Which Translation Should I Use?


Text: John 17

 

I.         A question that I’m asked repeatedly is which translation is best?

            A.        It is a good question because in English alone, one brother made a list of 128 different translations. The majority of them have been compiled in the last 100 years.

            B.        Part of the reason for the wide variety is the fact that getting a translation published is much easier today than it was several hundred years ago.

            C.        But it certainly doesn’t make it easier to select a translation

II.        What makes a good translation?

            A.        The first thing to do is look at the preface to the translation.

            B.        What style of translation was selected

                        1.         Literal - Here the text is translated word-for-word to the nearest English word or phrase. The original word order of the original text is kept, which makes it very difficult to read since different languages have varying grammar rules.

                                    a.         You usually find these in Hebrew and Greek Lexicons where the text is given in the original language and the equivalent English words are printed underneath.

                        2.         Essentially Literal (also called Formal Equivalence) - Once again, the text is translated word-for-word to the nearest English word or phrase, but the order of words is modified to match the grammar of English.

                                    a.         Examples are the King James Version, the American Standard Version, the New American Standard Bible, the Revised Standard Version, the New King James Version, and the English Standard Version.

                        3.         Dynamic Equivalence (also called Functional Equivalence) - Here the text is translated phrase-by-phrase. The original wording is generally followed, but where phrasing is different between cultures, such as through the use of idioms, the dynamic equivalent translation is substitute a more modern way of phrasing the idea.

                                    a.         It is sometimes called thought-for-thought.

                                    b.         For example, the New International Version translates “the Lord of hosts” as “the Lord Almighty” because they felt this conveys the sense of the Hebrew expression.

                                    c.         Examples of dynamic equivalence are: The New International Version, the Amplified Bible, and the Homan Christian Standard Bible (the latter less dynamic than the NIV).

                        4.         Gender-Neutral - Like the Dynamic Equivalence version in rendering the phrasing thought-for-thought, but the translators take this a step further to remove what they believe to be culturally unacceptable ideas from the past. Thus, phrases like “son of man” is changed to “mortal” because using masculine phrases to represent men and women is considered to be politically incorrect.

                                    a.         Examples of gender neutral are: the New Revised Standard Version, the Contemporary English Version, the Today’s New International Version, the New Century Version

                        5.         Paraphrase (or free) - These are not truly translations. Rather what you have is a running commentary on the text. Many paraphrases are based off of other English translations. A few go back to the original languages, but no attempt is made to say precisely what was said, only what the translators thought was meant. The interpretation is generally done sentence-by-sentence.

                                    a.         Examples: The New Living Translation, the Today’s English Version, and Good News for Modern Man, and the Message.

                        6.         When considering the style of translation, many people like the more natural flow of the dynamical equivalent or paraphrases, but we must keep in mind that inspiration means that God gave the prophets and apostles the very words to write - I Corinthians 2:10-13; John 17:8

                                    a.         Substituting words or phrases means the translators believe the words selected can be altered – as long as they are close enough.

                                    b.         Substitution also allows the translator’s personal bias or beliefs to be interjected into the text because what is being written is what the translator thinks the writers meant and not necessarily what they wrote.

            C.        What Greek text was used?

                        1.         We have the Bible preserved for us in well over 5,000 manuscripts and fragments. But because scribes will make mistakes at time, there are wording variances in these texts.

                                    a.         People have taken the various manuscripts and created a composite text where every word and sometimes even letter is scrutinized to attempt to root out copy flaws and determine what the original text stated.

                                    b.         The Bible manuscripts themselves are grouped into classifications depending on their history of copying.

                                                (1)       Byzantine texts by far have the most copies (about 90%).

                                                (2)       Alexandrian, though few, are some of the oldest.

                        2.         In 1516 Erasmus made one of the earliest composite texts. It was based on three Greek texts, the earliest that he had dated back to the twelfth century. In a few places he didn’t have access to a Greek text and took some Latin text and translated them back into Greek for his base text.

                                    a.         From this Stephen made several revisions. The third, dating 1550 was called the “received text” or Textus Receptus

                                    b.         It was from this text that the King James Version was translated.

                                    c.         It is also known as the Majority Text because it closely follows Byzantine texts

                        3.         The Wescott-Hort text was heavily influenced by the Alexandrian texts under the philosophy older is always more accurate. The result was a text radically different in many places from the Textus Receptus..

                        4.         The Nestle-Aland text started in the late 1800's and is one of the more frequently used texts.

                                    a.         The New American Standard Bible is based on this text.

                                    b.         It tends to take the middle ground between the Textus Receptus and the Wescott-Hort text. It is also considered to be the better documented text, showing the alternatives and where those alternatives came from.

                                    c.         It used strict rules to determine which reading was to be preferred. Not favoring a particular text, but because of the logic behind which reading is probably more accurate

                                    d.         It came out in the late 1800's..It has under gone frequent updates – it is now in its 26th edition.

                        5.         The United Bible Societies text.

                                    a.         Currently in its third edition, it is very similar to the Nestle-Aland text. In fact the two texts are now being managed by the same parent organization.

                                    b.         It is popular because it documents why certain readings are considered more accurate. It rates the scholar’s opinions on the certainty of their preferred reading.

                        6.         While the text used as the base varies only a bit, textual composites which are heavily biased toward only one family of text have proven to be less accurate.

                                    a.         Wescott-Hort’s text has eliminated passages that later finds have proven ought to have been included. But the text is heavily weighed toward the Alexandrian manuscripts which show evidence of being edited.

                                    b.         The Textus Receptus shows evidence that some marginal commentary was crept into text.

                                    c.         The Nestle-Aland and United Bible Societies’ texts still give too much weighting to the Alexandrian texts, but recent editions have been moving away from the extreme.

            D.        How many translators?

                        1.         As much as a person might want to think he is unbiased, personal beliefs will creep into a translation.

                        2.         When multiple translators work together, they can balance out each other’s bias.

                        3.         For the same reason, you don’t want translators all from the same denomination.

                        4.         Preferably you want to know who were the translators so that you can examine (in theory) their other writings and to see what their personal biases might be.

                                    a.         We especially want to know their attitude toward the Bible’s inspiration because that will influence their zeal to retain the accuracy of their translation.

III.       The choices

            A.        The King James Version

                        1.         What it is not

                                    a.         There are people who believe that the King James Version was inspired by God.

                                                (1)       They will emphasize that it was the “Authorized Version”

                                                (2)       Problem is that the phrase is stating it was authorized by King James of England to be used in services of the Church of England of which he was the head.

                                    b.         Speaking of which, the Church of England, or the Anglican Church, was a break off from the Roman Catholic church. It was essentially a English version of the Catholic church.

                                                (1)       The King James Version is not a Protestant Bible.

                                                (2)       In fact the first version included the Apocryphal books accepted by the Roman Catholic Church

                                    c.         The version we typically used today is not the one published in 1611. It went through nine revisions. The current King James Version is the 1769 revision of the text, which made hundreds of thousands of changes, mostly in the spelling of words.

                        2.         Strong points

                                    a.         Starting with 54 scholars, of whom six died before the text was completed.

                                    b.         We know who the men were and that they were all very conservative in their attitude toward the inspiration of the Bible.

                                    c.         It is a beautiful translation, written in the best English of that time.

                        3.         Weak points

                                    a.         All translators were members of the Church of England and were being financed by the Church of England

                                                (1)       In Acts 12:4, pascha which is translated everywhere as “Passover” except in this one verse where it is rendered “Easter.” Now why would someone do that? It won’t happen to be that the Church of England celebrates a religious holiday they call Easter, would it?

                                                (2)       It also explains why the Greek word baptizo, which means “immerse or burial,” was transliterated as “baptized.” The Church of England practices sprinkling of infants as baptism. None of the translators believed that baptism was by immersion. If they directly translated the word, it would have conflicted with their belief, so they avoided the issue and was able to insert their belief in the text.

                                    b.         The translation was divided among teams of eight scholars and there was no independent review or overview

                                                (1)       This is why names are translated in different fashion

                                                            (a)       Noah (Hebrews 11:7) is also Noe (Matthew 24:37)

                                                            (b)       Jeremiah is also Jeremias (Matthew 16:14) and Jeremie (in older versions)

                                    c.         Based on a composite text that, while fairly good, could not make use of the over 5,000 manuscripts we have today.

                                    d.         There is a lack of uniform translation.

                                                (1)       Ideally the same Hebrew or Greek word would be rendered to the same English word when used in a similar manner.

                                                (2)       Examples:

                                                            (a)       Reprobate (Romans 1:28) and castaway (I Corinthians 9:27) and rejected (Hebrews 6:8) are all from the same Greek word adokimos

                                                            (b)       Stewardship (Luke 16:2-4) and dispensation (I Corinthians 9:17) are from the same Greek word oikonomia.

                                                            (c)       Two words sunairo and logizomia are both translated as reckon in Matthew 18:24 and Romans 6:11 respectively. But sunairo is also translated as take (as in an account) in Matthew 18:23. Logizomai is also translated reasoned (Mark 11:31), numbered (Mark 15:28), despised (Acts 19:27), thinkest (Romans 2:3), counted (Romans 2:6), conclude (Romans 3:8), imputed (Romans 4:6), esteemeth (Romans 14:14), suppose (II Corinthians 11:5), charge (II Timothy 4:16)

                                                            (d)       One of the recent discussions here has its roots in the very lack of uniformity. In I Timothy 2:11 heruschia is translated as silence but in II Thessalonians 3:12 it is translated as quietness. Worse, a different Greek word, sigao, is also translated as silence in I Corinthians 14:28, but it is also translated as “kept it close” in Luke 9:36, “held their peace” in Luke 20:26, and “kept secret” in Romans 16:25

                                                (3)       The result is a lack of distinction where God’s word made a distinction and distinctions where God’s word made none.

                                                (4)       Some sections, like the Song of Solomon and the minor prophets were not translated well, making them hard to read. Luke and Acts are considered to be highly accurate. But then much depended on who was doing the translation of that section.

                                    e.         Italicized words

                                                (1)       We noted that literal translations are hard to read because the grammar rules between languages are different. So the word order is altered

                                                (2)       Sometimes, however, words needed to be added to make the reading smoother in English. These are not arbitrary words inserted, the translators feel that the context implies those words and so they are added to make the translation clear.

                                                (3)       To mark the added words, the translators marked them with italics – sometimes. It was good for them to make note of the added words, but they were not consistent in making note of them.

                                    f.         The English language has changed

                                                (1)       “Let” had two meanings in 1611

                                                            (a)       to hinder, impede, or prevent

                                                            (b)       to permit or allow

                                                            (c)       both are used in the King James Version (See Isaiah 43:13 as an example of the first)

                                                            (d)       In II Thessalonians 2:6-7 the same Greek word katecho is translated as “withholdeth” and “letteth to let”

                                                (2)       People use Matthew 6:34 “Take therefore no thought for the morrow” to argue against buying insurance or having retirement plans. But the phrase “take thought” is the old way of saying “be anxious.”

            B.        English Revised Version (1881) and the American Standard Version (1901)

                        1.         The Church of England commissioned another translation in 1881

                        2.         Unlike the King James Version, the translators came from variety of denominations.

                                    a.         There were 101 of them

                                    b.         We know who they were and can read their writings

                                    c.         They were conservative people who all believed in the verbal inspiration of the Bible.

                        3.         The only difference between the English Revised Version and the American Standard Version is the units of measure used. Each reflected their audience.

                        4.         Strengths

                                    a.         It was uniform in its translation

                                                (1)       As far as possible, they translated the same Greek word with the same English word

                                                (2)       It isn’t absolutely perfect, but they did a very good job.

                        5.         Weakness

                                    a.         It retained the use of “thee,” “thou,” and “ye”

                                                (1)       In 1611 these words were used to address people you were familiar with

                                                (2)       “Used in middle English and in early modern English into the 17th century as the appropriate form of address to an intimate friend or a person of lower social status than the speaker.” [Webster’s Third New International Dictionary]

                                                (3)       That is why Quakers used “thee” and “thou,” to show that they considered everyone to be brethren.

                                                (4)       But because of its use in older English translations the meaning has changed to be seen as a way to address divinity.

                                    b.         It uses “Jehovah” for the translation of the Hebrew word yhwh. While it was the best known at the time, we now know that Jehovah comes from a mispronunciation of yhwh. And advantage is that they are consistent in their translation, where the KJV varied between Jehovah and LORD.

                                    c.         It is hard to find because the copyright has expired and it is not a popular translation.

                                    d.         The base text is much better, but it was done before the Dead Sea scrolls were found and it was somewhat influenced by Wescott-Hort’s work.

            C.        The Revised Standard Version (1952)

                        1.         It was the first English translation to make use of the Dead Sea Scrolls

                        2.         It was done by only 22 translators

                                    a.         They came from various denominations

                                    b.         But everyone was held to liberal theology. Not one believed in the verbal inspiration of the Bible, the deity of Christ, or the resurrection.

                                    c.         Thus there is a weakness in potential bias

                        3.         It contains no italics to indicate the inserted words.

                        4.         It has mistakes

                                    a.         Genesis 9:20

                                                (1)       RSV “Noah was the first tiller of the soil. He planted a vineyard;”

                                                (2)       ESV “Noah began to be a man of the soil, and he planted a vineyard.”

                                                (3)       As the RSV renders it, it conflicts with Genesis 4:2 which says that Cain was a tiller of the ground. The fault is not in the Hebrew text, it is in the translation.

                                    b.         Romans 11:20

                                                (1)       RSV “That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast only through faith. So do not become proud, but stand in awe.”

                                                (2)       ESV “That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud, but stand in awe.”

                                                (3)       The RSV conflicts with James 2:24

                                    c.         Matthew 5:17

                                                (1)       RSV “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.”

                                                (2)       NKJV “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill.”

                                                (3)       The Greek word kataluo means to destroy or to demolish. Same word is used in Matthew 24:2 for “thrown down”

                                                (4)       As translated it conflicts with Ephesians 2:15 where Christ does abolish the law (katargeo in Greek which means to render completely useless).

                                                (5)       By the way, the NASB and ESV share this same flaw.

                                    d.         Isaiah 7:14

                                                (1)       RSV “Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Imman'u-el.”

                                                (2)       The translators argued that “young woman” was a more consistent translation of the Hebrew word almah and that a different Hebrew word betulah is used for virgin.

                                                (3)       Actually, the context itself should have pointed out the flaw: How is it that a young woman bearing a son to be a sign? It happens all the time! Where is the miracle?

                                                (4)       Besides the Jewish scholars in 200 B.C. translated this word as virgin in the Greek. Thus the contention that it only means “young woman” is false.

                        5.         R. Laird Harris notes in Inspiration and Canonicity of the Bible, “It is a curious study to check the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, a monument of higher critical scholarship, and note how every important Old Testament passage purporting to predict directly the coming of Christ has been altered so as to remove this possibility. ... It is almost impossible to escape the conclusion that the admittedly higher critical bias of the translators has operated in all these places. The translations given are by no means necessary from the Hebrew and in some cases, like Psalm 45:6, are in clear violation of the Hebrew.”

                        6.         It was only popular among the liberal denominations. The conservative ones rejected it. It is out of print and hard to find.

            D.        The New American Standard Bible (1971)

                        1.         Done by 58 translators all who believe in the inspiration of the Bible.

                                    a.         However, the Lockman Foundation, who publishes this version, never released the names of the translators.

                                    b.         There is no way to independently check to see if a bias may exist in the group.

                        2.         It is consistent in its translations of words

                                    a.         Where complete literalness would might lead to difficulty in reading in modern English, the translators placed the literal wording in a footnote.

                        3.         It consistently uses italics for inserted words.

                        4.         It notes Old Testament passages by printing them in uppercase letters.

                        5.         It is the most literal translation of Matthew 16:19 and Matthew 18:18

                                    a.         “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.” (Matthew 16:19).

                                    b.         “Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven” (Matthew 18:18).

                                    c.         Literal: “(And) (I will give) (to you) (the) (keys) (of the) (kingdom) (of the) (heavens) (and ) (whatever) (you may bind) (on) (the) (earth) (shall be) (having been bound) (in) (the) (heavens) (and) (whatever) (you may loose) (on) (the) (earth) (shall be) (having been loosed) (in) (the) (heavens)”

                        6.         It uses the antiquated forms of English (“thee” “thou”) only when God is addressed, making it more difficult than necessary for modern readers and implying a difference in the text that does not exist.

                        7.         But it is not a flawless translation

                                    a.         It shares the problem of Matthew 5:17

                                    b.         Romans 4:3

                                                (1)       NASB “For what does the Scripture say? "ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS."

                                                (2)       The word translated as “as” is the Greek word eis. This is a preposition that looks forward to something being accomplished. It would be properly translated as “for” or “unto”

                                                (3)       Using “as” makes it sound as if it was equivalent or already done.

                                                (4)       The same problem appears in Romans 4:9

                                                (5)       Actually, the Revised Standard Version started this trend and most of the newer translations picked it up.

                                    c.         Matthew 19:9

                                                (1)       NASB “And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

                                                (2)       “Immorality” is too vague and doesn’t reflect the Greek word porneia.

            E.        The New King James Version (1982)

                        1.         It is an update of the King James Version. It used a newer Old Testament composite, but used the same New Testament Greek composite as the King James Version.

                                    a.         It does mark in the footnotes which sets of manuscripts deviate from its rendition.

                        2.         It dropped all the “thee” and “thine” pronouns. It also removed the old phrasings that had changed meaning.

                        3.         It retains the inconsistent word translation found in the King James Version

                        4.         It does italicize inserted words.

                        5.         Its translators were heavily Baptist. While the translation is fairly sound, there are section headings using premillennialist terms, for example Matthew 24:15 is titled “The Great Tribulation” and Revelation 20:11 is titled “The Great White Throne Judgment”

                        6.         The language style used is unique. It uses older English grammar with modern words. Some people don’t like it.

                        7.         It followed the trend of replacing “fornication” with “sexual immorality,” such as in Matthew 19:9, which is too vague, though much better than the NASB.

            F.        The English Standard Version (2001)

                        1.         It used the best composite texts currently available plus consulted many additional manuscripts in difficult cases.

                        2.         It used the RSV as its base English text, but heavily altered it.

                        3.         Over 100 scholars worked on the translation.

                        4.         It does not use italics to indicate added words.

                        5.         It does use gender-neutral terms when the translators felt the context requires it (Greek doesn’t have gender-neutral terms).

                        6.         I Corinthians 7:15

                                    a.         ESV “But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace.”

                                    b.         NIV “But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A believing man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace.”

                                    c.         NASB “Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace.”

                                    d.         The NIV is the worse in that it implies that the marriage bond can be broken. The ESV is the clearest that it is talking about slavery.

                        7.         It has its problems

                                    a.         It shares the problem of Matthew 5:17

                                    b.         It shares the problem of calling porneia “sexual immorality”

                                    c.         In Philippians 2:6 it uses the past tense (as does the NASB) where the Greek uses the present tense, leaving the impression that Jesus was not deity while on earth.

                                    d.         In I Corinthians 11:3-15 it changes some instances of the Greek word gune to wife and leaves others as woman. Yet there is no call for this treatment in the context – actually the context demands that it is in the generic woman sense. And they did do the same for the Greek word aner. In only one place is it translated “husband” and the rest is translated as “man.”

                                                (1)       “Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you. But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head--it is the same as if her head were shaven. For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head. For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God. Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering.” (I Corinthians 11:2-15 ESV)

                                    e.         In is not consistent in the translation of hades

                                                (1)       “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18)

                                                (2)       “For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One see corruption.” (Acts 2:27)

                                    f.         Concerning Matthew 16:18, the footnote makes it appear that Jesus was talking about Peter and fails to note that the two words are different in regards to size of stone. 

                                    g.       It adds the word “only,” changing the meaning of Paul’s statement to one that faith is the only thing that matters.

                                                (1)       “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision means anything, but faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6 NASB).

                                                (2)       “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love” (Galatians 5:6 ESV).

                                    h.       It alters the text of Revelation 13:8 to make it appear to support predestination:

                                                (1)       “and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain” (Revelation 13:8 ESV).

                                                (2)       The problem is that the natural word order of the Greek says that it was the Lamb who was slain from the foundation of the world.

                                                (3)       Another problem is that the Greek has apo which is usually translated “from.” “Before” gives the impression of finished entries that is not implied in the passage or the rest of the Bible.

                                    i.       Regarding Matthew 16:19 and 18:18 it at least notes the literal reading in the footnotes.

IV.      Which one should you use?

            A.        There is no one perfect translation. In general, stay with the essentially literal translations as it gives you a better sense of what God said.

            B.        Of the ones we reviewed, the Revised Standard is the worse because of bias. The New American Standard, the New King James, and the English Standard are better choices.


 


Judging a Translation

 

 

 

Style of Translation

 

Literal

Word-for-Word

Thought-for-Thought

Gender-Neutral

Paraphrase

 

 

 

 

Base Text

 

Textus Receptus

Wescott-Hort

Nestle-Aland

United Bible Societies

 

 

 

 

 

How Many Translators and Who Were They?


 


King James Version (1611, 1769 revision)

 

Religious Bias

And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people.

(Acts 12:4)

 

Inconsistencies

 

Noah (Hebrews 11:7) – Noe (Matthew 24:37)

Jeremiah – Jeremias (Matthew 16:14)

 

adokimos

Reprobate (Romans 1:28) – Castaway (I Corinthians 9:27) – Rejected (Hebrews 6:8)

 

oikonomia

Stewardship (Luke 16:2-4) – dispensation (I Corinthians 9:17)

 

sunairo

Reckon (Matthew 18:24) – Take (as in an account) (Matthew 18:23)

 

logizomai

Reckon (Romans 6:11) – Reasoned (Mark 11:31) – Numbered (Mark 15:28) – Despised (Acts 19:27) – Thinkest (Romans 2:3) – Counted (Romans 2:6) – Conclude (Romans 3:8) – Imputed (Romans 4:6) – Esteemeth (Romans 14:14) – Suppose (II Corinthians 11:5) – Charge (II Timothy 4:16)

 

heruschia

Silence (I Timothy 2:11) – Quietness (II Thessalonians 3:12)

 

sigao

Silence (I Corinthians 14:28) – Kept it close (Luke 9:36) – Held their peace (Luke 20:26) – Kept secret (Romans 16:25)

 

Archaic Meaning

 

Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?

(Isaiah 43:13)

 

And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

(II Thessalonians 2:6-7)


 


English Revised Version (1881)

American Standard Version (1901)



Revised Standard Version (1952)

 

Mistranslations

 

Noah was the first tiller of the soil. He planted a vineyard;

Genesis 9:20

 

That is true. They were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast only through faith. So do not become proud, but stand in awe.

Romans 11:20

 

Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

Matthew 5:17

 

Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a young woman shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Imman'u-el.

Isaiah 7:14


 


New American Standard Bible (1971)

 

Some Passages are Particularly Well Translated

 

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.

Matthew 16:19

 

Literal:

(And) (I will give) (to you) (the) (keys) (of the) (kingdom) (of the) (heavens) (and ) (whatever) (you may bind) (on) (the) (earth) (shall be) (having been bound) (in) (the) (heavens) (and) (whatever) (you may loose) (on) (the) (earth) (shall be) (having been loosed) (in) (the) (heavens)

 

Some Passages are Poorly Translated

 

For what does the Scripture say? "ABRAHAM BELIEVED GOD, AND IT WAS CREDITED TO HIM AS RIGHTEOUSNESS."

Romans 4:3

 

And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.

Matthew 19:9


 


New King James Version (1982)



English Standard Version (2001)

 

Some Passages are Well Translated

 

But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace.

I Corinthians 7:15

 

I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed[a] in heaven.

Matthew 16:19

 

Footnotes:

 

   1. Matthew 16:19 Or shall have been bound ... shall have been loosed


 


English Standard Version (2001)

 

Some Passages are Poorly Translated

 

And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock[a] I will build my church, and the gates of hell[b] shall not prevail against it.

Matthew 16:18

 

Footnotes:

 

   1. Matthew 16:18 Peter sounds like the Greek word for rock

   2. Matthew 16:18 Greek the gates of Hades

 

 

who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped,

Philippians 2:6

 

Inconsistencies

 

Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you. But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God. Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head--it is the same as if her head were shaven. For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head. For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man. For man was not made from woman, but woman from man. Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God. Judge for yourselves: is it proper for a wife to pray to God with her head uncovered? Does not nature itself teach you that if a man wears long hair it is a disgrace for him, but if a woman has long hair, it is her glory? For her hair is given to her for a covering.

I Corinthians 11:2-15

 

Compare Matthew 16:18 (above) to Acts 2:27

For you will not abandon my soul to Hades,

   or let your Holy One see corruption.