I want to get the Quran and the Bible in the best possible translations. Are the two in pic related the best choices?
I've never read a religious text before, so I don't know whether one translation would be any more difficult than another.
For the bible: do yourself a huge favor and start with the New Revised Standard Version, preferably the Oxford Annotated version with the apocrypha. Other translations are usually bunk and push specific neo-christian ideologies/interpretations.
That said, there is no real "best translation." If you're reading for spiritual value, the best course of action would be to read the books in the original due to the faith's revelatory nature. For study, NRSV is the best starting point, but translational comparison is a crucial part to understanding certain parts of the text.
Dude, the Study Quran is so fucking dank. Best 40 bucks I've spent on a book ever, by far.
The book is absolutely beautiful (you take off the dust jacket and the cover is gorgeous). The translation is brand new (they spent years on it) and there's like 10 pages of commentary for every page of scripture. The commentary is all based on classical (traditional) sources of Islamic scholarship but with contemporary scholarship in mind since all the authors are trained in western scholarship.
The essays at the end are fantastic, the whole thing is beautifully organized. You can read this and actually learn so much: I wouldn't even try to read the Quran without a commentary after reading these.
Can't recommend it enough.
It's really that good, huh? Well, thanks for letting me know, anon, looks like I'll definitely be going with the Study Quran.
By the way, is this what it looks like under the dust jacket?
Also KJV is great for reading the Psalms and the more poetic books of the Bible, but it's very bad to learn theology with. You should get study Bibles if you want to study theology though; the NRSV-CE is great for leaning about Catholicism.
Yeah but I got the hard copy. The pages are paper thin but it really is a fantastic piece of work: 2000 pages of information for 40 bucks on Amazon, you can't beat it . There's nothing else like it in English as far as I know.
I didn't ask the previous anon, but since you're also recommending the NRSV, I'll ask you.
Does the NRSV have both the Old and New Testaments?
And if I get the KJV in the future, will that also have the Old and New Testaments?
I'm planning to get as much out of the Quran and Bible as possible, so for the first read I'm going with study versions.
Ah, I see. Yeah, I saw that it was 2000 pages and the picture I posted of the book looked a little too small to be 2000 pages.
It'll be $60 AUD for me, but I'm sure it'll be worth the price from what you've said about it.
KJV ans NRSV are both full translations (OT and NT). If you want a Jewish version of the OT/Hebrew Bible then I would go with the JPS (on recommendation of a Judaic studies professor).
But KJV is good to have around. The Psalms are really very beautifully rendered, you can read them like Shakespeare. And lots of literature has been influenced by the style of KJV (Walt Whitman for example).
If you want a more Victorian/literary Quran I've heard that the Pickthall translation is a pleasant read.
(also you can probably get a KJV for very cheap/free if you hit up a nearby church or campus ministry. KJVs are all over the place. There are lots of people who would be thrilled to give you a copy, even if you say you're interested in it for personal study or something.)