Has God preserved the original language of the Bible?

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by Dale-c, Aug 22, 2010.

  1. Dale-c

    Dale-c
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    Many often will say that we no longer have the original manuscripte therefore:

    A. We can't trust the bible since we don't know what it actually said originally.

    Or:

    B. WE must just trust the KJV since we don't have the originals anymore.


    I say both views are extreme and in error.

    James White and Daniel Wallace are both believing scholars who deny both views.

    Rather they both would contend that ever word of the originals remains to this day. Not one word has been lost.

    Sure there are errors of the scribes that we must deal with.
    We must find out where a word may have been added in one text or omitted in another but we can rest assured that there is nothing missing.
    White has compared it to having a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle with 1010 pieces.
    All of the original is there.
    Scholars may never agree 100% on exactly what is original and what is not but we can most certainly know the historical authenticity of the Gospel and that, after all, is what this is all about.
     
  2. Amy.G

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    Or....

    C. We must trust the "Critical Text" over the TR because it is older.

    (I say this view is in error.)
     
  3. glfredrick

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    With the preponderance of textual evidence we now have (in excess of 24,000 NT texts, codexes, fragments, and other writings that include direct quotes) we can and have assembled a very accurate NT document. The OT was confirmed by the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and is also found to be considerably well-preserved and accurate. In fact, one of the shocks once the DSS were examined was just how well the OT was preserved. That, and the LXX is found everywhere, giving a Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures from an early date.

    The science of biblical textual criticism (not a negative thing if the intent is to discover the actual text of Scripture) is an exacting art, in that each (EACH!) variant reading is cataloged and dealt with so as to present to the world a most accurate text as is humanly possible. I know some of the men who work on those type of projects, and I see their excitement when a new fragment is discovered. They jump right in with magnifying glass in hand to examine the text to record any new variances, scribal notes, etc., all of which add to the body of knowledge that we have of the text.

    The critical variants are (for the most part) published as part of the Nestle/Alland Greek New Testament, and can be accessed by anyone who cares to take a look. Smaller variants are almost always words misspelled, accent marks missing, etc., and those can be traced through their lines by scholars.

    As to how textual variants are traced, imagine the game of "post office" (where you whisper into one's ear, then pass the message onward). When we think of that game, the thing we think of most often is just how screwed up the original phrase or word gets by the time it makes it all the way around the room. But, what if we wrote the phrase down, then asked each person to write it down also as it passed around. After a number of people, mistakes might be made, but if all the scraps of paper are compared, it would be relatively easy to restore the original text. Such is essentially how the text is compared and collated for study. After tracking the Syriac, Coptic, Armenian, Greek, Latin, etc., texts, scribal errors, insertions, deletions, etc., become noticeable and can be corrected. The earlier texts can inform the later also, though in rare cases this may be turned around if sufficient evidence exists for that sort of play. In the end, we come away with as close to the original autographs as any manuscript can possibly be.

    One other piece adds to our assurance -- the writings of the Church Fathers. In their writings, even if the entire Bible were destroyed, it could be recreated just from the cited verses. God has done a remarkable job of preserving His revelation, even in spite of critics who would like nothing more than to eliminate the Word from the world.
     
  4. robycop3

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    I believe we have what GOD WANTS US TO HAVE. Jesus obviously spoke millions of words that were not preserved, but every word He WANTED preserved IS preserved.

    He chose Hebrew, Aramaic, & Koine Greek in which to have His word first written cuz those were the languages of His chosen penmen. And that's why he caused those languages to "die", to become frozen, so we have an unchanging record of His word, to be translated into the languages He's given US.
     
    #4 robycop3, Aug 24, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2010
  5. Winman

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    God did not only preserve his word, he said it would be pure, that means without error or corruption. So he did not hand down a mixture of truth and error that we must sort out.

    Psa 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
    7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.


    I know many say God is promising to preserve the poor here, but I believe that complete error. All of Psalms 12 is comparing the words of men to the words of God.

    Psa 12:2 They speak vanity every one with his neighbour: with flattering lips and with a double heart do they speak.
    3 The LORD shall cut off all flattering lips, and the tongue that speaketh proud things:
    4 Who have said, With our tongue will we prevail; our lips are our own: who is lord over us?


    Psalms 12 is speaking of the words of men contrasted to the words of God. To teach that he suddenly changes subject and starts talking about preserving poor people is completely out of context with the preceding verses.

    Jesus said we are expected to live by "every" word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matt 4:4). How could a just God expect us to live by every word if he does not provide it?

    This is one of the methods the KJB translators used to weed out error. They did not always go with what was the majority however. They might have 20 texts that includes an extra word, and only 3 that omitted it. However, the 3 that omitted it were shown by early church fathers as correct. In a case like this they might go with what was the minority reading. They had many tests to determine what was correct.

    But I think you have to look beyond all this and simply believe what God said. He said he would preserve his pure word to all generations, so his pure and preserved word must be in the world at all times. We may not exactly understand how he preserved it, but we should take him at his word.

    I do not agree that the scriptures can only be in Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. When Jesus commanded us to go and teach all nations, it is assumed that the scriptures would have to be translated into many languages. It would be ridiculous to believe that we must teach all nations the original langauges.
     
    #5 Winman, Aug 24, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 24, 2010
  6. Jim1999

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    I say the pig is fat. You say that the hog is huge, another says that porky is monstrulously big.

    Every word is true. Every expession is true. Yet, not every word is the same.

    The thought, the idea is absolutely true and the same.......so, every word is true.

    Similarily the Bible has been passed down generation to generation and the concept of the word has been preserved. Every word (concept) is true.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  7. glfredrick

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    Great point, Jim.

    In my group last week, we dealt with word "useage." I asked around the room for definitions or more properly, useages, of the word "run." We did not exhaust the current uses of that word by the time the discussion returned to me. The ideas and doctrines behind the text are what we share down through the ages -- as closely as is humanly possible to the original wording -- yes! Useages (and words) change with the language, but the concepts and doctrines are with us forever. And, yes, "every jot ἰῶτα and tittle" κεραία but I note that we don't use jots and tittles in English... ;)

    From the KJV:

    Mat 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

    Luk 16:17 And it is easier for heaven and earth to pass, than one tittle of the law to fail.


    An interesting point when discussing variant texts of the original languages is that no doctrine of Christianity is changed by any variant. Some sideline issues exist, such as the long ending to Mark or the story of the woman caught in adultery in John 7-8, but those do not effect any doctrine or belief. Each is covered elsewhere sufficiently that if these were not present no harm would come to the understanding we have.

    God has indeed remarkably preserved His Word and makes it available for all to read, process, meditiate, learn, and live. Sadly, down through the ages, it was the Church itself that restricted access to the Word. Not sure why we are now, in a sense, trying to do the same by in-fighting over which is THE correct version when none are perfect. :BangHead:
     
  8. Luke2427

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    But we do know how he did it. No other ancient document in histroy has been preserved as well as the Wrods of God. I think it is true in the abundance of thousands upon thousands of texts we have every single word available to us today.

    What you have to be careful of is saying that the translation of that Word is perfect. It is not because there is no such thing as double inspiration. Translations are man made. Therefore, like their creators, they contain errors.

    The Word of God is not a translation. It is preserved in the superabundance of manuscripts.
     
  9. Amy.G

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    Since I use an English "translation", am I to assume I do not have the word of God?
     
  10. Jim1999

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    When I was overseas with the Canadian army as a chaplain, I once used the Catholic Bible to preach at the chapel. As much as I disagree with Romanism and indeed that copy of the Bible, I did not for one minute think that I wasn't preaching the word of God.

    If you take my post above about the pig, the topic of my sermon was the Pig. I developed the idea that he was indeed large. It didn't matter which version I preached from, the pig remained a pig and it remained large.

    This is the same with all translations. They may employ different words, but the essence is the same.

    Yes, as I hold my King James Version, I am holding the word of God. The same is true when I hold my RSV, Berkley's, NIV or even J.B Philips in modern English.

    Otherwise we are playing with semantics, in my opinion.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  11. Dale-c

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    Amy, you have the word of God. It is a translation of the word of God. If you buy a novel that was written in French, such as Les Miserables but has been translated into English, do you still have the novel Les Miserables?

    I say you do still have the same book.
    However, if there is a dispute as to how a particular word should have been translated you don't consult the english version but the original French version.

    Back to my OP, do you all believe that between every manuscript that we have, every original word is still there?
    Is there a single word that can't be found in any of the manuscripts available today?
     
  12. Amy.G

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    I know that. It was Luke that said a translation is not the word of God. Maybe you should straighten him out. :tongue3:



    There are plenty of words missing from the Critical Text. It has been proven time and time again that the early church fathers quoted from the TR set of manuscripts, therefore making those words valid and not added by later scribes.
     
  13. Baptist Believer

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    My understand exactly, very well stated.
     
  14. rsr

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    I would like to read this proof, since I've seen advocates on both sides of the issue.
     
  15. Luke2427

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    You are to assume the only thing that even begins to make sense and the only thing that all translators acknowledge about their translations-

    that what you have is a translation of the Word of God.

    I think the above Les Miserables illustration is very valid. The English version of the French novel is not the words of Victor Hugo. As a matter of fact the very title of that novel can be translated several ways and has been:
    But what you do have when you hold the translation in your hand is a perfectly accurate and trustworthy representation of the words of Hugo.

    When you hold your King James Bible in your hand, my personal favorite translation btw, you have a reliable translation of the Word of God.

    But when you say the translation is the Word of God you introduce an extrabiblical doctrine known as double inspiration. This is the idea that God inspired the Words perfectly in the original and in the translation. If this is true there can be no errors whatsoever in the Words of the KJV. This is not the case. Neither indeed should it be because God never promises to inspire translations on the same scale as he inspired the originals.
     
    #15 Luke2427, Aug 25, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2010
  16. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Excellent - and as long as we understand that we can say with confidence - this is the word of God.
     
  17. robycop3

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    I say the same about the NKJV, NASV, Geneva, Bishop's Bible, & a few others as well as the KJV. I'm sure people who don't use English say the same about whatever valid version(s) they use.
     
  18. Amy.G

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    There is plenty of information available. I'm sure you can do your own research on the subject.
     
  19. Amy.G

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    But he's not saying that. He's saying you have a "translation" of the word of God, but it's not "THE word of God."
     
  20. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    And I agree. As long as we understand that what we is an accurate translation we can still call it the word of God.

    How could you possibly have THE word in 200 different languages?
     

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