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Bible, curiosity, and the NIV Faithlife Study Bible

When looking at a Study bible we always should remember that the notes never are part of the bible, but they can be an asset to help us think about certain matters or to give some extra insight.

When going for a Study Bible people do hope to find it being filled with insights and helpful information that can steer a new or more seasoned believer alike into a deeper understanding of God’s Word. We expect it to offer us enough historical insight complete with maps, beautiful and colourful illustrations, various historical timelines, diagrams and family tree and genealogies of key characters in each book that gives the reader an in-depth look of the text which more than satisfies and keeps the curious mind engaged.

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To remember

If we could only transmit some degree of curiosity about God and His Word to nonbelievers then we would have a seed planted in their hearts, and they would try to find a way to water that seed of curiosity. And of course, curiosity about the Bible can only be placated by studying the Word of God.

NIV Faithlife Study Bible (Zondervan, 2017) called to become one of the most appreciated and valuable study Bible in the following decades = multiple reasons for that

  1. offers thorough notes + commentaries in every chapter.
    abundant, illuminating and constructive notes always helpful to understand passages that are not always clear to us.
  2. full with tables, charts, and images = help to better understand what is being said in a given passage
    Figures + other graphic resources in full colour extremely helpful for personal study

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Preceding: The NIV Faithlife Study Bible Is Now Available

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Ayuda Ministerial/Resources for Ministry

niv-fsb-blogger-bannerThe first character that comes to my mind, when I put the terms Bible and curiosity together, is the Ethiopian eunuch. In Acts 8:34 we read: “The eunuch asked Philip, “Tell me, please, who is the prophet talking about, himself or someone else?” (NIV). The preceding verses tell us the eunuch was reading the Book of Isaiah the Prophet and that he went to Jerusalem to worship. We can infer this man had a high level of curiosity about God and His Word, and the result was that the eunuch was saved and baptized that day on his way home.

Salvation is by grace, period. However, there are plenty of passages in the Bible that make it clear God rewards those who seek Him (e.g. Heb 11:6). Then, we can conclude that the element that must be always present, in anyone trying to meet  and know God, is curiosity. If…

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Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #8 Selective Bibles and selective people

Some Christian bibles which followed the new knowledge of Hebrew words and used more the Jewish way of saying were condemned or considered ‘from the devil’ by several Christian groups.

The 2000 edition of the New Oxford Annotated Bible, with the NRSV text

New English Bible cover.jpgEven more aggressive than the New English Bible (NEB, 1961-1970), undertaken by the major Protestant churches of the British Isles, for which scholars translated from the best Hebrew and Greek texts, aiming to present the full meaning of the original in clear and natural modern English, the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) of the Christian Bible (1989) for their translating Isaiah 7:14 as “young woman” was burned in fundamentalist pulpits and the RSV committee was accused of being in league with the devil. Despite all the uproar, in the first year, the RSV sold 2 million copies. Until the appearance of the NRSV, it enjoyed wide use on college campuses, especially in study editions such as the Oxford Annotated Bible (OAB) with contributors from mainline Protestant, Roman Catholic, Jewish, and non-religious interpretative traditions.

The continuing committee of the RSV and NRSV has been working and publishing for half a century: the New Testament (1946), the Old Testament (1952), the books of the Apocrypha (1957), a second edition of the New Testament (1957), an Oxford Annotated Bible with a Catholic imprimatur (1966), an ecumenical [for Protestants, Catholics, and Eastern Orthodox] expanded edition with the Apocrypha (1977), a 40% condensed version of the bible: Reader’s Digest Bible (a project, led by John E. Walsh, which took seven editors three years to complete), which abridged the Old Testament to one-half of its original length (1982), and the NRSV (1989).

The Open Bible edition of the New American Standard Bible in the Church of Saint Mary, an Episcopal Church in Sagada, Mountain Province, the Philippines.

In those version one can find  more radical than the slight alterations in the most literally translated New American Standard Bible (NASB 1971 last updated in 1995) which sought to render grammar and terminology in contemporary English or the New King James Bible (NKJV 1982), which are both revisions of the KJV.
Richard Whitaker provided a concordance for the RSV in 1980. The NAS Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible was published in August 1997.

Mostly conservative (Republicans & Tea party) Americans where against the better translations than those of the 17th century. They also resisted to accept that Biblical characters had Jewish names and lots of English people have difficulties to see those names restored. Bibles with names like Moshe for Moses and Jeshua (the real name of the Messiah) instead of the more popular English name Jesus (Issou = Hail Zeus) or where the noun was translated in a subject instead of what they were used to see as a name, like Satan for an adversary or sheol/hades/hell for grave and not a place of doom.

Around the turn of the 20th century to the 21st century many were keen not to have to spent too much time at bible reading and wanted only to see those pieces in it they like or which are good for the pastor to concentrate his sermons on.

As such we can call the turn of the century the time of the “Selection Bibles”, books which were called bible but only presented a selection of the bible and in most cases even only selections from the New testament.

Readers Digest Illustrated Bible

Not a small handy Bible, but more a coffee table Bible the Readers Digest Illustrated Bible could get some people interested to not only look at the nice pictures but to go and read the ‘illustrative’ text. Originally printed in 1990 it got many reprints and its popularity caused other editors also to present some illustrated and thematic condensed Bibles.

In shortening the text some went very far and some even tried to bring the language of their condensed bile translation in what they called a modern language,even presenting a bible in American slang and in the language of rappers. That Rapper’s Bible was one of the many short-lived versions which seemed to try to see the day light.

Today’s English Version

The Today’s English Version (also known as the Good News Bible) is a contemporary translation which according to the publishers seeks to state clearly and accurately the meaning of the original text in words and forms that are widely accepted by people who use English as a means of communication. It is is designed to be easy to read for those who are not familiar with the Bible. This translation does not follow the traditional vocabulary and style found in the historic English Bible versions. Instead it attempts to present the biblical content and message in standard, everyday, natural English and takes a lot of liberties in the way of translation the original texts. The aim of this Bible is to give today’s readers maximum understanding of the content of the original texts, which they try to do by telling what they think the text is wanting to say.

Good News Bible book cover.png

The international cover of the Good News Bible, used since 2004.

Some of the end of century translations said to have chosen to bring a dynamic equivalence, bringing the Hebrew and Greek  in a translation “thought for thought” rather than “word for word”.  But their paraphrasing went sometimes even further than the Good News Bible (GNB), which first had the Messianic writings presented under the title Good News for Modern Man in 1966. That version became anglicised into British English by the British and Foreign Bible Society with the use of metric measurements for the Commonwealth market, and got also known as Today’s English Version (TEV).

Like the GNB several editors tried to bring an English bible for non-native English speakers. The GNB was born out of the translation theories of linguist Eugene Nida, the Executive Secretary of the American Bible Society’s Translations Department. For some dialect versions and the Rapper’s bible we have no idea who created such translations.

Jargon-free English was used for the Contemporary English Version (also known as Bible for Today’s Family) in 1995, originally published by the American Bible Society and for the anglicised version by the British and Foreign Bible Society.

On of the books bringing a selection of the New testament was the “Youth Bible” which was also translated in many other languages and found its way in our regions as the “Jongeren Bijbel” with fluent contemporary Netherlands Dutch. It had a clear Pentecostal touch with its design and purpose to bring youngster to Jesus. With smashing yellow markings phases or words were enlightened to give an idea what the bible wanted to say. Though several notes, from Pentecostal view point, mislead people and wanting them to believe Jesus is God and that it was Jesus who had done and said certain things in the past, which God had done.

Looking at the way our society was going the  intention of that Youth Bible was not bad. The teenage years can be difficult and even in this day and age of more communication and better follow up in schools, the growing up youngsters encounter many difficult things they do not dare to talk or cannot talk about with their parents.  Lonely as most teens struggle to fit in and take on new responsibilities, media and peers both constantly bombard youth with the message that they are never good enough and will never measure up. No wonder most teens end up hopeless and lonely! Teens can use as much encouragement and love as we can give them! For that reason such a selection of bible verses was a real good thing. The given Bible verses for teens were a good selection to offer words of comfort and hope to our youth.  But the publishers better had called the book a selection of the New Testament.

On this line of thinking several other Youth bibles got published. As such we can find the New Century Youth Bible, first published in 1993, which has consistently been among the top three selling Bibles in the UK. The the New Century Youth Bible is based on the New Century Version which has its roots extending to the English Version for the Deaf (EVD) Bible translation (by the World Bible Translation Center, a subsidiary of Bible League International), and is a revision of the International Children’s Bible (1986) which was aimed at young readers and those with low reading skills/limited vocabulary in English. It is written at a 3rd grade level (from the introduction) and is both conservative and evangelical in tone.

The base for the New Century Youth Bible, the NCV had a translation team of 50 Bible scholars and translators which included people with translation experience on such acclaimed versions as the New International Version, the New American Standard Bible, and the New King James Version [(1982) The anglicized edition originally known as the Revised Authorized Version (RAV) New Testament 1979, Psalms in 1980, Old Testament and full Bible in 1982], claiming that the best available Hebrew and Greek texts were used, principally the third edition of the United Bible Societies’ Greek text and the latest edition of the Biblia Hebraica, along with the Septuagint.

The original New Century Version got first the New Testament published in 1978 followed by the Old Testament in 1986, released as the New Century Version in 1987. The NCV has been available as a stand-alone version since 1991.

This revised edition claims to bring the Youth Bible right up-to-date for the twenty-first century. Whilst retaining the original Anglicized text, this revised edition has over 25 of its Life Files replaced or updated. There are also new categories on subjects such as music, euthanasia and the environment. Also in the collage edition are new categories subjects included such as stress, music, image, euthanasia and the environment. What is very good about it is that this time there is also an  updated dictionary and topical concordance; Book-openers – practical introductions to help focus the  youngsters their reading; and a free limited edition CD featuring some new music.

Probably we may count the “Soul Survivor” Bible of “NIV Soul Survivor Youth Bible” in line with the “Youth Bible” but than with texts from the originally published in the 1970s, having received updates in 1984 and 2011 English translation of the Protestant Bible edited by Biblica [formerly the International Bible Society (IBS)]

Easy to Read Version

The English Version for the Deaf on which Ervin Bishop and deaf-language specialist Benton Dibrell worked closely together, was also the base for Ervin Bishop’s Holy Bible: Easy-to-Read Version (ERV). It uses the Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia (1984) as its Old Testament text with some readings from the Dead Sea Scrolls. Also, it follows the Septuagint when its readings are considered more accurate. Those who worked on the EVD/ERV followed conservatively the approach to translation that Nida calls ‘dynamic equivalence,’ referred to by Beekman as ‘idiomatic’ translation” and using a gender-neutral languagehttps://www.accordancebible.com/files/images/156499-custom.pngHaving Billy Graham Evangelistic Association behind the Everyday New Testament (Minneapolis: World Wide Publications, 1988) could have made it more popular. In 1988 Sweet/Worthy Publishing was acquired by Word Publishing, which in 1991 published another revision. This 1991 revision was more extensive, and it was designed to make the version more suitable for an older readership, with longer sentences and more fluent style. In 1992 Word Publishing was acquired by Thomas Nelson Publishers, which continued to print the 1991 revision under the name, New Century Version.

An other good bible translation in the language youngsters easily can understand (lower grades), which also was translated into a 12 year old children’s understanding Dutch is the Living bible or the Life Application Bible (1986/88) presented in Dutch as “Het Leven, Praktische lessen uit Het boek” (2001 Ed; Jongbloed-Heerenveen) as a a Study Bible published by Tyndale House Publishers. It has been available in a number of editions that use various Bible translations, and in Belgium was presented in English and Dutch with the paraphrased version “The Book” (“het Boek”) as basic bible text. The contemporary, easy-to-understand Bible is available in the fastest growing Bible translation, the New Living Translation, impacting the hearts and lives of people worldwide through the authoritative yet easy-to-read Bible translation that brings the Good News alive to readers of all ages. Designed for someone who is new to the Bible or for an unbeliever, The Book features a topical helpfinder, book introductions, and indexes that help people understand God’s Word.

We noticed that that version could bring many to understand the Bible better and to get interested to get to know the ‘real text’ which made them continuous bible students. fro such this could be a version we could recommend for young people, next to the Watchtower Youth bible, which offers a selection of bible texts in an easily told way.

Front CoverWanting to help developing healthy habits is one of the keys to successful living. Experts say that if we do something for 21 days straight, we can turn it into a habit for a lifetime. With that in mind the Life Application Bibles were created. One of the best habits anyone can develop is reading the Bible every day. “The Book: 21 Day Habit” is designed to help you get started. Set aside just a few minutes each day – before bedtime, on your lunch break, or whenever your day allows to read “The Book: 21 Day Habit,” When you finish the 21 days of reading, move right into “The Book” and keep on going.

Front CoverIn the continuing line of “The Life” an expanded book version of the Living Water for Those Who Thirst audio devotional was created. We best call it a topical devotional containing 150 refreshing encounters with God’s Word. Passages are introduced with a lead-in reflection, and each segment concludes with a short devotional that brings it all together. References for numerous related passages are also included for those who wish to expand their devotional time or study the topic further. It features 150 topics! Flexible–short devotions with references for deeper study.

We do like to remind all that for those life application books the language is not at all correctly accurate. The NLT is based upon Kenneth N. Taylor’s corrupted Living Bible (1971), which sold over 40 million copies in North America alone. Somehow the Bible searches for compromises but still has a very evangelical background, avoiding words which can make it clear that Jesus is a human being. As such for example is left out that we are saved by the blood of Christ and is translated “Salvation through Jesus Christ” (Page A47), having the ‘blood of Jesus’ a taboo subject in those days. Though when people would read it carefully they also could find “So we have these three witnesses.” instead what is translated in the KJB – “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.” That could still bring the readers to think about the spoken characters which bring witness in unity of mind. Though many trinitarians where offended not finding three names bearing record in heaven.

In a time that more than 200 new English Bible translations were published just within 30 years, several of those publication tried to put the accent on Jesus as the God, omitting Old Testament texts or doing as if in certain Old Testament texts Jesus was saying or doing something when it was Jehovah God doing it, just to give their (false) proof that Jesus would be God.

The NRSV Bible with the Apocrypha

The NRSV Bible with the Apocrypha (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Many of those selective bibles directed to a special group of people. As such we could find a Housewife Bible (also translated in Dutch, presented in a handy pocket bible format: Huisvrouw Bijbel), a Workman’s Bible (with Dutch version Werkmans Bijbel) and even a Prisoner’s Bible (also in a pocket size edition in Dutch, presented as the “Gevangenis Bijbel, Gods Woord voor gevangenen”). The idea behind that last one was that God must have a special place in his heart for prisoners. according to the publishers this  is shown by the frequent mention of prison and prisoners in his word, imprisonment being one of the most wretched situations into which humans can fall in this world.

The Prisoner’s Bible wanted to buck up the many prisoners in this world. With the knowledge that prisoner movements and activities are restricted, not only are they deprived of family ties and forced to dwell in some of the most vicious company on earth, it wanted to show them there is hope. Also where they can feel they are left on their own in a slave-like relationship where others who care little for their well-being, order them about, and even abuse them, there exist Some One Who is with them all the time. The small book they can have in their cell or take with them can bring them comfort and shows how God, whose love and mercy cause him to commiserate with the downtrodden, sympathizes with the sufferings of prisoners, and how the Bible speaks often, and with compassion, of those in prison.

Though the majority of prisoners mentioned in the Bible were not rebels, but rather saints cast into prison as a result of their faithful witness, their feelings and thoughts could be of good help to our present prisoners, and the bible fragments looked well chosen for the subject and its readers.

https://i0.wp.com/isr-messianic.org/assets_c/2012/06/scriptures-leather-thumbs-1-thumb-850xauto-342.jpg

The Scriptures – Leather-binding with thumbs

But all such prints with only a selection of the 66 books of the given Word of God, we can hardly really call a Bible. But the multiple versions published including the 39 books of the Old Testament and the 27 of the New Testament, we can find is mostly caused by publishers seeing an opportunity to fill their till. Some used the popular names for it whilst others went back to the writings using the name they could find by the Gospel writers themselves. The names given to the Old Testament in the writings of the New are “the scriptures” (Matthew 21:42), “scripture” (2 Peter 1:20), “the holy scriptures” (Romans 1:2), “the law” (John 12:34), “the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms” (Luke 24:44), “the law and the prophets” (Matthew 5:17), “the old covenant” (2 Corinthians 3:14, R.V.).

Concerning “the scriptures” we can think of any religious texts but in our next chapter we look at the ‘revolt’ in bible publishing world from the 1990ies onwards.

 

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Find also

  1. Reader’s Digest Bible
  2. A Curiosity – the Readers Digest Bible
  3. The New Century Version (English Version for the Deaf, Easy-to-Read Version, International Children’s Bible, Everyday Bible)
  4. Website of the World Bible Translation Center: Bible League International
  5. World Bible Translation Center God’s Word or God’s Words? By Ervin Bishop, Senior Translation Consultant, World Bible Translation Center. Bishop’s article defends the “dynamic equivalence” approach by arguing that “the Bible is the Message of God expressed in the words of men.” (Also here.)
  6. New Living Translation
  7. The Book NLT
  8. The Scriptures (Online version)

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Preceding articles:

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #1 Pre King James Bible

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #2 King James Bible versions

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #3 Women and versions

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #4 Steps to the women’s bibles

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #5 Further steps to women’s bibles

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #6 Revisions of revisions

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #7 Jewish versions

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Additional reading

  1. Creator and Blogger God 8 A Blog of a Book 2 Holy One making Scriptures Holy
  2. Challenging claim 4 Inspired by God 3 Self-consistent Word of God
  3. Book of books and great masterpiece
  4. Absolute Basics to Reading the Bible
  5. Accuracy, Word-for-Word Translation Preferred by most Bible Readers
  6. Finding and Understanding Words and MeaningsArcheological Findings the name of God YHWHMeaning of the Dead Sea Scrolls for Judaism and ChristianityDead Sea scrolls at Drents Museum in Assen
  7. Looking at notes of Samuel Ward and previous Bible translation efforts in English
  8. Americans really thinking the Messiah Christ had an English name
  9. The NIV and the Name of God
  10. Wycliffe Associates supporting underground Bible translators
  11. HalleluYah Scriptures
  12. World’s tiniest bible to be presented at Israel Museum for 50th anniversary

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Recommended reading

  1. The Conflict Over Different Bible Versions/Part 1: Introduction + Is the King James Version the “only inspired Bible”? + What about the claim that the 1611 edition of the King James Bible alone is “the Word of God”? + What About the Ancient Manuscripts of the Bible?
  2. The Conflict Over Different Bible Versions/Part 2: False or Irrelevant Claims About the KJV [King James Version] and New Translations
  3. The Conflict Over Different Bible Versions/Part 3: Do Modern Versions Corrupt the Purity of God’s Word? #1 The Deity of Christ
  4. The Conflict Over Different Bible Versions/Part 4: Do Modern Versions Corrupt the Purity of God’s Word? + #2 The Deity of Christ
  5. The Conflict Over Different Bible Versions/Part 5: Were There Heretics and Occultists on the Translation Committees of the New Versions?
  6. The Conflict Over Different Bible Versions/Part 6 : Are Modern Versions Less Readable than the King James Version (KJV)? + Riplinger’s Errors on the NKJV

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Further reading
  1. The Modern English Version — First Thoughts
  2. In defense of smaller Bibles
  3. ESV Single Column Reference Bible
  4. Psalms of the Salter: Some Thoughts on Really Living for the Lord (Psalm 22)
  5. Plans and circumstances -September 5, 1982
  6. Christian Scholars Admit To Corrupting The Bible
  7. Muslim Scholars Admit To Corrupting The Qu’ran
  8. Lent: Let the Bible readings begin!
  9. Make the Right Choice
  10. protection
  11. It’s A Matter Of Life and Death!
  12. A New Bible Translation Classification System
  13. KJV – King James Version available in OneVerse Bible app
  14. NASB – The New American Standard Bible available in OneVerse Bible
  15. Which Bible Version can I Trust?
  16. Which Bible Should I Use?
  17. It Pleased The Father
  18. An answer to YouTuber WWUTT
  19. Differences in KJV editions
  20. Why I believe the King James Bible is God’s word preserved in the English language…
  21. Hungry? Don’t Read KJV!
  22. The NIV: the ‘holey’ bible
  23. Catholic Doctrine in New Versions
  24. The ESV “contrary to” Syntax
  25. New Age Deism
  26. Understanding Scripture
  27. Translation Principles
  28. An Argument about Bible Versions with Christians
  29. The Logic of Perfection
  30. Where’s “Clayton’s Bible”?
  31. The Action Bible
  32. The Received Text
  33. Questioning what God has said. 
  34. How I read the bible
  35. The Deutero-canonical Books of the Bible
  36. Which is the best English Bible?
  37. Is the KJV superior to the originals?
  38. New Version Errors
  39. ‘Edgy’ Bible Translations Often Overlooked
  40. A Succinct Critique of the Amplified Version of the Bible

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Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #5 Further steps to women’s bibles

In the Wild West women took care their children got a knowledge of the Word of God. In the growing states of the New World the oral tradition of the Word of God ensured the Gospel-readings spreading.

For millennia prior to the invention of writing, which is a very recent phenomenon in the history of humankind, oral tradition served as the sole means of communication available for forming and maintaining societies and their institutions. Moreover, numerous studies — conducted on six continents — have illustrated that oral tradition remains the dominant mode of communication in the 21st century, despite increasing rates of literacy. {Encyclopaedia Britannica}

The States got some very strong ladies, creating schools and congregations where women told in their own words what was written in the Holy Scriptures. In the early nineteenth century, at the European continent and in the colonies where the largest, most influential churches like Catholics and Church of England reigned, they like Presbyterians, and the Episcopalians (or Anglicanism and Episcopal Church in the United States of America) forbade women to preach. In the New World women proved their necessity for leading everything in good directions. Searching the bible and having met people from different denominations many came to conclusions which made them to form newer groups. In a small number of those denominations, particularly the Congregationalists, the restrictions on women’s religious speech became challenged. Professor of Religions in America and the History of Christianity in the Divinity School of the University of Chicago, Catherine Brekus whose works have included a history of female preaching in America, entitled Strangers and Pilgrims: Female Preaching in America, 1740 – 1845 (1998) and a history of early evangelicalism based on a woman’s diaries, entitled Sarah Osborn‘s World: The Rise of Evangelicalism in Early America (2013), writes.

“Anti-authoritarian, anti-intellectual, and often visionary, they deliberately set themselves apart from the ‘worldliness’ of established churches by insisting that God could choose anyone — even the poor, uneducated, enslaved, or female — to spread the gospel.”

She briefly traces the story of evangelicals — especially Free Will Baptists, Christian Connection, northern Methodists, African Methodists, and Millerites — who allowed women to preach.

Benjamin Randall (1749-1808) main organizer of the Freewill Baptists (Randall Line) in the Northeastern United States.

Inspired by the preaching of the lay exhorter Benjamin Randall in New Hampshire that Free Will Baptist Association was formed in 1782. By 1780 the various Baptist groups had formed around 450 churches, a number exceeded only by Congregationalists with about 750 and Presbyterians with some 490. With the disappearance of a Puritan orthodoxy at the beginning of the eighteenth century the Congregational churches, whose ideas were based on the priesthood of all believers, developed by Robert Browne and Henry Barrow, and were Calvinist in tone, had opened the way for women preaching and for people telling with their own words what was written in the Bible.

The gradual collapse of state religious establishments after ratification of the U.S. Constitution in 1789 served Baptist purposes, and by 1800 they had become for a while the largest denomination in the nation, with almost twice as many adherents as the second-ranked Congregationalists. Those Baptists supported the creation of colleges, seminaries, tract societies, and missionary agencies. Educated leaders provided the impetus for the creation in 1814 of a General Missionary Convention, soon called the Triennial Convention, to sponsor home and foreign missions. Before long, it had allied itself with other agencies to promote publication and education. Several groups considered themselves to be a continuation of the first church where followers of Christ, men and women tried to bring people to God and have them baptised by immersion, the only true form of Christian baptism. At the end of the 20th century it would be the pressure of the major trinitarian Baptist groups, like the 13.9 million Southern Baptist Convention which would make the non-trinitarian Baptists looking for other congregations, but still leaving 26,7 million U.S.A. Baptists.

Brekus notes how fearing the colonies’ established churches had “quenched the spirit” by requiring college education for ministers, evangelicals said

“God could communicate directly with people through dreams, visions, and voices,”

and appealed to Joel’s promise (quoted by Peter at Pentecost) to invest

“female preaching with transcendent significance. Whenever a woman stood in the pulpit, she was a visible reminder that Christ might soon return to earth.”

Yet influenced by the wider culture, they did not think the Bible sanctioned their equality with men in Church, home, or political life. Rather than seeking ordination and settled pastorates, they remained itinerate evangelists. So, these biblical feminists were caught between two worlds — too radical to be accepted by evangelicals, but too conservative to be accepted by women’s rights activists. {Christian Reflection; A Series in Faith and Ethics}

Waves of Irish Presbyterians flooded into the middle and southern colonies, which tolerated their religious beliefs, and flowed into the unoccupied western regions. Some were established congregations who brought their ministers with them; most immigrated as individuals or in small family groups and were followed by clergymen. But the Presbyterian Church in England, re-established in 1844, was reported to have only 76 places of worship in 1851 — one-fifth the number of quaker meeting-houses. {J. A. Cannon; The Oxford Companion to British History; 2002}
A Plan of Union with the Congregational associations of New England that existed from 1792 until 1837 was disrupted when the Old School Presbyterians, favoring separate denominational agencies for missionary and evangelistic work, prevailed. The Presbyterian Board of Foreign Missions was then established.

The P.C.U.S.A split in 1837 to become New School Presbyterians and Old School Presbyterians.

The P.C.U.S.A split in 1837 to become New School Presbyterians and Old School Presbyterians.

Placing great importance upon education and lifelong learning the Presbyterians and their missionary schools also prepared others to think about the Word of God and to spread it around.

Several men and women brought their notes to the bible words and also did not mind when preaching to quote freely from the bible. In this way the Americans got used to an easy fluent language to tell about God His sayings and wonders.

Gradually, the evangelicals’ educational systems, church organizations, and worship styles became more like those of churches that had been established and wealthy in the colonial era but many Bible students, followers of Dr. John Thomas and of Charles Taze Russell continued to spread the Word of God in their own words and in Bible fragments translated to American English in tracts and magazines.

The Christadelphians offered people the Wilson’s polyglot translation for free. When Benjamin Wilson died in 1900, his heirs inherited the plates and copyright. When they were approached by Charles Taze Russell, then president of the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society, he via a third party obtained the copyright, and at some later point, the plates. The Society published the Diaglott in 1902, and later had the type reset for publication on its own presses in 1927, with an additional printing in 1942.

Much discussion went on between the other Bible-student parties involved in the first edition and still using the version in their churches or ecclesia. Unto the exclusiveness to reprint the polyglot for public release the Christadelphians and Wilson his church had to keep reproduction only for their own members.
In 2003 the MiamiChurch of the Blessed Hope with support from Christadelphians in the United Kingdom and the United States published their own edition, with a new preface, and where pleased the Emphatic Diaglott at last came home again.

Christadelphians, Watchtower Biblestudents and others looked at the return of Christ, a terrible war where nations would get against many other nations, but also were aware that Jerusalem would be restored after some time.

Cyrus Ingerson Scofield (1843–1921) American theologian, minister, and writer whose best-selling annotated Bible popularized futurism and dispensationalism among fundamentalist Christians.

From English and Puritan descent the American orphan Cyrus Ingerson Scofield (1843–1921) converted to evangelical Christianity through the testimony of a lawyer acquaintance. He came under the mentorship of James H. Brookes, pastor of Walnut Street Presbyterian Church, St. Louis, a prominent dispensationalist premillennialist. He also attempted with limited success to take charge of Dwight L. Moody‘s Northfield Bible Training School, and served as superintendent of the American Home Missionary Society of Texas and Louisiana; and in 1890, he helped found Lake Charles College (1890–1903) in Lake Charles, Louisiana and in 1914 founded the Philadelphia School of the Bible in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (now Cairn University)

Scofield’s premillennialism seemed prophetic.

“At the popular level, especially, many people came to regard the dispensationalist scheme as completely vindicated.”

Scofield Reference Bible, page 1115. This page includes Scofield’s note on John 1:17, which some have interpreted to mean that Scofield believed in two means of salvation.

The first bible translation, since the Geneva Bible (1560), to bring a commentary on the biblical text alongside the Bible instead of in a separate volume, also attempted to date events of the Bible in its second edition (1917) eight years after its first edition. This Scofield Reference Bible, published by Oxford University Press in 1909 contained the entire text of the traditional, Protestant King James Version, and became a widely circulated study Bible edited and annotated by this American Bible student Cyrus I. Scofield, whose notes teach futurism and dispensationalism, a theology that was systematized in the early nineteenth century by the Anglo-Irish clergyman John Nelson Darby, one of the influential figures among the original Plymouth Brethren (Christian brethren, or Darbyites) and the founder of the Exclusive Brethren, (who like Scofield had also been trained as a lawyer).

John Nelson Darby (1800–1882) Anglo-Irish Bible teacher, one of the influential figures among the original Plymouth Brethren and the founder of the Exclusive Brethren.

In 1867 ex curate in the Church of Ireland parish of Delgany, County Wicklow, Darby had presented a translation of the New Testament which he revised for the editions in 1872 and 1884.  He declined however to contribute to the compilation of the Revised Version of the King James Bible. After his death, some of his students produced an Old Testament translation based on Darby’s French and German translations in which we may see Darby’s dependence on W. H. Westcott’s Congo vernacular Bible, Victor Danielson’s Faroese work and the Romanian Bible published by G.B.V. and Dillenburg, Germany (GBV)

It was after 25 years serious research that in 1881 the British bishop, biblical scholar and theologian, and Bishop of Durham, Brooke Foss Westcott (1825–1901) with Irish-born theologian and editor Fenton John Anthony Hort (1828–1892) had presented their “New Testament in the Original Greek” on the believe that the combination of Codex Bezae with the Old Latin and the Old Syriac represents the original form of the New Testament text. Brooke Foss Westcott and Fenton John Anthony Hort their Greek translation was used as the base fro many later translations.

The Revised Version of the New Testament translators, 1881.

They also were asked to become translation committee members for the Revised Version which in the United States was adapted and revised as the “Revised Version, Standard American Edition” (better known as the American Standard Version) in 1901.

Those translations using the advanced knowledge of the newly found ancient manuscripts and better insight in the old language, received until today opposition from fervent “King James Only” people. Up to today those King James only people say that is the only worthy and true Bible, also forgetting that other people who speak an other language than would be deprived of God’s Word in the Bible. Those KJV-only people complaining that the or a new translation did not base their text on the 1611 KJV forget that it should not be based on that text but on the most original bible manuscripts we can find. The last straw is that many who swear by only the KJV itself do not use themselves the original version and worse even do not know what print edition they use and that this has many differences against the 1611 edition.

Problem with those KJV-only believers is that they want to have their church doctrines still confirmed in the new translations though those versions using the Name of God where it was placed, makes it clear about whom is spoken and about who speaks, so that no confusing is being made between God and Jesus and shows clearly that it are two different characters. Therefore, it mostly are ardent trinitarians who do not want to accept versions which come closer to the original ancient writings, because this way people believing in the Trinity may come to see that it is a human doctrine and not a Biblical doctrine, and as such they may come to see that the non-trinitarian churches are much more following God’s Word than their church want them to believe.

Lots of KJV-only people also do not want to have the real translation or a synonym for a word they use wrongly, like sheol or the hell which just means the grave or sepulchre, but when a bible translation like the NIV translates it with the “grave” they consider an attack on the KJV word of “hell” they understanding it to be a place of eternal doom and torture.

The KJV-only people believe that this English translation of the Authorised King James Version should never be changed, but do not see or forget that they themselves use also a changed version and not the original 1611 first version.

A staunch Seventh-day Adventist missionary, theology professor and college president was even more stepped on his toes when the Bible Students of the Zion’s Watchtower dared to bring out a modern English translation based on that Westcott-Hort translation and on the Greek texts of Nestle, Bover, Merk and others.

Not only women and children had asked for a less archaic Bible translation.

On December 2, 1947 a “New World Bible Translation Committee” was formed, composed of Jehovah’s Witnesses who professed to be anointed.

The New World Translation of the Christian Greek Scriptures was released at a convention of Jehovah’s Witnesses at Yankee Stadium, New York, on August 2, 1950. The translation of the Old Testament, which Jehovah’s Witnesses refer to as the Hebrew Scriptures, was released in five volumes in 1953, 1955, 1957, 1958, and 1960. The complete New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures was released as a single volume in 1961, and has since undergone minor revisions and standing strong between the 55 new English translations of the Christian Greek Scriptures which were published between 1952 and 1990.

They also reproduced The Greek transliterations for the Christian Greek Scripture portion of the Bible from the Westcott and Hort text in The Kingdom Interlinear Translation of the Greek Scriptures (1969).

While critical of some of its translation choices, , associate professor of religious studies at Northern Arizona University, in Flagstaff, Arizona, U.S.A., Jason BeDuhn called the New World Translation a “remarkably good” translation, “better by far” and “consistently better” than some of the others considered. Overall, concluded BeDuhn, the New World Translation

“is one of the most accurate English translations of the New Testament currently available”

and

“the most accurate of the translations compared.”

in his 2003 book, Truth in Translation: Accuracy and Bias in English Translations of the New Testament, which has generated considerable controversy for highlighting cases of theological bias in the translation process, by which, he argues, contemporary Christian views are anachronistically introduced into the Bible versions upon which most modern English-speaking Christians rely.

BeDuhn noted, too, that many translators were subject to pressure

“to paraphrase or expand on what the Bible does say in the direction of what modern readers want and need it to say.”

On the other hand, the New World Translation is different, observed BeDuhn, because of

“the greater accuracy of the NW as a literal, conservative translation of the original expressions of the New Testament writers.”

The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures by 2004 had been made available in 32 languages plus 2 Braille editions and two years later already in 57 languages.

The 1984 revised edition of the New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures richly enhanced accurate Bible knowledge by means of several distinctive features such as the marginal (cross) references, an extensive footnote apparatus, a concordance (Bible Words Indexed) and an appendix. Modern computerization has assisted greatly in preparing these features.

In the New World Translation an effort was made to capture the authority, power, dynamism and directness of the original Hebrew and Greek Scriptures and to convey these characteristics in modern English. They also made an end to the used of  now-sanctimonious formal pronouns thou, thy, thine, thee and ye, with their corresponding verb inflections.

Many trinitarians were not pleased with that translation which tried to give as literal a translation as possible where the modern-English idiom allows and where a literal rendition does not, by any awkwardness, hide the thought, but which also placed in the Hebrew text everywhere the tetragrammaton יהוה (YHWH) was notated, printed God’s Holy Name Jehovah. As such God His Name was again visible, like in the ancient manuscripts,  6,973 times in the Hebrew Scriptures and 237 times in the Christian Greek Scriptures. Though it may be called a pity that they also did not take the effort to put Jesus name right, not going for the Issou or “Hail Zeus“, but printing his real original name Jeshua.

With this word-for-word statement of the original in the hand the real followers of Christ could show those who call themselves Christian, but do follow the human doctrine of the Trinity, where they went wrong in their thinking and could show them that Jesus is the way to God and not God himself.

But in this clear up-to-date contemporary version many churches saw a danger for their followers who could be brought to other thinking than their denomination’s doctrines.

In the previous decades several paraphrased bible book translations had seen the light and many bible students also had used free translations in their pamphlets. This time taking liberties with the texts for the mere sake of brevity, and substituting some modern parallel when a literal rendering of the original makes good sense, had been avoided. Uniformity of rendering has been maintained by assigning one meaning to each major word and by holding to that meaning as far as the context permits. At times this has imposed a restriction upon word choice, but it aids in cross-reference work and in comparing related texts.

In rendering the sense and feel of the action and state of Hebrew verbs into English, it is not always possible to preserve the brevity due to a lack of corresponding colour in English verb forms. Hence, auxiliary words that lengthen the expression are at times required to bring out the vividness, mental imagery and dramatic action of the verbs, as well as the point of view and the concept of time expressed by the Bible writers. In general the same is true of the Greek verbs. Thus, imperfect verbs have been kept in the imperfect state denoting progressive action. Participles have been rendered as participles involving continuous action.

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Preceding articles:

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #1 Pre King James Bible

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #2 King James Bible versions

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #3 Women and versions

Old and newer King James Versions and other translations #4 Steps to the women’s bibles

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Additional reading

  1. Codex Sinaiticus available for perusal on the Web
  2. Bible Translating and Concordance Making
  3. Looking at notes of Samuel Ward and previous Bible translation efforts in English
  4. Written and translated by different men over thousands of years
  5. Rare original King James Bible discovered
  6. King James Bible Coming into being
  7. Celebrating the Bible in English
  8. TheBible4Life KJV Jubileum
  9. What English Bible do you use?
  10. The Most Reliable English Bible
  11. 2001 Translation an American English Bible
  12. NWT and what other scholars have to say to its critics
  13. New American Bible Revised Edition
  14. The NIV and the Name of God
  15. Archeological Findings the name of God YHWHUse of /Gebruik van Jehovah or/of Yahweh in Bible Translations/Bijbel vertalingen
  16. Dedication and Preaching Effort 400 years after the first King James Version
  17. Hebrew, Aramaic and Bibletranslation
  18. Some Restored Name Versions
  19. Anchor Yale Bible
  20. iPod & Android Bibles
  21. Missed opportunity for North Korea
  22. What are Brothers in Christ
  23. Wanting to know more about basic teachings of Christadelphianism
  24. Around C.T.Russell
  25. A visible organisation on earth
  26. Grave, tomb, sepulchre – graf, begraafplaats, rustplaats, sepulcrum
  27. Jesus three days in hell
  28. Dead and after
  29. Sheol or the grave
  30. This month’s survey question: Heaven and Hell
  31. Interpreting the Scriptures (Part 5)
  32. Leaving the Old World to find better pastures (1)
  33. Leaving the Old World to find better pastures (2)
  34. Approachers of ideas around gods, philosophers and theologians
  35. To remove the whitewash of the Jehovah Witnesses as being the only true Bible Students and Bible Researchers
  36. Archaeology and the Bible researcher 2/4

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Further reading

  1. The Bible
  2. Where was the Bible before 1611? How can we know God endorsed the KJV?
  3. Earliest Known Draft of 1611 King James Bible Is Found
  4. KJV Onlyism: What It Does And Doesn’t Mean
  5. What’s wrong with the New King James?
  6. Is it true no doctrines are changed in modern versions?
  7. The King James AV 1611 Bible vs. The New International Version
  8. King James version (1)
  9. King James Version 2
  10. I got saved reading the NIV. How can you say it’s no good?
  11. Christian Scholars Admit To Corrupting The Bible
  12. Why should God’s Word be restricted to English?
  13. Some Notes on Bible Translations
  14. Which Bible Translation?
  15. Is Christianity a paradox?
  16. Migration in a context of colonisation
  17. The sorrow and burden of it all
  18. A Belgian refugee in Maidenhead finds work
  19. When the boys come home…
  20. Do not be dissuaded by so paltry a matter as a change of time
  21. “I often wonder why I joined up”
  22. Dedicating the Powner Hall
  23. A dinner treat for the Congregational men
  24. Church Hill
  25. That We May All Be One: World Communion Sunday, 2015
  26. History, Empathy, and Race in America
  27. Empathy, racial reconciliation, and the study of history
  28. “The End of White Christian America”
  29. The calling we have in culture
  30. A. W. Tozer and the Historic Trinity
  31. Tozer’s Critique of Evangelical Christians
  32. Corporate Evangelicalism – Where did it come from?
  33. Defining Evangelicalism
  34. Decline and Fall
  35. Fundamentalism Will Kill You
  36. Progressive Evangelicals: Who We Are And What We Believe
  37. How Evangelicals are Losing an Entire Generation – by Amy Gannett
  38. On celebrating diversity within the church
  39. Evangelicalism is no longer growing–why?
  40. The Scofield Bible—The Book That Made Zionists of America’s Evangelical Christians
  41. Becoming a Liberal Christian Part I: High Church and Militant Evangelicalism
  42. Reformed Baptists and the Purity of the Church
  43. The Westminster Factor
  44. Of Polls, Presbyterians, and Seventh-Day Adventists
  45. Understanding the Presbyterian Model (Reformed the web)
  46. Understanding the Presbyterian Model (Chanty notes)
  47. “Episcopals Now Second Class Christians”: Anglicans Demote Episcopalians As Global Christianity Gets More Polarized
  48. Am I a Presbyterian?
  49. Daniel’s 70-Week Vision Series #18 – Part 94 of Riddles, Enigmas & Esoteric Imagery of Revelation
  50. At the resurrection who is left behind?
  51. A Thousand Years
  52. News brings great joy
  53. Confirmation
  54. Bible Wars
  55. How Trustworthy Are Bible Translations?
  56. How I Know The King James Bible is the Word of God
  57. King James Only–Refuted part 2
  58. King James Only–Refuted (part 3)
  59. Ways in which Fundamentalists are discriminated against
  60. Between Christians
  61. Repentance From Dead Works: 3 – Don’t Forget Good Works Are Dead Works
  62. Communion – the most terrifying sacrament in the IFB church
  63. Spirit of our times.
  64. King James XX
  65. I believe the King James Bible is the final authority in all matters of faith and practice.  
  66. Is Modern Really Better?
  67. How some preachers trick you when defining Greek words!
  68. What’s wrong with the New King James?
  69. Is it true no doctrines are changed in modern versions?
  70. I got saved reading the NIV. How can you say it’s no good?
  71. Why should God’s Word be restricted to English?
  72. Transilvania în 1865, prin ochii lui Edward Millard – blogul unui duh întarâtat

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