Title: New Testament Breakthrough Version
Author: Ray Geide
Publisher: Breakthrough Version Publishing
My rating is 1 star.
Recently I decided to participate in a study based on this Breakthrough Version. Since I am very passionate about studying the Word and encouraging others to do so, I joined the group. Now, for the protection of the website and people involved in the study, I will not divulge where this is taking place even though I have withdrawn. Let me stop and say right here that removing myself from the group was to alleviate the stress I continued to feel when studying this version as well as for other reasons I will share momentarily. While I commend the author for being diligent in studying, where is the accountability or peer reviews, comments or feedback?
Before I got a copy of this Bible, I went to the author’s site: http://www.breakthroughversion.com/. At first, it indicates that the Bible Version Report Card shown right on the home page appears to be very biased. Why? When you go to the website listed by the grades http://bestbible.net/, scroll to the bottom of the page and you will see the author is himself the one who did the grading.
The original point of the study was to do a comparison with our Bible version(s) and then with the Breakthrough. While in the study in portions of Romans we were assigned to do, there were notes on how the author translated the words. However, there are no such translation notes in his version so people can know how he chose the words he inserted or changed or a Bibliography so others can follow if they so choose to see the path he took to come to the conclusions he did when writing.
When I got the Bible, the only thing in it was a list of words he changed. For example, for the words “faith” and “believe” he uses one word “trust”. Instead of letting the context determine why the words were chosen by the translators, he believes simplifying it will be easier with one word. I highly disagree with this form of writing when one is a noun and the other a verb. A person reading his version wouldn’t notice the difference and it is really confusing.
Instead of teaching people to study the Bible inductively, beginning with marking words and letting the text speak for itself, the sample of his way in having people study is the like placing the cart before the horse. How? By asking application questions before students have had time to mark recurring words or phrases, look up the original word and understand the meaning based on the context of the passage!
There are hard copies of books that every lay person can use to study deeper or some excellent software. Believers have The Holy Spirit to lead them in all truth as Jesus told us; The Holy spirit is not referred to as the sacred Spirit as it in the Breakthrough version. John the Baptist is not referred to as John the submerger as he is translated as in the Breakthrough version in Matthew 3:1. One last point to show the problem with this Bible is in the introduction the author states on page on page iii: “The Breakthrough version also makes a breakthrough in quality by bringing the best of two worlds together. The worlds are literal translation and dynamic translation (paraphrases).” Readers should know that a paraphrase is not a translation in any respect. Finally, a marriage between a literal translation be it a word for word, phrase by phrase, or a thought for thought translation cannot happen with a paraphrase. Why? A paraphrase is “a restatement of a text or passage giving the meaning in another form, as for clearness; rewording.” (Random House Dictionary)
The word picture of what I am attempting to convey is that a translation and a paraphrase would be like an unequaled or unequally yoked marriage. Have you ever seen someone utilizing animals for work on a farm, travel or other means? Do they put two of the same type of animals together or two different kinds together? Can you imagine the difficulty of a driver yoking together to plow his fields donkeys with some dogs? Would it work? You and I both know it wouldn’t.
What ends up happening is a very confusing rendition of the Bible. Now, regardless of the author’s intentions, my great concern is that people will become more confused and misguided. The other concern is how this “version” can cause more infighting within the church than there already is plus it doesn’t help address the real need for Biblical literate believers. We need to disciple and teach the Word. If we don’t know an answer to a question given, then we go and find the answer, understanding there are things we simply do not understand this side of heaven.
So please understand my heart has a strong caution against using this version. I can list even more problems I found, but I don’t want to write a review of that nature. Just know that the other versions mentioned can be looked at more closely and understood better by simply reading the introduction so you know how that Bible has been translated and become a student of the Word. In Scripture Paul encourages us to be like the Bereans, “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” (Acts 17:11). By the way, the life of a student or disciple of Christ is a lifelong pursuit.
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