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Different Translations 3

November 20, 2008

It would have been great if Bizhubs or other copy machines and reams of paper would have existed in the 1st Century! No problem with multiple copies of the original. But even better– an audio recording of Jesus’ actual words! Wouldn’t it be nice to hear a recording of Jesus’ preaching or giving the Sermon on the Mount! Perhaps an Mp3, CD or DVD! A camcorder in the first century, sweet.

A camera phone would have been nice to see what He really looked like. His picture would have been all over the internet. We could have been His friend on Facebook, provided that He had an account and accepted our ‘friend request’ (we would have to be born again for that to occur! to really be a friend of God!) He didn’t have a place to lay His head so He probably wouldn’t have had a PC. No money, no laptop. But, He would have gone to the really first “Holy Grounds” coffee shop and gone on line.

There was no paper as we know it or pens or pencils either. Scribes had to laboriously copy from original manuscripts. We have no original manuscripts of the NT or OT; they are all copies. So how does it all work? What do we hold in out hands? Which translation is the most accurate? How did the Bible we have come into being? Do we need another translation? Some estimate over 50 English translations already!

Let me set your mind at some ease. The Bible that you hold in your hand is reliable; it is the word of God. It is profitable. You can trust it. But it did not come to us with ease. People died to make it possible for you to hold a copy in your hands. (More about this later)

I’m glad I don’t have to learn Greek or Hebrew or Aramaic or Latin or some other language to be able to read God’s word. The Scriptures HAD to be translated. There are thousands of languages and dialects in our world. God really did a number at Babel (Genesis 11). The complete Bible is only available in a few hundred of the world’s languages, the NT and portions in about 2000. What you hold is a treasure!

I believe that God supervised the process of translation (and still does as Wycliffe Bible Translators and others translate today). He wants people to understand His word in their heart language. The Spirit of God uses the translated word of God to speak to the heart of people. KJV, NASB, NIV, ESV or any other _ _ V. Read it! It will change your life!

In future posts we look at some of the processes of Bible translations and hopefully I can help answer some of the questions that I have raised. In the meantime READ YOUR BIBLE. Bro Jeff reminded us recently that reading the Bible is still the best way to grow as a believer! There is no substitute.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Dana permalink
    November 21, 2008 12:52 pm

    I so agree! Reading it daily has made such a difference!

    Thanks Gordon for your post! I really enjoyed it!

    They were discussing it on Air1 this morning and gave a large number of still yet-to-be-translated languages! But they are working on them!

  2. Julia permalink
    November 22, 2008 10:42 pm

    I love languages, and translating had always intrigued me. So, I found it very interesting when I learned in my Hebrew Bible class that every translation of Scripture was made directly from the Hebrew and Greek manuscripts that we have. I always thought that our translations were made from existing translations. For example, I thought the NIV was translated from the NKJV! I realize now that doing that kind of translation would be extremely less accurate. Each translation must be made as a completely new translation from the Hebrew and Greek copies that we have. I even checked in the preface of my NIV Bible, and it said “The New International Version is a completely NEW TRANSLATION of the Holy Bible made by over a hundred scholars DIRECTLY from the best available Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek texts.” So, rest assured, the Holy Bible is a directly translated and accurate!!!

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