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Author Topic: What's wrong, right, OK with THIS Bible?  (Read 861 times) Average Rating: 0
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GabrieltheCelt
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« on: May 14, 2012, 09:32:47 PM »



When I was attending RCC Catechumen classes long ago, this was the Bible I was introduced to.  

Many of you are way more educated than me, so I was interested in what all y'alls thoughts on it are.  

I also own this Bible as well, so I would like your thoughts on this one too.

Worry not, my fellow EO's; I also own the OSB.  It's just that, for some reason (OCD?  Smiley), I'm on this quest for the "perfect" Bible and I'm afraid it's a wild goose chase.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2012, 09:33:04 PM by GabrieltheCelt » Logged

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« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2012, 09:42:48 PM »

http://www.av1611.org/kjv/gnb.html

Here's a comparision between the KJV and GNB. I should warn you, I'm pretty sure that site is KJV-Onlyists so it's going to be biased. Some of the verses from the GNB do raise some eyebrows though. IIRC I think it failed the Isaiah 7:14 litmus test.

I'm on this quest for the "perfect" Bible and I'm afraid it's a wild goose chase.
NOAB RSV:
http://www.amazon.com/Annotated-Apocrypha-Standard-Expanded-Hardcover/dp/0195283481/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1337046610&sr=8-1

And a very awesome modern english one with all of the Apocrypha:
http://www.amazon.com/English-Standard-Version-Bible-Apocrypha/dp/0195289102/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1337046622&sr=1-1

The former link is my Bible of choice. I'm not really interested in the Masoretic/Septuagint debate either. I'm trying to remember which OT book has the extended Septuagint version (which is inconveniently placed in the Apoc) but I don't have the Bible with me right now.

The EOB editors/contributors are coming out with an Orthodox OT this year, or so it's planned, so look out for that.

EDIT: I can't wait to see the Ethiopian Orthodox reply to this thread though.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2012, 09:47:48 PM by Achronos » Logged

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« Reply #2 on: May 15, 2012, 10:15:30 AM »

I am not well educated or real smart but I cannot think of anything that may be bad about this Bible. I primarily use the OSB (good & necessary for Orthodox but not exceptional) and the KJV but will use an RCC NAB sometimes also; the NAB is ok but not exceptional. My guess is that this Bible is similar to the NAB.
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« Reply #3 on: May 15, 2012, 10:42:12 AM »

The quest for the perfect Bible is a lofty goal, but one that will be hard to achieve.  What defines perfect?  I think this is the crux.

I personally love the sound and flow of the Vulgate, so for a long time that was my primary Bible.  There is one major flaw to the Vulgate for me, though, I really don't speak/read Latin all that well...

About a year ago my ex found it quite laughable that I was Christian and didn't have a Bible in English, and since she was pretty much an atheist/agnostic/deist she gave me her grandfathers old Bible that he used at the Presbyterian church.  This one may not be perfect but when I started reading the Bible again at the behest of my Priest, this is the one that got me through all four Gospels.  And there is some sentimental value to this Bible.

Now I have my father's Orthodox Study Bible.  For all it's detractors, I really have no problem with it.  Even some of the commentary is good (or at least was written by someone more knowledgeable than me).

It seems to me, and never ever take me as an expert opinion, that the best method for reading the Bible is to read it, and then read the writings of the Fathers on the subject.  I just finished the Gospel of John last night so when I get a chance to drop by the parents I am going to get the Commentary by Theophylact and go a bit deeper in it.

So, hopefully you can get something useful from my Bible ramblings!

God be with you.
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« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2012, 10:51:09 AM »

I think any Bible is fine to read.  Pretty much all of them are going to have some issues.  Just be aware of them. 

Not long ago, I was looking for the perfect Bible too.  I found an old RSV that someone has scribbled all kinds of notes in and half the pages are falling out.  I think it was my moms, and it doesnt have the apocrypha in it, but when I need that, I use my OSB.  I sometimes use a 1611 KJV, but the traditional English is sometimes hard for my brain to follow. 

Im sure youll be ok with that one.
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« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2012, 11:00:38 AM »

I think what you have represented between the GNT and the NRSV are two polar ends of biblical literacy.

If I am not mistaken, the GNT intends to appeal to persons whose biblical literacy isn't quite up to par.  It tends to be quite paraphrastic, conveying preinterpreted concepts with modern English.  I think the idea was to get people to say, "Oh, so that's what Jesus meant when he said...."  But, did He really mean that specific interpretation only?  Not often.  However, as I think this is sort of a "third-world" or ESL (English as second language) Bible, it does its job in getting people to at least pick up a Bible and read it.  I've only see one biblical scholar recommend it as a choice text for serious study.

The NRSV, being the base text of the NOAB, is the choice text for serious biblical study.  Some contend that it is the most accurate translation we have available, which is why I think most serious biblical scholars prefer it.  The biggest criticism I have ever seen in terms of this Bible is in relation to its gender inclusive language.  Most people outside academia consider this one factor to be an unfortunate yet considerable blemish when choosing a faithful translation.  However, I have seen some Orthodox blogs which praise the accuracy of the NRSV translation even in light of the gender inclusive language.

The NOAB is great for in-depth scholarly study, but I've rarely found anything in there that I couldn't live without knowing.  I personally have so little time to spend reading the actual text of the Bible that I really am not concerned with any of the major "criticisms" of the text (historical, form, source, etc.).  

As far as the "perfect" Bible, I think such a search will end in vain.  Such a desire, I think, is due to our highly consumerist, perfectionist society, where we have so many options to choose from, each with varying degrees of "bells and whistles."  Going back to the GNT - if I lived in the third world and someone gave that Bible to me, I would treasure it like the pearl of great price!  Ungrateful consumers that we Westerners are, we're afraid to be satisfied with what we have.  I speak largely for myself, though.
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« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2012, 11:47:05 AM »

My problem with Bibles such as Good News, The Message, Amplified, etc. is that they're not literal translations. They convey the meaning rather than the actual text (this is also called "dynamic" translation). While that may sound appealing to some, by conveying the "meaning", your editors are essentially interpreting the Bible for you, rather than allowing you to look at what the text is actually saying from the original. This might not be as much of an issue from Roman Catholic sources, but it certainly becomes a problem when evangelicals are interpreting the Scriptures for you. Personally, I don't want anyone doing this for me. I'd rather take on the text as literally as possible, and then read from the Fathers to better understand what is actually being said, then have someone try to spoon-feed me.

I prefer translations like the KJV, NKJV, The RSV (particularly that Oxford Annotated you linked to) and other, similarly literal translations. Of course, these aren't without problems, either. Languages are never in a 1:1 ratio with each other, and some meaning is always going to be obscured or lost. We also have to remember that even the Greek Scriptures we have aren't the originals, and they disagree with each other. There's no "perfect" Bible, not even in the ancient Greek writings.

Usually, my recommendation is to get a few different translations (preferably of the more literal variety) and compare, and then look at what the Fathers have to say (but even they, too, will sometimes disagree!).
« Last Edit: May 15, 2012, 11:48:25 AM by Benjamin the Red » Logged

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« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2012, 11:59:11 AM »

Quote
My problem with Bibles such as Good News, The Message, Amplified, etc. is that they're not literal translations.

good point.  I didnt realize the GNT was a paraphrase.  i wouldnt recommend that for your go-to Bible. 
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« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2012, 12:15:55 PM »

Wow, we used that in my Lutheran Schooling. I haven't seen a good news bible in some time.

PP
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« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2012, 12:24:51 PM »

Quote
My problem with Bibles such as Good News, The Message, Amplified, etc. is that they're not literal translations.

good point.  I didnt realize the GNT was a paraphrase.  i wouldnt recommend that for your go-to Bible.  


Yep. It's not the worst one out there (actually, I think both of the other two I listed are considerably worse), but it is a paraphrase. The ABS has tried to defend against that accusation by re-naming it from the "Good News Bible" to the "Good News Translation", but it still follows the dynamic "thought-for-thought" philosophy of translation.

Even the NIV (which is a heavily Protestant translation) is a bit of a paraphrase. Though they tried to strike a balance between word-for-word and thought-for-thought translation...it's essentially a hybrid between the two, but again, it has a heavy Protestant bent. The NLT would also fall in this category as a "dynamic" translation.
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« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2012, 12:26:56 PM »

Quote
Yep. It's not the worst one out there (actually, I think both of the other two I listed are considerably worse), but it is a paraphrase
My vote is The Message. I remember a few of us on here one night got some good laughs out of it.

PP
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« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2012, 01:02:08 PM »

Thanks for all the responses.  I see that there probably is no 'perfect' Bible out there.
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« Reply #12 on: May 15, 2012, 01:10:17 PM »

Quote
Yep. It's not the worst one out there (actually, I think both of the other two I listed are considerably worse), but it is a paraphrase
My vote is The Message. I remember a few of us on here one night got some good laughs out of it.

PP

My wife had the Message when we were married.  Whenever she brought it up, I would tease her about it being in ebonics; "Alright'chall, lemme drop some knowledge on this here Syn-O-Gogue!  See, there was this cat named Saul, an he was one mean cracker, but yo!... wouldn't be fo long till..."  LOL... You get the point. 
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« Reply #13 on: May 15, 2012, 01:23:28 PM »

Thanks for all the responses.  I see that there probably is no 'perfect' Bible out there.

Best Bible I've used (by far)...



I suppose, begrudgingly, that I can admit that it's not absolutely, totally and in all other ways perfect. Yet.
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« Reply #14 on: May 15, 2012, 01:41:25 PM »

One of my favorites:
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« Reply #15 on: May 15, 2012, 05:37:47 PM »

What is wrong with the standard leatherbound Orthodox Study Bible? I purchased one recently and I have no complaints with it. It sure beats all those lousy Protestant bibles I previously read that had more commentary from people like John Piper than actual scripture.
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« Reply #16 on: May 15, 2012, 05:56:41 PM »

The former link is my Bible of choice. I'm not really interested in the Masoretic/Septuagint debate either. I'm trying to remember which OT book has the extended Septuagint version (which is inconveniently placed in the Apoc) but I don't have the Bible with me right now.
Esther and Daniel both have sections in the Septuagint that aren't found in the Masoretic text. These are typically found as "additions" in protestant Bibles that include the Deuterocanon. Interestingly enough, the Masoretic text of Esther is the only book of the Bible that doesn't directly reference God. That's really not pertinent to this conversation, but it does come in handy if you ever find yourself in a Bible trivia contest at church camp.
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« Reply #17 on: May 15, 2012, 06:11:08 PM »

The former link is my Bible of choice. I'm not really interested in the Masoretic/Septuagint debate either. I'm trying to remember which OT book has the extended Septuagint version (which is inconveniently placed in the Apoc) but I don't have the Bible with me right now.
Esther and Daniel both have sections in the Septuagint that aren't found in the Masoretic text. These are typically found as "additions" in protestant Bibles that include the Deuterocanon. Interestingly enough, the Masoretic text of Esther is the only book of the Bible that doesn't directly reference God. That's really not pertinent to this conversation, but it does come in handy if you ever find yourself in a Bible trivia contest at church camp.
Esther is the book that Achronos references as having the extended LXX version in the NOAB's Apocrypha section.

The most interesting Bible I own is the Revised English Bible, which used the AV as its base text but then adopted an NIV-style translation philosophy. (The OT renderings are good as far as I am concerned, but NT has a few strange readings.) The REB has the so-called Anglican Apocrypha, and can be found online really cheap. I bought my copy for $0.01 off Amazon.
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« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2012, 07:52:16 PM »

Compare John 2:4
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« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2012, 08:39:38 PM »

You'll want this version

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« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2012, 09:00:09 PM »

Quote
Yep. It's not the worst one out there (actually, I think both of the other two I listed are considerably worse), but it is a paraphrase
My vote is The Message. I remember a few of us on here one night got some good laughs out of it.

PP

My wife had the Message when we were married.  Whenever she brought it up, I would tease her about it being in ebonics; "Alright'chall, lemme drop some knowledge on this here Syn-O-Gogue!  See, there was this cat named Saul, an he was one mean cracker, but yo!... wouldn't be fo long till..."  LOL... You get the point. 

hahah, i remember the night when we were lll mocking it. For those of you that havent had the pleasure, here you do.

http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Genesis+1&version=MSG
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Genesis 1

The Message (MSG)
Genesis 1
Heaven and Earth
 1-2First this: God created the Heavens and Earth—all you see, all you don't see. Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness. God's Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss.

 3-5 God spoke: "Light!"
      And light appeared.
   God saw that light was good
      and separated light from dark.
   God named the light Day,
      he named the dark Night.
   It was evening, it was morning—
   Day One.
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« Reply #21 on: May 15, 2012, 09:56:23 PM »

The Message (MSG)
Genesis 1
Heaven and Earth
 1-2First this: God created the Heavens and Earth—all you see, all you don't see. Earth was a soup of nothingness, a bottomless emptiness, an inky blackness. God's Spirit brooded like a bird above the watery abyss.

 3-5 God spoke: "Light!"
      And light appeared.
   God saw that light was good
      and separated light from dark.
   God named the light Day,
      he named the dark Night.
   It was evening, it was morning—
   Day One.

I read this aloud in the way that I imagine a snobby, hipster, spoken word poet type dude would read it. Brilliant!
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