Tuesday, April 10, 2007
A Short Rant on versions of the Bible
I have always used The New Oxford Annotated Bible: New Revised Standard Version. I prefer this Bible over all others that I’ve read. While the King James Bible is beautifully written the translation is so dated and poor I find it only usefully except within it’s own historical context. While other Bibles like the New Standard Version International Bible that they supply in my meetinghouse just makes me mad and frustrated. There are no footnotes, no notes about how or why the translators translated a word or verse the way they did, no alternatives in Greek or Arabic, so I can see the translating choices that were made. Plus all of the sections in these Bibles have captions before each chapter, things like Jesus Heals a Leper, or On Marriage, or Jesus tells about the end-times captions like these annoy me because they distract me from my reading of the actual Bible. The captions also make me feel as if I’m reading Cliff-Notes version of the Bible, and I feel as if I am being told what exactly I should be getting out of each section of the Bible. As if the translators feel like they have to tell me the punch line to everyone of Jesus’ messages, and it also bothers me because some times what I think is the most important part of a Bible passage is not what is commonly thought to be the important part. I hate having how I should pray and what I should think about God dictated to me in any way, from a minister or other wise, and particularly don’t like it coming from the version of the Bible I read. In summery I like The New Oxford Annotated Bible because it allows me, as a scholar, to make my own decisions about how I will read the Bible and how I will fully and scholarly study each passage and their meanings.