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Saturday, May 06, 2006

Top Ten Bible Versions

Rick Mansfield, a seminarian and host of This Lamp blog, has just begun a series on his picks for the Top Ten Bible Versions. He will be blogging about the following ten Bible versions and why they are his top ten picks:
1. Holman Christian Standard Bible
2. Today's New International Version
3. New American Standard Bible
4. New Living Translation
5. The Message
6. Revised English Bible
7. New Jerusalem Bible
8. Good News Translation (Today's English Version)
9. The Wycliffe New Testament (1388)
10. Modern Language Bible (New Berkeley Version)
I want to follow Rick's blog series. You might want to also.


At Fri May 05, 09:03:00 PM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

This looks delightful. I am naturally very interested in what drew him to Wycliffe. Thanks, Rick.

At Fri May 05, 09:13:00 PM, Blogger lingamish said...

That's an eclectic mix. I wonder what kinds of music he listens to?

At Fri May 05, 10:50:00 PM, Blogger M. J. Mansini said...

This top ten list has a fairly dynamic flavor to it. However, I enjoy seeing someone promote their favorite translations. Just for kicks, my list would look something like this:


At Sat May 06, 07:32:00 AM, Blogger Gordon Cloud said...

This is an interesting blog. I wanted to let you know that Modern Day Magi recommended this blog in a survey I conducted on my own blog this weekend.

Keep up the good work.

At Sat May 06, 08:38:00 AM, Blogger R. Mansfield said...

Wayne, thanks for the plug. The list is certainly different from what it would have been a year ago, and it will probably change in the future. I've added a clarification in the original entry that this is a top ten list out of the 80+ different versions that I have. The fact that a particular version is not on the list is not meant to be a statement against it. Although one day perhaps I'll have to do a top ten LEAST favorite list, too.

Suzanne, I'll give more details when I write the actual post on the Wycliffe NT, but here's the beginning of the explanation... I wanted to include a historical translation in the list, and I just love this edition of the Wycliffe NT that I have published by the British Library. I was an English major in college and my Chaucer class was life-changing! I'll talk more about the actual translation, it's place in the history of English translations and why I like it later in the actual post.

David (Lingamish), if only you could see what was on my iPod!

Matthew, I like your list. What is the VW2006?

At Sat May 06, 07:41:00 PM, Blogger Jason Woolever said...

That really is an interesting list. Its cool that he can enjoy translations that are so different from each other. Being a bible translation schizophrenic, i can really only enjoy one at a time. not that i would advise that to anyone else.

honestly though, i'm curious. when you have 80 different translations, how do you pick which one to read on a daily basis, like for devos or something. I would go bonkers.

i'm glad some people are more mentally flexible that I am. i'll be it feels good.

At Sat May 06, 08:04:00 PM, Blogger R. Mansfield said...

Jason, for devotionals, I try to read completely through one at a time. My goal would be to read them all before I die, but with the number I have vs. the rate they come out, I may not make that goal. I'm not sure I have enough years left!

Currently I'm reading through the HCSB.

At Sat May 06, 09:22:00 PM, Blogger Live, Love, Laugh said...

thanks, I will definately ck this out, sounds interesting!!

At Sat May 06, 10:52:00 PM, Blogger M. J. Mansini said...


The VW2006 is the Voice in the Wilderness revision of the ASV (if I remember correctly...). I don't particularly endorse it, but I enjoy seeing people take on projects such as this. It kind of reminds me of Moffatt's, minus some of the scholarship.

I understand the Schizophrenic attitude that you have. I personally use the NRSV as my do everything Bible. Study, Reading, Devotions, prayer, memorization, you name it, I use the NRSV. The only time I use other translations is when I need to parallel during expositions of passages and stuff. Sometimes I use the others just for free reading, but that is just for fun. The NRSV is where it is at for me. You could reduce me to the summary of "one primary translation, a few supplemental".


At Wed May 10, 01:40:00 PM, Blogger Jason Woolever said...

Matthew, I like the "one primary translation, a few supplemental" slogan. Thanks for the feedback.

r., thanks for the clarification as well. helpful for sure.

At Fri May 12, 10:08:00 PM, Blogger Macromoments said...

Wayne, it's an interesting list. I was actually surprised to see The Message, because many don't consider it so much a translation as an adaptation. I love The Message, especially when I want to read for the sheer pleasure of it. Its flow reminds me of how I felt about The Living Bible when it first came out. (Guess I'm dating myself here.)

Just curious as to why the Amplified Bible didn't make the list. It's long-winded, but I like how it dissects a verse.

At Fri May 12, 10:45:00 PM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

Just curious as to why the Amplified Bible didn't make the list. It's long-winded, but I like how it dissects a verse.

Hopefully Rick will come back and might answer your question about the Amplified Bible. He has said he has 80 English versions so he had to narrow that list down to his top ten.

At Sat May 13, 01:09:00 PM, Blogger R. Mansfield said...


I can include the Message even though it's a paraphrase because I was selecting the top ten versions as opposed to top ten translations. I use the word version in a broader sense than translation

Although I think a case could be made that a paraphrase IS a translation, too; generally the two words are used differently in discussions of the Bible.

Regarding the Amplified Bible, it can be a helpful version when used correctly, especially for those with limited access to the original languages. Although I've had a copy for years, I admit that I don't use it much.

Here's an interesting observation I've made about the Amplified Bible--and I hope no one takes this as a sexist statement, because I'm not making a value judgment; I'm merely making an observation from my experience-- In all the years of knowing a handful of folks who really liked and used the Amplified Bible, all but one were women. For some reason, at least from my unscientific observation, women seem to be drawn to the Amplifed Bible more than men. I've often wondered why that is.

My apologies to everyone who expected me to start the series by now. It has been started in my head, but I'm so busy grading papers with the end of the semester, I have to give priorities there. But it will all be forthcoming.


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