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The Layman's Parallel Bible: KJV, NIV, Living Bible, NRSV Hardcover – October, 1990

4.8 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Hardcover, October, 1990
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Comparison of four major versions made easy: NIV/NLT/KJV/NASB - Each two-page spread contains complete Scripture portion from these versions: - New International Version - New Living Bible - King James Version - New American Standard Bible, Updated Version - Clear, easy-to-read print - Printed on high-quality Bible paper - double column format - 8-point type

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 3187 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (October 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031095052X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310950523
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 6.8 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #280,975 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

The Layman's Parallel Bible is an unequaled opportunity for anyone from the casual scripture reader to the serious theologian to read and study the Old and New Testaments.
By setting four distinct variations of the scriptures across two pages, this volume affords the reader the ability to compare both the content and the structure of the King James Version, the Revised Standard Version, the New International Version and the Living Bible.
Many users have been surprised by how quickly they find one version preferable to the others, but depending on their need of the moment, it may not always be the same version! For example, a reader may find that for readability, the New International Version is the most comfortable, while for spiritual significance the King James Version is better and for depth of knowledge and understanding the Revised Standard is prefered. Importantly, these relationships may change as the reader changes locations in the scriptures or becomes more comfortable with the ongoing study.
A truly amazing benefit of this volume is that it permits the reader to compare both the content of the Holy Bible in its various formats and the literary structure. The changing of a single word in a verse may make the passage far easier to understand; however, it may also profoundly change the meaning of the verse and perhaps the entire passage. It is not unusual to find situations in which the a particular passage of scripture, laid side by side, with only minor changes in wording, may have four distinctly different meanings to the reader.
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I remember reading once that in Genesis 2:18 the word that is used to describe Eve's relationship to Adam appears only this one time in the entire Bible. The word is translated variously as "help meet" and "helper." But it always struck me that whatever word was used to describe the unique relationship between men and women has been left to the interpretation of scholars. Whether this "fact" is true or not is somewhat beside the point, because it serves to underscore that translation is ALWAYS a question of interpretation. It does not matter if you are talking about Shakespeare and some scholars working at the behest of King James I or more contemporary efforts.
What is wonderful about "The Layman's Parallel Bible" is that by laying out these four translations in four parallel columns the book allows you to see the range of interpretation for yourself. There are also the detailed footnotes, primarily with the New International version, that gives you even more information about the original Hebrew or Greek words being translated (even though I can read neither Hebrew nor Greek, I appreciate linguistic insights from those who can). I believe that a thoughtful reading of the Bible is truly helped by comparing and contrasting these various versions and coming to terms with your own understanding of the meaning and import of the text. This might not be a useful volume for scholars, but it is certainly of great value to the rest of us.
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Shortly before I was confirmed in the Anglo Catholic Church, my parents gave me this as a gift. In my opinion this belongs in the library of ANY Roman Catholic or Anglo Catholic. My father always leaned towards the King James version or the Revised Standard. (My church for the most part uses the Revised Standard.) In my opinion this multi version helps you to perform a better study of the Scriptures. My reason is quite simple. Different parts of the Scriptures come off better in different translations. (Luke wrote with the purpose of creating beautiful images. This comes off best in the "King James" version. John wrote with a hostile tone to help the followers of Christ break their ties with the Jewish Authorities. This comes off best in the "Living" version. Certain complicated texts are best understood in the "Revised" version.) If you have a concept of the different parts of the Scriptures and the different authors' (Luke, John, etc.) intentions, this is an INVALUABLE study.
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I LOVE my KJV and just can't give it up, but I Love, Love, Love my Living Bible(hence the name-it brings it to life). I specifically wanted a parallel with KJV & The Living Bible and TLB is only found in this older version. Today's LB is replaced with the New Living Translation(NLT), close, but not the same.

When I started bible study I was going back and forth between books and it was too distracting. I wanted a New King james for the plain english, but that would just be another bible. So! The (RSV) is the closest to King James (in today's english) maintaining many of original words from KJV. The Living Bible is my "cliff notes" which definitely clarifies and adds more insight and gets the point across. I usually read this first. Then no matter what version I read I always cross reference the KJV because it is ALL INCLUSIVE (no scriptures removed) and it has those words/phrasing that sometimes just hit right to the heart of the matter. I check out the NIV sometimes just for clarification on an old english/bible word that I don't understand.

With all the controversy now-a-days (crazy!) on which version is most accurate, this is a great cross-section to cross reference. So betwixt the 4 of them, I really understand what they're saying and let them speak to my heart. Plus when we read in bible study, everybody has a different version, (NIV seems most popular) so you have at least one version close to what they're reading and can keep up.

Because this is lacking in study notes, I use my bible knowledge commentary which I absolutely love too! It goes more in depth than any "study bibles" can go into anyway. So it helps only refrencing 2 books instead of 3-4.
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