Which bible translation do you think is best and most acurate?

by NikL 33 Replies latest jw friends

  • GLTirebiter

    "Best" and "Most Accurate" are not necessarily equivalent. The Bible is not a text book, not all in a single literary style, not a product of any single cultural era, and not even written in a single language (let alone a single dialect of the language).

    Literal, word-for-word "formal equivalence"" translations may be technically accurate in a scholarly sense, but the thought for thought "dynamic equivalence" versions make better sense of ancient idioms that are foreign to modern ears. Much was originally verse, to be recited as poetry or sung aloud. Trying to accomplish all these goals in a translation is, needless to say, very difficult. My own preference is the original (1966) Jerusalem Bible, followed by NRSV. The New Jerusalem Bible is OK, but is not of the same literary excellence as the original. I understand the CTS New Catholic Bible uses the 1966 text, except for changing "Yahweh" to "Lord" (required for readings used in Catholic worship services) and using a different translation of the Psalms; I have never read this one myself.

  • RubaDub

    There simply is no "best." Take a book written over 2,000 years ago (or last week) in another language and have the most intellectual people translate it.

    You will get variations of sense and intent no matter who translates it.

    Even words in the same language can have different meanings based upon regional differences or usage.

    Even though when giving a talk from the platform, you "can" quote from other bibles, you just have to be careful. The Society does it often in publications but generally in a way to reinforce what is in the NWT.

    Rub a Dub

  • Vidiot
    NikL - "Which Bible translation do you think is best and most accurate?"

    None of 'em.

    Mostly because nobody has the originals to compare 'em to, but also because they're just, you know, translations.

  • NikL

    Thanks everyone.

    I'll check out some of those I haven't heard of or used before, namely Jerusalem bible and 2001 translation.

    When reading I use my tablet with bible hub app on it and use the feature that lets you have two translations side by side. Using the NET and then if something comes up I want to see differently look at the ERV. Then I'll pop over and look at the NWT to see how it is worded. I'll then look at the kingdom interlinear and see what they say the original Greek was (at least for NT) It's amazing how the NWT has changed so many scriptures into something different than the Greek text, even those in the interlinear! I am feeling like the NWT is an abomination these days.

    Needless to say I am moving rather slowly through the scriptures.


    The best translation to me is the translation that best conveys the thoughts of the writer. All too often, we seek the translation that best suites OUR preconceived ideas as opposed to the writers ideas.

    For many years [and still today?] the WTS has told their members that the NWT is the most accurate. I find it most interesting that no scholarly organization even mentions the NWT when listing legit biblical translations. If it were the most accurate, it would be known by all, but it is not accurate at all. It has been changed to suit the preconceived ideas of the WTS. What a fuc&^%$ shame. Shame on the WTS!

  • TD
    Literal, word-for-word "formal equivalence"" translations may be technically accurate in a scholarly sense, but the thought for thought "dynamic equivalence" versions make better sense of ancient idioms that are foreign to modern ears.

    Yes. Word-for-word equivalency doesn't work even in closely related modern languages that share many cognates.

    Simple example: In English the statement, "I am cold" means you are not warm enough. However the word-for-word dictionary equivalence in German, "Ich bin kalt" means you are frigid, which is an entirely different (And likely embarrassing) thought.

    An extreme example of the "translate with a dictionary" mentality is the Concordant Literal Version, which as the name suggests is based on the idea that words must be consistently translated for definition. This leads to a number of oddities, like the eagle flying in mid-heaven (Rev 8) morphed into a vulture and "baptized" being rendered as "dipized."

  • jonahstourguide

    Hey NikL

    I'm with you on that, I do likewise and it really wakes you up to the convenient 'translation to suit a certain belief system'. I picked up on the 'exercise faith verses believe point' too.


  • Fernando

    The Bible has been used to fuel good and bad outcomes.

    It seems bad outcomes tend to come from trying to follow the letter.

    And it seems good outcomes tend to come from following the spirit.

    "He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant--not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life." (2 Cor 3:6, NIV)

    The Pharisees esteemed scripture (the letter) but hated and killed God's word (or message, which became flesh).

  • Island Man
    Island Man

    The best translation is the one that you make yourself after studying the dead languages that the bible was written in. Failing that, look for a translation that was done by a secular linguist, based purely on language principles.

    The worst translations are ones made by religious organizations as they always try to inject their own theological beliefs into the translation; or at the very least, they let their theological preconceptions influence their choice of wording, often leading to the use of very obscure secondary meanings of words being employed instead of the normal meaning. The NWT is a perfect example of this.

  • menrov

    not mentioned yet: Studybible.info (has various interlinears as well).

    or this


    I like NET ( read on lumina.bible.org/bible/matthew+1

    as all footnotes)

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