1.05.2008

The NET Bible

My friend Thomas Allison showed me this Bible a couple months ago, and I've been using it ever since. According to bible.org (and how bad can they be?) in its Preface to the NET Bible:
The NET Bible is a completely new translation of the Bible with 60,932 translators’ notes [Note: emphasis added]! It was completed by more than 25 scholars – experts in the original biblical languages – who worked directly from the best currently available Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts.
As you might have figured out, I really like the idea of 60,932 translators' notes (that's almost two notes per verse, depending upon which Bible you use). These includes notes about the translators' choices, cultural context, and much, much more! But seriously, there is in-depth discussion of verses such as Acts 2:38 that are highly contested theologically. (More on that verse someday.)

You can download it for free or purchase it. So have fun.

4 comments:

Spaceman Spiff said...

A fascinating find. But I have to say, I don't think all the translators notes in the world are going to deal with the issues surrounding Acts 2:38, such as they are. Afterall it'd be kind of odd if a question that is apparently so fundamental required some fancy new textual variant that was just discovered. My recommendation: good theology.

But if you're looking at coming at questions from a serious biblical studies angle, you really need to think about solid commentaries as probably a more useful step than new translations, since they'll cover literary, historical, and theological issues as well as linguistic.

And as far as it goes, you really can't do any better than the Anchor Bible Series: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anchor_Bible_Series

There are certainly other solid commentaries, especially that aren't part of a set, but the Anchor Bible commentaries are the most comprehensive as far as I know. Looks like UM has them available for reference in one of their libraries.

JoPo said...

Well, it's a good start. And a lot of the notes do cover literary and historical issues.

The reason I mentioned Acts 2:38 is that people mention the Greek preposition eis and then act like they've immediately become Greek scholars. And surprisingly, their interpretation of eis almost always seems to support their view. So this, in comparison, is very nice.

That Anchor Bible Series looks really cool, but I doubt I could conveniently download it for free over the Internet...

Spaceman Spiff said...

I understand the issue of eis in Acts 2:38, and I'm saying I don't think any amount of commentary on translation will solve the problem. It requires theology. In other words, the way you work out your soteriology based on the whole of scripture will allow you to handle these types of questions without putting so much weight on one poor little preposition, or even one verse.

And yes it is true that the ABS can' be downloaded. Another example of how good research still requires one to go to a library! As much good information is out there for the curious, it is still true that if you really want to do solid research, most of what you find on the internet is of little value.

Your Conscience said...

I completely agree with you. Which is why the translation's notes are so good; they set things up so that you look at your soteriology in just that way. (At least I think they do.) But working out theology based on "the whole of the scriptures" requires a proper understanding of all the Scriptures, and for the average Bible reader, the NET Bible will only contribute to that understanding.

The problem with libraries:

1. I don't have a car.
2. I can't drive.

=(