At the end of each semester, the Harvard Ichthus runs an event called Texts-4-Toasties, during which Harvard students text us questions about God, faith, or Christianity and receive an answer, along with a free grilled cheese or nutella sandwich, at their door. “Common Texts-4-Toasties Questions” is a series in which Ichthus writers and editors give short responses to some of the most common questions texted in each semester.
What’s your favorite Bible translation, and why?
Yein Christina Park ’20 (Seventh-Day Adventist)
I like the New King James Version (NKJV). The main reason is that the earliest verses I memorized were in this version, so I grew up liking how it sounded. Even though it is sometimes harder to understand than some of the newer, contemporary English versions, NKJV is tried and true; on the whole, I think it provides a good translation that conserves original meaning.
Siobhan McDonough ’17 (Congregationalist)
While I usually read the NIV/ESV now, my favorite translation as a child was the Good News Bible. Translated for non-native English speakers, it uses clear, uncomplicated language without speaking down to the reader or appearing anachronistic. It has lovely minimalistic illustrations (look up Annie Vallotton!) which I still associate with many verses.
Marina Spinelli ’18 (Roman Catholic)
My favorite Bible translation is the New American Bible (NAB). At the beginning of my freshman year of high school, my classmates and I each received an NAB, blessed by our high school’s priest, at the Freshman Bible Mass. I read this Bible throughout high school and so this is the translation that I am most familiar with and which has supplemented my understanding of my faith. I enjoy reading from the NAB during prayer and when planning articles for the Ichthus!
Obasi Shaw ’17 (Baptist)
I prefer the ESV, because I personally think that it does the best job of balancing readability and accuracy to the original Greek/Hebrew/Aramaic texts. I do like the NASB almost as much, but I tend to think the ESV is slightly more readable (perhaps just because it’s what I’m used to), so I’ve stuck with it ever since I started caring about accuracy in translation. In any case, both are considered among the most accurate translations (NASB usually considered slightly more accurate than ESV) and both are easier to read than the KJV, so I would heartily recommend either!