Q&A - Is the Best Bible Translation Personal Preference?

The Bible translation debate continues to create questions — how do you pick a translation to use? Are they really different?

This is really a confusing and disheartening issue because different people say different things with equal intent and support. I’m beginning to feel its an issue of simple preference?

It’s not a personal preference issue. Since the two textual bases differ, at most one is correct (or they’re both wrong). For example, if you say the sky is orange and I say it’s blue, I’m right and you’re wrong. If you say it’s orange and I say it’s purple we’re both wrong. But we can’t both be right in either case.

It’s not the KJV, it’s Textus Receptus verses the Alexandrian base text.

Since Textus Receptus and Alexandrian texts differ, they can’t both be correct. As to the Alexandrian base (today usually referred to as Westcott/Hort, Nestle/Aland, or UBS) we have an extensive article on Bible translation detailing these issues (it’s also available as a PDF).

It might surprise you to know many seminaries and/or pastors deny the virgin birth, resurrection, return of Jesus, and more. These so-called “modern translations” frequently follow those liberal theological ideas as they abandon orthodox Christianity. Westcott-Hort denied the creation and Eden, believed themselves Christs, and more.

Whatever you may think about textual analysis, the Bible translation discussion is most definitely not simply personal preference. All translations have problems, whether you use KJV, NKJV, NASB or NIV understand how your translation came to be, what textual base was used, and why they translators chose what they did.

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