About Bible Translations

In all probability your home has a least one bible in it, do you know where it is? Why don’t you go and get it while I wait…? I thought this would be a good time for me to throw in my two cents on bible translations. The Holy Bible has come down to us according to the divine providence of God.

Some common translations,
KJV – King James (Authorized) Version
NKJV – New King James Version
NASB – New American Standard Version
ESV – English Standard Version
NLT – New Living Translation
NIV – New International Version
GNB – Good News Bible

Incredibly, the bible has come down to us as God’s divinely inspired written word, by over (40) authors spanning 2000+ years. This is no mere book; it is the living Word of God which He has preserved throughout the centuries. Perhaps you are asking why am I bringing this up? Because I don’t want you to be misled by the endless arguments on the Internet, over which version/translation is the “best”.

If you are a new Christian and already have a bible, may I suggest you stay away from these fruitless discussions for at least (1) year; do not give the Devil opportunity to place doubt in your mind.Yes, there are some differences, but provided it is a common translation, you can trust it to be a faithful translation of God’s word into English. God is quite capable of preserving His word across all languages and translations. In all things let prayer go before you and the Spirit be your guide.

Note – You should avoid publications and bibles from both the Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons (and a few others), since these groups  do not believe in the eternal divinity of Jesus Christ – do not believe them!

Speaking of the original biblical languages of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek – “Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost” I Peter 1:19-20, KJV.

Do not be deceived my the lies of men, the Holy Scriptures were faithfully recorded by men under the direct inspiration of the Holy Spirit; the words are not their own, rather those of God!

Isaiah further records, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:8-11, ESV

Do you understand what this means? God, through His Spirit, caused the ancient prophet Isaiah to write, “…so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose…”

Simple translated, “God knows precisely what He is doing, His word was not recorded in vain, and will be used to fulfill His purpose; to redeem lost souls through His Son, Jesus Christ.”

The reader will appreciate the impossible task of perfectly translating ancient languages into contemporary, modern English, while capturing the modern nuances and peculiarities inherent to all languages. Thought for thought (paraphrases) such as the Good News Bible and New Living Translation, make no attempt to translate the Greek, Aramaic, or Hebrew literally, rather their intent is to capture the thoughts, or what is being said. At the other end of the translation spectrum lies literal, word for word translations, while more precise, can be difficult to read. Both styles seek to accurately and faithfully translate God’s word, albeit in different ways using complementary methodologies. 

My primary bible is the King James Bible because it was what I used growing up, and I find the “old” English easy to read and understand. Personally, I find the newer translations somewhat difficult, being so used to the poetry of the KJV, although I am warming up to the GNB and NLT! There is an a old saying among photographers, “the best camera is one with you”, likewise, the “best” bible translation is the “one you will read!”.

May His Spirit guide you, pray on!

 

Blessings,

 

“But the word of the Lord endureth forever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.” 1 Peter 1:25, KJV

 

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