Is The Esv Trustworthy
The ESV was created by competent evangelical biblical scholars who worked hard to revise the widely respectedbut just as widely distrustedRevised Standard Version, which was a revision of a revision of the King James.
Bible translations live and die based on public trust. Some good translations never win that trust. Some win a bit too much. The King James Version is such a one. It was an excellent translation, but it came to command so much veneration that even when its languagebecause of the natural and inevitable process of language changestarted to be misunderstood by the common people for whom it was made, there was little to no call for it to be revised or replaced. Ben Franklin in the 1770s and Noah Webster in the 1830s both noticed that the English of the KJV had become antiquated. Webster actually commented that not only had some words in the KJV fallen into disuse, but some had shifted in sense and had become positively misleading. I talk a great deal about this in my book .
Crossway, the nonprofit ministry behind the ESV, has a special reputation for producing elegant and useful print editions of their Bible version. The ESV has been for over two decades a favorite among serious Bible students.
The History Of Bible Translation
Bible translations arent new. Theyve been around since before Christ. In fact, in the fifth century BC, after the priest Hilkiah rediscovered the book of the law of Moses in the temple , the Levites stood before Gods people and read the Scriptures aloud. Nehemiah 8:8 says:
They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly, and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading.
The New International Version says the priests clearly explained the meaning of what was being read, and the Holman Christian Standard Bible says they read the book of the law of God translating and giving the meaning. Thus, they were explaining the first five books of the Bible for the people in a way they could comprehend.
They were translating.
In the third century BC, Jews produced whats known as the , a Greek translation of the Hebrew Old Testament for the Greek-speaking Jews living in Alexandria, Egypt. Ron Rhodes writes that this translation solved a big problem because many of the Jews who grew up in these cities could no longer speak Hebrew, but only Greek.3
Bible translation took off in the first century, Rhodes writes, as early followers of Jesus obeyed his words to make disciples of all nations:
It would undergo no less than 140 editions over the next 100 years until dethroned by the King James Bible translation.
And from there? Fast forward to modern-day, where Bible readers can choose among about 10 major English translation options.
What Kind Of Translation Do You Need
This chart puts some of the popular translations on a continuum so that you can see how they each uniquely approach interoperation of the original text. This is not an exact chart, rather an overview to see which translations are more literal and which ones focus on the main ideas.
If you are like me you might assume that the more literal, word for word, translations are better. But it comes down to what you are reading it for. A more literal translation can be useful when doing an in-depth study of a passage. Whereas most prefer an easier to read, thought for thought, translation when just reading more devotionally.
How you are going to read the Bible will dictate what translation will best suite you. Most people arent going to be doing any in-depth studies so an easy to read or translation more in the middle will be best suited.
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Bible Study Ideas To Boost Engagement
Hereâs the truth: People want topical Bible studies that they can apply to their life or topical events happening in the world. These bible study topics and questions will help your church to deeply understand modern issues through a biblical lens.Here are some topics for bible study:
Most Christians have a very mixed relationship with money.
The poor want more money.
The rich struggle to know how to use it responsibly.
Everybody feels guilty about wanting more.
Especially in churchâmost people just feel guilty when they donât put enough in your church offering. The churchâs culture of addressing financial issues is odd.
Hereâs the good news:
Your church can create a healthy culture of addressing financial issues that is based on the Bible and aimed toward helping people create financial freedom and become generous.
Explore this article on Bible verses about money as the place to develop a good Bible study lesson on money that can rescue your church from an awkward relationship with money.
Media: Charts Tables Timelines Illustrations And Maps
Most study Bibles include visual aids to help you see more of whats going on. Depending on the study Bible, these could include photographs of real-world archeological sites, artists concepts of lost artifacts, historical timelines, and family treesthe latter of which come in handy when youre trying to figure out which of the many Herods is causing trouble at any point in the New Testament.
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Folding Bikes: Best If Youre Short On Space / Best For Public Transport
If you need to combine a bit of riding with urban portability, then theres nothing better than a folding bike. Theyre best suited to short rides especially where storage space at either end is scarce and their portability means theyre ideal when you might have to hop onto a train or a bus to get where youre going.
That means that folding bikes are phenomenally popular among big-city commuters. The most compact ones will fit under your desk and theyre easy to carry as well.
A folder wont ride like a conventional bike because of the necessary compromises, but the best modern folders are surprisingly capable.
Our list of the best folding bikes will quickly steer you to the folding bikes worth buying.
Pros: Massively convenient to store, can be taken onto public transport, small wheels are quick to accelerate
Cons: Heavier and slower than a big-wheeled bike and not as stable or pothole-proof
Is The Nkjv Bible Accurate
The NKJV Bible is an accurate Bible translation made by competent evangelical biblical scholars. It also has a helpful feature for those who like to get nerdy about Bible study: it includes little textual notes in the margins mentioning places where the manuscript tradition of the Greek New Testament has what are called variantsminor differences in spelling or wording that were introduced before the era of printing made it possible for books to be mass-produced rather than having to be hand-copied.
Every Bible translator has to do something with these variants. Even though the vast majority of the text of the New Testament is in no doubt, and even though these variants are typically incredibly minor , these variants cant be ignored or dismissed. The King James translators long ago looked at them, and they left notes about them in the margins of the KJV. When they chose the ancient manuscripts that said, Shew me thy faith without thy works over the ancient manuscripts that said the opposite , the KJV translators in effect created a traditionone the NKJV followed.
The margin of the 1611 KJV recognizes that Some copies reade differently than others at James 2:18.
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Which Bible Translation Should I Use
Shopping for a Bible is not for the faint of heart.
If youve ever wondered, Which Bible should I use? and wandered into a Christian bookstore, youve probably been overwhelmed by the rows of Bibles, not only in all colors and sizes but also sporting all kinds of acronyms: KJV, NIV, ESV, NLT, NASB. What do they all mean and how can you pick the best one for you?
To understand where all the translations come from, its helpful to remember that the Scriptures were originally written in Hebrew and Greek. There are several old manuscripts surviving, including the Dead Sea Scrolls, but unless youre skilled in those ancient languages, youre probably relying on a translation to understand the Word of God in your own language.
Now, translations are a tricky thing, as anyone who speaks two languages will tell you. When my family was in Romania as missionaries, wed translate English songs into Romanian, and then our friends translated them into Rroma, the Gypsy language. But no matter how hard you try, a translation cant maintain both the original meaning and the lyrical beauty of the text. Bummer.
But lucky for us we have plenty of translations to help give us exactly what were looking for.
So here are the three main types of Bible translations:
What Is A Study Bible Anyway
If youve ever been impressed by the sheer size of someones Bible, odds are good that you were looking at a study Bible. Study Bibles come in sizes from big to enormous, but almost all of them are noticeably thicker, wider, and heavier than a regular Bible.
Thats because a study Bible not only includes the text of Scripture, but also a host of additional content that a regular Bible doesnt have. A given study Bible may be decked out with many, many features (like the NIV Biblical Theology Study Bible, or it might only have a select fewit depends on what that particular resource is for.
Every modern Bible includes the Old and New Testaments, plus a few basic features we expect most books to have. A table of contents, division and chapter headings, page numbers, and the like are par for the course in most Bibles.
Most regular Bibles also include some very basic study helps, such as cross references and footnotes . A regular Bible will often set the words of Christ in red, include a thematic index of Bible verses, and provide simple reading plans. They often top it all off with a few maps in the backwhich make it easier to follow along with the travels of Moses, David, Jesus, and Paul.
A study Bible does all this and more.
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Is The King James Bible The Most Accurate Translation
The translators of the venerable King James Version went out of their way to insist that their work was not a special work of the Spirit. They asked ,
Apart from things done by apostles, made infallible by an extraordinary measure of Gods Spirit, what man-made thing exists under the sun that is truly perfect?
Their answer was a decided nothing. God hasnt promised us perfect Bible translations, or even accurate ones. There are languages out there that have no Bible translations, and I have certainly heard that some languages are stuck with poor or archaic translations. But in English, at least, we should be grateful that we do have multiple accurate, useful, sound English Bible translations done by competent Christian scholars.
The Bible Was Orignally Written In Foreign Languages Mostly Ancient Hebrew And Greek Therefore It Needs To Be Translated So That We Can Use It
Moslems hate to see their scriptures translated, but the Christian scriptures are meant to be widely translated and used. We are to make disciples of all nations. People from every language belong to God’s kingdom. Translations, therefore, vary greatly even when they are in the same language such as English. These are called versions.
Because there are so many English translations of the Bible, readers have a choice on Bibles. Therefore they ask, “Which version should I use?” The question has gotten ridiculous as of late because of all the marketing techniques to make profit off the selling of Bibles. But still we face the same question, “Which Bible should we use?” Let us identify the process by which people should choose an English Bible.
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Choose How General Or Focused You Want Your Study To Be
Study Bibles have a wide variety of aims, purposes, and focuses. Many take a general, come-one-come-all approach. Other study Bibles are built for audiences with specific interests.
General study Bibles simply aim to help the reader better understand Scripture. Theyre intended for people of all ages, genders, cultures, and academic backgrounds. The insights and study aids try to be broadly applicable, so they can help anyone develop a better understanding of the text.
But some study Bibles take a more targeted approachand the following are ways study Bibles do this:
POPULAR GENERAL STUDY BIBLES:
- NIV Study Bible. In many ways, this is the general study Bible. The team of evangelical scholars who wrote and edited the study notes also served on the translation team for the NIV itself.
- ESV Study Bible. A comprehensive evangelical study Bible, backed by many leading Reformed scholars and pastors.
- NIV Halleys Study Bible. Includes notes and media developed from the classic Halleys Bible Handbook.
- CSB Study Bible. A comprehensive evangelical study Bible with a contributor team that heavily leans on Southern Baptist scholars.
- NKJV Study Bible. A conservative study Bible popular among readers of the New King James Version.
POPULAR FOCUSED STUDY BIBLES
What Is The Bible
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Before we discuss how to read the Bible, lets spend a few seconds talking about what the Bible is and why you need to read it.
The bible is a collection of literary works, written by 40 different authors, over 1,500 years.
It consists of 66 books that are divided into the Old Testament and the New Testament.
The Old Testament is made up of 39 books and spans from Genesis to Malachi. The New Testament has 27 books and spans from Matthew to Revelation.
The Bible consists of books of history, poetry, written letters, prophecy and testimony about Jesus.
This collection of works makes up the Bible.
It reveals the Biblical story of the world from its creation, fall, Gods plan for our redemption, and Gods plan for the future.
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Literal Translations Of The Bible
Based on Functional Equivalence or Literal here are the 5 most accurate translations of the Bible:
1. New American Standard Bible
The NASB holds the title of Most Accurate Translation due toits strict adherence to Literal translation methods. It wasoriginally published in 1963 and was revised in 1995.
Another thing that makes it so accurate is the NASBs use of the text from the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum critical text.
The Dead Sea Scrolls are among the oldest of Old Testament texts. They are regarded by scholars as among the best original texts.
The NASB is not too easy to read, due to the strict adherence to literalism. The translators wanted to stick to the structure of the source language as closely as possible.
This gives the NASB the title for most accurate English translation at the expense of readability and comprehension.
There are quite a few people who love reading such an accurate translation, so the NASB has a strong following.
But there are other translations that are easier to read than the NASB. .
2. English Standard Version
The ESV is a revision of the Revised Standard Version .It is also very close to the NASB. It was originally published in 2001.
A new edition was published in 2009 including thedeuterocanonical or apocryphal- books. This makes it suitable for reading forCatholic believers.
It is written in very modern English, yet readers still find that it reminds them of the KJV and RSV.
3. New English Translation
Which Bible Version Is The Most Accurate And Easy To Understand
There are a lot of translations and versions, so how do you know which one to choose? Who should you trust? There are so many opinions and options out there, so I want to explain the reasons why I recommend the NLT, ESV, and the CEV. Then you can make an informed decision that you feel confident about.
Its helpful to know the two major approaches in translating the Bible from the original text.
The Bible was originally written in Hebrew and Greek with a little bit of Aramaic here and there.
The two main approaches to translating the Bible are word-for-word and thought-for-thought.
In simple terms: Word-for-word translations try to stick as closely as possible to each word of the original languages. The thought-for-thought translations lean more towards being clear and expressing the Bible in modern English. This doesnt mean that they are not accurate. Its just a different emphasis and approach in translation.
Bible Versions/Translations Fall Somewhere in this Spectrum
Translations like the ESV are more word-for-word. The NLT and CEV are more thought-for-thought. Paraphrases like the Message would be on the far right of that spectrum. Paraphrases take the meaning and express it with words that are not in the original text.
A lot more can be said about Bible versions and translations, but thats the essence of it.
The NLT and CEV are not nearly as far leaning as some other translations like the NIrV . For that reason, I dont recommend the NIrV here.
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Check Out Different Study Bible Features
Find a study Bible that works best for you. Different study Bibles come with their own book introductions, verse-by-verse charts, maps, timelines, references, and concordance. Commentary in each of these will be slightly different although they should not contradict each other. We have a few recommendations, if you get stuck, which you can find on our recommendations page.
Reading Levels Of The Most Popular Bible Translations
Here are a few things to note about the chart:
These are the top 10 most popular Bible translations based on data from the ECPA Bestsellers January 2021.
The King James Version is great for historical value and poetic language. Its not on my recommended list of easy to read versions because it uses Elizabethan English from the 1600s.
Some of the reading levels have a range because different publishers and groups have different standards for how to measure them.
The 10th on the list is the Message, which is a paraphrase of the Bible and intended for reading, not as a Study Bible. Most paraphrases are influenced by one person and not based on a group of language experts like the other translations on this list.
I dont recommend paraphrases of the Bible for beginners. Paraphrases lean more towards making the original text flow smoother in English. They can also contain biases from one individual translator rather than a team.
This doesnt mean that paraphrases dont have their place as devotional-type reading Bibles. I recommend paraphrases to enhance your understanding, but not to rely on as your main version of the Bible. Most people who are starting out only have one version of the Bible, so I wouldnt recommend a paraphrase to be the one.
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