God is omnipotent, would not He preserve a true text of His Word for His children?
There is too many Bibles….. & people ask, “which one is the Word of God?” Man keeps trying to create the “original autographs” & look where it has got them……Confusion. Pretty soon there will be as many Bibles as there is denomonations. Is there one true Bible today?
Well, I should know better by now than to open this can of worms, but I get so many people asking (baiting?) me, I’ll go ahead and put my neck on the chopping block.
Yes, God has preserved His message. We do have access and knowledge of every doctrine of God DESPITE the confusion of “which translation is best”.
The fact that we DO have all of God’s message DESPITE the confusion and controversy, confirms the point I want make: God can, and has, preserved His message no matter what man does.
Is there ONE true text or version? Yes.
The true, “authorized”, Christ-approved text is……….. the ORIGINAL Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek manuscripts, scrolls and tablets.
All the arguments for subsequent translations as the “one and only, God-authorized version”, are man’s opinion, PERIOD.
There is no disputing this fact. Why? Because God has not revealed in Scripture by prophecy a future “authorized” translation past the originals. There is NO prophecy in Scripture that declares a certain future translation would be “the one”.
If the King James 1611 is the “Christ-authorized” version, as is vehemently claimed by some, then I guess the Chinese, Africans and Indians, etc. are out of luck unless they learn English, and not just English, but an old unused dialect of English at that.
Other languages cannot duplicate the Kings James vernacular and vocabulary; other languages have to go back to the originals and translate Scripture into their own dialect. If they go back to the same manuscripts as used by the KJV 1611 translators, is that version any less approved by God?
Of course, a Chinese Bible translated from the Textus Receptus would not be the “King James 1611” version. So would it be “Satan’s tool” as is so often declared by KJV-only supporters? Is God partial to white English Europeans? I guess we (white European descendants) lucked out that God made the “one true, Christ-authorized version” in our language. Of course, most of us can hardly read and understand King James English, but that is beside the point to KJV only folks.
I AM NOT SINGLING OUT AND PICKING ON THE KJV 1611 CROWD ON PURPOSE, BUT THEY ARE THE MOST VOCAL, MOST ADAMANT AND MOST CONDEMNING OF THOSE WHO ARGUE THIS ISSUE.
I have been called “Satan’s messenger” and denied any chance of salvation over this issue more times than I can recall. So let me state clearly: The King James is a GREAT version. Maybe the best. Definitely one of the best.
It has some textual problems and was certainly influenced by the political and religious climate in England at the time. There are many translation inconsistencies and difficulties BUT THE MESSAGE AND DOCTRINES OF GOD COME THROUGH UNSCATHED.
There are textual and translation problems with all the standard versions… NIV, RSV, NASB… pick one. BUT THE MESSAGE AND DOCTRINES OF GOD ARE COMMUNICATED CLEARLY as a general rule. There are arguments (some valid) that certain doctrines (“the blood”, “the Trinity” for example) are weakened or missing in certain versions but not absent.
We could argue all day long about which version IS BEST, or which version’s translators had the most “problems” in their lives or had spurious motives… but it doesn’t change the fact that the versions do exist, and they aren’t going anywhere.
THERE ARE BAD VERSIONS. Some versions are deliberate attempts to change Scripture to promote a false religion, such as the New World Translation. But these translations are easily identifiable, and are not part of the this ongoing debate about “which standard translation is best”.
There are many paraphrases of Scripture today that range from “butcher jobs” to “decent”. Paraphrases should NEVER be used for serious study, and are good only for casual reading at best. In my opinion, a paraphrase should NOT be your standard Bible and should only be a small portion of your reading if any.
MY PRIMARY POINT is that God is quite powerful enough to preserve His Message even through the hands of fallible translators and copyists; even through political agendas; even through immoral men; even through religious conspiracies and even through Satan’s efforts to distort the Word.
So what’s a Christian to do?
First of all, remove yourself from the divisiveness and strife of “this translation only”. Entire churches are dedicated and separated to this cause primarily. The Lord is surely sickened that His children war and fight and cast each other out of God’s Kingdom over these man-made battle lines.
Second, get a version of each standard translation, and a good Greek Keyword Study Bible. This will allow you to study the keywords in each verse and discover the ORIGINAL meaning of the word in the original language. Examine verses in each translation noting the difference and going back to the Greek definitions to clarify meaning.
You will have more than you need to properly read and understand God’s Word.
Also, let me repeat loud, long and clear….. it is a pitifully weak God Who cannot sustain and preserve His Divine Message even through the fallible and questionably-motivated efforts of man. It is pitifully weak men who make a Bible translation a test of salvation.
God has preserved His message across the spectrum of standard translations of different times, different languages, different cultures, different agendas and different men.
If you are convicted that the King James is the best version, THEN USE IT! And let God deal with everyone else. It’s like I tell my teenagers all the time, “you worry about what I’m telling you. I’m quite capable of dealing with your brother and sister all by myself without your help”.
You do what God tells you. God is quite capable of dealing with other Christians on this matter. Shame, shame, shame on Christians who deny fellowship and salvation to those who don’t use “their version” of the Bible! The Bible only declares ONE test of salvation, and it’s NOT a Bible version test!
Now let me close with this:
Every standard translation clearly states the “Great Commission”… to share the Gospel and make disciples of all the world.
If Christians invested as much effort in fulfilling this commission as we do in arguing with each other, and deciding ways to deny salvation to each other… we would turn the world upside down.
Less than 2% of Christians will share their faith, and disciple (teach) someone in any given year. When is the last time you did (no matter which Bible translation you are holding)?