Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Translations or Versions

I often am deeply perturbed by the inaccuracies that I find in the various translations of the Bible. In the post below I share a deliberate mistranslation in the NRSV. The statement of Revelation 13:8 directs the reader to understand that apart from knowing the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world one cannot know of the book of Life that belongs to Him. The words of the text stand as a stark contrast and warning against those who worship the beast and are therefore cut off from the Lamb and His book of Life.

If a translation does not convey this as it stands written, what hope do those who read it have of hearing and learning the truth? Those translations that change what is written are not translations at all and the message that is conveyed in those is really not the intended message but a version of the message. The so-called translators have changed the message to make it their own version of the message.

I find myself inclined to cry out strongly against such things. What else can one do when concerned for the everlasting well being of fellow humans, knowing that the unadulterated good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is absolutely necessary for everlasting salvation, peace, hope, joy, forgiveness, and life?

Yet I also fear that crying out too loudly can leave people in doubt regarding whether or not it is truly possible even to know the truth. Thus I wish also to point to the standby translations that were translated without the intent of changing the message. This is one of the reasons that I have returned to using the King James translation. It is widely circulated throughout the world. It is overall a good translation. While it has some weaknesses, it does convey the message reliably. People can read it with confidence when they are regularly hearing preaching from a pastor who uses the original languages for his preparations and study. And it is in the public domain and can be quoted, printed, and distributed freely.

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