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Essential Guide to Bible Versions [Paperback]

Philip W. Comfort
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product details

  • Paperback: 300 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers; Rev Exp edition (Dec 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 084233484X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0842334846
  • Product Dimensions: 21.4 x 14.1 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,313,160 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Thousands of years ago, God chose certain men-such as Moses, David, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel-to receive his words and write them down. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Concise and informative to the layman and clergy. 24 July 2001
By A Customer
Dr. Comfort was able to perform the 'miracle' of condensing Biblical research into a concise and easy to read book. He provides an objective view of the translation process and various Biblical translations (ie. NIV, KJV, NKJ...), while answering many questions in regard to added and deleted scriptures. I highly recommend this book for students, layman, and clergy alike. No library should be without it!
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Amazon.com: 4.3 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very informative! 13 Mar 2001
By Soozie4Him - Published on Amazon.com
Although I'm a layperson who studies the Bible for my own personal faith and leading a Bible Study, I really enjoyed this book. I think that pastors and serious Bible students would probably get more out of it, but learned a lot from Dr. Comfort's discussion!
Dr. Comfort discusses how the Old Testament and New Testament were canonized, the impact of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and this history of Bible translation. I was especially interested in John Wycliffe's story and how he objected to many aspects of the Catholic church 150 years before Martin Luther's "95 Theses"! Wycliffe is often called "The Morning Star of the Reformation" and of course Wycliffe Bible Translators was named after this man who was the first to translate God's Word into English.
Tyndale lived about the same time as Luther and was killed because of his translation of the New Testament. He kept getting the Bible out to people in England, and the Catholic Church kept confiscating and burning them. Tyndale's dying prayer was "Lord, open the King of England's eyes!"
A student of Tyndale, Miles Coverdale completed the work that Tyndale started. He finished the translation of the Bible. About that time, King Henry VIII had broken ties with the Pope and was ready for an English translation of the Bible. Tyndale's prayer had been answered!
Dr. Comfort's book gives a detailed account of how each Bible version came into being, and whether the versions are word-for-word (KJV, NKJV, RSV), thought-for-thought (NIV) functionally equivalent (CEV, NLT) or a paraphrase (The Living Bible and The Message).
He recommends that today's Bible readers should use more than one translation to get a complete overview. Personally, I use NIV mostly, but I also really like New Living Translation. And reading The Message gives a fresh approach and is really good for pleasure reading.
I highly recommend "The Contemporary Parallel New Testament" edited by John R. Kohlenberger. This wonderful book has 8 Bible versions side-by-side (all 8 versions of a passage on a two-page spread).
Please see my other reviews for many reviews of different Bibles and check out my Listmania List "Great Bibles" for info on some of my favorites!
God bless you in your study of the Word of God!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great reference! 18 Jan 2005
By David C. Leaumont - Published on Amazon.com
As a seminary student, I found this to be a great reference to give short inputs on the different texts and versions of the Bible. While this is a short reference for my use and experience, it is a longer and more detailed discussion than many lay-people need. But, it is not grossly overdone. Dr. Comfort gives detailed accounts describing the history of each of the texts. Chapters 5 and 6 describe the different versions of the Bible ranging from using half a page for some versions to 3-4 pages for other, more important or popular versions. Chapter 7 is dedicated to a more indepth study of John 1 and a comparison of the different versions with this passage. In the last chapter, Dr. Comfort talks about the additions and subtractions of the different versions. This is a very interesting chapter on the history behind the different revisions and why these verses differ so between versions. The book has a glossary and an index, so there is no need to worry if you do not know the difference between a manuscript and an autograph. Each of the words that are in the glossary are in bold.

So, while Dr. Comfort goes into a little more detail than may be deemed necessary for lay-people, he makes it easy for you to understand what he is writing about and why it is important.

For the theological student or Sunday school teacher, this is a great book to give insight on the different versions. It gives enough detailed information to quench most of our thirst for knowledge on the subject.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What should we believe? 2 Jun 2001
By Renee L. Miller - Published on Amazon.com
The sad part is that most of my brothers & sisters in Christ would be appalled to find that I have a strong affinity with Phillip Comfort's view of historicity & reliability. His was the most readable book on this subject I've studied. Most of the time the details and the "back & forth" nature of the subject matter leave me confused & with a loss of interest. Comfort didn't--in fact, I could hardly put it down once I'd started (ask my wife). After reading and re-reading and re-re-reading, I decided I ought to be fair and hear what the "other side" had to say about his lack of attachment to tradition--KJV, etc.. I was not surprised, but was disappointed with their lack of scholarship and their attempts to encite hysteria in those who might not think EXACTLY as they do. I was most put off by the personal attacks on the character & faith of those who didn't line up with them. They are the ones who appear hysterical & deeply afraid that any new thoughts or evidence would destroy the faith of millions. Phillip Comfort was trying (with great success in my opinion) to increase my faith in God's word--and to make sure we know what it is--and isn't. I highly recommend this book.
16 of 19 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wanna know what you're paying for? 22 Oct 2002
By "petertheunworthyangel" - Published on Amazon.com
This book has a great history of how our modern bible translations came to be, much of which can be found on the net or in the forward of any parallel New Testament. The only thing I found discouraging about the book is the...promotion of the New Living Translation, also a product of the Tyndale house (hint, hint). From the conclusion, one is led to believe the NLT is the only valid interpretation. The redeeming factor was held in the final pages of comparison; here many of the disputed or "missing" verses of the KJV were analyzed and competently put in context.
1 Detailed history of the Bible
2 A general overview of the style of interpretation of many versions (i.e. word for word v. thought for thought)
3 The lineage of many versions (i.e. Latin Vulgate, Greek, Textus Receptus etc.)
4 An analysis and listing of disputed verses of the KJV
1 Some of the descriptions are, shall we say, long-winded.
2 A blatantly one-sided view of the authority of the New Living Translation which, just "happens to be" from the same publishing house. After I read this book, I had to go and research the evolution of the Bible for myself to ensure that what I'd just read wasn't just an advertisement.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Overview of English Language Bible Translations 27 Sep 2001
By C. Ryan - Published on Amazon.com
Dr. Comfort presents a well-documented, interestingly written discussion of Bible translation issues in language that any interested lay reader can follow and understand.
Comfort makes the essential point that ALL available versions of the Bible, in English or any other language, are made from, presumably, inperfect copies of the original Scriptures. He explains how all the major English translations were made and how translators approach the problem of rendering complex topics from one language to another. The book is filled with many excellent examples and a translation case study as well as an eight-page bibliography.
I highly receommend this for any Bible student who wants a better understanding of how the greatest book ever written became available to modern English readers.
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