Friday, August 09, 2013

The NET Bible

I have stumbled across a new favorite Bible translation.  It is the New English Translation with Notes.  I downloaded it into my "Olive Tree" app on both my Iphone and my Ipad.  The New International Version Study Bible is also loaded in Olive Tree and for a while I used the NET with the NIV notes.  This is also a great combination.  But, I did not fully appreciate the value of the notes that come with the NET.  The notes explain the translators' word choices.  They even tell you the Greek and Hebrew words found in some of the different manuscripts, and how they have been translated in other verses.

The reason I gave the notes closer examination is the words used in the first verse of my favorite Psalm.  I love the 40th Psalm.  In the NIV it begins, "I waited patiently for the Lord, he turned to me and heard my cry..."  The NET reads:  "I relied completely on the Lordand he turned toward me and heard my cry for help".  I have had the NIV version memorized since 1998.  I recite it to myself very often, finding comfort and marveling at the depth and variety of its content.  And, I've always had difficulty identifying with the writer right there at the beginning.  I'm not very patient.  Quite often I long for God to act, even move ahead and start down the wrong track because he doesn't act quick enough to suit me sometimes.  But, in the long run, I do always rely on Him.  I feel very comfortable with the NET rendition.  

When I told my son about this, he said I was just selecting a translation because it agreed with me.  Yes!  That was true at first.  Then I read the notes and saw that the translators had good reason for making the change.  Now I've found several other passages they have improved as well, with clearer meaning and more inspiring messages.

Check it out for yourself.  You can buy an electronic version from Amazon for your Kindle for $4.95.  If you don't have a Kindle, download the free Kindle Reader from Amazon and you can read it on your PC or Ipad.  The hard copy is a little more expensive, follow the link to Amazon and you will see it offered for a sale price of $70.12.  I understand that the reason the printed version is so expensive is that it was intended for electronic access, like Kindle and Olive Tree.  The publishers intend to update and revise often responding to readers good reasons for edits and other valid insights.

It is always a good idea to check several translations when studying scripture, but I always have a favorite - and for now its the NET - with notes.

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