Recommended Bible Translations (Which Bible Is Best?)

by Sean Finnegan

Today after a quick review and an appeal to learn the biblical languages, I’ll recommend a number of Bible translations.  Although I’m hesitant to do this, so many have written in asking for it that I would be negligent to avoid making some recommendations in this last episode.  Additionally, we’ll cover a list of 7 verses you can use to check translations accuracy.

—— Verses to Check for Translation Accuracy ——

Genesis 4.8 Cain says “Let’s go into the field” (SP, LXX, Syriac, Vulgate)

Isaiah 53.11 “he shall see light” not “he shall see it” (DSS, LXX)

1 Samuel 14.41 does it say “Urim?” (LXX)

Psalm 145.13 is it 2 sentences or just 1? (DSS, LXX, Syriac)

Honesty about Mark 16.9-20 and John 7.53-8.11

Revelation 22.19 “tree of life” not “book of life”

Matthew 2.2 “pay homage” not “worship”

—— Recommended Translations ——

Jewish Publication Society Tanakh (JPS): dynamic equivalence from Jewish perspective

English Standard Version (ESV): formal equivalence from evangelical perspective

New English Translation (NET): dynamic equivalence from evangelical perspective

New American Bible (NAB): dynamic equivalence from Roman Catholic perspective

New Revised Standard Version (NRSV): formal equivalence from a mainline/liberal perspective

—— Biased Translations to Avoid ——

Message Bible (MSG): extreme dynamic equivalence

Passion Translation (PT): extreme dynamic equivalence

New Living Translation (NLT): dynamic equivalence

—— Outdated Translations ——

1769 King James Version (KJV): formal equivalence

1982 New King James Version (NKJV): formal equivalence

1995 New American Standard Bible (NASB): formal equivalence

any versions not taking into account the Dead Sea Scrolls (see verses above to check)

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1 Response

  1. Hi Pastor Sean! I loved this presentation on How We Got the Bible! One cannot argue with the logic of using the most current research available for bible translations. Question: Is there a reason why you did not include the REV in your recommended Bible translations in the last segment? God Bless! Nancy Conell - Albuquerque, NM

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