What Translation of the Bible Should You Use?

by Steve Ray on May 25, 2016

No translation is perfect. Translating ancient and foreign languages into English is not as easy as it would seem. There are ambiguities and linguistic hurtles. 

Picture a sliding scale from left to right. Every translation fits somewhere along that scale. At one end of the scale literal  translations and on the other extreme are dynamic translations. 

Literal translations relay the actual words used in the original language without being overly concerned with ease of reading or conveying the authors’ meaning. Emphasis: what did the original author say word-for-word verbatim. 

Dynamic translations try to relay the authors’ meaning without being overly literal—they express what the author means, not what he said. Emphasis: what does the author mean without concern for using their actual words.

Here is a good example. A man speaking English says, “I shot myself in the foot.” What did he mean? For those sho understand English “figures of speech” will know he was saying he made fool of himself or did something stupid. For a non-English speaker, they will look down at your foot and ask, “Is your foot OK?”

If you are translated the English into Russian literally you will render it “I shot myself in the foot.” But if you do, the Russian gets the completely wrong message They think we are talking about a medical condition. 

But if you want the Russian to understand the meaning of the author’s text you will not use the literal words but translate it to something like, “I did something stupid and made a fool of myself.” 

With our example, the first is literal and the second is dynamic. The first emphasizes what the author says, the second what the author means. All translations fit somewhere in between.

So what Translations should we use? For Catholics I recommend reading the Revised Standard Bible – Catholic Edition (RSV) for the literal and the New American Bible (NAB) for the dynamic translation. it is best to read several translations side-by-side to get a much broader spectrum of the biblical passage. 

The chart shows many translations, most of which are Protestant translations – but gives you the idea. The RSV is on the left end of the chart whereas the NAB is under the “thought-for-thought category. A  paraphrase is not really a translation but the far extreme of the dynamic where the translator puts things in his own words often with biases and personal opinions.

If you want the best-of-the-best check out the Verbum Catholic Bible Software that allows you to compare many translations side-by-side and to instantly access the original languages with English explanations. Nothing else like it.

Visit www.Verbum.com/steveray. Use Promo Code STEVERAY10  and get 10% off.

 

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Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz is perfectly aware that in our age of terrorism, some young people (or their parents) might be afraid of a World Youth Day [or pilgrimages to Poland].

To this, he replies, Be not afraid!

Krakow is a city that has a strong emotional impact: it is the Diocese of Saint John Paul II, the Pontiff who led the greatest number of World Youth Days.

Once the Polish Pope’s secretary
and now the archbishop of the city, Cardinal Dziwisz said, “Don’t be afraid to come to Poland, it is a tranquil country, the Security Service are efficient and the population is vigilant and welcoming. The desire is strong to go to Wojtyla’s city. The WYD will be a moment of joy, not only of amusement but of encounter in the faith of Jesus Christ together with Pope Francis.”  …

Before taking his leave, the Archbishop repeated: “Don’t be afraid! Bring people to Krakow, John Paul II’s city.”

Teresa Tomeo and I invite you to join us in Poland, not for World Youth Day but for a more tranquil trip — on our pilgrimage August 13-22, 2016. Registrations are increasing as the date gets closer but we still have seats left. 

Cardinal Dziwisz in his days as JP II secretary

We will follow the footprints of St. John Paul II, St. Maria Faustina and the Divine Mercy and St. Maximilian Kolbe all the way to his death cell in Auschwitz. Mass every day at amazing sites and history galore.

You can find out more on our website at www.FootprintsOfGod.com or by contacting Suzanne at sparran@ctscentral.net or (313) 744-2530 or toll-free 1-800-727-1999, ext.121.

For our other trips to Lourdes and Fatima, Guadalupe, Holy Land, Rome, St. Paul Cruise, Germany and more visit FootprintsOfGod.com.

 

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The American College of Pediatricians has released an in-depth report stating that the move to indoctrinate children with the idea that they can pick their gender amounts to child abuse.  They are urging legislators and educators to reject all policies that would condition children to accept chemical and surgical distortions allowing people to impersonate the opposite sex.

Some of the points made in their report include the following:

  • Human sexuality is an objective biological binary trait. “XY” and “XX” chromosomes are genetic markers, not a disorder.
  • No one is born with a gender.  Everyone is born with a biological sex.  Gender is a psychological concept, not an objective biological one.
  • A person thinking he or she is something they are not, at best, is a sign of confusion.
  • Puberty is not a disease and puberty-blocking hormones can be dangerous.
  • When an otherwise healthy biological boy believes he is a girl, or an otherwise healthy biological girl believes she is a boy, an objective psychological problem exists that lies in the mind not the body, and it should be treated as such.
  • People who identify as “feeling like the opposite sex” or “somewhere in between” do not comprise a third sex. They remain biological men or biological women.
  • 98 percent of gender confused boys and 88 percent of gender confused girls accept their biological sex after puberty without any counseling.
  • Those who use cross-sex hormones or undergo sex surgeries even in the most LGBTQ affirming countries still have suicide rates 20 times higher than the general public.
  • Conditioning children into a lifetime of chemical and surgical impersonation of the opposite sex amounts to child abuse.
  • Endorsing gender discordance as normal via public education and legal policies will confuse children and parents, leading more children to present to “gender clinics” where they will be given puberty-blocking drugs. This, in turn, virtually ensures that they will “choose” a lifetime of carcinogenic and otherwise toxic cross-sex hormones, and likely consider unnecessary surgical mutilation of their healthy body parts as young adults.
  • Cross-sex hormones are associated with dangerous health risks including but not limited to high blood pressure, blood clots, stroke and cancer.

Read the full report HERE.

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Questions I Answered on Catholic Answers Live – Practical Evangelism & Apologetics

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To listen on-line, click here. For podcast and other info, click here. 1. What should a good Catholic know? We have so much history and truth. What are the important things we should know to share with others? 2. We do we know about the Veronica’s Veil in the Stations of the Cross? My friend [...]

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Did Jesus Ever Run?

May 17, 2016

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May 16, 2016

It is painful to want a baby and a baby does not come. Years of longing and trying and praying and … Well, my daughter Charlotte has put her sorrow in the hands of God and now plans to adopt and rescue a baby who needs a loving home. Her sorrow has turned to joy, [...]

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Today is our 22nd Anniversary as Catholics!

May 15, 2016

Pentecost Sunday 1995 our family of six along with friend Rob Corzine entered the Catholic Church with tears and new friends. We lost all of our Evangelical friends within two weeks but it was a small price to pay.  I always say that when I was 17 years old Jesus introduced himself to me; when [...]

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May 12, 2016

The room was pretty full. It was warm but a gentle breeze was blowing—that would change. There was fear in the room. The Roman army was a thing to be feared, they had just crucified Jesus and it was a dangerous thing to associates of an executed criminal. They were also anxious about the promise. [...]

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Planets, Dr. Seuss and Snowflakes—Combined Proof That There is a CREATOR

May 11, 2016

This reflection is by Larry Peterson of the Catholic Writers Guild. It is reprinted from the guild’s blog April 5, 1016. Ten  years ago, NASA’s new, Horizon Spacecraft left our humble, little planet and began its voyage to to the edges of our solar system and beyond. After traveling 3 billion-plus miles, New Horizon finally passed Pluto, [...]

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Did Jesus Ascend into Heaven from Mount of Olives (Acts 1:12) or from Bethany (Luke 24:50)?

May 10, 2016

One of our past pilgrims wrote with an apparent contradiction in the Bible and what I had said in Israel. The wording in the two verses below is what caused the confusion. Acts 1:12  ”[After the Ascension] they returned to Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is near Jerusalem, a sabbath day’s journey away.” Luke [...]

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President of Israel meets with the Christian Leaders

May 9, 2016

President Rivlin: These are difficult times for our city. Terror and death have returned to our streets. The violent attacks all over the city cause growing fear, and with fear comes intolerance and hatred. (Communicated by the President’s Spokesperson) President Rivlin with Christian leaders in Jerusalem. Photo: GPO/Mark Neiman. President Reuven Rivlin this morning (Monday, [...]

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Death of Teresa Tomeo’s Sister

May 8, 2016

For those who know and love Teresa Tomeo. Pray for her. Her older sister died today. Pray for her sister too. 

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Marvelous Mother’s Day Sentiment; I Shared it with My Wife and My Mom

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Why a mother is closest to God!

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Verbum Software is the premier program for Catholic and Bible study. It is powerful beyond belief. Here are their Top Ten searches over the last year.  I have personally used the search well over a thousand times in the last year. This program is open on my computer, front and center, 24 hours a day [...]

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