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Gift and Award Bible NLT (Gift and Award Bible: New Living Translation-2)
Gift and Award Bible NLT (Gift and Award Bible: New Living Translation-2)
by Tyndale
Edition: Imitation Leather
33 used & new from $0.70

1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Overrated bible version, December 17, 2012
The New Living Translation doesn't compare favorably with some other modern translations with a similar translation philosophy; the GOD'S WORD Translation is an example of this, which is less well-known but widely available. Although on the surface the GW Translation and NLT appear similar in ease of reading/understanding, below are a couple verses that show some differences, placed alongside the very literal American Standard Version:

Titus 3:7
"that, being justified by his grace, we might be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life." (ASV)
"As a result, God in his kindness has given us his approval and we have become heirs who have the confidence that we have everlasting life." (GW)
"Because of his grace he declared us righteous and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life." (NLT)
In the NLT, the word "heirs" is omitted. Both versions replace "justified", and GW replaced "grace" too.

Colossians 2:17
"which are a shadow of the things to come; but the body is Christ's." (ASV)
"These are a shadow of the things to come, but the body that casts the shadow belongs to Christ." (GW)
"For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality." (NLT)
In the NLT, the [shadow vs. body] word picture is lost; GW is more literal here, while quite understandable.

Now you see how certain terms are replaced for easier understanding by readers unfamiliar with traditional bible terminology, which is common in modern translations; however, omitting the word "heirs" isn't right. In the second example you see how GW does not stray from a more literal translation if the meaning is apparent. Hebrews 2:7 is an example where GW retains a singular pronoun ("him"), while NLT has changed it to a plural ("them") in overzealous gender-inclusiveness.

The NLT is actually hard to read in the sense that there are a lot of asterisks (*) indicating that a footnote is present for that verse. Many times the footnote just gives a more literal rendering because the translation has been made interpretive. Either you're distracted going down to footnotes all the time, or you have to restrain yourself from looking at them. It would be so much better if they had a regular version with minimal footnotes, and another version (like this one they publish) with full footnotes and introductions for each book.

The font size is also pretty small in this edition, and overall I can't bring myself to give a positive review. It would not be a 2nd, 3rd, or 4th choice among new or revised translations of the past 20 years.


GW Personal Size Giant Print Bible Paperback
GW Personal Size Giant Print Bible Paperback
by Baker Publishing Group
Edition: Paperback
Price: $15.98
72 used & new from $9.94

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Readable modern translation; misleading preface and copyright info, December 13, 2012
This is a really good English version with fewer "weaknesses" than most others in its class. It is great for daily reading and study. Some traditional terminology has been replaced with wording that has meaning for modern readers, terms like "justification" and "repentance" for example. A very wise balance has been taken in considering gender-inclusiveness; this is a great "strength" with this translation, avoiding the artificial use of plural pronouns for example. Another strength is that it maintains fidelity to the original texts quite well, only straying in places where a close natural equivalent differs markedly from a strictly literal translation that would distort the intended meaning.

What I don't like about this version is that is has been changed in several places without its being noted anywhere in the preface or copyright information. I talked more about this in my review of a GW Thinline Bible Charcoal Bonded Leather. This occurred sometime (within fewer than 5 years,) after originally published in 1995. I have a paperback copy of that original publication. Biblegateway.com actually had the original on its searchable website several weeks ago when I wrote my other review, and I also wrote to the copyright holders, defending the original published work. I suppose the copyright holder and/or publisher sent the updates to that website sometime in the interim.

Galatians 2:16 is an example of a changed verse. It now reads in part, "to receive God's approval by faith in Christ and not by our own efforts." It did read, "to receive God's approval because of faith in Christ and not because of our own efforts."

I still maintain that changes were unnecessary. Do these statements make sense: "because of faith I'm a child of God," or "faith caused me to obey God's commands."? Must I change it to "by faith I'm a child of God."? Does the "because of" really change the meaning such that a theologian would say it is ONLY correct to say "BY faith"?

It would have been nice to see such a fine translation effort maintain its originality for a few decades, such as 1982's New King James Version still does resoundingly well. That prospect has been compromised already.

I still give a positive review. The bonded leather edition I linked to above is really nice, unless you need this giant-print edition.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 14, 2012 9:37 AM PST


Biblia bilingüe NBD (Spanish Edition)
Biblia bilingüe NBD (Spanish Edition)
by NBD-Nueva Biblia al Dia
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $16.00
29 used & new from $5.21

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent daily reader, November 20, 2012
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Both very good translations: the NBD in Spanish, and the NCV in English. One is not a translation of the other, the wording doesn't match precisely, so it's not a tool for learning another language.

The NBD is relatively new and unknown. I've read enough to say it is accurate and in a readable idiom. The translators apparently made some decisions along the way about which ancient texts to use, and they used the Majority Text in some cases, the modern Critical texts in others. Also, Acts 8:37 is intact, whereas it often only appears in a footnote in other versions. An easier read than NVI, the Nueva Biblia al Día is reliable and accurate.

The NCV has been around awhile and has been endorsed by Billy Graham and other evangelists. A respected English version, it has had a few minor revisions along the way. It is one that liberally makes use of gender-inclusive language, which basically means they avoid using masculine words - men, brothers, etc. - if the passage could refer to people of both genders (preferring "people", "brothers and sisters", etc.) This is probably the only weakness of the New Century Version: The gender-inclusive language sometimes changes a singular word ("man") into a plural ("people") - Hebrews 2:6 is an example of this. A couple newer translations have modified their attempts at gender-inclusiveness and made better decisions in these types of verses, the GOD'S WORD Translation being one.

All said, these two translations are very good and are excellent for daily reading. The fact that they don't match word-for-word testifies that they were made independently of each other, from the original-language texts of Scripture. With so many different translations out there, these two together in one affordable hardcover is a smart acquisition.


Biblia de regalo y premio NBD (Spanish Edition)
Biblia de regalo y premio NBD (Spanish Edition)
by NBD-Nueva Biblia al Dia
Edition: Imitation Leather
Price: $11.99
32 used & new from $6.86

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Horrible publishing effort for really a good translation., November 16, 2012
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¡Horrible! Yo no recomendaría este biblia. Tiene un barato, acartonada cubierta, y otros problemas también. Mejor es esta edición:NBD Biblia de referencia visual (Spanish Edition).

Horrible! I would not recommended this bible edition. It has a cheap, cardboard-like cover, and there are other problems as well. Better is another edition of the same NBD translation (see link above,) which is very readable and accurate. I wouldn't buy this one that I'm reviewing ever again, even if it's going for cheap.


Santa Biblia RV 1995 (Spanish Edition)
Santa Biblia RV 1995 (Spanish Edition)
by American Bible Society
Edition: Paperback
26 used & new from $0.01

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb edition for a paperback value-priced Spanish Bible!, November 16, 2012
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This review is for the $3.99 softcover bible with 1331 pages.

A few comments about the layout -- It is in double column format, which I tend to like for ease of keeping track of where I am reading. The type size is normal/sufficient. Some value-priced bibles have tiny letters, (usually they have less than 900 pages,) but this one is just fine for normal reading.

This is actually a reference edition -- it has verses cross-referenced at the bottom of each page for the superscripts (small a,b,c, etc.) noted within the text. There are introductions (brief, about half a page for most) for each book of the bible, and the usual headings of sections within the text. There is also extra material after Revelation (Apocalypses) in the back, such as verses to look-up under varied topics, year-long reading plan, maps, etc. -- all very tasteful.

The translation is the 1995 revision of the Reina-Valera Spanish translation. The 1960 version is still more widely-used, but the 1995 revision is very well-done in my opinion. The antique language used in the older version is updated to reflect modern usage. It equates with NRSV in English, while the 1960 is somewhere between ASV and RSV in language/idiom.

The cover and paper-quality are of a normal paperback-type book, so it's not going to last for decades of regular use. However, it is a quality edition for someone getting to know the Bible and God's message of salvation through Christ. It is also very good for someone wanting another bible version for comparing with others. I haven't seen a good hardcover for the RV1995, but for something more durable than this paperback I'd recommend a bilingual edition of the Nueva Biblia al Dia (with NCV in English): Biblia bilingüe NBD (Spanish Edition). Some other NBD editions have an evangelical "plan of salvation" just after Revelation (some on the back of the page of Scripture,) so they are not for Christians who believe that more obedience/ human response to the gospel is necessary than simple mental assent to God's promise, or humbly reciting the "sinner's prayer".

This RV1995 paperback is a great choice for buying in bulk and spreading God's word of love for humanity.
Este RV1995 es una gran opción para comprar al por mayor y la difusión de la palabra de Dios por amor a la humanidad.


GW Thinline Bible Charcoal Bonded Leather
GW Thinline Bible Charcoal Bonded Leather
by Baker Publishing Group
Edition: Bonded Leather
46 used & new from $2.50

4.0 out of 5 stars Very good contemporary translation, October 26, 2012
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This edition of the GOD'S WORD Translation (referred to as GW hereafter,) is very good quality. I want to give it 5 stars, but I subtract one for the capitulation of changing certain verses, which I will detail below. My review may look lengthy, but I've tried to be concise; so read on if you please!
Online I came across an article by a certain Rev. Cascione. Apparently a "revision" of GW was published sometime after the original had been, with nothing noted on the copyright page about it being a new revision from the original. The translation was done with integrity, yet the publisher/copyright holder yielded to pressure from a few people who would attack the integrity of the scholars/translators. The "revision" now available actually has less consistency in verses of similar language. Based on the critical article (full of errors, I might add ;) and the plainly good translation seen in the original publication, I feel the publishers should uphold the integrity of the original published GW and restore it to publication, courageously, with only necessary corrections, not those based on opinionated criticism. If you feel the same by the end of my review, you should write the copyright holder via the contact page through godsword.org, their homepage.
At the time I write this review, the original text of GW is searchable/readable on biblegateway.com (including a certain editorial error present in Romans 1:29). The changes made in the currently published version include Romans 1:17; 3:28,30; 5:1, Galatians 2:16; 3:11,24; Hebrews 10:38; the heading of Romans 4; Romans 1:29 (an extra word, "for", deleted) ; and perhaps a few other corrections I'm not aware of. Mostly, the changes were "because of faith" to "by faith". The correcting of Romans 1:29 was necessary, but could have been done with a "corrected impression", noted on the copyright page, such as was done in 1972 for the New English Bible; but it was folly to make other changes due to complaints from certain individuals, probably all of a particular dogmatic stripe. The article referred to shows they want more changes until GW reads about the same as "nearly all other translations" in regard to phrases reading "by faith", "through faith", etc.
Not only is it untrue that nearly all other translations read "by faith" where GW reads otherwise (an argument used in the shameful article I've mentioned,) there actually is a precedent of other translations using the phrase "because of their faith." Out of a dozen translations of the New Testament from Greek I have available, I find that a majority (7 to 5) do not read "by faith" in Romans 3:30, but read, for instance, "on the basis of faith," or "on the ground of their faith." The well-respected Jerusalem Bible reads "because of their faith," much like the original GW read "because of faith" in this verse (Rom 3:30). Among the unchanged verses mentioned in the article, Hebrews 11:5 is an example where one can see variations from "by faith" used in several translations - Amplified, J.B. Phillips, and others.
Some of the verses revised to read "by faith" in GW, quote Habakkuk 2:4 (which, not having been revised, continues to read "because of"). One translation reads, "but those who are righteous will live because they are faithful to God," which gives a sense of loyalty to the deity rather than belief-centered faith. What I want to point out is that translation is guided by the text of Scripture, not the text of theology books. In the end, it is Scripture that's inspired by God, not man's opinions.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 10, 2012 12:32 PM PST


LBLA/NASB Biblia Bilingue (Spanish Edition)
LBLA/NASB Biblia Bilingue (Spanish Edition)
by Holman Bible Editorial Staff
Edition: Hardcover
13 used & new from $93.34

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential features, bang for the buck..., March 10, 2011
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This is a great choice for a bilingual Spanish-English bible. The translations match one another better than others, and the footnotes are the same for both (i.e. one footnote with the information in both languages). The type is larger (easier to read) than other bibles (except giant-letter editions of course). The text fills the page efficiently, which means there aren't margins wide enough to write notes in (in case you've acquired this habit). There's no ribbon marker, nor red-letter text. The paper is quality bible paper, somewhat thin (not excessively so,) and strong. The binding is superb on this hardcover bible; it will last for decades. The overall size is substantial, but not too large (9.6 x 6.7 x 1.6 inches); for example, it fits comfortably into a bible cover of inside dimensions 10" x 7.5" x 2". Very accurate, modern translations in side-by-side columns, quality-bound at a competitive price, this bilingual bible fit my needs excellently.


Text Bible-Good News
Text Bible-Good News
by American Bible Society
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $9.39
65 used & new from $2.99

27 of 30 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Really good originally, now marred by "inclusive language" revisions, February 22, 2011
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This review is from: Text Bible-Good News (Hardcover)
This is the 1992 revision of the Good News Bible (a.k.a. Today's English Version), which is now being called the Good News Translation. The New Testament was originally published in 1966, and the entire bible in 1976. It was one of the first meaning-based translation efforts undertaken ("functional equivalence" as opposed to word-for-word "formal equivalence"). The translators used language that could be understood by English speakers around the world, and they did not take pains to use traditional biblical vocabulary. It is an accurate translation; do not think this is a paraphrase. The Good News Translation is emminently readable -- the Old Testament stories can be read to kids, and the Proverbs are entirely comprehendable. "You will make him burn with shame, and the Lord will reward you," we read in Proverbs 25:22; while another translation reads, "For thou shalt heap coals of fire upon his head, and the Lord shall reward thee." I don't automatically think of pouring shame and remorse on somebody when I hear "heap coals of fire," so the GNT certainly clears up some of the antique references we wouldn't readily understand today.

I like the extra features of this bible -- book introductions, line drawings, maps within the text, Septaugint passages, word list, and text notes (for example, indicating "probable text", where the Hebrew was "unclear".)

The reduction to 4 from 5 stars is because the 1992 revision published here was mainly concerned with "gender inclusive" revisions, many of which are problematic. An example is Hebrews 2, where originally the Old Testament reference says "man", the revision changed it to "human beings". The author of Hebrews means for us to infer Jesus from this, which we cannot do from the reading rendered as "human beings". Another example is Galatians 3:26 where "God's sons" is changed to "God's children". In verse 28 the author includes men and women within the term "sons" (see the implication of inheritance, among other things -- not in the gender sense -- in Galatians 4:1-7;) so changing this to children changes the meaning (as if we are simply to be loved and coddled by God, as opposed to being heirs with responsibilities).

Some of the revisions are harmless or even beneficial. One example is 1Peter 1:24 where "mankind" was changed to "human beings". The traditional translation here is "flesh", but of the three, "human beings" is more accurate and personally effective -- I can relate to the scripture at hand as a "human being" better than "flesh" (used modernly by whom? medical students or vets?) or "mankind" (too general, more a philisophical term than scriptural.)

All in all, a good bible to have at hand; but its use for serious study has been compromised by the "gender inclusive" revisions. I do like to compare it with the New American Standard Bible, for one or the other is bound to enhance my understanding of a particular passage -- the NASB for its word-for-word approach and traditional biblical vocabulary; the GNT for its clarifying of out-of-modern-usage phraseology (such as I mentioned for Proverbs 25:22).
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 14, 2011 11:20 AM PST


Holy Bible: Holman Christian Standard Bible, Celtic Olive, Personal size
Holy Bible: Holman Christian Standard Bible, Celtic Olive, Personal size
by Broadman & Holman Publishers
Edition: Leather Bound
Price: $15.38
16 used & new from $5.35

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Modern "literal" translation in a quality-bound, compact edition., February 22, 2011
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Note that this is an olive-colored bonded leather cover bible; Amazon also has the "celtic crimson" and "celtic tan" versions. It has an attractive silver-edge treatment.

It is smallish-sized for easy carrying (in a purse, for example,) but the print size is sufficiently large to be able to read at a normal distance from your eye.

The translation uses word-for-word translation generally; and, where warranted, opting to insert a word or alter a phrase in order to make for intelligible English. In such cases, there are notes indicating the more literal rendering, or partial brackets surrounding an inserted word. A conspicuous feature in its language is the frequent use of contractions. This gives it a chatty, conversational feel at odds with its traditional vocabulary and "literalness".

Other features within the text include "bullet notes" and references to other passages with similar phrasing (these are noted by a,b,c,etc. prescripting the first word of such a phrase, with the referenced verses listed in small print after each paragraph.) "Bullet notes" is a section in the back with definitions/explanations for many words, which, in the text, are bulleted (preceded by a dot) at their first instance within a book of the bible.

In the front by the preface, there is a page with the "plan of salvation", most of which is okay until it says (I paraphrase,) "once you believe you just need to ask God to forgive you and you can be saved; pray this 'sinner's prayer:'" So it's great for Baptists and those with a similar approach in evangelism.

I haven't found any advantage in this version over the NASB, a very well-regarded word-for-word translation, which had a 1995 update to make it more readable. Altogether, this Holman Christian Standard Bible is a recommendable bible that will give years of reliable use in this attractive, compact edition.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 3, 2013 2:36 PM PDT


Rough-Shooting Dog: Reflections From Thick And Uncivil Sorts Of Places
Rough-Shooting Dog: Reflections From Thick And Uncivil Sorts Of Places
by Charles Fergus
Edition: Paperback
Price: $11.62
36 used & new from $4.95

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great book for those who love their bird-dogs!, August 27, 2010
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This was a great purchase, and I am grateful for someone who suggested this book in a review of another of Charles Fergus's books, "A Hunter's Book of Days". It relates this hunter's first year with his Springer Spaniel, from finding a suitable litter of field-bred pups, training, and several hunts of game-birds including grouse, pheasants, and ducks. A very enlightening, moving, and entertaining read (I had to laugh or exclaim aloud at various points.) I already purchased another as a gift. This edition has a new Preface written in 2006; the original publication was 1991.


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