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clibbyjo

Which Bible to read?

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clibbyjo

My 15 year old was telling me after the Bible ,Don Quixote was the next most printed book. While at the library yesterday, he got out Don Quixote. 8-)

 

Anyway, we were discussing this and fundies/religion on the drive home. I said "You should read the Bible and make up your own mind." and both he and 12 year old said they want to read the bible anyway,but what version? I said KJB is the fundie fav., but I have an old Catholic one in my closet if they want that one. Son says he specifically wants to read Old Testament.I said Jesus was a Jew so maybe he should pay close attention to the first 5 chapters because that is part of the Torah right? I am NOT a Bible person at all so I need help now.

 

So dear FJer's which much more Bible knowledge than myself, which should I recommend? This winter I am hoping to set up a few fieldtrips with different places of worship so the kids get world religion from the actual people to practice it. This Bible reading would fit in great.

Edited by OnceUponATime
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debrand
My 15 year old was telling me after the Bible ,Don Quixote was the next most printed book. While at the library yesterday, he got out Don Quixote. 8-)

Anyway, we were discussing this and fundies/religion on the drive home. I said "You should read the Bible and make up your own mind." and both he and 12 year old said they want to read the bible anyway,but what version? I said KJB is the fundie fav., but I have an old Catholic one in my closet if they want that one. Son says he specifically wants to read Old Testament.I said Jesus was a Jew so maybe he should pay close attention to the first 5 chapters because that is part of the Torah right? I am NOT a Bible person at all so I need help now.

So dear FJer's which much more Bible knowledge than myself, which should I recommend? This winter I am hoping to set up a few fieldtrips with different places of worship so the kids get world religion from the actual people to practice it. This Bible reading would fit in great.

The KJV is beautiful but more difficult to understand. I would suggest the NIV .

Clibby we've been reading about different religions also. I've been shy about asking people from other religions if I can visit their sites or talk with them. Do you find that people are receptive about discussing their faith or letting you observe their places of worship?

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JesusFightClub

I would go for the NIV for the message, with KJV for the language. That combination's what we used at school, and I was way younger than your son.

Speaking of messages, I strongly caution you against "The Message" version. It is a fun read, but it is a paraphrase not a translation.

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contrary

as far as translations go, my favorite is the NRSV (new revised standard version). I think because it's the one i grew up with in the anglican church.

However, for actually learning things about context, history, places, etc, i've found The Learning Bible (which is in either NIV, New International Version (my preference), or CEV (contemporary english version)) to be totally fascinating.

http://www.amazon.com/Learning-Bible-Co ... 1585160172

oh, and yeah. the message SUCKS, translationally.

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clibbyjo

The KJV is beautiful but more difficult to understand. I would suggest the NIV .

Clibby we've been reading about different religions also. I've been shy about asking people from other religions if I can visit their sites or talk with them. Do you find that people are receptive about discussing their faith or letting you observe their places of worship?

Debrand, my friend is teaching the World Religion class at the UU this year and I am totally stealing her contacts. :) She said they have been great and welcoming and they all want to share their religions. :) I think they have done the Hindu temple and Mosque so far. I also hope to add in the Buddhist center and a synagogue. I am a little nervous about the synagogue because most of them are in the city and I do not do well with parellel parking. This is my winter/early spring plan so I am only just beginning to think about it.

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Jeff

I would recommend the New American Standard Bible (NASB) as a highly accurate but readable study translation; it preserves the literary character of the original texts as a formal-equivalent translation, and provides footnotes as needed.

The New American Bible, Revised Edition, is supposed to be pretty good too though I haven't worked with the new edition yet myself - NAB (no relation to NASB) is the authorized American English pulpit Bible of the Roman Catholic Church, the primary successor entity to the people that figured out what texts belong in the Bible in the first place, and has some clout on account of that. NAB was done with primarily a philosophy of dynamic equivalence, favoring clarity over preservation of literary qualities, due to its intention of public proclamation; the latest edition is said to improve formal accuracy significantly.

The New Revised Standard Version is generally good but the translators went just a little overboard with inclusive language to the extent that it obscured the meaning of some passages. I'd suggest any of the above instead, with a particular emphasis on the NASB.

The New International Version (NIV), which debrand suggested, follows a similar philosophy to the NAB, Revised Edition, in that it tends to have highly accurate renderings with concessions to dynamic equivalency for the sake of people listening to it read aloud rather than reading it on paper or a screen. Hosever, unlike NASB, NAB, or NRSV, you cannot get an edition with the Apocrypha, which are some extra Old Testament books included by Roman Catholics, Eastern Orthodox, and most Anglicans/Episcopalians though they are generally held to be not quite as authoritative as the rest. These include some important stuff like the story of the Maccabees, and I would recommend that you purchase an edition that includes them.

Some people love these, but I personally would not recommend:

* The Message (a one-person paraphrase by a Presbyterian minister, derived from the original texts; it has a kind of hokey feel to it and isn't actually more readable than any other)

* King James Version (the traditional Anglican translation from 1611, and a foundational text of Modern English along with the Shakespearean oeuvre and the 1662 edition of the Book of Common Prayer; better ones now exist.)

* Good News Translation / Today's English Version (a dynamic-equivalent "easy reader" edition that sacrifices accuracy and depth for accessibility to people who have difficulty with complex English texts; it's still better than The Message)

* Douay-Rheims and its revisions (the 1582 Roman Catholic translation of the Bible into English; like King James, good but archaic and obsolete).

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maybeizfundie

For readability that's not paraphrase, I'd go with NIV. My Catholic parents like the Jerusalem Bible. Not sure why it's called that, but it does have the Apocrypha.

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Swamptribe

I believe the New Oxford is one of the better translations available. If you can, get them one of the annotated versions. It has all those neat footnote notes that goes into detail about word meanings and such.

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Turtle

I had to buy a New Jerusalem Bible for a worl lit class in college. It has good footnotes (ex. Background on the two creation stories in Genesis,ect) and it has the books that Protestant Bibles don't have.

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emmiedahl

I would recommend a modern Jewish one, although that won't help you with Christianity. I have found that there are minute differences that can change the entire meaning of verse. I don't read Hebrew well, but I love tracing my finger over it and sounding out the words.

You should get him a Book of Mormon as well. I have had so many missionaries tell me that if I read it and prayed about it, I would get a "fire in the belly" that would be a sign it is true. It's nice to be able to say BTDT, didn't happen.

eta: they have Hebrew on one side of the page, English on the other

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iblpdetox

I don't think it has been mentioned yet, but the ESV (English Standard Version) is an excellent literal Bible as far as translation and readability is concerned. It's not as rough to read as the NASB (which is actually my personal favorite). The ESV reads very well, my kids (6 and 4) are able to understand it more easily than other literal translations, and it maintains its simplicity throughout.

There are also great ESV study Bibles if you are interested in providing more contextual knowledge to the text, which is very important if you want to make any attempts at proper interpretation.

I would not recommend the KJV if you are looking to provide clarity in modern language. The KJV was a solid attempt at translation for its day, but it causes a lot of confusion when reading it from the perspective of modern-day English.

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GenerationCedarchip

I second the rec on the ESV study bibles. Some of those are very good and provide good context. The language in the KJV can be difficult and from what I've read, the translation has some flaws. I do like the New King James Version, though. The translation is supposed to be better, and they aim to preserve some of the beauty of the language while making it more readable for modern readers. I've read the NIV and I like that one, too, but sometimes I feel like it oversimplifies the language and to me, the beauty of some of the familiar passages seems to get a little lost.

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bananacat

You do not need to spend money on a Bible. There are numerous free versions online. I go to this site: http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/ and it has all the most common types. I wouldn't recommend reading KJV because language changes so much over time that it's nearly incomprehensible. It's almost enough to be a different language. NIV is pretty easy to understand. You should encourage them to read all the footnotes though, because they are informative and also sometimes funny. A lot of the Biblical names are actually puns. You could also read the Skeptic's Annotated Bible, http://skepticsannotatedbible.com/, but it's in KJV which is hard to understand, and it is clearly not neutral.

However, if your kids want to learn about Christianity, the Bible really won't be enough. Certain denominations of Protestant Christianity are the only religion that I know of that expect the holy text to be the entirety of the religion. All other religions consider the text support for the traditions and religious scholars/leaders. So it's not particularly useful to just read the Bible without learning history and context. If your kids don't want to get involved with an religious leader (sometimes they can be pushy), then you might want to find a book or online Bible study course that will go through the Bible but also explain the context. Unfortunately those types of lessons tend to focus on the more popular and interesting parts of the Bible so you'll have a hard time finding one about all the begats or the two incredibly detailed descriptions of the Ark of the Covenant and the tent it was housed in.

But the Bible is really a collection of various texts throughout the history of Christianity. It isn't and was never intended to be an instruction manual for Christianity. It was never intended to be a standalone object that encompasses a religion and is self-explanatory all by itself.

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FaustianSlip

When I took World Religions in college, we used the Oxford Study Bible, which included the Apocrypha, and which I found to be really good. Lots of footnotes to explain things and provide context; it might be a bit stiff reading, but definitely no moreso than the King James. If one of your sons just wants the Old Testament from a more Jewish translational standpoint, the JTS Tanakh and/or Etz Chaim are generally regarded as very solid translations. I would avoid Artscroll, as they have a tendency to abandon translational accuracy for right-wing religious perspectives, as well as adding a lot of philosophical footnotes that don't give a full perspective and tend to imply that their reading is the only one.

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Kishiria

The New American Bible Revised Edition is fantastic. It incorporates discoveries and language knowledge from the 90s. Amos is no longer a "shepherd" but a "sheep rancher". This makes a huge difference in how to approach the text. I'm no longer Christian but I'm reading the NABRE anyway.

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dawbs

I know the NIV is the trendy 'easy to read' bible, but I'd recommend some other translation, if part of his reading is 'literature'. (my own opinion is that, yes, NIV is readable and 'easy' but that they manage to strip out ALL the poetry in the thing.

I think KJV is worth reading, but I personally go for the Living. A bible with 'study notes' within (I know at that age, the 'life application' bible for students was my fundie book of choice--still is, actually) will help w/ the 'getting' christianity' thing.

And paralell bibles (where one version is side by side w/ another) can be useful. But are also hug and a PITA.

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lizzy

According to the Biblicalscholarship.net lady:

WARNING! DANGER! Publishers who were once trustworthy no longer are--and that includes Cambridge. I have multiple Cambridge Bibles and not one of them passes the test for a Pure Cambridge Edition (PCE) of the King James Bible. MY CAMBRIDGE BIBLES EVEN CONTRADICT EACH OTHER! I just burned a dust jacket from a Cambridge I recently received because it was putting down the Authorised Version. Cambridge is apparently changing spelling and printing out KJV abominations with all kinds of additions to the scriptures like cartoon-looking illustrations and more. [uPDATE] I just burned some old tampered-with KJV family Bibles the other day (one of them contained what I felt was the worst thing that I had ever seen in my life) and afterwards noticed that a KJV only bookseller is selling one of those same abominations, in leather, for $100. He called it quality. These are the days of deep deception but God is revealing what has happened and where all these abominations are coming from--there is only ONE conspiracy and ONE conspirator.

Just a quick interlude for your amusement.

Back to your regularly scheduled discussion...

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Guest Anonymous

Debrand, my friend is teaching the World Religion class at the UU this year and I am totally stealing her contacts. :) She said they have been great and welcoming and they all want to share their religions. :) I think they have done the Hindu temple and Mosque so far. I also hope to add in the Buddhist center and a synagogue. I am a little nervous about the synagogue because most of them are in the city and I do not do well with parellel parking. This is my winter/early spring plan so I am only just beginning to think about it.

I taught UU sunday school for 7 years preK and K. My area of specialty was death practices across cultures and religions. Every week we were doing some kind of funeral for a mouse or frozen goldfish. We did lots of field trips, and hands on stuff with the kids, I had some Buddhist monks come in a gave a talk to the kids about Bardo. This guy used a pile of Barbies on monofilament to show the 'spirits' lurking around.

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emmiedahl

Are all UU churches like this? I have a UU friend trying to convince me to start a Jewish group at her church. Apparently they have a Wiccan group, a religious Buddhist group... I was like, are you all Christian? I have thought about checking it out because my kids are starting to feel the dissonance of Mommy is this religion, Daddy is that one. It does not help that Daddy is losing his Christianity.

My daughter and I were talking this morning about Satan and Hell and I gave her the Catholic belief and the Jewish one. She said, but which is right? I said, probably neither. You have to decide what you believe. She was not happy with that answer.

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kthomp38+

I have always read The NIV and memorized the KJV because it has the beautiful poetic feel that makes it easy to memorize. My preacher and other Methodist Churches are starting to use the NRSV which is also easy to understand. I agree with someone upthread who posted you could use something like Biblegateway that would be a great way to compare versions.

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CanticleoftheTurning

I'm partial to the NAB, NIV, NRSV and other similar Bibles that are in the middle--not too literally translated, and yet not too "dynamically" translated (not like the Message, which is NOT a translation at all, it's like a parody.)

My other favorite Bible translation is this one: http://www.lolcatbible.com/index.php?title=Main_Page

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ImNoSupermom

I would get a New Revised Standard Bible with the Apocrypha... the Apocryphal books ARE part of the Bible and shouldn't be ignored. I know that's not a fundie belief at all, so if that's what you're going for, check out the New Living Translation... its really readable, especially for younger folks.

I always think its funny that fundies are obsessed with the 1611 King James Bible but they totally ignore the fact that this Bible contained the books they deem "apocryphal." So they aren't *really* going after that version of the Bible but one of the versions of that translation which have come out since then.

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Kaylee

I really like the ESV for readability and close translation. There are several ESV study Bibles, but most or all of these take a Reformed/Calvinist slant, so that's something to be aware of.

For online Bibles, my favorite is YouVersion.com - it's free, tons of different versions, reading plans, and you can compare various translations, make your own notes, and read others' notes on each verse.

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Jessica

I love the KJV and recently decided to branch out and get the New Living Translation. I love it! I read the New Testament in the NLT in August and quite often I'd read something that I read a hundred times before in the KJV but never understood, and I'd think "OH! THAT is what they were saying! NOW it makes sense!" Love the NLT. :)

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pomology
I would recommend a modern Jewish one, although that won't help you with Christianity. I have found that there are minute differences that can change the entire meaning of verse. I don't read Hebrew well, but I love tracing my finger over it and sounding out the words.

You should get him a Book of Mormon as well. I have had so many missionaries tell me that if I read it and prayed about it, I would get a "fire in the belly" that would be a sign it is true. It's nice to be able to say BTDT, didn't happen.

eta: they have Hebrew on one side of the page, English on the other

Also, a lot of Jewish Bibles have commentary with them, which can be very interesting. In fact, I find looking at a Bible that is not in two languages and without commentary to be totally disorienting.

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