A Poor Man Seminary Library (2): Specialty Bibles

Languages getting you down? Would you like to learn Hebrew and Greek but don’t have the time or money to take classes? Well you live at a great time because there are some resources that can help with that.

The Comprehensive New Testament (CNT)
There are a couple of reasons why this Bible is *awesome*. The major selling point is that it is a translation of the Greek New Testament (GNT) put out by the United Bible Society (UBS). All modern translations make use of this the GNT in making their translations but they will make judgment calls, in terms of which reading in different manuscripts to use. 

A brief aside: for the New Testament every translation (back even to the days of King Jimmy and before) is translated from the various Greek manuscripts. We have tons of these manuscripts. So we have to determine what is the likely reading. Modern translations and semi-ancient translations must make informed choices.

So no modern translaitons completely matches the GNT’s put out by the UBS. Except the CNT. That is selling point #1. Second, all of those different options in the manuscripts are put in the GNT’s, called an apparatus. If you thought reading Greek was hard, reading these apparatuses is even harder. Well the CNT simplifies this and translates it into English so you know where the differences in translations are coming from – incredibly helpful to anyone in ministry to quickly see where Bible translations will differ.

Lastly, what I think is the most awesome part of this Bible is that it contains a mammoth cross reference system. This cross reference is not limited to the Bible. It often goes into the Pseudepigrapha, Dead Sea Scrolls, early church, and Nag Hammadi. Again, *awesome*. I actually can’t figure out why you haven’t bought this yet?

Purchase: [Amazon

New English Translation of the Septuagint (NETS)
Moving along with good translations we come to the NETS, not to be confused with the NET (New English Translation – my favorite all around translation). The NETS is just what it says it is, a translations of the Greek Old Testament. Why do you care?

Well it seems that a majority of the NT authors actually worked from the LXX (the short name for the Septuagint). This matters because the LXX diverges from the main Hebrew text (called the Masoretic Text, or MT for short). So it can be helpful in places, like Job, Isaiah, and the Psalms to see differences in the text since a lot of early church fathers used the LXX as well. Augustine was unable to read Hebrew for instance.

The Septuagint is the most important translation that there is. Plane and simple and so it would be helpful to have a translation of it because the Greek in the LXX is miles above the Greek in the NT (languages change and often simplify over their lifetime, I was told that since Latin died so young it stayed very complex – while modern day Greek is vastly simplier compared to the NT and Homer).

Purchase: [Amazon

Conclusion
Not knowing the original languages is hardly an excuse now for deep indepth study. These resources above are just a part of the amazing blessings that we, especially as English speakers, have. The hard part is not being able to study well, but making sure you are using these gifts well. Are you?

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