My top Bibles for 2008

Bryon has posted his top bibles for the year, and it has inspired me to do so as well. In 2007, I was 90% King James, still considering myself a King James Primary bible user, but this year has seen me change that dramatically.

So, here it is,

  1. NKJV
  2. NLT
  3. NRSV
  4. NET
  5. NETS

1.) The New King James Version has quickly become my favorite  for church service – although the KJV is the only thing used in service. It is still similiar enough to the KJV that I can read along while calling attention to some of the faults of the KJV. The particular version that I use is the OSB, which you can read about once you click the review.

2.) I opened this translation because of my daughter and have since found that it is more than just an ‘easy to read’ bible, but has a good dose of literalism even in the most informal translations. It is direct and to the point, and it is a version of the bible that my daughter can actually read and understand.

3.) I use the NRSV for comparsion, especially with the Deuteroncanon. It is within the Tyndale tradition so it mirrors the RSV and the KJV (NKJV) enough that the structure is familiar.

4.) The New English Translation is one that I laughed at, until I read it and looked at the translator’s notes. This bible is worth something alone because of those notes

5.) Granted, the NETS (New English Translation of the Septuagint does not include the New Testament, but it’s highly literal rendering of the LXX makes it viable enough to study. I have it on my Palm Centro (do not get a Palm Centro) so if I were to ever need it, I don’t have to carry the hard copy around.

Other honorable mentions include the RSV, the Jerusalem Bible, the NAB, and the Living Oracles. I like Mace’s translation as well.

Joel L. Watts
Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

12 thoughts on “My top Bibles for 2008

  1. One of my steps in detaching from that sect was moving to the NKJV for awhile. The notes in it about manuscript differences was very enlightening.

      1. Well, then, I suppose I applaud the Orthodox. I didn’t realize, though, that you yourself would be reading these translations to the congregation. That makes a great deal of difference.

        I do dream of a day, though, where in some churches, though it probably wouldn’t be good for all churches to adopt this way of doing things, but some churches adopting the original languages for public readings and having different english translations in the pews.

        I’ve heard it said before that many Christians find discomfiting the exceeding abundance of translations available, especially when the arbitrariness of different translations’ philosophies is pointed out to them. I think throwing in the Hebrew and Greek for public reading would, ironically, restore some of this faith. Though the plurality persists, it’s an easy plurality, while the hard to read single, unitary thing remains comfortably and faithfully under the noses, always available for the interesting exegesis of a more learned pastor or scholar.

        1. I would have no real issue of reading the original language from the Table, Altar, or pulpit (or however you’d name it) as I think it would give an air of sacredness to Scripture.

Leave a Reply, Please!