Bible Translations – Why the need?
Because the original texts of the Bible were written in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek, many modern day Christians would not be able to read and understand it so the texts needed to be translated into English.
Bible Translations - What are the Main Bible Translations?
Here are some of the Bible translations and their advantages.
King James Version (KJV) – This version originated when a group of Puritans presented King James with a petition requesting reforms in the Church of England. This is an excellent translation for people who were brought up with it because it makes a distinction between the second persons singular (thou, thee, thy, thine) which is not easy in modern English. You must understand the difference between thou and thee and ye and you, or there is confusion.
The New King James Version (NKJV) – A man by the name of Sam Moore, CEO of a Bible publishing company, is the publisher of this edition because his son could not read and understand the King James Version so Moore hired 130 scholars to produce the translation. It is considered to be the most accurate of the Greek than the King James Version and less likely to be puzzling to the reader. It is especially good for people with a Wesleyan or Eastern Orthodox background.
Since the translation of the King James Version in the 1600s, many additional copies of biblical manuscripts have been discovered. Some of these were manuscripts much older and therefore, likely more reliable than the manuscripts that the King James’ translators had access to.
The New International Version (NIV) – This translation is the product of evangelical scholars from a variety of church backgrounds under the umbrella of the New York Bible Society International. This is an excellent translation into very good contemporary English suitable for study and reading aloud. The word, international, means the translators made sure their work would be usable in any English-speaking country although it appears with versions of American and British spelling.
The Living Bible (TLB) – A gentleman by the name Kenneth Taylor began paraphrasing scripture for use in family devotions in the year 1954. It became The Living Bible which appeared in 1970. It is very easy to read and makes a good story book. Many editions explain the nature and purpose of the paraphrase.
The New American Standard Bible (NASB) – This is an updated version of the American Standard Bible originally published in 1901, and then updated in 1995 to be consistent with modern English. All archaic language was changed. This version is considered to be the most exact English translation available.
Bible Translation - Why Are There So Many Different Translations?
The King James Version of the Bible was used for over 300 years until it became noticeably difficult for people to understand the Old English way of speaking. It then became necessary to make new translations and revise old ones if people desired to read the Word of God in their native languages. Words tend to change in meaning with the passage of time.
The Bible did not exist in English until a little more than 600 years ago. Before then, the most widely-used Bible translation was in Latin. This version existed in the middle Ages and was called the Latin Vulgate. The first English translation was produced in 1382 by the influence of John Wycliff. Despite complete opposition by the Catholic Church and in the absence of a printing press, copies were widely circulated. In the 16th century, more popular English versions were produced beginning with William Tyndale. This was the first version to be translated directly from the Greek. In 1604, because of so much controversy between the Englishmen, King James I authorized the translation of another version bearing his name.
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