Recently another poster included a link to a website, which I followed. The question "shouldn't we value the original autographs above any mere translation?" was the title of one of the very first articles I happen to read there. http://av1611.com/kjbp/faq/originals.html The question proposes an interesting hypothetical situation. I would suppose that if an authentic canonical autograph were to be discovered that it would indeed be valued both as a historic artifact and for its original content above any written translation. But the website begins -- To put it bluntly: If God wanted us to value the originals above any other form of the Bible, why did He allow them to disappear into the dust of history? In regards to a translation: if you believe that the original languages are to be valued above an English translation, it is your duty, as an obedient child of God, to learn those languages so that you may read God's word. First, the implication that God could have no possible reason to allow the autographs to vanish is false. I can immediately think of two problems that actually having an autograph might cause: 1) there could be the tendency to idolize the relic, and 2) the possessor of the relic might somehow exploit the power of ownership (this was somewhat the case with the 'Dead Sea scroll' findings). I'm sure the Lord has better reasons than mine. Then, in the website comment there is a sudden shift from "original autographs" to "original languages". The statement "if you believe that the original languages are to be valued above an English translation..." is an entirely different question. In order to continue, we must assume that by "original languages" the website means Hebrew and Greek manuscripts. Now, we can compare documents (MSS) to documents (translations) only because God didn't allow all the MSS to disappear into the dust. So, the question might be asked: are ancient language manuscripts more textually valuable than translated texts? Yes! Certainly, faithfully translated text can only aspire to accurately reflect its' source text. The translation work might fall short of this goal, but it is impossible to exceed that goal. An exact duplicate cannot be 'more genuine' than the original, much less a modified copy (which is what a translation is). The limit is perfection, just as a bowler cannot exceed a score of 300 in a single game. The result of reading from a Greek New Testament can be no more accurate than the reader's own grasp of the Greek language (perhaps with readily available assistance);but the result of reading from an English translation (based on a GNT) can be no more accurate than the reader's own grasp of the English language (with assistance) PLUS the translator's grasp of the Greek AND English languages. If the translation is done properly then the difference should be minimal. The primary difference being that the translated page cannot conveniently expound or expand upon the exact meaning for unequal terms or structure directly within its' text. Therefore, a knowledgeable reader of Greek could theoretically get a fuller understanding of a Greek text than any English reader could from a typical translation of the same text (even a really accurate rendering). The problem is that there are many more variables occurring during reading comprehension, easily exemplified by the fact that often several readers/translators will arrive at different interpretations from precisely the same text. Thirdly, where is the Biblical support for this statement: "... it is your duty, as an obedient child of God, to learn those languages so that you may read God's word"? The website did not offer any scripture references or logical explanation. Then just as suddenly as it once left the topic, the website returns to the initial question of autographa with quotes from a passage from Sam Gipp's The Answer Book.