Author Archives: David Tue

About David Tue

I love God - the Father for what He has done for me through His Son, Jesus and living in me by His Spirit. Because of His Grace, not only am I saved, forgiven and heaven-bound, but I am growing day by day and becoming more like Jesus - though I know I won't ever get there in this life! This unthinkable Grace has driven me to leave the business world and dedicate every day to doing His work in this world. I once was lost but now I'm found! Thank you Abba!

The Oneness of Jesus and His Father

John 14:10  Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father is in Me?

John 14:11  Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father is in Me;

John 14:20  In that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.

John 14:21  He who has My commandments and keeps them is the one who loves Me; and he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will disclose Myself to him.

John 14:23  Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our abode with him.

Throughout the 14th chapter of John, we see Jesus continuously mentioning the Oneness between he and his Father.  This teaching starts in verse 8 when Philip says to him, “show us the Father” and Jesus responds with incredulity in verse 9, “Have I been so long with you, and yet you have not come to know Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father; how can you say, ‘Show us the Father’?

Apparently, Jesus hasn’t yet taught his disciples in detail about He and the Father being One, otherwise Philip’s question would have been foolish.  However, we feel for Philip because we recognize that we have desired the same thing (to see the Father) and have asked the same question.  Therefore, knowing that Philip’s question is not a foolish one, we can understand that this is a new teaching from Jesus.  Although it was only hinted at before (such as John 10:30, 13:20,31-32), it is obvious that he had hoped that they would have fully grasped  it at this point.  This would not be the first or the last time that Jesus was disappointed in the knowledge and faith of his disciples (Matt 14:31, Matt 17:17, John 13:10, Luke 22:48, Luke 22:61-62).

So what is this teaching?  What does Jesus mean that he and His Father are one?  First, we must go back to John 1:1-3.  Here we learn that Jesus, who is the Word, was with God in the beginning and, in fact, is God.  He existed in the Beginning.  He was before anything had been created.  He was the Creator through whom all things have been made.  So in these verses, we read that Jesus was God.  Yet, though he is God, he is not the only person who is God for we read that he was with God in the Beginning (we usually don’t refer to ourselves as being with ourselves –“I’m with me”).  Though he was part of creating all things, it is through him, not simply by him.  In other words, there was Someone else who was creating and He created through the Word.  When we go back to Genesis, where we read about the Creation of all things, we read in Genesis 1:1-2 that the Spirit of God was also there.  Later on, during the creation of man, we read in Genesis 1:26-27 that God is a multi-person being as He speaks to Himself in the plural – he says “let us create man in our image”.   Both Genesis and John show us that there is more to God than a single person.  We see this in other places as well (for example, Jesus as the Angel of the LORD in Genesis 18, Exodus 3, Joshua 5:13-15, Judges 6:11, Judges 13).

Jesus, is the LORD , but yet the Father is the LORD.  The Holy Spirit is also the LORD  (Genesis 1:1-2, Acts 5:3-4).  So we see that, though God is one (Deuteronomy 6:4), He is also three.  He is three persons within one being.  Father, Son and Holy Spirit is One God.  It is here that we can start to understand what Jesus meant by saying that he and the Father are one.  We can see why in John 13:31-32, Jesus explains that the Glory of Jesus is the Glory of God.

We know that God is love (1 John 4:8).  The Christian God is the only God who can actually say this.  All other gods by definition cannot be love.  This is why: To be God, He must never change because change needs Time and Time only exists after God has created it as part of the physical universe.  Therefore, to be God and Love, He must love and exist prior to creation (Eternal – no beginning or end).   Jesus and the Father, with the Spirit, are eternal – they were together in the Beginning, before there was anything created (John 1:1-3).  As God, they chose to create all things for their own glory.  However, they did not need to create.  He could have existed forever without ever creating anything.  All other gods must create if they are Love, for there is no one to love except themselves until they create, and loving oneself of necessity is not love but is vain, narcissistic, egotistic and self-centered.  Hence all other gods cannot have been both Eternal and Love for there would be a time when they could not love.  However, the Christian God is the only God who could be Love from Eternity past.  For before anything was ever created and there was nothing but God, the Father loved the Son and the Spirit, the Son loved the Father and the Spirit and the Spirit loved the Father and the Son.  A Circle of Love.  Complete and full love existed in the God who is Love for Eternity.  It will continue to exist for Eternity.

This brings us to why the Oneness of the Father and the Son is so important to us.  Not only can we know that God is Love, but that same God has given us the opportunity to join Him.  John  14:20-23 shows us that God and Jesus are one. However, it also shows that by receiving Jesus, we are invited to become one with them.  This Lovefest  of God, which has been in existence for eternity, has been opened up for us to join in.  The Circle of Love of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit has been opened up so that we are invited to come in and enter into that love.   How awesome is the Love of God!  How amazing is it that He would invite us to be a part of that.  Selah.  It is the psalmist’s way of saying “pause here – understand the greatness of what has just been said”.

The great Christians of days past have understood this.  Great Christians today understand it.  It is God’s will that we all understand this.  Christianity is not about what we do nor is it about who we are.  Christianity is about relationship – specifically, our relationship with the One True God: Father, Son and Holy Spirit – and their marvelous invitation to join them in their Circle of Love.  Once a Christian truly understands that though they are sinners, God’s Grace has welcomed them to come into His presence, has invited them into His Circle, they should be so overwhelmed by this thought that their hearts pound in their chest, they fall to their knees and they weep over the truth that is the Love of God.  It is out of this relationship with God that we will become what we are to be and will do what we are to do.  But first comes the relationship.

Let us be amazed at the awesome love of the One True God.  Then let us be overwhelmed that we are invited to become one with Him and to join in the Circle of Love that is the Christian God.  Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ, our LORD!

John’s Jesus

Let’s read  John 1:1

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

As you read this, understand that Jesus is the Word.  Let’s re-read the verse by replacing “the Word” with “Jesus”.

“In the beginning was Jesus and Jesus was with God and Jesus was God.” 

This leads us to two distinct conversations:  the first is the deity of Jesus and the second is his eternal existence, since he was with God in the beginning – before anything was made.

First – we are told that Jesus was God.  It is important that we understand this.  It is not that Jesus was a god – one of many gods.  To make it say this, you have to change the Greek language from which this was written.  Every Greek scholar that has translated the Bible properly has translated it to mean the same thing – that Jesus was God, not that Jesus was a god. See a comparison of Bible translations here: www.biblestudytools.com/john/1-1-compare.html.  The literal word-for-word translation would actually say “and God was the Word”.  There is only one God and there is no doubt that what was written was that Jesus was God.

Second – we are told that he was “In the beginning” – in other words, before anything was created, before anything else existed.  In the beginning, before anything, was Jesus.  The only One who existed before anything was created, before anything else existed, was God.  When we say that God is eternal, we are saying that He has always existed, that He has no beginning – that is the definition of “eternal”.  All things have a beginning, since God made all things.  Only God does not have a beginning, because only God is eternal.  As we think about these two things together, this should make sense to us.  Jesus was “In the beginning” because he was God.

Which brings us to John 1:3:

All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.

Here we read exactly what we were just discussing – that all things were made in the universe through Jesus – nothing was made without him.  He is the Creator, along with the Father and the Spirit.  See Genesis 1:1-3 (BTW – Genesis means “the beginning”):

In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light.

So we now see that God created all things, that Jesus was with God in the beginning and that the Holy Spirit was hovering over the face of the waters.  This is the Trinity.  There is only one God but we can see that the Father, Jesus and the Holy Spirit are all eternal, pre-existing, non-created persons who created all things.

It is Jesus and the Holy Spirit who the Father is speaking to in Genesis 1:26-27

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.

So Jesus is the God who created the universe, spoke it into being.  He created the greatest star, trillions of light years away from us and the smallest grain of sand here on this earth.

John 1:4 tells us that it is Jesus who has created life.

In him was life, and the life was the light of men.

He is where life came from.  He is the one who brought the living to life.  It did not happen by accident – it was the work of the Word, Jesus.

So we see that Jesus is God, that he is eternal, that he is the Creator, that he is the giver of life.  Now we head down to John 1:14.

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Here we read that Jesus was not only God but that the Word became flesh.  This is what we celebrate at Christmas:  That God came down to be born as a man.  Isaiah 7:14 says:

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.

700 years before Jesus was born, Isaiah prophetically told us that this would happen when he wrote that a virgin would give birth and would call his name “Immanuel”.  Immanuel means God with us.  This verse in John reveals the fulfillment of this prophecy in the Word made flesh.  God born in human form. Philippians 2:5-11 tells us more about this:

Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. 

So we can see that Jesus is fully God but also fully man.  Why did Jesus become man? This was necessary because sin came by the first Adam, therefore it needed to be removed by a second Adam.  In other words, since it was a man who brought sin into the world, it needed to be a man who would remove it.  However, how impossible is it for a man to do this, since every one falls short of the holiness and glory of God (Romans 3:23), since nobody’s perfect, since we all have sinned?  Therefore only God Himself could do this since He is the only one who is sinless and perfect.  Do you see what a conundrum this is – that only a man could remove sin but only God is able to do this?  Yet that is exactly who Jesus is – the only one who is able to remove sin because he is fully God and fully man.

“Why would God do this?”  Only because of the Grace of God towards man.  Grace means to receive something that we don’t deserve, that we didn’t earn.  Jesus becomes a man because God has Grace towards mankind.  Recognize that man was not the only one to fall, that angels fell as well.  The greatest angel to fall was Satan.  He was one of God’s brightest creation.  However, Satan chose to try to become like God and went against God.  He sinned by doing so and brought one-third of the angels with him.  These bad angels, whom we also call demons, work against God every day.  Yet, imagine – if after centuries of going against God, sinning against the Holy One, one of these demons decided that he changed his mind.  He realized how futile it was to go against God.  He understood how evil his actions were.  He repented and asked God for forgiveness.  Would he now go into Heaven?  Absolutely not.  God has created the Lake of Fire, what we call Hell, for Satan and his demons (Matt 25:41) and there is no escape for them.

This is right and proper.  If someone were to murder your loved one, it would be a wicked judge who said, ”You are guilty of murder, but I forgive you.  You do not have to go to prison.”  If a human judge knows that it is right to punish a murderer and send him to jail, how much more must God do so, who is the most righteous judge and by nature must do what is right?  You might say, “But I’ve never murdered” but God says in Matt 5:21-22:

21 “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ 22 But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.

The bad angels will go to hell because it is what they deserve and it is also what we deserve because we too want to be like God, to have control, to do our own will, to think that we are right and that He is wrong.  We too sin against the Holy One every day.  Yet, if we repent and ask God for forgiveness, God will forgive us.  Why?  How?  Because Jesus did not become fully God and fully angel.  Jesus became fully God and fully man.  Why?  Here, we turn to John 3:16.

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Here we learn how God so loved the world that He gave His only son so that any who believe will not perish but have eternal life.  Let’s spend some time in this verse to break down the major points: 1-God so loved the world; 2-He gave His only begotten son; 3-All who believe in him will not perish but have eternal life.

We ask the question again – “Why would God forgive us and not the angels?”  Because that is how much He loves us.  He loves us more than we can think or imagine – it is beyond our understanding.  Some people, perhaps yourself, might die for someone who loves them, but who would die for someone who hates them?  More than that, who would give their only son for someone who hates them?  For that is who we were – people who hated God.  We proved it by neglecting His law, doing our own will, believing that we are right and He is wrong, turning our backs on Him and ignoring Him most of the day, even though He is watching over us every moment of every second of the day.  A child who did that to their parent would be a hateful child.  A worker who did that to their boss would be a hateful worker.  A person who did that to their God would be a hateful servant.  Yet this is the Love of God: He loves us so much that He would give His only begotten son to die so that we could be with Him forever.

Our second point is that Jesus is the son of God in a way that we are not.  Jesus is the same as the Father in the same way that a natural born child is the same as their parents – they have the same genes, the same eyes, the same laugh, etc.  They’re made of the same stuff, the same substance.  Sometimes, we like to say that we are all children of God.  Here we turn back to John 1:12.

12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God,

Not everyone is a child of God.  Only those who receive him are given the right to become children of God.  What does it mean to receive Jesus?  The rest of verse 12 explains – those who believe in His Name.  This means that we need to believe the things that we’ve spoken about up to now – Jesus is the eternal, Creator God who gave life and who also was born as a man to take away the sins of the world.  Not everyone is a child of God.  Only those who believe in Jesus.

Let’s come back to John 3:16, and look at this third point.

16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

Those who are His children, those who believe in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.  We can have eternal life by believing in Jesus.  The other option is to perish.  To perish means to not have eternal life in Heaven but instead to live in Hell, in the place that was meant for Satan and His demons.  It is not the place that God created for men.  For men, He created Heaven and wants everyone to be there.  But He has given us a choice:  do we want to be with Him and give up our lives and our control and our will to Him and make Him God, Lord, Master?  Or do we want to continue to hold on to those things and keep trying to be god ourselves?  God gives us whichever we choose. If we choose to be with God, He will bring us into Heaven.  If we choose to be god ourselves, He keeps us away from Heaven, where He is, and allows us to go to the only other option – Hell.  We enter into heaven by receiving Jesus, believing all that we have just discussed about him.  We enter hell by rejecting all that we have discussed and continuing to try to enter heaven by our own efforts.

Think about what you’ve read.  Pray about it.  We urge you to give yourself over to Jesus, to allow Him to be your Lord.  If you do, let us know because we are praying for you.

Bible Translations

There are a lot of people who get confused over the different Bible translations that are out there.  Speaking specifically of the English translations, there are those who claim that the King James Bible is the only valid Bible, while Muslims claim that the English Bibles have many errors in them because they have been translated from previous translations over and over again.  Finally, there are those who have created their own version of the Bible to make it say what they want it to say, such as the New World Translation of the Jehovah’s Witnesses.  However, there is a reality and a truth about Bible translations: a translation is only valid if it is translated from the original language – The Old Testament from the Hebrew (with some Aramaic) and the New Testament from the Greek  (the New World Translation uses the Hebrew New Testament (i.e.: a translation) for its source for many New Testament verses, which is part of what makes it an incorrect translation).

With that, following is a history of Bible translations.  This is by no means a complete list.  But it is a list of the most important translations.  In order to keep it brief, each translation mentioned is given a short paragraph regarding the date, translator and what the source texts were (this also means that a lot of information is put into a very small space thereby making it a little dry and technical to read).  However, by this, we should be able to see how the current English translations came into existence.  (A note about translations:  No two translations are ever exactly the same.  This makes sense since more than one person translated them.  In other words, for example, if two people who speak Spanish were to translate the English  sentence, “In 24-hours, I will endeavor to enter the supermarket”, they could give multiple translations which could all be correct, yet different from each other.)

Latin Vulgate – Translated into Latin by Jerome beginning in 382 AD.  The New Testament was translated from the manuscripts in the original Greek.  Several of the Old Testament Books were translated from the Septuagint. (The Septuagint is the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures, or what Christians call the Old Testament, as well as other Hebrew writings).  However, afterwards, he translated the Old Testament from the Hebrew Tanakh (instead of the Septuagint), though sometimes paraphrased rather than translated. Despite the occasional paraphrase, this new translation from the Hebrew enables us to call this a proper translation. Jerome also defined the Apocrypha (a series of books written between 400 BC and the birth of Christ) and properly termed them non-canonical (meaning that they should not be considered scripture). However, he was overruled and the Apocrypha was included in the Vulgate.  It became the official translation of the Catholic Church at the Council of Trent (1545-1563) in response to the Protestant Reformation and the translations coming out of it in languages other than Latin.

Wycliffe Bible – Translated into Middle English by John Wycliffe from 1382-1395 due to the Lollard movement prior to the Reformation.  There are two versions: one purported to be written by Wycliffe himself and was a word for word translation of the Vulgate; the other purported to be written by John Purvey allowed for a smoother, more understandable Middle English translation. (Word for word translations often read awkwardly in another language)  However, since this was translated from Latin and not the original languages, these would not be considered proper translations.

Textus Receptus – A term coined in 1633 in the preface of the second edition by Elziver (a Dutch publisher)of The New Testament, first put together by Erasmus and published by Basel in 1516. Originally, it was intended to improve on the Latin of Jerome in the Vulgate but it included not only the new and improved Latin but also the original Greek based on six Byzantine Greek manuscripts. (Since there were gaps in those 6 manuscripts, Erasmus used the Vulgate and translated from the Latin back to the Greek for those passages which were missing).  The second edition was printed in 1519 and fixed many (but not all) of the typographical errors that occurred due to the new printing press which had become available and also added Miniscule 3 (the seventh Greek manuscript) which contains most of the NT (it is missing Revelation) dated from the 12th century.  Additional editions were printed in 1522, 1527 and 1535. Continued updates were made by Stephanus (Robert Estienne – a French publisher) in 1546, 1549, 1550 (called the Royal Edition and was now based on 14 Byzantine Greek manuscripts), and 1551.  Theodore Beza produced nine updates between 1565 and 1604.  Finally, Elzevir published editions in 1624, 1633 (the first to be called the Textus Receptus) and 1641.

Luther Bible – Translated into German by Martin Luther in 1522-1534 as part of the Reformation.  Used the “Textus Receptus” (the Greek portion, not the Latin translation) and translated into the common German language spoken in towns and markets.  Moved the Apocrypha between the OT and NT and claimed that “These Books Are Not Held Equal to the Scriptures, but Are Useful and Good to Read” which was the same sentiment held by Jerome in the first place.

Tyndale Bible – Prompted by Luther’s German translation, the Bible translated into English by William Tyndale in 1526 and revised by him in 1534 and 1536.  Not a full Bible until after his execution (he was executed for translating the Bible into English), he had printed the New Testament and half of the Old Testament.  The New Testament Translation is based on the third edition of the Textus Receptus, the Greek portion as well as the Latin translation from Erasmus, as well as Luther’s German version and the Vulgate.  The Old Testament may have been from the Hebrew Pentateuch, Hebrew Bible and/or Septuagint. The Tyndale Bible was banned by the king in 1530 due to language and notes unacceptable to the king (This will be an ongoing issue for the King of England since the Reformation translations and notes removed the power of the Pope and king and gave reign and rule, and thus power, to Christ).

Matthew Bible – English Translation done in 1537 by Thomas Matthew, whose real name was John Rogers.  His goal was to complete the Tyndale Bible (since Tyndale was executed prior to completing the entire Bible translation).  Hence the NT and half the OT was from The Tyndale Bible.  The rest was taken from the work of Myles Coverdale.  The “Prayer of Manassah” was the work of John Rogers himself, taken from a French translation done in 1535.

Great Bible – Anglican – Translated into English by Myles Coverdale in 1538, authorized by King Henry VIII and commissioned by Lord Thomas Cromwell for the Church of England.  Like the Matthew Bible, Coverdale used Tyndale’s Bible as the starting point, but he completed the missing parts from the Latin Vulgate and Luther’s Bible (therefore the Great Bible was not translated from the original languages) and updated Tyndale’s language that was deemed unacceptable to the king. (Ironically, both Tyndale and John Rogers were burned at the stake, while Coverdale was enlisted by Cromwell to create the Great Bible).

Geneva Bible – Protestant – Translated into English by William Whittingham (a student of John Calvin) and others in 1560.  First brought to England in 1575 (NT) and 1576 (whole Bible).  Included notes in the margins to help readers understand the text.  80­-percent of the New Testament follows Tyndale’s Bible.  The Old Testament was the first English version to translate entirely from Hebrew.  Hence, as opposed to the Tyndale Bible, the Matthew Bible or the Great Bible, which had parts translated from languages other than the original, the Geneva Bible is a proper translation from the original languages.  It would be the most read English Bible for the next 150 years (including the first 100 years of the King James Bible). This is the Bible that the Pilgrims used as well as men such as William Shakespeare, John Bunyan, and John Milton in their writings.

Bishops Bible – Anglican – Translated into English in 1568 by Matthew Parker (Archbishop of Canterbury). In response to the Calvinist Geneva Bible and the Vulgate-translated OT (and therefore improper translation) of the Great Bible.  The Apocrypha was kept based on the Great Bible (also from the Vulgate).  Extensively revised in 1572 to correct the text to be more in line with the Geneva Bible, which was being used by most people.  Was intended for Church use.  Viewed as a failure due to its incompetence in both scholarship and language.

Douay-Rheims Bible – Catholic – Translated into English by members of the English College, Douai in the service of the Catholic Church. Based on the Latin Vulgate.  Included notes on the text, including information on the Greek text from which the Vulgate was originally translated.  NT – 1582 in Reims, France. OT – two volumes – by University of Douai in 1609 and 1610.  Done in response to the Protestant Reformation.

King James Version (a.k.a. Authorized Version) – Anglican – from the “Textus Receptus”, specifically used mainly the Royal Edition of 1550 along with Beza’s 1598 edition.  It was written as a response against the Geneva Bible due to the notes of the Geneva Bible against Earthly kings. This is the third attempt by a king of England (The Great Bible and the Bishops Bible) to create a Bible in English which would be satisfactory for his continued right to rule.  In 1604, King James I, via the Hampton Court Conference, commissioned a new English Bible due to problems in the Bishop’s Bible detected by Puritans, and which would conform to the Ecclesiology and Episcopal structure of the Anglican Church.  Based mostly on the Bishops Bible except where problematic.  Completed in 1611 and Authorized by King James I (a.k.a. King James VI of Scotland prior to the union of Scotland and England in 1603).

Revised Version (a.k.a. English Revised Version) – revision of the 1611 King James Version.  First and only recognized revision of KJV.  NT published in 1881, OT published in 1885, Apocrypha published in 1894.  Westcott and Hort were on the translation committee, which was made up of British scholars with several Americans used as consultants.  Did not use Textus Receptus since other manuscripts, many of them older than those used in the Royal Edition of the Textus Receptus, had been found in the 300 years since the KJV was written.  Spurgeon said of it, “strong in Greek, weak in English”.

American Standard Version – 1901 update based on the Revised Version.  Once the 14-year agreement between the British and Americans had expired, the Americans updated the Revised Version with their own updates.  When originally asked to assist in the RV, the American scholarship was only added to the RV if two-thirds of the British scholars were in agreement.  Hence, the ASV adds back those suggestions which were ignored in the RV.  Was a very literal translation of the text.

Revised Standard Version – 1946-NT, 1952-OT, 1957-Apocrypha, Modified Edition-1962, NT second Edition – 1971  Supposed to be an update of the ASV, though not much is kept.  Used Nestle 17th edition of the Greek for NT. Much less literal than the ASV, its aim was to clarify the text rather than translate word for word.  Updated the Elizabethan English of the ASV.  Kept “thou” and “thee” when speaking of God but removed those words when speaking of man.  Is viewed as a liberal translation.

New American Standard Version – 1963-NT, 1971-OT,  In response to the liberal translation of the RSV, a literal, hence conservative, update of the American Standard Version. Deliberately interprets the Old Testament from a Christian standpoint, in harmony with the New Testament (as opposed to the RSV). The literal translation has caused many difficulties for its awkward and unnatural English, hence like the RV, it is strong in Greek, weak in English and thus often used for study and reference and less for reading.  In 1995, updated to improve the English style and less literal word for word translation. Still one of the most literal translations available.

New International Version – 1973-NT, 1978-OT, Not an update of a former version.  Created to bring the Bible into the modern English language. Translated by a committee of scholars, financed by the New York Bible Society, which is now called Biblica.  OT based on the Masoretic Text (Original Hebrew) with several additional texts consulted.  NT is based on Nestle-Aland version of Greek NT, though not in all places.  Updated in 1984, then again in 2011.  Intended to be used for evangelical purposes and to ensure the unity of the scriptures in both the OT and NT

New King James Version – 1979-NT, 1982-OT.  Update of King James Version. Uses the same Greek and Hebrew texts as KJV but updates the English. There are notes added where there are differences between the original texts used and those of manuscripts found since 1611.  Literal version, though not as literal as the New American Standard Version.  Extensive notes, though not always without bias. Kept much of KJV problems, such as 1 John 5:7-8 (though note informs that only 4-5 manuscripts have these words).

New Revised Standard Version – 1989 – Updated the RSV and included the Dead Sea Scrolls as part of the translation process for the OT.  Removed “thou” and “thee” altogether, making it fully contemporary English.  Also made changes to use inclusive gender language (i.e. – “person” instead of “man”).  Recognizing that the RSV was considered a liberal translation, the NRSV might be considered even more so.

English Standard Version – 2001 – based on the RSV (not the NRSV to exclude inclusive gender language). Goal was to be more literal than NIV but more readable than NASB, thus attempting to find a middle ground between the two.

A final note:  though many of the translations listed above used a previous translation as a basis, they were written as translations from the original languages.  However, when the existing translations were valid and proper, the English translation was kept.  In other words, if the Greek in a particular verse was translated one way and there was no reason to change it, the updated version kept that translation.  For instance, after reviewing the original Greek for John 3:1-2, the New American Standard kept verse 1 exactly the same as the American Standard Version, but updated verse 2 to make the English more readable:

ASV:  Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews: 2 the same came unto him by night, and said to him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God; for no one can do these signs that thou doest, except God be with him.

NASB:  Now there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews; this man came to Jesus by night and said to Him, “Rabbi, we know that You have come from God as a teacher; for no one can do these signs that You do unless God is with him.”