Over the years I have done a very bad thing in the eyes of scholars. I have drifted more toward translations that work to make the text more readable. For ESV, NASB, NRSV, and RSV lovers… I am a heretic. For KJV only people, I’ve been apostate for years.
I still use “word for word” translations, but for preaching and group study, I look more toward less formal and more readable. I still want “accurate.” But in translation, that is simply a moving target. I just don’t want someone who is fairly new in the faith to try to have to “translate” an English word or phrase!
In my Lenten reading this morning, there is this verse in Gen. 42:
12 He said to them, “No, it is the nakedness of the land that you have come to see.” (ESV)
The “nakedness of the land?” What? They came to hit the strip clubs?
One great function of BibleGateway is the parallel translation feature. I put three translation options HERE.
The beauty of several translations is realizing we can have accuracy AND clarity. It’s not always “word for word,” but it WILL communicate the truth of the passage.