Tuesday, August 22, 2006

New Poll: English Bible Versions

Vote for your favourite Bible version in the Poll [Top Left] and leave a comment to explain your choice.

The Contenders:

AV = Authorised Version
NKJV = New King James Version
ESV = English Standard Version
NIV = New International Version
NASV = New American Standard Version


Jonathan Hunt said...


I'm not looking to start a debate, but these are my reasons

1. Literal translation
2. Understandable to Joe Bloggs
3. Masoretic Text and Textus Receptus, with helpful footnotes showing where the NA27 etc differ. 4. NO verses just wholesale left out!!
5. Retains much of the formal majesty of the AV.

etc. Its a bit like marmite, you'll either agree or not... Of course I love the AV, and like the NASB and ESV for their literal rendering. The NIV is too much of an interpretation for me. If you are not careful you can end up preaching on whole phrases that are not in the original...

Bible Discernment said...

The title of this version is extremely deceptive and positively dangerous; because the unsuspecting believer will purchase it not knowing that he/she is getting an unholy counterfeit of the real Bible - the King James Version. In his book Final Authority author William P Grady says this concerning the NKJV.
Quote: "From 1611 to 1881, God's foot soldiers wielded KJV swords while defending spiritual barley fields against Jesuits armed with Douay-Rheims Versions. Their grip grew tighter from 1881-1974 as one Alexandrian impostor after another was driven from the field. Suddenly, a profit-oriented corporation (the same crown who manufactured the enemies swords) would prevail upon the church to believe that the Holy Spirit had abruptly ordered a weapon change - in the very heat of the battle! Their corrupt rendering of Romans 1:25 says it best. Instead of KJV's changed we read, 'exchanged the truth of God for a lie.' A true believer will never exchange his KJV for a NKJV. The reason for this resistance is the same today as it was in Bible days. With his very life at stake, the grip of the ancient warrior was so intense that warm water was often needed at battle's end to literally pry the weapon from his cramped hands. A person with an ounce of spiritual discernment can see that He who is not the author of confusion would never pick such timing to introduce yet another English revision! The outstanding distinction of a spiritual warrior will always be that, his hand clave unto the sword…
The truth of the matter is that the New King James Version represents Satan's ultimate deception to oppose God's remnant in the closing days of the New Testament age . Having enlisted the lukewarm materialist with his NIV, the devil sets a trap for the diligent soul winner with the NKJV. Although his worldly counterparts embraced the oldest is best theory of manuscript evidences, the true Bible believer refused to abandon the Majority Text, retaining the Divine commendation of, 'thou has kept my word.' Thus we find Satan attempting to wean him away from his Authorized Version with the deceitful half-step of a generic look-alike, TRANSLATED FROM THE TRUSTWORTHY TEXTUS RECEPTUS! …
Conservative estimates of the total translation changes in the NKJV are generally put at over 100,000! This is an average of 82 changes for each of the 1219 pages in the NKJV…Along this line of abuse, the most shocking revelation about the 'New' King James Version is that it is literally laced with 'old' readings from the Revised Standard and New American Standard Versions. This revival of Alexandrian readings is one of the best-kept secrets of the decade. Whenever there is a marked departure from the text of the KJV, the alternative reading is frequently taken from either the RSV, NASV, or oftentimes, both. For instance, in the first chapter of John's Gospel, there are 51 verses. Of this total, 45 (or 88%) have been altered by the NKJV. Among this number, 34 (75%) exhibit a distinct RSV or NASV reading while 6 show a partial reading. Only 5 (15%) appear unique to the NKJV." (Ref:E2)

Exiled Preacher said...

Hi Jonathan,

A debate would be fine. I love the old AV, but I believe that Bible translations should be contemporary. The translators of the AV used the best English of their day. We should do likewise. No translation is perfect, but I prefer the NKJV for some of the reasons you stated. But I think that the NKJV should not have followed the Textus Receptus so slavishly, in including 1 John 5:7,for example.

I enjoy reading the ESV for accuracy of translation, but it can sometimes be a little wooden like the NASV. I don't agree with the dynamic equivalence basis of the NIV.

I wish the AV only advocates would use their great expertise to give us a fresh, up-to-date translation rather than just criticize the efforts of others. They claim to be the arbiters of principled Bible translation, literary taste and textual accuracy. Why don't they use all of that to give us an English Bible that will do for the 21st Century what the AV did for the 17th?

Have you seen Alister McGrath's excellent In The Beginning: The Story of the King James Bible (Hodder & Stoughton 2001)?

Chris Tilling said...

Hmm, NRSV is my choice. Consistently the best scholarship IMO. Should be on the list!
Glad you enjoyed your holiday!

Exiled Preacher said...

Hi Chris,

Sorry, I haven't seen the NRSV. I'll have to look it up.

Jonathan Hunt said...

Hi Guy

Yes I bought 'In the beginning' from a secular bookshop just after it came out. It was so good I showed it around and soon after it appeared in a large Christian bookshop in a certain church I used to attend!!

By the way, are you seriously going to allow that comment above to remain?

I quote

"A true believer will never exchange his KJV for a NKJV"

Yikes, I'm unsaved...

Apparently, the AV is also directly inspired by the Holy Spirit, and so was Erasmus...


Exiled Preacher said...

Hi Jonathan,

I didn't pick up on Mr "Bible Discernment's" statement on true believers not exchanging the AV for the NKJV. What complete tosh! That is to make believing in the AV necessary to salvation.

("Tosh", by the way is an important theological term that denotes that a person doesn't know what they are talking about).

Theway2k said...

Yeah, I am no theologian like some of these other commenters.

I am a NKJV version guy simply because it is close to the KJV without all the thees and thous and so on.

It is readable.

I have to tell you though, the Amplified Version is my favorite study Bible.

Judy Callarman said...

I'm not a theologian--simply an American English teacher who didn't begin serious reading of the Bible until I was 51 years old, twelve years ago. I have been reading it in earnest ever since my re-birthday.

My favorite version is the NIV because it is understandable by people today, and I love the language of it. My brother is a fan of the KJV; he and I compared verses one day and found very few essential differences.

Look at Psalm 63: "O God, you are my God, earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water....."

Marvelous in any version, I say!

Chris Tilling said...

Judy said: 'Marvelous in any version, I say!'


Exiled Preacher said...

Hi Judy,

Thanks for your comments. Why didn't you vote for the NIV in the poll? The version has yet to attract one vote. Exercise your democratic right.

I hope you realise that the version that wins this poll will be imposed on all Churches and Christians everywhere. The looser versons will be banned! ;-)

Isaac said...

I would cast a vote for NRSV. Not perfect, but then none are.

Judy Callarman said...

Okay, I have now cast my vote for the NIV. I just somehow overlooked that little voting booth--thanks for pointing it out to me. I will go and gather up all my friends who prefer the NIV so that it will win as the version to be imposed upon all Christians!

Johnnie Burgess Jr said...

None of the above. My choice would be the Modern King James. Otherwise the NKJV.

Jenson's Blog said...


As one who does not know Greek or Hebrew, I cannot comment on the issue of translation. Neither can I comment on the issue of which constitutes "better texts".

Hence I can only use argument that the "older is better".

Bible Discernment said...

The Bible is under attack from all sides. Satan knows it tells the truth about him, the victory that Jesus had at the cross, and what will happen in the future. As such, Satan has and still is making every attempt to destroy the Word of God. What better way to do this, than to change the meaning of the Bible over time with different bible versions; each version as it comes along claiming it is the truth and the most accurate of all the versions up until that point.
The line must be drawn where we say, "If the King James Bible was good enough for 400 years, then it is still good enough for me." For by it men and women have been saved and the knowledge of God imparted unto them. When new bible versions come along, they always take something away that is never replaced, only to be lost forever. If you believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, then stand up for it. Take a stand and speak out against these new bible versions. An objection often raised against the "King James Only Crowd" is that people learn something from the other (modern) versions, too, and that some even get saved: but I dare say that this occurs in spite of these errant versions, not because of them!
The Authorized Version of 1611, or, in other words, the King James Bible, stands alone in its uniqueness, integrity, and fidelity to the truthfulness of God’s Word. Among reasons why this writer holds this conviction is because of the great harm done not only to the Word of God, but the detriment wrought in the local church in its public worship, and, of course, because of the confusion created in countless group and individual Bible studies. After all, it could be said: How do you think your professor would think or feel if all of his students used different textbooks in his class?! In our case, God is our Great Professor! He alone is the one true God, who has walked among us upon this earth and left us the living and enduring legacy of His Word and His Spirit. Until He comes, Amen.