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Old 04-02-2009, 04:34 PM   #16
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No, that's non-canonical.
Wait, isn't the pretty much the definition of Apocrypha?

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Old 04-02-2009, 04:39 PM   #17
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The Catholics and some Anglicans give certain Apocryphal books a semi-authorised status. They are compatible with the rest of the Bible, so should not be disregarded, but do not have the same status as the official canonical books. Hence the King James version Apocrypha.

There are a number of other texts, like the heaps of Gnostic gospels which were either never considered, or were definitively rejected from the canon. The Gospel of Mary Magdalene falls into this latter category.
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Old 04-02-2009, 06:21 PM   #18
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The Catholics and some Anglicans give certain Apocryphal books a semi-authorised status. They are compatible with the rest of the Bible, so should not be disregarded, but do not have the same status as the official canonical books. Hence the King James version Apocrypha.

There are a number of other texts, like the heaps of Gnostic gospels which were either never considered, or were definitively rejected from the canon. The Gospel of Mary Magdalene falls into this latter category.
When the Canon was determined in the 4th century the new testament was determined to be the 27 books we now have in the Bible. However, at that the time old testament was simply taken as it existed. Canon was not established for it and it was based on the Septuagint version of the old testament. What is now called the apocrypha was part of this version. The Jewish canon had already expunged these books by the end of the first century.

During the protestant reformation most Protestants chose to use the Jewish canon at the source of the old testament but preserved the names and book order that was already in use (The Jewish Bible has some differences). The Catholics changed their Bible and moved the Apocrypha to its own section and gave it the status that Patricia mentioned at this time.

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Old 04-02-2009, 06:26 PM   #19
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So, what's the best bible out of the three for a non-Christian?

I can't justify keeping three of them on my Kindle.
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Old 04-02-2009, 06:37 PM   #20
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So, what's the best bible out of the three for a non-Christian?

I can't justify keeping three of them on my Kindle.
I'm basically having the same quandry.

Today's New International Version (TNIV) is probably the best for now. It's a revised version of the NIV which I believe is still the most widely used version in American churches. The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), if it becomes available for free, is arguably a better mainstream choice, and also very widely accepted.
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Old 04-02-2009, 06:37 PM   #21
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Kind of a matter of opinion. I like the TNIV (Today's New International Version) for reading. If you want to match old quotes, the KJV will match words best when you do a "search". And Dale I think likes the ESV best. Or maybe it was another version....

You could download them all (all the free ones) and delete the ones you don't care for. They'll still be in your "archives" then, in case you want them later.
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Old 04-02-2009, 06:49 PM   #22
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You could download them all (all the free ones) and delete the ones you don't care for. They'll still be in your "archives" then, in case you want them later.
That's what I did, I'm trying to decide which two to delete.

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Today's New International Version (TNIV) is probably the best for now. It's a revised version of the NIV which I believe is still the most widely used version in American churches. The New Revised Standard Version (NRSV), if it becomes available for free, is arguably a better mainstream choice, and also very widely accepted.
Which one would be considered closest to the original text?

Last edited by Sporadic; 04-02-2009 at 06:52 PM.
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Old 04-02-2009, 06:52 PM   #23
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They ALL do the translation from the original text. It just depends on which century's English you want to think in.

You might compare Psalm 23 in all three, and see which speaks to you.
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Old 04-02-2009, 07:21 PM   #24
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Which one would be considered closest to the original text?
I'm not trying to sound superior, here, but in asking that question you indicate that you don't really understand the issue. Here's a chart I found:



But the most "literal" translations are often very difficult to understand and even more difficult to relate to. It's just those Japanese instructions you get translated into English; if you just make word-for-word subsitutions what you get is something that's impossible to comprehend. The KJV is more "literal" than many contemporary versions, but it also contains outright "errors" based on poor understanding of translations at the time.

The whole point of most modern translations is to be more accurate but at the same time less literal, and more understandable in modern English. Most of the Bibles you find in churches these days fall somewhere in the middle between literal and paraphrase.

But no one really knows what the "original" text was. Does a certain word mean "virgin" or "young woman"? Well in Greek at one time it mean one thing and at another time another. But if I replace "virgin" with "young woman", am I denying a holy truth about Mary? The literal translation of the Hebrew word for "spirit" is "wind", but if I start talking about the Holy Wind it loses something, not to mention causing millions of children to titter. They *meant* spirit if if they did not literally *write* spirit. When the Hebrew text literally speaks of women "grinding together", again, it makes the modern reader's imagination run wild, but what the text *really* meant was grinding *grain* together. Yet the word for grain or wheat is not literally written in the text. Thus you get a form of translation called "dynamic equivalence" which tries to resolve these issues.
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Old 04-02-2009, 07:53 PM   #25
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I'm not trying to sound superior, here, but in asking that question you indicate that you don't really understand the issue. Here's a chart I found:



But the most "literal" translations are often very difficult to understand and even more difficult to relate to. It's just those Japanese instructions you get translated into English; if you just make word-for-word subsitutions what you get is something that's impossible to comprehend. The KJV is more "literal" than many contemporary versions, but it also contains outright "errors" based on poor understanding of translations at the time.

The whole point of most modern translations is to be more accurate but at the same time less literal, and more understandable in modern English. Most of the Bibles you find in churches these days fall somewhere in the middle between literal and paraphrase.

But no one really knows what the "original" text was. Does a certain word mean "virgin" or "young woman"? Well in Greek at one time it mean one thing and at another time another. But if I replace "virgin" with "young woman", am I denying a holy truth about Mary? The literal translation of the Hebrew word for "spirit" is "wind", but if I start talking about the Holy Wind it loses something, not to mention causing millions of children to titter. They *meant* spirit if if they did not literally *write* spirit. When the Hebrew text literally speaks of women "grinding together", again, it makes the modern reader's imagination run wild, but what the text *really* meant was grinding *grain* together. Yet the word for grain or wheat is not literally written in the text. Thus you get a form of translation called "dynamic equivalence" which tries to resolve these issues.
I admit I don't know much about this. Thanks for the great explanation.

After taking badgoodDeb's suggestion and playing around with all three, I think I'm going to go with God's Word. Even though the navigation leaves a bit to be desired, the text seems much cleaner with less notes. It will serve my purpose well enough.

I've never been religious in the official sense (thankfully my parents let me choose whether or not I would go with what they believed) but I have always had my own set of beliefs. I figured it would be good to read the big two holy books while I had the time. I may not follow it and it may not touch me but maybe I can find something that applies to me.
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Old 04-02-2009, 08:33 PM   #26
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Well that's fine. Whatever floats your ark, so to speak. But in terms of reference, the TNIV or the NRSV or even the KJV are good.
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Old 04-02-2009, 09:03 PM   #27
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Well that's fine. Whatever floats your ark, so to speak. But in terms of reference, the TNIV or the NRSV or even the KJV are good.
One thing about literal translations. In the 1990's some of the Bible translators decided to intentionally skew the text by making it gender neutral whenever possible. Both the TNIV and the NRSV did this. If you want it true to the original you may want the KJV or the ASV (updated in 1901) I uploaded to this site.

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Old 04-02-2009, 09:29 PM   #28
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Different books do it to different extents. In some cases the context clearly refers to a single male; in other cases it's ambiguous. Did the people who wrote it *mean* one or the other in a certain place? No one knows. Did they mean males only, but that was merely a product of their Sitz im Leben and thus is no longer applicable? That's a theological debate.
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Old 04-02-2009, 10:59 PM   #29
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But no one really knows what the "original" text was. Does a certain word mean "virgin" or "young woman"? Well in Greek at one time it mean one thing and at another time another. But if I replace "virgin" with "young woman", am I denying a holy truth about Mary? .
Nearly.
It is the translation of the Hebrew word "almah" which is at issue. It was often used to mean "young woman." And young women were unmarried.

The Septuagint and the New Testament translate "Almah" as "Parthenos" - which means "virgin" and has the sense of intactness.

So, is the prophecy properly translated as "Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son," or as "Behold, a young woman shall conceive..."?

"Pneuma" can also quite properly be translated as "breath." "Spirit" is not necessarily a bad translation. It is cognate with "inspiration" - which is related to breath.
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Old 04-03-2009, 12:42 AM   #30
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Different books do it to different extents. In some cases the context clearly refers to a single male; in other cases it's ambiguous. Did the people who wrote it *mean* one or the other in a certain place? No one knows. Did they mean males only, but that was merely a product of their Sitz im Leben and thus is no longer applicable? That's a theological debate.
What they meant was one thing that can be debated. However, it a translation supposed to make that call? Or is it up to the reader? That itself is another debate but when someone says which is closest to the original then the answer is fairly clear. The words can not just be changed. the entire sentence has to be rewritten which itself might change the meaning in another part.

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