New Translations Are Useful Resource for Bible Students

By Constance A. Stricklin, Science Monitor. Constance A. Stricklin is a. longtime teacher and consultant on Biblical questions. | The Christian Science Monitor, November 13, 1991 | Go to article overview
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New Translations Are Useful Resource for Bible Students


Constance A. Stricklin, Science Monitor. Constance A. Stricklin is a. longtime teacher and consultant on Biblical questions., The Christian Science Monitor


A NUMBER of new English translations and revisions are available to the serious Bible student that shed new light on the meaning of the texts. The Revised Standard Version of 1952 has been updated in the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV). Neither is a new translation, but rather a revision of the King James Version (KJV). The New English Bible of 1970 has been updated as the Revised English Bible (REB).

The Jewish Publication Society version of the Hebrew Bible, first published in 1917, has also been newly revised, as has the American Standard Version of 1901 under the title the New American Standard Version. There is even a New King James Bible, also a revision of the older version. The American Bible Society, which undertook the translation of the Today's English Version - completed in 1979 and known as the "Good News Bible has recently underwritten a new rendering titled the Contemporary English Version.

The New International Version (NIV) is another important and scholarly new edition that satisfies those conservative Bible students who were unhappy with the earlier Revised Standard Version and New English Bible when they came out. The New Jerusalem Bible is a scholarly and reputable updated version approved for Roman Catholic readers, but useful to all.

Not everyone will be happy in all cases with these newer versions. For example, both the New Revised Standard and the Revised English have changed the meaning of Genesis 1:26-27 by substituting for the generic term "man" the equally correct "human beings" (REB) or "humankind" (NRSV). In defense of the new versions, it should be noted that the word used in the Hebrew text is "Adam," exactly the same in both Genesis 1:26-27 and Genesis 2:7.

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