What’s up with the English translations?
(Please bring your work to class.)

 

1) In the library (or on the Web), find and read the following verses in

 

    the KJV (King James Version),

    the NIV (New International Version),

    the Tanakh (where applicable),

    the NRSV (New Revised Standard Version),

    and whatever other versions, whether in English or another language (highly recommended).

 

See also my Resources page for Web sites that may be helpful.

 

2) Make notes about your observations and jot down questions that arise from your comparing them, as well as answers that you might propose as possible explanations for the differences. Does the version or edition of the Bible you’ve used before or you’re using now offer any explanations (check footnotes and annotations)? If you have any Bibles other than the NRSV, bring them to class (this would be good to do every class).

 

Gen 1.1–3

Gen 46.13 (also see RSV)

Ex 22.1–5

1 Sam 10.27

1 Sam 13.1

Hos 11.12 (esp. NIV & NRSV)

Mic 4.13

Mt 9.10 (KJV)

Mt 18.11

Mt 23.14

Mk 7.16

Mk 9.44, 46

Mk 11.26

Mk 15.28

Lk 9.55–56

Lk 17.36

Lk 23.17

Jn 3.3 (also see RSV)

Jn 5.4

Jn 7.53–8.11

Acts 8.37

Acts 9.5–6

Acts 15.34

Rom 1.3 (esp. NIV)

Rom 16.24

1 Cor 10.9

2 Cor 13.1214

Phil 2.7 (esp. NIV & NRSV)

1 Tim 5.16

2 Pet 2.18 (esp. NIV)

1 Jn 5.7–8 (esp. KJV)

 

Also (if you have time) . . .

 

3) Try the following passages in the NRSV or NIV & then see the KJV (the more literal translation). What do you think?

 

    2 Kgs 18.27

    Isa 36.12

 

    1 Sam 25.22, 34

    1 Kgs 14.10; 16.11; 21.21

    2 Kgs 9.8

 

4) Read the story of Balaam (Num 22.135) aloud in the KJV, then see how it sounds different in the NRSV or the NIV.