Which translation of the Bible is the best? Do you believe that your opinion is accurate and that it is the only one that matters?
Let me start with the following declaration. I’m here as your friend and not to defend God’s Word, not because I believe I have no right or power to defend it but because I don’t believe that it needs any defense or defending. God has commanded that we, as His obedient children, go and tell this world about Him and His power to save, but that authority and power rests in Him and Him alone (Matthew 28:18-20, KJV). “For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12, KJV).
I would like to ask a few questions, state a few facts, and then offer a few suggestions. At this time it is not my purpose to promote or defend any particular version of the Bible. While my personal preference is the KJV for reasons I will relate to you at a later time, my intent is not to endorse it or to suggest that you cannot be converted without it being your personal preference. God speaks to His children through the study and reading of His Word, but He is not confined or limited by it. God’s Word tells us that anyone who truly searches for Him will find Him (Jeremiah 29:13, KJV). The significance and importance of God’s Word can never be over-stated or minimized. It must never be considered as trivial or out of date. God has promised that He will forever preserve His Word; and, no matter how aggressively this world tries to pervert and destroy it, it will forever remain. That means that He will see that it remains powerful and pure. God’s Word is alive and lives in the hearts of those who have lovingly given their lives to Him. God’s Word is not just about something that is written on paper with pen and ink. That is only a convenience, a way to allow more people to have and to own. What good is a Bible that is never opened and read? Owning a Bible will not get you into Heaven. Until you actively study its words and apply them in your daily life, they will have no liberating effect or redeeming quality. What is truly important is that we honor and worship the God of the Bible and not only the words that He spoke. God’s words are powerful; but, without God Himself there to enforce them, they would be useless and without authority. “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works (2 Timothy 3:16-17, KJV). That is why so many people want to suggest and declare that God does not exist. When you remove God’s power and authority, you eliminate His spoken Word. When you eliminate His laws and commandments, you rid yourself of personal accountability and responsibility. Instead of placing their faith and trust in God and allowing Him to do all He has promised, many choose to do things their way. That would be excellent and acceptable if we had the power to cleanse and to remove our sins.
Why do we have and need so many versions of the Bible, God’s Holy Word? Simple logic and common sense tell us that we don’t, so there must be a reason or sinister plan behind it all. First we must acknowledge the facts that we can all agree upon, and then we can discuss why we deviate or choose to go a different way. Do you think or believe that you possess power and authority outside of what God has offered you? Do you believe that God has a particular will or purpose and that He wants to see His will accomplished, or do you believe that God is weak and unable to promote and defend His Word? Do you also believe that all those who rewrite or revise God’s Word have a honest purpose and a heart that is totally dedicated to God and His purpose for all mankind? Since we understand and instinctively know that men are not perfect or infallible, do we concede that it is possible for them to, out of misunderstanding or conscience intent, make an error. What is your purpose or reason for stating your convictions or what you say you feel and believe? If your purpose or intent is not impartial and holy, you have compromised your integrity and should be fearful and ashamed. The truth is and will always be the truth. If you are truly a Christian and have given everything to God, I’m sure that you will agree that God, our Creator, is sovereign and is in total control of everything. If you do not believe, then I ask, what is your concern? If God is not the one that you have put your complete faith and trust in, then His Word will have little power or meaning to you when it comes to those eternal things that really matter. That does not mean that the Bible does not apply to you or that you will not be judged by it, it only means that you have chosen to remain uninformed and ignorant.
It’s been said that certain translations are easier to read and to be understood, and I heartily agree. My question here, while not trying to be trivial or dogmatic, is, if the meaning has been omitted or altered, what good has been accomplished simply by your being able to easily read and understand? Understanding a falsehood has no true worth, or intrinsic value. Knowing that it is a fabrication will forever be a warning; but, until you know what the truth is, you will remain ignorant and confused. Most arguments arise out of ignorance and not sustainable information or the truth. Many people believe things, not because they are factual, but because, “well, they just do!” In other words, they don’t know why and can’t give you a plausible answer. If we wish to verify something that has been translated or rewritten, then, out of astuteness, we check to see what was purported to have been said; we go to something that is older or preceded what we are trying to verify.
It should be obvious to all of us, especially Christians, that Satan, God’s sworn enemy, is out to cause as much division and strife as he possibly can. That means he will not stand idle when it comes to something as important and life altering as God’s inerrant Word. Satan’s number one concern and problem is the truth or, as the Bible states, God and the infallibility of His Holy Word. Lies from the devil, the father of lies, cannot survive or even function where the truth is recognized and taught. In his fervent attempt to destroy God and all that is His, the devil must pervert and distort what even he knows to be the truth. The Bible tells us that Satan knows the truth, (James 2:19, KJV), “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble”. Satan knows that his time is limited and the he must not rest if he is to accomplish his evil purpose. The Bible declares that Satan is our adversary and that he walks about as a roaring lion (1 Peter 5:8, KJV). This infers that he is meticulous about all he is attempting to do and the he will stop at nothing to see his ways, or horror, enacted. Satan is cunning and wise, knows how to disguise a lie and make it sound righteous and plausible. He is not concerned about our emotions or feelings and has no intention of giving in. His struggle is to the death; and, when he is defeated, he will take everyone who listens and obeys him along.
Instead of arguing what is the best version or translation of scriptures, why not spend that time in learning what God is truly all about and than lovingly go about spreading His Word and His truth unto a world that is sick and needing of that love? God has promised to give wisdom to all those who ask it of Him (James 1:5-6, KJV), but we are to ask in faith, believing that He will do as He has promised. It is possible and unquestionably needed to have conversations that are uplifting and constructive. When you have a question or issue that is similar but different, through coherent reasoning you can be assured that one rendition or version will be considered “best” or more trustworthy. Listen to what someone else has to say and, instead of going off, as they say “half cocked”, use their opinion to study and to strengthen and to bolster your own belief. Don’t use their opinion to condemn but, if needed, in compassion and love, show them what God truly has to say. If they will not hear you, pray and ask God to reveal His truth unto them. Words are important and how we use them is just as critical and useful. It is God and His Spirit that must show them the truth or the error of their ways. A stubborn, belligerent heart or mind cannot be changed or convinced by harsh words or insistent squabbling. The devil is out to condemn and destroy them and their testimony. Don’t let the enemy drag you into his trap by idle conversation and fruitless bickering. In God’s eyes we are all equal and unique; He loves us all the same (Acts 10:34, KJV). The Bible is intended to be a contentious book, but not between the brethren. “They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contends with them” Proverbs 28:4, KJV). We are, in love, to challenge this world and its evil system and practices (Jude 1:3, KJV).
It is the goal and intent of Satan, our enemy, to cause division and strife. Oddly enough, he is able to get a foothold, not by causing us to disagree with him and his followers, that is a given, but by causing internal strife and bickering with other Christians. His devious plan is quite effective and fruitful. Families are always ready to backup and defend each other when a stranger is involved; but, when that argument is with another family member, then different rules apply. This same tactic or strategy is also effective when it comes to the enemy and his evil devices. The devil is always ready and willing to support those who hate God and His righteous judgments but is sure to turn and rend those who are seeking God or are already a part of His eternal family. God’s Word tells us that His Word is of no private interpretation and that His Spirit must guide us as we study His Word. That is to say, we as His children must seek God and His wisdom if we are to learn and to know all that He has for us to learn. Of a solemn truth, we are dependent upon God if we are to live. (Read 2 Peter 1:20 & 1 Corinthians 2:10-16).
Where did the truth come from? Is it truth because God said it, or did God say it because it is the truth? As we think about the Bible and its many translations, we must be prepared to accept all that God, through the power and wisdom of His Spirit, is telling us. Be advised, if we are doing anything that is eternal and life changing, the enemy will be there to offer up his evil thoughts and opinions. As I have already said, words are important and the way they are being used is just as important. If man were to radically change or omit what God is telling us, there would be no argument. Changes must be limited and subtle if controversy and dissention are to arise. Small changes, or what many see as corrections, can be just as divisive and intrusive as large ones. What is true must remain uncontaminated and holy or it is no longer the truth.
The number one problem in Christianity today is that all Christians do not think and act like Christians. “How are we as Christians suppose to act?” you may ask. Here are a few examples as given in His Holy Word. We are plainly told in Matthew 5:16, KJV to, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven”. “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith” (Romans 12:3, KJV). “Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption. Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you” (Ephesians 4:29-32, KJV).
This is only a very small part or the beginning of what can be suggested and explained. Everyone has been given a job to do and to accomplish that job should be our main focus and desire. If God didn’t want or, in love, require our obedience and service, would He have given us the opportunity and the command to go? Would He have given us His Holy Word that tells us all that is needed and required? I said serve Him because He is the one that we are to serve. If you are faithful and obedient, you do not serve yourself or only those that you choose to love and to accept. When God gives us a commission or a job to do, He will also give us, by the authority and the power of His Holy Word, the power to accomplish it. That does not make us powerful in and of ourselves, because all power abides and resonates from God; God possesses the only power and without Him we are powerless. In a similar manner God’s written Word is the same. Without God and His authority to promote and defend His Word, how important and meaningful would His Word truly be? Would we listen and obey Him if there were no penalties or consequences? Idle or meaningless words are seldom acknowledged or obeyed, if even heard. We cannot live without God and His Word. It is time that we reverence God and His desire to give us all that His Word tells us is Holy and eternally sufficient. GLH MOM,LLC Edited by KLH