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This is an anonymously posted opinion article.
The debate over which English translation of the Bible is better has raged for over a century. One Christian scholar of the 1980’s advertised his radio program with this phrase: “Today I will discuss and reveal the best version of the Bible.” So the question still remains, which English translation of the Bible is the best?
The King James Version has its poetic flow, and the New International Version its readability. The New American Standard Bible is often praised for the fact that it is, perhaps, the most literal of all the English translations. Still other translations are elevated for various reasons, and the new Christian, or the Christian who is searching for the best Bible, is left with many choices.
The problem of which English translation is the best has its direct roots in the debate over which Greek text should be followed. Those who support the Westcott-Hort text, and the Alexandrian family, quickly point out that their manuscripts predate those of the Textus Receptus and the Byzantine family. This brings into play the fact that d manuscript which is many copies removed from the original will normally contain more errors than one which is an immediate copy. Those who support the King James Version, quickly counter that the Textus Receptus was in circulation for a number of years, and therefore it was subject to more decay from handling, this needing more copying.
Debate among scholars continues to this day regarding which text is more accurate. Many scholars argue that we must come to a conclusion because there are differences in the text. However, many of those differences are minor and none of them influence any major doctrine that is not laid out plainly somewhere else in the scriptures. Even the differences themselves are usually minor, changing “our” to “your” as is the case in 2nd John 1:12. However this difference does not change any pillar of the Christian faith or doctrine. The message is still that joy would be made complete by John visiting them, whether it be their joy or His joy.
Many books have been written on the subject of what English translation is the best. Many books have been written on the different texts, such as the Majority text and the Westcott-Hort texts. Much time has been spent in debate among brothers and sisters in Christ regarding which Bible they should read. This debate has gone on for over one hundred years, and has caused much confusion and strife within the church. God clearly states that we are to be one body in Christ. Paul warns Timothy about men who have “unhealthy interest” (1 Timothy 6:4-5) in controversies over words that produce only strife.
That famous Christian scholar of the 1980’s, Woodrow Kroll, came on to his radio program and stated the following: “The best Bible is the one you read.” This is a very true statement. The best English translation of the Bible is the one that you read. Too much time has been spent arguing over which translation is better. It must remembered that even with this debate it has been reported for about 50 years that the Bible has been the largest seller of all books published in the history of the world. Although it is important to insure that no one adds to the Word of God, the differences between the English versions are minor and do not affect doctrine. So then, it must be reiterated that, as Dr. Woodrow Kroll said, the best English translation of the Bible is the one that you read, only by reading it will you ever understand it.