NET, NIV, ESV: A Brief Historical Comparison

Dr. Wallace took some time to write a summary on these translations. He was a major contributor to the NET bible, but I think that he was fair and objective in this article.  You be the judge.

He says:

An alternative to either of these is the NET Bible. One of the chief goals of the NET Bible has been to combine the three historic objectives of English Bible translation: accuracy, readability, and elegance.

I own the both the First Edition and the Reader’s Edition. But I have failed to warm up to it as a my reading bible. I think it is fine translation and what they have accomplished should be highly commended, and others should follow in their example.  Anyhow, here is the link NET, NIV, ESV: A Brief Historical Comparison


6 thoughts on “NET, NIV, ESV: A Brief Historical Comparison

  1. I own both editions, too, as well as the diglot. There really is a lot to like about the NET Bible, but like you, I haven’t warmed to the translation, although I’d certainly recommend it above the ESV.

    When the article by Wallace was first posted, Wayne Leman sent me and a few others a link to it. This was my response (slightly modified):

    Well. I can’t blame him for recommending the NET BIble; I would have been surprised if he had not. But I [would suggest] that the NET Bible is decidedly not elegant. Of course, elegance is not the final factor for me in deciding what translation to use in public. Otherwise, I’d probably teach from the REB. I never really bonded with the NIV because I felt that it fell kind of flat–I think Dan Wallace is saying as much. But I do now use the TNIV as my primary public use Bible because it has greatly improved on its predecessor in this area and certainly in others.

    But I’m surprised for Wallace to give such credence to the NET Bible in this area. I would [certainly] call the NET Bible an accurate translation, and I would certainly like to see it get more exposure. But to me it falls much flatter than the original NIV Bible. Last year I used it exclusively for a month, both in teaching and preaching contexts, to really get a feel for it. In doing that, I felt there were so many places it could have had better wording–and I don’t mean more accurate wording, just wording that offered a bit more “punch.”

    I still plan on offering a review of the NET Bible on This Lamp, and this will no doubt be my greatest point of criticism.

  2. Rick,

    Wallace did give a good review of TNIV, although he griped about the gender language. He has a lot invested in the NET Bible, so I can see why he would personally favor it. Although the bibles that I find highly readable, and usable are the HCSB & TNIV, and that is just an opinion coming from and average bible reader (i.e. not greek/hebrew scholar).

    I am still working through the NLT 2nd edition.

  3. TC, I read it again, and thought well maybe not as objective as I first thought. The reason I had stated that was that he seemed pretty fair with his comments on TNIV (with the exception of his gender remarks). But after reading a few more times I wonder myself how objective he is being.

    I wonder if he has a copy of Gospel Today hidden in his desk somewhere??? jk

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