Saturday, November 15, 2014

Bible Review: MEV Thinline Bible

The Holy Bible: Modern English Version. Passio. 2014. Charisma Media. 1184 pages. [Source: Review Copy]

The publisher describes the MEV translation as being: clear, reverent, and accurate.

Clear: Literal translation (word for word, not thought for thought), with capitalized references of God. Historical facts and events are expressed without distortion. At the same time the translation is done in such a way that readers of all backgrounds may understand the message that the original author was communicating to the original audience.

Reverent: Every effort is made to ensure that no political, ideological, social, cultural, or theological agenda is allowed to distort the translation.

Accurate: The Scriptures are accurately translated without loss, change, compromise, embellishments or distortions of the meaning of the original text.

I've been reading in the MEV translation a little over a month now. I've shared my first impressions already.

Do I recommend this translation? Yes! I am really enjoying it. True, I wish that the font was a bit larger in the thinline version. I do. I hated that I had to squint to see the text depending on that day's vision. True, I really, really wish it was available as black letter instead of red letter. There probably are readers out there who are thrilled to see: WORDS OF CHRIST IN RED in the description of a Bible. I am NOT one of them. For two reasons mainly: 1) The whole Bible is God's Word. The whole Bible speaks of God, reveals God. All of it is inspired and infallible. All of it is worthy of attention. Words in red aren't extra-special or more-worthy than the rest. 2) Red ink is HARD on the eyes. It is. Red ink is much more difficult to make out than black on white. Especially if you have less-than-perfect vision. Especially if you have migraines. So reading all four gospels in a Bible with tiny print and red letter was extra-difficult for me. I did it. I'm glad I did it. I wanted to do it. But it was a struggle all the same. I do plan on reading the whole Bible in this translation. And I've got a good start in the New Testament!

Which books have I read in the MEV? Genesis, Exodus, Ruth, Psalms, Proverbs, Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, Matthew, Mark, Luke, John, Acts, Romans, 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians, Titus, Philemon, Hebrews, James, 1 Peter,  2 Peter, 1 John, 2 John, 3 John, Jude, Revelation.

I'd love to see more options become available. I'd love to see it as an e-book. I'd love to see it in larger print. I'd love to see it in a study bible. But that will perhaps come in time.

I love reading the Bible in new translations, and new-to-me translations. I love seeing how favorite passages are translated. Each translation, I've found, has strengths and weaknesses. For example, a translation can be GREAT in Psalms, for example, but still perplexing in Hebrews! I like different translations for different books of the Bible.

One of my favorite things to do with a new translation is to read the preface. I always read prefaces in Bibles! They can be fascinating.
Today, realizing the need to update the King James Version for the twenty-first century, forty-seven scholars serving as professors, or chaplains to the Armed Forces of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and to the United States Armed Forces, comprising the Committee on Bible Translation under the leadership of the senior editorial advisor Dr. Stanley M. Horton and the chief editor Dr. James F. Linzey, have joined forces to produce a more updated edition of the King James Version called the Modern English Version, which is based on a modern English vernacular. The Modern English Version is a translation of the Textus Receptus and the Jacob ben Hayyim edition of the Masoretic Text, using the King James Version as the base manuscript. 
Sampling of verses in the MEV translation**:
  • In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the water. (Genesis 1:1-2) (Genesis 1:1-2, KJV) (Genesis 1:1-2, NIV) (Genesis 1:1-2, NASB) (Genesis 1:1-2, HCSB) (Genesis 1:1-2, NLT)
  • Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. (Psalm 1:1-2) (Psalm 1:1-2, KJV) (Psalm 1:1-2, NKJV) (Psalm 1:1-2, NIV) (Psalm 1:1-2, NLT) 
  • The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake. (Psalm 23:1-3) (Psalm 23:1-3, KJV) (Psalm 23:1-3, NIV) (Psalm 23:1-3, NLT) (Psalm 23:1-3, HCSB) (Psalm 23:1-3, NASB)
  • Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man against whom the LORD does not count iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit. (Psalm 32:1-2) (Psalm 32:1-2, KJV) (Psalm 32:1-2, NIV) (Psalm 32:1-2, NLT) (Psalm 32:1-2, NASB) (Psalm 32:1-2, NKJV) (Psalm 32:1-2, HCSB)
  • Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled. Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of God. (Matthew 5:3-10) (Matthew 5:3-10, NIV) (Matthew 5:3-10, NLT) (Matthew 5:3-10, HCSB) (Matthew 5:3-10, NASB) (Matthew 5:3-10, NKJV)
  • Judge not, that you be not judged. (Matthew 7:1) (Matthew 7:1, KJV) (Matthew 7:1, NIV) (Matthew 7:1, NLT) (Matthew 7:1, NASB) (Matthew 7:1, HCSB)
  • In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were created through Him, and without Him nothing was created that was created. In Him was life, and the life was the light of mankind. The light shines in darkness, but the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:1-5) (John 1:1-5, KJV) (John 1:1-5, NASB) (John 1:1-5, NIV) (John 1:1-5, NLT) (John 1:1-5, HCSB)
  • Let not your heart be troubled. You believe in God. Believe also in Me. In my Father's house are many dwelling places. If it were not so, I would have told you. I am going to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, you may be also. You know where I am going, and you know the way. (John 14:1-4) (John 14:1-4, KJV) (John 14:1-4, HCSB) (John 14:1-4, NLT) (John 14:1-4, NIV) (John 14:1-4, NASB)
  • Love suffers long and is kind; love envies not; love flaunts not itself and is not puffed up, does not behave itself improperly, seeks not its own, is not easily provoked, thinks no evil; rejoices not in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, and endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7) (1 Corinthians 13:4-7, KJV) (1 Corinthians 13:4-7, NASB) (1 Corinthians 13:4-7, NIV) (1 Corinthians 13:4-7, NLT) (1 Corinthians 13:4-7, HCSB)
  • Finally, brothers, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, and if there is any praise, think on these things. (Philippians 4:8) (Philippians 4:8, KJV) (Philippians 4:8, NLT) (Philippians 4:8, NIV) (Philippians 4:8, NASB) (Philippians 4:8, HCSB)

**The first reftagger hover verse is in the ESV translation; that's what it is set to automatically. I did not add the words ESV because I didn't want to confuse anyone. The verses I typed out are from the MEV which is not currently available on Bible Gateway.

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

1 comment:

James T Sparks said...

Daniel 3:18 and Malachi 2:16 are two of the passage that is translated wrong.