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Readers' Bible Versions Experiences - 2002
I present My Bible Versions Experiences on this site and in my book Differences Between Bible Versions. In the following e-mails which I have been receiving in 2002, readers are expressing their experiences in this matter. The e-mailers' comments are in black and enclosed in "greater than" and "lesser than" signs. My comments are in red.
I'm so thankful for the information on Bible versions you have on this site. After a year of struggle, I'm finally out of the KJV-only movement. Thanks to your site and kjvonly.org (Gary Hudson), I'm finally free from those shackles. However, I still am weary and against the CT and the NIV/NASB and other such versions based on these manuscripts. I have always been since the time I received my first NIV in junior high. I struggled with the footnotes all the way through college until I finally switched to the NKJV.
My grandmother purchased my first NKJV when I was only 9 years old. I never really used it because my church always pushed the NIV. Then, after I married, I started attending a small GARBC (General Association of Regular Baptist Churches) church and began using the NKJV regularly. My pastor graduated from Pensacola Christian college and Grace Seminary in Indiana. He says the NKJV is the best mainstream modern version due to it's use of the TR and MT footnotes. I've been so blessed by reading it!
I read my NIV for so many years and never even felt like I was learning or growing. I always felt uncomfortable about all the omitted verses. When I fell for the KJV-only movement (long and hard through chick.com and a personal acquaintance there), it was a long, arduous journey to freedom! My husband and pastor were so frustrated with me, not to mention the frustration that I felt with God for making the KJV the only correct Bible (unknowingly).
I prayed so much and God revealed to me your website and Gary Hudson's website. Now my mind is at peace again and I'm reading through and learning so much about God through His word. I only use the NKJV [New King James Version] and that's the only one I recommend to anyone. It is terrible that there is so much confusion over Bible versions, not to mention way too many Bible versions out there! Thanks again for your wisdom and for allowing God to use you in this necessary discussion.
God bless you!
Cassie (I'm only 24, but am thankful to be over this issue at such a young age!)
Thank you for relating your story. And I am thankful I could be a part of it.
>Subject: Thank you
First a little background... I was born and raised a Presbyterian, but was never a religious man. I never looked for God because I never felt I lost him or that I was a "sinner," although I didn't go to church or worship.
But a few months ago a woman from my past walked back into my life and with her she brought the idea of embracing God and thanking Him for all He provides. This was a main issue in her life and forced a wedge between her and I. But it also forced me to look into my soul and truly think of what it was that I believed. And it started to bring God to the forefront and started my new devotion to the Lord.
Now this is where the "thank you" to you comes in. I have many problems with organized religion, one of which is the numerous versions of the Bible. One day I came across your website and spent over 4 hours that day alone looking and reading the things there. And I would like to thank you for your insight, dedication and devotion to reviewing and teaching others. I found the things you said to be thoughtful and insightful. I feel that in today's world that people don't say thank you enough to the people that help them. So, Gary, although I do not know you personally I would like to say THANK YOU, you have helped me.
Today I went out and bought my Bible, Life Application Study Bible: NKJV .
Thank you very much for the kind words. May God bless you as you study His Word.
I was searching the internet tonight learning more about the Bible as I love to do, and I came across your site. From what I have read so far, I think it is wonderful. Last year I studied the translations of the Bible because I had never learned about them. I have grown up in the Church and around good teaching, but I found that many things I have just taken for granted I knew very little about. Consequently I have delved into them and it has been wonderful.
I am only 19, but God has taken me many places in these past years and I have met many Godly men and women, young and old around the world....
I apologize for going on so long, but let me ask you what for you should be an easy question. I have switched the NASB over a year ago after studying the translations of the Bible as best I could. Up until that point I have had an NIV which I came to the exact conclusion as you apparently did, that it is not a very good translation and I too disagree with the "dynamic equivalent" approach to translating the Bible. From what I know, the NASB (1995) is a good literal translation, and yet as you were also talking about various texts, I am not sure exactly which text it is translated from.
It is soooo difficult to find good, objective information on the subject. So many articles, books, and texts I have read are just filled with hatred and unlove toward other brothers and sisters in Christ over these different versions. Consequently it is very difficult for me to know what to believe and what not sometimes with what I read.
From what I understand there is the Textus Receptus (I don't think that is spelled right) which is the same thing as the Majority Text, or the Official Text? And then I have also read about the Syniticus and the Vaticanus (I definitely spelled those wrong) which are supposed to be older manuscripts and yet in my humble opinion are not as reliable as the MT. No doubt I messed up somewhere in there.
I realize that you are not doubt a busy man like most of us and that time is precious. Don't feel like you have to go over all the manuscript stuff with me if that would take a lot of time even though I would love to hear anything you have to say. If it is possible though, I would greatly appreciate your opinion and insight on the NASB seeing as I read this Bible daily.
I want to know Jesus sir, and I do, but I want to know so much more and I believe that having an accurate Bible to read from and do in-depth study is extremely important. Prior to even stumbling across your web site I have already determined to purchase J. P. Green's single volume, Interlinear Hebrew-Greek-English Bible as soon as possible.
Once again I apologize for writing so much. I did not intend to, but have just all come out from inside me and there is so much more which I will not tire you with. Thank you so much sir for your time. I really do appreciate it and I really do hope to hear from you soon.
May you continue to serve Christ and bless others by abiding in Him who is life...
Because of Jesus,
Thank you for your email. Most of your questions are answered in depth in my Bible versions book, but in short. Yes, the NASB is a very good version translation-wise. However, it is based on the Critical Text. So that is why I don't particularly recommend it, but I don't discourage people from using it either.
The Sinaiticus and Vanticanus manuscripts are the oldest complete manuscripts of the Bible. But for reasons I discuss in my book, I don't believe they are that reliable.
The Textus Receptus and Majority text are similar, but they are not identical. Again, I discuss the differences in my book.
And please note that my book is free of the angry diatribes you've come across in studying this issue. That is, except for the quotations I include from KJV onlyists. Some of those can get rather heated. But IMO, that just adds to why their position is wrong. There's simply no reason for such rhetoric when discussing this or any other subject among Christians.
I am an Assembly of God Evangelist and former Pastor, living in the Dallas area. I just ordered the ALT and your Different Versions book - in hardback and eBook. I accidentally ran across your Web site. What is really unbelievable that over the past few decades (I just turned 50 and have been studying the Bible since I got saved at 8 years old), I have come to the same conclusions concerning Bible versions and texts.<
Thanks for ordering my books. And it's interested that even with rather different theological backgrounds we came to the same conclusions regarding Bible versions.
>I have boiled the most reliable and trustworthy translations to NKJV, KJV, MKJV and the LITV. I also had researched the Greek texts for many years and came to the conclusion that the Textus Receptus was the most reliable ( I prefer this even above the Majority Text - except for Acts 9:6 and 1 John 5:7-8, for many reasons I don't have time to get into.)
I have over 16,000 books in my personal library and did have almost 3000 Bibles - I just gave over 2000 away to Bible school students and church members without a good study Bible. Over 500 of my books are on Greek texts, textual criticism and translation. I've done quite a bit of research.<
Wow! I thought I had a lot of books with over 1,000 books and dozens of Bibles in my library.
>I grew up on the KJV, but over the years had switched to different new versions. I felt like A. W. Tozer in his article, "Confessions of a New Version Junkie", they never satisfied me. I would end up going back to the KJV. What finally finished me with the new versions was the verse in 1 Cor. where Paul is quoting Jesus as saying, "take eat, this is my body which is broken for you." Most of the new versions have, "take eat, this is my body...which is for you." This doesn't even make sense - what about the Lord's body - what was he saying?<
Agreed. 1Cor 11:24 is rather strange in the CT, which is why I included it on the list of Most Important Variants I recently posted on my ALT pages.
>Please be encouraged - your hard work and years of research have already impacted and influenced me. I read your Bible Versions book in one day and have read much of the ALT.<
Wow again. That's pretty quick reading. No wonder you need so many books!
>I'll be praying that a major door will open up for your books and NT. Don't give up - you've been doing important Bible translation research similar to a Wycliffe translator on the mission field and the enemy has tried to stop you and discourage you. Ray Comfort, a good friend of mine, who wrote Hell's Best Kept Secret, struggled for many years and all of a sudden the Lord opened many doors for him - including the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.<
Thanks for the prayers.
>If one preacher, minister or Christian has their life changed eternally through your work and writing - it was worth it. I plan to send you an offering for your ministry and start recommending your ALT and Bible Version book. I am going to look into bulk purchasing and selling them at my revivals - I've preached in hundreds of churches.<
That would be very much appreciated. And you can contact my publisher AuthorHouse for details on bulk pricing. I don't know if there would be much of a discount as 1stBooks already sells books on its site at the wholesale price, but you will probably get a break on the postage anyway.
If you don't have it already, their contact info is:
1663 LIberty Drive, Suite 200
Bloomington, IN 47403
Phone: (888) 519-5121
Web site: www.AuthorHouse.com
>Your hard work and research is so helpful. ... Be encouraged. You've already made a difference in the world and in the kingdom of God.
God has exalted His Word even above all His Name (Psa. 138:2)
Thank you for the encouragement.
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