Monday, May 30, 2016

HOW MANY TIMES HAS THE BIBLE BEEN REWRITTEN? Has The Bible Been Revised Or Is The Bible The Literal Authoritative Living Word Of God? If It has been revised, why is this the case? One would think that if the Bible needed revision it was not written by anyone with real authority. Put a copy in the mailbox and it would be considered junk mail.

Harry RichesHappy Riches answers

The actual original question: "How many times has the bible been revised and why has it been resived [sic]?"
The Bible has been revised a number of times. But methinks that maybe you want to know how many times the Bible has been altered so that it means something different than what was originally recorded.
One of the remarkable facts about the Old Testament is that scribes scrupulously copied it over the centuries so as to keep it from being corrupted. The reverence attributed to the Holy Scriptures by worshipers of God was such that scribes did not dare alter it. However, minor textual errors have crept into its pages, but these are of the kind that we find in your question: when you write: “Why has it been resived?”  Unless a person is an idiot, no one should misunderstand that you mean “revised” and not “resived”.
Here is an example from the Biblical Archaeological Society of an error that has crept into the text but when compared with the more ancient Dead Sea Scrolls, although written in Greek and not Hebrew, we can see what is really meant:
When the infant Samuel had been weaned and his mother, Hannah, finally came to Shiloh with her son, she also brought with her an offering for the Lord that is described in two ways in our textual sources. According to the Masoretic Text, she brought “three bulls,” but according to the Septuagint and a Qumran scroll (4QSama from 50–25 B.C.E.) she brought one “three-year-old bull.”
I believe that Hannah probably offered only a single bull (as in the Septuagint and 4QSama); supporting this choice is the next verse in the Masoretic Text which speaks about “the bull.” I believe the Masoretic Text was textually corrupted when the continuous writing (without spaces between words) of the original words prm/shlshh (literally: “bulls three”) underlying the Septuagint was divided wrongly to pr mshlsh (“three-year-old bull”).*
The evidence of the Septuagint, being in Greek, always depends on a reconstruction into Hebrew, and consequently the Qumran scroll here helps us in deciding between the various options. Incidentally an offering of a “three-year-old bull” is mentioned in Genesis 15:9. It shows that a Hebrew text underlying the Septuagint once existed in which Hannah brought only one three-year-old bull.
Much of the Bible has been revised in this regard when textual uncertainties have been verified. This is putatively the reason for many revisions of the Bible; however, methinks the real reason is that publishers looking to make more money from selling Bibles. This is especially the case when it comes to those Bibles that tend to move away from the original texts, such as the paraphrased versions—although the paraphrased The Living Bible was the Bible I initially used because I found the King James Version (KJV) difficult to read. The KJV actually turned me away from reading the Bible and seeking God.
When I was introduced to the Revised Standard Version (RSV), I memorized Scripture from this Bible. I have found the RSV to be an accurate translation that is still relevant in today’s English. People have issues with it on some very minor points, because they believe that the KJV is the Living Word of God or the Literal Word of God, rather than what it is really: a translation from the original languages with a heavy Calvinist influence. However, even with the doctrinal leanings of the KJV towards Calvinist teachings, when one considers the verses within their natural context, the true meaning still shines through.
One of the reasons for Bible revisions is so that it is free flowing and not verse specific. This makes the Bible easier reading, although problematic when it comes to understanding certain elements of truth. The KJV style of separating each verse is problematic in that people tend to divorce Scriptures from context as they memorize one verse here and another verse from elsewhere. Whereas, when I began memorizing the Bible, I would memorize chapters or major portions of the chapter and this kept the verses in context. This led me to discover that many people were falsely interpreting the Scriptures because they were taking verses out of context to support their doctrines or pet theories. The fact there are so many different doctrines is one of the reasons people think that the Bible has been revised, when in fact the message is intact, even in paraphrased versions.
Essentially, then, what I am saying is even though the Bible has been revised, and I am aware of this, this has not posed any difficulty for me. This is because all Bibles bear witness to Jesus Christ and once we know Him and we have received the Holy Spirit, and begin praying for the truth, we begin to find that our lives need to align with what the Bible says is morally correct for us to do. The message is that we are sinners who are heading for death and eternal punishment if we do not acknowledge that we need to change our ways. We are powerless to do this without the help of the Lord God. By seeking Him out, we are able to resist the Evil One and allow the Lord our God to become our deliverer. This message permeates the Bible. This is the message of the Bible. This message has been in every Bible I have read, even those that have been corrupted on purpose, such as The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures (1984).
The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures  has since been revised (2013) and in one place where it was purposely corrupted, although claiming to be an accurate translation of the original Greek, this has been changed.
  1. and that from infancy you have known the holy writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through the faith in connection with Christ Jesus. (1984)
  2. and that from infancy you have known the holy writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. (2013)
As you no doubt realize there is a big difference in meaning between “obtaining salvation through the faith in connection with Christ Jesus” and “securing salvation through faith in Christ Jesus”.
The phrase “obtain salvation through the faith in connection with” means that “the faith” is where the salvation is obtained—but this is not through Christ Jesus. The words “the faith” here mean the doctrines of the Jehovah Witnesses. Just like the Mormons promote their teachings in the book of Mormon rather than use the Bible. Or like Calvinists promote their TULIP doctrines and the Bible as the Literal Living Word of God, rather than obtaining salvation through faith in Lord Jesus Christ.
Even though the Jehovah Witnesses’ The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures has its corruptions, which I have frequently pointed out to those whom I have encountered, I am amazed to find one correction in their 2013 revision. I have not read the entire 2013 revision, but I note that they still have “the Word was a God” instead of “the Word was God” in John 1:1 and are still flogging the idea that Jesus is a demi-god, and have some weird wording in Colossians 1:19. Instead of simply saying, “in Him the fullness of God was pleased to dwell” (RSV) The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures  has “because God was pleased to have all fullness to dwell in him”—fullness of what exactly?
It is worth noting that the KJV reads: “For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell.” If we want to be picky, clearly the KJV does not encapsulates the idea of Jesus being God as much as the RSV does when translating the Greek into English and stating: “in Him the fullness of God was pleased to dwell”.
The RSV is purportedly a revision of the American Standard Version (ASV) of 1901, which was a revision of the KJV published in 1611.  However, the RSV is not really a revision of the ASV. Neither is the ASV a revision of the KJV as a different Greek text was used. For the New Testament, the RSV followed the 17th edition (1941) of the Nestle Greek Text whereas the New Testament texts used in the ASV were the Westcott-Hort and Tregelles Greek texts. The overall differences in these Bibles are minimal (although the RSV New Testament uses less words than the KJV to translate the Greek). Yet people get upset about using these Greek Texts rather than the Textus Receptus that the KJV translators used. What is overlooked is that when it comes to translations, readability and accuracy are both essential, and in all cases the message is clearly the same.
There are some notable differences between these Bibles. The KJV has some archaic words and words where the meaning has changed. One noted word that leads people into error is the word “study” which once meant ‘to be diligent”, but today means “to acquire knowledge”. Consequently, when we read in the KJV “study to shew thyself unto God” most people today interpret this as “acquire knowledge to show yourself to God”. This is incorrect and is wrongly used by Bible colleges and perpetuated by pastors and ministry staff to create a “them and us” mentality among congregations where those who have studied and obtained degrees assume lordship over the flock.  The truth is this should really say along the lines of the RSV, “Do your best to present yourself to God”. The difference is this: what are you going to do, earn a piece of paper to make out you are somebody; or are you going to humbly walk before the Lord God and seek His face on a daily basis.
The RSV did away with the verse-by-verse format in preference for reading flow, and this changed some of the construction that was used to make the verse-by-verse format make sense when each verse was quoted on its own. Apart from the fact the RSV has footnotes noting comparisons and differences in meanings, it is a dynamic translation where the meaning in English would be translated in some cases rather than the transliteration, which is where reading the words come across as unnatural. The ASV was not as easy reading as the KJV and has an unnatural feel about it. However, the ASV is not as unnatural as The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures, which has words inserted so that what is being stated is difficult to grasp and the tendency of the reader is to misconstrue the intended meaning of the text. The reason the Jehovah Witnesses appear to have done this is so converts will be indoctrinated in their doctrines and not be able to see what the Bible really teaches.
In fact, one of the reasons put forward for so many versions of the Bible being printed is the Global Elite do not want people to have a cohesive understanding of its true teachings. Another is the Global Elite want to create doubt in the Bible’s validity, which is working well. This form of subtle propaganda is fostered by funding those who express doubt in the Bible’s authenticity and disbelief in God to positions of authority in Universities and other educational roles. As is evident on the Quora forum, there are many who claim that God does not exist. In fact, there are claims of 70 million atheists living in USA. Most of these have been indoctrinated by the education system that God does not exist and are now spreading the doctrine through messengers of the anti-God movement and proclaiming the Bible to be an unreliable book. Yet archaeological evidence supports the Bible as more reliable than many other historical texts.
On a comparative chart in respect to accuracy, The KJV, ASV, and New American Standard Version are considered to be literal translations. Then comes the RSV. From there the accuracy levels begin to drift for the other Bibles. There are some exceptions such as The Emphasized Bible or Young’s literal translation, which are even more difficult to read than the ASV or the KJV, and are really study Bibles for people seeking deeper insights—if that is possible without the Holy Spirit.
What is important to realize is the Bible itself cannot save anyone. The Bible bears witness to Lord Jesus Christwhich is what Jesus Himself said. What really stands out is the fact the message is not distorted that is contained within the many Bibles—although, the writers of The New World Translation of the Holy Scriptures appeared to have made a determined attempt in the 1984 edition.
If God is alive; if Jesus rose from the dead; if the Holy Spirit is given to those who find favor with Jesus; then there is no need to worry about arguing over minor variations of the Greek or the Hebrew. The Bible informs us that if we possess the Holy Spirit, He will lead us into all truth. If God is not capable of speaking to any person in their native language and giving that person understanding, then something has to be wrong. However, since God is capable of speaking to us in our native language, and since we can all be taught by the Holy Spirit, we should all be capable of coming to agreement.
Those who seek to argue over minor issues are those who seek to strain gnats while they swallow a camel. Therefore, seeking the truth is important, which means having that log which exists in all of our eyes, taken out; so that we can see what God is doing. We also need to clean our ears that we can hear what God is saying and not worry about minor matters that are really designed to create seeds of doubt. For when we consider that fact that the Bible is historically reliable and its message is simple, why not look at the bigger picture.
Commonsense tells us that the Universe was designed. Commonsense also tells us that death means our lives are futile. The God of the Bible claims to have created the Heavens and the Earth and become a man so that humans can have a door into eternal life rather than be locked inside the prison of death. If we seek God our diligently, surely He would not be so uncaring as to not reveal to us the truth and give us an abiding assurance of the reality of our salvation--as stated in the many versions of the Bible.

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