Kevin Pendergrass has a good article, posted yesterday, on his blog. He provides some background history and a bit of information about how Bible translation is done.
And any and every English translation of the Scriptures is a translation and cannot, by the very nature of the translation process … communicate word-for-word every time what the original source text says. A strict word-for-word translation is a unicorn. It does not and cannot exist. Every translation by its very nature contains an “interpretation of meaning.” Meaning must absolutely be interpreted—and mediated to the reader—at every turn.
In an appendix he evaluates some Bible versions, most of them older English versions.
The article is well worth your time.
A few years ago I began using the NET Bible when writing and teaching in English. Lately, the NLT is growing on me, although I’ll not likely adopt it for general use.
Some time back I wrote about “10 talking points on Bible versions, manuscripts, and language.” Then there is “My 7 favorite English Bible versions,” which I still hold to pretty much.
Amen to what Kevin’s paragraph says about about literal translations. I’ve said much the same on numerous occasions. The nature of language precludes any idea of word-for-word versions. Word order, the idiomatic nature of language (languages don’t just contain idioms, they are idiomatic through and through), differing semantic domains, differing cultural cosmovisions, among other factors, mean that a literal rendering is but a dream.