(the following is an appendices i wrote for the article i posted last week)
How Should I Choose a Bible Translation?
* Should be based on the best available and most realiable Greek and Hebrew manuscripts.
* Based on the latest (most accurate) knowledge of language and culture.
* Maintains a healthy balance of accuracy and understandability. (1)
* Remains dignified. (no irreverancy for content or in presentation)
* Avoids bias
(1) Formal Equivalancy - a word for word translation (i.e. New King James, New American Standard, English Standard Version)
Dynamic Equivalancy - a thought by thought translation (i.e. New International Version, New Living Translation)
Paraphrase – A translation based on a “how I would say it” approach not usually dependent on original languages. (i.e., "The Message")
Recommended versions for Bible Study:
New American Standard
English Standard Version
Holman Christian Standard
How Do I Read the Bible?
· The starting point is NOT “What does this verse mean to *me *?” Avoid this type of interpretation in your own Bible study and from others.
· Know the literary genre (poetry, wisdom literature, hyperbole, parable, personal correspondance, apocalyptic, etc.) Each genre has its own rules of interpretation.
· Who was the author?
· Who was he writing to?
· Why was he writing this? What is the point the author wanted his original audience to receive?
· Seek out what implications for your life come from what the text means.
· Always remember the context of the passage.
Recommended Resource: (click titles for links)
A Basic Guide to Interpreting the Bible: Playing by the Rules. Robert Stein. Baker, 1997.
According to Plan: The Unfolding Revelation of God in the Bible. Graeme Goldsworthy. Intervarsity Press, 2002.