So you’ve decided to study the Bible, and this time you are determined to read everyday, or maybe you are already reading the Bible and the translation that you have is not as easy to read, as you’d like. Whatever your reason, you want to make sure that you have a translation that is as close to the original biblical languages as possible, so that you can know God’s intended meaning.
The quest begins. You begin your search for a new Bible and you discover that there are more translations than you ever thought existed! Now what?
You begin to think and ask...
You didn’t think that your desire for Bible study would cause for so much decision-making before you even begin your studies. The search finally ends with you just choosing a translation with the hopes that you chose the best one.
The frustration that you experienced during your search for a Bible translation is what I’ve experienced and many women like us have experienced. Be encouraged! The guessing ends today. You will now know why there are so many translations and this will help you in your selection of a Bible.
Why are there so many translations?
Scriptures were written in the original biblical languages of Aramaic, Greek, and Hebrew. Translators throughout various generations sought to translate the Bible from the original biblical languages into the language that was being spoken in that time period. As a result, the King James Version, among others, resulted, and the language usage of, “thee, thou, thine, goest, whereto”, and other unfamiliar terms and phrases of that generation were used and understood by its readers. Most translated vocabulary of that day, have a different definition and connotation today, than of the previous generation of readers.
Be aware, there are some Bibles that are labeled as translations, but are paraphrases. Be especially careful of a paraphrased Bible version, as much of the original meaning from the original biblical language is lost in translation. The first paraphrased Bible that comes to mind is the Message Bible and the other is the Amplified Bible. The Message, like the Amplified Bible is a paraphrased version that often uses modern definitions from an explanatory and interpretive point of view of the paraphraser, which could lead to more of a commentary, rather than the reader seeking to understand the biblical meaning by way of prayerful and personal observation, interpretation, and application of the Scriptures.
Keep in mind, there are many good translations available and the New American Standard Bible and the English Standard Version are among those good translations. If you want to remain with the King James Version but without the verbiage of that time period, try the New King James Version.
To sum it up, make sure in your quest for a Bible translation that you choose a Bible that is readable, but not so much that it doesn’t allow you the joy of searching for the meaning of the text within the biblical era and culture. You may want to purchase more than one translation of the Bible so that you can compare the verses and cross references to gain a better understanding of the Scriptures. Your preferred Bible doesn’t need to specifically be a women’s Bible, study Bible, or devotional Bible, but if you do choose a thematic Bible, be sure to read the devotional, study, or commentary after you have had the opportunity to read the Scripture passages first, unless you are reading the introduction of the themed Bible for a biblically historical and cultural perspective to better understand the overall purpose and meaning of the particular book of the Bible as it was intended for the original audience during that time.
I look forward to writing more about how to study the Bible as we take this life-long journey together to seek to know and love God more!
"Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,