I have been conducting seminars on the history of the English Bible for the past dozen years. Inevitably, I get questions like, “What’s the most literal translation out there?” “What’s a good study Bible?” “Which Bible is the most accurate?” “What’s a good Bible for a new Christian to get?”

These are excellent questions. I will try to offer some guidelines here for the general English-speaking reader of the Bible, though it will be necessarily brief.

Let me start with two assumptions. First, your native tongue is English. Second, you live in a country whose native tongue—or one of them—is English (e.g., United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand). Obviously, not everyone reading this blog post will qualify, but these are the folks that I am addressing.

There are far more translations of the Bible into English than any other language on the planet. There are historical reasons for this, but we won’t go into them—except to say this: English-speaking countries for the most part have a broadly Christian culture as part of their heritage. To be sure, all are living in a post-Christian age now, but a large part of the heritage of that culture involves the Bible and Christianity. The influence of the Bible on the English-speaking world is absolutely stunning. It permeates almost every nook and cranny of our society, even if not intentionally so. E. D. Hirsch’s Cultural Literacy (1988) has a 60+ page appendix of words and phrases that every literate American ought to know. It’s amazing how many words and phrases are right out of the Bible and Christian thought.

Or consider the other end of the cultural continuum, pop music. Some of the best known rock songs, especially from the 60s and 70s, have allusions to the Bible and Christianity. Led Zeppelin’s Stairway to Heaven, for example, speaks of “stairway to heaven” (of course!), “there are two paths you can go,” “our soul… the truth will come to you”; Don McLean’s American Pie: “do you have faith in God?”, “can music save your mortal soul?”, “If the Bible tells you so…,” “while the King was looking down the Jester stole his thorny crown,” “Fire is the devil’s only friend,” “no angel born in hell could break that satan’s spell,” “the three men I admire most: the Father, Son, and the Holy Ghost…”; Steppenwolf’s The Pusher: “God damn the Pusher,” “I’d declare total war on the Pusher man…I’d kill him with my Bible…”

Whether one is a Christian, non-Christian, or anti-Christian, the Bible is a book that has infected our culture and the way we communicate.

So, what’s the best Bible to get? There’s no simple answer to this question. I will instead offer three or four categories of Bibles that every English-speaking Christian should own.

First, I think everyone should own a King James Bible. It has been hailed as one of the greatest literary monuments to the English language, and the greatest literary monument every produced by a committee. Regardless of what you think of the KJV’s accuracy, it is a must for all English-speaking Christians. I would add that I think it’s a must for all English-speaking people, regardless of their faith commitments. The KJV will celebrate its 400th anniversary next year. I would recommend that folks get a hold of Donald Brake’s A Visual History of the King James Bible, which will be released next year. Fascinating study of this incredible literary achievement. The only modern translation to come close to the KJV’s lyrical quality is the REB.

Second, I would propose that every English-speaking Christian own a good study Bible. It should be accurate and readable, and have plenty of helpful notes. There are several excellent study Bibles available, but the one I like the best is the NET Bible (available at www.bible.org). Why the NET? In part, because I worked on it—both as a translator and editor. But I was also a consultant for three or four other translations. What makes the NET Bible unique are three things: its philosophy of translation, how it was produced, and its extensive footnotes. The translation philosophy was to combine three different approaches: accuracy, readability, and literacy. The history of the Bible in English actually breaks down into three periods: the KJV was a literary production (following in the footsteps of Tyndale); beginning with the Revised Version of 1885, accuracy was king; beginning with the NIV, readability was of primary importance. The NET Bible’s philosophy of translation was to combine the three periods of English Bible translation. Often these three objectives are opposed to each other. In such cases, the footnotes in the NET give an alternative, usually the more accurate translation (which is also less elegant and readable).

The NET’s method of production was to put provisional translations of each of the books up on the Internet for the whole world to see. Over 100,000 comments and suggestions were made by reviewers, many of which were incorporated into the final translation. This was the first Bible ever beta-tested on the Internet.

Finally, it has more footnotes than any other Bible in history—over 60,000 of them! They are of three types: tn, which are translator’s notes; sn, which are study notes, often giving the various interpretations of the text; and tc, which are text-critical notes, giving the data from ancient manuscripts for competing readings.

But there are other good study Bibles, too. The ESV is an excellent, literary translation with understated elegance, in keeping with the KJV and RSV. And its study Bible, with articles and notes, is excellent. The NIV Study Bible has very good notes and a very readable translation, but it interprets a bit too much for my tastes. The NRSV is a very good translation, though its stance on gender inclusivism sometimes mars the beauty of the translation and is even, at times, misleading (cf. Matt 18.15; 1 Tim 3.2). The REB is a gender-inclusive translation but it has sidestepped the problems of the NRSV by giving literary power a higher priority.

One of the myths of a good translation is that to be accurate it must be a word-for-word translation. Languages don’t work that way. A word in one language cannot always be translated by one word in another language. For example, Greek has four different words for love, six different words for mind. Sometimes a paraphrase is necessary to bring out the nuances of the Greek into English. Further, idioms in one language are often, if not usually, unique to that language. In Matthew 1.18, the KJV says that Mary was ‘with child’; the NET says she was ‘pregnant.’ But the Greek idiom says, literally, that she was ‘having [it] in the belly’! Every woman who has ever been pregnant knows what that is like! Very graphic, but not particularly appropriate for a translation. Ironically, the most literal translation is probably the worst translation because it fails to communicate the Greek or Hebrew into acceptable English, misleading the reader.

Finally, I suggest that every English-speaking Christian get a Bible that is readable, lively, and captures the ‘feel’ of the original. The more accurate Bibles usually don’t do this (including the NET and ESV). The NIV comes close, but Eugene Peterson’s The Message, the Living Bible, and J. B. Phillips’ The New Testament in Modern English do well in this regard. These are Bibles that are meant to be read one chapter (or passage) at a time, not verse by verse. In fact, Phillips stripped out the verse numbers and only had chapters so that the reader would not get bogged down when reading the text.

So, what Bible should you own? At least three, and one of them needs to be the King James Bible. But whatever you get, make sure to read it!

C Michael Patton
C Michael Patton

C. Michael Patton is the primary contributor to the Parchment and Pen/Credo Blog. He has been in ministry for nearly twenty years as a pastor, author, speaker, and blogger. Find him on Patreon Th.M. Dallas Theological Seminary (2001), president of Credo House Ministries and Credo Courses, author of Now that I'm a Christian (Crossway, 2014) Increase My Faith (Credo House, 2011), and The Theology Program (Reclaiming the Mind Ministries, 2001-2006), host of Theology Unplugged, and primary blogger here at Parchment and Pen. But, most importantly, husband to a beautiful wife and father to four awesome children. Michael is available for speaking engagements. Join his Patreon and support his ministry

    141 replies to "What Bible Should I Own (Dan Wallace)"

    • Yohan Perera

      My favorites are NET (love it!!!), KJV and Full Life Study Bible (NIV)… However you have pointed out some useful truths about the other common translations and I will consider adding some of those to my library…

    • Daniel B. Wallace

      Karen, thanks for the question. If you look at the cultural background of ‘in the bosom of the Father,’ it was an idiom for being the guest of honor at a meal. The guest of honor was the friend of the host—and a very good friend at that. Although we can legitimately translate the idiom at ‘near the heart of the Father,’ ‘in closest fellowship’ actually captures the sentiment a bit better.

      Let’s say I have a feast and invite a dozen friends. A special seat is reserved for the guest of honor. He’s next to me. There may well be implied a sense of competition, at least in the sense that he is chosen for that seat while others are not. The NET Bible thus accurately represents what the Greek idiom of John 1.18 says. As I mentioned earlier, we see later on in John that the evangelist will describe Jesus’ relation to the Father in a number of ways that speak of the closest possible intimacy. John starts the process in his prologue, but he’s not done telling us about Jesus yet!

    • […] Wallace strikes Back! Posted on September 12, 2010 by T.C. R In linking back my post to this original piece, I somehow was able to get a reply out of Professor Daniel B. Wallace: “I would like to […]

    • Karen

      Dear Daniel Wallace, thank you so much for your message. Again, I really, really appreciate it. I was discussing this verse with a very special someone who is a teen–oh, out of the mouth of babes.
      This someone said to me, the what if, question. “What if, “God” inspired “John” to write bosom, even if it is sexual or sensual?”

      Out of the mouth of babes.

      This teen is wondering why there is not an English Bible out there that is just word for word, and let people figure it out for themselves what it means.
      Funny, I do realize we have the interlinear s, but then we have to decide if we want the Received Text version, the Nestle-Aband, United Bible Society, WH, Tisch, etc, etc. 🙂

    • Susan

      …as I said on the other thread, Dan just became a grandpa last night (9-11) so, he’s a little preoccupied! A little baby girl is God’s gift to this all-boy family!

    • Daniel B. Wallace

      Karen, here’s the situation: God did not “inspire John to write bosom, even if it is sexual or sensual.” As I mentioned earlier, ‘bosom’ is a translation in John 1.18 of a Greek word that does not have sexual connotations in the New Testament or early Christian literature. It is an archaic rendering, which is therefore misleading. This is precisely why we need new translations all the time: people will read meanings INTO the text that simply are not there.

      For example, in the KJV at 2 Tim 2.15 it says, “Study to shew thyself approved.” In 1611 ‘study’ meant ‘be diligent.’ Now, it is almost strictly related to the acquisition of knowledge through diligent examination of something. But in 1611 people read this text to mean, “be diligent”–a much broader application than ‘study.’ Because the English language has changed, Bible translations need to change so as to help folks understand what the Bible means.

    • Karen

      Dear Daniel Wallace, No, you misunderstand the words of a very wise teenager. The words “Even if” were words of extension, the if statement, but the point is John did write the word Bosom. That is the point. The question is whether that was inspired by God or not, that word in the Greek Text. In your message 91, you even stated what this word meant in the Greek.
      We are not reading anything into the text. Actually, I find this word Bosom very spiritual, as you saw me asking about “in the heart” if that was saying the same, because that is how I always saw it. In defense–when Jesus said that He was in the Father, and the Father was in Him. This is where I think this passage is supporting what Jesus states later at the Last Supper. I see this completely spiritually and literally. My actual complaint nowadays with modern translations is that putting Jesus near or on the side, makes it sound like people are doctrinally altering the placement of Jesus. Yes, it is true that there are verses in the New Testament that talk about His Authority and on the Right Half of the Father and sitting there, but Jesus also talks about being in the Father and the Father in Him. Take this verse and change it to support the authority in Heaven, versus the literal, which Jesus describes disturbs me. Therefore, when I read bosom and it says so in the Greek, I think it was truly inspired. To alter it, I believe begins to corrupt it. But the truth is, if you do not believe that God inspired John to write bosom…I do not think we are on the same page. And I do not believe we have to rewrite the Bible for modern times as you said. I believe all that is needed is sentences that are readable while staying as accurate to the Greek as possible. To rewrite what John said with the idea that we know what he was trying to say based on expressions, can be harmful, for what if he was using an expression of the day, to make a new point?

    • Karen

      I want to say I am very sorry for throwing my weight around. I realize my own remarks probably have made me a hypocrite particularly with my own ideas on how to translate this verse.

      When I think about all this, with continual new translations surfacing, perhaps there might be a solution to all this. Perhaps scholars could come up with a new type of cataloging of new translations that surface. What I mean is that currently we have what everyone is calling word equivalents and it kind of jumps right into paraphrases and thought for thoughts. With more and more translations coming forth, maybe it would be a delight to modern readers is a more defined assessment of translations. Maybe categories that shows something like this:
      1.Word for Word (includes interlinear s, literal word for word as close as possible to Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic original words.
      2.Re-interpreted (includes translations that help you to understand sayings, idioms, expressions by re-defining them)
      3.Multi-manuscript 1 (includes translations that basically require a new interlinear compilation and may even have extended alternative notes and basically covers Received Text and all others but tries to be word for word)
      4.Multi-manuscript 2 (but includes such as the NIV but is more a thought for thought idea but not a big stretch out there type of thing by any means)
      5. Thought for thoughts (this tries to be accurate but is leaning toward more understanding of what is meant. This might include very good translations like God’s Word Translation)
      6. Paraphrases (This includes of course Living Bible)
      7. Loose Paraphrase, story like (This includes Message Bible which is an awesome Bible but is trying to emphasis the point for the Beginner or one who wants to understand the Bible in a nutshell.This is the kind of translation in this class that should not expect anything like a word for word equivalent for that is not its intention, but still is a great translation for the great purpose it…

    • Karen

      I ran out of room, so what I meant to conclude is that translations are an interpretation of course, no matter how word for word equivalent they are.
      But I shared my thoughts about perhaps a more defined catalog because I think in due time it might be necessary so those translating Bibles for the purposes that they did so, even those that are written for children, would be appreciated for what it was meant for, instead of being accused of what it was not maybe meant to be.
      Also, by my list above, it obviously falls way short, because certain translations fall into more than one category, of course.
      So it might be better to be a chart check off sheet type thing.

      But regardless, I think a more defined method is in order. As I do believe it will be more and more confusing in the future if these Bibles are not clearly defined.

      I say this in a heartfelt love for all our brothers and sisters who translate God’s Word for today that will affect future generations.

    • Renju Philip

      A good resource by Robert L Thomas



    • Daniel B. Wallace

      Karen, I appreciate your comments, but I think you have a fundamental misunderstanding of what a translation is. All translation is interpretive. You wanted to have a translation that was word-for-word. This is actually the worst kind of translation because it is misleading. The task of the translator is to be faithful to the meaning of the original and to make sure that this fidelity comes across accurately in translation. No one who knows me would ever accuse me of not thinking that the Bible is inspired. So, let’s not go in that direction.

      Below are three verses that are translated word for word:

      Matt 1.18: “Of the now Jesus Christ the beginning thus was. Of having become engaged of the mother of him of Mary to the Joseph, before or to come together them {he/she/it} was found in belly having from spirit holy.”

      Rom 1.12: “This but is to be mutually encouraged in you through the in one another of faith of you and and of me.”

      John 4.2: “Although Jesus himself not was baptizing but the disciples of him”

      I hope you can see how absurd it would be to do a word-for-word translation. It doesn’t communicate anything in English. It’s not English. And it’s nearly impossible to figure out what is going on in the text. The first two examples show this clearly. The third example, John 4.2, can be translated fairly straightforwardly, and be fairly well understood in English. The problem is that the understanding in English is incorrect. The verse is not saying that Jesus baptized only his disciples. No, it says that Jesus was not baptizing anyone, but his disciples WERE baptizing people. In order to have an accurate translation, one must add the word ‘were’ even though it is not in the Greek text. That’s because this is what the Greek must mean.

      More soon…

    • Daniel B. Wallace

      As I mentioned previously, the KJV is not a word-for-word translation. Far from it! The original preface, in fact, talked about the freedom of the translators to vary their style in English even when the Greek was the same each time. And when the KJV says, ‘God forbid!” the Greek says, “May it never be!” Although that’s two words in Greek, the KJV is highly interpretive and captured the meaning well for its day. One of the most literal translations was the RV of 1885. But it was so ugly a translation that it didn’t do very well.

      Or consider 2 Timothy 2.15: “Study to shew thyself approved” in the KJV. But ‘study’ in 1611 meant ‘be diligent.’ The text is not saying ‘study’ as in ‘examine something in detail.’ No, it’s saying be diligent in showing yourself approved.

      In short, it’s a myth to think that a word-for-word translation is faithful to the original. As for ‘bosom,’ as I have mentioned before that this produces a false understanding in English since we naturally think of a woman’s anatomy when we think of bosom. But the word is never used that way in the New Testament nor in the early Christian writings. Further, I already pointed out (which you also acknowledged) what this idiom referred to. We have firm evidence of this, so we are on solid ground when we translate the idiom non-literally. Hence, one has to interpret or else he/she will be unfaithful to the meaning. In KJV English, ‘bosom’ may have been fine, but not today.

      To take another example: The RSV (1952) has “I will accept no bull from your house” in Psalm 50.9. Today, this means something quite different from what it meant in 1952! So, the RSV translators have revised it (NRSV) to say, “I will not accept a bull from your house.”


    • Daniel B. Wallace

      Or consider “man” in virtually all translations until the late 1980s. In English, “man” was commonly used to refer to both men and women through the first two thirds of the twentieth century. Same with the word “Brethren/brothers.” But no longer. Translators have had to go back through the Greek and Hebrew and determine whether “people” are in view as opposed to just men, and whether ‘brothers’ means ‘brothers and sisters’. We MUST find parallels in the language of the day or else our interpretations are based on thin air. But the task of Bible translating is one that has a long history and is increasingly becoming more accurate. But it absolutely must keep up with how the receptor language is being used in the culture at that time.

      In short, all translation is interpretation. And that’s because language is a living thing. In fact, a word-for-word translation is the very worst translation that one can do because it will give false readings at every turn of what the original text actually means.

    • Karen

      Dear Daniel Wallace,
      I agree with you, of course, that expressions can be so misunderstood. Take for example, it was about my 15th Birthday, where my dad in old European dry humor, farmer joke, type of thing, said to me, Whew, No Pig Gets That Old. He wasn’t calling me a pig. He was just making a funny statement that pigs don’t get that old. So, every birthday after, he reminded me, no pig gets that old. So, I always thought that was funny and later, years later at a company I worked at we had this dry board and in celebrations of birthdays, put such things on it, Over The Hill, No Pig Gets that Old, and such.
      Well, one day it suddenly occurred to me.
      You could NOT say, No Pig Gets That Old, to a cop. It would not mean the same thing. You just couldn’t. No.

      I hope you laughed.
      Well, I say that to say, I do agree with you in many various ways.
      And I say all that I did previously about cataloging translations more in a more defined sense, is for that very reason. So people would not be offended by the various renderings and translation privileges that do cause confusion. If there were upfront honest approaches to every translation then people will be happy because they know what they are reading. Perhaps, a better way to say this is exactly what you have been describing above…when people like myself hear Word for Word or a new Bible being described as accurate, we are looking for a word for word, and are rather disappointed. And perhaps it just can’t be done. But if it is carefully defined, people feel at peace, yes? I know I would for I would view it just the way it was meant to be and described as such and taken as such. Perhaps the very declaration of “accurate” is what is the problem.
      Blessings to you.

    • Susan

      Karen, do you happen to own a copy of the NET, of which Dan was the senior N.T. editor? I realize that it is accessible online, but if you have the ‘first edition’ in hand it is chock-full of translator notes (60,932 to be exact!). It affords the reader the opportunity to ‘look over the translator’s shoulder’ and see first hand what the difficulties of translation are in multitudes of passages, and thus follow the reasoning processes which lead the translator to the carefully chosen verbiage of the particular text. If you don’t have a copy I would think that it would be of particular interest to you. Wycliffe Bible translators use the NET in the field when they are translating into previously ‘unreached’ languages, because the notes are so helpful. The NET is available for purchase only at http://www.Bible.org .

    • Karen

      Dear Susan, I have the Reader’s Edition. I did get it there some time ago, but it is also available in other places online as well for awhile now.
      Regarding Wycliffe…just wanted to mention, the Wycliffe translation of long ago is one of my favorites!
      I have a passion for Bibles.

    • Clay Knick


      Did you know (I’m sure you do) that the Lutheran Seminary in Gettysburg requires the NET Diglot in all their Greek NT classes? I bought mine from their bookstore.

      I think using the KJV is a great idea. I strongly agree with you about this. I refer to it just about every week when I study for a sermon. I was raised and educated on the RSV so it was not difficult at all to read the KJV since there is so much of the KJV in the RSV. I like the NRSV a lot, but feel it is quirky at times.

      The REB is lovely. I have loved reading the NIV for many, many years. The NLT is great for reading narratives and the Gospels, but I don’t like the poetic books as much, but like Proverbs.

      I think you made an excellent point about using some translations for close study of a verse, while others are better for reading long passages.

    • Rob Kashow

      Not sure if someone has pointed this out, but if one doesn’t like the NIV Study Bible because the NIV is too free with its translation, the solution is simple. It’s not strictly speaking the NIV study bible, but rather the Zondervan study bible. The exact same introductory and study notes are found in the NASB study bible, for example. If this was the only problem then with such a study Bible, it must rank very high sans the NIV.

    • Michael T.

      FYI I have both the standard version and the Reader’s Version of the NET (within arm’s reach actually). The Reader’s Version does not contain all the notes that the standard version does. I would highly recommend purchasing a standard version as the quantity and thoroughness of the notes is amazing.

    • Karen

      Dear Michael T, Thanks. I debated over that some time ago, but realized I had great software and much already…oh yes.
      I’ve even had life changing letter correspondence with Jay P. Green, Sr. and have some of his works too. To give you an idea how blessed I am.

    • Karen

      Dear Daniel Wallace, Greetings to you. I wanted to say something to you. I had been wondering briefly, for example, when I wrote the first few sentences of Message 109 and compared with your first sentences of your Message 111, what you were trying to say to me based on what I had just said there at 109, and some other examples above, but when it is all said and done…I want you to know…you really helped me, and I appreciate it. Your needed further explanations REALLY helped me and your previous explanations. I have much more peace, and I thank you. Furthermore, the Lord has been renewing my mind and last night was another breakthrough. Some of this, came forth from these messages, even though they seem to be in part just random acts of various comments, above here on this blog. Thanks. I have such joy I had not felt in a while. Blessings to you in Jesus’ Name.

    • […] Lees bietjie meer van wat hy kwyt raak hier. […]

    • Chris

      Remember the “text” is the issue, not a personal preference, or feelings. 50 people will tell you 50 different things, who cares. BEWARE of the smoke screens. Make sure the Bible you choose does “NOT” come from the Westcott Hort, Nestle Aland, Unite Bible Society stream. These are corrupt manuscripts. Dean Burgon fought this very battle in 1883, see The Revision Revised. No one alive today has his scholarship. Sadly all modern versions come from these stream. Do your home work, be a “Nobel Berean”.

    • Daniel B. Wallace

      Chris, you are half right: the text is the issue, but so is the translation philosophy. It is the translation philosophy that is why I like the KJV so much. It’s not the text, however. That text was based on late and inferior manuscripts, assembled and collated into a printed text which would be called the Textus Receptus (TR). Westcott and Hort spent 28 years demonstrating the inferiority of the TR. To be sure, Burgon was very knowledgeable, but his presuppositions were so strong they prevented him from seeing the truth.

      Finally, to say that modern critical Greek texts and translations from them are based on corrupt manuscripts is certainly true precisely because ALL manuscripts are corrupt, including those behind the TR and KJV. I have spent the last eight years examining and photographing hundreds of Greek New Testament manuscripts, most of them of the Byzantine text-form which Burgon preferred. I have yet to see a perfect manuscript.

    • Chris

      Daniel, the text is the whole issue. If the root be corrupt so will the fruit be corrupt, if “all manuscripts are corrupt”, then all Bibles are corrupt. Do you believe all Bibles are corrupt?

      You also stated” Burgon was very knowledgeable, but his presuppositions were so strong they prevented him from seeing the truth.” If all manuscripts are corrupt then what truth was Burgon supposed to see?
      Did you mean when he found out that Vance Smith, a Unitarian (page 515) who denied the doctrine of the Trinity was changing the Greek text that proved the deity of Christ. Burgon said “Vance Smith was the one who inserted the word(s) “He who” for God in 1 Timothy 3:16 “. Burgeon said “Vance Smith stood without and found fault. But in the affair of 1881 Dr. Vance Smith revises, and ventilates heresy from within… pg. 513.

    • Karen

      Greetings to all! I have been thinking a lot on these things since I last wrote here…and Chris brings up the point of the Trinity which is I believe the heartbeat to all these verses in discussion.to know God.On another topic here I mentioned, “Is Jesus in the Godhead” or “Is the Godhead in Jesus”? This is why John 1:18 and Col 2:9 are points of interest and why I see 2 perspectives on the Trinity nowadays.And why Trinitarians who even wrote KJV had their influence…compare 1 Peter 3:15 and you will see what I mean. Regarding the Trinity, in all my studying I now see that I cannot deny Isaiah 9:6. Most Trinitarians do deny that Jesus is the Father. But Isaiah 40:3 is the LORD in Mark 1:3, and after Isaiah 63:9 there are various verses in the following Chapters that declare that LORD is the Father. I said this statement elsewhere and I was told that my very Salvation was at stake because I could not deny these passages and fall in line with the appropriate view of the Trinity.

    • Daniel B. Wallace

      Chris, it is a fact that all MSS are corrupt. Anyone who has examined them even casually will admit this. There are no two MSS that are exactly alike. Since this is the case, you can either claim that ONE and only one MS is perfect or that all are corrupt to varying degrees. One of the things that Burgon did not grasp was that those evil MSS that he so despised ALL had harmonizations in them just as his beloved Byzantine text did. That is, any Gospel MS of any length will harmonize with another Gospel even when most or even all others disagree with it. This is borne out of pious motives. And it is strong evidence that the scribes who copied the scriptures had a high view of the text–including the Alexandrian and Western scribes. One doesn’t harmonize if one wants to destroy the Bible. A question for you: do you know Greek? Have you examined any manuscripts in the flesh? Don’t just rely on the words of Burgon; do your own homework.

    • Daniel B. Wallace

      Karen, it seems to me that you’re taking a rather simplistic view of things. “In all my studying”–what does that mean? Have you examined Isa 9.6 in Hebrew or compared it with other ANE documents that make similar claims? Have you looked at Isa 40.3 in Hebrew or Col 2.9 in Greek? To say that Jesus = the same person as the Father on the basis of one verse that finds an easy explanation is not the result of deep study.

    • Karen

      Dan, actually to be honest, most of these past 25 years, I have been obsessed with the Book of John. I was exposed to radical Trinity views (those that believed even 3 Gods in Heaven, Worship & Sing about Jesus BUT do NOT pray to Jesus), so this led me on a quest for Truth for many years, but after 10 years I finally came to a pivotal place and asked the Lord to show me truth, etc and He began to do so. This was now so long ago, but questions began to surface for me, such as when Jesus in John 4 speaking of the Father stated that the Father was seeking those that worship in Spirit & Truth and God (Father was a Spirit. So in this radical 3 Persons view each having Egos, it hit me, that in a radical view,if the Father is Spirit, IS THE Holy Spirit ANOTHER Spirit? In a three Persons Co-Equal, Co-Eternal view? These things led me to compare John 2:19-21 & Gal 1:1, & Conceived by The Holy Spirit vs Begotten of the Father, etc, etc. It would be like examining John 14:13 and really seeing it

    • Karen

      Also, I do know that the Trinity vs Oneness folks focus on Acts 2:38 vs. Matthew 28:19, but I say…you can’t take one and erase the other, one must take them both! Even more, you can’t make baptism a works to be saved or you end up with legalism as we see today. But when I look at Phil 2:11 and compare that with the Wycliffe where it says The Lord Jesus Christ is in the Glory of the Father…and comparing that in Greek, I really see the tweaking to get it to say Jesus Christ to the Glory of the Father. Even the Greek “to” means more likely “to be”. Or even Wycliffe in John 14:13 even says “Father”, God’s Word puts Father there in para-ins to show that it is implied. But when I think of John 5:43, John 10:25, John 10:30, John 12:45, John 14:24, I simply see that Jesus causes us to believe that HE is the One Who died in our place and made that covenant with Moses and His People, and this very God died in our place..what we deserved, He took upon Himself to fulfill the Law He…

    • Karen

      Oops, I see my message broke off.. LOL
      Dan, my words I hope convey that I have been studying these matters for sometime. What is ever more so sad, is my obsession over this word Trinity, which is not even in the Bible. And as a matter of fact, how many times are Christians discussing words that are not even in the Bible…Calvinism, Dispensation, & a whole lot more. And regarding Trinity…I have never found one person who had the same interpretation as another on it. At this point in my life, I believe that I have come to a place to realize that it IS sacrilege for me to deny verses in the Bible, such as Isaiah 9:6, even if people only believe that is One occurrence, or that it really does not mean what it says, for I have found that to be true as well. As for me, words that are not found in the Bible seem to add mystery, while removing the word, suddenly no more mystery/confusion. Is my salvation based on man-made doctrines?It is like trying to find the perfect creed in books

    • Karen

      I do have a question to ask you, perhaps you can tell me, regarding this topic at hand…the revised 2011 NIV…regarding John 1:18. Now it seems that basically, the NIV simply copied the NET on this. My question, based on the 1984 NIV John 1:18…reads quite differently. It makes me ponder on the scholars who wrote them. Is it the same Scholar who wrote John that revised it today? Do you know the translator (s) for this Book of the Bible for the NIV? This really is perplexing me of late with the revisions coming forth from various Bibles. Are these the original translators? Who authorizes such an update? Especially, if it is not the original scholar, how would they know what the original scholars studied, especially since the NIV is one that claimed so much comparison with many manuscripts in the beginning. So, why the change today? I never hear these scholars of years ago screaming that their words were altered in final print, nor do I hear it today. Where are they?

    • Daniel B. Wallace

      Karen, thanks for your comments. If I understand you correctly, you are saying that the Lord led you to no longer believe in the Trinity. The problem with that approach is that many, many Christians claim that the Lord or the Holy Spirit or Jesus led them to believe something that is contradictory to what others have been “led” to believe. Are you really going to insist that what ‘Father’ means in Isa 9.6 is what it means when speaking of God as Father in the New Testament? If we were to take that approach with scripture, the Bible would be filled with contradictions. Just compare James 2.14-26 with Rom 3.21-4.25 for example. We must allow each human author to speak in his own voice and not assume that every time a particular word is used in scripture it must mean exactly the same thing and have exactly the same referent.

    • Chris

      NIV2011 so sad!!! It will not be the last. Modern versions are not about giving you God’s Word, it is about money. This is taken from the booklet “From the NASB to the KJV” by the co-Author of the NASB. This is whats wrong with modern versions “…but I can no longer ignore these criticisms I am hearing and I can’t refute them. The only thing I can do–and dear Brother, I haven’t a thing against you and I can witness at the judgment of Christ and before men wherever I go that you were 100% sincere,” (he wasn’t schooled in language or anything; he was just a business man; he did it for money; he did it conscientiously; he wanted it absolutely right and he thought it was right; I guess nobody pointed out some of these things to him) “I must under God renounce every attachment to the New American Standard.” THE TESTIMONY OF DR. FRANK LOGSDON CO-FOUNDER OF THE NASV
      The Man who put the NASB together did not even know greek.
      People do not be fooled by those who push Modern…

    • Karen

      Dear Dan, On the contrary, as I said earlier that I discovered that there were 2 ways to see the Trinity…Jesus in the Godhead and the Godhead in Jesus…2 distinct views. But to the 3 Persons in the Godhead…I certainly see what people are saying, and in many ways I see that, for how can anyone communicate the majesty of God without some kind of terms, but the Truth is every single Trinity book I have ever read admits that it, the Trinity view, falls short. And it is easy to see that a Three Head count does not include the 44 or so manifestations of God in the Old Testament and especially the Seven Spirits of God in the New Testament, or the God Who fills the Universe and the God in the Spiritual Realm and the God Who comes in the created Realm (I think this was something Bullinger of the companion bible refers to). My point is that God is too big, and this is my point. Let alone the difficulties of being yelled at because I believe in Isaiah 9:6, and that LORD is Lord same.

    • Karen

      I just found this from Keil-Delitzsch…regarding Eternal Father in Isaiah 9:6…

      The fourth name springs out of the third:
      , eternal Father (not Booty Father, with which Hitzig and Knobel content themselves); for what is divine must be eternal. The title Eternal Father designates Him, however, not only as the possessor of eternity (Hengstenberg), but as the tender, faithful, and wise trainer, guardian, and provider for His people even in eternity (Isa 22:21). He is eternal Father, as the eternal, loving King, according to the description in Ps 72.

    • Jim

      What are your views on the Amplified Bible?

    • JB

      Nazaroo’s dilemma is trying to consider his (or their) own so-called scientific methodology in Biblical criticism and in this manner no well-known biblical scholars e.g. Metzger would qualify.

      Unfortunately, the existing Biblical scholarship has long been have it’s own trajectory. There’s no more point arguing with people whose standards are different.

    • Scott Sherrell

      The NET is simply a bad translation. Why remove figures of speech from the text and place them in the footnotes? I found particularly irksome the fact that Philippians no longer speaks of Paul’s “bonds” but only his “imprisonment.” Imprisonment is much less evocative than bonds and is an unnecessary paraphrase. If you were concerned that the reader would not understand the figure of speech, you should have put an explanation in the footnotes or inserted the italicized word “prison” before “bonds.”

      If scholars are divided over whether adelphoi means “brothers” or “brothers and sisters,” why not simply use the term “brethren”? It preserves the ambiguity of the phrase, allows the reader to interpret it to mean “brothers” or “brothers and sisters,” is neither gender inclusive nor gender exclusive, is less wordy, and would heighten the literary beauty of the translation?

      Why translate each verse in Ephesians 1 as a separate sentence when it was clearly meant to be one interconnected sentence, conveying a sense of breathlessness and excitement? But alas, the reader would never know that by reading the NET.

      I also feel like the NET’s translation of Isaiah 7:14 is too irreverent. Why not at least have “young maiden,” which sounds more dignified than “young woman” and at least gives a possible connotation of sexual purity?

      While it is true that it impossible to translate every Greek word with only one English equivalent all of the time, it is a laudable goal to move in this direction provided that the translation remains readable. A good example of this is the Modern Literal Version (although sadly this is based upon the Majority Text).

      While I could see an argument for translating “Tartarus” or “Gehenna” as hell because few people know what those words mean (although I would still disagree with this), it is incorrect to ever translate “Hades” as “Hell.” Why not simply “the realm of the dead” or “the unseen?” Or leave the…

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