Friday, January 25, 2008

Encore une fois

Well, it's been almost exactly one year since I finished reading my ESV on January 28, 2007. Well, I just finished the next step in my Bible Quest: it's January 25, 2008 and I just finished reading my NASB. I wanted to read it through in one year, and it looks like I did.

If you don't remember my Bible Quest, I've been picking a bunch of Bible translations and reading each cover-to-cover. I'm aiming at one per year, which works out to 3 or 4 chapters a day. Of course, my sporadic reading makes it more like 10 or 15 chapters in one sitting, then realizing a couple days later I need to read some more. Of course I don't always read on a schedule: I frequently depart the schedule for a couple days to read something out of sequence... but the idea is to read cover-to-cover, Genesis to Revelation, roughly in order.

The first in my quest was the ESV. I wrote a review of it last year, but I've found it's really good for "just reading," better than the NASB by a long shot.

NASB is reputed to be a "wooden" translation: too literal to be easy to read. While I whole-heartedly agree that the ESV is much better to sit and read, I didn't find the NASB to be obtuse. Far from it, I found it a little too familiar in places---almost condescending in its effort to write simple English. Of course, this is the "new" NASB, the 1995 version. By all accounts it's easier to read than the previous version. Perhaps that explains it.

I'd love to try a new translation this year, but I suspect I'll have to wait six months or so before I can feasibly do that. In the meantime, I think I'll break in my new Darby Translation (my 1973 Stow Hill #25) by giving it a cover-to-cover.

I have to say, I find Darby's my favourite and most-used translation. I switched to Darby in 1992, and used it almost exclusively until 2007 when I bought the ESV. Yeah, I have a few KJV Bibles I occasionally read, but Darby was my main translation for 15 years, and for most of that time it was the only one I actually read: KJV has always been my memorizing Bible.

So I'm planning to start Genesis 1:1 tomorrow in my "new" Darby and see how it goes. Perhaps reading ESV and NASB have spoiled Darby for me; I doubt it.

As far as the next translation, I haven't decided what it should be. I feel like maybe I should read KJV cover-to-cover again. I've also never owned or used a NKJV: that might be worth a read. I've also been considering the Holman CSV and the old RSV (not the NRSV). Both of those have gotten some good reviews.

4 comments:

Chuck said...

Thank you for turning me on the ESV. I can safely say that's my favorite translation, with the RSV coming in second. But I'll always have a KJV around for nostalgia.

Eryn said...

i am doing read through in one year, condensed to 6-7 months on blueletterbible.org in the new living translation. i like it even though i thought i wouldnt.

Daryl said...

personally, while I like the Darby translation for study purposes, I have to admit I never was able to get into it as a "reading Bible". Maybe I should give it another shot. I have both the RSV and NRSV kicking around my bookshelf ... is there major problems with the NRSV? I don't know that much about it.

clumsy ox said...

I think the NRSV tried the "gender-neutral" thing. I might eventually get to it, but I intend to read RSV first.

Of course, ESV is like "RSV II", but I still want to read through RSV at some point.