Monday, July 27, 2015

Choosing A Study Bible

I have often been asked about: "How do a choose the right bible to study?" That is an important question. Some people think that the "King James Version" is the only authorized version and there for is the only true bible. That is just not the case! The KJV was "authorize" for printing in England in 1611 by King James of England. For a long time it was the only version that could be printed in England.

Unless you are competent in reading Hebrew and Greek you need to choose a good study bible in your native language. Choosing one is not as easy as it sounds. We need to realize that EVERY translation is the translators’ opinion of the meaning. You just have to look at the variety of English translations to know the truth of that statement. So how do we know which translation will be best for us to use?

First is it a direct translation from the Hebrew and Greek? Some bibles are translations from translations in other languages or versions of the same language. There are also paraphrase versions like “The Living Bible” that are meant for easy reading not study.

Second is it a translation by a committee or by one person. A single translator can not help but provide you with that person’s opinion. Translations done by committees have the added values of all their opinions being discussed and consensus being reached. It is still opinion but the chances of the opinion being a better choice is greater.

Third is, "What year was the translation completed?" This is more important than you might think. What year was YOUR language skill set? For High School graduates it is the year of your graduation. For University graduates you choose that year of graduation. Then choose a translation completed close to that year for the language YOU best understand.

NOTE about margin notes: There is a difference in what is in the “text” of the bible and what is written in the margins. Information in margins and footnotes are OPINIONS! That doesn’t mean they are wrong but they could be so check them out. We all have opinions and I believe mine are correct or I would not hold them. So choose your bible translation for you to study very carefully.

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