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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Bible translation and personality types

I have wondered for quite a few years if there is a connection between personality types and Bible translation philosophies and preferences. Now we might be able to find some connection, maybe, ... :-)

I have visited the Parchment and Pen blog a few times recently. They had a post today encouraging people to discover and share their personality types. The test results align with those of the Myers-Briggs Temperament Indicator (MBTI) test, which is a much longer test than the one linked to the P&P blog post.

I won't tell you my hypotheses about the connection between personality profiles and Bible translation preferences now. But if enough of you take the test and post your results in comments to this post, I will probably follow up telling whether the results align with my hypotheses or if they are all wet.

You are welcome to view my personality profile at this Internet address:
http://wleman.mypersonality.info

Here's my results chart:


I have been an ISFJ every time I have taken the Myers-Briggs test or one of these shorter tests that emulate it. I probably first took the MBTI test 20 or more years ago.

When I tried to post the entire html code to the P&P blog for the chart of my results, they would not display. Perhaps you all will have more success posting that code with our Blogger system comments. If not, you can still add plain text comments telling what your test results are. And you can include a link to your results on the web service, as I did, if you wish. Don't worry about trying to make a clickable link to your personal results if you don't know the html code for that. We can copy and paste your profile Internet address to our browsers without a clickable link.

UPDATE: If you post your test profile, please also include what Bible version(s) you prefer or what kind of Bible translation, such as literal, essentially literal, idiomatic. My hypothesis has to do with correlation of personality type to the kind of Bible translation preferred.

UPDATE2: I've just discovered (or re-discovered) that ElShaddai, who regularly visits this blog, posted on the relationship between his personality profile and the question "Why is it so hard to choose a Bible translation?" several months ago. Sorry, ElShaddai, for not remembering your post. I recommend ElShaddai's post for those of you who are enjoying this BBB post and its comments. (I'm enjoying all the comments.)

78 Comments:

At Sun Sep 23, 03:19:00 AM, Blogger ElShaddai Edwards said...

I'm an INTP, the "Engineer". The results shown are a bit extreme as I've taken the test enough to know how the questions are being scored. Out of curiosity (and inline with my personality), I took their "Multiple Intelligences" test and scored highest in Visual/Spatial, Intrapersonal and Musical. About what I expected.

Now, about that correlation to Bible translation preferences...

 
At Sun Sep 23, 07:19:00 AM, Blogger InHim said...

I'm ISTJ and prefer NRSV and ESV by a long shot. NRSV is what I read but part of me likes the more traditional ESV.

Is that what you're looking for?

 
At Sun Sep 23, 07:57:00 AM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

ElShaddai ended:

Now, about that correlation to Bible translation preferences...

Well, since I have read a number of your posts about Bible versions, I would say that your INTP aligns with my hypothesis. Stay tuned!

 
At Sun Sep 23, 09:19:00 AM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

InHim asked:

Is that what you're looking for?

Yes, exactly. So far, with your info, my hypothesis is holding up :-)

 
At Sun Sep 23, 09:28:00 AM, Blogger Talmida said...

Hi Wayne, I'm ISTJ, "The Examiner".

My favourite Bible, until recently, has been the NRSV. I still prefer the NRSV for study, but have discovered the New Jerusalem for reading/prayer -- it's so well written, I just have to keep turning the pages to find out what happens! ;)

 
At Sun Sep 23, 11:18:00 AM, Blogger DaveW said...

In the past I have been ENTP, this time ENFP (I have had a close split between T/F in the past and time as a minister twist that to the F. I find the T/F questions frustrating as neither option seems comfortable).

As for Bible translations TNIV is my most used translation of choice followed by CEV, The Message and NRSV).

 
At Sun Sep 23, 11:18:00 AM, Blogger Iyov said...

INTP

I prefer translations that are are faithful to the stylistic choices of the original.

 
At Sun Sep 23, 11:53:00 AM, Blogger Suzanne McCarthy said...

INFP and I like both extremes. Surely, someone so NFP cannot be expected to make a decision!

 
At Sun Sep 23, 12:02:00 PM, Blogger Beyond Words said...

I've been coming up INFJ for years and years (I didn't take the test today, so I'm not linking to the results) but the most recent test came up INFP. Now, could that test result have been skewed by the fact that I've switched from ESV to TNIV? :)

 
At Sun Sep 23, 12:12:00 PM, Blogger JL said...

I'm INTP and like the TNIV. I'm interested in your results!

 
At Sun Sep 23, 12:24:00 PM, Blogger Michael said...

I am INTP and I prefer the NKJV, KJV, and the NASB. I have enjoyed reading the HCSB and the TNIV, but for some reason don't feel comfortable studying from them.

 
At Sun Sep 23, 01:14:00 PM, Blogger Dan Sindlinger said...

Great topic, Wayne.

I'm ISTJ and prefer translations such as the Better Life Bible, CEV and NLT.

 
At Sun Sep 23, 02:15:00 PM, Blogger J. K. Gayle said...

With ElShaddai Edwards, Iyov, JL, Michael (commenters so far), I'm INTP.

With Iyov, "I prefer translations that are are faithful to the stylistic choices of the original." (Without regard to style, I see as most "faithful" Michael's preferences.)

For their stylistic choices (but not their theologies), I find most interesting GW and 4 NT versions (you all at BBB have not linked to):

J. B. Phillip's;
Richmond Lattimore's;
Willis Barnstone's;
and Robert Funk's and his "Jesus" seminar's.

Great idea for a post, Wayne! I am very curious about your theory (and have my own theory of such connections based on "fours," as lined out here; hinted at here; and charted out some [on page 2] here.)

 
At Sun Sep 23, 03:28:00 PM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

BeyondWords asked:

Now, could that test result have been skewed by the fact that I've switched from ESV to TNIV?

Oh, I would think so. You really ought to take the test again, to find out if there is anything to my theory.

:-)

 
At Sun Sep 23, 03:53:00 PM, Blogger Jay Davis said...

INFP

I like the readability of the NLT but use the TNIV for accuarcy & preaching.

 
At Sun Sep 23, 04:55:00 PM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

Suzanne wrote:

Surely, someone so NFP cannot be expected to make a decision!

Maybe. Well, maybe not.

:-)

 
At Sun Sep 23, 07:16:00 PM, Blogger Brian F. said...

I too am ISFJ. I am mixed on what I like for Bible translations right now. I have been using the ESV a while but have liked the NRSV in some cases - but today I was realizing I've been missing my Inductive Study Bible (NAS).

 
At Sun Sep 23, 07:24:00 PM, Blogger Aaron Rendahl said...

Just a lurker here usually but thought I could answer this. I'm an INTJ, and currently using the NLTse as my main translation. I also like the REB and Everett Fox's Torah. But what's perhaps equally important to me is the layout of the text, as I get easily distracted by other notes on the page. So I'm enjoying the new "Books of the Bible" TNIV as well.

Thanks to all of you regulars for your fascinating articles!

 
At Sun Sep 23, 09:17:00 PM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

Brian F. said:

I too am ISFJ.

Thanks, Brian. Nice to meet another male ISFJ. Our percentage is fairly low in the population. Do you enjoy detail work like I do?

 
At Sun Sep 23, 10:10:00 PM, Blogger Katherine said...

I am very solidly INFJ. The MyPersonality test had me as an INFP. I'm not strongly J, but prose descriptions of Counselor Idealists (INFJs) fit me to a T.

I grew up with the NIV, and switched to the ESV when it came out. Then, I switched to the TNIV, which I prefer as my primary translation. I also like the NRSV, which is used in my church.

 
At Sun Sep 23, 10:13:00 PM, Blogger John said...

I'm an ENFP, the "Advocate."

Bible translations mostly make me wince when I compare them with the original. Look at everything that is being missed!

My favorite Bible translation, if I had to name one, is the NJPSV. I am always using the Complete Parallel Bible (NRSV, REB, NAB, NJB), and enjoy greatly the LOGOS comparative translation module (KJV, ESV, NASB, HSCB, and NRSV side-by-side, with differences highlighted).

John Hobbins

 
At Mon Sep 24, 03:30:00 AM, Blogger lingamish said...

ENFP

 
At Mon Sep 24, 05:39:00 AM, Blogger eclexia said...

I'm an ISFJ, and the IF part of me is totally addicted to NLT--it's the Bible where I get the feel for what is being said(without it seeming like the meaning has bee messed with too much). The SJ part of me that appreciates precision and more literal sounding structures prefers things like NASB and ESV style. I would never make it through any other book written like the NASB or ESV, though. It's just that with the Bible I fight this balance to feel what's being said (because that's the only way I can internalize it and remember it) and wanting to know, "Is that REALLY what it said in the original?"
By the way, I'm glad this post fleshed out some other ISFJ bloggers. I was starting to think you had to be NF or NT to have a blog :)

 
At Mon Sep 24, 07:32:00 AM, Blogger Brian F. said...

Wayne, yes. I have been known to get over foucused on the details. The easiest papers for me in seminary (just graduated with an MDiv) were my biblical language exegesis papers, well, maybe not the easiest, but ones I thrived on and enjoyed the most. The practical ministry classes were more challenging for me. And preaching was hard too because I gave borderline exegetical lectures over actual sermons! I could go on...

 
At Mon Sep 24, 09:50:00 AM, Blogger BruceA said...

I'm INTP, and have gone through a series of favorite translations over the years. Currently I prefer the NRSV and NASB. Lately I've been exploring the Good News and CEV translations to read with my preschool-age son.

 
At Mon Sep 24, 11:30:00 AM, Blogger drm said...

Several years ago, I was INTJ.

I've changed a lot over the last couple years, so it didn't surprise me that when I took this test 2 months ago, I was INTP.
Today, I'm INFP. (But the T/F line was pretty close both times - 58%/42%)

Hm...Bible translations. I've never found one that was just perfect for me. When I read more consistently than I do now, I used to switch versions all the time. I stuck with, and liked, the NLT for quite a while.

I think that the optimal Bible for me would be one that preserves the literary elements over word-for-word literalness. I'd like to see poetry, jokes, figures of speech, plays on words, double ententres given more prominence. I'd like to not be distracted by chapter and verse numbers. I'd like to see the text in a functionally similar way as an original reader.

I guess that puts me in the 'idiomatic' camp (?).

 
At Mon Sep 24, 11:30:00 AM, Blogger Beyond Words said...

Okay, Wayne, I'll take the test and post it later today!:)

 
At Mon Sep 24, 11:34:00 AM, Blogger drm said...

I should say (though it's probably obvious by the rambling nature of the last comment) that like Suzanne, I do like both extremes. I guess it depends on what I'm looking for when I approach the text. If I want to read it, I want it to be as readable as possible. But if I'm studying/researching something, I want to know what words were used in the original language, and I'll find out for myself what it "means".

 
At Mon Sep 24, 01:39:00 PM, Blogger dt said...

ENTJ and I use the ESV or NASB. dt (PS--am I the only "E" commenting on here? lol)

 
At Mon Sep 24, 02:10:00 PM, Blogger mtlaurel said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At Mon Sep 24, 02:18:00 PM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

dt asked:

ENTJ and I use the ESV or NASB. dt (PS--am I the only "E" commenting on here?

There's a few others. Interestingly, a very high percentage of those who do Bible translation are Introverts. The Extraverts crave getting out with people. So some pastors are Extraverts, while others are the Introverted scholar kind who are happy to spend quality time preparing a sermon and teaching details of biblical passages.

God has a big garden of personality types which he has planted and wants to grow, using their type to bless others.

 
At Mon Sep 24, 04:06:00 PM, Blogger mtlaurel said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

 
At Mon Sep 24, 04:08:00 PM, Blogger mtlaurel said...

I've always been an INFP-J (borderline on the P-J). This time I scored higher on the P, but I'm probably more on the J side. From reading the posts, I don't think I conform totally to the "trends". I much prefer NASB and use it almost exclusively for study (for accuracy and closeness to original style) and for memorization (much more of a cadence, it seems). I will often refer to Wuest or Amplified when leading a group or doing in-depth study. When I do look to a more dynamic translation for a fresh look, more imaginative application, etc., it would be NLT or NEB. Hardly ever use NIV or ESV.

 
At Mon Sep 24, 06:26:00 PM, Blogger Beyond Words said...

Well, Wayne, I retook the test today, and it appears the TNIV has turned a lifelong INFJ into an INFP. The J hasn't completely gone away, but it's taken a backseat to P.

Now here's a crazy thought--how does the Spirit influence how we answer the questions? I can joke about the TNIV causing a change in my personality, but it has truly ministered to some dry places in my spirit recently.

I sensed I was answering some of the test's relational questions based on growth the Spirit has produced in me lately. Some of my natural tendencies have been transformed by grace. And I think the TNIV has been an instrument in that.

 
At Mon Sep 24, 07:44:00 PM, Blogger Psalmist said...

I'm INFP, though in my young adulthood I was a "cuspy" INFJ.

I turn most consistently to the NRSV, though I can't imagine using one Bible exclusively for either devotional reading or for study. Sometimes I use the CEV just to make myself think and get "concrete." I chalk that up to my former work as a youth minister and my continuing work with children and youth in music and worship.

There's still that core of me, however, that learned some of the most stunningly beautiful, profound passages of Scripture through the vehicle of music, about equally split between the Vulgate (Latin texts) and the KJV. Those are the passages most deeply rooted in my memory.

I wonder: does "The Memory Version" of the Bible count? (grin)

 
At Mon Sep 24, 10:08:00 PM, Blogger Psalmist said...

Iyov, I liked your response about translations that are true to the stylistic choices of the original. I'm hardly a Hebrew scholar, but I found the Fox Torah translation very refreshing in that regard.

Not to derail things on this topic, but I'm curious what others think of Fox's work. I am cautious about single-translator translations, but his seems very well done to my pedestrian eyes.

 
At Tue Sep 25, 06:38:00 AM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

I come out as ISTP, The "Craftsman", which is in line with the most recent time I took Myers-Briggs which was probably about 2000. But I am very near the centre on S/N, the others are clear cut. I am now quite strongly P, but when I first took this test I was J, and more recently weakly P. I think this means that I was brought up to be P by my strongly P mother, but am not naturally like that.

My preferred Bible is TNIV, or perhaps I would prefer something a little more "dynamic" such as NLT.

Beyond Words asked "how does the Spirit influence how we answer the questions? ... Some of my natural tendencies have been transformed by grace." I found several questions which I would answer differently depending on whether I am following my natural personality or going where I sense (or intuit) the Spirit is leading me. Perhaps the Spirit is making me more P and less J, and less strongly S. I might have guessed he was making me more E, but I actually scored less E than last time I tested.

 
At Tue Sep 25, 06:50:00 AM, Blogger ElShaddai Edwards said...

Peter noted:

But I am very near the centre on S/N, the others are clear cut.

A little more time, Peter, and you'll be a full-fledged INTP like Iyov, JL, Michael, J.K. Gayle, brucea and myself - scary! For such a small % of the population, there's a healthy representation of INTPs here.

 
At Tue Sep 25, 01:53:00 PM, Blogger J. K. Gayle said...

Jesus is NF
according to “a very talented practitioner of the Myers Briggs Personal Style Inventory . . . and also a competent theologian,” who says our Master is INFJ;
and according to a majority of surveyed students, who believe he's ENF;
according to many online "yelpers," who propose he's ENFJ;
according to one professorial David M. Boje, who classifies Jesus as a "spiritual" person of the “comic” type: an NF (someone tell Lingamish).

According to a writer at Christianity Today, the translation Jesus preferred when walking here on earth is the LXX.

(Of course, many say Jesus doesn't have a personality at all; much less an MBTI type that's as imbalanced and as human as ours if ever knowable. And most won't allow themselves even to imagine Jesus as having [good] preferences; much less an opinion about what makes better Bibles in translation. Here’s a fun & funny thing: we get all of the words of Jesus in the gospels in translation: in Greek and Greek-ish Aramaic. Now if that’s not a sense of humor! Wayne, Will your theory on translation & personality-type shed any light here on Jesus and his thoughts?)

 
At Tue Sep 25, 02:12:00 PM, Blogger Bill said...

Hi. Interesting... hope this helps.

I'm ENTX. Mostly ENTP privately, but more ENTJ in group situations.

The translations I've tended to read the most for years were NKJV & NASB. I started out with NIV 15 years ago (on a leader's recommendation), found I preferred the NKJV much better (after about 2 years), and adopted the NASB after another preacher spoke highly of it. I also like the NLT, mostly because it has footnotes no one else dares to print.

By the way, 2 of those 3 were recommended to me by professional ministers. So I suggest your hypothesis might develop a correlary, namely: if people's personality determines their translation choice, and if people's translation choice corresponds to their preacher's recommendation, then are certain preacher's followings also determined by personality types?

The mind (not spirit) boggles. ;)

By the way, I haven't really checked out any new translations for about the last ten years.

 
At Tue Sep 25, 02:16:00 PM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

J.K. asked:

Wayne, Will your theory on translation & personality-type shed any light here on Jesus and his thoughts?

No, it won't, J.K. And the more I discover the personality types in the comments to this post and the Bible versions preferred, I suspect that my theory doesn't hold much water for us mere mortals.

Sorry to everyone who has been awaiting a followup post from me. I came down with fever and the flu yesterday and still am still sick today. But when I feel better, I will tell you what my initial theory was, give some watered down possibilities, and then open the floor for further discussion. I have enjoyed reading all the comments.

 
At Tue Sep 25, 02:29:00 PM, Blogger Bill said...

By the way...

"Temperment" (a la Briggs-Meyers) is simply a measurement of tendencies. That is, what do you most normally do in certain situations.

The E/I is most about what charges your batteries (solitude or company). The N/S is about what you're most in tune with (inside outside). The T/F is about what you base decisions on. And the J/P indicates which category you present more to others (N/S perceptions or T/F judments).

Now, to say that "I AM" a certain type... that assumes I always follow my own past tendencies. But then there's following the Lord in my spirit...

I don't think Briggs & Meyers (or Carl Jung, whose work pre-built 75% of the B-M framework) was thinking in terms of spiritually regenerate creatures... or their "tendencies".

What is the "tendency" of someone who follows the Lord?

They're (hopefully) an L-O-R-D.

:)

But for practical observations sake, I can completely believe people's personalities (including my own, I'm sure of it) have influenced their choice of translations.

----------

PS: to be completely fair, I'm pretty sure Briggs-Meyers professionals will say no one "absolutely" follows one of the 16 temperments all the time, either.

But their point is that human beings are prone to patterned behavior.

What kind of behavior are spirit-led (am I dreaming here?) christians "prone to"?

Just asking...

And, seriously...

Is this off or on topic, now?

 
At Tue Sep 25, 02:48:00 PM, Blogger J. K. Gayle said...

You're talking like an NT, Bill.

 
At Tue Sep 25, 02:52:00 PM, Blogger J. K. Gayle said...

Wayne, Thanks for the reply. Sorry you're not feeling well. Hope you get to 100% soon. And we're looking forward to your sharing your hypothesis. J.K.

 
At Tue Sep 25, 02:54:00 PM, Blogger Bill said...

> You're talking like an NT, Bill.


Somebody gets me! :)

 
At Tue Sep 25, 03:17:00 PM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

I don't think Briggs & Meyers (or Carl Jung, whose work pre-built 75% of the B-M framework) was thinking in terms of spiritually regenerate creatures... or their "tendencies".

Bill, don't count on it. Jung was certainly some kind of Christian with a profound, if not necessarily orthodox, understanding of the need for some kind of spiritual new birth:

Jung's work on himself and his patients convinced him that life has a spiritual purpose beyond material goals. Our main task, he believed, is to discover and fulfill our deep-innate potential, much as the acorn contains the potential to become the oak, or the caterpillar to become the butterfly. Based on his study of Christianity, Hinduism, Buddhism, Gnosticism, Taoism, and other traditions, Jung perceived that this journey of transformation is at the mystical heart of all religions. It is a journey to meet the self and at the same time to meet the Divine. Unlike Sigmund Freud, Jung thought spiritual experience was essential to our well-being. When asked during a 1959 BBC interview if he believed in the existence of God, Jung replied, "I don't believe — I know"

See also the section "Spirituality as a cure for alcoholism" of the Wikipedia article.

 
At Tue Sep 25, 03:29:00 PM, Blogger J. K. Gayle said...

Jung was certainly some kind of Christian with a profound, if not necessarily orthodox, understanding of the need for some kind of spiritual new birth.

Sounds like a follower of Jesus, Peter.

"And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men."
"But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, . . ."

 
At Tue Sep 25, 03:57:00 PM, Blogger Iyov said...

A frightening prospect for the several INTPs here:

An INTP meeting another INTP is an excellent example of this; the conversation will frequently begin with a recognition of a shared interest, such as science fiction, and continue with a rapid exchange of data and theories incomprehensible to an outsider to the conversation, the two only breaking off when interrupted by a third party or thirst.

 
At Tue Sep 25, 04:16:00 PM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

Iyov, I think you are spot on in your description of some of the comment storms we have seen on this blog, and sometimes elsewhere. Even when some of the participants have classified themselves as not INTP it is probably that side of their personality coming out. Maybe it is when my S side, rather rare on this blog, gets the upper hand that I realise how pointless these storms usually are.

 
At Tue Sep 25, 05:20:00 PM, Blogger ElShaddai Edwards said...

My wife is a career coach and is certified to administer and score the official MBTI test. I think she'd have a field day with the most of the comments here, all the while shaking her head at the I's participation in the whole blog community concept. She's an ESFJ by the way, the complete opposite of me, and doesn't understand why anyone would spend time communicating electronically with other people.

 
At Tue Sep 25, 05:40:00 PM, Blogger Kat said...

OK, I'll give this a go... I'm an ISTJ, and my preferred Bible translation is the NKJV. I like my translations to be as literal as possible, but without the "thees and thous" (although the AV's language is just BEAUTIFUL! Cannot say Ps 23 without lapsing into the King James... LOL)

I'm looking forward to seeing what your results are.

-- Kat
www.CatHouseChat.com

 
At Tue Sep 25, 05:41:00 PM, Blogger Brian F. said...

Wayne's comment blessed me: "There's a few others. Interestingly, a very high percentage of those who do Bible translation are Introverts. The Extraverts crave getting out with people. So some pastors are Extraverts, while others are the Introverted scholar kind who are happy to spend quality time preparing a sermon and teaching details of biblical passages.

God has a big garden of personality types which he has planted and wants to grow, using their type to bless others.
"

As to comments about the MB - of course it is not intended to be a hard and fast rule for life but instead merely and aide in helping one understand one's tendencies and how one's personality may affect one's spirituality and or spiritual growth.

I suspect Wayne's theory may be more correct than the commentors are leading him to believe (but that is me) - that personality types influence out preference for Bible translations, but that many tend to go with one translation over another due to such claims as "literal is better" or "this is the truest to the Hebrew or Greek" etc, or simply that one goes with whatever translation one's church community uses.

It would make sense that a person with more analytical thinker type mind set would tend towards a more literal Bible such as the NAS or some other or that a person with a more artsy personality might like the NLT or REB style translation due to their literary style. Though again this is not a hard and fast rule but an insight into various folks tendencies towards certain translations of the Bible. No?

 
At Wed Sep 26, 03:31:00 AM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

ElShaddai, I wonder if your wife appreciates how some of us I's want to communicate with people but without the scary need to actually meet them in person, and so electronic written communication is ideal for us. Or maybe deep down we are really frustrated E's with too many hangups and fears to actually go out and mix with people in the real world.

 
At Wed Sep 26, 04:09:00 AM, Blogger ElShaddai Edwards said...

Or maybe deep down we are really frustrated E's with too many hangups and fears to actually go out and mix with people in the real world.

Are you sure you're not still the Speaker of Truth?

 
At Wed Sep 26, 05:55:00 AM, Blogger eclexia said...

Bill, your question and answer "What is the 'tendency' of someone who follows the Lord? They're (hopefully) an L-O-R-D." reminded me of a funny story, which I began to ramble about in a comment, but then turned into a post on my blog, thinking it was off topic here. I'm still not sure which is the better way to respond, but my response is at: http://eclexia.wordpress.com/2007/09/25/personality-transformed-by-god/ (I also can't figure out how to trackback or put that as a link here. I think it would have been easier to just leave it as a comment here :) )

 
At Wed Sep 26, 06:03:00 AM, Blogger eclexia said...

Peter, if it's multiple choice, I'll take the first option over the second--I get so tired of people pathologizing introvertedness into social anxiety disorder, inadequate social skills, parents who suppressed a child's personality, etc :) Those things might be realities for some people, but being introverted is not a problem that we have to find the root cause of! We lay this trap, I think, as soon as we start putting too much weight on "normal". If there is some ideal personality prototype, then people who deviate from that are now abnormal. Who comes up with the standards of "normal" anyway?

 
At Wed Sep 26, 06:44:00 AM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

ElShaddai asked Peter:

Are you sure you're not still the Speaker of Truth?

He may still be, but note that he recently changed the name of his blog to Gentle Wisdom. I suspect Peter feels more comfortable with the new title. I happen to like it, as well.

 
At Wed Sep 26, 07:04:00 AM, Blogger ElShaddai Edwards said...

Peter asked:

I wonder if your wife appreciates how some of us I's want to communicate with people but without the scary need to actually meet them in person, and so electronic written communication is ideal for us.

Yes. We actually talked about that last night. Her point was that E's need the immediate feedback of face-to-face communication to get their energy. On the computer, instant messaging or chat forums are the closest you can come to that. The less immediate nature of blogging and most online forums means that I's can pick and choose when they respond and aren't pushed out of their comfort zone by a face-to-face interaction. I am an "I" and I get energy from blogging because I control when I do it and what thoughts I'm interacting with.

Wayne noted:

[Peter] recently changed the name of his blog to Gentle Wisdom. I suspect Peter feels more comfortable with the new title. I happen to like it, as well.

As do I... his comment just struck me as a little too honest, if you know what I mean...

 
At Wed Sep 26, 07:38:00 AM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

I am an "I" and I get energy from blogging because I control when I do it and what thoughts I'm interacting with.

ElShaddai, I think you have hit the nail on the head. Maybe you would like to be the new Speaker of Truth.

Eclexia, I certainly didn't mean to suggest that all I's are pathological cases. I did wonder if some like myself might be at least partly so, although whether that is a cause or an effect of our introversion may be debatable. Dave Warnock has written about how he is now ENFP but "I started as INTP (that was at a time of conflict and threat at work so with hindsight it was not surprising I had retreated into myself)." So here is one person who went from I to E when his circumstances changed. I wonder if he started blogging or something similar during that time of retreating into himself while still having the E need of personal interaction.

 
At Wed Sep 26, 08:34:00 AM, Blogger John Notestein said...

I am an ISFJ - The "Defender". I aminly use the HCSB translation both for devotions and study. Running a very close second for use in both areas is the TNIV. I really love both of them but lean towards the HCSB because of the use of "literal notes" at the bottom of the page. Plus, for me, the HCSB seems to read a little easier.

 
At Wed Sep 26, 09:55:00 AM, Blogger eclexia said...

Peter, I have a problem with my heart joking, and the words I say still sounding very serious. I really didn't think you were calling introvertism a pathology. Rereading my comment I see that I sounded a lot more irritated than I felt inside when I wrote it. Although you can't tell by reading it, I wasn't trying to take you to task, but was smiling as I wrote it. I'm just terrible at communicating smiles :) especially over the internt!

 
At Thu Sep 27, 10:10:00 AM, Blogger Jeremy Pierce said...

Ah, so this is what those vague references to MB type in that other conversation were about. I don't manage to keep up with new posts very well when I'm so absorbed with continued comments on old ones. There's only so much time I can spare for blog reading and commenting.

I'm a very strong ISTJ. The first time I took the test I was near the lowest numbers on all four (i.e. something like 1 or 2 out of 20). I don't think subsequent times have changed the results considerably, although perhaps I've become a little less extreme as I've gotten older, as I had to live with INTP and ISFJ roommates, and as I've had to live with an INFP wife.

My views on Bible translations are fairly well-known here, but I'll list them anyway. I use the ESV and HCSB most on my own. For children and those learning English as a second language, I would suggest the NLT. I don't mind the NIV and TNIV for public reading, and I don't think the so-called dynamic translations are bad. It's just not what I prefer for closer study. The NASB goes too far in sounding not like English for my tastes, and while the ESV is not far enough away from that I haven't found anything else between the NASB and the NIV/TNIV model that I like besides the ESV and HCSB.

 
At Thu Sep 27, 10:33:00 AM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

Jeremy, you're not too far from my own ISFJ, except that we would clash on the F-J scale since I'm such a strong F. But the oil of the Spirit can help with such clashes.

You said: "I've had to live with an INFP wife"

I hope it someday can turn into: "I get to live with an INFP wife." :-)

Wow, that would be a recipe for clashes with the STJ vs. NFP differences. Can you find ways of benefitting from each other can complement (!) in the other.

Such personality type differences are complementary, eh? :-)

 
At Thu Sep 27, 11:01:00 AM, Blogger Trevor Jenkins said...

I'm INFP. One of the suggested jobs for this personality type: translator/interpreter; funny that's exactly the job I do. :-)

I prefer idiomatic Bible translations, like the CEV, TM, GW. My current Bible is GW but a couple of years ago it was CEV and I've flirted with NLT too.

 
At Thu Sep 27, 11:10:00 AM, Blogger Jeremy Pierce said...

Can you find ways of benefitting from each other can complement (!) in the other.

Certainly, but it's going against my own grain. That's why it's "have to" rather than "get to". Having three opposite characteristics is hard. I'm forced to live like a P, and there's little I can do about that. I could never live like an F, and I'm incapable of doing anything like an N. My sons get to be excused because they're autistic (which I equate with even more extreme ISTJ than me), but I don't get to use that excuse!

 
At Thu Sep 27, 11:41:00 PM, Blogger D. Michael Gregg said...

ENFP (Advocate), but almost borderline INFP (Dreamer).

I use the NLT most. Followed by the CJB, ESV, and Phillips. Then, I less frequently reference the NET, HCSB, Wuest, Williams, and CAB.

I also enjoy walking through the Greek, studying the words and producing my own "expanded" translation, not unlike Wuest's, except much more dynamic. I do this for personal and group Bible studies.

Also, I might add that I have experienced a sort of drifting toward Introversion. I seem to be slowly drawing closer to becoming %50 Extroverted, %50 Introverted. So, what I would be called? An E/INFP?

 
At Fri Sep 28, 12:46:00 AM, Blogger D. Michael Gregg said...

Turns out, I'm also almost borderline T/F, in addition to almost borderline E/I. So, I am like some strange blend of ENFP, INFP, ENTP, and INTP. I am just slightly more extravert than introvert and just slightly more feeler than thinker. What does that mean?

And, I meant also to mention something that I have pondered for some time now. I have seen my personality profiles change over the years. And as I answer the questions of personality tests, I am often struck by how much the influence of the Holy Spirit plays in the decisions I make in how I act and react in certain situations.
How much of a role does the Holy Spirit play in modifying our personalities? And if He modifies our personalities, then are there perhaps, among the 16 personality types, more favorable ones and less favorable ones. Is there an ideal personality type, or perhaps, ideal personality types (plural) and non-ideal personality types. What personality type might Christ have exemplified in His moral and psychological perfection and oneness with the Holy Spirit?

 
At Fri Sep 28, 12:04:00 PM, Blogger ElShaddai Edwards said...

Jeremy noted:

Having three opposite characteristics is hard. I'm forced to live like a P, and there's little I can do about that. I could never live like an F, and I'm incapable of doing anything like an N.

Only three opposites? I'm an INTP and my wife is an ESFJ. Grrr! Though I must say that my "head in the clouds" NTP behavior is slowing wearing down her ability to make decisions based on feeling, so she's showing promise of becoming a T. There is hope...

 
At Sat Sep 29, 09:46:00 PM, Blogger mom2twoboys said...

Fascinating! I am an INFP, married to an ESTJ (opposites, as several of you have stated). Definitely a dreamer.

I prefer NLT for myself and I use CEV when working with young people. I also have an NIV, as well as KJV (I work in China, and the most accepted translation into Chinese was made from the KJV, so I have a parallel Bible with KJV).

M

 
At Sat Sep 29, 10:33:00 PM, Blogger Jeremy Pierce said...

I should have mentioned my wife's translation preferences (which are another blow to Wayne's theory). She's INFP. She grow up using the KJV, and she was always fine with it. When she lost her KJV, I won a free ESV and gave it to her since I already had one. She seems to think that's fine too. She also doesn't mind the RSV and NASB too much. She doesn't really like the NIV, and she especially doesn't like more dynamic translations. I read her the whole NT in the HCSB, and she didn't seem to mind that, so I don't think it's a Tyndale thing.

 
At Sat Sep 29, 10:54:00 PM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

I should have mentioned my wife's translation preferences (which are another blow to Wayne's theory).

Really, Jeremy, I don't mind those blows. It brings me more satisfaction to get closer to the truth about things than to think I'm right with a limited amount of evidence, although I admit it does feel nice to have a lot of evidence and still have my hypotheses confirmed. But I'm really content to follow the truth wherever it leads.

 
At Sun Sep 30, 05:09:00 AM, Blogger RuthM said...

Apparently I'm an INTJ (borderline S, which is what I was last time -- and extremely I and T). My husband and I are the exact *same* type. We don't go out much :-)

I prefer to read the NT in Greek if I have the time. I honestly understand Paul better in Greek than in any English translation. My preferred translation is the CEV because it's the closest to real English that I've found. I'm also curious about the NCV. I use the NIV/TNIV quite a bit because the Nearly Infallible Version has been pretty much the only version used in the circles I've moved in. I don't know much about the ESV but what I do know sends me screaming in the opposite direction.

 
At Sun Sep 30, 05:38:00 AM, Blogger Jeremy Pierce said...

One thing I think you need to take into account is that, even if there are things that attract certain personality types to certain kinds of translations (as I'm sure is true) there will also be other factors. Suzanne likes the KJV because she grew up with it. Most black churches use the KJV, and KJV language is part of that whole church culture. That sort of things is very hard to overcome, even among those who study language and conclude that newer translations ae actually better at capturing the meaning in the English we use.

 
At Sun Sep 30, 07:56:00 AM, Blogger Wayne Leman said...

Jeremy noted:

One thing I think you need to take into account is that, even if there are things that attract certain personality types to certain kinds of translations (as I'm sure is true) there will also be other factors.

Very true, Jeremy. It's similar to the factors that contribute to a child turning out as it does: nature, nurture, choice, and ...

We are attracted to certain Bible versions for a variety of reasons. I think we may even have polled these at some time in the past.

Some primary reasons are:

1. The version my faith group uses
2. A version promoted by a Christian leader I admire

Still, *if* someone has used different versions sufficiently and is in an environment where choice is allowed, there *may* be a correlation between personality type and translation type. That was my hypothesis. I still don't know if the data will support it. For me, with my penchant for collecting data, the search itself is fun and worth the effort. The trip itself is worth it, whether or not we arrive at the destination we originally thought we would. That tells a lot, I suppose, about my personality type.

 
At Tue Oct 02, 04:44:00 AM, Blogger Peter Kirk said...

Another factor in translation choice which may not have been mentioned here is how well the language of a particular version matches one's personal language and preferences. Those with high level literary English might prefer REB, whereas those with less language skills (obviously I don't include Wayne and Lingamish here) might prefer CEV. I wonder if one reason for the black community's relative preference for KJV is that the language they tend to use in general is in some ways closer to KJV English than is that of the population as a whole.

 
At Wed Oct 03, 12:10:00 PM, Blogger Mary Ann said...

I've been an INFJ for years and this time came out INFP (but still borderline P/J). I just made the switch from NIV to TNIV recently. :)

 
At Sat Oct 13, 09:31:00 PM, Blogger BJ Mora said...

INTJ "the Strategist". ESV, NET; NKJV OK; NASB too wooden; NIV doesn't sound like the Bible to me.

 
At Tue Oct 30, 01:37:00 PM, Blogger kabing said...

I didn't want to register at yet another website to take the test, but I my Myers Briggs type is XNFP. X because I straddle the line between E and I.

I use the NRSV the most, followed by the NET. I like the readability of the REB. I can't say that I'm entirely happy with any of them, though. I want something that's readable, but that also is reflective of the underlying Greek or Hebrew. It drives me crazy when the NRSV uses different words to translate a repeated word/root in a passage.

My suggestion to lay people I teach is to have one formal equivalence and one dynamic equavalence translation, and work with both of them.

kabing

 

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