Monday, April 13, 2015

Deception, thy name is "Modern Bible Translations"!

Hi ______,

I've looked through both of the sheets you handed me on KJV vs. other versions (including the NIV). I'd be glad to meet with you sometime and talk about translations--it's a topic I enjoy!

I think I'll be able to supply some of the history of *why* folks have gotten so riled up about the "Authorized" KJV and subsequent translations.

There are valid reasons to prefer one translation over another, but the papers that I have here (one is called "Titles of Jesus Omitted in the NIV" & the other is a table showing omitted portions of scripture in modern translations)  are not ones that I'd recommend for making that choice, unless you are already wanting KJV to be the only right translation and are looking for reasons to support the viewpoint.

Go gentle on it.  No mainstream Bible translation was made by bad people with ill intent.  They've each added to our understanding of the original scriptures and the Kingdom benefits from each contribution of translation work.

I'm glad the work of understanding scripture is fluid, because if we were only allowed to read from the earliest English translations (based on the idiom and scholarship they had available to them in the 1500s), our scriptures would be less intelligible and accurate than they are today.  We, the Church, benefit from continued translation work, and the story of English translations is not even done yet. :)

When looking into the specific cases mentioned in these papers, I found this page helpful (regarding scripture omissions):

And any time I need to read Anglicized Greek to tease out the original texts, I love this tool:

My goal, if we do meet, isn't to change your mind about which scripture translation you want to most-often read, but to help you relax your position as it relates to the "liberal" translations.  I write this knowing that even the word "liberal" has strongly negative connotations for many folks, but I'm using the word here because that's how such translations are characterized by some fear-based, conservative authors and it's best to face such criticism head on.  I'll take the position that  modern/liberal translations add to the accuracy and intelligibility of scripture and should not be dismissed as flawed just because they render the Greek/Hebrew differently from the translations of the past.

Grins!  I'll only do this if I can still be your friend at the end of the day.

~Pastor Tim