- Paperback: 239 pages
- Publisher: IVP Books; PRINT-ON-DEMAND edition (February 27, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0830832734
- ISBN-13: 978-0830832736
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 10 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,810,413 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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A User's Guide to Bible Translations: Making the Most of Different Versions Paperback – February 27, 2005
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"A User's Guide to Bible Translations provides information on the development of our English Bible, the various methods used for producing a translation, and factors for consideration in arriving at a proper choice of which translation to buy and use. It reads easily and answers many questions people might have on the subject." (William E. Paul, Bible Editions & Versions, April-June 2008)
"What makes a Bible translation good? For anyone wondering which Bible version to use, this is the book for you. David Dewey provides a clear, accurate, fair and balanced discussion of English Bible versions available today and the translation theories which lie behind them. This book should be essential reading for anyone who reads and studies the Bible--whether pastor, scholar, student or layperson." (Mark Strauss, Professor of New Testament, Bethel Seminary, San Diego)
About the Author
David Dewey is minister of Sutcliff Baptist Church. He is the author of Faith and Common Sense and The Bible Unwrapped. He has served previously as features editor of the British newspaper, Baptist Times.
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Happily, the author concludes that pretty much any mainstream translation is a good translation, though you will probably find yourself more attracted to some over others as you read through this book. Actually, the author suggests that many people will want two Bibles: one leaning towards a literal translation (which won't always make sense) and one leaning towards a paraphrase (which won't always convey all the original "layers" of meaning).
If you want a book advocating either a thought-for-thought or a word-for-word approach, this one isn't it. If you are looking for a balanced treatment of Bible translations however, then buy this book.
The following cases are maybe small things which I have noticed in this book.
1) D.Dewey praises J.B.Phillips' rendering particularly, says "it is a work of true genius" (p.151). At the another place (p.79), Dewey explains a Greek word (houto:s), and this means "thus" or "in this way," not "so much", for the first word in the Greek verse of John 3:16. (the same place in English, For God "so" loved the world). But Phillips has used "so much" in his translation at John 3:16. It is incompatible with Dewey's intention.
2) On page 130, A famous verse, "strain at a gnat" instead of "strain out a gnat": the author describes this "misprint (AV/KJV) that has never been corrected......". But at the least in 2000, AV/KJV had already corrected it.
Besides, in NKJV, had it corrected in 1984.
3) On page 233, In Bibliography: there is a book titled "A Brief History of English Bible Translations" by Laurence M.Vance. But an appendix of this Vance's book (pp.108-112) is very poor. There are many errors, e.g., published year of the books, or duplication, omission and so on.
It is quite not suitable for to take to print such a worthless book in this valuable Dewey's book.
(The edition of Laurence's book which I have is in 1993. It should be very fine if this appendix had thoroughly corrected in the edition of 2000 which belongs to Dewey's library).
The part of this book that I found most useful was the middle section which gave summaries of the history and characteristics of pretty much all major English translations up until the TNIV.
The one thing that I really did not appreciate was the author's minimizing of doctrinal controversy surrounding some translations (e.g. the RSV). While opposition on doctrinal grounds was sometimes exaggerated and overly bombastic, some translations have generated legitimate concerns in this regard. Most of these the author brushes off as American Evangelical overreaction. Overall: the book can give a useful at-a-glance summary of the English Bibles available, but I did not appreciate the author's treating doctrinal concerns so lightly.
(I also felt the author had a condescending tone toward American Evangelicals, but I am one so that may be over-sensitivity on my part)
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First published in February of 2005, A User's Guide to Bible Translations has been around...Read more