Which version has your English?
But, the survey should look fine in an individual blog entry, so here it is, again, ... hmm, trying, still trying, .... well, I tried several options but I could not get the survey to display properly in this blog entry, and I got error messages about the code, so if you want to vote, please go to my Bible Translation website and vote there. Oh, wait, ... after completing this essay, I tried one more time to include the survey in this blog entry. I deleted one line of code and I think we might have success ... Do we? I think we do, although the survey doesn't look exactly the way it should. But I think it will work. Who wants to try it to find out? :-)
Furthermore, as you can see from comments posted after you take the survey, some, perhaps many, respondents are not familiar with all of the Bible versions in the survey. So the survey is distorted in that respondents usually only vote for Bible versions with which they are familiar. Some versions, such as the NAB, NJB, TEV (GNT), CEV, NCV, BLB, and ISV are not well known to many who faithfully read and study an English Bible. Sometimes it is not even easy to locate a bookstore that sells the less well known versions.
And sometimes, I suspect, respondents may vote for their favorite version or the one they are most familiar with, perhaps because we are people who are so rushed and do not always understand survey instructions as we might if we took more time to read them, or if they were written more clearly. Besides, for many people, the version they use most probably does seem to them to be written in the language that they normally speak and write. Many people do not think critically about how something is written that they read. They simply read for content, which is the most natural thing to do.
For those who are interested, the American Bible Society sells a number of versions, including less well known versions such as the GNT, CEV, and NJB.
Christianbook.com stocks many different English Bible versions, including the NCV, GNT, NAB, CEV Learning Bible, and the TNIV, which is not sold in some Christian bookstore chains.
Walmart.com stocks the CEV, NCV, as well as several of the more popular English versions.
amazon.com sells the GW (God's Word) translation, CEV, NCV, ISV, TNIV, as well as several other Bible versions.
Please note that this post will slide off the list of active blog entries after so many other entries are added. But visitors to this blog can still access the survey at its link at the top of the right margin of this blog.
And finally, and this is very important, this survey is not about which version is most accurate. Translation accuracy is of great concern to most of us for whom the Bible is important. It can be difficult to vote for a version which has good quality, natural English but which may not be as accurate as some version which has less natural English. The ideal English Bible version has not yet been made and published, one which is judged by biblical scholars to be highly accurate and also judged by English scholars to be written in contemporary, natural English. It is not easy to bring these two important qualities of Bible translation together into a single book, although there are some versions which come close, in my opinion. I think I should save expressing that opinion for another essay sometime, if I even have the courage to tell how I feel then, since feelings run deep about English Bible versions. There is much heat in Bible version debates, and I confess that it is not easy for me to be the recipient of the most strident of criticisms about views of English Bible versions. Even though I, too, have deeply held convictions about Bible translation, I personally prefer a calmer, more collegial exchange of views on hot topics, rather than heated rhetoric. Different strokes for different folks! Most who have strong opinions about Bible versions do so because those opinions are rootly in deeply held convictions about biblical teaching and theology, the nature of language, and whether or not the Bible is meant to be understand by the "man in the street" (or even the woman in the street, if the word "man" does not include everyone in your dialect, which is another hot topic).
What comments do you have to make after reading this blog entry? Click on the Comment link right below this message and write what you think.
Categories: Bible versions, literary style