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Bible Versions Book Comments
Below are assorted, short e-mails I have received on my book Differences Between Bible Versions. Also mentioned in these emails is my Analytical Translation of the New Testament (ALT). The e-mailers comments are in black and enclosed in "greater than" and "lesser than" signs. My comments are in red.
>Subject: Excellent book on Bible Versions!
... I am about half way through your book on Bible versions, and I have found it to be excellent. In my own study of these issues, I have often had to "sift" through many different sources, weeding out extremist statements in order to get to the truth. But thus far I have found your book to be very balanced.
I am hoping to be able to commend it to my friends (I am sure I will be able to, but I try to have a policy of not recommending a book until I have read it cover to cover). Some of my wife and I's closest friends are frustrated as their church is using some KJV-only propaganda on the young people. I am afraid that it will create a host of Neo-Fundamentalists who know just enough truth about the Byzantine text to hurt themselves.
I appreciate your criticisms of the thinking of the reasoned eclectic crowd, all the while also documenting some of the weaker readings of the TR. It is unusual to find brethren who can critique both the CT and TR positions and yet defend the essential purity of the Byzantine text-type.
Thank you for your work, and please know that it is not in vain. Lord willing, I hope to write a positive critique of your book on Amazon.com when I have finished reading it....
Thank you very much for the kind comments about my book. And a review of it on Amazon would be very much appreciated.
>Just finished the book, and want to tell you how much appreciate your straightforward approach. I wish yours had been the first book on I read on this subject, but I had to struggle through many others before coming to the same conclusions regarding this matter that you already have. Thanks!
To help you and your editor out, in case there's a second printing, I jotted down some of the typos I noticed while reading (I'm reading from the 5/2/01 revision): ..
Thank you for the kind comments. And thanks for the list of typos. I have corrected quite a few myself, but I'll see if you found any I missed.
>Dear Brother Gary,
Greetings in the Name of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
First, a little background. I have only about a year of seminary under my belt, scattered across several years and two institutions. I am hoping to begin anew in the fall. But, I am also a passionate reader and have just lately become interested in the NT texts and textual criticism. What little exposure I had before was limited to one year of Greek (using UBS 3 and Davis' grammar while in college (actually, I took the first semester twice, failing in my first attempt at it - no Greek scholar here!). I grew up SBC, attended a Missouri Synod Lutheran Church right after college, and am presently attending a Presbyterian church (last 10 years).
I first came across your name while going through my Amazon.com recommendations. You had reviewed several books and so I went looking for some of the items you wrote (mentioned in the course of the reviews). I ended up ordering the ALT and your book, Differences Between Bible Versions (hereafter mentioned as Differences).
While I have only perused the ALT, I have read Differences. Actually, I read it in three days, just after finishing Metzger's The Text of the New Testament and James White's The King James Only Controversy.
I found that, opposite of my fears, that you were judicious in your comments throughout Differences (and by judicious I mean not heatedly argumentative), though I was wary at first. I felt that Metzger had presented excellent arguments for the Alexandrian texts,. but!... I had never seen the other side of the argument as presented in Differences. You made quite a case, not passing over issues Metzger had brought up.
The Bible read from the pulpit of my childhood was the KJV, but my first Bible was an RSV (parent bought). I switched to NASV ('71 version, I think) while in high school, and I presently use a NASV '77. After reading Differences, I'm not inclined to upgrade to a NASV 95!
I will be looking over your ALT over the next several weeks to come, just to see how things shape up (in being able to use it while teaching classes at church - two presently: Basic Christian Beliefs, and 2nd Thessalonians). My church's pew Bibles are the NIV, and even before I had read Differences, I was a little nervous about the use of it. I felt that the NIV was too free a translation, basing it on what I read in my NASV, knowing that mine was more literal. It's appears that you have confirmed my fears about the NIV.
Since recent difficulty with my vision, I have wanted to get a large print Bible to ease the strain, and knowing that the NASV '77 is our of print, I was concerned about choosing a new version, so used to the NASV over the past 29 years. My mind thinks in NASV, and I didn't want to make the switch, but I think I'm going to need to. Your arguments in favor of the NKJV have helped me to understand some issues that I have not previously faced in my choice of a new Bible, especially since I had become wary over the past 10-15 years due to the presence of a KJV Only church here in my hometown.
In the end, it appears that I've created a rather long thank you note for the work you have done. I would love to hear from you and wonder if it would be alright if we communicated on particular issues from time to time.
Your servant in Christ,
Sorry for the delay in responding, but it's been one of those weeks!
Thank you for purchasing my books, and I am glad to hear you are finding them to be beneficial. I know what you mean about thinking one side's arguments are sound before reading the "other side." I had read Carson's "King James Version Debate" and thought it sounded accurate, until I read books by Jay P. Green and others.
The NAS77 is a good translation. In fact, it's the version my pastor uses. And he hasn't "upgraded" to the NAS95 as of yet either. But, of course, I disagree with the textual base. If he used the NIV I would have a major problem, but with the NAS77, at least the translation itself is reliable.
May God bless you in your continued seminary studies, and especially in your Greek studies. It is difficult, but very worthwhile.
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