A User's Guide to Bible Translations: Making the Most of Different Versions, By David Dewey

A User's Guide to Bible Translations

Making the Most of Different Versions

by David Dewey

A User's Guide to Bible Translations
  • Length: 239 pages
  • Published: January 27, 2005
  • Imprint: IVP
  • Item Code: 3273
  • ISBN: 9780830832736

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What Bible should you use?

KJV. NIV. NASB. NRSV. ESV. TNIV. The Message. NLT. It's never been easier to find a Bible in English.

Still, it's never been harder to decide what Bible to use. Formal or conversational? Traditional or inclusive language? Word-for-word, meaning-for-meaning or paraphrase?

A User's Guide to Bible Translations escorts you through the history of Bible versions in English from Wycliffe and Tyndale to the English Standard Version and Today's New International Version, with explanatory glances at the original Hebrew and Greek manuscripts and brief introductions to translation theories along the way. In straightforward language, David Dewey explains how we ended up with so many versions of the Bible, shedding light on the difference between word-for-word and meaning-for-meaning translations, the controversy over gender accuracy, and issues of theological bias.

Dewey also reminds us that it's not enough to ask, Which Bible is best? We need to ask, Best for what? For personal study? For reading aloud? For leading a Bible study for inquirers? For lending to an international student struggling with English? Filled with charts comparing versions and diagrams showing translation difficulties, A User's Guide to Bible Translations is just that--an easy-to-use handbook for digging through the mountain of translation options until you find the right Bible for the right purpose.

"What makes a Bible translation good? For anyone wondering which Bible version to use, this is the book for you. David Dewey provides a clear, accurate, fair and balanced discussion of English Bible versions available today and the translation theories which lie behind them. This book should be essential reading for anyone who reads and studies the Bible--whether pastor, scholar, student or layperson."

Mark Strauss, Professor of New Testament, Bethel Seminary, San Diego

"A User's Guide to Bible Translations provides information on the development of our English Bible, the various methods used for producing a translation, and factors for consideration in arriving at a proper choice of which translation to buy and use. It reads easily and answers many questions people might have on the subject."

William E. Paul, Bible Editions Versions, April-June 2008


List of Abbreviations

Part One: The Task of Translation
1. The Translator's Art
2. Word-for-Word or Meaning -for-Meaning?
3. A Question of Style
4. His and Hers: Gender Accuracy
5. Yet More Choices

Part Two: Translations in English
6. From Unauthorized to Authorized
7. Crossing the Centuries
8. A New Era Begins
9. Formative Years: The 1970s and 1980s
10. Old Faces in New Guises
11. Into a New Millennium
12. Reflections and Conclusions

Appendix 1: Being Original
Appendix 2: Other Twentieth- and Twenty-First Century Translations
Appendix 3: Internet Resources
Scripture Index


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David Dewey is minister of Sutcliff Baptist Church. He is the author of Faith and Common Sense and The Bible Unwrapped. He has served previously as features editor of the British newspaper, Baptist Times.