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Saturday, March 04, 2006

Faith and Thought: The English Standard Version

Shane tells why he switched from the NASB to the ESV in Faith and Thought: The English Standard Version.

HT: ESV Bible blog


At Sat Mar 04, 05:25:00 PM, Blogger FrankH said...

I thought Shane’s post was interesting. About three years ago, I made the same switch from the NASB to the ESV. However, about a week ago, I switched back to the NASB. Here’s why. It had nothing really to do with accuracy of translation. It had everything to do with what I was familiar with. I grew up with the NASB and memorized a great deal of it, while in college. I didn’t know that it was "too literal" or hard to understand, as some people described it. Nor did I ever suspect that it might have some theological bias. I only know that God used that imperfect translation to help me become better acquainted with Him. When it was time for a new Bible, I was shocked to find that the 1977 edition was out of print (its back now, but not in a very good binding), so I bought the updated NASB. But, it didn’t read the same – so I went on a Bible buying spree. I now have copies of the: NKJV, KJV, NASB, NIV, RSV, ESV, NRSV, NEB, REB, NLT, ASV, KJV/Revised Version, and The Message. I love all my Bibles and refer to all of them from time to time. But, just like a well worn pair of blue jeans, I just kept finding myself longing for those old familiar words – I just couldn’t get used to any of the others. So, for my primary text, I switched back to the NASB. My recommendation would be for people to just pick a Bible and stick with it. Find a translation that you like and READ it. Realize that no one translation is perfect and so; be willing to refer to others, from time to time.

At Sat Mar 04, 07:48:00 PM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

Frank, you have made a good point. Switching often from one Bible version to another is similar to church-hoppingm always trying to find something better but never settling down to grow roots in one place and helping to minister there.

At Mon Mar 06, 12:15:00 PM, Blogger R. Mansfield said...

To play devil's advocate, I had a minister while in college who suggested that you change your translation of choice every five years or so to keep the words of Scripture fresh in your reading. He actually did this.

In spite of my practice of reading through different translations, and in spite of thinking his advice is good, I admit to not having followed it. As I mentioned the other day, it took me 26 years to move away from the NASB as the Bible I carry and teach from (although I still study with it). The only minor change until this year was to switch from the 1977 NASB to the 1995 NASB, which I didn't even do until 2002!

But switching translations is difficult. I switched to the HCSB for the sake of my listeners as it reads smoother. And although I regularly delight in the way the translators have skillfully rendered a particular phrase, I also find myself stumbling over awkward renderings (like "ruler of the atmospheric domain" in Eph 2:2).

I've often thought it would be fun to somewhat follow my old minister's advice and simply use the newest major translation when I teach or preach, which I guess right now would be the TNIV. I've just never been able to bring myself to do that.


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