I had originally intended to make this post about four different “older” translations. Well, that’s going to be put off a bit. That, like my whole “faith journey”, is a work in progress.
You see, there are times when I can’t stand reading a newer translation, particularly the more dynamic, “thought-for-thought” ones. The new NIV is the most glaring example, because I use it regularly, I recommend it, and I think it is probably the all-around best of that type of translation. But a lot of the time it just doesn’t “grab” me. So I often find myself going back to the older translations I am more comfortable with; more comfortable, that is, because the wording, sound, and cadence is familiar. It takes me back to my youth, and I think, “That’s what that passage is supposed to sound like!”
But that’s the lazy man’s way of choosing a translation, “just pick what sounds good.” Yet, as is so often said, what good is a Bible you don’t understand? I was reading in Job last night, as I have been for several days now, and realized what a difficult time I was having understanding the particular chapter I was on. I was reading from the NASB77, so I switched to the NKJV, finding little difference. So I switched to the ESV, same result. And I realized my tired old mind was not going to allow me to comprehend the formal translations, last night at least. So I gave in and picked up my NIV 2011, and realized that I was not only finding it easier, but that I was so far from understanding the passage in the other translations it wasn’t even funny.
I always seek the “perfect” English translation. I know it doesn’t exist, but it’s just in me to try. I’m always looking for the best one, and as the translations evolve, so does my search. But it remains, as I said, a work in progress. I will get around to doing the post, or series of posts, on the older translations, as I said in my previous post. I may not do it/them with the same amount of enthusiasm I would have had a few days ago, but there are still things I want to say about them. But keep in mind, as I will, that my thoughts are changing, evolving; they are always a work in progress.