The Best English Version Of The Bible Part 3 Readability

Hello, and welcome to another video from the only channel that you need to not only survive the current apocalypse, but actually enjoy it, and today’s video is going to be the next installment in my “What is the Best English Version of The Bible?” video series.

 

In this installment I will be discussing readability.  When words are translated from one language to another something is always lost, but that doesn’t mean that an accurate readable version of the Bible would be impossible to produce.  But, since no one has ever attempted to do such a thing, we are all forced to make compromises.

 

Obviously the most important aspect of any Bible would have to be accuracy, however, even the most accurate Bible in the world would not have any value, if it was never read.  For many people, including myself reading is not even possible when it requires work.  Often, it does not matter how much information is contained in a body of text if it doesn’t have the ability to hold my interest.

 

Outside of the Bible everyone recognizes that there are books that are enjoyable to read, and books that are a struggle to read.  I have come to recognize over the years, that every English Version of The Bible is a completely different book from every other English version of the Bible.  That being the case the same rule holds true for Bibles as would apply to any other book.

 

There are parts of The Bible that are going to be less interesting to read than others, no matter how they are translated.  To this day whenever I get to the parts of The Bible that involve genealogy, I usually get all the way through them without having any idea what I have just read.  Hopefully one day when I am doing research about that particular subject, that will not be the case.  People who have read the Bible all the way through, often refer to those parts of the Bible, as the “begets and begots”.  To make those chapters of the Bible exciting to the average reader, would require altering the verses in ways that would not be true to the original text.  For passages where nothing is recorded but facts, accuracy must take precedence over readability.

 

After years of reading and studying different versions of our English Bible, I have noticed that there have been several different techniques used by the translators in attempts to secure what they consider to be their fair market share.  Everyone in the Bible production industry understands that they have to carefully consider how they are going to render the verses that everyone is familiar with.  These are the verses that the churches repeat over and over again, such as Genesis 1:1 which usually says something like “In The Beginning, God Created The Heavens, and The Earth”, Or The 23rd Psalms which starts out by saying “The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want”, or John 3:16 which usually says something like “God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, in order that everyone putting faith in him might not die, but have everlasting life.”

 

These are important scriptures that are filled with meaning, but there are thousands of other scriptures that are also filled with meaning.  Knowing that the translators are not likely to alter the verses that everyone is familiar with, there wouldn’t really be any reason to compare those.

 

I doubt that I could find an English translation anywhere that strays very far from these familiar passages.  Most people who read the Bible have these particular verses memorized in the King James format, and would not appreciate them translated much differently.

 

For today’s subject, I think it would be better to just compare how the different versions of our English Bibles render a few of the less popular verses.  Comparing the lesser known verses will probably give us a more realistic idea about the overall translation philosophy, than just comparing the ones that are important to the rulers of The Empire’s religious system.

 

Most people feel that God doesn’t have a sense of humor.  In a very subtle way that probably has a lot to do with translation.

 

Even though Quite a few passages should make us chuckle, I think that translators, by tradition put forth a great deal of effort into making what they write as dry as possible.  Quite a few verses which could be rendered in a very dynamic way often get presented as if they are just another list of begets and begots. 

 

One scripture that I never hear anyone speak about that I feel is very important, but which few Bibles communicate well is found at, Acts 19:13-15  A literal translation of this verse according to my own understanding of the Greek words of the original text would sound like this.

 

“Then Distinct wandering Jewish Exorcist took up the task of naming upon those having evil spirits the name of the lord Jesus that was being proclaimed by Paul.  Seven sons of a Jewish priest that was a mind reader were doing this.  A particular Evil Spirit responded to them by saying “I know Jesus, and I have heard of Paul, but, what kind of things are you?  And the human in which the evil spirit was inhabiting, sprung upon them and overcame them, and prevailed on them, so that they fled out of the house naked and traumatized.”

 

Every time that I read the Bible, I laugh when I get to these verses.  Some versions of the English Bible do a better job of handling this account than others, and anytime that I read it in a way that does not convey the emotions that would have been communicated in the original I am somewhat disappointed.

 

The way that I just read this verse as I have rendered it, is quite accurate.  Probably more accurate than any other version of any available translation, but, most people would read right through this, and not be emotionally effected at all.  A key verse in this account, verse 19 in it’s original rendering would have conveyed the thought that this demon knew Jesus personally, and had heard of Paul through the grapevine, so to speak, but had absolutely no idea whatsoever of who these supposedly famous exorcist were.

 

The NKJV, or New King James Version, which I really do love renders the verse this way, “Jesus, I know, and Paul, I know, but who are you.  This particular version falls far short of communicating the relationship between the Demon, Jesus, Paul, and These so called exorcists.   For me The NKJV is a very readable Bible, which means that even if it lacks a bit of accuracy, it is easier to read than an original KJV or King James Version.

 

One of the NKJV’s stated goals is to present the Bible narrative in an easier to read format.  And, this it has achieved.  In meeting that objective, the NKJV has replaced the archaic language of the KJV, increasing the accuracy, and readability, but, not actually rendered the original languages to accurately represent the emotions that would have been associated with this passage of text as it would have been understood in it’s original language by natural speakers of that language.

 

I love this particular English translation of The Bible above most others, at least for most verses, but for verses that were originally rendered in a way that was intended to effect the reader emotionally, there are other versions that might be superior.

 

The NLT or New Living Translation is another Bible that presents itself as an easier version to understand, but it also follows a pattern similar to that of the NKJV.  Although I am quite comfortable with the NKJV, I am not at all comfortable with the New Living Translation.

 

Even though the NLT, is one of the most readable Bibles around, it is so inaccurate, that to me, it is nearly useless.  It is not as bad as  “The Message”, Bible, but it is still pretty bad.

 

A better rendering of this verse is found in The NIV also known as the New International Version. I will now read the primary line of the verse.  While doing so, I will be interjecting the emotions that I feel while reading this verse vocally, since it is how I read, even when I read silently, but I think that most of us do.

 

“Jesus, I know, and Paul, I know about, but who are you”.  In this rendering a clear distinction is made in each relationship.  I love the NIV and often recommend it as a very good basic Bible, but something that must be understood about the NIV is that there are actually two completely different books that go by the name of NIV.

 

Both are published by Zondervon.  These two versions of The Bible have almost nothing in common, but there is no way of knowing which version you are going to get if you order one on line.  The later version was first published as The TNIV or Today’s New International Version, so if you want to get a copy of the latest incarnation of the NIV, but you don’t have much money, you can purchase the TNIV, which was not very popular when it was released, at a very low price on several on line sites such as Amazon or eBay.  If you find a NIV at a yard sale or at Goodwill it is probably going to be the older version.  The New ones are quite expensive, so it is unlikely that anyone would be willing to donate one, or get rid of one at a yard sale, just yet.  I have found many NIVs this way, and they are always the older version.

 

The version that seems to have the best possible rendering of this verse is the Good News Bible, also known as the TEV which stands for the “Today’s English Version”.  I like the entire account as it is recorded in this version so much that I am going to read the entire story from beginning to end, as it appears in the Good News Bible.

 

Some Jews who traveled around and drove out evil spirits also tried to use the name of the Lord Jesus to do this. They said to the evil spirits, “I command you in the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches.”   Seven brothers, who were the sons of a Jewish High Priest named Sceva, were doing this.   But the evil spirit said to them, “I know Jesus, and I know about Paul; but you – who are you?”   The man who had the evil spirit in him attacked them with such violence that he overpowered them all. They ran away from his house, wounded and with their clothes torn off.

 

This is a very easy to read and comprehend version of the same scripture, and, at least in this particular verse, is extremely accurate for several reasons.  Not only does it quite obviously express the different relationships that the demon had with each of the characters mentioned, but  it also says that these Jews traveled around.  Other versions instead use terms such as vagabond Jews, or Itinerant Jews.  I’m pretty smart, but actually had to look up the words vagabond and Itinerant, in order to make sure that these words meant people that traveled around.

 

This account also says that these Jews drove out evil spirits, which is exactly what the original language text says.  Since in this account they were unsuccessful, many translators render this verse in such a way as to leave us guessing if they actually drove out evil spirits, or if they only pretended to drive out evil spirits.  There is nothing in the account to reveal any details about previous successes or failures, that these exorcists may have had in the past, but that does not allow us the latitude to make that determination and publish our opinion as  part of the text of the English Bible.  In the original languages there is no ambiguity about what these men were doing.  They were driving out evil spirits.  They may not have been successful in this particular instance, but that does not mean that they had not been successful at driving out evil spirits prior to this account.

 

Another verse that I think is very important in the Bible, is found at Exodus 5:9.  Over the course of my life, I have experienced this technique used by The Empire, on me personally.  If you are a spiritual person, then you will instantly understand what I am talking about.

 

In the account Moses is speaking to his people, and telling them about God’s wonderful truths.  Moses, goes to Pharaoh and asks him for permission to take his people out of Egypt in order to worship Yahweh.  After telling Moses, no, he orders his tasks masters to make the Israelites work longer hours, in order to keep them so busy that they no longer have time to think about, or participate in, anything spiritual.  Moses’ teachings about a God other than the God of Civilization would not have been acceptable to Pharaoh or anyone else that was fully vested in the hierarchical governmental system of The Egyptian Empire.  In many English translations this concept isn’t easy to pick up on.

 

I believe that any spiritual person that is able to understand what this account is actually about will instantly be able to figure out that what was done to Moses’ people is exactly the same thing that is being done to God’s people today.  Those of us who try to do what is right are always subjected to longer hours, for less pay, in an attempt by The Empire to force us into compliance with Satan’s standards.

 

On the other hand, those that willingly do harm to the earth and it’s inhabitants.  Those who don’t bother taking into account the right or wrong of their actions.  Those who very obviously are fully vested in civilizations’ pyramid scheme, seem to have less of a problem with such things. 

 

If we read Exodus 9:6-18, we should have no problem figuring out exactly what was going through Pharaoh’s mind back when all of these things were happening.

 

The NASB or New American Standard Bible” says this, “Let the labor be heavier on the men, and let them work at it so that they will pay no attention to false words.” This is a rather straightforward translation of this verse, but might not be clearly understood, as it is rendered.

 

Once again, the NLT, although being very easy to read, does actually express all of the subtle nuances that need to be communicated in order to fully represent Pharaohs intentions.  “Load them down with more work. Make them sweat! That will teach them to listen to lies!”  This verse although very easy to read and understand, is not the same thought as originally expressed.  It leads us to believe that the extra work was intended as a punishment, when in fact, the main purpose of the extra work according to the account was not intended to be a form of punishment, but as a means of robbing the Israelites of their time.

 

The God’s Word translation says this “Make the work harder for these people so that they will be too busy to listen to lies.” This is a much better version.  The idea of Civilization creating busy work in order to keep people from learning truth, is a universal constant that has been an important tool in Satan’s bag of tricks for the entire history of civilization. 

 

Even today many talented hard working people are forced to share their skills and labor for what amounts to nothing more than basic sustenance and shelter, while civilization’s mindless drones are paid very high wages for doing things that clearly serve no purpose whatsoever.

 

Those who maintain civilization’s infrastructure, in general, work long hard hours that are nearly unsurvivable, so that those who willingly swear their allegiance to the God of Civilization, can take the money, as well as the credit for all of their hard work.

 

Many, including myself are forced to live out our final years in bodies that have been crippled by these abuses.  And to top it all off those taking the lead in perpetrating these crimes against us, never miss an opportunity to remind us of how worthless we are, once we are no longer able to perform up to their standards.

 

It has become a regular part of my life, to be reminded by those who have chosen to dedicate their lives to Satan’s Civilization, of just how lucky I am, to be able to live it up on “THEIR” tax money. 

 

It is important that we who make it our goal to read God’s word The Bible, be able to discern that we are not alone.  That countless millions have been subjected to the same demonic system, that we are are enduring today.  .

 

It is important that a Bible be able to accurately translate the words of passages such as Exodus 9:16.  But, often what is more important is that a Bible be able to let us feel the emotions of those who actually lived the story, otherwise the Bible narrative might come across in a way that is similar to the nonsense that spews out of the mouths of Christendom’s, short haired, suit wearing, SUV driving, pastors.

 

A Bible should be able to feel to us like a true account of events as experienced by real people, just like ourselves.

 

In general the slave laborers who maintained the infrastructure of The Egyptian empire would have had very little access to information about what was going on behind the scenes.  Pharaoh would have been highly motivated to ensure that all of his subjects put their faith in his ability to rule.

 

Those of us who put our faith in God’s Kingdom as mankind’s salvation need to understand how that faith emotionally effected Pharaoh, thousands of years ago, as well as those presidents, prime ministers, kings, and other false Messiahs that demand our worship today.  A good translation of The Bible should effectively communicate not just an accurate rendering of the original words used, but should also communicate the emotions that would have been felt by the original readers who spoke those languages.

 

Recently one of my subscribers, left me a message for my podcast, asking: “Why do we cry when reading The Bible?  I hear stories and cry, and read what Jesus said and cry, and can’t control it.  I know what I feel, but can’t explain it.  I am not ashamed of the fact that I cry when reading The Bible.  I am proud to show my love for my Lord.

 

As I often remind my listeners, the theme of the Bible is The war between Creation and Civilization.  If you are a decent human being, you would have, at an early age, recognized that Creation and Civilization are at odds with one another.  And being a decent human being you would have likely also figured out, that you are on the losing team.

 

Once you realize what The Bible is actually about, by default you would also realize that in fact, you are on the winning team.  To go from feeling worthless, to feeling priceless, would be ample reason for anyone to experience an emotional response to the things recorded in The Bible.

 

But, another reason why a person might get emotional while reading The Bible could be based on which version of The Bible someone might be reading.  Someone who already loves the Bible, and already loves to read might be able to get emotional no matter what translation they are using, but for those who are new to reading The Bible, and who don’t really enjoy reading in the first place, which translation they are using might be critical.

 

To someone that is not comfortable with reading, a Bible that is dry, matter of fact, and impersonal might prove to be absolutely unreadable.  When I was growing up, everyone in my family read themselves to sleep.  We all had night stands with whatever books we were reading placed on them, and reading lamps attached to the headboards of our beds.  Reading by it’s very nature is a really effective sleep aid.  Reading something that is boring is even more effective.

 

All Bibles are translations.  No one alive still speaks the languages in which the books of the Bible were originally written.  There are still people that speak and read Hebrew, and Greek, but modern Hebrew and Greek are nearly unrelated to the Hebrew and Greek of the ancient past.  When someone speaks two languages fluently, they are said to be bilingual.  Meaning that not only can they communicate information in two languages, but also have the ability to communicate the subtle nuances, and emotions that are normally included in a language.  And they do this intuitively.

 

Those who translate ancient dead languages into modern languages can not do such a thing intuitively.  In fact they can’t even do such a thing at all.  Dead languages are just that.  Dead.  No one speaks them.  No one alive has any memory of what those languages even sounded like.  They only exist in written form.  As a result, those who make a living by translating the ancient text of books such as the Bible into modern languages are more like code breakers than translators.

 

The difficulty involved in translating dead languages into modern languages combined with the huge amount of text that exist in a Bible means that translations that are easier to read, in general are going to be less accurate.  But, Bibles that don’t get read serve no purpose.  If you are ready to start reading The Bible, and are already having doubts about your ability to do so successfully, it would be a good idea to get one that is as easy to read as possible.

 

Often times Bibles are categorized as literal, and paraphrased.  I don’t always agree with the means by which a particular version of The Bible qualifies as either, but in general those that are designed to accurately translate words are called literal, while those that are designed to communicate thoughts are called paraphrased.

 

Another way of categorizing a Bible would be as generic or doctrinal.  A generic Bible would be one that is designed to appeal to members of a variety of faiths.  But, since basically all religions are based on a god of punishment and reward there are really no Bible versions available that accurately translate God’s word in a way that is without doctrinal teachings, but some are better than others.

 

My all time favorite paraphrased Bible is the Good News Bible, also known as the TEV or Today’s English Version.  It is very obviously a Catholic Bible, but it is so much more accurate than most paraphrased Bibles, that I can’t even think of any other paraphrased Bible that I would recommend.

 

The Good News Bible is illustrated with simple line drawings, created by an artist named Annie Vallotton.  To this day, if I look up anything in the Good News Bible, and I happen across one of the illustrations, I will stop and study that image for a moment.  I think that you will be surprised at how much of a memory aid those illustrations can be.

 

On my website, I have posted about 24 different version of The English Bible, so before making a decision as to which one is right for you, you may wish to read a few pages of each version just to get a feel for the differences that exists.

 

You can download any of the Bibles on my website free of charge and if you are comfortable reading from your computer or any other electronic device you will have all that you need to get you on your way to reading The Bible from beginning to end.

 

Personally, even though I do most of my research using a laptop, I have never become comfortable laying in bed reading anything other than a real book with real pages.  In fact, I am extremely picky about just what kind of book I will read.  All of the Bibles that I read conform to some very strict standards that I am unwilling to stray from.  A Bible can take thousands of hours to read.  It is simply illogical to read from a heavy Bible with yellowed pages and blurry print.  One of the reasons that I have been able to read the Bible so many times is because I have figured out how to make the experience as comfortable as possible. 

 

In the next video in this series, I will speak about experiences that I have had with the Bible, and what works for me and what does not.  If every English translation of the Bible was only available in a ten pound hardback edition, with tiny print, it is unlikely that I ever would have ever gotten around to reading it. 

 

I own 22 different book form, translations of The Bible, and have never paid more than $15 for any of them.  Most cost me less than ten dollars.  Quite a few versions of The Bible can not be found for less than a hundred dollars, but fortunately exerts from most of them are available on the internet and from what I have been able to check out  for myself.  Most expensive Bibles are virtually worthless, hard to read, inaccurate translations produced by people with unique, unscriptural, religious agendas, usually worse than those that are available for a reasonable price.

 

If after looking at all of the pdf versions of The Bible available on my website, you are unable to make up your mind, no big deal.  Good reliable, easy to read Bibles are readily available for very little money.  You can usually purchase several without actually doing much damage to your budget.

 

Since this video is about readability, I think that I should speak about a few of the Bibles that I own, that I think, are more readable than others.

 

The Good News Bible started off life as the Good News For Modern Man, so if you see a Book called “Good News For Modern Man” at a flea market, car boot, yard sale, garage sale, or thrift store, grab it.  It is the same thing.  But make sure that you are getting the whole Bible because there are a whole lot of rather large Good News New Testaments out there that look like complete Bibles.  I really hate purchasing a Bible, only to find that I have only purchased the New Testament portion of The Bible.

 

Also available in The Good News version is something known as the Deuterocanonical and Apocrypha.  These are the books of The Bible that are normally accepted as canon by The Catholic Church, but not normally accepted by the protestant religions.

 

A likely reason for why I like this paraphrase Bible better than most may have something to do with the translation philosophy of the committee that produced it.  The Good News Bible was produced as a means of making The English Bible easier to read, in order that missionaries might have something to distribute to people who did not speak English as a first language.

 

Unlike most paraphrase Bibles the Good News Bible also known as the TEV uses a translation method known as dynamic equivalency, which means that it, at least in theory, is suppose to accurately translate ideas as opposed to translating individual words.

 

Most paraphrase Bibles, even those who claim to use dynamic equivalency, don’t seem to adhere very closely to this method of translation, and if you compare them to what would be considered a literal translation, you will often find that not only are the words not the same, but even the general gist of the overall text isn’t the same.  Some paraphrase Bibles even come across as being completely unrelated to The Bible.

 

Even though I said earlier, that in general, Bibles that are literal are usually more accurate than Bibles that are paraphrased, The Good News Bible, is often much more accurate than many Bibles claiming to be literal.

 

The Message, or Message Remix version of the Bible seems to be the worse Bible that currently exists on The Earth today.  When I read it, I don’t understand it, which is completely the opposite of it’s stated goal.  It is written in the style of a really hip modern novel.

 

Even though reading it caused me a lot of unnecessary emotional stress, I did put considerable effort into checking it out.  I always try to figure out how much Church Contamination a Bible has, because in general most mistranslated passages are the result of The Empire’s Religions inserting doctrinal ideas where they do not belong.  The Message Bible not only retains most of the doctrinal foolishness that exist in many other Bibles, but seems to have put considerable effort into completely saturating this translation with verses in support of such things as eternal torment and a trinitarian deity.

 

If you are inspired by the concept of a Father, Son, Holy Ghost, God that spends his day tracking each and every transgression, in order to determine who gets to spend eternity being tortured, and you are a modern, really cool hipster, then the Message Bible may be just what you are looking for.  Otherwise, you may wish to avoid it.

 

Hopefully the information that I just shared with you has been helpful.  I put a lot of thought into what I wanted to say, because I wanted to make sure that anyone watching this video, and thinking about reading The Bible have the best possible chance at success.  I tried to put as much emphasis on the concept of choosing what is the most enjoyable version of The Bible while at the same time highlighting the importance of accuracy.

 

I have been reading books all of my life, and am just as easily entertained by a book as I am by a trip to the movie theater.  As a result I can pretty much read anything and get something out of it.  But at the same time I find it very easy to understand why someone might not be as comfortable with reading as myself.

 

There are plenty of books out there about how to operate a computer.  How to load programs, how to use those programs, how to edit audio and video, but without someone to walk me through such things I am completely lost.  Written material about modern gadgetry has almost no value to me.  I imagine that many people feel the same way about other books.  Including The Bible.

 

When the first man was created he instantly knew how to talk.  There is considerable evidence that before the flood, the written word did not even exist.  Unlike the spoken word, the written word was not part of our instinctive makeup.

 

Currently, my favorite version of the Bible is the English Standard Bible, also known as the ESV.  I have several subscribers that tell me that they use it exclusively.  But, at the same time, many more of my subscribers tell me that they use the King James Bible exclusively.  A Bible that I am barely able to understand.

 

Even though I would highly recommend that someone wishing to read The Bible for the first time avoid The King James Version, I can understand a person’s wish to do so.  Nearly every verse that English speakers can call to mind is going to be in the King James format.

 

Since the only reason that I made this video is to help others chose a version of The Bible that is easy to read, as well as accurate, I think that it is essential that I highlight the fact that the King James Bible is one of the most difficult versions to read, while at the same time being one of the most inaccurate.

 

There are plenty of Books, Articles, Podcasts, and Internet Videos talking about how the King James Bible is the only accurate Bible, the only English Bible translated directly from the most ancient original documents, and the only Bible authorized by God.  I think that it is important that you understand that none of that is true.

 

I don’t expect anybody watching this video to just take my word for it.  But I also don’t think that you should take the words of all of those King James bloggers either.  Unlike those in The King James Only community, I have no hidden agenda.  My goal from the day that I started this Channel is and always has been to reveal truth to as many people as possible, as efficiently as possible.  Nothing else. 

 

With just a little bit of helpful information anyone wishing to learn the truth about The King James Bible can, with a minimal amount of research, figure out that what I am saying is true, if such a person is willing to base their understanding on what they can see for themselves, and not on peer pressure.

 

As part of this series, I will be posting a video, specifically about the history of The English version of The Bible that will go into some detail about how our English Bible’s developed.  It will not be based on information that is already out there, but on simple observation, of how the different translations compare to one another.

 

The next video in this series will not be about language, or history, but simply about the actual methods used to produce the paper copies of the Bible that you will be reading.  As someone that has read the Bible many times, I can tell you from personal experience that it gets harder and harder every year to do so.  Things such as the weight and feel of a book combined with the size and clarity of the print, can make a huge difference in how much effort you will have to put into reading a Bible.

 

Even if you have perfect vision, and powerful arms, there is no reason to try to read a heavy 1,500 page book, with tiny gray print on a yellow background.  Reading a Bible cover to cover will involve a whole lot of time.  You may as well set yourself up for the most enjoyable experience possible.

 

People are usually much more willing to do things that are enjoyable than they are at doing things that are difficult and painful.

 

As always.  If you don’t want to survive……… don’t listen to me.

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