As I am not a scholar in any Bible-related subject, just an ordinary layman, a more correct title would be: “Some Personal Notes on Bible Translations”
When I grew up, the Bible in use was the Swedish Bible 1917, authorized by the King (of Sweden). The language was already outdated, but readable, and the general Bible-knowledge in the population was much better than it is today. The language of the Swedish Bible had a big impact in the Swedish literature and many many novel-titles were quotations from the Bible like Sven Edvin Salje: “Den söker icke sitt” from 1 Cor. 13:5. Another novel by Torgny Lindgren: “Ormens väg på hälleberget” Prov. 30:19, is full of old “Bible-language”. (I once had a patient, an old woman, who’s daily language was very similar to the Bible 1917.) (For my Swedish readers I can mention that I about 1987 heard a sermon at Tavelsjö kyrka, where the priest said: “Man kan ju läsa i den bibel som man plägar hava hemma!”)
I’m no expert, but I have once heard that the Swedish Bible 1917 is a translation to Swedish from the King James Version. I cannot verify this, but as far as I can tell, they are very similar.
In the mid 70s my older brother was touring in England and Scotland in a VW Beetle 1200 from 1957. Whe he returned home he brought me a beautiful King James Version with beautful painted pictures. It was love at first sight. Some of the verses I could read and recite, but some were, and still are, just too difficult for me… But the beauty, dignity and authority of that Bible made a profound impression on me.
Then came years of confusion. The New American Standard Bible and the the Living Testament, in English and Swedish didn’t appeal to me at all.
Bibel 2000, is probably the last official translation to Swedish. The New Testament, NT81, came 1981 and the full Bible about to the millenium. It is easy to read and understand, but in my opinon there is no beauty in the language, and I would like to call it, flat…
So I turned to the New International Version. The concept was appealing, a modern translation, easy to read and understand. But, the same problem here, where was the beauty, dignity and authority of the KJV? (I must admit though that I like the NIV Study Bible and the Zondervan NIV Study Bible.)
Perhaps it is a question of to which generation you belong. Perhaps newer and younger readers love the Bibel 2000 and the NIV, and good so.
At last I have found the combos that “sings” for me now: The New King James Version, NKJV, is my go-to EDC Bible, the KJV in a more modern language which has the same qualities of beauty, dignity and authority as the KJV but us easier to read and recite. For a Bible in Swedish I use the: Svenska Folkbibeln, a private initiative, which is closer to Bibel 1917 and KJV than Bibel 2000.
If you search the internet on this subject you will soon meet opinions like: “If you don’t have a KJV you don’t have a bible.” And “The NKJV is the words of satan”. I find this ridiculous. The small children in Iraq that were killed by ISIS refusing to deny their Christian faith saying: “We love Jesus! We have always loved Jesus!” Perhaps they have heard God’s Word from an inferior Bible-translation?
In the medical world we sometimes are referring to a formula by: Slawson DC, Shaughnessy AF, Bennett JH. Becoming a medical information master: feeling good about not knowing everything. J Fam Pract 1994;38:505-513.
“The usefulness of any source of information is equal to its relevance, multiplied by its validity, divided by the work required to extract the information.”
Thanks for your attention!
Ground Zero, New York City, 2004, Copyright: Lennart Wennberg