Posted by: clevsea | June 22, 2009

Bible Translations

A quick word on Bible Translations. If you read the begining of most Bibles they will give you a good and accurate teaching on the manuscripts. I will give you a quicky.

One set of manuscripts that we have is called the Textus Receptus (spelling?) meaning the Text we will receive. That set of manuscripts is what the King James Bible is translated from and also the NEW King James Bible. (The NEW KJV is my personal favorite translation, btw.)

There is another set (or even 2) of manuscripts and from those translators translated the NIV and all of the other translations. The important issue is that this other set of manuscripts has little parts missing. Those little parts do NOT get translated because the are not there in the Greek to be translated. Most of time the little part is too little to worry about but at times the little part does make a big difference.

I will show you one of those times:

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.


1Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

What is missing? Look at it again if you don’t see it.

The first one is New King James and the second is NAS. This is Romans 8:1

When you are reading the New King James you will be alerted EACH and EVERY time that there is a manuscript difference. That is not the case with the NAS, NIV, etc.

I am not a “King James only” Christian. Some people are and they get really, really emotional about it.

It’s not the translation that I care about it’s the manuscripts in the original language that I care about. That’s why I learned Greek and studied Hebrew. I did not master either language, don’t get me wrong, but I did study enough to be able to go to the original texts (or manuscripts) and read passages in those languages.

What would I do with a Newbie? Someone who needs to have help with understanding the Bible and had never read one before? I certainly would NOT plop an Old King James in front of them unless there was not another option. I know these things are Spiritually discerned, the Bible says so, but why write such important truths in *old* English? Why do that about such important issues? People do that because the manuscript itself was the “Text we will receive” and it is the more complete text…but….understanding with our 21st Century mind and language is vastly important too.

I would start someone in NIV or NAS and then lead them to New KJV as soon as possible. If I thought someone were particularily intelligent I would start them in NKJV and skip the NAS or NIV. And after the person in question were Spiritually awakened (born again, regenerated, saved, etc) THEN I would tell them that some translations are a little different from one another and more importantly that you can NOT trust the commentary on the page that is written by man, in particular, do not trust the commentary found in the NIV Study Bible. The commentator there will misled one into not believing in head covering for just one example.

To conclude. I like the New KJV because it gives me every passage and leaves nothing out. It alerts me that the manuscripts vary in certain passages. And it is super literal translation where they went “word by word” when they translated.

Some of the other translations did not do that.

They would read a paragraph and then convey the meaning of the paragraph rather than a “word by word” translation.

I guess that now is good time to share my dislike of the Message Bible.

Let me choose an example:

“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.”

I can’t even reconize this as verse from the Bible !!!!!!!!!!

It sounds like some New Age mumbo-jumbo or some fortune cookie junk teaching.

Do you reconize this?

Can you tell that you are looking at Matt 5:5 and that Jesus Christ is speaking?

Here is the SAME passage in NKJV:

5 Blessed are the meek, For they shall inherit the earth.

You do see a difference, I know you do.

Thank you, Clevsea


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