Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Bible versions 

I'm currently reading two books about English Bible versions and translation and textual issues. One of them is Leland Ryken's The Word of God in English. This is an excellent book, and makes a wonderful case for formal translations, instead of dynamic translations like the NIV or The Message.

Ryken was on the translation committee for the ESV, and that's one of the annoyances about the book- it reads like an advertisement for that version. But interestingly, if you reject his argument (or really just assertions) about the Textus Receptus being unscholarly and obsolete, the book is really a very effective argument for the King James Version.

Tune in later for more about this, and the second book I'm reading on this subject.

I read Ryken's book last year. I thought it was very well written (although Jeremy Pierce at Parableman didn't think too highly of it).

Another book I read on a similar vein was Walt Russell's Playing With Fire. It is supposed to be a popular version of Fee & Stuart's How to Read the Bible for All It's Worth (which I have, but have not yet had the chance to read).
There is a book that I would recommend entitled 'The King James Only Controversy' by James White. It is not necessarily arguing against the KJV, but rather against those crazies who would exalt this translation to the level that should only be occupied by the original manuscripts. SO...if you just want information about the KJV, this, believe it or not, is a good book to read.

I like the HCSB translation myself, but that is because I am a good Southern Baptist. ;)
It is unfortunate that so few really know the intelligent arguments for the texus receptus. The wackos have dominated the debate. Those who argue against the TR normally address only the fringe. A learned TR adherent may well say, "with friends like these..."

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