully understand a passage of Scripture, but bear in mind the more amplified it is the more likely it is to veer away from the raw truth of Scripture, and much of Scripture needs no amplification. It is very clear and plain just as it is.
6.Two translations to avoid are the New World and the THE VOICE. The New World is the Jehovah's Witnesses bible, which among other things, teaches that Jesus is a god, not THE God in human flesh. THE VOICE, published by Thomas Nelson, is highly controversial because it substitutes the name of Jesus for the "Annointed One." According to research done on the internet, it doesn't even contain the name "Jesus Christ." It is written in a narrative style with added comments in the text, which some people feel is adding to Scripture.
7. Remember, no translation will take the place of the intended meaning of the original language and culture, which is the basic goal of Bible study, to learn what was meant when it was written and to make application, if possible, for today.
8. Whatever translation you read let the Holy Spirit speak to you and guide you into all truth.
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