For an Informed Love of God
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Most of the exercises show at least two translations of each verse, and the key word or phrase is in bold type in the first verse. (Italicized words are italicized in the biblical text.) Your task is to find the Greek behind the English and see why the translations are different. In many cases, their different translation philosophies will explain the differences. Remember, the translations are not be viewed as saying different things. In most cases, one translation will be vague and the other more specific (i.e., interpretive). Sometimes interpretations will be contradictory.
I will list at least two translations of each verse. It is often helpful for you to look at a few other translations as well as looking at the verse in its fuller context. The computer programs are helpful in doing this.
NIV. We saw his star in the east and have come to worship him.
TNIV. We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.
ESV. For the Gentiles seek after all these things.
NIV. For the pagans run after all these things.
NET. For the unconverted pursue these things.
NASB. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?
NRSV. Why do you see the speck in your neighbor’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye?
NLT. And why worry about a speck in your friend’s eye when you have a log in your own?
KJV. Come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men.
NLT. Come, be my disciples, and I will show you how to fish for people!
TNIV. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to catch people.”
ESV. But give as alms those things that are within.
NASB. But give that which is within as charity.
NIV. But give what is inside [the dish] to the poor.
TNIV. But now as for what is inside you—be generous to the poor.
KJV. Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
NIV. Nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you.”
TNIV. Nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is in your midst.”
KJV. Then said they all, Art thou then the Son of God? And he said unto them, Ye say that I am.
NIV. They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?” He replied, “You are right in saying I am.”
NASB. For of His fullness we have all received, and grace upon grace.
NIV. From the fullness of his grace we have all received one blessing after another.
NLT. We have all benefited from the rich blessings he brought to us—one gracious blessing after another.
NIV. Jesus replied, “If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him.”
NRSV. Jesus answered him, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them.”
NIV. Sanctify them by the truth; your word is truth.
NLT. Make them pure and holy by teaching them your words of truth.
NIV. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them.
NRSV. Some even from your own group will come distorting the truth in order to entice the disciples to follow them.
NLT. Obviously, the law applies to those to whom it was given.
NIV. Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law.
NIV. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross!
NLT. And in human form he obediently humbled himself even further by dying a criminal’s death on a cross.
NASB. I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.
NIV. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.
TNIV. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.
1 Tim 4:7
KJV. But refuse profane and old wives’ fables.
NIV. Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales.
2 Tim 2:3
NIV. Endure hardship with us.
ESV. Share in suffering.
NASB. Suffer hardship with me.
NIV. God … promised before the beginning of time.
ESV. God … promised before the ages began.
NLT. God promised them before the world began.
NIV. Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father?
TNIV. Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their parents?
1 John 3:9
NRSV. Those who have been born of God do not sin.
NIV. No one who is born of God will continue to sin.
See the effect of punctuation in the following.
NIV. “The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.”
Compare this to 1 Cor 15:20 and the changes made in the TNIV. “… and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.”
1 Cor 6:12-13
Pay special attention to the quotation marks. You may need to check a modern commentary on this one. The same phenomenon may occur in 2 Cor 5:13.
NIV. “Everything is permissible for me”—but not everything is beneficial. “Everything is permissible for me”—but I will not be mastered by anything. “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food”—but God will destroy them both. The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.
TNIV. “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. You say, “Food for the stomach and the stomach for food, and God will destroy them both.” The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body.