I was writing an essay for this blog, and while doing a little research in an attempt to keep from looking like a total moron, I ran into a controversy that I feel has to be addressed before I even try to share what it was I was writing.
Bibles. I wonder how many different translations the average Christian owns. Personally, I find I'm becoming somewhat of a collector. It's incredibly easy these days. What, with the internet and phone apps that have a half dozen versions each and more coming out seemingly every month. I'm constantly running into a new translation that has a way of wording one verse or another that just strikes me in a way that makes that particular verse mean something to me when before, the verse was just another line on the way to a different point I thought the writer was trying to make.
Little did I know I was reading BLASPHEMOUS SCRIPTS FROM THE PIT OF HELL!
Seriously, while doing a little Google search yesterday, I ran across a fist full of web pages explaining in detail, how the King James Version is the only God ordained, infallible English translation of God's Word. Looking back, I actually know some very sincere Christians who feel this way. My mother got saved while I was a teenager. She was one that told me more than once, that the way to judge a Bible's authenticity was to turn to 1 John 5, verses 7 & 8. I'll bet a lot of readers know where I'm going already. The King James (KJV) Bible says:
7. For there are three that bear record in Heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one.
8. And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood; and these three agree in one.
But, the New English Translation (NET) reads:
- For there are three that testify,
- the Spirit and the water and the blood, and these three are in agreement.
You see the problem, I'm sure. The KJV spells out the Trinity right there in black and white while the NET denies the Trinity.
I disagree. For those that are interested in the reasons why most of your later translations don't have the KJV version (is that redundant?), Google it. Or just check the footnotes of any good study Bible. The extra verbiage simply doesn't show up on any manuscript before the 16th century. For those that believe in the Trinity, there is plenty of evidence for the Trinity in other places in the NET and in the other modern translations. For those that don't believe in the Trinity, the best evidence they have is that the Roman Catholic Church is so enthralled with the concept, and of course anything the Roman Catholic Church teaches as fundamental doctrine is going to be suspect.
As for me, I can see a lot of evidence all through the Bible. But...there's still that Roman Catholic thing. But, this essay isn't about the Trinity. It's about Bibles
Ironically, my mother, the one who was so concerned about whether that verse was in there, got saved while reading a New Living Bible. Possibly the most maligned of all the translations. I can't even tell you which version I was reading when I got saved.
I don't think it's that important what Bible you read, as long as you are reading a Bible.
Jeremiah 29:13 “When you seek me in prayer and worship, you will find me available to you. If you seek me with all your heart and soul.” (NET – sorry) With that, I think I've reached my scripture per essay quota.
The point is, the Word of God isn't so much something that you read. I've read Bible commentaries written by atheists. The Word of God is something that enters your heart. You read the Bible for that to happen, but let's be honest, there are flaws in every translation in every language.
I have a lot of fun studying the Bible, and the deeper you dig, the more fun it is. But when I start digging into the history of the translations and where they came from, nobody seems to agree on anything.
You've got the Textus Receptus (and several versions of it), the Codex Vaticanus, the Sinaiticus, the Vulgate, Heysychian type, the Septuagint, and on and on and on, and I'm just scratching the surface. These are based on even older texts that also get argued over beyond my capacity for following along. Most of these don't even have real names. They are mostly catalog references.
I swear, if you follow these arguments too long, you'll have to stop and remind yourself of why you believe in the Bible in the first place. Some of these folks involved in these discussions aren't even believers. They just found a fun subject to argue about and in some instances I think they actually want to throw doubt into your mind.
God's Word is more powerful than all that. I had a Mormon Missionary ask me, “Do you really think that all of God's Word can be contained in just the one Bible?” I found that to be a thrilling question. My answer was yes. Not only that, but the Bible is actually quite repetitive. It says the same thing over and over, and if you get into types and models (One story being a representation of a more central point), the repetitions seem almost endless.
The idea is, God is going to get His point across. Man is going to screw up the telling of it, but if you are sincere in your search for God and His Will in your life, He will get it through to you if you only have one page of the Message Bible to read.
On the other hand, if you're just looking to make a point for your own selfish purposes (kinda like me, most of the time), you could hear God's Voice itself speaking to you from a pillar of fire and still end up wandering in the desert until you die when you could have been living in a land flowing with milk and honey.