…and I don’t mean sitting at my computer!
I’m in a refocusing stage right now. I’m not working real hard at comparing translations, but I am still mulling things over in my mind. I know what translations I am willing to recommend, but I’m kind of looking for a personal main translation that I would probably use for a number of years in my own study.
I have used the NASB update for several years, long enough that my leather one is showing wear. I also own a hardcover thinline and a NASB MacArthur SB, also hardcover. John MacArthur, by the way, is the one whose study Bible (the old NKJV one) really brought the scriptures to life for me. I still strongly recommend his SB, but I do see some places now where I disagree with him a bit. When it comes to study Bibles, I’m tending to use my NIV SB more these days.
But this isn’t supposed to be about study Bibles. It’s more about the translations themselves. As I said, I have been using the NASB for several years as my main Bible; before that it was the NIV for several years. I have checked out quite a number of translations recently, but have bought only a very few of them. I have an ESV, hardcover pew Bible that I bought a few years ago. I have struggled frequently with whether or not to get a leather one, but I just don’t seem to be able to get comfortable enough with the ESV to make the investment.
I think a few posts ago I left people with the impression that I was embracing the NRSV as a possible main Bible. Well, I have backed away from that as well. I own a couple hardcover NRSVs, and have found at least one very good deal on a genuine leather NRSV from Cokesbury, but I really am having a difficult time envisioning it as my main Bible. When I read the NRSV, it’s like I’m reading the KJV with all the archaic language taken out. It’s still not very easy to understand. It’s still quite muddy. It’s accurate, but much of it just isn’t as understandable as I’d like. So I’ve relegated it to a second-tier translation as far as my use is concerned.
So when I feel like doing a little Bible reading in the evenings, I grab either my NASB or my NIV, both of them leather and personal size. Very nice. But neither one is quite what I want right now. Having read a lot in the TNIV and comparing it with a host of others, I am now of the opinion that the TNIV is probably the best compromise of accuracy and understandability. And so I’m waiting for Zondervan to bring forth the TNIV Reference Edition which is supposed to be available later this fall or by Christmastime.
But I’ve also been very impressed with the NET Bible. It too, is a good compromise. I wish it was more readily available. I wish I could go down to the local Christian Book Store and find the First Edition with all the notes, and the Readers Edition, either one in black, burgundy, or British tan; pick out the one I want, and take it to the check-out stand. But I can’t. I can only get it online at Bible.org. I guess I have seen the First Edition in a CBD catalog a few months ago, but it doesn’t appear to be a regular part of their inventory.
I may venture out onto the internet to order a NET Bible in the near future. I may drop into the local Christian Book Store and pick up a NLTse personal size large print yet this summer. But I think the one I really want is the TNIV reference Bible. And for that I’ll have to wait.
[This is just a minor update, but I just discovered this evening that at Bible.org when you want to order a NET Bible you can print out the order form and write a check, and send it off via snail-mail. This is very nice for those of us who prefer to remain in the stone age when it comes to ordering merchandise over the internet with a credit card. Of course, it takes a bit longer that way…]