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Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Why Most of Our Major Bible Translations Can Be Trusted

Edited 22 Jan 2011 and 9th Nov 2014.  See Additions At bottom of this article

This follows on from the debate about the reliability of the NKJV. For those reading the debate (who are not believers and do not know whether they can trust the Bible) please refer to my article within this shortcut link. Please click on  How The Bible Was Put Together and Proving Why It IS The Inspired Inerrant Word Of God 
That article is referring to the original manuscripts of the Bible. The MAJOR translations or versions from these manuscripts up to about 1980 may have some superficial differences, but basically all say the same things and can be trusted as inspired by God.  The above link gives evidence why the Bible can be trusted to be the Divine Word Of God.

Up until the last 30 years or so, virtually all versions (or translations) were taken directly from the original manuscripts and painstakingly translated word by word, into the versions we have, and done with a real devotion and reverence for God and His Word. The link proves why the original manuscripts are reliable. I have also compared all the major
versions (those which are direct translations from the original manuscripts) and see little difference in them. Certainly nothing of significance.

The differences are generally minor and definitely do not distort the overall and underlying (important) message of the Bible. The major issues in the bible (regarding the build up to how and why to be saved) are not in contradiction. The elementary teachings of the Word are consistent in all those versions, ie the simple doctrines.

It seems to me that when we get into the "meat" of the Word and study certain (maybe less important issues) doctrines then this is where slight variations could affect the way we interpret.  The answer is to compare the different versions and most importantly compare scripture with scripture.

This means comparing passages in other parts of the bible and compare it with the passage you are reading so as to arrive at the correct interpretation.

Addition 22 Jan 2011 
I personally recommend the following as trustworthy: KJV, NKJV, NASB (also known as NASV) and NIV 1984 version (only the 1984 version, see notes below)

As an example of the way that false versions are appearing in order to make the bible more "current" or "relevant" or "more politically correct" or even simply watering it down, I recently discovered the new NIV 2010 version (which is in NO WAY to be trusted in the same way as the 1984 version) and its false translations. I wrote about it on this following article. Please click on it  Bible NIV 2010 Version ALERT

Addition 9th Nov 2014
Here is a good video showing the intensive care and meticulousness that went into the copying of the original scrolls to ensure that everything written was 100% a true copy of the original, without error. 


Tony Cox said...

Can you please let me know what your issue with the NIV was or is?

Just curious, want to be accurate on my end when I discuss with others.

John Chingford said...

Hi Tony

I made some further changes on the previous posting. Did you read the latest revised? That may answer your question.

My only issue with NIV is that it "is said" that KJV is more accurate.

For most of my Christian life I have read the NIV because I was told (when first introduced) that it was more accurate than KJV and other versions because it incorporated the dead sea scrolls within it. As the dead sea scrolls are older manuscripts than those previously used, I assumed that they were more accurate as they were dated close to Bible times.

It was also stated that there was very little difference between the dead sea scrolls and the newer manuscripts which went to show how reliable the copying process had been over the centuries and how God had preserved the scriptures.

Therefore, I believed the NIV could be trusted. However, it IS good to compare versions to understand why the minor differences are there. I haven't found that much significance in the differences, really.

As far as what version is best? I really do not know as I am not a specialist on the subject. I do know that the NIV (which does contain the very Word of God) is still VERY "powerful unto salvation for all who believe". It is still "quick and powerful sharper than any two edged sword"

Tony Cox said...

Hi John,

Yes, I read all your latest posts - it is one of the first things I do in the morning as part of my usual routine.

Thank you again for all the time and effort you put into your articles, research and responses.

John Chingford said...

Your welcome. I am very happy to put the time in, if it means being a tool in God's hands to bless.

What I write on my comments (in response)is designed for whoever may read it.

So, although I am very happy to answer all questions and will continue doing the research, I also hope I can help to equip/enable others in their research. I hope I can help them as follows:

1. how to do their own research
2. what to look for and why
3. where to look for it.