Friday, July 15, 2011

BQOTD: Version Aversion

The other day, I was reading John Acuff's blog where he was discussing seeing a church sign during a recent vacation that said "NIV- Non-Inspired Version." He then asked people to sound off about their favorite version of the Bible, and WHOO BOY, there are some intense feelings out there among Bible readers about Bible translations.

So, that got me to thinking, and eventually brought me to today's Burning Question of the Day:

If you're a Bible reader, do you have a preferred translation of the Bible that you usually use? Are there any translations that you don't particularly like?

Here's my answer--I use an NIV Bible. I didn't pick that translation in particular, it's just a Bible that I got at the National Youth Convention where Justin and I started dating. It has some sentimental value for that reason, but I also like that the paper is more like a normal book instead of that paper-thin business. Plus, at this point I've got so many notes written in the margins that switching over to a new Bible just doesn't seem worth it. I also do have the Oxford Annotated Bible from my college classes, and I will pull that out every once in awhile as well. It's an NSRV version.

That said, if I'm looking up verses online, I do check out multiple translations. Sometimes reading say, Psalm 23, through a translation like The Message lets me think about it in a new way that I might not have thought about it before, and I do appreciate that.

Just for fun and illustration purposes, here's one of my favorite verses (Philippians 4:6) in a plethora of different translations: 

Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. (KJV)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.(NIV)

Be nothing solicitous; but in every thing, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your petitions be made known to God. (Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition)

Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. (NRSV)

Don't fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God's wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It's wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. (The Message)

For nothing be anxious, but in everything by prayer, and by supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God; (Young's Literal Translation)

Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. (Amplified Bible)

Don't worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. (Good News Translation)

Do not worry about anything. Talk to God about everything. Thank him for what you have. Ask him for what you need. (Worldwide English Version)

So, what do you think?


  1. Hmm. I'm not certain that I have a specific preference. I grew up with KJV and NIV and have welcomed The Message as well. It sort of depends on the purpose. For simple reading, I actually like The Message because I find it more like a book (good and bad I suppose) and for sentimental things, like Christmas morning and recitation, the KJV is just perfect. For all else, I'd turn to my NIV.

  2. what a HOT topic! haha! i grew up on KJV and it was never taught that the other versions weren't approved of or anything like that but i almost feel that way now, as an adult. i don't really know why because a lot of the different versions/translation are just to make the Word easier to understand and there is absolutely NOTHING wrong with that. i guess my thing is, when i see something on pinterest or another website and it just says (example) Gen. 1:1 and know it's not KJV it bothers me. I almost feel like the version should be stated on the picture/poster/quote. I feel like KJV is the original and all the others are 'human' translation and should be aknowledged that they are a translation of the original. make any sense at all? haha!
    really though, i'm so torn on this topic. one of my favorite versus is 1 Samuel 1:27 and although i'm a KJV girl - it translates/sounds so much better in other versions!! I want to put the verse on my sons wall but feel like if i put KJV people would be like huh? what does that mean? but i also feel like if i put another verison, it would be blasphemy because it's not in the original context. :/

  3. I like to read a mix of them all, but most often it's The Message on my YouVersion App.

  4. I grew up with an NIV bible and now my bible is NASB and Chad's is ESV. I have a bible app on my phone and it has just about every possible version on it, which is a handy little tool.

    In general, I'm not committed to one particular version or another. As long as I can understand it, I'm happy. And many times, I appreciate reading the same verse in a variety of versions because I can glean different things from the different translations.

    However, it really bothers me when people try to make a point using specific words in a verse without first looking up the original Hebrew or Greek word. I feel like there are a few specific topics where one side repeatedly backs their argument based on one or two words of a verse, but the original meaning and context of the word is different than what they are saying it is. I think a concordance is a must have for this reason!

    So I guess really, I'm open to most translations as long as the reader keeps in mind that it is important to do some background work on specific meanings and contexts. :)

  5. My parents, who are pastors, gave me an Oxford Academic Bible as a kid and it's my go-to Bible. If I'm reading a verse, I like to read about the verse as well. History buff in me I guess.

  6. Now that I think about it, isn't my Bible called the Oxford Annotated Edition or something? I forget, but it's a good jumping off point for investigation.

  7. My favorite is the Message translation. I grew up on the KJV, and have had enough "thou"s and "shalt"s to last me a lifetime. I'll take plain English please! :-)


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