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This section of the UASV Blog is all about the Bible. If you hold your mouse over this section name, there will be a dropdown of several categories: Bible Translations and Translators, Bible Translation Process, Literal Versus Interpretive Translation, King James Version Versus Modern Translations, and Translating Truth. You can click on those in the dropdown or here. Below is a brief overview of what each of the categories will cover.
Bible Translation Process
This category of articles will focus on the process that a translator or a translation committee will go through when translating God’s Word from the original languages of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek into English.
Literal Versus Interpretive Translation
Word-for-Word Translation Philosophy (literal) translation seeks to render the original language words and style into a corresponding English word and style. Again, they seek to retain the original syntax and sentence structure, and the style of each writer as far as possible. Thought-for-Thought Translation Philosophy (dynamic equivalent) seeks to render the biblical meaning of the original language text as accurately as possible into an English informal (conversational) equivalent. Literal translations give us what God said by way of his human authors, not what a translator thinks God meant in its place. Truth matters! Literal translations try to be accurate and faithful to the original text. The meaning of a word is the responsibility of the interpreter (i.e., reader), not the translator.—Translating Truth!
King James Version Versus Modern Translations
In 1604, King James I of England authorized that a new translation of the Bible into English be started. It was finished in 1611, just 85 years after the first translation of the New Testament into English appeared (Tyndale, 1526). The Authorized Version, or King James Version, quickly became the standard for English-speaking Protestants. Its flowing language and prose rhythm has had a profound influence on the literature of the past 400 years. While the KJV has served its purpose for many centuries, it is based on a corrupt text for the NT, known as the Textus Receptus (Received Text), which has hundreds of errors, some quite significant and some 12 verses long that do not belong. Further, it has over a thousand different words in it that in 1611 had a different meaning than today, even the opposite meanings. For example, in 1611m “let” that now means to allow or to permit meant in 1611 to stop or to restrain. So, when Thessalonians says that Paul let the apostasy come into the church, it meant he stopped it. The Stephanus TR (1550) became the standard form of the Greek NT text in England. It became a literary sensation. This, together with its inexpensive price, resulted in its becoming the first Bible bestseller. Nevertheless, none of the editions differed greatly from Froben’s Erasmus text. Luther used the 1519 edition of Erasmus. There are about 93 differences between the Stephanus 1550 and the Beza 1598. These differences are minor. They are NOTHING when we look at the nearly 6,000 differences, many being quite substantial between the Alexandrian Critical Text and the Textus Receptus. Even the 1611 KJV translators in the Preface to the 1611 openly admitted that it was a revision of the 16th century Bibles like Tyndale, Coverdale, and the Great Bible. They also said that they expected the KJV to be revised and updated when new manuscripts were discovered, and we had a better understanding of the original languages. Neil R. Lightfoot in his famous book How We Got the Bible sums this up for us quite well.
- The King James Version rests on an inadequate textual base.
- The King James Version contains many archaic words whose meanings are either obscure or misleading.
- The King James Version includes errors of translation.
- No one translation is infallible. With the advance of time, it was inevitable that revisions would have to be made of the classic King James Version. The  English Revised and  American Standard Versions have largely met the needs of revision, especially in providing translations that are based on earlier and more reliable manuscripts. But changes of time and a number of manuscript discoveries have made more recent revisions and translations desirable. [It is preferable to stay with literal translations. Of course, we feel that the Updated American Standard Version is the most accurate literal Bible today.
There are dozens of men and women, who have suffered martyrdom to bring us God’s Word. Truly, the Bible translator has taken on a very dangerous task. Today, one can martyr their career for not going along with tradition and theologically bias that has been handed down century after century. This section is just that kind of category. We are going to post articles that will certainly ruffle some traditional features. We should close with what Jesus had to say about inappropriate traditions. Speaking to the Jewish religious leaders, he said, “thus making void the word of God by your tradition that you have handed down. And many such things you do.”—Mark 7:13.