Question:

I have a question about the Bible that I'd like to ask. Does the language in which the Bible is read in change the way we interpret certain passages?


Answer:

Translating a text from one language to another ideally expresses the same ideas in both languages. However, there are always difficulties in translating because in every language words have a range of meanings, but they don't line up between languages. It is the translator's job to find the best wording in the target language that most closely matches what is being said in the original language.

Another problem that comes up is that what the translator thinks the original text says may bias his translation. To combat this, most good translations employ a panel of translator to double check all work. One mark of a careful translation is when a variety of people from different backgrounds are used on the review panels. It won't totally remove bias, but hopefully it minimizes any bias problems.

When it comes to English translations, we have a large number of translations to select from. Even a translation is biased, there are other translations to compare it to.

Then, of course, we can always go back to look at the original text and get an idea of what the text is saying.

Therefore, if a person only reads from one translation, there is a possibility that he may come away with a wrong impression about the meaning of a passage. But understanding the Bible as a whole and reading from a variety of sources tends to keep such wrong impressions at bay.