As a working guideline, then, I propose we evaluate translations on the basis of three criteria. A good translation (1) has a well-defined, well-reasoned, and useful translation philosophy, (2) applies that philosophy consistently over the “many parts and various ways” God has spoken to us in his word (Heb. 1:1), and (3) uses the “best of what’s around” to understand the original Hebrew and Greek text. The NLT gets an “A” in all three of these categories, as I will establish in a bit.
When to Use Your Language Knowledge, Part 2: Only if it’s Absolutely Necessary (and it probably isn’t)
Even if you can utilize your knowledge of Greek or Hebrew syntax and vocabulary, there’s probably a better way to prove your point, and you should take that route instead.
So you think that the person you’re talking to (or preaching at) needs to fully appreciate what the Greek or Hebrew really says? I recently tweeted out the following conditions that must be true before...
For the last 4 years I have told my students at Reformed Theological Seminary and Westminster Seminary to forego the expense of Logos (and, by extension, Accordance, and BibleWorks, though each has different advantages and disadvantages) in favor of the relatively inexpensive subscription to BibleArc. But with recent advancements in digital resources, I’m changing my tune a bit.