The history of Bible translation dates to ancient times. When text from Hebrew and Greek languages were slowly translated into other dialects, then the use of contemporary language was added to take each passage further and make it comprehensible.
While there are various versions of the Bible, one may wonder how they can tell if a version is the best Bible translation.
Naturally, there are arguments among professionals as to which Bible translation is best.
So, if you too are curious, some reliable resources will help you find an accurate translation.
Humans are Fallible – Therefore, Translations are, too
While you might want something that is accurate, the most accruable Bible translation is something of a myth. This is because humans are fallible, and their translation, even word-to-word, still might not take away the meaning meant by the one who originally wrote it.
Furthermore, the translations today do not look different very much regarding quality, but what they do differ in is terms of the interpretation of the philosophy. Some translations are easier to understand, use less complex language, and make it a passage that you can truly absorb.
3 Types of Bible Translation
1. Word-for-Word Translation
This is a literal translation that stays faithful to the original text and its literal wording. Instead, this translation just takes the Greek, Hebrew, or other language version and translates into the new version. An example of this would be the English Standard Version of the Bible.
This version of the Bible is a literal translation into contemporary English.
Over 100 evangelical scholars and pastors created it, and it is about accuracy, literary excellence, and bringing depth and meaning to those who read it. There are 200 print editions of the ESV, and they offer it online through their smartphone app too.
2. Thought-for-Thought Translation
Instead of doing a literal word-for-word translation, there is the through-for-thought version. This is the best Bible translation for those that want the faithfulness and messages of the original text, as well as the meaning, to be preserved during the conversion process.
An example of this style is the Contemporary English Version (CEV). The CEV started after the studies by Dr. Newman in 1984 realized that the speech patterns used in print should focus on how English is read and heard aloud, especially for children.
The CEV combines an understanding, and it is one of the easier versions to read aloud because it was translated to prevent stumbling in speech. It is also one that can be read and understood by those with little to no Bible knowledge or understanding. Furthermore, the CEV must be understood by all.
3. Bible Translations Mixing Thought and Word Theories
There are also Bibles out there that combine the word-for-word and thought-for-thought versions to create a better approach. The goal of the combination versions ensures language accuracy, but also that the meaning and messages are brought across in a way that they are easily understood.
An example of this style is the New International Version. The New International Version is one that is widely popular among several denominations, and it does not sacrifice precision to provide clarity.
So, Which is the Most Accurate Bible Translation?
There is no such thing as one that is more accurate than the other. While certain groups have started movements to encourage others to use their version, all Bibles send the same message, regardless of how they were translated. Instead, it is about what form speaks to you, which you understand the best, and which offers a delivery of the teachings of Christ that you can relate to.