Monday, January 29, 2007

Finally done!

I couldn't sleep last night, so I got up and read Philippians through Revelation in my ESV. My Great ESV Read is now over. It was a nice feeling to put my ESV on the shelf in a more permanent place: I've been keeping it on the top of my stack of Bibles, so it was the first one I'd grab. 

I enjoyed the ESV. It was really a very enjoyable translation to read; but in the end, I found it too quirky a translation for serious study, so I shelved it.

I bought the Bible on June 26, 2006 and I finished it on January 28, 2007. I didn't start on Genesis 1:1 right away, but for the sake of argument, that's almost exactly seven months to read through it. Just for comparison, a lot of people work hard at reading their Bible through once a year, but Geo. Mueller is said to have read his through four times a year! That's roughly twice as fast as I read this Bible, and I felt like I was almost going too fast. My reading isn't very consistent, though. I will often read several books in one day, and nothing the next. I need to work on my consistency more.

This morning I started reading through my new (although second-hand) NASB. This is a pretty serious Bible: single-column, wide margins, minimal notes, lots of room to write.

I've read a lot of press about single-column Bibles, and so far, I think it's everything it's cracked up to be. But then, I'm only in Genesis 2. We'll have to see how that goes. One thing about single-column is, it makes the Bible a lot thicker: you can only get so many characters on a single line; that's why "we" started printing in multiple columns to begin with.

We'll see how this Bible goes. I still have a new lovely little Darby I treasure very highly, but I've read Darby through several times over the last few years, and I wanted to read through the NASB at least once.


Gwen said...

Ooh, I'm slit-eyed in envy at your single-column Bible. I'm loving my new Christmas Bible, but I think if I were buying one for myself I'd go for the single column if possible.

I'm a bit disappointed in the Thompson Chain, as I'd expected to see something I haven't done myself in basic study. Not so, unfortunately, although it's still a convenient resource if I want it. But it is nice to not have the print obscured by globby underlines and silly notes, so I'm very pleased to have a new every-day Bible.

clumsy ox said...

But it is nice to not have the print obscured by globby underlines and silly notes, so I'm very pleased to have a new every-day Bible.

I hear you, sister! I like the feeling and the familiar pages of my 1992 Darby Translation, with the bled-through pages and handwriting that only makes sense if you already know what it says. On the other hand, my new, shiny, clean one is so full of potential.

I think I'll end up using this NASB as my carry-around Bible, along with my shiny new Darby for a while. My old Darby might end up becoming a car Bible or something.

I really want one of those nice calf$kin NASBs, but I need to cut my NASB teeth first, and the single-column I was given for free is a great place to start. I mean, the price couldn't be better.

We'll have to see how this shakes out.

Shan said...

Obviously I need to do some poking around for another translation. I think there's an NIV kicking around here somewhere, otherwise it's all KJV, all the time.

I'd like to get a good translation for Mr. HalfSoledBoots to read, too...I got him an NIV years ago but maybe it's not the best option...dunno. Need to read more of them, I guess (or just watch this blog for reviews!).

clumsy ox said...


You could do a lot worse than KJV. I mean, it is probably the closest thing to a "Standard" Bible there is. Best of all, it's almost 400 years old, which means that the mis-translations are all well-documented.

I like KJV, but I wanted something I could read to someone else (or publicly) and not have to say "What this means is...".

Some words (like "let") have changed their meaning since KJV. Other places have some questionable translations. But all in all, KJV is one of three translations I read without any reservations at all.

I have a close friend whose NASB has all sorts of words crossed out and replaced with alternate readings. I haven't done that with a KJV, but it might not be a terrible idea. The best part about KJV is, it's widely known, generally respected, and very well documented.

The worst part is the KJV-Only whackos.

Personally, I won't use a NIV at all. But I'm not about to condemn someone who does.

My favourite is still Darby, but Darby is like NASB on steroids. People whine about NASB being "wooden", well, that's because they never tried Darby. Excellent, literal, but not very Anglo, if you know what I mean.

Gwen said...

re: KJV wackos - that hit the nail on the head. I cringe and do an awkward head-ducking movement when I say I use KJV.

I prefer KJV for my daily Bible, because I know it best. I just plain like it. If I'm looking for a particular phrase, I'm likely to know the verse in KJV, so it's pointless to be checking, say, an NIV concordance.

I use mostly NASB and KJV for study, with a few smatterings of ESV now and then. I've been known to look something up in Darby on, but that's not too common.

clumsy ox said...


Darby is not the best English: it almost makes the NASB look over-Anglicized! It's a very precise translation, but not a fluid one.

For fluidity, nothing matches KJV. Not even (despite all the press) ESV. ESV is all right, but its English is inconsistent, and inferior to KJV. Of course, by being more or less the historical standard for translation, the KJV has a decidedly unfair advantage...

At least ESV doesn't read like a cheap novel. That's one thing that turns me off of NIV, although I've avoided NIV ever since I spent some time studying Romans 7 in NIV.

The real value of Darby's translation is the notes. There are many times when he point-blank admits he can't translate a verse properly, and gives something more-or-less KJV.

One thing I like with Darby is, it has some features of KJV (like differentiating between 2nd Person Singular and Plural), but with greatly updated English. So you get the best of both worlds, so to speak.

I really miss thee/thou when I'm in ESV or NASB, because there is no "modern" English equivalent. I think Darby's decision to keep that particular piece of "KJV-ness" was the right one.

In the end, I haven't settled for good on a translation. Darby is still my first choice, but they're not very well printed. My "new" Darby sat wrapped in paper for 30 years: it's actually much older than my "old" one. It appears to be significantly higher quality than the ones they print now. But NASB and KJV are relatively easy to find in a good quality binding. That is mattering to me these days.

And I'm becoming a true convert to single-column Bibles.

Apparently Cambridge just reprinted KJV in a single-column. If I can find it, I'll post a link.

Looks awesome, but expensive.

clumsy ox said...

Here's the single-column KJV

Gwen said...

Holy big Bible, Batman! That bad boy is 11 x 7in, and over 5 lbs! (Makes me want to start rapping.) The only reservation I'd have about that is that they've removed the italics the translators used. That might irk me. But I would LOVE to have KJV in single column.

You're spot-on about Darby, it's far too stiff and wordy. But as I mentioned, I have used it a few times in study.

NIV as a cheap novel - LOL! Exactly right!!

Gwen said...

Oops, I meant over 4 pounds, not 5.