Best Bible Translation?

by mywifeisaJW 34 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • mywifeisaJW

    Thanks for all of your help. I am going to first look at what translations my wife already has (she has many) and see if one of the ones some of you suggested is already there...I like the idea of having multple translations side by side.

    Thanks again!

  • justhuman

    For sure Not N.W.T

  • the_classicist

    There are a few schools of thought when it comes to translating the bible. Some translations try to be as literal to the "original" (though no real originals exist) as possible, whilst others try to be more dynamic, capturing the meaning and phrasing it approximately in English. I find that some translations try to be too dogmatic in being literal, which is the reason I stay away from such translations as the New American Standard Version.

    Another factor to consider is whether or not you want an inclusive version, such as the NRSV. Now inclusive bibles usually replace masculine pronouns that appear in the Greek or Hebrew manuscripts with gender inclusive ones. Personally I am not a fan of this as it can have theological implications especially in areas such as the Psalms, but I recognize that the NRSV is a translation of high quality.

    Some translations are better than others, but none of them are considered as having the universal quality of "best." Personally, I recommend the Revised Standard Version (RSV, hard to get but worth it; more on the literal side) and the Revised English Bible (more dynamic). Whatever translation you get, and this is my bias talking, you should make sure that it contains the deutercanons or "the apocrypha" (which would bring the total number of books from 66 to ~73). This is because these books, known as the "apocrypha", have been a part of the bible as we know it until the Protestants decided to take it out (though, Martin Luther, traditional Luterans, and Anglicans leave it in along with the Orthodox).

    Hope this helps.

  • blindfool

    My wife is also a JW. We have tried a lot of things also to try to see each others point of view.

    If you are going to try to read the bible and point out some things JW's have wrong, I'd start with Galatians. The WT teaches that we are saved through our works and they use James 2: 26 which says "faith without works is dead."

    Galatians (Ephesians also) show how important faith is. It also can be shown how "works" is more than going out in service like the WT would like you to believe. Paul explains in Galatians 5: 22 how the fruitage of the holy spirit "works" in the Christian life.

    This is a major difference (to me) in what is taught by the bible and the WT. Paul explains how Jesus set Christians free.

    One other benefit of reading the bible with your wife is that it gives you a chance to put a bible verse in context. Many times the WT will quote a bible verse and you don't get a good idea what the context of the verse is.

    Also, using a translation other than the NWT may help your wife see a scripture differently. I use a translation called The Good News Bible. It is not a literal translation, but it makes understanding the bible easier. For example the NWT quote of Galatians 5: 1 For such freedom Christ set us free. Therefore stand fast, and do not let yourselves be confined again in a yoke of slavery.

    The same scripture from the Good News Bible. Freedom is what we have-Christ set us free! Stand, then as free people, and do not allow yourselves to become slaves again.

    Both versions of the bible contain the same message, one is just somewhat easier to understand.

    It is my belief that many JW's have become enslaved to the WTBTS. They do not understand that they have traded the laws of Moses for the laws of the WT.

  • Triple A
    Triple A


    the comment you made: I think the NIV is the simpleton's bible and is not thought of well by the JW's so why even go there and I'm sure you already know what they say about the KJV...ugggh!

    I was just curious as to why you made this statement, because I think it is as good as the NWT...again just curious!

    I would like to see the answer to this question from Eyebrow2.

  • jgnat

    Hi, My-wife-is-a-JW, congratulations on your choice to seriously review your wife's beliefs. I am the wife of a JW, so I can relate to the issues you face. I could use ANY OTHER translation along with the NWT, and competently defend my beliefs. The trick is not in the translation, but in the method of study.

    JW's are highly dependent on their own study materials, along with the Reasoning book, to bolster their beliefs. Only a few scriptures are well-studied, and the interpretations are all laid out for them. JW's are also instructed as to which parables and prophecies are to be taken literally, and which are figurative. Instead of fussing over the translation, take charge of WHAT you will study. A single book in the new testament will do well. Galatians has already been suggested for a study on grace. I like Hebrews for the powerful description of the divinity of Christ. Take your time over each chapter. Read the paragraphs before and after. Savour the full meaning of the text, without reference to supplementary materials. Don't let your wife bounce back and forth to other sections of the bible. You can challenge your wife's interpretation on several levels:

    • figurative/literal - by reading the text alone, how can she conclude that the symbol must be taken literally (i.e. 144,000 in Revelation)?
    • anointed/other sheep - by reading the text alone, how can she conclude that the promise given is only for a select few?
    • parable/prophecy - was the text presented as a parable, prophecy, or instruction (i.e. the FDS is a parable, not a prophecy)?
    • "isn't it reasonable" - when their own interpretation is weak, the WTS falls back on "Isn't it reasonable to...". Wait, wait wait. Are they Bible Believers or not? If they are, then they must take the word of God as written, not add their own "reasonableness".
  • Triple A
    Triple A

    Just a thought that might help. When you get ready to study with your wife post the book and chapters. You will probably get more info on what to be aware of that you wife might try and present from the WTS and how to respond.

  • googlemagoogle
  • abbagail

    I heard a Bible publisher on TV (I don't remember his name) say the NIV is a paraphrased bible "contrary to what many believe." He then said the NKJV and the NASB are literal translations.

    As far as the best Bible, I'm always wondering the same thing. I tend to use whichever ones are online (rather than hard copies), though my brain still recalls to mind the NWT wording of scriptures. I prefer the literal translations v. the dynamics or paraphrased ones. Imho they lose depth and richness.

    Recently I heard of the Ferrar Fenton bible. Seems it gets wild reviews. Anybody ever hear of it:

    Just a week or so ago I was looking into this again and ran across these sites which compare or give details on different bible translations:

    Accuracy Comparison Chart - Bible Translations:

    How To Choose a Bible Translation:

    The Free has lots of detailed info on the History of the English Bible, different translations, etc.:

    It even had a lengthy and surprisingly "objective" view of the NWT, which surprised me:

    Speaking of the NWT and Westcott & Hort, has anyone ever seen this site:

    The Clapham Sect, The Ghost Society & The Word of God:

    It says "1851 - B.F. Westcott and F.J.A. Hort founded the Cambridge University Ghost Society, one of the early pioneers of modern Spiritualist inquiry as recorded by Alan Gould in The Founders of Psychical Research..." (much much more at the link above, but that alone should give any JW the heebie-geebies).

    Thanks for all the tips from everyone, and hope your bible study with the JW-wife goes well!


  • abbagail

    Also, the other day I was reading a little paperback entitled, "Legally Yours" about our Godly inheritance. Since I frequently use the NASB online, I was curious when I saw this statement in the book...

    From the book, Legally Yours, by Hugh A. Richeson, Jr., pg. 32 he says that Dr. Frank Logsden repented of his involvement in the preparation of the NASB when he was shown the evidence of the undeniable truth (of 1 John 5:7,8 which is left out of some translations which, Richeson says, has to do with the trinity).

    Those verses say, depending on translation...:

    HCSB: For there are three that testify: the Spirit, the water, and the blood--and these three are in agreement.

    NWT: For there are three witness bearers, the spirit and the water and the blood, and the three are in agreement.

    NASB: For there are three (R239) that testify: the (F36) Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in (F37) agreement.

    FOOTNOTES to the NASB:
    F36: A few late mss add { heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, and these three are one. And there are three that testify on earth, the Spirit}
    F37: Lit {for the one thing}
    R239: Matthew 18:16: But if he won't listen, take one or two more with you, so that by the testimony of two or three witnesses every fact may be established.

    ASV: And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three who bear witness, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and the three agree in one.

    NKJV: For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. 5:8 And there are three that bear witness on earth: (F15) the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.

    FOOTNOTES to the NKJV:
    F15: NU-Text and M-Text omit the words from in heaven (1 John 5:7) through on earth (1 John 5:8). Only four or five very late manuscripts contain these words in Greek.

    The Douay-Rheims Bible And there are Three who give testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost. And these three are one. And there are three that give testimony on earth: the spirit and the water and the blood. And these three are one.


Share this