Can a translation be Inspired and Infallible?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Jordan Kurecki, Dec 26, 2013.

  1. Jordan Kurecki

    Jordan Kurecki
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    Can a Translation be Inspired and Infallible? Seminarians and bible agnostics say No, but the Bible says Yes. Whom are you going to believe, God or unbelieving men??

    I am frequently told by modern bible version proponents that no translation can be inspired and that only the originals were inspired. This may be what they learned in seminary or from some other Bible teacher they happen to admire, but is it the truth?

    Most Christians will affirm that the Bible is our rule of faith and practice. It is a little self contradictory to stand in the pulpit and say the word of God is inspired, when in his heart the pastor knows he is not referring to any book here on this earth that people can hold in their hands and believe. He really should say what he believes - that the word of God WAS inspired at one time but we no longer have it, so the best we can do is hope we have a close approximation of what God probably meant to tell us.

    It also seems a bit inconsistent to say he believes the originals were inspired, when he has never seen them, they never were together in one single book, and they no longer exist anyway. How does he know they were inspired? He accepts this by faith. Yet he seems to lack the faith to actually believe that God could do exactly what He said He would do with His words. God said He would preserve them and that heaven and earth would pass away but His words would not pass away.

    So, if the Bible itself is our rule of faith and practice, does it teach us a translation can be the inspired words of God? The answer is an emphatic Yes, and it does so many times.

    In the Book of Genesis, chapters 42-45, we have the record of Joseph's reunion with his brethren. That Joseph spoke Egyptian instead of Hebrew is evident by Genesis 42:23 "And they knew not that Joseph understood them; for he spake unto them by an interpreter." Joseph spoke in Egyptian yet his words are translated and recorded in another language, which turns out to be the inspired words of God.

    A translation does not have to be a "word for word" literal carry over into another language for it to be the inspired word of God. If we have the God given text and the God given meaning of that text communicated by way of another language, as I firmly believe we do in the King James Bible, it is still the inspired word of God.

    God's words are like water in a vessel. If the same water is poured out into another vessel, even a vessel of a different shape and size, and there is no addition of foreign matter or subtraction of substance, it is the same water.

    Again we see the same thing in Exodus chapters 4 through 14 where Moses confronts Pharaoh and speaks with him face to face. Pharaoh does not speak Hebrew, so Moses undoubtedly uses the Egyptian language in his verbal exchanges with him, yet the whole series of conversations is recorded in another inspired translation.

    In the book of Ezra chapter 4:7-16 we see another clear example of where a rather lengthy letter written in the Syrian language is translated into inspired Hebrew. In Ezra 4:7-8 we read where the enemies of God's people wrote a letter "in the Syrian tongue" to persuade king Artaxerxes to demand that the Jews cease from their work of re-building the house of the Lord in Jerusalem. The translated words of this letter are found written in verses 11 all the way through verse 16. Read the entire passage to see that what was originally written in Syrian was then translated and recorded in the Hebrew language.

    Ezra 4:7-11 And in the days of Artaxerxes wrote Bishlam, Mithredath, Tabeel, and the rest of their companions, unto Artaxerxes king of Persia; and the writing of the letter was written in the Syrian tongue, and interpreted in the Syrian tongue. ... And the rest of the nations whom the great and noble Asnappar brought over, and set in the cities of Samaria, and the rest that are on this side the river, and at such a time. This is the copy of the letter that they sent unto him, even unto Artaxerxes the king; Thy servants the men on this side the river, and at such a time..."

    Here we clearly see that the original Hebrew autograph of Ezra included a portion that was both a TRANSLATION of another foreign language and a COPY of that other foreign language, yet it was and is the inspired words of the living God.

    In Acts 22 we see another clear example of how a translation can be the inspired words of God. Acts 21:40 tells us: "And when he had given him licence, Paul stood on the stairs, and beckoned with the hand unto the people. And when there was made a great silence, HE SPAKE UNTO THEM IN THE HEBREW TONGUE, SAYING...". There then follows a lengthly sermon of 21 entire verses preached by Paul in the Hebrew tongue, yet not a word of this sermon is recorded in Hebrew but in inspired Greek. Was Paul's sermon inspired? Undoubtedly. But God also inspired the translation of this sermon into another language.

    If no translation can be inspired of God, then how do those who hold this unbiblical position explain all the Old Testament quotes found in the New Testament? They were originally inspired in Hebrew but then the Holy Ghost took these scores of verses and translated them into another inspired language. Not only that, but the Holy Ghost sometimes did not use a strictly literal word for word rendering. God sometimes adds a little more detail or explains further or makes a different application of the original verse to a new situation. This is how God does it and what the Bible itself teaches us about inspired translations.

    Brother James Melton has written a very good article on why he believes the King James Bible is the true word of God. In his article he mentions what the true Holy Bible says about the word "to translate" - http://www.av1611.org/kjv/knowkjv.html

    Brother Melton writes: The words "translate" and "translated" occur three times in the Bible, and GOD is the Translator each time. The scholars insist that the KJV cannot be infallible, because it is "only a translation." Do you suppose that such scholars have checked II Samuel 3:10, Colossians 1:13, and Hebrews 11:5 to see what GOD has to say about translating?

    In II Samuel 3:10 we are told that it was God Who translated Saul's kingdom to David. We are told in Colossians 1:13 that Christians have been translated into the kingdom of Jesus Christ, and Hebrews 11:5 tells us that God translated Enoch that he should not see death. God was the One doing the translating each time. What's the point? The point is that a translation CAN be perfect, if God is involved in the translating.

    When the New Testament writers would quote the Old Testament (Mt. 1:23; Mk. 1:2; Lk. 4:4; Jn. 15:25; Acts 1:20; 7:42; I Cor. 2:9; Gal. 3:13, etc.), they had to TRANSLATE from Hebrew to Greek, because the Old Testament was written in Hebrew, but THEY wrote in Greek. So, if a translation cannot be infallible, then EVEN THE NEW TESTAMENT IN THE "ORIGINAL GREEK" ISN'T INFALLIBLE, because it contains translations from the Hebrew text! - (end of quotes from brother Melton. See his article. http://www.av1611.org/kjv/knowkjv.html It is very good!)

    Which language did the Lord Jesus Christ speak while He was here on earth, Hebrew, Greek, Aramaic or a combination of the three? No one knows for sure, but we do know that He spoke to Paul in the Hebrew tongue yet His words were translated into Greek. "And when we were all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue, Saul, Saul. why persecutest thou me? It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks." There then follows another four long verses all spoken in the Hebrew tongue by our Lord, yet none of it is recorded in Hebrew but is translated into another language.

    " And that from a child thou hast known the HOLY SCRIPTURES, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. ALL SCRIPTURE IS GIVEN BY INSPIRATION OF GOD, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness." 2 Timothy 3:15,16.

    It should be noted that Timothy did not have "the originals" yet what he had in his home is referred to as inspired scripture. In fact, in no case of all the references in the New Testament to the Scriptures that people read and believed, is it ever referring to "the originals only".

    So when you hear someone tell you with firm conviction: "No translation can be inspired. Only the originals were inspired" you should know that he didn't get this teaching out of the Bible or from God. If a professing Christian chooses not to believe in the possibility of an inspired translation, he does so contrary to many God given examples in the Bible itself.

    -From Will Kinney of Brandplucked.webs.com
     
    #1 Jordan Kurecki, Dec 26, 2013
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  2. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O.
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    Two Questions:

    [1] Who wrote that piece? [You need to cite your references.]

    [2] Which of the King James Versions is the inspired translation?
     
  3. Jordan Kurecki

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  4. Scarlett O.

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    [FONT=&quot]Jordan, I hope you don’t think I’m picking on you tonight, because I’m not. I actually find it a glad thing to see young people actually interested in the Bible beyond high school/college days, AWANA and Vacation Bible School.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]
    You told us what Kinney and Chick (*sigh*) think – but, Jordan, what do YOU think about the King James Bible in connection with infallibility and inspiration? I happen to like the King James. I was raised on it and still use it. It’s not my preference to read, but I use it coupled with the Holman, NLT, NASB, and a few others online when I am studying as opposed to just reading.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT][FONT=&quot]I’m not dismissing the King James.
    [/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]But here’s a difference (among many) between the 1611 and the 1769 that make one pause when trying to decide which version is the inspired one. (No, I didn’t find these myself, but am citing from Rick Beckham’s blog and I DID check the validity of the difference for myself.)[/FONT]

    [FONT=&quot]Ezekiel 24:7 - [1611] “For her blood is in the middest of her: she set it vpon the toppe of a rocke, she powred it vpon the ground to couer it with dust: [1769]For her blood is in the midst of her; she set it upon the top of a rock; she poured it not upon the ground, to cover it with dust;”[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT][FONT=&quot]Was the blood poured on the ground or not? 1611 says yes – 1769 says no. They both can’t be inspired.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT][FONT=&quot]There’s a whole lot more, but I’ll stop, because I’m not trying to bash the King James nor you.[/FONT]
    [FONT=&quot]
    [/FONT][FONT=&quot]I believe that no translation is inspired as the originals were inspired. But they are trustworthy and should all be compared and studied together for clarity's sake. My opinion is also the opinion of the King James translators:

    From the preface..

    [/FONT]
     
    #4 Scarlett O., Dec 27, 2013
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2013
  5. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    The problem is one of consistency. If God inspired a translation He must have the power to preserve not only the translators but the editors, the type setters, and the printers.

    God's perfectly inspired, preserved, and infallible word could not have a single error. It could I not have grammar, spelling, or even punctuation errors. If it had any mistake at all it would not be perfect. It would be nearly perfect, with only few little mistakes.

    The theory that a perfect God perfectly preserves His perfect word in a perfect translation requires that it be perfect in every regard. Not one 'jot or tittle' could be out of place. The question of 'which edition of the KJV is that completely perfect edition?' is a fair one.

    I love my KJV. THe most common criticism of my moderating is that I favour the KJV side and 'let them get away with murder.' But claiming that God inspires translations is simply not accurate because all translations differ. God doesn't differ.
     
  6. franklinmonroe

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    Can a Translation be Inspired and Infallible? is an incomplete question with no context. It could mean almost anything. A translation of what can be inspired and infallible what? Do you mean a translation of the Tokyo phone directory into inspired Braille poem? A translation of a Mel Gibson movie dialog into infallible English subtitles? Of analog dolphin calls into digital avant garde music?

    Now if the question is Can a translation of human language recorded within a biblical narrative be inspired and infallible scripture? then the answer certainly is YES. The response to the that question is obvious, and Will Kinney knew he could beat the answer loudly over and over like a drum. Casting the question as he has done makes those so-called seminarians and bible agnostics look so very foolish.

    Of course, in addition Whom are you going to believe, God or unbelieving men?? is an effective slander as it implies that the debate is not between your human interpretation and your opponents views but substitute the prospect of Omniscient God for your position and then label your opponents ignorant pagans, or the like.

    But nobody here is asking your question. Mr. Kinney's article is just a "straw man" argument.

    Your question is completely irrelevant in the context of a "translations issue" debate forum, such as this one. I suspect that Will Kinney knew the real inquiry behind those words but ignored the genuine substance of the probe. I think the wording of the question above is simply an abbreviated form of a robust question which should have been clearly understood in it's original setting.

    But allow me to reconstitute a facsimile question for you: Can a translation of biblical text from it's ancient original language (like Koine Greek) into a modern language (like English) be inspired and infallible? Do you understand what the question is now?

    Tilting at windmills will be not be acceptable. Please, just answer the question. Thanks.
     
    #6 franklinmonroe, Dec 27, 2013
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  7. Jordan Kurecki

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    There is an extremely high degree of probability that this was a typographical error, where the Bishops’ text was retained by the typesetter without the translators’ emendation being taken, consequently corrected in 1613.


    First of all, let us realise that what the printers printed is not exactly what the translators had. This is a known fact. What we cannot say is every last place where this is so, but we can have a good idea.

    Second of all, we should be aware that the language and spelling was not standardised, so there are differences which have arisen from this having taken place in the history of the KING JAMES BIBLE.

    Thirdly, there are changes due to editorial regularisation. This means that a more consistent use of italics has been introduced, and on occasions, a reframing of the English, or effects in the English for a consistency, or uniformity of usage, etc.
     
  8. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    So God's perfectly inspired translation still needed men to fix the mistakes? Is the 1769 free from all mistakes now?
     
    #8 NaasPreacher (C4K), Dec 27, 2013
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  9. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Could you explain the omission (or addition) of the words 'of God' in the 1611 and 1769 editions of the KJV in 1 John 5.13?
     
    #9 NaasPreacher (C4K), Dec 27, 2013
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  10. Scarlett O.

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    Jordan, you've now told me what Matthew Verschuur from Australia (he calls himself The Bibleprotector) thinks, but I still don't know what's in your head.

    What do you think about CK4's posts?
     
  11. Yeshua1

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    Your OP premise is faulty my friend, as NO translation can claim inspiration from God in their finished product, as THAT was eserved for just the Originals!

    And God preserved his originals to us in the compiled texts of BHS/CT/MT/TR/Bzt/etc are all seen as being the word of God in original languages tous, just some are closer than others to originals!

    The Christian can be assured that versions such as Kjv/nasb/Niv/Esv/NKJV are ALL in english our word of the Lord!
     
  12. Dr. Bob

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    I have heard people claim "perfection" for man-made items. That is idolatry. Unless you're talking about my wife . . :)

    Man-made Anglican translation One says: "And God hath set some in the Church, first Apostles, secondarily Prophets, thirdly Teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helpes in gouernmets, diuersities of tongues."

    Man-made Anglican revision of translation One says: And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues

    These have two different totals of "gifts" God has given His church (one has seven, one has eight). Which is the correct "perfect" "infallible - without fail" translation?

    Example of how translations are NOT God-breathed, but rather man-made. I will not give God's glory to man.
     
  13. Yeshua1

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    the Apsotles wrote inspired texts, but they worshiped the risen Jesus, NOT the books they had written!

    This is why God kep the originasl from us, as we would have a shrine unto them. and bow down to them!
     
  14. JonC

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    The KJV is pretty much a revision of previously translations (as acknowledged by the translators of the KJV). If 80 percent of the Tyndale’s New Testament made its way into the KVJ…well, there is more to your question than appears (if you are asking if one English bible is inspired and inerrant above others). The authors of the KJV derived their theology from other bibles. Were they reading the Word of God? Was the Wycliffe Bible the Word of God? Was the Tyndale? If the Tyndale was not, then how do you account for the influence this product had on the KJV?

    For me, this is a fairly easy problem. I believe that the Word of God is inerrant in the original manuscripts (which do not exist) - but that God preserves His word. (I believe that there can be error due to translation and interpretation, and that we do not have a fully inerrant English Bible. It takes study (examining against the texts used to translate, why the translators chose specific words, etc). But I have no problem saying that the KJV, NASB, and ESV are accurate bibles as they contain the truth of God’s Word. This truth extends beyond mere text. There will always be issues in interpretation and translation - Scripture was not written in English. The only way to avoid this is to say that God, by divine special revelation, delivered His Word to the English speaking people in a specific version - which is self defeating because it is contrary to Scripture.
     
  15. JonC

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    Hopefully your wife reads your posts :laugh:
     
  16. jbh28

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    Hello Jordan, here's some thoughts on the article you quoted from Will.
    Who did the translating? God. The translated words are originally inspired words.

    Agree. The words are what are inspired or God breathed.

    Again we see the same thing in Exodus chapters 4 through 14 where Moses confronts Pharaoh and speaks with him face to face. Pharaoh does not speak Hebrew, so Moses undoubtedly uses the Egyptian language in his verbal exchanges with him, yet the whole series of conversations is recorded in another inspired translation.[/quote]As above, the "inspired translation" was the original inspired words of God. It's sad that will would compare man translating words to God translating. Not even close.


    Key, God did it. the entire book of Acts comes from God. Every word is originally inspired by God.


    If no translation can be inspired of God, then how do those who hold this unbiblical position explain all the Old Testament quotes found in the New Testament?[/quote]

    God translated the words.

    which makes the translation originally inspired words.

    of course, anyone who knows anything about translating would understand that languages cannot be always translated word for word. There are many differences other than just different words.

    It's God's book, of course He can do that. The translations here are originally inspired words. The canon wasn't close. God was still writing the Bible.


    Timothy had the words where are Scripture. no one would say that we don't have the Scripture today, so I'm not really sure why anyone ever brings this up.

    No transation (that is done by men not through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit) can be inspired. Will knows this of course, but he chooses to deceive anyway. No one would say that God cannot translation his words. What is ALWAYS being referred to men translating the original inspired words, not God translating originally inspired words to another originally inspired words.
     
  17. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    I would be interested in your thoughts about my comments as well.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  18. franklinmonroe

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    In order to fully answer a question like Can a translation of biblical text from it's ancient original language (like Koine Greek) into a modern language (like English) be inspired and infallible? a person needs have firm understanding of the doctrine of "inspiration".

    Notice that in 2 Timothy 3:16 KJV that the verb used in the first phrase "is given". Interestingly, there is no corresponding verb here in the Greek (TR or otherwise). If the Holy Spirit wanted the verb included there are several Greek words that can mean "to give". ["Given" probably should have been italicized like "is" in the verse.] The eight KJV English words are drawn from only three Greek words. The first Greek word (pas Strong's #3956) has meaning ranging 'all', 'any', 'each' or 'every'; the second Greek word, a noun (graphe Strong's #1124) literally means a 'writing' but is the reserved term employed by New Testament authors to designate the Hebrew 'Scriptures'; the third Greek word here is compound (theopneustos Strong's #2315) and combines the concepts of divine 'God' with 'breathe' or 'blow' (as wind).

    So, the raw Greek simply states that God breathed all Scripture. I would say He breathed 'out' (expired) the Scriptures for these two reasons: humanly we think of words coming out from the mind, and air must pass over the larynx and out through the mouth in order to create spoken words (try to talk while simultaneously inhaling). I know, God doesn't need to breath in or out but He is communicating with us something supernatural. I understand this verse to mean that the Scriptures are generated from God; or put another way, that the Scriptures were in their origin put forth by God.

    The essential truth here is that God is the only source of all Scripture. I don't think we can insist that this verse explicitly teaches that "inspiration" extends to translations or even copies; however, it may be safe to infer that His breath extends to the words beyond the moments of conception.

    Again, Mr. Kinney is ambiguous with terms as much as possible so he can redefine them. He doesn't actually identify what he means by "the originals", but it can be taken he means the autograph manuscripts. But I don't believe that God expired manuscripts; I believe He expired words. When I think of "the originals" I am visualizing His original choice of words (not papyrus or parchments with ink). And not only each word by itself, but all the words intact in their original context and in their proper relationship to all the other expired words. The original ancient materials may be gone, but the original ancient words remain known to us.

    Therefore, I disagree with Mr. Kinney that Timothy did not have "the originals". Timothy most certainly DID have the original words. It should be noted that some of Timothy's copies of the inspired scriptures were probably even written in the original tongues.

    And Mr. Kinney's was likely only narrowly thinking of the OT "Scriptures" when he asserted that in no case of all the references in the New Testament to the Scriptures that people read and believed, is it ever referring to "the originals only". But an epistle (referring to the original) mentioned in Colossians 4:16 KJV seems to be just such a case of reading Paul's autograph --
    And when this epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea.
     
    #18 franklinmonroe, Dec 28, 2013
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  19. Yeshua1

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    The doctrine of inspiration has the divine and human element involved, as the Apostles themselves had inspiration upon them to write down, same as OT prophets had to speak forth word of the Lord, so would say inspiration ended with Apostles recording sacred texts down!

    then after that point, God was into preservation of theose words to us...
     
  20. JonC

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    I’m just wondering, does the NT author’s use of the Septuagint rather than the Hebrew play into this discussion?

    I realize that it can be viewed as being affirmed by Christ...but it is not exactly the same as the Hebrew.
     

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