Posted by: clevsea | October 30, 2007

Bible Translations

This is a topic that can get people upset but I like to see “Peace” among the believers on this topic.

Translations have come up on 2 loops I’m on and because I went to the trouble of writing this for one loop and staying out of it on another loop, I thought I’d provide it here, just in case the Lord wanted to lead someone here who might benefit from some of my ideas.

My little 2 cents on translations:

I give away Bibles on a public walkway in the summer. I usually purchase new ones but somebody gave me a huge box of “used” ones so I included those this past summer. There were many translations in that box, even Spanish!

A very nice lady felt the need to protest to me that I was giving away the wrong Bible and that only the KJV was the word of God.

Being a Christian for 25 years I have heard this sentiment before and I let her do all the talking and didn’t even say anything. (I’m doing the same thing on another loop right now—they are talking about this and I’ve not said a single word.)

I started on New American Standard and many ministries and pastors will claim that it is THE choice of Bible scholars. I do not agree. That’s just too passionate of a stance to take for me. I read the NAS for the first 7 years. Then I switched to the New International Version for the following 7 years. I was using the NIV Study Bible during the time that head covering came up for me during Bible reading with a group of women.

The commentary notes in the NIV study Bible are all written by one woman and in the head covering passage I Cor 11 –her notes are ANTI-covering. Not fair, I say, to led someone astray through Extra-Biblical notations on the bottom of the page.

At this point I had been studying Greek a lot and had finally come to see (clearly) that there are more than one set of Greek New Testaments. The Textus Receptus, the “text we will receive” it is the text used for translating the King James Version and the New King James Version. The Greek text that I personally read is the Textus Receptus and not the Majority and the NU, aka, the Nestle.

So, what is going to happen when I compare NIV or NAS (to name a couple) to the Textus Receptus? It will not line up perfectly and whenever there is a difference the difference will be that the M and NU do not have those words in the original. Usually it is only a word or a few words but on occasion it is half a paragraph and the most glaring example is in the end of Mark with some 16 (?) verses can’t remember for sure right now—I’m writing all this from memory) that were not found in the “newer” Greek transcripts that they found buried.

All of my Greek and Hebrew Word Study books and resources are based on the Textus Receptus and on the old King James. So, again, every word study is going to make it appear that the KJV is the most accurate.

I hope I haven’t lost anyone here. I just never go to the trouble to speak up on this and I think this is a key point.

As to whether I am anywhere near the truth, read the INTRODUCTIONS of your Bibles today. Hopefully, you have more than one that you can read. Lots of my Bibles, I seem to have over 20 of them, have a new, fresh INTRO written in them where they want you to understand how their abreviations, etc work and they usually go into the Greek Texts used for whichever translation it is that you are looking at.

If you have a New King James Bible, then read the intro to that, please.

I have one example here that is a bit dramatic about the Greek texts.

Rom 8:1-2 in NIV—Look at Verse 1

“1 Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.”

Rom 8: 1-2 in NJKV—-Look at Verse 1

“1 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.”

What’s missing from the NIV? This is:

“who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”

Like I said it is often only a single word omitted not an entire phrase….but it’s the omisions that I feel like I want to know them. I want the “CHANCE” to see *all* my options when I’m reading.

My New King James Version does that for me every single time there is any difference in the original texts it alerts me and then I have a chance to look in the margin and see what the 2 or 3 Greek texts said and how they varied. I really like having that “alert” and the chance to pursue it further if I want to.

So, if you are still with me you have probably guessed my favorite version. I adore the New King James because it is easier for me to read as it took out the thou, thee and those Shakespearean word endings. But it is based on the Text that I respect.

However, I am not a KJV “only” woman and I really think there is value in consulting more than one version—that is why they printed those comparison Bibles —what’s the word?—parallel (?) where they provide 4 versions side by side.

The more I read Hebrew and the more I read Greek the less dependant I am on translations but English is my first language and I need a trustyworthy translation in my own language.

As long as I’m writing so much on this allow me to add that dictionaries are opinions. Think about it…they are opinions and so are translations. Sure, they do the very best job they can when they write a dictionary and when they translate, I am not casting doubt on that at all. In fact, I teach women that 9 times out of 10 when I do a Greek word study and I’ve pulled out all the books and I’ve looked at everything and parsed it out and turned over every stone then I conclude that the word means exactly what it did in the English.

Meaning, if I look up the word “fish” I found out after 1/2 hour’s work that the Greek word for fish means “fish.” Huge surprise! That’s because they did the best they could. It’s only about 1 out of 10 word studies that something interesting comes up—-but that’s in Greek.

Hebrew is different and some Rabbis still fight all day long (and enjoy the fight) about 1 single Hebrew word. The language is one of the oldest on the planet and knowing for certain the meaning of a Hebrew word is not as certain as it is in Greek. You’ll see if you do a word study that very often the dictionary will provide you with a large paragraph of definitions for 1 word, meaning you could draw a lot of different conclusions.

To sum up…I don’t stand on one translation, I favor the New KJ and I don’t like to see any fights at all about the topic.

Hats off to you who made it to the end here!!

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Responses

  1. Never been a fan of the NLT or the NIV. I have a purse version of the NKJ. But I sure do like the KJ. It must be the poet in me!- Briana

  2. People either like the Old King James or they don’t. If you can read Shakespeare then you can read King James.


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