In the Bible Interpretation class that I teach with Sarasota Bible College, the students are tasked with writing a series of essays. Most of them have to do with studies that they do on various genres of Bible passages, but some of them are on certain foundational topics. I’ve challenged the class to share their essays online as a way of getting them to think differently about how they communicate what they are learning.
In an earlier post, I shared some of their perspectives on non-canonical writings from both the Old and New Testaments and a perspective on the Dead Sea Scrolls.
In this assignment the essays are focused on doing an evaluation on various types of translations. They were asked to research how the translation was created and provide an assessment on where (if at all) it fit into the Bible interpreter’s toolkit. Here are the essays that they have allowed me to share…
Literal (word-for-word) translations
- Anita G. – New American Standard Bible (NASB)
- Justin G. – English Standard Version (ESV)
- Nancy K. – Literal Translations
- Tonya S. – King James (KJV)
Dynamic equivalent (thought-for-thought) translations
- Tonya S. – New International Version (NIV)
Free (paraphrase) translations
- Anita G. – The Living Bible
- Justin G. – The Message
Selecting a good translation is an important part of Bible interpretation. Every translation that exists is already filtered through somebody’s bias.The important thing to consider when selecting a translation to study with is to determine where the bias is minimized as much as possible, or where the translation is as true to the original text as possible.
In my opinion, many translations have value… even the paraphrases. But each should be used in balance with other strong translations to give you a better picture regarding what the original text is trying to communicate.
For more information on selecting a good translation, and the on topic of Bible interpretation, please check outby Fee and Stuart). You can buy it and other great Bible Study resources now from the !