WHATCHU TALKIN BOUT WILLIS?

I grew up when Diff'rent Strokes was a popular television show. That's no big deal unless your last name is Willis. To this day I still hear those famous words popularized by Arnold: "Whatchu talkin bout Willis?" Usually they are uttered by someone looking at me as though I may have never heard it before. Yeah, right! Well this blog is what I (Willis) am talkin bout...my thoughts, observations & opinions. Enjoy...



Monday, May 25, 2009

New Bible


I love the Bible. I hope that is apparent to anyone who knows me fairly well. I recently purchased another Bible - the ESV Single Column Reference Bible (TruTone, Brown/Cordovan, Portfolio Design) from Amazon for a mere $34.64. This my first single column edition and I think I might just be a fan of this format. It certainly helps when it comes to rapidly locating a verse in a teaching setting. This is not my first ESV purchase however. After it burst on the scene a few years ago I bought one with much anticipation. I've since bought a few more. I, however, have not fully embraced this lauded translation as the solution to our every expanding Bible translation options. And I want to (I really do) and I have tried to, but without success. I know many folks just love the ESV. And many of these guys are big names and scholars too. But I (neither a big name nor scholard) just can't make the swiich yet. I think my issue is that I didn't grow up in the church and I didn't use the KJV extensively. When I was converted way back in 1983 it was promptly suggested that I get an NIV. I did and the rest is history. I know the NIV has weaknesses (ESV fans make them well known), but the ESV's touted readability is frankly unimpressive compared to the NIV. Now if I was moving from the KJV, NKJV, RSV (& perhaps the NASB) the readability factor might mean more. But the ESV seems a little archaic for me in places where it attempts to retain the KJV flow and feel. Many people like the tranlslations that sound like the Bible (err...the KJV), but I find that to be more about maintaining tradition than translation accuracy. I'd love for the church to have a primary translation, but it appears very unlikely these days.

10 comments:

aaronsaufley said...

I'm still a NASB guy. Have been for almost 14 years. It, too, has it's weaknesses, but the strengths far outshine them. I've got an ESV, but like you I'm having trouble making the switch.

David H. Willis said...

I sort of wish i had gotten started with the NASB as a new Christian, but now I have the NIV programmed as my default translation in my mind. I just bought an NIV/NASB parallel too.

Soren said...

I have the same Bible (but mine is black) and I love it. I was a NASB guy for the first several years of my ministry (and I still love to study from it), but I made the switch to NIV when I moved to VA in 1991 because that's what most of the church folks had (and I still preach from it in Indiana for the same reason). I remember when the NIV was introduced; scholarly types decried its "obvious" Calvinistic slant. I think that was a bit of an over-reaction (I don't know of anyone who switched sides because of how "sarx" was translated). But the "dynamic equivalent" method of translation has its problems.

All that to say I am enjoying studying from the ESV these days.

Anonymous said...

This is Sam. Having trouble remembering my blogger id.

I try to use the NASB now and then, but I've never been sold on it for readability and "verbal value". What I mean by that is: Yeah, ok, it's purported to be the most accurate as far as "these are exactly the words they wrote and the word order they wrote it in", and all that. but, for me, it doesn't read well. In fact, IMHO, it doesn't read significantly better then the KJV.

I'll grant that readability isn't the deal-breaking issue -- if it were, we'd all be using the Living Bible -- but it's a terrifically important issue nonetheless. So if I can get what I can accept as an acceptably reliable translation in a format that makes communication -- both to me and to others -- easier, I'll go with it.

I like the ESV, and I use it in the pulpit, and don't expect to change that any time soon (mostly because folks in the congregation have begun to buy it so they can follow along better.) If I WERE to change my pulpit bible, at this point I'd most likely move to the Holman CSB. Run down to your local Lifeway Bookstore and pick up one of their $5 copies.

David H. Willis said...

I've checked out the HCSB. I look at 5 translations regularly on Biblegateway: NIV, ESV, NASB, NKJV & HCSB. I like the Holman, but haven't yet considered it for my main Bible.

William Mckinley Dyer said...

NASB is where it is at Willis. Once u go NASB u wont go back (unless ur sam). Im just saying

gregul8r said...

Yeah,

NASB is what we had to study from at RBC...uh,uh..umm i mean MACU. Kaite bought me an NIV study Bible. I did so like my NASB, but it dissapeared my senior year. That is so sad because it had so many great notes in it!

I use NIV now. I did buy a NKJV because people were talking about the accuracies in translations. I am not a scholar so I sometimes take peoples word for it.

Do any of you keep a copy of the Message around?

David H. Willis said...

Not much on the Message. I do run into occasionally & use it rarely in teaching. It can be helpful IMHO, but never as a primary Bible.

SammyBoy said...

Billy, I'd be interested in your reasons on the NASB. Is it just because of the purported accuracy? Do you like the way it reads? Do you like the way it reads out loud, when you're reading passages for the congregation?

aaronsaufley said...

I've got a Message NT. Every once in a great while, when I was preaching every week, I'd actually use it because it really did bring the point across more clearly than the other translations.

But Willis is right--only to supplement, never as a primary Bible.