Multiple Translations

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Herald

Administrator
Staff member
I'm curious as to how some churches handle the use of multiple English translations. I have been using the NASB for 27 years. Recently I have begun reading the ESV but still default to the NASB. Our pastor uses the NKJV for preaching and reading from the pulpit. The membership is all over the place. Some use the KJV, NKJV, NIV or the NASB. Few use the ESV. I read scripture during Sunday worship and have agreed to read from the NKJV, but I cannot (more like I will not) use the NKJV for teaching or preaching. Is this a common problem with other churches? I'm curious as to how this plays out in Presbyterian churches.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
I'm curious as to how some churches handle the use of multiple English translations. I have been using the NASB for 27 years. Recently I have begun reading the ESV but still default to the NASB. Our pastor uses the NKJV for preaching and reading from the pulpit. The membership is all over the place. Some use the KJV, NKJV, NIV or the NASB. Few use the ESV. I read scripture on during Sunday worship and have agreed to read from the NKJV, but I cannot (more like I will not) use the NKJV for teaching or preaching. Is this a common problem with other churches? I'm curious as to how this plays out in Presbyterian churches.

Why will you not use the NKJV for teaching or preaching Tyler? I mean Bill? :D
 

ADKing

Puritan Board Junior
In the interest of maintaining uniformity of practice and preventing every individual, pastor or session from independently making their own choices, many Presbyterian bodies, through their highest courts, state which versions are acceptable. For example, the presbyteries of the WPCUS and the Presbyterian Reformed Church both have pronounced the Authorised Version to be the pulpit and publications Bible. To my knowledge the Free Reormed Churches have required the AV and more recently their Synod has allowed for the NKJV as well. To my mind this decision process by the highest court accords well with presbyterian polity and maintaining a unity and uniformity which used to be such an important goal in presbyterianism that is sadly fading.
 

Ivan

Pastor
My church uses the NKJV. I came preaching from it and they were using it before I got there. They are pretty strong on the NKJV and the KJV. They wouldn't have a problem at all if I preached from the KJV.

I told them that I was reading through the Bible thrice this year and I told them that one of the translations I would use is the Geneva. Their ears pointed up on that annoucement! :pilgrim:
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
I thought my post was funny; is it me or does Bills new avatar look like Taylor Hicks from American idol?
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
In all honesty, and with much grave respect for those who are committed to a single translation (men like Rev. Winzer), I just don't see the overriding importance of strict uniformity in this area. The ONE message of the Bible is so clear, so potent and undeniable, that it is transmitted by any serious, Christian translation with hardly any distortion.

I think my view is substantially the same as Reformers like Calvin, who would see cavils against the divinity of the Word that was present in their hands (be it an old translation, a new one, a Greek or Hebrew, or anything), as nothing more than the impiety of deafenned fools, unable to hear the SHOUT of the Voice of the Lord.

We may even dispute between ourselves whether we heard one syllable or another there, but the message was unquestionably HIS. The question "what was said?" is vastly different when the disputants are both hearers of the Word. In churches where ministers are expected to be familiar with NOT merely an English text, but the original languages, and to teach the people accordingly, I just do not see translation variety as that big a deal.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Why will you not use the NKJV for teaching or preaching Tyler? I mean Bill? :D

Scott - I've been memorizing the NASB for 27 years! That is a lot of Lockman Foundation scriptures I have burned into my cranium. I also am quite satisfied with the accuracy of the NASB translation. Basically? A strong preference.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
I thought my post was funny; is it me or does Bills new avatar look like Taylor Hicks from American idol?

Scott - having never seen American Idol I can only take your word for it. Please tell me that the this Taylor isn't a weirdo.
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Bruce, the respect is mutual; but as I said in the other thread, it is inconsistent to maintain an unchainging subordinate standard, while allowing the supreme standard to be constantly altered. Ministers do not have the freedom to arrive at any old translation from the original, just as they may not say any old doctrine from the pulpit. A standard translation serves to restrain the imagination of ministers in the area of exegesis just as the confession ensures they teach what is orthodox.

No doubt salvation may be learned from the worst translation; that does not negate the responsibility of the church to provide the best translation. Salvation is possible in the Roman Catholic Church; but I do not condone people attending that apostate church, let alone recommend they go there.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Matthew - I certainly agree that one translation avoids confusion. I would be happy if we adopted the NASB in our church, but that is not about to happen. I know your affinity for the AV (having read the thread you started) and respect it. My preaching has not been negatively affected by the various translations that abound in our church. Knowing that the NKJV is used by many I will often point out the difference between the two texts as a way to avoid confusion.

Bruce - your inclusive view of English translations certainly seems equitable. "Give 'em what they want!" The fun part is when we have used responsive or congregational reading of the word during worship. I have NKJV in the right ear and the NIV in the left. Stereo from hell! :lol:
 

MW

Puritanboard Amanuensis
Bill, I'm a Presbyterian; we don't start threads, we split them. :)

Yes, I suppose the NASB and NKJV will do the job so far as the being of Christians is concerned. But what about their well-being? Are we satisfied if people merely learn the essentials? Surely our desire is that they be firmly established in what is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Bill, I'm a Presbyterian; we don't start threads, we split them. :)

Yes, I suppose the NASB and NKJV will do the job so far as the being of Christians is concerned. But what about their well-being? Are we satisfied if people merely learn the essentials? Surely our desire is that they be firmly established in what is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report.

Matthew - I've convinced the NASB is more than adequate to the task you just described. I'm sure the AV is just as effective.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
Well, to Bill and to Matthew I say that I'm still learning. I'm not unalterably convinced that my current stance is as "equitable" as it might sound to some, but it's where I'm at presently. I agree with Matthew that at some point, there needs to be a break-through consensus in Reformed thought on the underlying text of Scripture; enough of this pandering to the godless academe, this currying of favor: "I'll call you a scholar if you call me one."

And then (and not before) I suppose we will see the ascendancy of a new, practically universal translation. Yet, I don't think it will happen because it was established by rule, but because of its inherent superiority. Some might quibble on certain points, but I think the KJV's real strength is not due to its proponents of the left or right, but because of the greatness of its quality.

And yet, no thoughtful student thinks even that version is flawless. It will remain popular not primarily because of preachers, but because of simple love for it, until it is honestly supplanted by another of equal stature.

We honestly will make little forward movement in true learning if we simply follow the course into ignorance set by those inteligensia who have commandeered the helm, Mt. 15:14. I suppose I see the present situation as one over which I have little control. Therefore, I will accept my lot, work for small changes, and teach according to the truth. And trust the Lord to deal with matters beyond me.
 

MrMerlin777

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
When I'm studying in the Scriptures I often compare English translations to see how each is rendered. Sometimes I find that a passage will confuse me to death in one and will be more understandable in another.
 

Scott Bushey

Puritanboard Commissioner
Scott - having never seen American Idol I can only take your word for it. Please tell me that the this Taylor isn't a weirdo.

He seemed to be a great guy; no bad press. He won the American Idol last year. He is not weird. He uses the NKJV.

Jus kiddin about the NKJV........;)

Here's a photo of Taylor

10464625-10464633-slarge.jpg
 

3John2

Puritan Board Freshman
I agree with Merlin. I use the different translations to clarify certain verses. My main is the KJV due to being my maing study bible. I use many other's though. I REALLY like the Amplified & the Wuest strictly for INDEPENDENT verses to clarify because they don't work to read who paragraphs due to what they are. We don't have a "standard" or approved bible at our church. People bring what they are used to.
 

Calvibaptist

Dallas Cowboys' #1 Fan
Just to clear things up a little... I am Bill's pastor. I do not believe that the KJV and the NKJV are the only true translations or even that they are superior to the NASB and the ESV. I will leave the NIV out of this discussion for translation reasons. I have all of these translations on my shelf and use them often. I read through the Bible in a year in the NASB. I will sometimes do study in the ESV. I preach from the NKJV.

We have not, as a church, named an official version that we will use from the pulpit. However, we were started by a church that used the NKJV. My Bible I preach from is the NKJV. The Bibles we have in the chairs are NKJV. Therefore, when someone reads in the service, we want them to read from the NKJV. If someone takes the Bible out of the chair and tries to follow the person preaching, and they are not familiar with the Bible, they will be confused if that preacher or reader is using a different version. So, we either need to change the Bibles in the chairs or we all need to read from the ones that are in the chairs. It is not a question of what the reader or preacher feels comfortable with, it is a matter of being able to minister to those in the worship service.

I, personally, have no problem with changing to another version in the worship service. But, there has to be a better reason for changing something than "So-and-so likes another version better." There has to be a legitimate reason for changing anything just like there has to be a legitimate reason for keeping something. I think there is a legitimate reason for uniformity during the service. Classroom teaching or more casual teaching situations are different.
 

Pilgrim

Puritanboard Commissioner
Scott - I've been memorizing the NASB for 27 years! That is a lot of Lockman Foundation scriptures I have burned into my cranium. I also am quite satisfied with the accuracy of the NASB translation. Basically? A strong preference.

Do you still use the 1977 NASB, or did you switch to the 1995 update? They are substantially the same, but there are subtle differences at times. The most notable change was abandoning the use of thee and thy in reference to deity, which was mainly found in the Psalms.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Do you still use the 1977 NASB, or did you switch to the 1995 update? They are substantially the same, but there are subtle differences at times. The most notable change was abandoning the use of thee and thy in reference to deity, which was mainly found in the Psalms.

I still use the 1977 version.
 

Kevin

Puritan Board Doctor
In our church we have BOTH NIV & AV(KJV) pew bibles. I carry a NKJV and often have all three open at the same time.:2cents:
 
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