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on Bible Versions
Below are assorted, short e-mails I received in 2002 on the items listed at Bible Versions Controversy and my book Differences Between Bible Versions. The e-mailers comments are in black and enclosed in "greater than" and "lesser than" signs. My comments are in red.
Subject: Balanced opinion
I have read your My Bible Versions Experiences and was quite please to see that there is some moderate, informed opinions on the subject. I am very sad about all the KJV vs. Demonic Bibles vitriol. I will read some more of articles in your website….
Thank you for the kind comments. The article you refer to is actually the first chapter in my book Differences Between Bible Versions. You might find it to be of interest as well.
>I read your book on different translations, but didn't see any comments on the Jerusalem Bible.....can you shoot me a quick message about how well it was translated
The JB is a dynamic equivalency Bible even verging on a paraphrase at times. So I would say it is not very accurate. There's also now a New Jerusalem Bible available. I haven't seen it, but I would assume it is around the same lines as the original JB.
I recently read that during National Prohibition, a scholar (I believe at Yale) was commissioned to prepare a version of the Bible omitting all references to wine or other forms of alcohol.
If you are aware of this version of the Bible, could you provide me with a bibliographic reference to it?
Thank you very much,
Sorry, but I never heard of it. It does sound rather strange though as (doing a quick search) there are 215 references to wine in the Bible. That would be a lot of references to omit.
Thanks for getting back to me. A librarian found it: The Shorter Bible, trans, by Charles Foster Kent and colleagues and published by Scribner's.
Thanks for letting me know.
Subject: Your web site.
I love your articles, especially those on NKJV vs. KJV. I have been studying translations and have learned a lot from you. One thing I would like to see improved is navigation of your site. It's hard to find some things. It's like one big maze. May God bless you and I look forward for more articles by you.
Thanks for the comments. As for the navigation on my site, I've had others say that it is easy to navigate. The links at the bottom of each page should provide direction. Items can be found using the Subject Index, the Alphabetical List of Pages, or the various Search Engines.
I have recently realized that Bibles are not all the same. I have always used a Bible that I got when I was very young. This was listed as the Revised Standard Version. I can find very little information about how this Bible compares to other Bibles and where and how it was translated. Can you shed any light on this or refer me to the appropriate source.
The RSV was a rather literal translation of the "Critical Text" done around 1900. It was replaced by the less literal New Revised Standard Version in 1990. Both versions are influence by liberalism, especially the latter. Most editions of the NRSV also usually contain the Apocrypha. I have a chapter about these two versions in my Bible versions book.
What is the difference between the KJ II and MKJV?
The King James II is simply another name for the Modern King James Version (MKJV). Actually, it was called the KJ II first and then in a later edition changed to the MKJV. Both were translated by Jay P. Green and published by Christian Literature World.
I am searching for a 21st Century King James Bible. I want this version as I believe it is the closest translation to the King James Version. Do you believe that to be correct?<
You're correct that the KJV21 is very close to the KJV. Too close, in fact, in my opinion. Basically, the KJ21 updates some of the archaic language in the KJV, but not all of it. And it makes no other changes to the text. Personally, I really don't see the point.
I have a full review of the KJ21 on my site at: KJ21: Initial Impressions. I also mention the KJ21 in my Bible versions book.
>I really want this version in the 365 daily readings format and my extensive searches have not found this format available. I can easily find this format in the New International Version. What is your opinion of this version of the Bible?
I appreciate any help or advice you can give me.
I doubt very much you'll find a KJ21 in this format. I think there's only one edition of it available. There's ordering information at the end of the above review.
As for the NIV, I discuss it in depth in my Bible versions book.
>Subject: NKJV Logo
I am in the midst of switching from NIV to NKJV, so I have been reading about and found your page. Most of the anti NKJV stuff I have found seems to be emotion and hype rather than deep and sound analysis. Then they resort to the issue of the logo used by Thomas-Nelson. Stupid question here, what is your take on this logo stuff?
I discuss the NKJV logo in my Bible versions book. But in a nutshell, I consider the KJV onlyists complaints in this regard to be much ado about nothing. It's being used as a symbol of the Trinity; it's a simple as that. Yes the same symbol used for other purposes elsewhere, but the reason it is used on the NKJV is as the inside cover says, that it was an early symbol for the Trinity.
For further details, see my book.
I know how mail could get so I will not keep this up for long. Thanks for the speedy response to my previous question. I am working now on material for some presentations to a Men's Convention this weekend on the Caribbean Island of Trinidad. As I did my research I learned of NIVI and TNIV. Versions that sought to use language that was gender inclusive. So the singular pronoun he, becomes he or she but in other places to remain gender neutral then have to resort to the plural they and them. Have you done any work on the gender issues and do you have any quick thoughts to share?
I discuss this issue in the ALT: Companion Volume. Simply put, I believe the texts should be translated as inclusive as is allowed by the original text, but under no circumstances should the text be changed to make the text inclusive when it is not.
IOW, the word translated "man" in say the KJV can just as legitimately be translated as "person," and I do so in the ALT as context warrants. However, when the original has "he" I believe it is absolutely wrong to change it to "they." I wouldn't have a problem with rendering it as "he [or she], or something like that, provided that added words were marked as being added.
But from what I've seen of the versions you mention, they do change the text without indicating they have done so. As such, I would not recommend these.
>Subject: Your excellent website
>Allow me to commend you on your outstanding website! I am there often! I appreciate all the info that is on there.<
Thank you for the kind comments.
>My name is Paul ________, a pastor, and Bible teacher, in Grand Junction, Colorado. (My website is: www.Staurosministries.org ).<
I will check your site out when I get the time.
>I have a comment, and a question.
First, for the comment. You had mentioned, in one of your articles when you go back and forth, comparing the KJV with the NKJV, (of which, by the way, I am in total agreement with you!).
But, you mentioned that something was in the original NKJV, and that the latest versions had changed the reference. You added that as far as you could tell, that was the only change. Here's one very interesting change: "POROSIS"! Look up the references to "porosis"!
Romans 11:7; Israel has not obtained what it seeks, but the elect have obtained it, and the rest were... POROSIS... It USED to be, "hardened", right there, but now it is, "blinded".
Also, 2 Cor 3:14, has been changed from hardened, to blinded. One other change I have found: I believe it is 2 Pet 1:21. (please forgive me, I at work, and I do not have the reference before me). "We have the prophetic word..."MADE MORE SURE". This, also, has been changed. Now, this is, "we have the Prophetic word "confirmed".
That was it-- I don't mean to imply that you missed something; on the contrary, I just love His word so much, that I love to talk about it, and to study His word is my life.<
Thanks for the references. I hadn't noticed these. And there are probably a few others given the NKJV has now gone through several editions.
>Now for the question: You made a comment about a new bible translation that looked fascinating: The Logos 21 Version. Any further word about this? I have looked, but I can find out no info regarding this....<
The Logos 21 was a project of the Majority Text Society. But before his death, the former president, Arthur Farstad, sold the writes to Hollman. And they changed the textual base from the MT to the Ct and renamed it something like, the Hollman Study Bible.
>God bless you, your family, and all that you do.
Your translation of the Bible appears to be appealing and more accurate than others I have seen. I am looking to replace my Revised Standard Version Bible with one from the Majority text.
Can you please recommend a version for personal study of the Old Testament?
Thank you about the kind comments about my translation. And since you like it, for the OT I would recommend the Literal Translation of the Bible. It is rather similar to my translation. See the following page of my site for a short review of it and a few other versions I recommend: Five Five-Star Bible Versions. My Bible versions book also discusses it.
>Subject: Mark 5:41
Dear Mr. Zeolla:
I've been reading portions of your book. I just had a question. While I believe "formal equivalence" should be used when translating God's Holy Word, how do you view Mark 5:41 as an example of Mark using "dynamic equivalence"? Is Mark using "dynamic equivalence"? Or are the words "I say to you" to be found in the imperative case of cumi? However, wouldn't that then be redundant since "arise" is in the imperative case?
Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, "Talitha, cumi," which is translated, "Little girl, I say to you, arise" (Mark 5:41; NKJV).
I would suspect that the words "I say to you" are similar to words added for clarity which are italicized or bracketed in FE versions. IOW, they are probably added words by Mark, but he would not have had had the capability of offsetting them as we do today.
I hope that makes sense.
>You mentioned that your pastor reads from the NASB in worship. My question is how should one deal with attending a church where the pastor either uses a C.T. Bible or uses KJV/NKJV and often says that the critical renderings are more correct. If one speaks out he will be labeled as an instigator. Furthermore our church bookstore is selling the E.S.V. [English Standard Version] and the membership is buying them in droves. I fear this is to become the new standard translation especially among Reformed denominations.
I would talk to your bookstore about stocking a book like my Bible versions book. Your pastor shouldn't be opposed to people seeing both sides of the issue. My pastor has had no problems with me selling my book on the books table in our church.
If your bookstore does want to stock my book, my publisher can tell them how to attain copies:
As for the ESV, from what I've seen of this version, it's as good as the NASB, which is to say, at least it's a fairly literal translation, even though of a poor Greek text. But that's much better than your church using something like the NIV. So as with my pastor using the NASB, I don't see it as a major problem.
It has been some time since I have emailed you, but when I read the article in World Magazine (link below) I immediately thought of you and you struggle to make translation methods understood.
As you no doubt are already aware, the "Gender Neutral" Bible translation movement is back with a vengeance (as revealed in the links below). The IBS & Zondervan have broken (they preferred to use the term "withdrawn") their agreement to cease working on or publish such a version.
In my opinion, this whole "Gender Neutral" issue is the natural outcome of the dynamic equivalence method. Without the governance of the formal equivalence method which seeks to translate what is said rather than what is meant, anything can result - and indeed that is exactly what is happening.
Keep up the good fight my friend and brother!
Grace & Peace,
Santa Maria, California
Thanks for the links. But they are disturbing. The NIV was bad enough. But now there has to be a "Today's NIV" that is even worse than the original NIV. Ugh! It just shows how once you start going in the wrong direction you keep going further and farther adrift.
I have a book called Devotions for Men where the Deity pronouns are not capitalized. I asked why, and this is the response I got: "We don't capitalize the divine pronouns because they're not capitalized in the original Greek and Hebrew." Is this true?
Steve and Rene
That's true, but only because there was no distinction between small and capital letters in the earliest manuscripts. They are either all small letters or all capital letters. Only more recently published texts capitalize words as we do today (i.e. at the beginning of sentences, in proper names, etc.).
Sometimes it can be a judgment call on the part of the translator when to begin a new sentence. The same can be said for whether to capitalize pronouns referring to deity or not. I chose to do so in my translation as I consider it a sign of respect. Also, in some cases the antecedent to a pronoun is clear in Greek but not in English, but capitalizing the pronoun makes it clear.
>Thanks for the information.
We agree with you that it seems more respectful to capitalize. So if a translator should choose to not capitalize pronouns, to be consistent, they would not capitalize proper nouns (e.g. God) either.
Steve and Rene
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