Accuracy of Translation by Robert Martin

accuracy_of_translation-194x320Translating the Bible is a great undertaking. A translator not only has to understand the language being translated but also understand the language using the translation. Such difficulty arises when certain words cannot be translated or if a word or phrase has fallen out of usage thus making it difficult to translate.

Dr. Robert Martin understands some of these difficulties and has written a small book on Bible translation and why accuracy is so important. Using the NIV Study Bible (1984), he shows how translation goals could influence how a version is translated.

Does the translation seek to be a thought-for-thought translation or a word-for-word translation? This could be a problem for either option. For example, in America if a person “kicks the bucket” we understand this to mean that someone has died. Should a foreign person translating our books translate the words as “a person died” or use the term “kicked the bucket” and explain it elsewhere?

Dr. Martin gives examples of where he believes the NIV has failed in translation and should be reconsidered as a Bible. He gives cause to be alarmed as he sees some cultural influences in the NIV that may detract from the original intent of Scripture.

Martin uses this example on page 26 of his book. Mark 9:24 in the NIV reads, “…help me overcome my unbelief.” The words “me overcome” are interpretive and Martin argues should be placed in brackets indicating that these words are not in the original. This is just one example of issues Martin has with some of the translational choices of the NIV Translating team.

I found this book to be quite helpful in understanding Bible translation and how certain committees adopt a policy on how they will translate the Bible. It really opened my eyes that not all translations have the same goal and it would be wise to have several to at least compare.

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

The Battlefield of the Mind Bible by Joyce Meyer

eeeb3ba02c1f7a205b740f47233722abThe Battlefield of the Mind Bible by Joyce Meyer is a Bible that has collections of the teachings of Joyce Meyer and the associated Bible passages. The thoughts and teachings of Meyer are laid out to correspond with passage of Scripture being read.

I appreciate the use of the Amplified Version of the Bible. This particular version is not often used in churches today and I believe that can be a loss. While I do not agree with everything Joyce Meyer teaches I do recommend the Amplified version for study.

One area of disagreement is the prosperity teachings. I do not see anywhere in Scripture that promises Christians a life of prosperity. Yet this is taught by Meyer as a truth for all Christians. The Bible clearly states that Christians will be hated, abused, and even killed (John 15:18, Romans 8:35 NET). If this is prosperity, then my dictionary needs updating.

That said, the Bible itself is neatly presented and is bound well. I have the leather-soft edition and that particular edition feels good in my hands. The Bible is a little heavy for those looking for something to transport easily. However, the nature of the Bible it is a decent Bible to use for study minus some of the teachings that I disagree with by Joyce Meyer.

I received a complimentary copy of this Bible from the publisher and exchange from an honest review.

The Holy Bible: 1611 Edition by Hendrickson Publishers

9781565638082oPerhaps the greatest book ever produced is the King James Version of the Bible. In 1611 the Authorized Version, as it has been called, was put together by translators in England at the request of King James. Wanting a Bible for English speakers, a Bible translation was commissioned and was finally finished in 1611.

The history of this works is amazing. To see how God used men to carry forward His word so that the English speaker can know and have a relationship with God is awesome. For this reason, it is beneficial, in my mind, for the English speaker to understand the history  of their English Bible.

With this in mind, Hendrickson Publishers has put out a 1611 edition of the King James Version of the Bible. It is a preproduction of the 1611 edition of the Bible. The spelling has remained the same and the chapter headings and column headings are also the same (see a sample here). This may surprise a few English speakers to see that the Bible they have today that is called the King James Version is somewhat different from the Bible that was produced in 1611.

I found reading this Bible was reading history. Seeing the spelling, chapter headings, and columnar headings gave me an appreciation for the level of work that was done and a respect for the reverence the translation had for the Bible.

The font face is easy to read though it is not a large print so please keep that in mind. As I understand, the original size of the 1611 was large for today’s Bible reader. This reproduction has a smaller size Bible than what one would have seen in 1611. Also, the 1611 spelling may take a bit to understand but once the reader has a good grasp on the spelling, reading this Bible does not take much effort. This does have the apocryphal text which is taken out of most modern translations. I don’t have a problem with it because it was originally in the 1611 Bible.

There are no maps, no concordances, and no book introductions. It is simply the Bible that was put together in 1611.  However, there are some additional helps in the front that give the history of the 1611 Bible along with background information on it. Also there are the letters that were put together to King James from the translators, a letter to the reader from the translators, and there is also a reading plan for those reading the Bible throughout the year.

Overall, I really enjoy this particular Bible for its historical perspective. To understand what was behind the English production of a Bible should help Christians have a deeper appreciation for the Word of God.

*I received a complimentary copy of this Bible from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

KJV, Thinline Bible, Large Print, Imitation Leather, Black, Red Letter Edition

225_350_book-2220-coverI am a fan of the Thinline Bibles that several publishers have. They make for great devotional Bibles and are not heavy like study Bibles or some larger hardbacks. The absence of study notes might be missed but the ease of carrying a thinline makes it ideal for listening to a sermon or lecture and not become easily distracted by footnotes.

This particular Bible is a larger print coming in at 10pt font. Some Thinlines I have use 7.5pt font. While a larger font does create a larger Bible it does allow for easier reading and should reduce eye strain. As I read this Bible, the large print did make it easier to read but I did not feel that I was reading at a slower pace.

The lay-flat binding is a nice feature it one wanted to take notes or journal and not lose the location of where the reading is taking place. There are also two bookmarks for marking two different locations while reading. This is helpful when doing a devotional reading as one bookmark is often not enough for conducting parallel readings.

The leather binding has a nice feel to it and feels strongly attached. This is not an imitation leather that can be found on certain gift Bibles. Rather, this leather is soft but not grainy. In addition there is a lifetime guarantee on this Bible (details here).

Thus, this Bible would make an ideal purchase for someone wanting to read while using a devotional book or listening to a sermon.

*I received a complimentary copy of the Bible from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.

NIV Faithlife Study Bible

225_350_book-2235-coverThe Bible is a rich and powerful book. Those who study it find that the more they study the more they understand and the deeper they fall in love with the richness of Scripture. For this reason, the NIV faithlife Study Bible was produced. It gives overviews of books, timelines, word studies, notes on the passages, and they’re also articles written by current authors to help the reader of this Bible deepen their faith.

The Bible is designed around the idea that understanding the culture and history gives insight into why certain people may have reacted as they did. This is first done with book introductions giving themes and also some timelines for perspective. There are outlines highlighting key characters and times with brief commentary on each section.

Then, as the reader progress, there are study notes to aid in understanding the text. Some of these notes are word studies which draw out the meaning of word for clarity. Other notes may give insight into certain practices of the day. Still other notes remind the reader of the timeline of events.

As to this Bible itself, like most study Bibles it is heavy and would not be an ideal candidate for transportability. The font type make it easy to read and I had no eye-strain issues while reading. The text and notes are separated so as to not create confusion while reading. There is also a table of contents for the articles making it easier to find them for review. Overall this is an excellent study Bible for new and mature Christians alike.

*I received a complimentary copy of this Bible from the publisher in exchange for my honest review.