Bible revisions - where do you personally draw the line

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by ex-nihilo, Dec 20, 2006.

  1. ex-nihilo

    ex-nihilo
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    I decided to start a different thread on this question. I did have it in the "NIV" thread but no one responded and I really do think this is important which could be the understatement of the year.

    So here goes with my question as quoted in the other thread below:



    "Let me pose this question to everyone.

    When is too much change, too much? The suprising thing for me is that someone would be quick to defend the newer versions and yet go to great lengths to find fault with the older versions.

    In this period of time we live in, it is very popular to find fault with the Bible. There seems to be this urgency to find whatever so-called evidence can be found to shed light on a new revelation discrediting the Bible. And it's not just limited to the Bible.....it's extended to rewriting history as well whether that be specific individuals or historical events that took place. Society has degraded to such an extent that it has to bring down anything that is honorable and decent to it's level.

    So I ask again, just exactly how much of the Bible has to be "watered down" before you would take issue with it?"

    J.
     
  2. Deacon

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    What are you exactly comparing the change from?

    New versions attempt to more closely follow the original Greek manuscripts, and to do it in a language that is more understandable to todays readers.

    Rob
     
  3. Ed Edwards

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    This thread is in a Baptist Only Debate Area.

    http://www.baptistboard.com/showthread.php?t=34374

    It does relate to a similair question. It is limited to only ten
    different versions but asks ARE THEY VALID?
    The respondants (as a group) can tell you which translation
    is valid, which is not.
     
  4. ex-nihilo

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    Nothing specific, Rob. Actually, I think it would be interesting to let those who reply fill in the blank.

    For instance, would someone not support a Bible version based on omission of verses or someone taking literary license to change the wording of verses to bring "greater understanding" to what was really meant.

    Another interesting observatoin is that hundreds of years ago, the average person could read their Bible and be confident of what they were reading. Today the average person almost needs to be a Bible scholar, specializing in the various ancient manuscripts and languages to deal with the endless accusations related to Bible accuracy.

    Regards,
    J.
     
  5. ex-nihilo

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    Nothing specific, Rob. Actually, I think it would be interesting to let those who reply fill in the blank.

    For instance, would someone not support a Bible version based on omission of verses or someone taking literary license to change the wording of verses to bring "greater understanding" to what was really meant.

    Another interesting observatoin is that hundreds of years ago, the average person could read their Bible and be confident of what they were reading. Today the average person almost needs to be a Bible scholar, specializing in the various ancient manuscripts and languages to deal with the endless accusations related to Bible accuracy.

    Regards,
    J.
     
  6. Chemnitz

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    I have a couple of qualifications I look at when checking out a translation.
    1. Is the text it is based on a faithful reproduction of the Greek manuscript i.e. UBS 4, NA27, TR?
    With the exception of NWT most translations fall into this catagory


    2. Are the translators accurately reflecting the text?
    Because all translations are an interpretation of the text by the translator I gauge by how word for word as compared to thought for thought they are in their work. For this reason I tend to draw the line at the NIV when it comes towards deviating from word for word. I have one exception and that is the God's Word to the Nations because I happen to trust the translators of that particular translation.
     
  7. Lagardo

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    The availability of multiple versions has not confused the issue in as much as they have brought to light problems with older versions. Perhaps someone was confident, but that doesn't mean the problems did not exist.

    The question of the OP was how much change is too much? This is a faulty question based on the assumption that new translations are changes to older translations. I hope scholars continue the pursuit of an accurate translation as long as the Lord allows.
     
  8. Jack Matthews

    Jack Matthews
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    I consider a translation or revision of a translation of the Bible to be valid if the translators are experts in translating Biblical languages, and render the text as closely to the best available manuscripts as possible. Translations that have readbility in English as their goal, rather than a close rendering to the original language, are valid as long as the translators have reached a consensus on the wording of the text.

    Because there are variances in the ancient manuscripts, I think a translation is more reliable and accurate if the translation team has utilized the oldest available manuscripts. This explains what some people call "leaving out verses." These passages appear in the King James translations because the manuscripts available at the time it was translated included them. Earlier manuscripts didn't contain them, which opens the door to the possibility that these "verses" were added later on by copyists or redactors and are not part of the original text. Most English translations I've seen make footnotes of these variants.

    The lastest accepted English syntax and terminology needs to be utilized to make certain that communication is as completely accurate as possible. You may think you know what a word means, but making certain, using the acceptable academic language standards, is a necessity.

    Translators also need to be from diverse denominational perspectives, to avoid bias in translating the text. Even some of the most expert Greek and Hebrew professors I've had would tell you that a group will do a better job than one, because it narrows the margin for error.
     
  9. dispen4ever

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    Your question presupposes that the newer versions are "watered down." I'll take issue with ANY version that has been watered down, whether it is 2,000 years old or 2 years old. I think that, unless one of those dreadful committees is formed, you'd have a heckuva time deciding which ones fell into that category.

    Personally, I don't want to see another translation. I will not buy one after the NASB, NIV, or NKJV published in the 90's. None of this gender-neutral crap, and none of this "The Message" junk for me. My NASB Study Bible is welcome in my home. I love reading the NIV and the NKJV. If you want to get caught up in the beauty of language, read the KJV.

    :saint:
     
  10. Melanie

    Melanie
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    I stick with the Douay-Rheims but then I am beyond the Pale:godisgood:
     
  11. Bro. James

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    Bible revisions--where do you draw the line?

    Read the last chapter of the Book of Revelation--especially the part about adding or subtracting from God's Word. See also: the Book of Genesis--in the garden--where Eve was beguiled--where Satan added one word: not. This produced the depravity of mankind through the first man, Adam.

    The Truth is not subject to revision--God said what He meant, meant what He said.

    Man, deluded by Satan, must constantly revise his depraved theology--he keeps wanting to be God.

    The real question is: Will our revisions stand up at the Bema Seat?

    Choose wisely,

    Bro. James
     
    #11 Bro. James, Dec 21, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 21, 2006
  12. Rippon

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    You're right . Truth should not be revised . Are you a KJO'er James ? There are thousands of Bible translations in many languages . Are you suggesting there should be one solitary translation for everyone the world over ? If so , you have not chosen wisely .
     
  13. Bro. James

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    Bible revisions--where do you personally draw the line?

    KJVO--no.

    The Douay-Confraternity seems a pretty good translation--if one stays out of the foot-notes and margins. See Eph. 2:8-10 DC, St. Joe ed. That is salvation by grace through faith, Bro.--the holy see notwithstanding. But it would not make a very good pulpit Bible; however, a good tool for witnessing to Roman Catholics.

    This whole "flap" is about the corruption of texts from Alexandria, Rome and Constantinople, centuries ago. The Textus Receptus is still the LEAST corrupted; therefore, the BEST manuscript for translation to any language.

    Now what?

    Just trying to grow--in Grace--and knowledge.

    Selah,

    Bro. James
     
    #13 Bro. James, Dec 21, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 21, 2006
  14. Jim1999

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    Before reading any translation, including the KJV, I recommend one read a good book on biblical interpretation. I think far too many just jump into any translation without fully applying the how's of understanding.

    One such book is, Grasping God's Word by J. Scott Duvall and J. Daniel Hays, published by Zondervan.

    Applying the principles of hermeneutics, one can appreciate any translation and gain greater understanding of what God would have us know.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  15. ex-nihilo

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    Amen, Bro. James, Amen.
     
  16. ex-nihilo

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    Faulty?? Not at all. It all depends on the motives behind the revision and changing to push an agenda or to manipulate God's Word is unthinkable.

    J.
     
  17. Lagardo

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    Your OP assumes that new translations change God's word. It could just as likely be that the older translations changed God's word and the new ones were reverting back to the original. Therein lies the fault of the question.
     
  18. ex-nihilo

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    I do not agree and therefore we will have to agree to disagree.

    J.
     
    #18 ex-nihilo, Dec 22, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 22, 2006
  19. Darron Steele

    Darron Steele
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    II Timothy 3:16-7a was written in the first century and in Greek. The Greek words written at that time can be translated
    ♦ “All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for |doctrine|, for reproof, for correction, for instruction which is in righteousness: that the man of God may be complete” (ESV|KJV, NKJV|ASV).
    The Greek word translated “complete” is αρτιος and means “perfectly fit”* “entirely suited; complete”;** the relevant phrase in 3:17a can be translated to show regarding Scripture “It is God’s way of preparing us in every way” (NLT 1996).
    *Friberg et al, Analytical Lexicon of the New Testament, page 76.
    **In Perschbacher, The New Analytical Greek Lexicon, page 54.

    From my perspective, the Lord was saying that the New Testament church's Scriptures were to be sufficient for a good Christian life. God “hath granted unto us all that things that pertain to life and godliness” (ASV) per 2 Peter 1:3, writen at around the same time. Hence, the New Testament church's Scriptures were to be sufficient for us.

    That is why I believe that the Old Testament and Greek New Testament Scriptures should be the highest authority when it comes to Scripture. Hence, when any Reformation-era translation is at variance with archaeological evidence from surviving ancient manuscripts found after the Reformation, there needs to be a correction. During the Reformation period, different translations translated slightly different Greek texts; what the KJV translated in 1604-11 differed from what the 1607 Italian Diodati Bible translated, for example. Also, when studies of the ancient language and its meanings in the ancient world demonstrate that earlier translators' knowledge was incomplete, there needs to be some improvements.

    I tend to accept a translation at face value unless it demonstrates being done by people who do not believe the Bible and are willing to let their views affect their rendering of the text. At Genesis 1:6, the NRSV and the NAB uses "dome," which would be consistent with the belief that Genesis 1 is another ancient creation myth. At 2 Timothy 3:16, the NJB does not translate the first purpose of Scripture of four found in the Greek; the NJB contains only the last three purposes. At 1 Corinthians 6:9, the REB and the 1970's edition of the RSV hide the injunction against homosexuality with a vague reference to sexual perversion.

    The NAB -- not the NASB -- but the NAB is a Roman Catholic translation, and as such, had mandatory auxiliary material and notes that are considered part of the translation. In Genesis 11, a note about the account of the tower of Babel says "the secondary motive of the story is to present an imaginative origin of the diversity of the languages...as well as an artificial explanation of the name `Babylon.'" When I want to use a translation which Catholics would be most comfortable with, I use the old Douay-Rheims even though it is a translation of the Latin Vulgate translation.

    In foreign language, I do not use the Spanish Biblia de Jerusalén because its auxiliary material places Daniel as a forgery written around 400 years after its time; for a Catholic Bible, I instead use the old Amat translation which is translated from the Latin Vulgate translation. I do not use the Portuguese Tradução Interconfessional because of similar statements in its auxiliary material.

    I cannot express the `why' of my sentiment, but I am just uncomfortable with the notion of being told what the ancient Bible languages said by people who do not believe it for what it is.

    There is one translation by Bible believers that I do not use. It is the NLT 2002. The translation of 2 Timothy 3:16-7 is changed, and does not give such hearty assertion to the sufficiency of Scripture. This comes one year after an NLT "Catholic Edition" which included the non-Scripture books that the Roman Catholic authorities inserted into the Old Testament. I believe the change, while possibly allowed by the ancient language, was more motivated by commercial concerns than by second-guessing of the translation's accuracy.

    Otherwise, I tend to consider as worthy of consideration any translation done by Christians who believe the Bible to be what it is. I usually trust the simplicity of their `motives' as simply wanting to convey best the communications of the original languages.

    Each translation type has its uses. For greater precision, formal equivalence, which is word by word, is most often best -- unless what is communicated by those words would be lost. However, to communicate with children or those for whom simpler vocabulary and sentence structure is best, dynamic equivalence, which goes statement-by statement, is the best way to go -- in my opinion. As one should be able to see from my present footer, I use both types.
     
    #19 Darron Steele, Dec 22, 2006
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 22, 2006
  20. Lagardo

    Lagardo
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    Youd disagree with what? That your question made that assumption? I apologize if it did not, but even the fact that you use "Bible Revisions" in your supject leads one to think that you assume that new translations are revisions when in fact, many are translations and older versions may just as well have been revisions.

    If "A" is an original work and then someone translates is into "B" but makes some modifications, then later, someone else translates A into C without the modifications made in B, then which is revised? B or C? Which is more accurate? B or C? The fact that B is older than C doesn't matter.

    Many people wrongly assume that the KJV came from original manuscripts and the new translations such as the NIV, NKJV, NASB, etc are revisions of the KJV, when in fact, they are not. Its not a matter of agree or disagree...its a matter of the facts.
     

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