Best Available Translations of the TR in 2022

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aaronsk

Puritan Board Freshman
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NM_Presby

Puritan Board Freshman
I think the NKJV is undoubtedly the best modern translation. Most of the others don’t have the weight of scholarship behind them, or were done by a single man. The NKJV also remains pretty widely used, which is a big plus.

As far as comparison to the KJV, you could debate whether the KJV is a technically superior translation. I don’t know enough to firmly say whether that is the case, and I do enjoy the KJV as well. However, the reality is that many people in our increasingly poorly educated society will struggle with it, and the NKJV, while still requiring some biblical language acquisition, can ease some of the difficulty.
 
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J.L. Allen

Puritan Board Sophomore
I enjoy my Reformation Heritage Study Bible (KJV). I got one for super cheap a few years ago. One of the title pages was cut incorrectly. It didn't affect anything at all. It's just not "perfect."

Ok, I'm throwing this out there for anyone at RHB or elsewhere to see: bring back the FULL John Brown of Haddington KJV!
 

C4MERON

Puritan Board Freshman
I recently acquired the Reformation Heritage Study Bible and it is indeed superb.
My favourite KJV though is the flagship Longprimer from RL Allan.
As far as other TR translations go I have a copy of the ‘Modern English Version’ and its pretty good but I wonder if the NKJV might be better..?
 

retroGRAD3

Puritan Board Junior
I recently acquired the Reformation Heritage Study Bible and it is indeed superb.
My favourite KJV though is the flagship Longprimer from RL Allan.
As far as other TR translations go I have a copy of the ‘Modern English Version’ and its pretty good but I wonder if the NKJV might be better..?
I think so, but the MEV seems good too.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
The MEV, although a great project, seems to me to be a lost cause. The publishing house—Charisma House, I believe—is horrible at marketing. They seem to care nothing about promoting the MEV. There has been a second edition of the MEV completed and sent off to print, but the publisher simply refuses to answer questions regarding when and how. Nothing is ever communicated, and fans of the MEV are left perpetually in the dark, much to their frustration (see the Facebook group devoted to the MEV).

My prediction: Unless the MEV gets picked up by Thomas Nelson or some similar publisher, it Will be forgotten in a decade.
 

Northern Crofter

Puritan Board Freshman
What are your favorite TR translations and why? What issues do you see with modern TR versions and what benefits do you see with them over the KJV & Geneva? Is the NKJV the best modern translation in 2022 or are there others?

This thread was spawned from: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/one-more-textus-receptus-critique-question.109224/post-1315705
It is also a sister thread to: https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/what-is-your-favorite-non-KJV-tr-based-english-bible.109299/
The Geneva and the KJV/AV because they were both authorized for use in the Church by the civil magistrate of a Christian nation.

Ironically it was King James VI (Scotland) who authorized the printing and maintenance of the Geneva in every Scottish congregation before later deciding he didn't like its anti-"divine right" commentary and supported the creation of the AV. So the Geneva was really the first "AV"!

I only know of one "Christian" nation (constitutionally) so are there any other TR versions adopted by a Church? (I don't know of any such adoption in the US). I've never understood why, if Scripture is foundational to our faith, churches and denominations do not at least officially endorse a translation (I know a few state which is to be used in public worship which is close) - not to claim it's inspired but to commend it as a faithful translation to its members.
 

retroGRAD3

Puritan Board Junior
The MEV, although a great project, seems to me to be a lost cause. The publishing house—Charisma House, I believe—is horrible at marketing. They seem to care nothing about promoting the MEV. There has been a second edition of the MEV completed and sent off to print, but the publisher simply refuses to answer questions regarding when and how. Nothing is ever communicated, and fans of the MEV are left perpetually in the dark, much to their frustration (see the Facebook group devoted to the MEV).

My prediction: Unless the MEV gets picked up by Thomas Nelson or some similar publisher, it Will be forgotten in a decade.
Very good observations. I mentioned in another thread at some point that I had no idea this translation even existed until someone at the conference brought it up. Apparently, it's been out since 2014. Was not aware that a second version was in the works either.
 

Before

Puritan Board Freshman
1549 Tyndale facsimile. A challenge trodding through the olde Gothic print plus it was written in blood.
 

Physeter

Puritan Board Freshman
I bought a Thompson Chain KJV that is a facsimile print of the old printing. I don't really use any of the tools in it since they are not reformed tools. I don't find them helpful. Thompson was a Methodist. But the bible is very well made with a red leather calfskin cover and sewn binding. So I can use this bible each morning for my studies and not have it wear out.
 
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reformed28

Puritan Board Freshman
After many years of doing my own personal study on the textual arguments. I’ve come down on the Majority/TR side. I’ve been using the NKJV for the last 20 years, along with the KJV, and believe it’s the most accessible translation. As long as Thomas Nelson doesn’t mess with it by updating it, I think it’s gaining popularity.
Thomas Nelson has also upped the quality. For instance, I purchased the Maclaren VBV Bible. It’s smythe sown and good quality paper. They have many other different formatted Bibles that are great quality. They’re giving Crossway a run for it. I do reference the ESV and NASB, but stay with the NKJV/KJV as my main read and study Bible.
 

Taylor

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
After many years of doing my own personal study on the textual arguments. I’ve come down on the Majority/TR side. I’ve been using the NKJV for the last 20 years, along with the KJV, and believe it’s the most accessible translation. As long as Thomas Nelson doesn’t mess with it by updating it, I think it’s gaining popularity.
Thomas Nelson has also upped the quality. For instance, I purchased the Maclaren VBV Bible. It’s smythe sown and good quality paper. They have many other different formatted Bibles that are great quality. They’re giving Crossway a run for it. I do reference the ESV and NASB, but stay with the NKJV/KJV as my main read and study Bible.
The NKJV is indeed an excellent translation. It’s what my church uses, and I love it. Of course, there are some weird choices. The NKJV is remarkably “literal” and in many ways improves upon the KJV, yet sometimes the editors retained certain inconsistencies of the KJV. For example, in 2 Corinthians 1:3:7, the editors translate παρακαλέω and παράκλησις inconsistently—sometimes as “comfort,” other times as “consolation”—just like the KJV.

(Oddly enough, I’ve made comments like this before about other translations, and people quickly point out that it’s not a good practice to translate the same word the same way all the time. I very much understand this. Nevertheless, there is no conceivable reason why the same word used the same way in the same passage should be translated in multiple ways.)
 

reformed28

Puritan Board Freshman
The NKJV is indeed an excellent translation. It’s what my church uses, and I love it. Of course, there are some weird choices. The NKJV is remarkably “literal” and in many ways improves upon the KJV, yet sometimes the editors retained certain inconsistencies of the KJV. For example, in 2 Corinthians 1:3:7, the editors translate παρακαλέω and παράκλησις inconsistently—sometimes as “comfort,” other times as “consolation”—just like the KJV.

(Oddly enough, I’ve made comments like this before about other translations, and people quickly point out that it’s not a good practice to translate the same word the same way all the time. I very much understand this. Nevertheless, there is no conceivable reason why the same word used the same way in the same passage should be translated in multiple ways.)
As my pastor has said to me: “All major translations have thier strengths and weaknesses.” But praise the LORD, He preserved His Word!
 

JimmyH

Puritan Board Senior
For me the 'best' TR translation is the New Cambridge Paragraph Bible edited by David Norton. Published in 2005. Not a big hit with the public, but if what Norton claims for it is correct, certainly superior to any KJV revision that came before it. You can read about it in capsule below if you're interested.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Cambridge_Paragraph_Bible
I've used it alternately with a TBS 1769 Blayney revision until I came to prefer the single column paragraph style of the NCPB.
 

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
The Geneva and the KJV/AV because they were both authorized for use in the Church by the civil magistrate of a Christian nation.

James authorized the making of a new translation but, after the KJV was published in 1611, did James actually authorize it for public use? I've never heard or read that he actually did so at the other end of the translating process. Apparently, he'd "moved on" to other things by then. In other words, does "authorized" only refer to permission to make a new translation or does it refer to his blessing the final product?
 

Logan

Puritan Board Senior
James authorized the making of a new translation but, after the KJV was published in 1611, did James actually authorize it for public use? I've never heard or read that he actually did so at the other end of the translating process. Apparently, he'd "moved on" to other things by then. In other words, does "authorized" only refer to permission to make a new translation or does it refer to his blessing the final product?

That's interesting. According to the article on wikipedia (whose source I don't have access to),

"The Authorized Version was meant to replace the Bishops' Bible as the official version for readings in the Church of England. No record of its authorization exists; it was probably effected by an order of the Privy Council, but the records for the years 1600 to 1613 were destroyed by fire in January 1618/19, and it is commonly known as the Authorized Version in the United Kingdom. The King's Printer issued no further editions of the Bishops' Bible, so necessarily the Authorized Version replaced it as the standard lectern Bible in parish church use in England."

I don't think it makes a difference either way (James clearly commanded and thus authorized its translation), but it is an intriguing historical note.
 
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JimmyH

Puritan Board Senior
That's interesting. According to the article on wikipedia (whose source I don't have access to),

"The Authorized Version was meant to replace the Bishops' Bible as the official version for readings in the Church of England. No record of its authorization exists; it was probably effected by an order of the Privy Council, but the records for the years 1600 to 1613 were destroyed by fire in January 1618/19, and it is commonly known as the Authorized Version in the United Kingdom. The King's Printer issued no further editions of the Bishops' Bible, so necessarily the Authorized Version replaced it as the standard lectern Bible in parish church use in England."

I don't think it makes a difference either way (James clearly commanded and thus authorized its translation), but it is an intriguing historical note.
From David Norton (editor of the New Cambridge Paragraph BIble) 'A Textual History of the King James Bible.'
Authorized_1.jpeg






Authorized.jpeg
 

Jake

Puritan Board Senior
That's interesting. According to the article on wikipedia (whose source I don't have access to),

"The Authorized Version was meant to replace the Bishops' Bible as the official version for readings in the Church of England. No record of its authorization exists; it was probably effected by an order of the Privy Council, but the records for the years 1600 to 1613 were destroyed by fire in January 1618/19, and it is commonly known as the Authorized Version in the United Kingdom. The King's Printer issued no further editions of the Bishops' Bible, so necessarily the Authorized Version replaced it as the standard lectern Bible in parish church use in England."

I don't think it makes a difference either way (James clearly commanded and thus authorized its translation), but it is an intriguing historical note.
In case you missed this from the other thread, the Revised Version (1881) in its preface spends most of the time talking about its authorization. Pretty interesting. https://bibleversion.org/bible/vers...h-revised-version-new-testament-preface-1881/
 

Northern Crofter

Puritan Board Freshman
In Scotland, the Edinburgh ‘Bassandyne Bible’ of 1579 (the first Bible printed in Scotland) was a straight reprint of the first (1561) folio Geneva Bible and was ordered to be in each parish kirk by King James' Privy Council after a petition to that effect from the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland (see History of the Bassandyne Bible, the first printed in Scotland; with notices of the early printers of Edinburgh by William Dobson, 1887, Chapter 4). So I see it as the Church petitioning the civil magistrate to "take order, that unity and peace be preserved in the Church, that the truth of God be kept pure and entire" (WCF 23.3). My understanding of WCF Chapter 31 is that it allows the civil magistrate to call upon the Church to make a judgment on the text and translation of Scripture (31.2 - see also the end of 31.5), but precludes magistrates from making such a judgment themselves (31.3). I believe this is what occurred with the Geneva in Scotland and the KJV-AV in the United Kingdom, though I am not as familiar with the historical record surrounding the latter.
 

iainduguid

Puritan Board Junior
Andrew,
I'm curious about the practical outworking of your position globally. As I understand it, you see yourself as descended from Scots and therefore bound (?) by the covenants made by your forefathers (and mine), and the Bible(s) that they authorized. What about Americans of different descent (Finns, Swedes, Italians, Irish, etc.)? Are they similarly bound by the decisions of a magistrate who was never "theirs" (even in an ancestral sense)? What of those in other countries whose translations into their language were improper, by your standards? Should they abandon their national Bibles and learn KJV English? Translate the KJV into their language (I have heard people argue this)? Or do they still have the pure Word of God in their own tongue - even if the only translation is based on the CT? Does the doctrine of the lesser magistrate apply, so that the mayor of a city or the governor of a state could covenant with God and declare a different Bible "authorized"? Or does it have to be a king?
 

Northern Crofter

Puritan Board Freshman
Andrew,
I'm curious about the practical outworking of your position globally. As I understand it, you see yourself as descended from Scots and therefore bound (?) by the covenants made by your forefathers (and mine), and the Bible(s) that they authorized. What about Americans of different descent (Finns, Swedes, Italians, Irish, etc.)? Are they similarly bound by the decisions of a magistrate who was never "theirs" (even in an ancestral sense)? I would hold that, since the covenant was made between a nation and God, they are "bound" just as someone moving to Scotland from Spain in the 17th century would have been bound. I believe that historically Covenanters held that the SL&C is binding and continues to bind the USA, as the American plantations existed when the kingdoms of Great Britain bound themselves (including their foreign lands and their posterity) in the SL&C. The covenants were sworn and renewed numerous times in North America (for example, the RP in the colonies first formally renewed the covenants in 1743 at Middle Octorara in Pennsylvania: see text available at https://www.truecovenanter.com/covenants/octorara_covenant_renewal.html ), and the political separation from the British crown did not nullify these covenant obligations as lawful oaths in the Scripture continue to bind posterity even after death and cannot be annulled - as Rutherford put it (referring specifically to the Scots' National Covenant and the SL&C) "no power on earth can absolve, and liberate the people of God from the bonds and sacred ties of the oath of God." (A TESTIMONY to the COVENANTED WORK OF REFORMATION, (From 1638, to 1649,) IN BRITAIN & IRELAND, pp.20-521.) There are readily available many better (lengthier) explanations than mine by earlier Covenanters and in what became the RPCNA. What of those in other countries whose translations into their language were improper, by your standards? I don't believe I commented on other nations and their translations - but if the Church courts of any nation receive or authorize a particular translation or underlying text, it would be proper for that text to be used in worship and in controversies of religion. Should they abandon their national Bibles and learn KJV English? Only if that is what their Church courts decide is best for their flock. Translate the KJV into their language (I have heard people argue this)? I have never argued for the KJV, but I do know there are national Churches who do this if they do not have the resources to translate from the original languages. Again, if that is what their Church courts decide is best for their flock, I do not see what the issue would be. Returning the Rutherford, he puts forth a very high view of the Church in Due Right of Presbyteries and the powers and actions of presbyteries, synods, and general assemblies. I believe this has been largely lost, even in Reformed and Presbyterian circles. Or do they still have the pure Word of God in their own tongue - even if the only translation is based on the CT? Again, I am not a "TR guy" - if a Church court decides a CT translation is best for their flock, that is within their power to do so. Does the doctrine of the lesser magistrate apply, so that the mayor of a city or the governor of a state could covenant with God and declare a different Bible "authorized"? Or does it have to be a king? I would say "No" to both questions. First, because, as previously stated, my understanding of WCF Chapter 31 is that while the civil magistrate may and at times should call upon the Church to make a judgment on issues such as the text and translation of Scripture (31.2 - see also the end of 31.5), magistrates are barred from making such a judgment themselves (31.3). Second, I am not a monarchist - the civil magistrate does not have to be a king because I do not believe Scripture endorses any one form of government, though I believe the light of nature shows some forms are better than others. I appreciate and hope I have answered your questions - I apologize for the wordiness on my end.
 

NM_Presby

Puritan Board Freshman
After many years of doing my own personal study on the textual arguments. I’ve come down on the Majority/TR side. I’ve been using the NKJV for the last 20 years, along with the KJV, and believe it’s the most accessible translation. As long as Thomas Nelson doesn’t mess with it by updating it, I think it’s gaining popularity.
Thomas Nelson has also upped the quality. For instance, I purchased the Maclaren VBV Bible. It’s smythe sown and good quality paper. They have many other different formatted Bibles that are great quality. They’re giving Crossway a run for it. I do reference the ESV and NASB, but stay with the NKJV/KJV as my main read and study Bible.
I agree with you here. The NKJV is a great translation, and I think it would help the accessibility of the TR position if it was put forward more often as a good option.

Also, Thomas Nelson really is at the top of the game right now in terms of Bible publishers!
 
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