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How to Choose a Translation for All Its Worth

A Guide to Understanding and Using Bible Versions
Gordon D. Fee (Author) , Mark L. Strauss (Author)
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With so many Bible translations available today, how can you find those that will be most useful to you? What is the difference between a translation that calls itself “literal” and one that is more “meaning-based”? And what difference does it make for you as a reader of God’s Word?How to Choose a Translation for All Its Worth brings clarity and insight to the current debate over translations and translation theories. Written by two seasoned Bible translators, here is an authoritative guide through the maze of translations issues, written in language that everyday Bible readers can understand.Learn the truth about both the word-for-word and meaning-for-meaning translations approaches. Find out what goes into the whole process of translation, and what makes a translation accurate and reliable. Discover the strengths and potential weaknesses of different contemporary English Bible versions. In the midst of the present confusion over translations, this authoritative book speaks with an objective, fair-minded, and reassuring voice to help pastors, everyday Bible readers, and students make wise, well-informed choices about which Bible translations they can depend on and which will best meet their needs.

About the Authors

Gordon D. Fee† (PhD, University of Southern California) was professor emeritus of New Testament Studies at Regent College, Vancouver, British Columbia.

Mark L. Strauss (PhD, Aberdeen) is university professor of New Testament at Bethel Seminary, where he has served since 1993. His books include Four Portraits, One Jesus; How to Read the Bible in Changing Times; The Essential Bible Companion; and commentaries on Mark and Luke. He also serves as vice chair of the Committee on Bible Translation for the New International Version translation.


''Something gets lost in translation' is a common enough phrase, reflecting the difficulties of conveying what is said in one language in a very different one. With clarity and care Gordon Fee and Mark Strauss help us understand how translations of the Bible are done, what the difficulties are, and how the whole process is more of an art than a science. On top of all this they give us something of a history of English translations of the Bible including a review of contemporary ones. This is the perfect little book to help the student of the Bible understand why different translations of the same verses look so different, and how to decide which Bible translation is right for the student in question. As a companion to Fee's earlier How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth, or on its own, it deserves to receive a wide readership.' -- Dr. Ben Witherington III

'One of the most common questions directed at biblical scholars is 'Which Bible translation is the best?' These scholars are then faced with the challenge of summarizing a very complex issue in a brief response. With the publication of Fee and Strauss' work, the scholar may simply respond, 'I would suggest that you read this book.' How to Choose a Translation for All Its Worth is the most reliable guide available to understanding the process of Bible translation and choosing one that is appropriate.' -- Stan Duvall

'There are so many translations out there…which one should we choose? Fee and Strauss do a marvelous job of explaining how translations come about, giving us the basis to make an intelligent decision. Everyone should read this book, but I particularly recommend it for seminary students, ministers, and anyone who teaches the Bible in schools and churches.' -- Tremper Longman III

'This book is crammed with material that's understandable, theologically sound, generationally balanced, and practical. I wish I had read one like it 50 years ago. It's a must not only for Christian pastors and teachers but for the everyday Bible reader who wants to be better equipped to understand God’s Word and share it's a classic.' -- Warren W. Wiersbe

'What a helpful guide to the numerous translations and new versions of the Bible available today. Gordon Fee and Mark Strauss are superb scholars and translators themselves and they have brought together a wealth of wisdom in this little book. A blessing for the church!' -- Timothy George

'This book is comprehensive, fair, and accessible. Particularly helpful are quick explanations of specific translations and a glossary of terms. This thorough and engaging book will be helpful to pastors, teachers, Bible students, and anyone serious about understanding and choosing among Bible translations.' -- Amy Simpson, Executive Editor

'It seems like new Bibles come out every week, and the overload can be overwhelming. Gordon and Mark are wise and trustworthy guides!' -- John Ortberg, Pastor and Author

'This book delivers exactly what its title promises. It is not a sales pitch for any particular translation. Rather, it's a crash course that helps people understand why different translations are different. It teaches a lot about Scripture itself, so it's interesting and enjoyable to read. I highly recommend it, especially to church elders and church staff.' -- Sarah Sumner, Professor

'Yet another book on translation? Yes, and this is the one I shall now recommend to concerned Christians who want to understand what the perpetual flap over Bible translation is all about. Few will agree with every judgment in its pages, but for courtesy to all sides, accuracy in technical matters, clarity of writing, a deep commitment to faithful rendering of the original, and an abundant supply of that least common gift, 'common sense,' this is the book on translation that deserves widest circulation.' -- D. A. Carson, Research Professor of the New Testament

'What a blessing to us all! That's what How to Choose a Translation for All Its Worth is to Christians everywhere. Gordon Fee and Mark Strauss have written a masterpiece on a much debated and important subject. This book is unbiased, thought-provoking, and even inspirational as it creates a fresh appetite for understanding God's Word.' -- Jim Cymbala, Senior Pastor

'Fee and Strauss each have strong careers relating to English Bible translation issues which have prepared them to write this book. At a time when fairness in debates about English Bible translation has suffered, Fee and Strauss restore fairness, along with scholarly substance, as they discuss important qualities to consider when choosing a Bible version. A strength of their book is the large number of examples used to illustrate translation points.' -- Wayne Leman, Translation Consultant

  • Product Details
  • Page Count: 176
  • Format: Softcover
  • ISBN: 9780310278764
  • Release: October 2, 2007