THE CONTRADICTION OF THE BIBLE IS NONE SO EVIDENT THAN IN THE MANY VERSIONS THAT EXIST. Yet Those Who Understand The Message Of The Bible Are Amazed At How All The Versions Attest To The Same Truths. Humans are sinners who are born to die and suffer between the two events.
There are discrepancies in the various translations and ancient texts. These discrepancies only become problems for people who get a buzz out of straining gnats and swallowing camels. To quote Jesus of Nazareth:
Anyhow, consider the Greek New Testament: depending on the edition, there is between around 138,000 to 140,000 words. When it comes to English translations of these Greek texts, the Revised Standard Version has the least number of words used to translate the Greek into English.
Senior Professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary Daniel B. Wallace has identified fifteen myths about Bible translations. He also lists the number of words that various translations use to translate the Greek New Testament. Here are four of the translations on that list designating their respective position and showing the number of words used to translate the Greek New Testament text into English for each translation:
#1 Revised Standard Version 173,293
#12 King James Version 180,565
#14 New American Standard Bible 184,062
#15 Today’s English Version 192,784
As you can see there is quite a difference in the number of words used in the King James Version compared to the Revised Standard Version of the Bible. This either suggests that the King James has words added that should not be there and the Revised Standard Version is more accurate, or the Revised Standard Version has excluded text. But then we could say the same of the King James Version having excluded text in respect to the New American Standard Bible; afterall, the King James Version does have less words than the New American Standard Bible. Today’s English Version has more words because it is a paraphrase rather than a direct translation. This is why it has nearly twenty thousand more words than the Revised Standard Version, which has the least number of words.
Furthermore, the following three myths provide an indication of some of the issues that translators face.
The King James Version is a literal translation. The preface to the KJV actually claims otherwise. For example, they explicitly said that they did not translate the same word in the original the same way in the English but did attempt to capture the sense of the original each time: “An other thing we thinke good to admonish thee of (gentle Reader) that wee have not tyed our selves to an uniformitie of phrasing, or to an identitie of words, as some peradventure would wish that we had done, because they observe, that some learned men some where, have beene as exact as they could that way. Truly, that we might not varie from the sense of that which we had translated before, if the word signified the same thing in both places (for there bee some wordes that bee not of the same sense every where) we were especially carefull, and made a conscience, according to our duetie.”
The King James Version is perfect. This myth continues to be promoted today, yet even the translators of the KJV were not sure on hundreds of occasions which rendering was best, allowing the reader to decide for himself. Again, the preface notes: “Therfore as S. Augustine saith, that varietie of Translations is profitable for the finding out of the sense of the Scriptures: so diversitie of signification and sense in the margine, where the text is not so cleare, must needes doe good, yea is necessary, as we are perswaded… They that are wise, had rather have their judgements at libertie in differences of readings, then to be captivated to one, when it may be the other.” The original KJV had approximately 8000 marginal notes, though these have been stripped out in modern printings of the Authorized Version. Further, some of the typos and blatant errors of the 1611 KJV have continued to remain in the text after multiple corrections and spelling updates (weighing in at more than 100,000 changes) through the 1769 edition. For example, in Matthew 23.24 the KJV says, “Ye blind guides, which strain at a gnat and swallow a camel.” The Greek means “strain out a gnat.” Or the wording of Hebrews 4.8, which says, “For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.” Instead of ‘Jesus,’ Joshua is meant. It’s the same word in Greek, but the reader of the text will hardly think of Joshua when he or she sees ‘Jesus’ here since ‘Joshua’ is found everywhere in the OT.
Chapter and verse numbers are inspired. These were added centuries later. Chapter numbers were added by Stephen Langton, the Archbishop of Canterbury, in the early 13th century. Verse numbers were not added until 1551. Robert Estienne (a.k.a. Stephanus), a Parisian printer, added verse numbers to the fourth edition of his Greek New Testament. The pocket-sized two-volume work (which can be viewed at www.csntm.org) has three parallel columns, one in Greek and two in Latin (one Erasmus’s Latin text, the other Jerome’s). To facilitate ease of comparison, Stephanus added the verse numbers. Although most of the breaks seem natural enough, quite a few are bizarre. Neither chapter numbers nor verse numbers are inspired.
Translations from one language to another language are going to raise issues because nobody is omniscient and nobody is able to read other people’s thoughts, let alone fully understand what words meant, exactly, when used hundreds of years ago or, for that matter, thousands of years ago.
What is amazing, though, the message of the Bible does not change. No matter what Bible a person reads, apart from the minor differences, the overall message does not change. Every Bible that I have read, expresses the the message of personal salvation,, the love of God for humans and the reason why He is righteous and trustworthy. This is because God only wrote a very small portion of what is recorded in the Bible Himself, and the rest of the Bible attests to this.