Archive for July 16th, 2007

This New Testament won’t fit in my shirt pocket

Monday, July 16th, 2007

I used to think my mom’s “Parallel Four Translation New Testament” was pretty extreme. It included the King James Version, New American Standard, New International Version, and Amplified, with all four versions laid out on facing pages. When Mom and Dad died, I ended up with Mom’s parallel bible, and I decided to read through the gospel of John. Well, I decided that I liked the concept, but it would be nice to have versions in modern English. The upshot is that I’ve purchased myself a copy of a parallel New Testament with … get this … not four but EIGHT versions.

The “Evangelical Parallel New Testament” is put out by Oxford University Press, and includes these translations:

  • New King James Version;
  • New International Version;
  • English Standard Version;
  • Holman Christian Standard Bible;
  • Today’s New International Version;
  • New Living Translation;
  • New Century Version; and
  • The Message.

An introduction, plus a couple of articles on translation approaches and source manuscripts, are very well written. The layout of the pages uses a continuum from the more literal, word-for-word “formal equivalence” translations on the left to the informal, thought-for-thought “dynamic equivalence” translations on the right.
John 3:16 in eight translations

My main study bible has been the New International Version (NIV) for more than 25 years, and I think this will be a good way to decide on which version to adopt next.

The problem is that reading through the New Testament will take eight times as long as it did before.

UPDATE: Someone emailed me with a question about where they could find more information about this NT. My answer was to click on the hyperlink in the post. Several of my posts have included hyperlinks, and they might not always be obvious, but I don’t want to always specify “click here”. Meanwhile, for this post only, for more info please click here.