Reflections on the Holy Scripture

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The Bible is the document by which Christians base their faith. The original Bible was written in Hebrew (Old Testament) and Greek (New Testament). In order for others to read the Bible, it had to be translated into other languages. Throughout the years, the Bible has been translated again and again through the languages. Furthermore, the Bible in the English language has been translated and paraphrased to fit the modern language of the people. Therefore, various versions of the Bible exist. Because of this, it is important to know the quality and purpose of the versions so that we may read the correct version to fit out needs. This page is meant to state the purposes of each version and compare them to most original Hebrew/Greek documents in existence today.

Why Versions Exist

The Main Versions

The following is a list of some of the most major English Bible versions still used today. A description of each along with some of its history is given for your edification.

New International Version

The New International Version (NIV) is one of the most popular Bible translations being a midway between a literal translation and free paraphrase.

New American Standard Version

King James Version

New King James Version

Revised Standard Version

New Revised Standard Version

The Living Bible

Amplified Bible

Contemporary English Version

The Message

Comparison of Philippians 1:27

To give you a neutral comparison between the verses, we will show you how each version portrays a particular verse. Furthermore, we provide a transliteration of the original Greek to see how the versions compare to the Bible in its original language. This section is not meant to favor any one particular version, but it instead gives only the raw verses for your edification.

We will be comparing Philippians 1:27.

Original Greek

Μόνον ἀξίως τοῦ εὐαγγελίου τοῦ Χριστοῦ πολιτεύεσθε ἵνα εἴτε ἐλθὼν καὶ ἰδὼν ὑμᾶς εἴτε ἀπὼν ἀκούσω τὰ περὶ ὑμῶν ὅτι στήκετε ἐν ἑνὶ πνεύματι μιᾷ ψυχῇ συναθλοῦντες τῇ πίστει τοῦ εὐαγγελίου

TR

This means something similar to the following:

Only worthily the gospel of the Christ let your citizenship be that whether I come and see you or be absent I may hear the affairs of you that you stand firm in one spirit with one soul striving together now for the faith of the gospel

Bible Versions

NIV "Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. Then, whether I come and see you or only hear about you in my absence, I will know that you stand firm in one spirit, contending as one man for the faith of the gospel"
NASV "Only conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or remain absent, I will hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;"
KJV "Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;"
NKJV "Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel,"
RSV "Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you stand firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel,"
NRSV "Only, live your life in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that, whether I come and see you or am absent and hear about you, I will know that you are standing firm in one spirit, striving side by side with one mind for the faith of the gospel,"
LB
Amp "Only be sure as citizens so to conduct yourselves [that] your manner of life [will be] worthy of the good news (the Gospel) of Christ, so that whether I [do] come and see you or am absent, I may hear this of you: that you are standing firm in united spirit and purpose, striving side by side and contending with a single mind for the faith of the glad tidings (the Gospel)."
CEV "Above all else, you must live in a way that brings honor to the good news about Christ. Then, whether I visit you or not, I will hear that all of you think alike. I will know that you are working together and that you are struggling side by side to get others to believe the good news. "
Mess "Meanwhile, live in such a way that you are a credit to the Message of Christ. Let nothing in your conduct hang on whether I come or not. Your conduct must be the same whether I show up to see things for myself or hear of it from a distance. Stand united, singular in vision, contending for people's trust in the Message, the good news"

Most Accurate Version

While each version of the Bible gives the same general message, they do not portray the exact message of the original Bible. For a general devotional or Bible reading, the Bible version does not matter too much; however for a deep Bible study on apologetics, Biblical accuracy is important so we can understand more clearly how God meant His Word.

The most accurate Bible version would be the one that most closely resembles the original Bible in its original language. Originally, the Biblical Old Testament was written in Hebrew (except for some Aramaic chapters in Daniel), and the New Testament was in Greek. Over time, the Bible got translated many times until it became your English Bible.

Unfortunately, any translation from a different language causes some flaws, such as the lack of connotation or literary figures. Therefore, no translation is 100% accurate. Despite this, we can go with the best that we have which would be a literal word for word translation of the Bible. Transliteration Bibles (which are truly word for word) may be confusing since the word order doesn't match standard English. However, a few versions exist that are meant to be literal translations with word order adjustments as to make the Bible understandable. These versions are the NASV, KJV, and NKJV.

Here at Life's Handbook, we will tend to side with the NKJV as being the most accurate version, and thus most Scripture verses seen on this site use that version. To find out why we believe this, please read the Why NKJV? page.

The Septuagint

Which Should I Use?

Scripture taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved.

Scripture taken from the NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1960,1962,1963,1968,1971,1972,1973,1975,1977,1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission.

Scripture taken from The Message. Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002. Used by permission of NavPress Publishing Group.

Scripture quotations taken from the Amplified® Bible,
Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation
Used by permission.

Scriptures marked as "(CEV)" are taken from the Contemporary English Version Copyright © 1995 by American Bible Society. Used by permission.

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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