Which Bible? There are a lot of versions of the Bible available to read today. There are a lot of similarities and some differences between these Bible translations.
There are two things that have threatened the Bible. One was keeping it in so called dead languages. The second which is alive and well today is changing words in the translation to support an organizations position.
Let’s examine these threats.
It is important to note that over the years the Bible has faced challenges in terms of translation. For many years the bible was held in translations to languages that were not commonly used. For example it was translated to Latin, but then as the years rolled by most people spoke a different language.
Keep the Bible in a Dead Language!
People in general had to ‘trust’ that what religious leaders said was in fact true. The laymen respected the book as the authority but they didn’t actually know what it said. If a religious leader said that the Bible said ‘such and such’ then that was taken as ‘gospel.’
Religious leaders said that the earth was flat, that it was the center of the universe, that it was made in six days and more.
The Bible doesn’t contain these statements. But because it was kept in what was at a community level, a dead language, who could argue with religious authorities who said otherwise? People were executed for daring to contradict religious leaders.
Through the years efforts were made to translate the Bible into a common language. In fact, people risked their lives to ensure that the Bible could be read be common people rather than the clergy alone. Today most people can read the Bible in their own language. With reading came an understanding that many of the practices of some religions through the years were divorced from any scriptural support.
Change Words, Add Words, Add Commas, Change Meanings, Insert Names.
Once it became widely available some organizations saw the need to alter key texts to support their own ideas and teachings. Sadly all of the above have been identified by scholars as techniques used by some religious orders to promote their own teachings.
For Example Here is John 1:1-3
The first two translations are reliable translations that do not deliberately seek to mislead the reader.
John 1:1-3 At the first there was the Word, and the Word was where God was, and the Word was God. 2 He was at the first where God was. 3 Everything was made by his agency, and not a thing that was made was made without his agency.
John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 The same was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
Now notice how the next translation adds words and changes capitals etc.
John 1:1-3 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god. 2 This one was in the beginning with God. 3 All things came into existence through him, and apart from him not even one thing came into existence
In Greek the first two renderings accurately represent the text into English. The third text is altered to support a particular belief.
On every page of the book of John there are verses which help to explain the nature of Jesus. It speaks for itself without needing to alter the scripture rendering in the opening words of the book.
All Bibles contain minor errors. Some verses are lost and there are slight textual errors. However many translators were genuinely driven by a desire to share the genuine Bible message.
When a religion produces its ‘own Bible’ it must be examined carefully to ensure the translation is accurate.
Excellent Bibles are as literal to the text as possible. In preparing these articles and doing research we use the following translations. You can easily discover the truths contained in God’s word using these translations.
- English Standard Version
- King James
- New American Standard Version
- New King James Version
- The Jerusalem Bible
Living English Bibles can sometimes take liberties with the texts being used and it is often the case that when texts are expounded, the writers opinions and bias can drift into the text. For this reason it is always advisable to check several translations of the text to make sure that you have got a clear rendering of the verse.
So use a Bible whose translation team have worked hard to convey accurately and honestly the intent of the original bible writers.
The Bible Students want everyone to be up to date with accurate truth. The Bible is a much misunderstood book. We are dedicated Bible researchers with a Christian background and without affiliation to any religious group. We avoid the internal politics and wrangling and issues that religion entails. Here you will find only truth.