I do it all the time.
I have to say though, that even though it didn’t make it into my Bible Preference page, I really did take a long, hard look at the NKJV. There are some readings there that just take me back to my childhood years; they are so much the way I remember hearing the Bible read in church back then. And I think it’s a pretty decent translation, considering the manuscript family it’s based upon. But when we get down to brass tacks, (brass tacks?) the NKJV has too many archaic words and clumsy phrases. While the NKJV is relatively accurate, it’s just not the way we speak English any more. So while I have no problem when someone says to me they really have learned a lot from their NKJV Study Bible, for example, if they asked my advice I’d still try and steer them to something a bit more modern… like the latest NIV.
A lot of folks read the ESV. Thank God if they actually read it and study it! I have a beautiful ESV Single Column Reference Bible with the soft Tru-tone cover and the nice, smooth Bible paper. It’s a pleasure to use. But as I said in a previous post, the translation has some clumsy phrasing and archaic expressions. Still, it reminds me of earlier good translations, especially the RSV, oddly enough! It’s almost fine English from an earlier era…almost. I will keep it and continue to use it in cross-checking with other translations; even occasionally reading entire chapters and books. It’s fine, but it can’t be my number one choice.
There are others that I occasionally look at, the NLT, the HCSB; I can’t really get into them any more. Sometimes I will take a look at the new Common English Bible (CEB), but I am usually frustrated and disappointed with that one. I really hope my UMC doesn’t go with that one. I much prefer the NRSV that is our default version now. I have come to appreciate the NRSV quite a bit. If I had to, I could probably use the NRSV as my main Bible, but they really need to start publishing some good formats in the NRSV, like common, normal-size Bibles with decent covers, and real, REAL, large-print Bibles. It’s very hard to find anything I can afford in a NRSV that has larger than an 8-pt. font.
Then there’s the NET BIble. That’s one I should really get a paper copy of, with a nice cover. I think I would really appreciate it if I had it at hand most of the time. The Reader’s Edition would probably be sufficient; if I really needed to dig deeper, I could always warm up the laptop computer and check out the First Edition with its 60,000+ notes.
Of course, I have my NASB, the well-worn 95 update as well as my new-old 1977 NASB. I am frequently very pleased with these, though I can’t help but be put off by the 1977 version’s use of thee/thy/thine etc.; that is one thing that really holds me back from making it at least my #2 Bible.
My #1? Can’t you guess? It’s gotta be the newest and latest 2011 NIV. It combines easy readability with uncanny accuracy and the latest scholarship. I think it’s the best all-around translation available today.
But that’s just what I think.