BIBLE LANGUAGES: • Old Testament: Hebrew (with some Aramaic) - no vowels in Hebrew! • New Testament: Greek • Greek is a more expressive language than English (“perfect” tense indicates a past action with present results). John 3:16 - Ïœôùò ãNñ zãÜðçóåí ¿ èå’ò ô’í êüóìïí, ªóôå ô’í õj’í ô’í ìïíïãåíy häùêåí, líá ðOò ¿ ðéóôåýùí åkò ášô’í ìx Pðüëçôáé PëëE h÷w æùxí ákþíéïí. • The Bible was never written in English. It has to be translated into English.
CONSIDER: The Bible was originally written using 11,280 Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek words but the average English translation has only 6,000 words. Note: All languages have limitations.
“OUR QUEER ENGLISH LANGUAGE” We’ll begin with box; the plural is boxes, But the plural of ox is oxen, not oxes. One fowl is a goose, but two are called geese, Yet the plural of mouse is not ever meese. You may find a lone mouse, or a whole nest of mice, But the plural of house is still never hice. If the plural of man is always men Why shouldn’t the plural of pan be pen? If I speak of a foot and you show me two feet, And I give you a boot, would a pair be called beet?
HOW WAS THE BIBLE PASSED DOWN? • No original copies of the Bible still exist today. • Copies were made and passed on from generation to generation. • Copies vary in tiny details but scholars have a refined process of validating a text. • Copies available: • 5,000 Greek texts • 8,000 Latin texts • 1,000 texts in other ancient languages. • Many texts are prior to A.D. 400.
QUESTIONS? • WHY SO MANY TRANSLATIONS? The Bible was written to be understood (Rev. 1:3). God leads people to make His Word understandable for the people of every generation. • IS ANY TRANSLATION INSPIRED (PERFECT)? No. The original writings were inspired by God. Translations are a good-faith effort by fallible humans to provide what God has said. Every translation can be improved.
WHAT IS: • A translation? Effort to transfer the meaning of a word in one language into another language. Example: King James, NIV, NASV, Holman • A paraphrase? Effort to relate my interpretation of what the author meant. Examples: Living Bible, Message.
THREE TYPES OF TRANSLATIONS: • Word for word (KJV, NKJV, NASB, ASV) • Thought for thought (NLT, NCV) • Bridge – tries to accomplish both (NIV, Holman)
WORD FOR WORD (KJV, NKJV, NASB, ASV) • Advantage: Very literal, gives you the truest sense of what was actually written. • Disadvantage: Very difficult to read. • Example: “For in such a manner did God love the world, insomuch that His Son, the uniquely begotten One, He gave, in order that everyone who places his trust in Him may not perish but may be having life eternal.” (John 3:16 by Wuest) • Example: “Having therefore been justified by faith, peace we are having with God through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (Romans 5:1 by Wuest)
EXAMPLES OF “THOUGHT FOR THOUGHT” • Romans 6:2 – God is not even mentioned in the Greek verse but how better to express the thought? “May it never be” isn’t quite forceful enough! • Romans 5:1: Which is easier to comprehend? • Therefore, since we have been made right in God’s sight by faith, we have peace with God because of what Jesus Christ our Lord has done for us. (NLT) • Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. (KJV)
MATTHEW 27:45-46 • At noon the whole country became dark, and the darkness lasted for three hours. 46About three o’clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” This means, “My God, my God, why have you rejected me?” (NCV) • Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. 46And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (KJV)
JOHN 5:24 • Verily, verily, I say unto you…(KJV) • “I tell you the truth…” (NCV) • “I assure you…” (NLT) • “Truly, truly, I say to you… (NASV) • “Most assuredly, I say to you…” (NKJV)
I CORINTHIANS 6:9 • Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind…(KJV) • Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders… (NIV) • Those who indulge in sexual sin, who are idol worshipers, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals… (NLT)
I JOHN 2:1-2 • And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. (NASV) • But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense—Jesus Christ, the Righteous One. He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world. (NIV) • But if you do sin, there is someone to plead for you before the Father. He is Jesus Christ, the one who pleases God completely.He is the sacrifice for our sins. He takes away not only our sins but the sins of all the world. (NLT) The translation which does the best for you in this verse may not do the best for you in another verse.
TRANSLATION KEYS: • Translations are not inspired; only the original writings are inspired. • Translations are works of man; the original writings are a work of God. • Translations can be in error. However, no error is great enough to affect your salvation or your key beliefs. • All translations must compromise between word-for-word and thought-for-thought in order to be understood. • Jesus used a not-so-good translation called the Septuagint (200 B.C.) so be careful in ridiculing other translations.
INTERESTING 1611 KJV FACTS: • Contained the Apocrypha including the “prayer for the dead” (2 Maccabees 12:43-45). • The REAL 1611 KJV had verses that are worded differently from today's KJVs • Ruth 3:15 - "...and he went into the city." Today's KJV reads "...and she went into the city." “He” & “She” versions. • Psalm 69:32- "...and your heart shall liue that seeke goode." Today's KJV reads, "...and your heart shall live that seek God." • Jeremiah 34:16 - "...and euery man his handmaide, whom yee had set at libertie...." Today's KJV reads, "...and every man his handmaid, whom he had set at liberty...."
Verse divisions were not included in the Bible until 1560 A.D. REAL BIBLE TRIVIA:
GOD DESIGNED THE BIBLE TO BE UNDERSTOOD! VERY BASIC RULE:
HONEST ISSUES ABOUT THE KJV: • “Why isn’t it good enough for everyone else? I grew up with it!” • No one uses the 1611 KJV because no one can read it. • We use the revised 1769 KJV (fifth revision). • Some “sects” or “cults” treat the KJV as God’s second edition of the Bible, ie. God corrected all the other Bibles. This borders on heresy. Even the KJV translators recognized their work was just a translation (Rev 22:18-19).
TWO QUESTIONABLE PASSAGES: • John 8 and Mark 16 are missing from some important manuscripts. • Most translations/reference Bibles indicate there are important questions about these verses. • Two points: • If we omit each passage it does not change any of our beliefs. Our beliefs are based on multiple passages where there is no doubt. • If we keep each passage it does not change any of our beliefs because each passage is in keeping with the rest of the Bible. • Result: I can preach either passage without fear because both sound like the Jesus I know! • Let the scholars wrestle with the problem! Not me!
WHAT TO LOOK FOR: • Something you can understand! • Is it a translation or a paraphrase? • Isaiah 7:14 – every use of this word in the Old Testament can refer only to a virgin. • The Holman Translation will likely become the SBC standard by 2010. • My preference: a thought-for-thought translation is great for easy reading; a word-for-word translation is great for deep Bible study. • I use seven translations in my sermon study.