What is the best Bible?
Because of the myriad of English Bible translations, Christians have widely wondered which one is best. This question has become especially controversial because the publisher of the most popular translation in the world, the New International Version, decided to create a “gender-inclusive” text. Against much popular opinion, we defend the following in this study:
- Dynamic “thought-for-thought” translations (NIV, NLT) are superior to more literal “word-for-word” translations (NASB, ESV) because single words in one language often do not correlate to one word in another language.
- More “literal” Bible translations often fail in a critical part of accurate translation: producing good contemporary English.
- The criticisms of even great men like John Piper, John MacArthur, and J. I. Packer against dynamic Bible translations are either exaggerations, errors, and even slanderous.
- When Scripture is addressing all Christians, it is a good thing to translate the meaning as “brothers and sisters” instead of just “brothers.” Often the Greek allows for this, and not doing so actually obscures the original and intended meaning of the author.
- The updated NIV is the overall best translation, the NLT a very good one, and the ESV an unnecessary one.
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A: BEST– Most helpful, interesting and/or important chapters
B: ESSENTIAL– Important chapters to understand the topic
C: Specialized- Chapters for the more complex points of the topic