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Is The Living Bible Accurate

Copyists Errors In The Bible

The original manuscripts written by the prophets and the apostles under the guidance of the Holy Spirit were without error. We call these original documents the autographs. Over time, these autographs were copied. They copied them by handwriting. Consequently, Wallace states in his book, published in 2011, that the number of Greek manuscripts was about 5,600. Both Wallace and Hixson and Gurry state that some manuscripts are duplicates so that leaves us with only 5,100 unique copies. There are approximately 10,000 Latin manuscripts, and altogether there are about 20,000 manuscripts in various languages, including Greek.

Since these manuscripts were copied, errors were made in the copying process. Subsequently, as the documents were copied, errors were introduced over time. Some errors are nonsensical errors, and other errors were variations in words, missing words, added words, or grammatical errors. When scholars try to determine the actual reading of the original documents, they do not know which variation is an error or which is the correct reading. So, these variations are called variants. Variants are not necessarily an error, they are just differences between manuscripts.

Some intentional changes were made by the human copiers in an attempt to clarify the meaning of a passage. In a few rare cases, it is clear someone tried to change the meaning to reflect a doctrinal opinion.

What Are The 5 Most Accurate Bible Translations

There are other versions that are worthy of attention, but these five are universally considered great for several reasons. First, they are all translated by respected and diverse groups of theologians. Second, they all stay fairly close to one another in attempting to give the best meaning to what the Scripture has to tell us today.

My top 5 are:

The English Language Continually Evolves

A modern translation takes into consideration words and phrases that are no longer used or have changed over time. For instance, the word let meant restrain in 1611 when the KJV was first published, but today it means allow. Its not uncommon to see modern translations come out with an updated version every 10-15 years to reflect todays language.

Recommended Reading: Chronological Order Of Bible Books

What Is The Most Accurate Translation Of The Bible In The World

Christian Scholars and theologians worldwide cannot find a common footing when it comes to the most accurate Bible translation. As languages continue to evolve, there are more options with their bragging rights for why they are the most accurate Bible translation.

As a student of the Bible, it is important not to burden yourself with searching for the best Bible translation. What is important is getting a translation that you can easily understand. Also, get a translation that makes it difficult for your quiet time to flow smoothly.

Where Is The Original Bible

The Accuracy of the Bible

Bible #1. The oldest surviving full text of the New Testament is the beautifully written Codex Sinaiticus, which was discovered at the St Catherine monastery at the base of Mt Sinai in Egypt in the 1840s and 1850s. Dating from circa 325-360 CE, it is not known where it was scribed perhaps Rome or Egypt.

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Mystery Of Dual Authorship

God did not write the Bible as we do a letter. He used two authors.

. . . for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. 2 Peter 1:21

This verse tells us that God the Holy Spirit moved human authors to write the Bible. The Greek word for moved comes from the root word phero which means to carry, to bring or to bring along. This means the Holy Spirit brought men along. He caused men to write what He wanted them to write. The different books of the Bible had different authors who used their own style, language and grammar, but the Holy Spirit carried them in their writing. What they wrote was what the Holy Spirit wanted to be written. Here is an example,

You spoke by the Holy Spirit through the mouth of your servant, our father David: Why do the nations rage and the peoples plot in vain? Acts 4:25

Who spoke through David? The answer is the Holy Spirit! At the end of one book the apostle Paul wrote, we are given a hint that the influence of the Holy Spirit on the writer was at times hard to detect,

. . . and I think that I also have the Spirit of God. 1 Corinthians 7:40

Which Version Of The Bible Should You Read

The best-selling English translations of all time were as follows:

  • The Living Bible sold more than 40 million copies in 1971 alone
  • New King James Version has sold over 30 million to date
  • Todays New International Version 25 million and counting

The best bible translation is a matter of personal preference, mostly regarding ease of reading or understanding based on ones native language. However, most people prefer versions rooted in Greek and Hebrew, such as NIV, NRSV, NLT, among others, due to their accuracy compared to dynamic equivalence type translations like The Message.

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New American Standard Bible

  • Often considered the most literal translation in use today.

  • Focused on actual words from the transcripts rather than the thoughts behind them.

  • Example of Colossians 2:8 in NASB, See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ.

Who Are The Translators Of The New Living Translation

All of the Bible scholars and stylists involved in this work are Christians who accept the Bible as the inspired Word of God. Most of the translators are professors in seminaries or universities, and all of the translators have written books and/or scholarly articles regarding the specific books of the Bible for which they did their translation work. They represent a rich variety of theological and denominational backgrounds, united by the common conviction that the Bible is Gods Word and that all people should have a translation of Scripture that they can really understand. Meet the New Living Translation scholars.

Read Also: Maryland Bible College & Seminary

Differences Between The Niv Bible & The Nlt Bible


Comparing different Biblical translations can prove quite daunting because there are countless variations available to the consumer. While there are obvious similarities among translations, there are important differences that you should be aware of. Many consumers like both the New International Version and the New Living Translation of the Bible. And while these two versions are quite popular, there are differences that you should be aware of before choosing your Bible translation.

Explore this article

Has The Bible Been Corrupted

We know that Jesus accepted the authority and reliability of the Old Testament manuscripts of his day, and the New Testament manuscripts were copied so often over a such a wide geographical area, that it is nearly impossible to corrupt the original language manuscripts.

There are errors in some of the manuscripts which become apparent when comparing the thousands of various manuscripts of the New Testament, which would have been common as copying errors, primarily before the invention of the printing press.

The science of textual criticism allows us to identify those errors and correct them, since so many manuscripts exist.

However, once we move on from the ancient manuscripts written in the original language of the original authors, to translations of the those manuscripts into other languages, then yes, corruption is certainly possible and even inevitable.

The King James Version Debate

When we discuss the English translations of the Bible, it is impossible to avoid the King James Version debate.

There are many who believe this is the only authorized version of English Bible translations.

The authorization, of course, came from James Charles Stuart, the King of England in 1611.

The debate stems from the fact that when we look at the volume of manuscripts available of the original New Testament writings, they can be divided into specific geographical areas.

That is how I see many who insist on KJV Only.

This is where politics come in, unfortunately.

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Which Bible Translation Is Closest To The Original

Based on what we now know of how difficult translation is, this is also a difficult question to answer, and it leads to comparing two different translation philosophies. The first is formal equivalence, also called literal or word-for-word equivalence. Formal equivalence strives to stay as close as possible to the actual wording of the original language, striving to translate each Greek or Hebrew word to the closest possible word in English. Think of this reading Shakespeare as Shakespeare wrote it.

The second is dynamic equivalence, or thought-for-thought equivalence. This approach attempts to stay as close to the thought the original writer was trying to convey. Think of this as Shakespeare rendered as an easier-to-understand language for modern English speakers.

Each approach has strengths and weaknesses, and ultimately most translations are a true combination of the two. The versions below are generally considered to be very close to the original.

Translation Philosophies: Formal Or Functional

The Historical Accuracy of the Bible

The goal of translation is to reproduce the meaning of a text in one language into another . How best to do this? The primary issue concerns whether to translate according to the form of a text or according to its meaning . Formal equivalence, also known as literal or word-for-word translation, seeks to follow the form of the original text as much as possible. This relates both to words and to grammatical structures. For example, the Greek word logos is most commonly translated as word. A formal equivalent version will seek to consistently render it this way. In terms of grammar, a formal equivalent version will seek to replicate the grammatical forms of the original. For example, the Greek prepositional phrase en t oikia would be translated as a prepositional phrase in English, in the house and the Greek infinitive elthein as an English infinitive, to come.

Translating from Hebrew or Greek to English is no different. Matthew 1:18 in the Greek says that Mary was en gastri echousa, literally, having in belly. This Greek idiom means she was pregnant. Translating literally would make a text that was clear and natural to its Greek readers into one that is strange and obscure to English ears. Compare the following biblical idioms translated formally in one version and idiomatically in another:

Joshua 10:6

RSV Do not relax your hand from your servants

NIV Do not abandon your servants

2 Sam. 18:25

NRSV The king said, If he is alone, there are tidings in his mouth.

Read Also: Psalm 118.8

Readability Of The Nlt And Esv Translations

Among modern translations, the New Living Translation is usually considered the most easily readable, at a 6th grade reading level.

The ESV is at a 10th grade reading level , and like most literal translations, the sentence structure can be slightly awkward, but is readable enough for both Bible study and reading through the Bible. It scores 74.9% on the Flesch Reading Ease.

The New International Version

One common and modern English Bible translation is the New International Version. The NIV was first published by the International Bible Society, now called Biblica, in 1978. The NIV translation project was done to achieve a clear and readable version of the earliest Bible manuscript that existed at the time.

Therefore, everyone who worked on the project had the unified goal of making the NIV easily understandable in todays English. The NIV is the result of 15 astute Biblical scholars from different evangelical denominations. They worked on trusted texts written in Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic.

While the translation was in progress, it was continuously vetted, and ardent Bible readers were invited at several intervals to review the Bible based on comprehension and interpretation.

The NIV is still subject to further revisions and modifications depending on fresh discoveries and the evolution of the English language. The New International Version is currently published by Zondervan and Hodder & Stoughton in the United States and the United Kingdom, respectively.

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Bible Translation Differences Between Nlt And Esv

Literal or Dynamic Equivalent?

Some Bible translations are more literal, word for word translations, which translate the exact words and phrases from the original languages . Other translations are dynamic equivalent or thought for thought, which convey the central idea, and are easier to read, but not as accurate.

Gender-neutral and Gender-inclusive Language

Another recent issue in Bible translations is the use of gender-neutral or gender-inclusive language. The New Testament often uses words like brothers, when the context clearly means Christians of both genders. In this case, some translations will use the gender-inclusive brothers and sisters adding in words but transmitting the intended meaning.

Similarly, the translation of man can be tricky. In the Old Testament Hebrew, the word ish is used when speaking specifically of a male, as in Genesis 2:23, a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife .

Another word, adam, is used, sometimes specifically referring to a man, but sometimes referring to mankind , as in the Genesis 7:23 flood account, He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, man and animals and creeping things and birds of the heavens. Here, its clear that adam means humans, both male and female. Traditionally, adam has always been translated man, but some recent translations use gender-inclusive words like person or humans or one when the meaning is clearly generic.

New King James Version

The New King James Version is great for those who loved the original King James Version, but want something a little easier to read. Here is an excerpt from it’s History in Wikipedia:

The NKJV translation project was conceived by Arthur Farstad. It was inaugurated in 1975 with two meetings of 130 biblical scholars, pastors, and theologians. The men who were invited prepared the guidelines for the NKJV.The aim of its translators was to update the vocabulary and grammar of the King James Version, while preserving the classic style and literary beauty of the original 1611 KJV version. The 130 translators believed in unyielding faithfulness to the original Greek, Aramaic, and Hebrew texts including the Dead Sea Scrolls. Also agreed upon for most New King James Bibles were easier event descriptions, a history of each book, and added dictionary and updated concordance.

The New King James Version is a literal translation which is easier to read than its original version, but it is still somewhat choppy due to it maintaining the 17th century sentence structure of the original. The NKJV gets a 9.0 for reading difficulty.

Recommended Reading: Maryland Bible College & Seminary Baltimore Md

Example Verses From The Nlt Bible

For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. – John 3:16

For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. – Jeremiah 29:11

Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you. – Ephesians 4:32

What Is The New Living Translation Bible

Posted by Aaron Lewendon · Be the first to

Finding the right Bible isnt easy. There are dozens of translations and hundreds of editions to choose from. Our new series of guides is here to answer your questions about the different Bibles on offer today.

Every Bible translation is pulled in two directions: whether to be accurateor to be clear.

The very act of Bible translation is itself a careful balance. There’s a fine line between achieving word-for-word accuracy and authentic thought-for-thought contemporary meaning. The New Living Translation of the Bible gives you a modern English translation that is accurate in meanings while keeping to the form and structure of the original scriptures.

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The Bible In Translation


Whether the translation is more functional or formal in its equivalence to the original text, the task of the translator has always been to strike the balance of communicating the message of the original language clearly while allowing the target reader to follow literary devices through the text, an important goal to ensure that the written Word of God is able to speak clearly to cultures around the world.


As the group of documents that comprise the written Word of God to all peoples, the Bible has been translated into over 3,350 different languages. Even since before the New Testament was written, the Scriptures have been translated into nearly every language that is used by Gods increasingly global people. Two different philosophies characterize the poles of biblical translations: formal equivalence, which seeks to follow the form of the original text as much as possible, and functional equivalence, seeks to most accurately reproduce the meaning of the original text. The King James Version, which leaned more towards the formal side, continued a tradition of formal English translations going back to as the most famous example. However, there has been an increasing number of functional equivalence translations in the English language recently, including the NIV, which is the most used English translation in the world.

Is The Living Bible An Accurate Translation

An Explanation of Bible Translations

Living Bibleaccurate translationtranslations

. People also ask, is the NLT version of the Bible accurate?

It has been suggested that this “thought-for-thought” methodology, while making the translation easier to understand, is less accurate than a literal method, and thus the New Living Translation may not be suitable for those wishing to undertake detailed study of the Bible.

Additionally, what is the most accurate translation of the Bible in the world? The New American Standard Bible

Moreover, is the Living Bible a translation or a paraphrase?

The Living Bible is a personal paraphrase, not a translation, of the Bible in English by Kenneth N. Taylor and first published in 1971. Taylor used the American Standard Version of 1901 as his base text.

Why is it called the Living Bible?

The Bible is the living Word of God because it is the message given to us from the living God . The God who is alive works in this world through His living Word in conjunction with the Holy Spirit .

Also Check: How To Read The New Testament In Chronological Order


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