The topic of Bible translations often produces a lot of questions and even some misunderstanding. You might not have ever thought much about which translation you use. Or, you may have given it a lot of thought. Based off of some of the comments I’ve heard and conversations I’ve had, there seems to be to be a lot of misinformation, misunderstanding and in some cases just ignorant opinions. (Remember, ignorance is just a lack of information). I think it would be good over the next few posts to share some thoughts on translations. Let’s just start with the basics.
There is no perfect translation. It’s just not possible for man to perfectly translate God’s word from the original languages. There are several reasons for this. Just think about it logically. Languages don’t match up exactly. So there may be a Hebrew word that doesn’t have an exact equivalent in English. Or likewise, Greek to English. So we have to come as close as possible. It doesn’t mean that we don’t have an accurate translation – just not a perfect one. We’ve also got to consider people’s inherent bias and opinions. As much as a group of translators may try to avoid it, whenever there is a point of contention or disagreement, someone’s opinion or point of view will win out.
Now, since there are no perfect translations, it’s not possible to have an inspired or “authorized” translation. I’ve actually heard it said that “I prefer this or that translation because it’s the true authorized and inspired translation”. There is just no such thing. The men who wrote the letters that make up the Bible were inspired men. And as a result, what they wrote was inspired. Because of this, each translation of what they wrote is the inspired Word of God. Not one more so than another.
Because it’s impossible for any particular translation to be inspired, we’ve got to understand that there will be mistakes in every translation. After all, if man has touched it, it’s not going to be perfect. Don’t misunderstand and think that we don’t have an accurate translation. We have plenty of accurate translations available. Again, we just don’t have a perfect translation.
These are just a few thoughts to get us started. I’ll share more over the course of the next few posts. If you have any specific questions, please send me an email or respond to the post, and I’ll do my best to answer them. Blessings!