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Professor wants all to read one Bible
indystar/religion news service ^ | 012404 | Douglas Todd

Posted on 01/24/2004 6:06:13 AM PST by InvisibleChurch

Edited on 05/07/2004 6:27:04 PM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

VANCOUVER, British Columbia -- An American academic wants to see a Bible translation, put together by scores of conservative scholars, become the one Bible everyone uses.

Alan Jacobs, an English professor at Wheaton College near Chicago, said the new English Standard Version Bible, whose translation was overseen by Vancouver's J.I. Packer, is the only one with the potential to become the universal Bible of all English-speaking Christians.


(Excerpt) Read more at indystar.com ...


TOPICS: Culture/Society; News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: bible; religiouseducation; wheatoncollege
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1 posted on 01/24/2004 6:06:14 AM PST by InvisibleChurch
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To: InvisibleChurch
Professor wants all to read one Bible

Navarre
2 posted on 01/24/2004 6:10:08 AM PST by cpforlife.org (The Missing Key of the Pro-Life Movement is at www.CpForLife.org)
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To: cpforlife.org
I, for one, think God can bring the true word out of a little competition. Jesus never had any problem with other so-called "prophets" competing against Him, because He knew His message was the right one.

The more translations, the better.

3 posted on 01/24/2004 6:15:11 AM PST by LS (CNN is the Amtrack of news.)
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To: InvisibleChurch
There are lumpers and there are splitters.
4 posted on 01/24/2004 6:18:52 AM PST by johniegrad
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To: InvisibleChurch
Beware of the ones who would have you be of one purse...
the same could be said of those who would have you be of one verse....
5 posted on 01/24/2004 6:20:48 AM PST by joesnuffy (Moderate Islam Is For Dilettantes)
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To: cpforlife.org
The ESV is a very good word for word translation, versus a dynamic equivalent or a paraphrase. We are using it in our church. BUT, the "one Bible for all" smacks of the legalism of the King James only group. Most people I associate with are utilizing several translations for their personal study. I regularly refer to 7. (English Standard Version, King James Version, New King James Version, New International Version, New Living Translation, Amplified Bible and The Message)
I disagree totally with Professor Jacobs determination to make it the "exclusive" English one size fits all Bible
6 posted on 01/24/2004 6:21:29 AM PST by Knute
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To: LS
The more translations the better..

TRANSLATION is the key word here. Paraphrased versions can, and do, go way off track.

One size fits all though ?? Bad idea....

7 posted on 01/24/2004 6:28:42 AM PST by codder too
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Comment #8 Removed by Moderator

To: Knute
I use different versions of the bible as well, but I find that "squishy" translations may be transliterations that express the agenda of the translator rather than the truth of the bible.

The words of the bible were written in hugely diverse times and cultural settings. Spinning verses to convey a perceived relevance to unique modern contexts can easily mislead, rather than clarify, biblical teachings. The understanding of scripture must not be divorced from its original context.

Regards.

9 posted on 01/24/2004 6:33:06 AM PST by TheGeezer
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To: InvisibleChurch
Ironic. The Geneva Bible was unpopular with the English Monarchy, because it seemed to diminish the earthly authority of Kings. So, James I ordered a new translation of the Bible, and decreed that everyone must read that new translation.

The Puritans held on to their Geneva Bible and eventually arose in revolt and killed King Charles I. The Puritans eventually faded and the King James Bible once again assumed its place as "the" Bible -- for some of the people.

Now we have a new effort to get everyone to read one Bible. Didn't work before. Won't work now.I'd say getting people to read ANY Bible would be a more worthwhile effort.

10 posted on 01/24/2004 6:36:04 AM PST by ClearCase_guy (I'm having an apotheosis of freaking desuetude)
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To: InvisibleChurch
That's nice, but I'll stick with my KJV.
11 posted on 01/24/2004 6:38:29 AM PST by rdb3 (If Jesse Jack$on and I meet, face to face, it's gonna be a misunderstanding...)
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To: codder too
Oh, I agree, some really suck. Our church uses "the Message" frequently, and it is horrible. Flat wrong in its "translation" some times.
12 posted on 01/24/2004 6:39:26 AM PST by LS (CNN is the Amtrack of news.)
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To: InvisibleChurch
You can read 8 different Bibles with out a ounce of revelation without the Holy Spirit
13 posted on 01/24/2004 6:42:13 AM PST by apackof2 (I won't be satisfied until I am to smart for my own good)
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To: InvisibleChurch
Sure. Of course, to be PC, this "Bible" would have to have all gender-specific references removed, all condemnations of homosexuality excised, and a few additions to the words of Christ (to encourage cooperation with taxing authorities, for example).

Don't the Scriptures warn of men rewriting the Word of God in the end times?

14 posted on 01/24/2004 6:48:23 AM PST by IronJack
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To: Knute
I regularly refer to 7.

You left one study option out - but it's not a translation. There are resources where even the ignorant (like me) can find word by word explanations of the original text. There are words or phrases where the very best possible translation into English still doesn't capture the original, because the vocabulary and structure of English doesn't match the Greek (or Hebrew). An example is the three distinct words in Greek (agape, philios, eros) for which English only has one (love). Unless you look at the original, you may miss part of the message.

But for real study, your basic point is what I think is correct: Look at more than one translation (and in my case, the original) and try to understand, not just memorize the words.
15 posted on 01/24/2004 6:48:25 AM PST by Gorjus
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To: apackof2
If they use Roman scholars and carry out the work in southern California, they could call it

(all together now)

The "ORANGE CATHOLIC BIBLE"!!!!!

Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week....

16 posted on 01/24/2004 6:48:42 AM PST by Ronly Bonly Jones (just a little "Dune humor there folks... nothing to see, move along....)
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To: All
http://rzuvich.freeservers.com/kjbible.htm

The Jews in the O.T. never had a "different version".....they would rather kill themselves than tamper with God's Word to make it "more readable". They simply learned God's Word. Even small children can understand the Authorized Version.......

If narrowness is the basis for truth, then read the Quran for all God cares.

His, (The ONE God of the ONE Bible)
Bob Z.

17 posted on 01/24/2004 6:48:51 AM PST by 4himinct
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To: apackof2
I hate to be a jerk, but your tag line has a misspelling. "to" should be "too". I'm not sure if that is meant to be a joke but I thought it ironic because you are talking being smart.
18 posted on 01/24/2004 6:52:12 AM PST by dpa5923 (Small minds talk about people, normal minds talk about events, great minds talk about ideas.)
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To: InvisibleChurch
I have the PARALLEL BIBLE. Four translations all across two pages at once. I use it quite a bit but my King James is the one worn out, written on, highlighted, and battered.
19 posted on 01/24/2004 6:57:42 AM PST by shiva
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To: IronJack
One of the motivations of the translation committee of the ESV is the tendency of modern tranlations toward gender neutrality. The NIV had the potentional to be the next "universal" English translation until Zondervan decided to revise the NIV and eliminate as many gender specific references as possible.

I like the ESV because it follows in the tradition of The KJV-RSV-ESV. It is the modern translation that is most closly related to the KJV lineage other the NKJV which is for the most part the KJV with the Thees and Thous removed. When our church has a permanent facility the ESV will be our pew bible.
20 posted on 01/24/2004 7:06:08 AM PST by sonrise57
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To: 4himinct
They also read the Bible in the language that it was written in.
21 posted on 01/24/2004 7:07:01 AM PST by sonrise57
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To: sonrise57
There is something magical about the language in the King James that is lost if one disposes of the "Yea, verily's" and the "Whither goest's." I'm not saying that the language should be inaccessible, but for pure poetic purposes, "modernizing" Scriptural English is like rewriting a Shakespeare sonnet in ebonics.

The words should be as majestic as the spirit they try to convey.

22 posted on 01/24/2004 7:12:51 AM PST by IronJack
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To: InvisibleChurch
I've got to tell you as an Orthodox Christian, that this idea is a complete non-starter. The Orthodox Churches will never agree on an English translation of the Bible that doesn't reflect their understanding of the meaning of the canonical texts. Whether this ESV would do so, I don't know. But I'd be very surprised to hear that it does.
23 posted on 01/24/2004 7:15:51 AM PST by Doug Loss
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To: Gorjus
Topics of this nature pop up here periodically. My two cents is that if you are really interested in the content of the New Testament you have to learn to read the original language which is Koine - the version of Greek which was common in the area from about 300BC until 300 AD.

The other problem is that there are many versions of the same text which differ slightly in content. (A major problem exists because there are two different versions of Acts one much longer than the other.) Once you determine which version you want to read and translate you are just beginning.

The meaning of some of Paul's texts are obscure even when you do know the Greek. He could not write short declarative sentences. Consequently, there are variations in the translations into English.

The other major hurdle is how the translate Greek participles. The Greeks used them a lot and, apparently, their meaning could vary. This is another reason that translations differ.

Another major difficulty in Greek is that they thought differently than we do today. In there language they were not particularly interested if something happened in the past, in the present, or in the future. They instead were interested in whether an action happened or didn't happen. They were also interested in whether that action was over and complete or whether the effects of that action continue into the future and are acting now at the present time. For example, think of the resurrection, an action that happened in the past which has continuing meaning at the present and will continue to have meaning into the future.

My humble suggestion is to check out the local colleges and find one which teaches Biblical Greek and take the courses. Then you well have a much deeper appreciation of what the texts state.

24 posted on 01/24/2004 7:20:06 AM PST by Citizen Tom Paine (The past is an unknown land and so is the future.)
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To: shiva
I basically use the NASB but also the NJKV and the KJV, sometimes the RSV and recently have picked up what looks to be an interesting version called "The Complete Jewish Bible". It is a combination somewhat of a paraphrase from the old English sounding Jewish bible (JPS) and a thought by thought translation of the NT is from the Greek. It was written by a Jewish man who later in life, at 37 became a Messianic Jew, David Stern. Although he had a PhD in economics, he went back to study Christianity and then Judaism at their respective types of universities. One of his reasons to make the translation was to have something for Messianic Communities to read and to help bridge some of the gap between Jews and Christiansm and to restore the unified Jewishness of the entire Bible.

I am in the process of reading through the CJB in parallel with my regular reading and so far, I find it a nice translation, although I prefer a word by word, not a thought by thought or paraphrase. I would probably not base any theology on at the moment, because I just don't know enough or have read enough yet, but it is interesting to read scripture from a Jewish perspective. The same, yet different.

25 posted on 01/24/2004 7:24:55 AM PST by lupie
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To: IronJack
I don't think you read the article, in which the professor points to one specific, existing translation: the ESV. The ESV is none of the things you rightly abhor.

I have very mixed feelings about it (having studied Hebrew and Greek for nigh-on thirty years), but it is conservative.

Dan
26 posted on 01/24/2004 7:25:51 AM PST by BibChr ("...behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, so what wisdom is in them?" [Jer. 8:9])
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To: InvisibleChurch
I suppose this professor thinks we should all attend one church as well?
27 posted on 01/24/2004 7:26:49 AM PST by TommyDale
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To: InvisibleChurch
I kind of like the King James myself. That's what I grew up with. I've read some passages from new versions of the Bible and it just wasn't the same.

I can sort of understand this person's point. Consider the Constitution. I don't see how it could have beeen written much plainer but look at how far apart some of the differing interpretations of that document are. Now imagine if there were a dozen versions of the Constitution. It would be madness.

However, I don't see the professor's idea working though. It would be kind of hard to force on version of the Bible on everybody.
28 posted on 01/24/2004 7:27:33 AM PST by Prodigal Son
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To: lupie
It might interest you to know that the ESV is based on the RSV, but redone from a Bible-believing perspective.

Dan

29 posted on 01/24/2004 7:28:00 AM PST by BibChr ("...behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, so what wisdom is in them?" [Jer. 8:9])
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To: Knute
Wjat a terrible idea. Sounds like he wants us all to read the same Q'uran ... er ...wait - maybe he's closet Taliban?!

I just got myself a copy of The Message for Christmas, and I love it.
30 posted on 01/24/2004 7:28:00 AM PST by bootless (Never Forget)
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To: apackof2
"You can read 8 different Bibles with out a ounce of revelation without the Holy Spirit"

I would agree with that statement.

(By the way, you should correct the usage of the word "to" vs. "too" in your tagline....unless I just completely missed the sarcasm, in which case, ignore this.)

31 posted on 01/24/2004 7:29:21 AM PST by Pablo64 ("Everything I say is fully substantiated by my own opinion.")
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To: BibChr; ninenot
You will notice that I am minding my Catholic business on what is essentially a sincere discussion among the reformed.
32 posted on 01/24/2004 7:33:07 AM PST by BlackElk (Dean of Discipline of the Tomas de Torquemada Gentlemen's Club)
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To: BlackElk
Well, I hadn't noticed, but... OK. Now I do. Good Elk!

Dan
(c8

33 posted on 01/24/2004 7:36:06 AM PST by BibChr ("...behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, so what wisdom is in them?" [Jer. 8:9])
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To: notorious vrc
I've tested positive for NIV.

However, I keep the NKJV and NASB nearby.

Yes - the NIV works best for me because I don't have to spend so much time trying to figure out what it says and can spend more energy on what it means.

34 posted on 01/24/2004 7:37:53 AM PST by trebb (Ain't God good . . .)
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To: InvisibleChurch; rhema; drstevej; Dataman; jude24
John Piper advocates this same thing.

I've studied the ESV, and have very mixed feelings about it. It's "conservative" in both a good and a bad sense. Conservative theologically, in approaching the Bible as it is, the Word of God (good). But conservative also in the sense that it does not change things that, almost beyond rational argument, cry out to be changed. For instance, there simply IS no rational defense for Christian translations continuing the LORD/Lord/Lord GOD insanity, instead of simply saying "Yahweh" when the text says "Yahweh." It's hard to defend translating dikaios as "righteous," but dikaioo as "justify," so that English readers do not know that (A) the words are related and (B) the latter means "to declare righteous."

I could go on and on.

I'd really like to see a thoroughgoing revision of the ESV; but it being so new, that isn't going to happen.

I have found a great deal to like about the Christian Standard Bible, but it paraphrases to a strange degree, and varies Messiah/Christ inexplicably in the NT in rendering Christos. But at least they use "Yahweh"...sometimes!

Dan

35 posted on 01/24/2004 7:38:15 AM PST by BibChr ("...behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, so what wisdom is in them?" [Jer. 8:9])
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To: notorious vrc
I would say that a good dose of the ESV will cure that nasty NIV bug. It's about as smooth reading, but without most of the pre-digested interpretive paramangling... er, paraphrasing.

Dan
(c;

36 posted on 01/24/2004 7:39:42 AM PST by BibChr ("...behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, so what wisdom is in them?" [Jer. 8:9])
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To: BibChr
It might interest you to know that the ESV is based on the RSV, but redone from a Bible-believing perspective.

Really? From what I have read here it sounds intriguing enough to at least investigate it before purchasing one. I just did a quick search through all my online bible search engines and found one that uses it. Maybe I will try to remember to read through it in parallel. Sigh.. I wish I was fluent in Hebrew and Greek, but I have always been "language challenged" :)

37 posted on 01/24/2004 7:39:52 AM PST by lupie
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To: All
I think I'll stick with the King James version:

Revelation:

18: For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book:

19: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
38 posted on 01/24/2004 7:40:13 AM PST by TSgt (I am proudly featured on U.S. Rep Rob Portman's homepage: http://www.house.gov/portman/)
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To: cpforlife.org
The Navarre is great! I have a few of the Gospels, but need to buy the rest. Not very portable, though :-) I have the New Jerusalem Bible too, it has very traditional language. I bought it from EWTN.
39 posted on 01/24/2004 7:42:04 AM PST by padfoot_lover
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To: Doug Loss
I'm an interpreter for the deaf for church services, and during my preparation, I study the upcoming scripture readings in several different translations. When translating English into American Sign Language, I've found that the more ways in which I can see how a passage can be rendered in English, the better I can aid the deaf worshiper in grasping God's word.
40 posted on 01/24/2004 7:45:14 AM PST by COBOL2Java (If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you are reading this in English, thank a soldier.)
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To: Knute
"We are using it in our church. BUT, the "one Bible for all" smacks of the legalism of the King James only group."

Our Pastor uses ESV for the most part. I too use several translations, tho currently only have NIV and KJV readily at hand. My KJV ONLY friends attend legalist churches and won't even touch my NIV Bible. One dear friend of mine secretly reads the NKJV at home for study, but wouldn't dare take it to church with her.

real shame. But I must admit my own avoidance of the Living Bible translations.. call me old fashioned! lol

41 posted on 01/24/2004 7:45:22 AM PST by sweet_diane ("Will I dance for you Jesus? Or in awe of You be still? I can only imagine..I can only imagine.")
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To: ClearCase_guy
What I find is the unbelievable amount of difference between denominations. There are those who believe once saved, always saved vs backsliders are no longer heaven bound.

There are those who believe only dunking during baptism is acceptable and those who believe in sprinkling.

There are those who believe that baptism is necessary for salvation while others believe it's only an outward sign to others of acceptance.

There are those who baptize in the trinity, yet others believe that only in the name of Jesus is appropriate (ala John the Baptist).

Still yet others believe that only the outward showing of the holy spirit through tounges is evidence of salvation.

Is it any wonder we can't figure out how to be of service when we can't even agree on how to achieve salvation. Even by the "Perfect Book", we are lost on the most basic of tenents of how to achieve eternal service to God.

I live in a large midwestern city, the 32nd largest metropolitan area in the nation. There are over 125 different denominations (not individual houses of worship) listed in my yellow pages. Over 125 different beliefs and ways to be of service to Christ, God and His kingdom. Yet there is one God and one Way.

Christians need to go into a period of deep prayer, meditation and thought in order to determine how to serve God. Not our version of service, but God's way.

42 posted on 01/24/2004 7:46:46 AM PST by joesbucks
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To: BibChr
Awwwww!
43 posted on 01/24/2004 7:50:25 AM PST by BlackElk (Dean of Discipline of the Tomas de Torquemada Gentlemen's Club)
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To: IronJack
Your comment is very much in the spirit of recent Vatican rumblings about "sacred space, sacred time..."

The idea is to ELEVATE the minds and hearts of the faithful.
44 posted on 01/24/2004 7:53:47 AM PST by ninenot (So many cats, so few recipes)
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To: ClearCase_guy
"I'd say getting people to read ANY Bible would be a more worthwhile effort."

While so many of my KJV ONLY brothers and sisters in Christ totally disagree with your statement, I couldn't agree more!

I remember watching a film many years ago about a many in a foreign country where Bibles were strictly prohibited. He was starving for God's word and whenever he'd get his hands on even a page from a Bible, he'd write it on his body... I don't think he was too concerned about the translation.

45 posted on 01/24/2004 7:54:51 AM PST by sweet_diane ("Will I dance for you Jesus? Or in awe of You be still? I can only imagine..I can only imagine.")
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Comment #46 Removed by Moderator

To: InvisibleChurch
As far as I am concerned we already have the bible everyone should read, the King James. One passage in the King James can have layer upon layer of meaning, that gets lost in translations.

"Deep calls to deep at the crashing of the waves", in the King James, God is able to pull us into ever deeper waters of understanding. This is lost when there is a flat surface translation.
47 posted on 01/24/2004 7:56:34 AM PST by MissAmericanPie
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Comment #48 Removed by Moderator

To: InvisibleChurch
I want only one form of cheese.

In particular, brie.

49 posted on 01/24/2004 7:57:19 AM PST by Lazamataz (The Republicans have turned into Democrats, and the Democrats have turned into Marxists.)
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To: InvisibleChurch
LOL
50 posted on 01/24/2004 7:57:30 AM PST by swampfox98
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