Lost In Translation

How many ways can you say the same thing? Bible translations provide a clue. BibleStudyTools.com (external link) is a wonderful resource that lets you compare your favorite passage among two dozen or so Bible translations. Look at all the different word choices below.

Their website does not have the Jerusalem Bible, however, which is unfortunate. To me, it reads best. The Jerusalem Bible was published in 1966, the product of an immense effort by scholars to produce a thoroughly modern translation for Catholics. But it benefited everyone, especially those that read the Bible as literature.

A later version was produced in 1985 which is online at Catholic.org.(external link) I find it doesn’t sing as well. You can pick up a used copy of the 1966 edition for only a few dollars at places like https://www.abebooks.com/ (external link).

James 3:16-3:17:

Wherever you find jealousy and ambition, you find disharmony, and wicked things of every kind being done, whereas the wisdom that comes down from above is essentially something pure; it also makes for peace, and is kindly and considerate; it is full of compassion and shows itself by doing good; nor is there any trace of partiality or hypocrisy in it.

The Jerusalem Bible, First Edition

For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere.

New International Version (NIV)

For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.

KJV

Where there is jealousy and selfishness, there is also disorder and every kind of evil. But the wisdom from above is pure first of all; it is also peaceful, gentle, and friendly; it is full of compassion and produces a harvest of good deeds; it is free from prejudice and hypocrisy.

Good News Translation

For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice. But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, without uncertainty or insincerity.

Revised Standard Version

For where jealousy and faction are, there is confusion and every vile deed. But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without variance, without hypocrisy.

American Standard Version

For where is envy and strife, there is unsteadfastness and all depraved work [and all shrewd work]. But wisdom that is from above, first it is chaste, afterward peaceable, mild, able to be counseled [persuadable, that is, easy to treat, and to be treated], consenting to good things, full of mercy and of good fruits, deeming without feigning.

Wycliffe — the first English translation of scripture

 

About thomasfarley01

Freelance writer who specializes in history, technology, and human interest stories.
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