Saturday, January 16, 2016

Bible Translations

Every January I think about which Bible Translation I'm going to use this year.  I choose Darby's New Translation by default: it's been my go-to Bible translation since 1992. And to be honest, almost regardless of which translation I decide to use "this year", I generally end up using my Darby again by around August.

Over the last ten years I've tried a couple different translations, but I still haven't found something I like better than Darby's.  My first little Darby is ragged and the pages are falling out, so I generally carry my BTP parallel edition (KJV on the left-hand pages, JND on the right-hand pages). Nevertheless, I find I really miss the the blunt pseudo-English of Darby's translation when I'm reading something else.

Still, I wonder whether my insistence on reading Darby's translation in public isn't a problem.  1 Corinthians 14:19 tells us it's better to speak five words people understand than 10,000 they don't. Sometimes when I'm reading aloud from Darby's translation in the assembly, I wonder whether I'm using 10,000 words that people can't understand.

Of course the same thing applies to the KJV: I've cringed in more than one Bible reading where someone tried to make a point based on his inability to understand Elizabethan English.

So this year I've decided I'm going to switch to NASB. Not in the sense of an irreversible life choice, but I'm going to try and read from and carry my NASB for at least a few months and see how it turns out.  My NASB is a single-column edition, so it's pretty thick and heavy: I might need to find a more portable copy, but I'll start with the one I own, rather than buying a new one.  If I find it onerous, then I'll just switch back to Darby.

If I do end up back with a Darby, I think I might just buy one of those enormous editions.  The font size in my parallel is a little small for reading aloud in meetings.