Bible Versions Questions and discussion about the Bible version issue.

 
 
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Old 06-01-2008, 04:16 AM
Truth4Today
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Arrow The Situation We Are In With Bible Versions

The Situation
In my post (A Man With One Watch Knows What Time It Is; A Man With Two Is Never Quite Sure) I talked about a need for a standard as well as having maximum certainty as opposed to maximum uncertainty. Although, it is hard to have or even conceive of a single standard when multiple Versions competing for the front are all accepted as valid. When authors such as Rick Warren, in his book “the Purpose Driven Life” use 15 different versions throughout, what profit of certainty of words can their be? Likewise, when men such as Gordon D. Fee & Douglas Stuart, tell us that we should use several Versions when reading and studying the Bible, what profit will there be? They write, because most don’t know the Biblical languages:

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…the basic tool for reading and studying the Bible is a good English translation, or as will be argued in this chapter, several good English translations… The trouble with using only one translation, be it ever so good, is that one is thereby committed to the exegetical choices of that translation as the Word of God. The translation you are using may be correct, of course; but it also may be wrong. (Reading he Bible For All Its Worth p.28)
They even go so far as to advise us to use several “well-chosen” (as they call them) translations that you know differ:

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The best thing to do is to use translations that one knows in advance will tend to differ. This will highlight where many of the difficult exegetical problems lie. (Reading he Bible For All Its Worth p.29)
I do not take issue with these men’s education or salvation, yet I do oppose their thinking here. Differing Versions will in Biblical terminology minister questions rather than godly edifying. I am not saying here that we should no be aware of exegetical variations or even textual problems. However, using two differing Versions as equal or nearly-so will definitely produce more contention and confusion than peace and certainty.
So, I don’t paint these two men out of context; let me say that they do encourage us to use one Version by saying in the same place:

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First, it is probably a good practice to use one translation, provided it is a really good one. This will aid in memorization, as well as give you consistency.
This is my argument precisely except for the fact that I go so far as to stipulate that we use only one in the arenas of preaching and teaching as well; even to the extent of all areas of controversy. In other words, no matter what Version you use as the standard, in order for it to be a true standard, it must be used exclusively where all others disagree.
Some are thinking at this point that it cannot be that bad. The questions then are asked, “What really is the situation that we as Christians are faced with today? Can it be as bad as you say?” Indubitably it can and is! Particularly speaking it is dreadfully shocking! Rev. D. A. Wait informs us:

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From 1388 through 1991 (604 years), there have been a total of 135 complete English Bibles printed. In addition to these complete Bibles, from 1380 through 1991 (612 years), there have been printed a total of 293 complete English New Testaments… Since there have been 135 complete new Bibles and 293 complete new New Testaments, or a total of 428 Bibles or New Testaments combine throughout these 612 years, it must be concluded that there has been a supper abundance of these documents for the English speaking World! ( DEFENDING THE KING JAMES BIBLE pp. 197, 214)
The 1991 “Catalogue of English Bible Translations” by William J. Chamberlin, list all of these and is one of the most exhaustive works of its kind. Laurence M. Vance’s “A Brief HISTORY Of The English Bible Translations”, the best mini book on the subject, list 292 Bibles. Furthermore, “Quicknotes English Bible Versions” by Phillip W. Comphort, list only 47 Bibles with 43 being after 1611. Compare this to any other language an invariably we can say that their have been a barrage of English Bibles. This multiplication of Bible Versions is practically merciless and almost mischievous. In the words of M.R. Dehaan, a physician who later became a pastor and original head of RBC Ministries:

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Why is all this confusion of tongues limited almost wholly to the English Bible? Other translations in other languages have evidently not needed countless revisions, versions and perversions, translations and dislocations which we poor, ignorant, stupid, English-speaking morons need. It is quite an insult to our meager intelligence that after several hundred attempts to simplify the translation of the Bible we have not yet been able to produce one simple enough for our infantile, English-trained minds to grasp. (Bible Versions and Perversions, Radio Bible Class. Grand Rapids: MI, 1962 p. 12)
The motive for this is partly, and a great part it is, due to the focus on profit margins. There is a wider consumer base among English speaking peoples, therefore, it is far more profitable to cater to them; not to mention that many non-English speaking countries do not have the financial base to pool from in purchasing or even producing new Bibles. You could call this English Version craze “Bible racketeering.” It is the chilling world of business period. Floyd Nolen Jones who asks in Chapter four of his book “Which Version is the Word of God”, Why then are new translations thought necessary? He list five major things one of which is “Greed for money”:

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The majority of modern Bible publishers (not to be confused with Bible Societies) are neither religious organizations nor missionary societies deserving our unqualified trust. Operating in the cold hard world of business, they care not whether their product is a faithful rendering of the true text. Their interest lies along the lines of profit. They are not after the souls of men unto salvation or edification; rather it is their purchasing power which attracts these companies. (p. 88)
If you doubt what you are reading, please take a look at the front of any modern Bible and you will see that it has a copyright label; something that is absent from the King James Authorized Bible. Now, I want to clarify that the King James Authorized Bible does have a Crown Copyright known as the Cum Privilegio. However, this copyright is strictly limited to that of England at lest and perhaps its providences; not to mention that is was not for monetary gain but rather for the exclusive right to print the work as a whole as well as protect its words. This particular copyright does not apply to countries outside of England. The point here is that the King James Bible is not subject to copyright laws that we particularly find in Modern Versions of the Bible. These copyrights not only limit how much of a certain Bible one may reproduce, but also protects it from infringement and more precisely from profiteering off its work. Ergo, Modern Versions profit from these rights and to that end run the risk of chocking truth and faithful translating for elusion of copyright infringements. The words of Jack P. Lewis, a Modern Versionist, are befitting here.

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If one should ask if there are too many translations, the reply must be that the question is really irrelevant. The Translations are here; they are not going away; and they must be dealt with. To hide ones head in the sand will not make the translations disappear; it will not bring back the so-called “good old days” when everyone read one translation. As long as there is financial gain in it, publishers will push translations, old or new. (The English Bible from KJV to NIV: A History and Evaluation. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Baker Book House, 1981 p. 64).
You must understand that Bible Societies are solely on their own. Van Bruggen tells us that they act independently and their activities stem from private initiatives (The Future Of The Bible 1978, p. 59); and as we have seen in a previous quote by Floyd Nolen Jones that the majority of modern Bible publishers are neither religious organizations nor missionary societies. They have their own policies of which are not subject to any orthodox church. So, they just keep going on, translating Bible Version at whim and we are supposed to just accept anything that comes down the pike. Now, this is not to say that they all are not orthodox to whatever degree, but only that their accountability is not to the orthodox churches. As I have said, this is the circumstances we as Christians are faced with relating to the proliferation of English Bibles. There are so many Versions of the Bible that have inundated and flooded the Church that we have been buried under a mountain of confusion.

The Claims, The Products, The Truth
Let us take some time to think through the logic of having multiple Versions. What we encounter fist is the claim of these Versions. Each claims to be the word of God. In fact many of them have “Holy Bible” printed right on their covers. Now, while many may contain the word of God to a greater or lesser degree, they all cannot be considered to be THE word of God (in English). The reason is clear, they all disagree in numerous places to such a degree that they all are different.
• Fact 1: There are a multiplicity of Bible Versions
• Fact 2: All disagree in thousands of places
• Fact 3: All claim to be the “Holy Bible” that is to say the “word of God”
• Conclusion: All cannot be!

Things equal to the same thing are equal to each other. This little piece of truth is used particularly in math by mathematicians. We have all heard the equation, that if a = c and b = c then a = b. Conversely, if a does not = b and b does not = a, then what? If things equal to the same thing, are equal to each other, then things not equal to each other are not equal to the same thing. Thus, if two books both allege to be the “Holy Bible” and yet they disagree with each other considerably, then both cannot be. Yet, what if well over a hundred books laid claim to the title “Holy Bible”, and at the same time varied greatly from one another in a vast many places, then what? Forlorn to say, they all cannot lay claim to the same title; they may be considered commentaries, though not held in the place of the standard. This is the situation that we as Christians of the 20th century are faced with. A smorgasbord of books, avow to be the “Holy Bible,” but for so many that is as far as it goes. They PROFESS, but they ARE NOT what they profess and maintain to be. This should siren uneasiness and alarm in Christians today! This should at the very slightest prompt Christians to ask, “Why so many Versions?” or “Why so many differences?” However, the distressing fact is that, many Christians seem not to care.

I know that this is a generalization; for many of the Bibles produced due contain in one degree or another the word of God, but in principle it makes prefect sense. You cannot have two “Holy Bibles” that are not the same. For clarification, be it remembered here that I am discussing that of having a standard Bible; one Bible used to promote unity, and resolve disputes and conflicts. I am quite aware that there do exist many cases in which something can be expressed in different ways without detracting pre-say from the actual meaning or idea.

Do we forfeit having a standard to accommodate so-called clarity; a clarity that really is not any clearer at all and that should be left to the commentating of the teacher, preacher, and Pastor as they clarify its meaning to their congregations?
What is the product of the assortment of multiple Bible Versions?
• Fact 1: There are a multiplicity of Bible Versions
• Fact 2: All disagree in thousands of places
• Conclusion: Confusion

How can any one have any certainty as to what God said, when all, the so-called “Holy Bibles” vary to such a great extent? It is said that man with one watch knows what time it is, but a man with two watches is not quite sure. Have you ever, while at work, looked at your watch and then looked at the clock on the wall to find out that they do not agree. You, like me, have either blamed one or the other for being too slow or too fast. Why; because, to have two different times is confusing? I know that and you know that!


We must have and keep a standard! If we want to possess unity and guard against division we must have one umpire of all controversy to settle disputes and strife. Do you not see the need for this? However, which Bible should be the Standard English Bible? I believe it should be the King James Authorized Bible! James R. White, modern version promoter, says:

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It is argued that unless we embrace the KJV as our ‘final authority,’ we have no final authority at all, and hence all is subjectivity and uncertain. People do not want subjectivity, but desire certainty and clarity, and so we must hold to the ‘traditional’ text. This argument is extremely powerful and should not be underestimated. (White, James R. The King James Only Controversy: Can You Trust the Modern Translations? Minneapolis, Minnesota: Bethany House Publishers, 1995 pp.93-94)
Now, he does go on trying to refute it, yet he does acknowledge its potency.
What is the truth concerning this barrage of Bibles?
• Fact #1: There are a multiplicity of Bible Versions.
• Facts #2: All claim to be the “Holy Bible” that is to say the “Word of God.”
• Fact #3: All disagree in thousands of places.
• Fact #4 Two contradicting statements cannot both be true.
• Conclusion: One is true the rest false.

It only makes sense the two contradicting statements cannot both be true. Every Bible claiming to be the “Holy Bible” cannot be telling the truth. For things equal to the same thing are equal to each other, things not equal to each other are not equal to the same thing. Thus, if two Bible Versions claim to be the “Holy Bible,” and yet disagree in thousands of places, then one is not telling the whole truth. Many Modern Versions may be good commentaries or great helps in some way in studying the Bible, but they can not claim to be the Bible.

The Authorized Bible
Their exist many changes and/or differences in Modern Versions as compared to the King James Authorized Bible. For many of them, the reason is the particular Greek Text used as their foundation, it is substantially different from that which underlies our Authorized Bible. Some 3,000 words are omitted from the Modern Greek text alone, not to mention that all together (subtractions, additions, and modifications) some 10,000 words are affected. Now these totals do not take into account the untold numbers of changes due to translational differences.

Conclusion: Why the King James Bible
As we have seen on a basic level, the range of multiple Bible Versions, fail miserable short, from the work of God almighty. In light of the present confusion caused by existence of multiple Bibles positioning for authority; it would seem to coincide better with Satan’s work of confusion. The enemy will stop at nothing to blind men’s minds to God’s Word (2Cor. 4:4), and if simple confusion will produced this, all the better. With so many variously assorted Bible Versions, producing a perplexingly muddled commotion, as to what God has said; where does one even begin in this band of baffling bewilderment? With all this cluttered confusion it seems very hard to have any certainty. The result is lucid, and further falls in line with Satan’s tactics, for where there is no certainty, there is no authority but self.


__________________________________

- “One accurate measurement is worth more than a thousand expert opinions”

- “...this is the Word of God; come, search, ye critics, and find a flaw; examine it, from its Genesis to its Revelation, and find an error... This is the book untainted by any error; but is pure, unalloyed, perfect truth. Why? Because God wrote it. Ah! charge God with error if you please; tell him that his book is not what it ought to be. I have heard men, with prudish and mock-modesty, who would like to alter the Bible; and (I almost blush to say it) I have heard ministers alter God's Bible, because they were afraid of it... Pity they were not born when God lived far—far back that they might have taught God how to write.” Charles Haddon Spurgeon (Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 1: Sermon II p. 31)

- “If, therefore, any do complain that I have sometimes hit my opponents rather hard, I take leave to point out that 'to everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the sun' : 'a time to embrace, and a time to be far from embracing' : a time for speaking smoothly, and a time for speaking sharply. And that when the words of Inspiration are seriously imperilled, as now they are, it is scarcely possible for one who is determined effectually to preserve the Deposit in its integrity, to hit either too straight or too hard.” Dean John William Burgon (The Revision Revised. pp. vii-viii)
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Old 06-01-2008, 05:47 AM
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Textual differences also exist in all editions of the Textus Receptus, and probably no two Bibles based on the/any Textus Receptus agree: differences may be found between the King James Bible and the other good English Bibles that preceded it, and differences (as well as translation differences) can be found in the best Bibles of other languages.

Which one is the standard? Which one is perfect?

It is the King James Bible, what Edward Hills called an independent variety of the Textus Receptus.

Yet slight differences in letters and punctuation even exist between King James Bible editions.

Therefore there must be one exactly accurate and perfect presentation of the King James Bible. Why? Because God is a God of certainty and perfection.

Even though Hills said, "any one of them may be used by a Bible-believing Christian" (and that has been quite acceptable), he himself admitted not having a full knowledge of matters, but a providential deference: "Today our chief concern must be to create a climate of Christian thought and learning which God can use providentially should the need for such a new English version ever arise. This would insure that only the English wording would be revised and not the underlying Hebrew and Greek text." It has turned out it was one edition of the King James Bible which existed from (as is supposed) before Hills was even born, which is God's providentially appointed final edition, and the final form of the Word of God for the world. This is the real “new English version”, which requires men to change to it, rather than the Word to conform to the world. If ye will receive it!
 

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