Poll; Which Translation Does Your Congregation Use ?

Discussion in 'Translations and Manuscripts' started by JimmyH, Jun 14, 2017.

  1. KJV

    10 vote(s)
  2. ESV

    31 vote(s)
  3. NIV 1984

    7 vote(s)
  4. NIV 2011

    1 vote(s)
  5. RSV

    0 vote(s)
  6. NRSV

    1 vote(s)
  7. HCSB

    0 vote(s)
  8. NKJV

    6 vote(s)
  9. Other (please specify)

    0 vote(s)
  10. NASB

    6 vote(s)
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  1. JimmyH

    JimmyH Puritan Board Junior

    At my OPC congregation we use the NIV 1984 edition. This was already in place before our current Pastor came on board over 15 years ago. These pew Bibles are becoming a bit worse for wear and I've been talking with my Pastor about possibly replacing them.

    Session has already agreed to the need, but a translation has not been decided on. My Pastor feels the NIV 2011 is not worthy for replacing the 1984 and I decided to post this poll to see if my suspicion that the ESV is dominant can be confirmed. Thanks in advance to all who might respond to the poll.
  2. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    Jimmy, just my two cents worth. There seem to me three viable options: the NKJV, the CSB, and the ESV. I agree with your pastor that the NIV 2011 is not worthy of consideration. The entire session should carefully study the various translations together, and come up with their decision. Some pluses of the ESV are the variety of bindings, and the excellence of Study Bibles (the Reformation Study Bible and the ESV Study Bible are both spectacular). The downside is the incredibly annoying "ands" that are ubiquitously mistranslating Hebrew "vav" and Greek "de" and "kai" all over the place.

    The NKJV is much better than the ESV on this point, and the NKJV could well recommend itself as a superior translation to the ESV, unless one wishes to follow the Critical Text, in which case the ESV is superior. Ironically, I follow the Critical Text and still prefer the NKJV to the ESV! The other downside to the NKJV, though, is that there aren't good study Bibles available.

    The CSB has a decent study Bible available now, and is, in my opinion, the best translation of the lot. I have, in addition, seen people recommend that conservatives (who liked the NIV, and were used to it) switch to the CSB as being less of a "shock to the system" than the ESV would be. However, it seems to me that a majority have been switching from NIV to the ESV. I would heavily caution your session, however, not to switch to the ESV just because everyone else is doing it! The highest priority should be deciding what they think the best translation is.
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  3. TrustGzus

    TrustGzus Puritan Board Freshman

    The Reformation Study Bible is available in NKJV.
  4. JimmyH

    JimmyH Puritan Board Junior

    Many thanks for the input Reverend Keister. I will bring it to my Pastor, and to our session members for their consideration.
  5. Logan

    Logan Puritan Board Junior

    If reading out loud is a consideration, the NKJV flows very well. I think the ESV does as well but some would disagree.

    By the way, I'm not sure you'll get the most accurate cross-section by polling people here.
  6. Jake

    Jake Puritan Board Junior

    From my experience, most Reformed churches that are CT-leaning use ESV and that are MT-leaning use NKJV. Even the FCC congregation I'm a member of used the NKJV when I first visited, though now they've switched to the KJV. Congregation I'm attending now doesn't really have a standard Bible (or pew Bible), but the pastor prefers NASB. I think they're going toward ESV though.

    I'm personally not a fan of the ESV. It's awkward to read aloud while still loosing some benefits of traditionally more literal translations (like having italics for added words). It also is inconsistent with its gender neutral language. It wins in usage among Reformed people currently for sure, and this is reflected in multitudes of Bibles and resources using it.
  7. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    I had not known that the most recent version of the study Bible is also available in the NKJV. Thanks for correcting me, Joe. This certainly ups the NKJV in viability. It is still being printed. Since this is the translation that the Gideons now use, it seems likely that it will still be printed for some time to come.
  8. JimmyH

    JimmyH Puritan Board Junior

    I'm not sure if it still in print, but I have the NKJV in the MacArthur study Bible, and in the W.A. Criswell Believer's study Bible, which I'm sure is out of print.
  9. Stephen L Smith

    Stephen L Smith Puritan Board Junior

    You did not add the NASB to your poll. My church uses it.
  10. JimmyH

    JimmyH Puritan Board Junior

    Arrgh ! Terribly sorry for the oversight. Of all the translations to leave out (smacking my forehead)
    If there is a way for an administrator to add the NASB to the poll it would be greatly appreciated.
  11. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

  12. TrustGzus

    TrustGzus Puritan Board Freshman

    I was just at a Ligonier conference in Wichita in May. It was kind of funny in that the NKJV had a lot of copies left. The ESV pretty close to sold out. For what it's worth. Bought my wife the high end leather in ESV at the conference. Now we both have the RSB. Wonderful study Bible.
  13. Guido's Brother

    Guido's Brother Puritan Board Junior

    I've now served two churches in a row which made the switch from NIV84 to ESV. There are no perfect translations, and the ESV is no exception. But overall, I'm content to be using it. BTW, I don't know if any of it will be helpful but I served on our synodically-appointed Bible Translation committee in Canada. Our reports can be found here. Of most interest to you might be the Interim Report in 2011, and the Final Report in 2013. But the Zondervan chart on readability is also quite interesting!
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  14. BG

    BG Puritan Board Junior

    Lane why do you think the CSB is the best translation of the three
  15. Stephen L Smith

    Stephen L Smith Puritan Board Junior

    As someone who has reflected on the Bible Translation debate for many years, I would argue that the best "overall" translation for the church is the ESV, but that one also use the CSB/HCSB alongside it:
    1. I am pleased the ESV retains doctrinally important words such as propitiation - especially in a society which dislikes the fact that God's wrath is poured out against sin. I do question the CSB here.
    2. Often the ESV has helpfully fresh translations. Eg 2 Tim 3:16 All Scripture is breathed out by God is much more helpful than the HCSB using 'inspired'. Surely the Biblical emphasis is breathing out, not "in"spired. This may be an element of preference, but I appreciate the ESV translating 'chesed' as Steadfast Love. In an age of a sentimental view of love, it is important to understand that Old Testament 'chesed' is Steadfast Love, nothing sentimental.
    3. Many helpful devotional and theological resources are now produced using the ESV. It is helpful to encourage a church congregation to use devotional and theological resources which use the same Bible translation as their church.
    4. No translation is perfect. Thus me arguing that one also use the CSB/HCSB alongside the ESV. I think that to a good degree, the ESV and the CSB/HCSB balance each other out.
  16. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Professor

    Lane, since they're looking for new *pew* Bibles, the fact that aren't good NKJV study Bibles is not a downside for that translation, for that purpose. Just sayin'.
  17. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Professor

    Our OPC church uses the NASB, unfortunately. I like to remind our pastor that the ESV is out there and ready to be installed in our pew racks. (Plus, a church can get ESV pew Bibles very inexpensively.)
  18. Stope

    Stope Puritan Board Sophomore

    I dont know much, but from what I have read the KJV is a poor translation (comes to mind is the passage "and the three are one" and thats not canon... not to mention archaic language)... Am I wrong in thinking this?
  19. MW

    MW Puritan Board Doctor

    It is part of reading an ancient text to approach it as speaking from a different time and place. The repeated conjunctions are part of the style of the Scripture in which it conveys its own mindset. Note the comments of Leland Ryken on "Stylistics as Part of the World of the Original Text" in Understanding English Bible Translation:

    "The examples that I have cited thus far fall into the categories of the customs that made up the biblical world and the mind-set or worldview of people living in the world of the Bible. An additional dimension is the style in which the writers of the Bible expressed their content. In a general way these stylistic traits can keep alive our awareness that we are reading an ancient text. But often the traits gesture toward a whole mental world."

    "Ancient cultures had literary conventions of their own, and one of the most prominent in both Old and New Testaments is the fondness of biblical authors for the conjunction and as a way of tying events together and achieving fluidity. The result of this stylistic trait is not only a quaint artistry but also a mind-set that differs from the disjointedness that characterizes our own culture. The repeated and formulaic and creates a sense of continuity and coherence in regard to events and history. The short, self-contained sentences of some modern Bible translations read like Albert Camus’s novel The Stranger, where the world dies and is reborn from one sentence to the next."
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  20. mgkortus

    mgkortus Puritan Board Freshman

    The inclusion of 1 John 5:7 in the KJV is no reflection of the quality of translation. That is a textual matter. I can understand the criticism that the language is archaic. However, the KJV is a very good, faithful, and accurate translation overall.

    In addition, while many are turned off by the use of "thee/thou", it is worth pointing out that this allows the reader with no knowledge of the original languages to determine whether the second person pronoun is singular or plural. Using "you" and "your" does not enable one to know this.
  21. reaganmarsh

    reaganmarsh Puritan Board Senior

    Very well said. I quite agree.

    We have ESV pew Bibles, I preach from the ESV, and the Bibles we give to grads/new believers, etc. are ESV.

    That being said, some of our people happily use the KJV, NKJV, NIV, or HCSB (though the ESV is making some strides with our folks).

    I'm thankful to serve where Scripture is heard, heeded, and held in honor.
  22. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Professor

    The context usually makes it clear whether singular or plural is meant.
  23. Von

    Von Puritan Board Freshman

    I take it then you are not a KJV-onlyist?
  24. JimmyH

    JimmyH Puritan Board Junior

    Though I read various translations at home, I find it difficult to follow Scripture reading when it is being read out of one translation, and spoken out of another. In my experience even though the verses may be saying the same thing (99% of the time) the word order is frequently different and following the text seamlessly is near impossible. So whatever the translation, I prefer the Bible in the pew to be the same translation as the minister is reading.
    A couple of years ago a retired OPC minister was invited to preach at our Church and I met him in the parking lot as he came in. I asked him which translation he was preaching out of. He got a pained look on his face and said, "Your not one of those King James onlyists are you ?" I explained that I kept various translations in my car so that I could be sure to be reading out of the same text.
    He then told me that he researched the congregation he was going to be a guest with, and found out which translation was in the pew, and preached out of whichever one it was regardless. Interesting anecdote, to me anyway. :)
  25. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    I think it has the best translation philosophy of any translation in its advocacy of optimal equivalence. I also think it reads the smoothest of any translation that gives importance to the word-level. It is also far better English than the ESV.
  26. Parmenas

    Parmenas Puritan Board Freshman

    Sometimes, yes, but not always. The meaning of a passage can be changed entirely when no difference it made between singular and plural pronouns.

    Luke 22:31, 32
    31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
  27. Parmenas

    Parmenas Puritan Board Freshman

    I would like to add that the language is not "archaic" in the sense of "no longer in ordinary use," because even at the time of the translation (1604-11) the pronouns "thee" (objective) and "thou" (subjective) were not in ordinary use. As you wrote, it is simply a matter of accurate translation.

    Call it liturgical English, if you will, but do not make any comparisons of it to the use of Latin in the Church of Rome during the Middle Ages, for a child can be led to understand it in less than ten minutes.
  28. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Professor

    Burn the heretic! Or at least boil him in chocolate pudding...
  29. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    Richard, you need to lighten up, and take things easy once in a while. You're way too serious all the time. It drives me crazy.
  30. malcolmmaxwell60

    malcolmmaxwell60 Puritan Board Freshman

    The authorized King James Version of 1611

    Sent from my SM-G530T using Tapatalk
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