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Here a rendering of the meaning rather than just what the text says might be preferable, given that not everyone is going to use an anotated Bible with notes. Words do not really have meaning in isolation from their use and contexts. It could be a verb telling a person in a boat what to do.
In other words, you need to come as an informed consumer-- informed about the different Bibles, and informed about who you are buying it for. The Message or the Living Bible), to idiomatic translations (e.g.
NRSV, TNIV, NEB, Jerusalem Bible, NKJV, TEV-- in fact most translations fall into this camp) to nearly literal translations (NASB and a few others). non-literal issue of translation, but you should be aware that there is no such thing as an absolutely literal translations because: 1)English is a very different, and non-genderized language than the Biblical languages (i.e.
You can tell this is a lucrative business with so many secular companies involved in the battle for Bible sales, even major University Presses like Oxford and Cambridge.
Yes, its the most owned book of all time, and in far to many cases the least read or studied.
For example, the team which, with Lancelot Andrewes translated the KJV in 1611 were only as good as their skills in the Biblical languages and in the English of Shakespeare's era, and more to the point could only be as good as the original language manuscripts that lay before them.
The truth is, we have far better and earlier manuscripts of both the Hebrews and the Greek texts of the Bible today than they did back then, and so can produce a translation much closer to the original wording than they could have done.
We could keep giving many more reasons why there is no absolutely literal translation-- and frankly you wouldn't want one because you would have to keep unscrambling the word order, the syntax, and other difficulties.
The bottom line is, you want a translation that conveys accurately the original meaning of the Biblical text.
Let us suppose you are shopping for a children's Bible. If you are dealing with really young children you could go for the Living Bible which was originally done as a paraphrase for children by Ken Taylor, or the Today's English Version (originally Good News for Modern Man) which is written with no words over an eight grade vocabulary.