Which translation do you use?
By Don Bunting
When Jesus commanded the apostles to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature / all nations, that necessitated use of various languages or tongues. When Jesus quoted from Old Testament scripture, he most often quoted from the Septuagint Version, which was a Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures. Clearly God intends His word to be translated.
The practical question for us is which translation to use. Is one better than the other? Let us remember that the process of translating the Bible is a work done by human beings. Only the original writing is inspired by God.
Word for word translating is not effective because there is not always a corresponding word in the other language and because sentence structure often determines meaning. So, translators must balance the work of translating between LITERAL translating on one side and READABILITY on the other. Both are important! The desire to accurately express the mind, will and intention of God is the rule that guides the good translator between the two sides.
Some translations are so literal that they become difficult to read, understand and apply. Other translations focus so much on making the reading simple and easy that details of God's word are obscured or omitted. Good translations honor the importance of both sides while being careful to stay as close as possible to the actual WORDS of God.
No translation is perfect. We should not give complete loyalty and trust to any single translation. It is best to have one that is your usual study Bible and one or two more good translations for consulting. Context should be a guiding factor as you study awkward portions of text.
I encourage you to do your own research as you decide which translation you choose. If you think it is useful, you can see a list of translations below that I prefer. There are a few other decent English translations.
• English Standard Version (ESV)
• New King James Bible (NKJB)
• New American Standard Bible (NASB)