There are several Bible translations, such as the New Living Translation (NLT), the New American Standard (NASB), the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), the English Standard Version (ESV), and the King James Version, among others. Different denominations use different translations. So, what Bible translations do different denominations use?
Denominations such as Protestant denominations allow members to use the Bible version of their choice. There are cases where some prefer accuracy and others readability. Some other denominations use a designated translation for services.
What are the significant differences between popular Bible translations? What Bible translations do Roman Catholics use? What Bible translation do Protestant denominations use? How do I choose a Bible translation to use? This article will provide you with all the answers to these questions.
What are the major differences between popular Bible translations?
Some popular Bible translations include King James Version, New International Version, New Living Translation, English Standard Version, and Christian Standard Bible. These Bible translations differ in one way or the other.
One of these differences includes philosophical differences. There is a philosophical commitment for some translators to bring forward a translation that these translators have called a ‘formal’ rendering of the original text. They refer to this as a word-for-word translation.
There is also a philosophical commitment for other translators to present a translation called ‘dynamic,’ also known as thought for thought. The difference between the formal and dynamic approaches is that the formal show more word-for-word literalness in translating the text. In contrast, the dynamic approach enhances the readability of the translation by focusing on putting the meaning of the text in the contemporary idiom. Another way to put it is that the formal approach focuses on being an active representative of the original text form, whereas the dynamic approach focuses on providing meaning to the text in a more readable fashion.
Other differences include textual differences. The level of detail can be critical when comparing older English Bible translations to new ones. For instance, several English translators today have had the great opportunity of consulting plenty of earlier Greek MSS compared to the King James Version (KJV), which was partly made by using half-dozen later Greek manuscripts.
What Bible translations do Roman Catholics use?
Some of the Bible translations that Roman Catholics use include New Jerusalem Bible, New American Bible, New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition, and Douay-Rheims Bible.
The New American Bible is the most widely used Catholic Bible Translation in the United States. It was produced by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) with the Catholic Bishop Association (CBA). This translation is used for mass reading. The New American Bible includes the deuterocanonical, also known as apocryphal books. It was translated from original Greek and Hebrew manuscripts with a bit of influence from the Vulgate in the Apocrypha. It’s a relatively good English translation of the Bible.
The New Jerusalem Bible is an accurate and readable translation. Just like the New American Bible, it also includes deuterocanonical books. It also includes several introductions and notes. However, most of it appears to be marginally influenced by Roman Catholic Church doctrine. Translators adopted a method known as ‘mid-Atlantic’ to sound partially American and partially British. Minimal Roman Catholic influence is seen in the translation.
The New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition was translated by an ecumenical Christian group called the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches. It is meant to replace the Revised Standard Version of 1952. The New Revised Standard Version has three versions. The first one is the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition which contains the Old Testament books in the Latin Vulgate order. The second version is the New Revised Standard Version which contains both the Old and New Testaments, and the third version is the New Revised Standard Version Common Bible which includes Apocryphal books. Many consider the New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition for its readability and accuracy. It has been the leading choice for scholars for most of the 20th century.
The Douay-Rheims Bible was the Standard English translation until the 1960s. Its powerful voice still convicts readers.
What Bible translation do Protestant denominations use?
Protestant denominations use Bible translations such as the New International Version, the King James Version, the New Revised Standard Version, the Living Bible, and the New American Bible.
The King James Version is an English translation of the Christian Bible published in 1611. It is also known as King James Bible or Authorized Version. Many Christian fundamentalists and a few new Christian religious movements still favor the King James Version. It is also regarded widely as one of the significant literary achievements of early modern England. It was generally accepted from the mid-17th to the early 20th century as the standard English Bible.
The New International Version is an original Bible translation developed by several scholars working from the best available Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic texts. It is a dynamic translation. The translators’ main concern was communicating the meaning so that it could be easily read in English, even if it caused it to depart from the original wording. It is currently the most popular modern English version. Biblica claims that it delivers the best combination of readability and accuracy.
The New Revised Standard Version was published in 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches. Among non-evangelical Bible scholars, this was the most popular version. The translation team included several who were not committed to the biblical text’s authority. This made evangelicals stay away from this translation. The fact that it was also gender-inclusive discouraged evangelical Christians from adopting it. Many also consider it not to be as natural-sounding and free-flowing as it could be.
The Living Bible’s purpose is to accurately describe what the Scriptures’ writers meant. It expands the necessary areas for a clear and better understanding by the modern reader. It is a paraphrase of both the Old and New Testaments. It is rather free renderings of the original texts that show how the authors understood. The Living Bible is the works of individuals; therefore, there is room for personal bias and errors.
The New American Bible was first published in 1970 as an English translation of the Bible. It stays as close as possible to the literal reading of the original text.
How do I choose a Bible translation to use?
There are several guidelines you can use to choose a Bible translation to use. First, you can choose a Bible translation using the New International Reader’s Version if you are a struggling reader. It restates the subject of a particular sentence rather than using a pronoun. The shorter sentences are also a massive aid to reading the scriptures. You can also use a dynamic translation or a reader’s edition and a centrist to read huge chunks of scripture. Dynamic and centric translations provide a smoother path for reading big chunks of text simultaneously. The New Living Translation and the New International Version are the best fit for this case.
Another guideline is choosing more literal translations for close textual analysis. It is also an excellent option to trust recommendations. If someone recommends it to you and tells you that this is what most people are using, it is advisable to try it and see if it is fit for you the way it is fit for them.
It would be best if you also avoided translations that promote a particular viewpoint. New World Translation should not be used since it is biased. It mistranslates several passages to promote its non-biblical doctrines. Avoiding one-person paraphrases or translations is another guideline. One-person translations most likely reveal the individual bias of the translator. These types of translations are also prone to errors. It would be best if you also had several translations that you could choose from. For instance, you should have a word-for-word translation, such as the New American Standard Bible. There should also be thought-for-thought translations such as New English Translation. This will expand your spectrum of what to choose from.
Differences between popular Bible versions
Bible translations of Roman Catholics
New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition
How to choose Bible translation
How should a person choose a Bible translation?
They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, right? Being raised by Christians significantly impacted my life since I started professing Christ from a young age. My passion for the Christian faith made me pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology. I am a believer and pastor dedicated to spreading the word of God. I have been in the Christian ministry for over a decade and am currently ministering in Life Christian Church. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Please check the About Us Page for more details.