Instructables
Picture of What Bible Should I Buy?
I have been a pastor since 1972. At times people have asked what Bible they should buy. They want to be certain the translation they chose is accurate. Usually they mean literal. They also want good and reliable explanatory notes for the reader.

Making such a recommendation is like telling someone what automobile is best to buy. While there are many good automobiles, so much depends on what each person needs and how the Bible will be used. In the end, a number of very personal preferences will have to be satisfied.

Note: This Instructable is limited to information about how Bible translations come to be, and choosing a Bible version (translation) for oneself. I did include some things about some passages I check as "test" passages, and things I have learned over the years about those passages; but, I do not necessarily expect others to agree with my comments on those passages. This Instructable will not seek to convince anyone about what the Christian faith is or whether it is true, whether the Bible is God's word, nor who Jesus Christ is. If you wish to discuss any of those things, please send me a private message rather than use the Comments section. 

Unless otherwise noted, all images are from Bing Images.
 




 
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Curious as to your thoughts on comparing the Geneva Bible to the KJV

Phil B (author)  trike road poet2 months ago
Thank you for the inquiry. I am really not familiar with the Geneva Bible firsthand. I have read only bits and pieces about it and can not give an informed opinion.
Vinstepula2 years ago
I like this instructable. I was kinda hesitant on reading it because I have seen many people stick to one version or another. You did a pretty good job. The message I got was to study multiple versions. While it is true the Bible has been translates multiple times and there could be more errors in it than we realize, I believe God will show us, through the spirit, what is truth. No matter how it is worded. Which is why I think it is important to pray while reading the Bible, no matter what versions.
I haven't read any other versions than KJV, but when I was a missionary teaching others, they usually used a different version. There are differences when it came to doctrine between different churches. But I wouldn't cry about it because if you are open to it, God will still lead you.

I admire that you have read the greek translation. I would love to read the Bible in greek and hebrew, only I don't know those languages.
Phil B (author)  Vinstepula2 years ago
Thank you for looking at this Instructable and for commenting. One of our teachers encouraged typing three or four different versions below each other line by line when working with a difficult passage. That was before computers. Today that would be much easier, or at least it would be easy to line up verses in parallel columns. Translations are commentaries in the sense that an expression in Hebrew may be very difficult to understand. The translator must make some choices based on what he believes the text intends. He could do that based on the context and what he believes would follow next. He could rely on the flow of a similar discussion in another part of the Old Testament. He could also do that based on how the Greek Septuagint rendered the passage. But, such translation difficulties pertain to very minor things, not to any important doctrines. (As an example, our Sunday morning Bible class just covered Judges 3:22. Does the text say Ehud's sword came out between Eglon's legs, or does it say the contents of Eglon's intestines came out around the hilt of the sword? The grammar of the Hebrew text makes it very difficult to know.) There have been people who have worked independently to learn some Greek or Hebrew. We also have good tools for people who have not studied those languages, like Strong's Numbers. I did another Instructable you might like. Click on this link. It will give you some good access to a very helpful tool for those without training in Greek and Hebrew. 

I have been grateful for the training I received in Greek and Hebrew. Both have been very helpful. I do wish I had worked harder at both, especially Hebrew, which I badly neglected over the years. But, Greek has always been more useful than Hebrew, at least to me.

God does guide our studies of His Word, and I believe blesses sincere attempts to sit under His tutelage through His Word. Often that comes in the form of expressions or mental pictures that enable communicating in clear ways that help our hearers better assimilate what we are trying to teach them.


parrster2 years ago
Thanks Phil, didn't read it all, but just wanted to commend you for a fine instructable (that which I did read at least :)
I have been very impressed by all your published content so far, keep up the good work, and God bless.
Phil B (author)  parrster2 years ago
Thank you, and God bless.
mdog933 years ago
have you ever read any of the street bible
Phil B (author)  mdog933 years ago
I have not. I had not heard of it, but found it at Amazon. There I saw a bit of Genesis 1. It reminds me of something I saw a number of years ago in a bookstore called "The Cottonpatch Bible." I suppose it would be categorized as a paraphrase, somewhat like Eugene Peterson's "The Message" or "The Living Bible."
mdog93 Phil B3 years ago
probably, it'd aimed at teenagers
Phil B (author)  mdog933 years ago
Do you like it and find it helpful?
mdog93 Phil B3 years ago
erm, hard to comment really. I think it is quite good, but then i do not particularly struggle to understand a standard bible, however, I know many my age or younger wouldn't understand the language used.
JohnJY mdog933 years ago
Look at the Revolution Bible for Guys in the New Living Translation, it's perfectly aimed at teens and is my favorite Bible to use.
the New Living Translation, isn't a translation at all.. it's a version... Highly inaccurate and very much a biased paraphrase. While it may be easy to read and understand, if what it says is incorrect, what good is it?
Please now, let's not get technical over this matter. Your comment is much like saying that people should not watch Veggie Tales. Veggie Tales is not accurate, but Veggie Tales is much better to connect with children then reading the rather graphic, but astounding book of Exodus. So in response. What good is Veggie Tales? Lots.
Satan likes it when you talk that way... "Let's not get technical... The Devil's in the details"... I disagree. Truth is truth. if you water it down, it's no longer truth.

While Veggie Tales, may be good stories, I refuse to watch them.. (Mostly because I can't stand singing vegetables but that's my problem) :-)

What if one of the Veggie tales characters told your kids that they don't have to listen to their parents? That they can learn everything they need from watching them (the Veggies) but they did it in a way that was very vague. Would it still be alright?

The English language has been steadily ruined over the past 100 years. Good means Bad and Bad means Good. (Gee isn't that a Bible Prophecy?) It's more important than ever to study an accurate Translation of the Bible and learn what's it REALLY Teaches.
The English language has deteriorated to the point where bad mean good, and good means bad, really? That has to be a matter of opinion. Matter of opinion is why there are multiple Bible Translation, and there may be up to 30K Christian denominations, each believing they know the truth.
My opinion? maybe but....

I would ask you to compare Dictionaries from say 50 years ago and today. Compare the words, Honor, Praise and Glory. Today they all mean the same thing. Worship. However, 50 years ago you'd understand the differences in these words. 50 years ago to get worship you'd have to combine all three terms. That is what I mean by saying the English language has deteriorated. Today's dictionaries have taken all the nuances out of the language.

To quote Pilate... "What is Truth?"

What's more important? Changing the Bible to reflect your beliefs or changing your beliefs to what the Bible actually says and teaches? Sadly, there is so much bias in many of today's popular translations. To support this comment, I recommend you read the book "Truth in Translation" by Jason BeDuhn. In his book, he compares many different translations along with how it reads in Greek and explains how Bias and inaccuracy has crept into some translations. Having a translation that is as accurate as possible is the key to finding Truth.

Disclaimer. It's not my intention to anger anyone here. only to inspire one to thought that there maybe another option to the way you see things. How do you know you have truth, if you never look at things from the other side?
Phil B (author)  cfullerton3 years ago
I am on my 13th time through the Greek New Testament, reading it cover-to-cover. Although I am far less capable in Hebrew, I have always been impressed with how good and how accurate the modern popular versions are in general. After nearly forty years as a pastor preparing sermons and Bible classes I need to dig into any variations that could affect meaning and translation. I just do not find any support for the position that modern translations are distortions. What I have presented aims to demystify issues related to translation. As I tried to stress in the beginning, my aim is not to get into what various groups try to do with their particular use of selected passages. Such things are related to hermeneutical (interpretive) principles, some of which are sound and some are not so sound.
13 times is to be commended! I've only been through it once so far. I agree that for the most part just about all popular versions are 99% accurate. Bias doesn't get inserted on purpose. It enters into any translation via the translators held beliefs and background. It's difficult to not let this happen and with 99% accuracy all are to be commended. Please don't misunderstand me. For example. the NIV released a new revision earlier this year. One of the verses they updated was Habbakukk 1:12 My question above was how many will not use this revision because of that change in scripture? If you agree like I do, that there can be no contradiction in the Bible because it is "inspired of God" then this should definately change some beliefs. But will it? It depends on the condition of each person's heart as to if they will accept the change.
I understand that, but my point to make is the fact that telling a teenager that the only way he should study the Bible is to make sure his edition is true to life translations; It's not modern it wouldn't connect. Simpler language will not destroy the Bible if we use it simply for the effect of affecting the youth.

I also do not like you insulting both me or my knowledge. I was helping someone out, telling them that this version is modern, easy to read, easy to understand, a teen connecting his spiritual journey to another teen, and here comes you...

Holy good molly... I see your comments list, your spamming the nonsense out of this Instructable! Why? Oh great... a witness. Oh golly. Sir. I respect your religion. Keep talking and I will no longer. Good day.
gapostol Phil B3 years ago
What is the point of being a pastor if you "do not seek to convince anyone about what the Christian faith is or whether it is true, whether the Bible is God's word, nor who Jesus Christ is?"
Phil B (author)  gapostol3 years ago
You must understand proselytizing is not appropriate in this setting. I once did an Instructable on Learning New Testament Greek. One person commented that the title made him fear it would be an attempt to convert readers, but he was pleasantly surprised to see that it was a nice instructive guide. I did another that was a basic introduction to Christian symbols. It is an attempt to explain things we all often see in artwork and imagery, but may not recognize. I had several people accusing me in their comments of trying to promote my brand of religion, even though I tried to keep it very even handed and absent of proselytizing. If I had used this Instructable or the others I linked to promote a case for the Christian faith, I would have been widely flamed by numbers of readers, and rightly so. Chances are those Instructables would also have been removed as spam. 
drobins Phil B3 years ago
Thank you. As an agnostic, it's so much easier to listen to the pastors who teach ABOUT their religion, and let people come to the faith if it moves them, without shoving it down their throats. You seem like the type that would be able to have long, rational discussions about faith and religion without making someone uncomfortable about it, which I believe is really practicing the love you preach.
Phil B (author)  drobins3 years ago
Thank you. I have long tried to take a long, slow, rational approach. Many times over the years there have been things in all sorts of areas I needed to think about before I was ready to assent, and I did eventually change my thinking. You probably know the saying, "A man convinced against his will remains unconvinced still." I never appreciate someone trying to arm wrestle me into something I am not ready to endorse. BTW, if ever you would like to discuss some question with me, please feel free to send a private message. Thank you for looking and for commenting.
gapostol Phil B3 years ago
For there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby WE MUST BE SAVED (Acts 4:10-12). Salvation can only be found in the name of Jesus Christ. You CANNOT find salvation in the name of Allah. You CANNOT find salvation in the name of the Pope. You CANNOT find salvation in the name of Buddha. You CANNOT find salvation in the name of a religion or a denomination. You CANNOT find salvation in the name of an evangelist. You can only find salvation in the person of Jesus Christ. This is God’s plan. (now they can banned me)
kparton3 years ago
When I was very young I tried to read the Bible. The wording was very hard for me to understand, so I gave up. Old Testament books are still hard for me! I went for a time as an atheist, grew to an agnostic, then matured to a Christian. I eventually became a Mormon, which has required a greater commitment of me than I have sometimes wished. When I first began reading and studying, I found it difficult. What I found very helpful was to purchase multiple translations and read and study with all of them open. Although many of the versions aren't generally used in my church setting, or aren't "official", I find that modern language or red letters sometimes help me to better understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Phil B (author)  kparton3 years ago
Comparing versions as you do is a very good tactic and highly recommended for the person who has not had the opportunity to learn to read any of the biblical languages.
KellyCraig3 years ago
Re "Such changes are hardly large or significant," it would seem if there is an "insignificant" change in one place, it is likely there are others. It is such changes that sprout religions (e.g., Baptist, Catholic, Adventist, Jehovah's Witnesses, etc.).

An example of the importance of even minor changes might be seen in the matter of celebrations, like Easter and Christmas (back to that game of telephone again), or trinity, security of the believer and other doctrine concepts.

These are not small matters. I know of a spouse who, while holding herself out as a pious Christian, was willing to divorce her husband because he would not celebrate Christmas for its pagan origins. Later, when he refused to believe Jesus prayed to himself, sat at his own right hand, handed the keys of the Kingdom back to himself and so forth, she did divorce him on her vague stances.
Phil B (author)  KellyCraig3 years ago
The changes, themselves, are not significant, but that does not keep individuals from excesses like you describe.
static3 years ago
In the end it really doesn't matter by what means you choose the Bible you will use. There will come a time when you will run into Christians that will tell you used went about it in the wrong way, and you chose to use the wrong Bible. Has always baffled, frustrated me that a book described as divinely inspire, and with out error has produced so many editions of itself, and so many Christian denominations, that sect seems a better term than denomination.

You took on a tough challenge Phil. I will not even attempt to judge how well you did in in fulfilling that challenge. Because it deals with faith, and respectfully no one alive knows the truth. Not like I'm shy about commenting. On some of your more down to Earth instructables I do know enough to comment on errors,and add additional information,and have.

Dumbhead3 years ago
Thank you for a well written and carefully researched Instructable. I found it interesting reading.

I noticed that although your page is headed by an image of the Tetragrammaton that you did not include some discussion on the frequency of the Tetragammation in the original bible texts, (more than 7000 times) and the translation options that have been presented to modern translators.

While not wanting to detract from any notes that you may wish to add, here is some information that some readers may find interesting.

The Tetragrmmaton is widely viewed as the personal name of God. It directly translates out to the letters YHVH (or YHWH) without vowel sounds, which were inserted by the reader. This required that the reader would know which vowel sounds to insert. However, over the years this knowledge has been lost, largely due to a growing more recent belief that the personal name of God is too sacred to pronounce. It is now common practice to use the substitution ‘Adonai’ (the Hebrew for 'Lord') or ‘LORD’ in many translations. Interestingly, this is possibly the only example of where the older Bible translations may be more accurate than the newer translations, since many of them, including the King James version make use of a popular rendition of the name of God. (Ps 83:18) Some modern versions of the Bible that do not use Gods name in the text explain why they chose not to in the Foreword or in the Translators notes.

While an admittedly contentious issue with many, the Bible itself in many places presents an explicit and clear Divine Mandate for stressing and publishing proper knowledge of God’s name. Here are two such instances:
Jeremiah 33:2 "YHVH Who made the earth, Who formed it and set it firm - YHVH is His Name - says this: 'Call to Me and I will answer you ...'"
Isaiah 12:4 "Give thanks to YHVH - call His Name aloud. Proclaim His deeds to the nations,declare His Name sublime. Sing of YHVH, for He has done marvelous things - let it be known to the whole world!".

Many hold that God’s personal name should be used more often in modern translations so as to conform with what may really be the more correctly interpreted instruction of Exod. 20:7 concerning the use of His Name: viz. "Do not make His Name worthless" "Lo tisah et Shem YHVH Eloheicha l'shav." By withholding the proclamation of His Name, we may well be guilty of "making His Name worthless."

Thanks again for your instructable.
And don't forget:

1) God's son said he would make his father's name known;

2) Some well known Bibles use "God" (upper case g) where the Teragrammaton was removed. Elsewhere, it is "god" (lower case).
Phil B (author)  Dumbhead3 years ago
Thank you for your comment. I did use the Tetragrammaton ("the four letters") as an image. In my mind, it was not exactly what I was looking for in that step, but as close as I could get. When I was discussing additional things in The Preface of the NIV that are worth reading and knowing, I mentioned 'Lord' and 'LORD,' which is, of course, the distinction most English (and other, including German) versions make between 'Adonai' (Lord) and YHWH in the text (LORD). My favorite translation of the Divine Name is by Franz Rosenzweig and Martin Buber in "Die Schrift" (a German paraphrase of the Old Testament from a Jewish perspective). They note that the same verbal form used in Exodus 3:14 for the Divine Name also occurs in Exodus 3:12 as the verb of the sentence, where God promised to be with Moses. Rosenzweig and Buber rendered it (in German) as, "Ich bin der 'ich bin da.'" It has a repetitive lilt in the syllables that rolls off of the tongue, and (more importantly) it means, "I am the One Who is there with you."
cojonc3 years ago
Noting that religion is a highly personal and subjective subject, even while realizing that a minority seemed to enjoy your post, but would the people be so accepting if others placed their differing or anti religious views here also? Probably not, and some could possibly be banned were they to attempt it.

In view of such possibilities, I would like to object to having specific religious, governmental, philosophical viewpoints on the instructables site. I feel these matters are best contained within specialized sites, keeping Instructables out of the fray.
kparton3 years ago
As an addition to my other post, I also have not found significant differences in the meaning of different translations. And personally, I don't believe that any "translations" are an attempt to deceive the reader.
Phil B (author)  kparton3 years ago
Your story is an interesting one. Older translations present unnecessary difficulties for contemporary readers. Historically, there have been some "translations" that consciously sought to change the text in order to further an aim of those sponsoring the "translation." Your strategy of making comparisons between several translations is a good one. Although not within the scope of this Instructable, a good Bible dictionary (also sometimes called a Bible encyclopedia) is a very helpful tool. These can explain a lot of background matters that suddenly make the message of the text understandable. A really useful Bible dictionary usually is as large as a Bible, itself. If more people had been more conversant with their Bibles, 900 people would not have followed Jim Jones to the jungles of Guyana in 1977 where they all died drinking poisoned Kool-Aid in November 1978. Thank you for your comment.
cfullerton3 years ago
Phil B.

It's been brought to my attention by staff, that I was not tactful enough in my comments. I sincerely apologize, not for what I said but for how I said it. I have voluntarily removed those comments that I felt weren't tactful enough, since I'm not able to edit and reword them.

It was NOT my intention to be taken as a troll. My intention was to point out that there are other points of view and possibly open a friendly discussion on it. However, when you get on the subject of religion, some aren't strong enough to discuss it openly without getting upset. To those people I apologize if I stumbled you.

This is my last post here.
Phil B (author)  cfullerton3 years ago
Thank you. I am sure all here have a great deal of respect for you for this, as do I.
cfullerton3 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
Phil B (author)  cfullerton3 years ago
(removed by author or community request)
Also in reference to Colossians 1:15 You are mistaken.. it does not say All other creation in verse 15.

(Colossians 1:15-17) 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation; 16 because by means of him all [other] things were created in the heavens and upon the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, no matter whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All [other] things have been created through him and for him. 17 Also, he is before all [other] things and by means of him all [other] things were made to exist, NWT Reference Bible.

Notice it puts it in Brackets []. This shows that it's added to assist in understanding. I don't see many other Versions or Translations for that matter that do this. If he is the firstborn OF ALL CREATION, then he is included AS PART OF creation. (Caps are for emphasis not yelling) Therefore, Jesus was not eternal, he was created by Jehovah God.

JohnJY3 years ago
Very detailed Instructable, the length and study put into it is really amazing. How did you come to the calling of pastor, I am working myself to understand the Bible and God's teaching in a deeper level and hope to become a chaplain in the Air Force.
Phil B (author)  JohnJY3 years ago
Thank you. When I was about 5 years old someone said I have "the gift of gab" and should be a minister. I wanted no part of that because I thought the clergy gowns looked effeminate. At age 14 my grandmother died and somehow I thought about becoming a pastor, but only briefly. I really wanted to be an electrical engineer. About age 17 I read the New Testament cover-to-cover and became very captivated by passages like Romans 5:1. I decided I wanted to spend my life helping others know what God has done for us in Christ.
Pastor Phil,
all i can initially say is, wow! I just found 'instructables' today. I was searching around the net for 'how to's' on building a platform bed and was directed to this site.
I took a break from all the different blueprints, videos, etc. and went to the local 'home depot' to get an idea of what my project will cost. When i got home i hopped back on the site to reconfirm material inventory lists etc.
Now, how i got to your post is a mystery but i am very thankful my curiosity got the better of me.
After reading your post, i am extremely happy to have been directed to this site and i'm sure you know, there are no accidents! Everything happens for a reason.
Great post....i couldn't be more blown away with your writing and knowledge base. VERY IMPRESSIVE...thank you for sharing.
My 2 cents on the bible...my wife and i have 'The MacArthur Study Bible' New King James version. I find it is very helpful to have the notes at the bottom of the pages. Only downfall to the notes is that i feel like i'm reading the bible twice! I loved your story of the woodworker. A gradual and continual building of your knowledge. That is right on the money!
A good friend of mine, a lutheran pastor, actually turned me onto a pretty cool site called Youversion.com. Haven't tried it out yet but apparently its a site that will narrate the bible through your computer, iphone,etc. Also there is supposed to be a part on the site that will map out your scheduled readings per day should you give it a time table. If you want to read the bible in a year...you must read xy&z chapters per day and so on. I can't wait to try it out. It's a free site as well.
Sorry for rambling...time to get back to the 'platform' bed blueprints.
Phil B (author)  michael_10103 years ago
Michael, I am glad you found Instructables. I have been on it about three years. In that time I have made several friends, some of whom are in other countries and may not speak English. But, we have similar interests and share.

I got a copy of the Word English Bible (1901 Authorized Version slightly updated and no copyright restrictions on it) in MP3 audio from this site. I give copies away as a personal mission project. (Just send them the fee and wait for the CDs to come in the mail. It is easier than downloading the files and coding them to stay in order on the player.)

Thank you for looking and for commenting. There is something for everyone at Instructables. I try to do useful, practical things. Others like to do make-believe things or things that are fun and have no practical value.
bowmaster3 years ago
My dad is working on his PhD in theology, so he has a ton of different ones. He has greek, latin, english, etc.
skunkbait3 years ago
Phil,

You are spot on!

Years ago, while working on my degree, some of the other students and I pressed our Greek teacher for a definitive answer.... Which translation is the best??

Some of the students were unswerving in their devotion to the KJV. Other's extolled the readability of the NIV. I suggested that the NASB had the best of both worlds...

Anyway my teacher said something very profound.

He said "Find the translation you are willing to obey, and stick with it."
Cooldeal3 years ago
Most probable this is the best instructive knowledge I've found extremely helpful. I absolutely admire your images and the way you presented the entire knowledgeable structure of this information.

I have many bibles and use all of them and often seek many versions of the same passage. Love you and your work with helping us to understand and learn of so many of your great insights, especially some of your ingenious inventions.
rimar20003 years ago
Very, very interesting and complete analysis, Phil.

I'm not at all an expert on the subject, but I read enough of the King James version, and have compared favorably with other Bibles, whose translators had no idea what they were doing. I think to translate religious scripture scholarship is not enough, you need inspiration to really expresses the original idea of ​​a text.

Some "difficult" versicles in my opinion are: Ezekiel 37:16-28, 1Corinthians 15:29.
Phil B (author)  rimar20003 years ago
Osvaldo, thank you for working through all of that English. In the USA I have seen a Spanish New International Version. Do you know it? There is also a Reina Valera and a Reina Valera 1960. Do you know or use them?
Phil, I'm a little out of religious things. For many years I was a very active Mormon, and I still think doctrinally mormonism is very good, but I think too that without exception, all religions lead to the formation of Pharisees. No offense to this, please!

I greatly appreciate and value you.
Phil B (author)  rimar20003 years ago
Thank you, Osvaldo. I will send a private message to you rather than begin a discussion here that is likely to go off of the main subject. I appreciate and value you, as well.
mwwdesign3 years ago
Fantastic. Thank you.
Phil B (author)  mwwdesign3 years ago
Thank you for looking at it.
Ranie-K3 years ago
You shall not steal other people's images and not credit the owner's appropriately!

"Google images" is NOT enough!
Phil B (author)  Ranie-K3 years ago
I understood it was. I remember a discussion about this earlier on Instructables and the encouragement was to acknowledge Google Images, etc.
kelseymh Phil B3 years ago
There have been multiple such discussions, Phil :-) Generally speaking, that acknowledgement is acceptable.

If you are able to determine the "original" source (which is often not the case with images that have been passed from blog to blog to Web site to e-mail ad infinitum), it's better to cite them directly. That also affords you the opportunity (if you wish) to better determine the copyright status of the image.

Another option, for those who are copyright paranoid, is to use images from Wikipedia instead of Google/Bing/Yahoo/whatever. The Wikipedia editors have already done the hard work of clearing copyright hurdles for all the images they use (which is often why an image you might "expect" to be in an article isn't there!), and they provide provenance as well.
Google images show other people's images. Just because you find them there, doesn't give you permission for you to show them other places as park of your work. Both Copyright and Registered trademarks are violated in this article.

Yes -find your "stock" pictures in Wikipedia or in Wikipedia Commons, but you still need to pay attention to the pictures' licensing and credit them properly if you do so.
excellent 'ible. I appreciate having a list of particular passages to check, as I cannot comprehend the task of which sections are most likely to see alterations between editions/versions, and more importantly, why those passages specifically. Are there any more verses that could/should be checked?
Phil B (author)  bythenumbers3 years ago
Thank you. My list of passages to check is a subjective list. I might suggest you simply make a list of favorite passages and become familiar with the general type of comments you find about them in resources available to you. Then check to see how those same passages are handled in a Bible you are considering for purchase.

There is something I did not mention in the body of the Instructable. I always appreciate Bibles with some text footnotes that mention alternate translation possibilities on difficult passages. I also appreciate notes that discuss alternate ways of understanding a passage with a bit of the rationale for each, especially those where different denominations might look at the passage differently. These things give you enough information that you can make an informed choice on which possibility you favor based on which you believe best fits the biblical text. .
icebird3 years ago
Your instructable looked super long, but before I knew it I had read the whole thing. Very cool!

A couple years ago i discovered the "New Living Translation." I found this one to contain far fewer confusing or awkward wordings than NIV or others. I've had my NLT Study Bible for over a year now and have almost reached the NT. There is a fascinating wealth of info not just in the footnotes, but in all of the section and book introductions as well. Prior to this it had been perhaps 15 years since I put serious effort into reading my Bible. The NLT Study Bible has really freshened it up for me.

Reading the preface/introduction too, I was impressed at the level of commitment to honesty by the scholars who produced it.
Phil B (author)  icebird3 years ago
Thank you for your comment. I looked at the NLT Study Bible at Wal-Mart. They had a really good price. But, I am also near to retirement and I am trying to downsize my possessions. Thank you for the comment.
frenzy3 years ago
I would choose a bullet proof bible...


Great instructable about the tangled world of bibles!
Phil B (author)  frenzy3 years ago
Thank you.
I like to mix it up bit, helps for understanding sometimes
Phil B (author)  iminthebathroom3 years ago
I would agree.
paganwonder3 years ago
Thank you for sharing your knowledge and experience with us once again. A unique 'ible and thanks for not beating me over the head with your chosen book!
Phil B (author)  paganwonder3 years ago
Thank you for looking at it. I would not beat you over the head with any book. ;-)
rru963 years ago
Any images taken by the US Government are copyrighted as well, though they simply ask you to give credit. All are public domain though. That is another great source that people dont look to enough.
kelseymh rru963 years ago
Not quite correct. Images from U.S. Government sources cannot be copyrighted, neither by the individual who produced them nor by any government agency. They are in the public domain, period.

Works in the public domain in the United States cannot be the subject of U.S. copyright protection.

(17 U.S.C. 202.03).
kelseymh3 years ago
This is an extraordinarily detailed Instructable. It's a terrific writeup, with excellent detail and analysis of why you recommend the choices you do, and not just how. I especially appreciated the exegeses you included in several of the steps.

Featured and rated. Truly outstanding, for believers and non-believers alike!
Phil B (author)  kelseymh3 years ago
Thanks, Kelsey. This is the stuff I do for my day job. The workshop stuff is what I do to have fun. Thank you for looking at it.
knife1413 years ago
Nice Instructable, Phil. By the way, I took the very same photo at Qumran when my wife & I went to Israel last October. It was a fascinating trip.
Phil B (author)  knife1413 years ago
Thanks. I have not been to Israel. I am glad you enjoyed your trip to the Middle East.

Back in the 1970s my in-laws went to Greece. I had not been yet at that time, but have since. My in-laws took lots of 35mm slides and made notes so they could give travelogues after they got back. I had seen lots of pictures in books, etc. The in-laws were at our house trying out their slide show on us and sorting out their notes. Even though I had not been to Greece, I was able to make corrections in their presentation. That must have hurt.