Tuesday, January 5, 2010

King James, NIV, The Message, Living...

This morning as I was reading, I was thinking... once again, that not every translation translates exactly the same. I grew up with the King James, it's the one we memorized verses from, and I find myself going back to it on almost everything. In fact, when we traveled as a family during the summer, when my dad preached in other states, we went through the "The Navigators" scripture memory packets, and memorized the verses together, so... every verse I know by heart is from the King James, all the "Thee and Thou" etc, that's the way they are written in my mind and heart. It would be hard to change that, it's 'lodged' in there now!

When The Living Bible came out, it was wonderful, fresh and easy to understand .... But... even there, much of the original is lost or missing, the same with The Message, which I love! I find a verse in one translation, and when I look at another, the meaning becomes either much clearer, or... not the same at all. I still find myself going between translations and versions, to get the most of what I am reading in God's word. The one I 'go to' the most is my side by side King James and Living... between the 2, it's a good picture!

I am just curious... what do you think??? Do you have a favorite?

I know that the literal translation from the Hebrew and Greek is the bottom line, but the message and meaning can be clearer when I use several different ones. It is a little like the christian music we love. I still LOVE so many of the old hymns, but I also love a lot of the new worship and praise songs....

I'd love to hear what you think about this...


Rose said...

Sonja, my favorite for daily reading is the NASB. When it comes to studying the word, you really need the KJV with the Greek/Hebrew Lexicon. We have several translations but I keep going back to the NASB.

Anonymous said...

I love the New Living Translation.

Tammy said...

I used to read from the New King James but then I switched to the New Living Translation. But I think I will start using both. I also use the Amplified too.

Debra said...

I feel about King James just as you do. It is my favorite. But the first Bible I remember reading and providing me much comfort was a Living bible translation.

Just Be Real said...

I read the Recovery Bible. But, I like the Amplified also. Blessings to you Sonja!

Pom Pom said...

I like my old NASB and the NIV, too. I remember my first Living Bible. It was sweet music to my soul - I was a teenager and wanting to find Jesus so badly. My son is a determined Bible scholar and he prefers the New King James. I'm using a Navigator publication now for my study. I am thankful for the Navigators.

Deborah Ann said...

I always use the NIV, but only because it's also a study Bible, and the footnotes are so helpful. But I also love 'The Message' and I enjoy the new take on scriptures. I know a pastor who said he compared most of the scriptures of the Message with other translations, and it's right on the money. I was glad to hear that!

Debbie Petras said...

I too memorized much Scripture from the King James version. But my favorite now is the NIV. I can understand it easily. I have The Message and a few other versions that I sometimes use to look up the same passage.

BTW, I don't know if my email got to you yesterday. But my aunt told me that my grandpa came to the US in about 1920 and was already saved. So it probably wasn't the same revival when your mom got saved in Tromso. (I was having trouble yesterday sending email).


elaine @ peace for the journey said...

I'm a NIV gal, but keep my new ESV handy for better Hebrew/Greek translation. I also love my NIV Key Word Study Bible which gives me lexical aids in the back.

I'm not a legalist when it comes to Bible reading, but I will say I'm not a big fan of the Message. It's just a little too much for me, but I certainly wouldn't limit God in his working through it.


Lisa Smith said...

Hi Sonja! I grew up on NIV and the whole Navigator memory system is lodged in there NIV style. This year I have been using the New Living first (2009). I usually look up The Message and a few other versions too. I'm adding KJ to that list after reading this post! I've decided to read the Bible in a new translation each year for awhile. This year it's ESV

Good to hear from you!! sweet blessings, lisa

Just a little something from Judy said...

I use the NIV and the New Living Bible. At times I use the Message. I appreciate your take on the KJV although I am not so familiar with that version. I am not set on any one version although The Ryrie Study Bible is one of my favorites. I also like the old treasured hymns but have come to appreciate some of the beautiful worship music too. Good question!

GwendolynKay said...

My bible is the New International version.... called the Quest study bible... You have given me a good idea for my Sunday post. Blessings always!!
Your friend,



I am like you - I grew up with the KJV and still have and read from [every day] my very 1st [KJV] Bible that was given to me by my sister just after I recieved Christ as my Savior and Lord. That was 40 years ago this month [Jan 30th]!

I love the poetic "Thee's and Thou's" and I too, have memorized many verses from that translation because of using it for so long. I fought the trend to use another for a long time but finally around the year 2000 I gave in and got an NIV because it is what my pastor preached from at the time.

You did a good job explaining this and your highlighted memo said this:

"I know that the literal translation from the Hebrew and Greek is the bottom line,"

That is the truth...... the further away we get from the original Hebrew or Greek the more is lost in the translation. However - we do need these paraphrases such as The Message to give us things in everyday language. I love that and the NLT - but I do not use them for study. And I am cautious to dig deep when faced with a serious quesiton on scripture.

I do believe that God is using His Word so much in the lives of His people as He intended because we are finally reading it - in order to respond to Him. And that is the way He intened it ot be used - loved and obeyed!

If a certain paraphrase or translation helps me to understand what God wants me to learn then I will memorize that passage in that version.

Great thoughts here and responces from your readers. Thanks for sharing it and also thanks for joining in prayer for Denise too!

Choosing JOY, Stephanie
JESUS ONLY in 2010

Patrinas Pencil said...

I too learned from the KJV. My dad was a pastor. But I have come to use several versions for clarification. The really interesting thing is that I will have a scripture in my head but don't know it's address. Biblegateway has a hard time finding my key words because I've probably put 2 or more trasnslations together to speak to me. Like my own parphrase from a paraphrase, I guess. Not good , I suppose but it has helped me remember and hide scripture in my heart.

When I share scripture, I usually pick a version other than KJ because it is hard to understand at times. But my Dad was dislexic when God saved him and called him to preach. He had never read a book in his life. But, in college (after quiting school in the 8th grade) God taught him to read the BIBLE. To this day, he will not read anything else - because, as he puts it, "It's like music in my ears"

I think God has a way of speaking just the right way so that many can hear. Thus the validity of the differnt versions. Like Dad. It probably was easier for him to learn and understand KJV, even though many others can't get a grip around it. Music spoke to him. It sounded like music! There are so many differnt learning styles - that I believe people read and hear differently too.

Just my 2 cents.