With all the publicity attending the completion of the New International Version, it is time to evaluate the wide range of English translations that we now have available. We give here some information about a dozen of them (only translations of both testaments are included, hence the omission of such New Testaments as Phillips). Every Bible-believer should be familiar with the following translations and should have copies of most if not all of them.
We still recommend “How To Choose a Bible” (December 5, 1975, issue, p. 7), by Gerald Hawthorne, a Greek professor and able preacher. Also see a major comparative review of three of the translations mentioned below (LB, MLB, NASB) in our October 8, 1971, issue, p. 16.
For further information on the translations we mention (plus many more) we highly recommend The History of the Bible in English: Third Edition by F. F. Bruce (Oxford), available in either cloth or paper binding. This new edition adds information on the translations issued since the 1961 and 1970 editions (which were confusingly titled The English Bible). Also worthwhile is So Many Versions? by Sakae Kubo and Walter Specht (1975, Zondervan pb). For a good collection of articles expressing various views on principles of translation see The New Testament Student and Bible Translation edited by John Skilton (1978, Baker or Presbyterian and Reformed pb).
The dates for each translation are for the first release of the whole Bible, which usually followed the New Testament by several years. Keep in mind that many translations are regularly revised so as to incorporate suggestions that were made for improving them.
KING JAMES VERSION (KJV, 1611, many publishers). This classic came at a British monarch’s approval of a resolution ...1
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