A couple days ago I backed off on my endorsement of the Internatiional Standard Version as a possible new KJV for our time.
Now, I would like to back off a bit from what I’ve been saying about another new translation, the NET Bible. I have said in the past that the NET is as good as any, and better than most translations on the market today, and that the translation could stand on its own without the notes.
Last night, after doing a lot of soul-searching throughout the day, I sat down with my laptop computer and began to read the NET Bible. I made a very conscious effort to ignore the notes and read only the text itself, to see if the NET could indeed stand on its own. I was surprised, and somewhat saddened, by what I discovered. I found a version of the Bible that frequently wasn’t written in very good English. Some areas seemed to have been over-simplified, others rather obscure, and I found myself grasping for the notes to see why a certain word had been employed instead of something clearer.
Now I may be exaggerating a little bit, but the truth is that I wasn’t impressed with what I found. I think there are definitely better translations of the text of the Bible. However, the salvation of the NET Bible lies in those wonderful, 60,000+ study and translators notes! The notes make it an exceptional Bible study tool, and I will not take that away from it. I strongly recommend the NET Bible with the full notes.
For those of us whose eyesight is less than perfect, that will probably mean the NET will of necessity remain only on our computers, where we can adjust the size of the font to where it’s big enough that we can read it easily. Let’s face it, when you have over 60,000 notes in a Bible, there is a compromise that has to be made. You either make the font small, or you need a wheelbarrow to haul it around!
So now that I have backed off from a couple new Bibles lately, what do I recommend that we use?
It’s not too hard to figure out, in my humble opinion. The New American Standard Bible (NASB) 1995 update is the most accurate translation of the scriptures into English that is on the market today, yet it’s nearly as easy to read as the NIV. That’s where I’m spending my money.