Archive for the ‘Translations’ Category

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Word for Word, God-Given…

August 27, 2010

This week I have attempted to draw some focus on the importance of biblical interpretation and how we should utilize the physical Bible we hold in our hands.  It is a joy to meditate on its precepts and an eternal encouragement to delve into its truths; however before one dives in deep its helpful to know how to swim.  The church-at-large is so blessed by God to have men and women who have devoted years to plumb the depths of Scripture and develop the skills to ‘rightly divide the word of truth.’

One such giant of evangelicalism is J.I. Packer.  If you have not yet read any of his works such as, Knowing God, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God, or his Concise Theology then I would recommend that you do.  There is a glorious simplicity in the way in which Packer tackles the most delicate and immense theological truths.  He handles the text of Scripture with a deft ability, and he is often concise and more often profound.

Below I have posted a link  to a chapter he wrote in 1958 for a book entitled “Fundamentalism and the Word of God.” The chapter is simply entitled The Interpretation of Scripture.  Here is an excerpt from his conclusion:

“We have now presented in positive outline the biblical approach to Scripture. Its text is word for word God-given; its message is an organic unity, the infallible Word of an infallible God, a web of revealed truth centered upon Christ; it must be interpreted in its natural sense, on the assumption of its inner harmony; and its meaning can be grasped only by those who humbly seek and gladly receive the help of the Holy Spirit.”

This brief chapter is informative, accurate and classic Packer.  Its worth your time to read and worth printing and keeping in your library.

Click Here to read The Interpretation of Scripture **

**(This link is from a website called bible-researcher.com an excellent resource for “students who are looking for detailed information on the history of the canon, texts, and versions of Scripture.”)

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Lost in Translations…

August 26, 2010

When it comes to Bible translations, does it matter which translation you use?

Finding agreement among Christians on just about anything is difficult, often impossible. On the issue of Bible translation there is no exception. There are numerous choices presented to the Christian seeking to read and take comfort from the Holy Scriptures.

If you had a friend who recently came to Christ and they asked “what Bible should I read?” What would you tell them. Though the question might sound harmless it is not. For within the many treatments of the text there are variations; some are common and mundane others are radical and message altering.

What is the difference between the: ESV, NIV, KJV,NKJV, HCSB, RSV, NRSV, NASB, ASV, CEV, LB, NLT, MSG, TNIV, D-R, NJB? To name just a few. Each of the above translations can be found in the hands of earnest Christians and apostate heretics across the globe. So which one is the right one? And is there a right one translation?

That we have such a variety and such access to the Word is a true testament of the grace and mercy of God. But, in a post Gen 3 world, access and familiarity can often breed contempt and disregard.

What is called for in this task is discernment. We must avoid the all too common American tendencies toward consumerism and social sensitivity. We must strive to find and promote translations of the Word that strive to be true and faithful to the authors’ intended meaning and the original text, rather than our contemporary needs/wants. We must carefully work out our salvation in the word with fear and trembling.

Men throughout the centuries have risked much to provide translations of scripture that are accurate and have the strictest measure of fidelity to the meaning of the original texts. Their success in doing so often came at the cost of their positions, their pulpits and even their lives.

There is an immense and costly importance to the accuracy and right interpretation of Scripture. Failure to translate rightly the word of truth can cause disunity and dysfunction within the body of believers; and ultimately hinder the delivery of the accurate gospel to the lost.

Throughout the ages God has been faithful and steadfast in preserving His Word and promulgating His message to those called by His name. The ancient autographs and original penmanship of the biblical authors may have faded into the obscure haze of history; but what has been preserved and translated has been passed down according to His sovereign will. The scripture, rightly translated, remains to this day “breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” 2 Tim 3:16-17 (ESV)

Man, in an attempt to be “relevant,” can do damage to what God has breathed out. So investigate and be discerning, test and see if your translation remains faithful to His text and His message and if not then find one that does and enjoy.

To that end I recommend this online resource: evangelicalbible.com is an interesting website providing both retail services for Bibles in multiple translations and a brief history of Bible translation and defense of the English Standard Version or ESV.

Also I have included a link to albertmohler.com, Dr. Mohler is the President of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, KY and has written several informative articles and provides audio commentary on the subject of Bible Translation

See the links below.

Bibles for purchase

Why the ESV?

Mohler on Bible Translation