Does It Matter Which Bible We Use?

article_images/3.15.MatterwhichBibleUse_135914157.jpg

Is one translation of Scripture more sacred than another?

The Old Testament was written in the language of its writers, which was Hebrew, and the New Testament was written in the language of its writers — or at least the dominant language of commerce and culture — which was Greek. The Bibles we read are translations of those languages into the English language. 

So every Bible is, by necessity, a translation.

As with any translation from one language to another, there is often some freedom in regard to the most appropriate word or phrase that can be used to convey the actual Greek or Hebrew word.

Further, a language such as English is in constant flux. We use different words, or give different meanings to words, all the time.

This raises an important question: Does it matter which Bible we use?

Yes, it does.

In the days of King James, they used words like “thee” and “thou.” That was contemporary for them. We don’t speak that way anymore, so the King James translation, while beautiful, is not as easily understood as a more “modern” translation.

By modern, I mean newer translations from trained teams of linguists which better capture the original meaning of the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts in light of the ever-changing dynamics of modern language. 

Why would you use a translation that is so dated you need to offer a translation of the translation?

Those who treat the King James edition as sacred, as if the Apostle Paul himself spoke King James English, fail to understand the nature of a translation.

There is nothing more sacred about that translation than any other, and if its language is so cumbersome to modern ears that it becomes an impediment, then it makes no sense to continue using it.

As for the many newer translations that exist, I have long enjoyed the New International Version (NIV). I was not as much a fan of the subsequent TNIV; the degree of gender neutrality was not only unnecessary, but often did violence to the clear intent of the original text. But the original NIV was one of the better translations of our generation. 

Another good translation, even newer than the NIV, is the New Living Translation (NLT), a work that took a popular paraphrase (the Living Bible) and brought it to translation status while keeping the easy reading that paraphrases tend to provide. I find myself using the NLT more than the NIV of late in my teaching because I find some of the language of the NIV sounding a bit dated to my ears.

James Emery White James Emery White is the founding and senior pastor of Mecklenburg Community Church in Charlotte, NC, and the ranked adjunctive professor of theology and culture at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, which he also served as their fourth president. His latest book is What They Didn’t Teach You in Seminary (Baker). To enjoy a free subscription to the Church and Culture blog, log-on to www.churchandculture.org, where you can post your comments on this blog, view past blogs in our archive and read the latest church and culture news from around the world. Follow Dr. White on twitter @JamesEmeryWhite.

More from James Emery White or visit James Emery at http://www.churchandculture.org/

Please Note: We reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, uncivil and off-topic. Read a detailed description of our Comments Policy.
  • Mar Komus

    That can be a sticky one. There seems to be a sliding scale for Bible translations and there are pros and cons to each. I generally teach students to think in terms of 1) word-for-word/literal 2) dynamic equivalent and 3) paraphrase (ordered by how much toward “word-for-word” one leans).

    The first emphasizes fidelity to the text at the possible cost of missing idioms and figures of speech (e.g., “What to me and to you?” No one says this in everyday speech). The second is a fairly happy balance of going sentence for sentence and is more readable, but as the NIV has shown, it can do too well a clean up job and leave some of the connective tissue of scripture out. The third method is thought for thought and take a LOT of interpretive steps. This has the advantage of making it VERY readable and enjoyable (if one is into Punky Brewster–The Message…not hatin’, just sayin’), but it has the draw back of getting things DEAD wrong when the interpretation is off.

    In our group, we tend to read mainly from ESV and NIV, but I usually have some mini word studies ready to go to explain some of the Greek behind it. Believe it or not, this really does connect well with college students.

  • http://www.chadwsmith.com/ Chad78

    TL:DR version of this comment:
    Bible translation is a complex issue – far more so than covered in this article, or this comment. And the King James Version isn’t all that bad, or outdated.
    ====

    Even in the 21st Century, we still teach the works of Shakespeare – and “updating the language” of his plays is considered a horrible idea by most English teachers and history buffs and artists…. And it’s just a bunch of stuff some guy wrote – not the Word of God. So saying that since the King James Version isn’t as simple for some to understand doesn’t make it obsolete.

    The “Thees and Thous” actually have meaning that is absent from modern translations… (In fact, from modern English.) Thee/Thou is singular, Ye/You is plural. In some dialects in English phrases or contractions like “Y’all” or “You’ings” or “You’se Guys” give the distinction between plural and singular “you” but that’s not something you’ll find in many – if any – translations. Maybe a paraphrase here and there – but not a translation.

    The point is, even modern translations even have footnotes – whenever you translate from one language to another – there are shades of meaning that may not be clear. “Translating your translation” is often needed.

    Also, the NIV isn’t the NIV anymore. The 1984 NIV has been surpassed by the current NIV (the New “New International Version”?) which is far closer to the TNIV which the author did not like, than the 1984 NIV which he did.

    Finally – this article doesn’t seem to mention the other major difference among Bible versions – and that is what source material they are actually translating. Most people who strongly advocate the use of the King James Version do so, not because of the Thees and Thous – but because of the Textus Receptus. There are a plethora of Greek texts out there now, and various collections of them are used for various versions. Also, some Bible versions, particularly of a Catholic or Orthodox variety, don’t even translate from the Greek or Hebrew at all, but rather from the Latin, which – of course – was itself a translation.

    I’m not a King James Only person. I have more Bible versions than shoes. And that’s just the physical copies – not counting all the ones on my phone, tablet, iPod, laptop, Internet, etc.. Just saying don’t count it out. There is a reason it has been widely used for over 400 years.

    • http://www.crazyrev.blogspot.com/ C.Brian Ross

      May I suggest that your comment regarding the works of Shakespeare is close to irrelevant? It is because “… it’s just a bunch of stuff some guy wrote …” that it doesn’t matter very much what he meant (Btw, as a native Brit, I would suggest that the English Bard is a wee bit more than ‘some guy’!). However, when we turn to the written Word of God, it is the meaning, rather than the beauty of the language, that is of the greatest importance.

      The KJV/AV has a number of basic shortcomings:

      (a) it is not named the “King James Authorised Version” (to provide a full title) for no reason! It was the king who authorised it, and those who translated it were all too mindful of that. Accordingly, it was translated in a way that would be certain not to cause the king any offence! One good reason for simply transliterating (rather than translating!) the Greek word baptizo! Read the dedication – you will quickly understand the meaning of ‘sycophantic’!

      (b) the scholars of 400 years ago did not have access to the earliest MSS that are currently available. Nor did they have as good a knowledge of the original languages. This is not to belittle them. It was simply a fact of the age in which they lived. They didn’t even realise that the Greek of the NT was the language of the ‘common people’, and assumed that its differences from ‘classical Greek’ was because it was a special ‘divine’ form of the language.

      (c) as the article points out, languages are always in a state of flux. I don’t mind as much when a word is no longer used – when did any of us last use, e.g. “thou hast hearkened unto” in our everyday conversation? – as when a word has completely changed its meaning! In the example cited, and many others, at least the meaning is fairly clear to most people. However, when a word such as “conversation” is used, most 21st century folk think “talking”, rather than the whole way of life to which the word referred in the 17th century!

      All in all, I would recommend to anyone that the AV be used for private devotions, if so desired. For study and/or preaching, let’s ensure that those who read, and hear, do so in a form that is easily understood by them. The message of the Gospel must never be changed; the words that are used to proclaim it must always speak to both heart and mind of anyone who hears.

      • MarciH

        Great points. I would also add that when we study Shakespeare in school, there is always a lesson on word meanings and what was really being said. Like “Wherefore art thou, Romeo” meaning “Why are you Romeo” and not “Where are you Romeo.” The same is true of the KJV. HOw many misunderstandings have crept into Christianity because the meaning of a word is different today than it was 400 years ago.

        And to answer the original comment, the reason the KJV has been so widely used is because for many years, it was the ONLY translation that was legal to print.

        • olubabs

          Thank you so much.

      • olubabs

        listen to yourself. what make the KJV so beautiful in their ears of the listeners are those words you are talking about, it makes it so distinct from other virus ones people are looking for today easy to read and etc.

        • http://www.crazyrev.blogspot.com/ C.Brian Ross

          You may take your “beautiful language”; I’ll stick with understanding! As someone else has said: if I have to translate the translation, then there is a serious problem.

          Forgive me if I am wrong, but reading your comment leads me to think that English is not your own first language. If I am correct, then it may simply be that you do not appreciate the importance of linguistic clarity.

          I am also somewhat confused that you appear to be castigating me, while thanking a previous contributor – who agreed with me!

  • Fernando Saravi

    As a Spanish-speaking Evangelical Christian, I heartily agree with Dr. White’s assessment of Bible versions, except about his comment on the ESV, which I find a very good translation. In Spanish we have our beloved Reina-Valera, originally translated by Casiodoro de Reina in 1569 and updated many times, which enjoys among many Spanish-speaking Christians the same status of the King James version among conservative English-speaking Christians. Of course I love Reina-Valera, and most verses I can quote from memory come from it. But the Spanish equivalent of the NIV is very good, and I’m particularly impressed with the generally excellent quality of the Nueva Traducción Viviente, which is the brand new version, prepared by Latin American scholars, of the NLT. For most Christians who can’t read Hebrew or Greek, a variety of versions may be very useful. However, I am not sure if it REALLY matters which version do you pick, as long as you do read your Bible and try, with the Holy Spirit’s help, to live by God’s word.

  • MGM46

    I would not count the KJV out. I was saved by listening to the preaching and teaching of the KJV, and have had many blessings from the KJV through the years. There are certainly translations on the market today that should not be recommended – such as the New World Translation, the queen james bible (for homosexuals), and the list could go on.

    The language does change, tolerance of sin changes. We should be careful that we do not let unwanted changes get into our lives, just because the world considers them acceptable.

    Is one translation more sacred than the other? Considering what is available today, the obvious answer is yes.

    Any person should proceed with caution before taking the translation question lightly.

  • mike

    you my friend need to study the word of God, everything u said is incorrect

    • Twinsfan1

      Can you be specific as to why? It’s not enough to point the finger – you need to bring specifics and solutions.

  • Brian Taylor

    The entire premise of Bible translations is taking the original text and then printing it in a form that regular people can relate to. The original KJV was exactly that. It put God’s Word into the hand of regular people, so they could know it, and in turn, they could know Christ. Before that, people relied on a select few to interpret the Scriptures for them. They couldn’t study for themselves. It was one of THE greatest breakthroughs for Christianity, and allowed the Word of god to spread rapidly.
    Even though I’m not a fan of all the modern translations, the premise is still the same as back then: to make the Word of God attractive to regular people. We all have our own personal favorites, depending on our church tradition and persoal history. And that is fine. But as yourself this question: is the translation I use going to be effective in teaching and leading regular people, some who don’t have a clue about ANY Bible at all, to Christ? As the article states, if you have to translate your translation to people, is it really any different than what those people did before the KJV came on the scene?

  • Osmond

    Bible translations certainly matter. Those who do not care about purity and the preservation of the true biblical doctrines do not care about these new fangled translations. Your NIV says Jesus is the one who fell from heaven and not Lucifer. The attack on the Lordship of Jesus in the modern translations is subtle and insane.

    The so called “thee”, “thou” “ye” words are not the issue. These words were not not een contemplorary in the days of King James. Those words were specifically used to bring clarity to the singularity and plurity of the personal pronouns. Thats all. The reading level of the KJV is lower than all the other ones.

    It sad that as an african, I could get these, but american bible college professors demonize the KJV. And now you wonder why we are not producing strong biblical christians in this country. GO figure. Most seminary professors are ignorant about what is going on behind the scenes about newer translations; they then cause these new preachers to fall into the same ditch.

    • The Chaplain

      Totally agree. There is ignorance concerning manuscripts & translations. It makes a difference, doctrine & truth are at stake.

    • MarciH

      Please state chapter and verse and just don’t make vague accusations. I have never seen the Lordship of Jesus attacked by modern translations. I do know that there has been a language shift in the 400 years since the King James was written and that some words used have a different modern meaning than they did at the time of writing. For example: Hebrews 4:12 says the Word of God is quick and powerful in the KJV. Someone reading that today would naturally think it meant that it was fast or did something in a short time (the modern meaning of quick). The only problem is that 400 years ago, quick meant alive, not fast. Using a translation with out of date language leaves the door open for misunderstanding.

      • Johanes

        Who was there 400 years ago to know that quick meant alive? What about sharper? What did it mean at that time?

  • Steve (3c-connection.org)

    Where is mention of the true author of scripture and His effect on what we interpret or what is translated in the conversations? Also there is a need to recognize the difference between translation and new version which most Christians don’t even know the difference. If it was the simplicty of reading then where would divine revelation fit? It is good to pray and study, but without the Living Word to guide us we will err no matter what version that you have. Where is reformation without a challenge to know more of Him?

  • cathcart boy

    I agree with the main thrust of this arricle. I hesitate to agree with the author’s thoughts on the message. In pasts, The Message seems to me to seriously dilute and even distort the true meaning og the language, measured by consistency of doctrinal integrity. I agree that NLT is a very good, readable translation.

  • Ryan

    I grew up on the KJV in a baptist church. Then I went to a reformed church. They used the NIV. It was a bit hard to follow along in my KJV bible. I would call it the watered down version of the bible. Although I didn’t miss the weekly alter calls, because of the “covenent theological” foundation in the reformed church, I started to miss the simple saving gosple message. I bearly heard it except from an old fill-in pastor.

  • RAMJR

    I get that some Bibles are easier to read. I also get some water down what was meant…but more importantly is people, Christians specifically, quit making excuses, and start reading. You can read a different Bible each year, and decide which one you like best, but you also have to be able to relate the timeline and reality of life when passages were written.
    I remember a friend of mine make the excuse that the Old Testament meant nothing, because Jesus didn’t say what the Old Testament said…not even taking account that the New Testament wasn’t even written, or was in the process of being written, around what Jesus said…yet by not knowing the Old Testament didn’t even realize Jesus specifically looked back to what was written in the Old Testament.
    I under stand the thee’s and thou’s are not the words of this day, but I know that satan will whisper in our ears any excuse not to read the Bible, because once we have no wiggle room in the WHOLE TRUTH, it exposes the false prophets, our sins, our weaknesses…but mostly the struggle all those wrote in the Bible. Those that murdered, committed adultery, stole, bore false witness, lied, defied God, would one minute be praised by Jesus…and seconds later rebuked. the humanness, weaknesses, struggles. Their triumphs and trials, displayed for all of us to see, hear and feel.
    This is an argument I went through, many times, and the best I could come up with was to have pen, a notebook, defining books to help me understand what was being said, the timeline, the background and what an average day was like during that time of being.
    The Bible you have on your shelf, is the Bible you should start with. Don’t let the debate of a Bible stop you from the task of getting to know God, Jesus, the apostles and so many others in the Bible. I have not seen any movie that shares the value of what it was like back then, even though I appreciate the value that brings to get those that don’t know Jesus, to see a sliver of what He did, was and is.
    One thing I will say, who would have thought that of all those Jesus commended the most for their faith, a pagan woman and a centurion would hold that verbal standing, over all the apostles. Something most won’t see, or hear, unless they take the time to see how Jesus made people accountable, tested their faith and instructed. A ‘tough love’ of value most today would say is cruel, Jesus made a point we would know this world will hate us, but He would turn everything that happens, to the good he would bring even out of the evil satan and we bring daily. Sin, disease, hate, lies, theft, double talk, double standards, murderers, rapists, molesters…something that I can’t see, in the evil this world is, but Jesus would make right, in the end.
    Wipe the dust off, pull your Bible out of the closet, drawer, shelf, under the car seat or sitting on your desks right in front displayed for all to see, just as many carry a Bible to be seen, but ignorant to anything but the basics taught in children Sunday school.
    And yes, my Bible sat on the shelf, full of dust, was carried into church as a prop for a few minutes…then put back on that dusty shelf till the next Sunday.
    Jesus said, “My children are DESTROYED from their lack of KNOWLEDGE”…Guess what that knowledge is that many ‘Christians’ will be destroyed from their lack of knowing…God Bless.

  • MC

    My thoughts.
    Translation is very important. If you can have the best,, why settle for lest? A good tree will bear good fruits. A corrupt tree, corrupt fruits.

    I remember the story told to me when I was young, a little arsenic may be good for health due to it having some medicinal value at a certain point of time, but if you are fed arsenic continuously, your body will eventually die. Likewise, a translation must be judged by its source, if it has a deadly source then when comes out of it will be deadly to the soul to those who reads it. KJV is thus far the best English translation there is, in my opinion.

    Of course, if I have known the original languages and also able to have the texts that have not been adulterated, that would be the best. We must also have the highest view of God and the lowest view of ourselves for us to benefit from the reading. One may have the best translation on his hands, but does not hold the highest view of God, it is as good as pearls thrown to swines.

    • MarciH

      You believe that the KJV is the best because that is what you grew up with. However, if we are judging by the source, you must count the KJV out. At the time it was written, very little original, or ancient manuscripts were available. The KJV was not a brand new translation. It relied heavily on previous translations such as the Bishop’s Bible. Additionally, it was not an unbiased translation where the translators searched for the most accurate translation of the original languages. The translators were under the mandate of King James to make sure that the new translation complied with Church of England practices and beliefs. One prime example is the use of the word “church” instead of “congregation” (the more accurate translation) for the greek ekklesia. There is also the fact that King James was much more catholic in his beliefs than Protestant (and especially Puritan) and this was reflected in the translation.

      Modern translations, on the other hand, benefit from the many archeological discoveries of modern times, including the Dead Sea Scrolls. The scholars are not under any mandate to slant the translation in a any way and attempt to translate the original languages into a modern translation that most closely resembles the original meaning.

      Of course, there is also the fact, as I stated in another post, that there has been a language shift in the 400 years since the KJV was written, This means that unless you know what every word meant 400 years ago (such as quick meaning alive instead of fast), you are not getting an accurate reading. That is why, in my opinion, although the KJV is beautiful to read and is very poetic, it is probably the worst translation(of those that are not considered heretical) to use to teach from today, and should NEVER be given to a new christian, because of the high risk for misunderstanding.

      • MC

        Thanks for your comments. I beg to differ. At that time, when the KJV were translated, there were already 5,000 over manuscripts, uncials, papyri, cursives and lectionaries available. Thus we cannot rule the KJV out as it was based on these that the KJV was translated. The KJV did not rely on Bishop’s bible as the Bishop’s bible then was an effort to rid itself of Calvin’s notes found in the Geneva Bible, and you will find that it borrowed heavily from the Geneva Bible in translation. Now, the KJV is based on the traditional and Preserved Text of the OT and NT. I do believe that it was the answer to the prayers of believers that God through His providential grace moved the heart of King James to complete the KJV, and allow His Word be given to His children. As for the Dead Sea scroll (after doing some research), they discovered accidentally in 1947 by a bedouin boy. There is still much debate over the origins of these scrolls. The generally accepted theory is that the Essenes (ultrafundamentalist Jews who desired the isolated life of the desert) were responsible for them. Although the DSS display considerable similarity to the traditional Masoretic Text (MT) especially in the book of Isaiah, it departs radically from the MT in many other parts like the Psalms. The DSS contain nine entirely new and unheard of psalms that are not found in the traditional Hebrew Scripture. Many of the psalms show a corrupted hand. For instance, in verse 16 of Psalm 22, which is a Messianic psalm, the DSS read, “like a lion are my hands and feet,” which makes no sense. The traditional Hebrew text, on the other hand, reads, “they pierced my hands and my feet,” obviously pointing to the crucifixion of Christ (cf. Matt 27:35). It goes without saying that the DSS must be examined in the light of the Masoretic Text and not vice versa.

        It is not a good reason to replace the KJV just because there has been a language shift since 400 years ago. There were many claims that the KJV has “many” archaic words and therefore not understandable is overstated. There are only about 200 archaic words in the KJV. These old words comprise only 0.1% of the KJV. The Oxford, Webster, Chambers dictionaries contain entries for most of these archaic words. The KJV faithfully translate what was written, and I believe that God will give us the understanding and guide us along as we use it. There is no risk of misunderstanding the KJV at all if you trust that God will illumine your mind and grant you the understanding. Reading it allows you to cling on to God and that is what I think we should do. Between giving a faithful translation and allow God to work in the heart of the new christian is definitely better than to give a corrupted translation, I would choose faithful translation and challenge the new believer to ask God for wisdom and understanding and at the same time, pray that God will illumine the mind of this new christian as he reads it.

        • MarciH

          I beg to differ about King James. He very obviously had an agenda when he ordered the KJV. And the KJV was not even the first english translation. As noted, there was the Bishop’s Bible, The Geneva Bible, and the Great Bible. All the KJV did was outlaw all these other translations that King James did not agree with as they seemed to support puritan beliefs more than Church of England. Most notably in the aforementioned translation of ekklesia. And if God can guide you in reading the KJV, He can also do it through a modern version (such as the ESV which most scholars, even non christian agree is the most accurate translation) which is easier to read and you don’t have to spend time trying to figure out what it says. And there has been more than just a few word meanings that have changed, the entire way we speak has shifted. When the KJV was translated, it was translated into the common everyday language that everyone spoke. Nowadays, we don’t speak like they did when the KJV was translated. Modern translations are written in the normal everyday modern language, just as the original text was written in the then everyday language. The argument that only the KJV is inspired scripture is just as ridiculous and harmful as the first debate in the church about circumcision. If Jesus came to earth today, I am sorry, but He would not talk out of the KJV, nor would He teach from it. Jesus used words and ideas that the common person could understand. And how dare you make the statement about faithful translation as if the translators of the modern translations are not faithful. The fact of the matter is that the scholars who translated the KJV were not faithful. After all, everything they translated was meant to appease King James (and don’t think he was all that spiritual, most historians agree that he was homosexual), and they compromised their beliefs in order to follow the mandate King James gave them. Such as transliterating baptizo into baptize, which could mean sprinkling which the Church of England practiced, instead of translating it immerse in water which is what the greek word means.

          • MC

            Again, thanks for your comments.

            KJV did not outlaw all other translations, it was just used by God to allow His Word to be on the hands of those who believed. The translators for the KJV were definitely the greatest assembly of Christian Scholars, whose minds were not “tainted” at that time by Naturalism, Deism, Rationalism, Ecumenism, etc. Their scholarship was second to none, in terms of spirituality and unity of heart and mind and purpose for the glory of God.

            Researching further (wiki), the ESV is founded upon the RSV (version copyrighted by NCC) with basis on BHS and Nestle-Aland. The RSV (in my view) is not a faithful translation as the theological implication is serious (one example is Isaiah 7:14 which translated virgin (KJV) to young woman (RSV), it challenged the Virgin Birth of Christ).

            Historians may say what they want, but God sees the heart. All I would like to say is for us to take a look at the list of KJV translators individually, the efforts that they put in to come out with the translation (compare with the ESV translators and their doctrinal beliefs) and research into their lives and piece the puzzle together. Piece the timings of the KJV bible, the printing press, the British empire then, and how all these fit into the great commission of putting God’s Word into the hand of unbelievers in fulfillment of in Great Commission. We are living in the end of the end times where the love of many shall wax cold and their will be a great falling away. The denial and destruction of the bible during the dark ages failed, and now the scheme of deception is being played out to confuse God’s people and attempts to put in their hand a bible that does not give them a complete view of God, His Deity, etc. Once this view of God is tainted, it will seed doubts and will elevate oneself more than elevate God. Do piece the puzzle of Naturalism, Deism, Ecumenism, etc, and hopefully, those reading this discussion will understand why the devil is working overtime to deceive.

            I will now end my discussion and thank you so much for your time.

          • PhdRay

            You have no idea of what you are talking about!

      • PhdRay

        Sir, then based on what you have said here, there is NO translation that is absolute, correct. We can only have the “best” translation in our hands? Would the God that was God enough to “inspire” the original writers, not also be God enough to “preserve” His Word? If Satan knows that the Word of God is the means whereby men shall be saved, would he not infiltrate and interject and conceal who he is, by changing “Bible Versions?’ Based on what you say, is there an absolute, infallible, inerrant Bible that a man in 2013 can have in his hands? If so, which one, or as you say, we can only have the “best” available. Or, is the KJV, which was the standard for over 400 years, as you say, not good anymore because of a “language shift?” This “language shift” that puts “aint” and “man cave” in the dictionaries today and has given us a “gutter” language! Is that what we should rely on? Or, should we “study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth.” Have we reached the point that we don’t want to “study” anymore, but have someone make it more “readable.” When the word “Charity” is turned to “love,” we dilute its meaning, and when you change the word, you change the meaning.

        • PrescottJayErwin

          But remember that when the KJV was being done, English was a “vulgar” language. But at that time “vulgar” did not mean what it does today.

          • PhdRay

            Sir, everything you say is from a catholic perspective.

  • http://www.facebook.com/pastorlynard.brock Pastor Lynard Brock

    I read all this stuff, and did not see one scholarly point about what is wrong with all the translations after the KJV? I mean it does have gross errors, but has been studied for 400+ years, and they are well documented. All we need is a James Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the KJV (and even the newer ones are doctored up) to know that a “Unicorn” is a “Wild Bull” etc… But the real problem with the newer versions is very serious, such as See Ezekiel 13:20 where they changed “Soul” to “birds flying”, or See Isaiah 14:12 where they took Satan’s heavenly name “Lucifer” out and left it “morning star” or “son of the morning” etc… Well we know Messiah is “The Bright Morning Star” and to a babe in Christ… well I hope you get the picture? This is just the tip of the ice burg Satan is behind changing the Word! Ijs? pastorlynard@gmail.com

    • MarciH

      Maybe because Lucifer is just a transliteration of the hebrew word that means “morning star” just as baptize is a transliteration of baptizo. And they did not change souls to birds flying. Here are the actual translations:

      KJV

      Wherefore thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against your pillows, wherewith ye there hunt the souls to make them fly, and I will tear them from your arms, and will let the souls go, even the souls that ye hunt to make them fly.

      ESV

      Therefore thus says the Lord God: Behold, I am against your magic bands with which you hunt the souls like birds, and I will tear them from your arms, and I will let the souls whom you hunt go free, the souls like birds.

      NIV

      Therefore this is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against your magic charms with which you ensnare people like birds and I will tear them from your arms; I will set free the people that you ensnare like birds.

      NLT

      This is what the Sovereign Lord says: I am against all your magic charms, which you use to ensnare my people like birds. I will tear them from your arms, setting my people free like birds set free from a cage.

      I think the most notable thing is the change from pillows (which to modern people means a place to lay your head) to magic charms or bands which was the original meaning of the Hebrew word. And you’ll notice the ESV still uses the word soul, while the NIV and NLT uses people, which is probably closer to the original meaning.
      And just because something has been studied for 400 years does not make it better than a modern translation based on older manuscripts.

    • PhdRay

      Pastor Brock, concerning your “gross error” comment about the KJV. 1. Prove it 2. We believe not only in” inspiration,” but we also believe in “preservation” as well. God not only inspired the original writers of the 66 books, but he has preserved His Word throughout the ages so that in 2013, we have the absolute, infallible, inerrant, Word of God in our hands today. I cannot say that about these “modern” translations. We just believe that this is found ONLY in the KJV BIble.

      • PrescottJayErwin

        In Isaiah 14:12, it does not say Lucifer, but “Heylel ben-Shachar” (transliterated). The Greek Septuagint renders it ἑωσφόρος (heosphoros). The word “lucifer” was lifted from the Latin Vulgate. Again, the beef isn’t with the manuscripts, it’s with the translations.

    • Pastor John

      The 1611 KJV had margin notes. The margin note for Is. 14:12 is morning star. KJV translators acknowledged this as a possible translation.

  • Cal J

    I am not a scholar or some expert on The Bible by no means but as a believer I have been studying The Bible for some time. On and off for about 13 years. when I first started reading and actually studying The Bible I used The KJV. At the time I didnt know that there were so many different versions. I started using different versions that would bring clarity to a scripture in the KJV and I have to be honest I got confused quite often because the different Bibles that I was using gave different meanings to KJV Scriptures. Sure the various translations make for easier reading and understanding but how can there be so many different meanings to one scripture. I find this to be common when translating the Old Testament especially. Well this brings to mind a scripture that is dear to me which is 1Jn 2:27,28 The Anointing teaches the believer all things concerning truth. The Anointing provides the believer with discernment to know truth from error. This is The Spirit of truth that Jesus said He would give the believer Jn15:26. I believe that a believer has to really be sensitive to discernment when dealing with the many different kind of bibles thats on the market.

    • MarciH

      The reason the modern translations seemed to give different meanings is because of the language shift that has occurred in the last 400 years. Someone reading the KJV 400 years ago would probably get the same meaning that we would reading a modern translation because of the change in word meaning.

      • PrescottJayErwin

        Right. Remember that the English language was still in its infancy at the time of the original KJV. Words were still being coined by such people as John Milton.

  • Laura

    I believe Christians should study Hebrew if at all possible. Would it not be better to get the message straight from the horse’s mouth, rather than through an interpreter?

    • Peter Mahoney

      Not sure why… in 250 BC, the OT was translated into Greek (the Septuagint) and by Jesus’ day it was certainly more prevalent than the Hebrew. Certainly there is value in having a working knowledge of the biblical languages, but the scholarship that goes into a commercial translation is usually very high. I always spend some time looking at the names of those who went into the process, the general editor, and what educational institutions they are affiliated with.

      Most of our modern translations are trustworthy, but having multiple at your fingertips is a good thing.

      • PrescottJayErwin

        …and compare the Greek Septuagint to the Hebrew manuscripts: interesting.

      • Laura

        Just to give you a taste – did you know that there is one word in Genesis 1:1 which has not been translated, and this word has been repeated twice? The Hebrew actually reads Beraisheet bara Elohim ET hashamayim vET haaretz? If you are interested please google Sweeter Than Honey by Loris DeMarco and look at Part 1 of her book.

        • Peter Mahoney

          Yes, I am aware of the word and the conspiracy theories that surround such happenings. I translated the first few chapters of Genesis while studying Hebrew.

          • jim

            and whose text of the Hebrew do you read ( im sorry , this is what i think we miss ) the Masoretic text has been changed by modern scholars and that result is what you personally are translating , you aren’t translating the originals ( and really appreciate the discussion)

        • PrescottJayErwin

          Without a knowledge of Hebrew one might misunderstand that as a problem. I don’t know what DeMarco says about it, but sometimes ‘et is a preposition (“with”), sometimes it’s a noun designating some type of bladed farming implement (ploughshare, mattock, etc.), and sometimes it simply acts as a marker denoting a direct object, thus it is intended as a syntactical aid not to be translated (as here in Gen 1:1, denoting the heavens and the earth as the direct objects). The subject is “God,” the action is “He created,” and the objects are “the heavens and the earth.” It’s not a conspiracy, it’s just how the language works. This is reflected in the 2nd century BC Septuagint (Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures).

      • jim

        seemingly the scholarship is minimal on new versions with some translations unwilling to provide the names of those responsible and some leaders having been proved to have no linguistic abilities at all Peter, love and trust your KJV it’s never been proven to be untrustworthy

        • Peter Mahoney

          Thank you… No. Why would I rely on the translation work of men dating back some 400 years, when I can either translate my own or rely on those translations that I have proven for myself to be faithful.

          For the record, I am not opposed to the KJV. That said, I do find it to be needlessly archaic and linguistically out of date… bit not to the point that I would ever instruct or advise an individual not to use it.

          I have NEVER opened an even semi-popular commercial translation and not been able to find out who did the translation work.

    • http://www.facebook.com/patrick.parker.144 Patrick Parker

      That is simply not practicable

      • Laura

        It comes down to what your prioriies are.

  • Margareta Cronholm

    I am reading New King James Version. Here in Sweden most people read Bible 2000.

    • http://www.facebook.com/patrick.parker.144 Patrick Parker

      They still read the bible in sweden , things are looking up .

  • http://FireSpeaks.Blogspot.com/ FireSpeaks

    I am often sadden by the many pastors that argue that the translations
    do not matter. however this is assuming the same original manuscripts.
    Translation make a difference a real difference.

  • Summer

    The Message is a paraphrase. It is meant as that. When one desires to know His Word, one devours Hebrew in the OT and Greek in the New, or stays as close as possible to not paraphrasing someone else’s paraphrase.

    • Pastor John

      This is a good idea, as long as the one doing this also bothers to learn the idioms and background of the original language. Otherwise, word-for-word loosing the meaning.

  • PhdRay

    Lord, thank you that not all people have been deceived into believing that it is as simple as having translations that are more “readable.” Thank you Lord for the truth of your Word. We will stand by the truth of the KJV, and are willing to die for it’s truth and stand upon its principles. Lord, although we represent the minority in these last day, we are truly grateful for the truth that You have given us, knowing that the majority, according to the scriptures, has always been wrong. Lord, in Genesis 3, we know that Satan cursed the entire world by changing the Word of God, and we know that in 2013, he has successfully changed the Word of God through “versions.” Lord, in the same manner that there will be a “remnant” that will believe in the “tribulation,” know that we represent the “remnant” who stand on the truth of the KJV.

  • Art Zacher

    Do we r4eally need the hundreds of English versions of the Bible? It seem to me that Satan is interested in confussing what God has said in His word. I notice that some doctrinal problems come because poor inferior translations are used to teach ideas that are not in good translations. Why not pick out two or three and burn the rest.That would solve a lot of problems. I’ll stick with the KJV as I believe that it comes from a superior text family. .

    • http://www.facebook.com/patrick.parker.144 Patrick Parker

      Why not translate that version into modern English , problem solved , on the understanding that the nkjv is accurate in the first place , or why not translate from the original Hebrew and Greek to modern English , it is about time don’t you think ? surely it is not beyond the wit and wisdom of man .

  • Pastor Wayne

    Question? in the time most of you spent responding to this article, 108 people on average die each minute. Have You, gentlemen, lead anyone at all to Jesus or are you just debating translations? 2 Tim.2:16 “But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness,”

    • Pastor Wayne

      By the Way, that was NASB, which is thee Bible Jesus used. Just saying.

  • peterhamm

    I have been teaching myself to read the NT in Greek, and what I have discovered is that all the more popular modern translations, including (in my specific experience), NIV (yes, including the newest one), NLT, ESV, NET (my favorite), NASB and RSV and NRSV and NAB (the American Catholics have a GREAT translation here) are all quite good.

    I wish we could get over all the nitpicking. Fact is, when we argue about such things, we’re trying to strain out gnats… and we’re swallowing big smelly camels.

  • Tyrone

    This is a subject close to my heart and something I have been researching for some time; I do not believe all Bible translations hold the same amount of weight, but definitely don’t take the King James only stance. I usually refer to a KJ, NKJ, ESV and the Matthews Bible for my studies along with researching the Hebrew and Greek behind words I am not sure about. I love reading from my NKJ, but that is mainly due to the effort Holman’s put in with all the extra stuff. I far prefer the ESV to all the other Bibles mentioned by Mr. White. My biggest fear is that the Bible industry has become a big business, just like the “Christian” music industry. Publishers are making student Bibles, Kid’s Bibles, Teenage Bibles, Backpackers Bibles and so on. I have been working on a book for some time now, which I will publish as a free E-book once completed. Here are just a couple of concerns that I wish to raise and that I would like all my brothers and sisters in Christ to be aware of. Firstly, two of the biggest Christian publishing companies (Zondervan & Thomas Nelson) are now owned (Zondervan has been for some time) by HarperCollins (who in turn falls under the parent company News Corporation – Rupert Murdoch), so in other words the same company that is printed thousands upon thousand of Bibles and a lot of Christian literature is the same company who owns and prints Anton LeVay’s Satanic Bible (some of you might go check this out and will say but the Satanic Bible is published by Avon books – don’t stop there, have a look who owns Avon – HarperCollins), the works of Aldous Huxley and many other dubious characters who have no love for our Father and his followers. Secondly, regarding the Message, I would not use this as a Bible, in my opinion it is a cleverly deceptive book sowing dangerous seeds in the heads of believers (yes, I could be wrong); here are two examples off the top of my head; Gen 1v2 speaks of a soup of nothingness, how do you get the word “soup” (which is used by evolutionist to describe the primordial soup that life magically sparked forth from, and sounds like parts of Hindu creation myth) from the Hebrew texts. Even scarier for me is in the Lord’s Prayer in the Message where Peterson chose to use the following phrase “As above, so below” – anyone who has any knowledge of the occult and “magick” will know exactly what this means. This term is used throughout the various occultic and new age groups and also has routes in Hinduism (the vedas) – why did Peterson choose to use this phrase, he is an educated man so I have to ask myself was it ignorance or is there something more sinister behind this – only God knows his heart, but based on the above and the hundreds of other dodgy translated passages I stay well clear of the Message. The introduction of the Queen James bible is just another example of where we are heading, all I can say is we need to be praying for one another and asking God to lead us toward His truth and His understanding when reading the Bible as reading the Bible without the guidance of the Holy Spirit is what leads to all the craziness that has been introduced over the years by false teachers and well meaning but ignorant church leaders who are following a system taught to them. And please study your Bible if there is anyone reading this that has still not taken the time to read the entire Bible and to study it, I have been shocked in recent months at how many Christians I have bumped into who have never read the entire Bible – how will you know if someone is trying to deceive you if you don’t know what is in there.

  • rodney

    NRSV. Enough said.

    • http://www.facebook.com/patrick.parker.144 Patrick Parker

      Esv , Enough said .

  • Old n’ Rich

    The Preface to the New King James Version (c) 1982 Thomas Nelson, Inc., points out a vital difference in English Bible translations / paraphrases. Look under the subtitle “Complete Equivalence in Translation” to learn about this important distinction. The bulk of English versions, beginning with the NIV and on up to the present day employ what they call “dynamic equivalence” in translating the original language texts into English – being motivated to seek a balance that they conclude is both true to the text and at the same time idiomatically palitable to, let’s say, a 5th grader. This practice leads us to tons of profit-seeking Bible “versions” and a whole lot of conflict in forums like this one. Let’s go forward by getting it together. What say you?

  • P. Jacob

    Who cares…are you guys really followers of Christ Jesus Lord & Savior. Then go and walk in the foot step of my Lord & Savior Jesus Christ. Love of God, grace of my Lord Jesus & Mercy of the Holy Spirit. Proclaim the gospel!!!

    • http://www.facebook.com/patrick.parker.144 Patrick Parker

      Which one , nkj , esv , niv ??????????

      • Eddy Diaz

        The true Gospel is the Good News that God saves sinners. Man is by nature sinful and separated from God with no hope of remedying that situation. But God, by His power, provided the means of man’s redemption in the death, burial and resurrection of the Savior, Jesus Christ.

        Trying to determine what Bible version is the most accurate and reliable one as compared to its original source, is like trying to determine what is the perfect Christian denomination whose members are guaranteed to go to Heaven.

        What saves is not the church we attend or Christian denomination we belong to, nor what Bible version we follow, but what faith we have. Only faith in Christ Jesus can save (Ephesians 2:8), and that is what should really matter to a believer in Christ. If we are truly new-born again Christians, the Holy Spirit will show us which direction to go (John 16:13) as It will reveal to us the correct interpretation of God’s Word as we read it or hear it, and as we seek God in fervent prayer.

        Rather than engaging ourselves in endless arguments about doctrinal matters (Titus 3:9) or, like in this case, what is the correct/perfect Bible version to go by, God encourages us to live out the True Gospel, as per James 1:27 and Matthew 28:19-20.

        Key faith Bible verses such us John 3:16, John 14:6, John 3:36, are examples of what constitutes the foundation of the Good News that we have been called to preach. We need to keep in mind that God’s Word is Spirit and that it is the Holy Spirit who convicts the sinners of sin, as we invite them to surrender their lives to Jesus. Even if we only preach one Bible verse, as led by the Holy Spirit, it will yield fruit. Bible verses about the Good News are clearly the same regardless of the Bible version used. Although each Bible version may word them differently, their meaning clearly remains the same. God meant it that way, given the many existing languages on earth. On the other hand, no doubt, those key faith verses are unquestionably straight-forward and leave no room for miss-understanding or miss-interpretation as to their meaning. Of course, God wants everyone to repent and be saved by Grace thru faith in His Son, therefore, He makes His Good News easy for people to receive. However, it is only when we seek God with all our heart that those verses start making sense to us and we can fully grasp their amazing saving power, as it develops, by His grace, our faith in Jesus. Then the Holy Spirit puts those same verses in our mouth for us to share the Good News with others. And God receives all the glory.

        Finally, I believe that if we honestly and committedly focus our lives on spreading the Good News, in Love, as we live a life of integrity and good testimony that is pleasant to God, the Holly Spirit will put the correct words in our mouth when we reach out for the lost souls, and those words will be consistent with the Bible version we may happen to have at hand, if any (Luke 12:12).

        Ecclesiastes 12:13-14. Thanks and may God bless His people.

        .

  • jim

    the thing that all these educated souls seem to be missing is this. Its not about translation of a word, because we can reason together and find the best word for today. The real problem is that ALL of the translations since 1881 are based on a whole different text than the KJV . So when their preface informs that their version is based on better manuscripts, it’s a lie! The fact is that thousands of ancient existing manuscripts support the KVJ .These so called “better” manuscripts, two in all, disagree totally with the KJV and EACH OTHER. These two catholic manuscripts Sianaticus and Vatanicus disagree with each other more than they agree and they constitute the nestle-aland text. In Luke 2:22 my Bible says “her” impurities . All the new texts say “their” impurities .Pastor teacher layman I ask you this If Jesus is impure ,how do you have salvation? Which of you protestants would trade your Bible for a catholic version? You Have! Pastors across America this Sunday will study their KJV/greek/niv interlinear Bible thinking they have found mistakes in their KJV never realizing the greek text they are comparing to has been changed, making their KJV appear incorrect. please wake up don’t let your ears be tickled by so called translators who are really self appointed editors.

    • PrescottJayErwin

      Your ignorance of the manuscripts is as astounding as your flawed reasoning. Your pet verse, Luke 2:22, reads the same in the Greek in the TR as the NA-27 and the UBS-4: τοῦ καθαρισμοῦ αὐτῶν (tou katharismou auton). Your beef isn’t with the manuscripts, it’s with the English translations. It depends on whether “auton” is a feminine singular pronoun or a masculine plural pronoun. Every other time it’s used in the TR and the NA-27 and the UBS-4 it’s understood as a masculine plural, as in Matthew 1:21 “he shall save His people from THEIR sins” (KJV). Do you REALLY want to argue that Jesus came to save His people from His mother, Mary’s sins?

      Further, do you not realize that the Textus Receptus itself is a Catholic manuscript prepared by a Dutch Catholic Priest (Erasmus) and that to make up for the text that was missing from his Greek manuscripts he back-translated them into Greek from the Catholic Priest Jerome’s Latin Vulgate? Erasmus made 3 corrected editions, which were then corrected and updated 4 times by Robert Estienne in 1546, 1549, 1550, and 1551, then the Calvinist Priest Beza edited it 9 more times between 1565 and 1604, and that the descriptor “Textus Receptus” didn’t appear in any edition until 1633 — 22 years AFTER the KJV?

      All of the translations since 1881 are NOT based on only two manuscripts; a whole range of manuscripts along with the TR and its supporting manuscripts were considered as well. You aren’t sharing the whole truth, brother — or you don’t know it.

      • jim

        my argument from this particular verse was that Jesus had no sin, no impurity whatsoever! and going back to the law of Moses regarding this situation only the woman giving birth is impure. and yes Mary is a sinner just as you and even my astoundingly ignorant self am, Would you like to argue that Mary was sinless? But the truth remains , in spite of my flawed ability to reason is that the truth of Textus Receptus has been changed for the lie of nestle-aland and these new bibles with their lying prefaces aren’t even honest enough to deal with this up front. As the resident scholar Mr Erwin just open a preface to a newer version and count the lies perpetrated there and then honestly sneer at me. I feally wish that people knew the story of Erasmus and appreciated the fact that the catholic church demonized Erasmus and made the reading of all of his writings illegal until a few years ago . Waving the” Erasmus is a catholic” flag doesn’t work when people are well informed. As to calling it TR, how long did it take for the first century church to call its writings new and old testaments? AS to sharing the whole truth, most probably would stop reading if these comments were much longer. I only picked one verse to discuss which has a pretty clear point. The real truth is that man has chosen to exchange the truth for a lie , just as the Bible said he would. ps. the whole back translation thing, just one more untruth perpetrated by an anti TR crowd you should know better, jus sayin. God bless

        • PrescottJayErwin

          Your major misunderstanding of this verse (Luke 2:22) is more than of the translation of a word (note that the TR of 1550 has masculine plural αὐτῶν while the later revised TR of 1894 has feminine singular αὐτης), it is a misunderstanding of what was being done and why. The purification had nothing to do with purification for or from sin, but for ceremonial / ritual uncleanness. In the same way that Jesus did not need to be purified, ritually or otherwise, He did not need to be circumcised, for He did not need a ritual to be admitted into covenant with the Father and He had no impurity that needed to be cut away, and He had no need to be redeemed as the first-born, yet both of these things were done. Likewise later on, Jesus did not need to be baptized, yet He submitted Himself to be baptized anyway. The alteration made in the 1894 TR was based on a concern that the text match the Leviticus 12 text and a misperception of the purification as being on account of sin.

    • pwgc73

      AMEN!

  • Tex

    Ill stay with my kjv thnx i dont agree with the NIV its like water with no live in it!

    • Pastor John

      Yes, God’s Word is like water to a thirsty soul! Must be why I like NIV so much!

  • olubabs

    I’m so surpr
    ise to read this stuff up there from someone that calls himself a professor of a seminary, i wonder what knowledge you pass on to your student those innocent ones. Can you tell us about those who wrote your NIV/HIV book you are talking about? What was their testimony? motives and agenda? So a professor that found those beautiful words “Thou, Thee, Ye” difficult to grab or pronounce so you decided to stick with the wats’up words, you are only telling us that you are a dullard.

  • Rich Jones

    It is the pinnacle of foolishness to equate a translation with a translation. All arguments about the preference of one translation over another could be time spent on better pursuits. It is no different than determining the best style of music. How closed-minded to think an English version would be closer to the original author’s intent than any other language. So, what makes one English translation better, more accurate, or more faithful than another? We are saved by grace through faith plus nothing. Let’s not attempt to add qualifiers. The work of the Holy Spirit will continue to reveal God to man through His Word. FYI: grew up with KJV, tried all the rest, kind of like the Holcomb; but still prefer NKJV.

  • olubabs

    KING JAMES VERSION 1611-“There is a reason it has been widely used for over 400 years.”

    • PrescottJayErwin

      KJV 1611 without ANY of the corrections and updates and WITH the Apocrypha as originally printed by the Anglican Church?

    • Randy Davenport

      If you check the preface to you KJV, you will most likely see that it is on the 1700 AD versions with several corrections, including updating the language.

    • Pastor John

      Ooh, I know the reason: People don’t like change! The 1611 includes awesome margin notes such as “or, Daystarre” for Isaiah 14:12. I like the Coverdale Psalter better if we’re talking about vintage versions. It’s even older than KJV: “The Lord is my shepherd; therefore can I lack nothing…”

  • Terry

    I like to read the scriptures in the original languages, but it does take some time to learn, but I still use interlinear so I have the english word right by the text, but you can think about how the translators choose their word choices.

    • jim

      Terry the problem with the interlinear is the same, make sure your interlinear bible is not based on the nestle aland text that’s mans new text as of 1881 given us by those rascals wescott and hort ,who hated the KJV and textus receptus (received text ) if your interlinears greek text is textus receptus based, then you are reading the text that the church has trusted almost two thousand years, first in hebrew and greek and later in english. The KJV has changed both the christian and secular worlds since its publication in 1611 ! the slew of inferior bibles since , don’t agree with it, or each other giving us “many conflicting words” purportedly of God” ie Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God KJV Phl 2:6 Who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped . Phl 2:6 nasb so..do we think Jesus is God or an inferior being. I’m gonna go with my KJV on this one

      • Pastor John

        The translation of Phil 2:6 changed as scholars’ understanding of Koine Greek in it’s original culture and context changed. I like the updated NIV here: “… did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage.” The Word of God didn’t change in this passage, just our understanding of Greek.

        • jim

          two things John, first to rely on that statement you have to believe that todays scholars know more and are closer to God ( “tuned in ” if you will ) and if you check even minimally the scholarship of the king james translators ( you WILL be blown away ) to compare them to the sceptic scholars of today who Love to change the WORD seemingly for change itself . Secondly, you have to stand on your premise that we’ve not had a correct understanding of the Word for two thousand years (apparently just stumbling around , waiting for wescott and hort , kittle, to come along and shed some secular light on our beloved Scripture, leaving countless generations without truths. and third ( sorry, be patient please) if the Bible correctors get to pick and choose what to leave in and out (refer to Luke 4:4 where the new ,easy to read ,enlightened, versions leave out ” but by every word of God” (note; every). you guys can keep the new understandings and worldview . Im gonna stick to old faithful. God bless you John ( eagerly read all your posts.)

          • PrescottJayErwin

            Of course, to go with you is to say that we didn’t have a correct understanding of God’s Word for over 1400 years, that is, until 1611. And your logic fails when you understand ALL of the changes that were made to the Greek text on its way to becoming the TR in 1633. Erasmus himself made 4 editions before it was passed on to others and much of what he did was to back-translate from Latin into Greek because of missing sections of Greek manuscripts. When new/better preserved manuscripts were found or the understanding of Koine Greek improved between 1516 and 1604 it was changed. BUT I DO agree that many are taking things WAY too far today. I’m fine with the KJV, but even THAT has to be translated today.

          • Pastor John

            Good points!

          • Pastor John

            Hello Jim. I believe the KJV translators were probably amazing people who were being led by the Holy Spirit as they put forth this great work. I understand that people who lived in pre-electronic-technological societies had an “average” skill level that was above the top skill levels of many modern folks. However, even in the 21st Century, there are dedicated, Christian scholars who are qualified to tackle Bible translation and who love Jesus. The modern translation team usually makes every effort to translate Scripture as accurately and clearly as possible. They are not trying to change God’s Word or the theology of the divinity of the Lord Jesus Christ. Philippians 2, which we looked at, conveys Jesus Christ as equal to God the Father in KJV, NIV, HCSB, NLT and many other Bible versions. Now, I didn’t say that we haven’t had a correct understanding of God’s entire Word for 2,000 years. I said that in the case of Phil 2:6, the understanding of the Koine Greek for one word has changed. Scholars are by no means claiming to find changes to the common doctrines of the Christian faith (the stuff of the creeds for example). Many Scholars believe the last part of Luke 4:4 was added later to make the verse conform to Matthew 4:4: “but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” This happened in the New Testament over the years of copying the manuscripts. The goal was to get the Good News to as many as possible, rather than take the care and time of an Old Testament scribe. So mistakes were made. Fortunately, we have thousands and thousands of ancient copies to compare, so although we’re not sure which reading was original on about 2-3% (which is one reason we use footnotes), we know that we have 100% of the Word of God between the fron and back cover! There’s an often quoted passage about the danger of taking away from the Word of God. Many are concerned with the other side of that coin: the danger of adding to the Word of God. If someone with knowledge on the subject doesn’t believe something was in the original manuscript, wouldn’t you want to know what and why?

          • jim

            John . i would agree that we have thousands and thousands of ancient copies to compare but my point IS that they primarily agree with the TR and ONLY the alexandrian text (read egypt) ( less than seven texts, mostly two siniaticus / vatanicus disagree) with the availability of sianiticus online its so easy to see all its changes and corrections ( it looks like a tenth graders rough draft )and if you scroll to Mark 16 , you will see where the last 8 verses belong

          • Pastor John

            Jim, I understand that the TR is very similar to a “majority text.” Erasmus was a skillful scholar who did the best with what manuscripts he had access to. I don’t agree that majority qualifies a passage to be considered original manuscript, if that’s what you’re saying. The current evidence indicates that the earliest manuscripts (c. 200) looked more like the Alexandrian text. The Byzantine only became majority several hundred years later. That’s not to say it hasn’t had its place. Even NA27 prefers the Byzantine reading a hand full of times! I guess I prefer the “eclectic” text, and the more comprehendible translations that it yields.

  • Randy Davenport

    Bible translations do matter. Some are slanted toward certain views such as gender neutrality (TNIV, New Century), money royalties ( NIVC) some cultural view (pro gay Queen James Version), cults (New World Translation of the Jehovah Witness, Joseph Smith Translation of the Mormons) or a liberal agenda (NRSV), doctrine slant (ESV for reformed theology) or removal of the supernatural and miracles (Thomas Jefferson Bible). The ESV is ok. The rest I mentioned are not reliable. These are the few I know about. I grew up on a KJV only church, and I use the NKJV, because it is “familiar” read. I also like the NLT, NASB and the HCSB (Holman Christian Standard Bible). I also recommend the entire Hebrew-Greek Study Bibles series (entire bible key word, OT & NT in depth volumes) by AMG.

  • Pastor Richard C Wilmot

    The age of Laodicea is upon us, the apostate leaders trying to pull the body of Christ into the pit is overwhelming. False shepherds full of self pride, love of the world, intellectual humanism and trying to be god’s of a new age promoting false translations are an anathema to God. The NIV is one of the most perverted translation on the market, with over 68,000 words left out and much of it relates to Christ deity, his blood sacrifice. It is an abomination to God and also fills the warning prophecy “that in the last days there would be a famine in the land for the Word of God”. No wonder the American Church is in sin up to it’s eye balls and we are losing our country to satan’s secular progressive Marxist.

    The church must repent and return to our first love, Jesus Christ and his Word. The great message for James Emery is; ‘REPENT and return to Jesus Christ and his Word, coming to us by the textus Receptius right out of Antioch. The NIV comes down from the Alexandrian line from Philos school and then down to Wescott & Hort the two spiritualist who hated the Textus Receptist and began the false translations with the help of the spiritualist witch Balvansky the mother of the new age movement. More can be found on line look it up yourselves.

    May God forgive us our sins and my we all return to our first love and get our hearts right before Jesus Christ.

    Yours in Christ,
    Pastor Richard C Wilmot, BRR
    Black Robe Regiment

    • jim

      well said, Pastor ! your friend jim

  • Robbie S Smith

    147 places in the KJV where words and verses were omitted in the NIV. At the very root of the Church’s problem today, lie these modern translations of the Bible. When so many verses are either altered,questioned, or removed altogether, as in the NIV, nothing from then on , in the reader’s mind, is certain. This practice of corrupting Scripture, and subsequently God’s people, goes back to the Garden of Eden.
    (KJV) ” And Phillip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”
    (NIV) (whole verse OMITTED) INCREDIBLE !!! Every reader of the NIV is denied these precious lines.
    NOTE: Thou and Thine is YOU.

    • http://www.facebook.com/patrick.parker.144 Patrick Parker

      Then write it that way then .

  • Steve

    Jesus said that heaven and earth would pass away before His word did – and I don’t think He was talking about “a book”. He also said if we seek truth we’ll find it. Seek the truth, pray for the Spirit’s guidance, and I personally believe you’ll find it in any reliable translation. Having said that, the best translation in my humble opinion is still the word in flesh – first in Christ, and then in His people. I’m also glad that those I’m trying to share Jesus with won’t be reading this stuff. The bickering does little to advance the kingdom. BTW: In context, Hebrews 4:12 is more likely talking about Jesus (logos) than scripture (graphos). Just saying…

  • Pastor John

    If you want to know what God’s Word actually says, read NASB. But if you want to know what it actually means, read the NIV! :-)

  • Bob

    KJV Onlyism is a cult that prevents the spread of the Good News of Christ. I suppose all the poor and powerless from third-world countries who have Scripture translated into their own language are in deep trouble if it’s not KJV. As American Christians, our level of education FAR exceeds our level of obedience. If you’re a disciple of Jesus then go out and love like He did and let go of the idolatry of making KJV your “god.”

  • Pastor B

    People are dying without CHRIST and going to Hell. We need to be a little more concerned with obeying what the Bible says and a little less concerned about what translation we like.

    • http://www.facebook.com/patrick.parker.144 Patrick Parker

      It helps to understand it

      • Eddy Diaz

        I realize that understanding a legitimate Bible translation may sometimes be a difficult task or even a challenge for a particular reader. However, we can certainly count on the Holy Spirit to help us grasp the correct interpretation of its contents. As with everything else in our Christian life, we need to yield to what the Holy Spirit tells us and teaches us, and we cannot let our own understanding get in the way (Proverbs 3:5). All in all, we have no valid excuses not to preach the Gospel of Salvation. We do not even need to know the whole Bible, or have what we may consider a perfect Bible version in order to do it, as even only a few Bible verses can reliably convey the essence of the Message (i.e. John 3:16). if the Holy Spirit actually lives in us, He will not only compel us to preach the Good News but will also tell us what to say (Luke 12:12). On the other hand, no matter how many good versions of the Bible may exist, if we do not have a sincere desire to do God’s will, we will always find fault with every one of them. Only thing we really need is a genuine passion for obeying God and doing His will, by making ourselves available to serve Him. Let’s let the Holy Spirit do the rest. What if we just happen not to have a Bible at hand, will that be a valid excuse for us not to reach a soul in need of Salvation when God gives us the opportunity to do it ? Now, I certainly agree that the Enemy is out there also trying to come up with his own twisted Bible translations, and we need to be aware and cautious on that (Galatians 1:6-9). But then again, it is the Holy Spirit who will help us identify them, as they totally pervert the sound doctrine taught in the legitimate Bible versions, most particularly concerning the Good News of Salvation by grace thru faith in Jesus Christ. So any Bible version that teaches a different Gospel is utterly a false one and obviously we should not use it. Thanks God for the multiple good, genuine and legitimate Bible versions which contents are in perfect alignment with the true Gospel, the Good News.

  • Roy

    We no longer have a standard, and verses have become “versatile”. The Message version of John 3:16 “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life”.

    I think the Osteens of the world would be all over it. It’s a Mess alright!

  • Imnidjit

    I’d like to recommend “One Bible, Many Versions” by David Brunn. David is a Christian missionary who has translated the New Testament into Lamogai, a previously unwritten language of Papua New Guinea. He brings first-hand experience to the table and shares insight into the translator’s task in a most approachable and informative fashion. No axe-grinding, just information. Not a difficult read, yet very educational. There are numerous tables in the book, so I suggest the paperback over the electronic version.