This book is a comparison of four translations of the Bible in English (NIV, ESV, NLT, and HCSB). The book begins with "A short history of Bible translation" by Kostenberger and Croteau which gives a brief survey of how we got the Bible and how the Bible has been translated into many different languages throughout the years. I thought this was a great introduction to the subject and a way to help people see the history of translation.
After that we have a chapter that lists 16 passages where all four translations are laid out side by side for a quick comparison.
There aren't any notes or comments in this chapter, simply the four translations for each of the 16 passages are presented.
Once the comparison section is over we have a chapter devoted to each of the four translations in which they discuss the 16 passages and not only make the case for that translation, but also raise objections and critiques of the other translations. The thing that is really nice is that each translation is defended by someone who was involved with that translation. This is not some person listing all four translations and then basically giving you their opinion on which one they prefer. These are the very men who were involved with these translations.
I found this book to be a wonderfully exciting to read. I enjoyed being able to see the issues and think through how and why each translation translates a passage the way they do. I would recommend this book to anyone looking to understand the differences between translations and also for those interested in textual critical issues. For me this book is not simply a one time read, but whenever I come across one of those 16 passages discussed in this book I will be certain to take it down and reread what the issues are and how each translation deals with the text.
One note: This book has some technical material in it and so isn't recommended for all people. I would say it is in the intermediate range. Your average person may not make it through this book, but preachers and teachers of the Bible should read it and I think it would be helpful for those who are interested in Bible translation, textual criticism, and gender issues.
The first chapter was great, but after that it got too technical and repetitive. I was looking for a more general comparison and some justification for people insisting on " KJ ONLY". I see now there's no simple answer !