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Translation Tidbits

 

When it comes to the subject of Bible translation, even most Bible-believing Christians, including pastors, preachers, and teachers, do not believe that a translation can be inspired, infallible, inerrant, incorruptible, pure, and perfect because this is the belief of the so called Biblical “scholars.

 

In churches and Bible colleges, from the pulpit to the classroom, through lectures, books, CDs, DVDs, TV and radio broadcasts, and every available media, the verdict is consistent:  while God did inspire his infallible, inerrant, incorruptible, pure, and perfect words in the original writings, he has not taken any action since that has perfectly preserved his words in any copy much less a translation. 

 

They rightly believe that God INSPIRED the original writings (2 Tim 3:16), but fail to see the clear teaching of scripture that God promised to perfectly PRESERVE his words (Psa 12:6-7) in copies and translations.

 

They believe that man is solely responsible for preserving the word of God. They contend that since man is frail and fallible, no matter how cautious, diligent, and sincere he may be, it is inevitable that mistakes and errors will creep into copies of the scriptures. Even more so with translations due to the nuances and complexities of translation.

 

In spite of all this, they hypocritically refer to the Bible they read and minister from as scripture and tell us we can depend on the Bible we have today since the errors and mistakes dont effect the teachings of scripture.  But how can we neglect to point out that they are saying we do not have an infallible, inerrant, pure, and perfect Bible in direct contradiction to what God promised in his word? 

 

The only scripture these scholars ever put forth to support the lie that no translation can be inspired, infallible, inerrant, incorruptible, pure, and perfect is 2 Timothy 3:16.  While this verse clearly and directly teaches that the original scriptures were given by the miraculous process known as inspiration, it does not refute, directly or by implication, the belief of perfect preservation through copies and translations.  As a matter of fact, the word scripture is used in 2 Timothy 3:15 (as well as many other references) to refer to COPIES not the originals. 

 

It is time for professed Bible-believing Christians, including pastors, preachers, and teachers to wake up to the fact we have been lied to regarding the subject of Bible translation. Instead of blindly accepting what the so called “scholars” say on the subject, we need to know what saith the scripture (Gal 4:30) and challenge these scholars to Produce your causebring forth your strong reasons…” (Isa 41:21).

 

As professed Bible-believing Christians, the Bible should be our final authority for all we believe and practice, including what we believe about the subject of translation. After all, the Bible is the ALL sufficient source of EVERYTHING the Lord wants us to know (2 Pet 1:3-4,20-21). We should try the spirit behind the teaching that no translation can be inspired and inerrant, by the word of God to see if it is of God or not (1 John 4:1).

 

The first step is to identify all the scripture references that contain a form of the word translation. Next, a prayerful study of these verses should be conducted in light of their immediate context and the broad context of all scripture. The truth about what God thinks of the subject of translation can come in the form of direct statements, principles, or precedents in these scriptures. All this should then be compared to what the scholars believe and teach to determine if the spirit behind their teaching is of God or not.

 

What follows is an example of what can be gleaned from a study of the various forms of the word translation.  It is provided as a help and supplement to self-study, not a replacement. No one should blindly accept the conclusions but validate (or invalidate) them by searching the scriptures whether these things are so (Acts 17:11).

 

TRANSLATION= The act of removing or conveying from one place to another; removal; the removal of a person to heaven without subjecting him to death; the act of turning into another language; interpretation; that which is produced by turning into another language; a version (Websters 1828 Dictionary)

 

The words translate, translated, and translation appear a total of 5x in 3 verses.

 

2 Sam 3:10

To translate the kingdom from the house of Saul, and to set up the throne of David over Israel and over Judah, from Dan even to Beersheba.

 

Col 1:13

Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:

 

Heb 11:5

By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God.

 

Here is a sample of what can be gleaned about translation from a study of these verses and their context:

 

2 Sam 3:10

        God promised to translate cf. (2 Sam 3:9)

        God translated the kingdom from Saul to David

        God used a man (Abner) as the instrument to fulfill his promise to translate (i.e.- a confluency)

        The man engaged in God's "translation work" (Abner) was killed by a man (Joab) who was supposed to be on the same side (David's- a type of CHRIST) cf. (2 Sam 3:22-27)

 

Col 1:13

        God has translated every born again believer from the power of darkness into the kingdom of his dear son

        God is in the translation business but, unlike men, he is in it for DELIVERANCE not DOLLARS

 

Heb 11:5

        The subject of translation is a matter of FAITH and faith is essential in translation cf. (Heb 11:6)

        God translated (Enoch) for purposes of eternal PRESERVATION (that he should not see death)

        The "original" was sought for but could not be found because it was no longer here physically

        The "original" was preserved through translation"

        The "original" was pleasing to God so there was no defect in it; he could have chosen to preserve it forever as it was but he didnt, he chose to preserve it through translation

 

Here are some conclusions that can be drawn from a study of these references:

 

1)      The ORIGINATOR Of Translation= the Lord

 

This is not to say that the Lord is the source of all translations, but that he can be the source of translation. Just like the process of inspiration is confluent, that is, it consists of a dual agency (i.e.- the divine source and the human instrument) so is the process of preservation (through copies and translations).  The Lord did not have to use men to write down his inspired word originally or to copy and translate it later, but he chose to. 

 

The belief that the Lord is the source of preservation through translation does not equate with the false notion of double inspiration.  In the process of divine inspiration there is also divine REVELATION, whereas there is no additional revelation in the process of divine preservation. It is essential to understand that the lack of additional revelation does not relegate a divinely preserved copy or translation to an inferior status compared to the original.  Both are equally the inspired, infallible, inerrant, incorruptible, pure, and perfect word of God.

 

2) The OBJECTIVE Of Translation= to eternally preserve; to fulfill the promise of God

 

Enoch was translated for the sole purpose that he should not see death.  DEATH is CORRUPTION so to not see death is to be incorruptible.  The word of God by which every single person has ever been born again is described as INCORRUPTIBLE (1 Pet 1:23).  Since EVERY WORD of God is pure (Pro 30:5), then anything professing to be the word of God that has even ONE textual error or falsehood in it is not the word of God. Contrary to what the scholars state or imply there are not two types of scripture, the infallible, inerrant, incorruptible, and perfect scriptures that are the original writings and the slightly fallible, somewhat errant, corruptible, and imperfect scriptures that are all copies and translations. The Bible does not teach or imply the existence of a word of God that is consists of anything less than infallible, inerrant, incorruptible, pure, and perfect words. If it is corrupt, then it is not the word of God regardless of any labels man puts on it. If it is the word of God, then it is incorruptible.

 

DEATH is the opposite of LIFE, and the incorruptible word of God that is the source of salvation for every true born again believer from every generation and every language, is said to liveth (present tense) and abideth (present tense) forever (1 Pet 1:23). The originals have not been here to save anyone for the past 1900+ years, yet multitudes from every kindred, tongue, people, and nation have been saved. According to 1 Peter 1:23, this is not possible unless God has perfectly preserved his incorruptible word in every generation and through translation so those who do not understand Hebrew and Greek could be saved.

 

When someone dies, we often say they passed away. Jesus made the promise that: Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away (Matt 24:35). Note that the promise of eternal preservation applies to the WORDS of God not the teachings, thoughts, or doctrines. It was God’s will to translate Enoch so he would not see death, and it is the will of God to translate his words so they will not pass away.  The originals did pass away because they were written upon corruptible materials like papyrus (grass) and vellum (flesh), yet the words endure forever (1 Pet 1:24-25) through perfectly preserved copies (e.g.- the Hebrew Masoretic Text; the Greek Textus Receptus) and perfectly preserved translations (e.g.- the King James Bible).

 

3) The OUTCOME Of Translation= persecution from the enemy; the translation is better than the original

 

The story of Abner and Joab (2 Sam 3:9-10,22-27) serves as an example of where the greatest opposition will come to translation work, as well as how serious that opposition has been, is, and will be. As mentioned earlier, Abner was killed by Joab while in the process of translating the kingdom to David.  At that time, Joab was supposed to be on the same side as Abner, who was a recent convert to David (a type of CHRIST). Joab represents an entity that professes to be Christian; it has a form of godliness but denies the power thereof (2 Tim 3:5); an entity that does not want anyone engaged in translation work other than itself and has a history of persecuting and killing those who attempt to do so.  What entity opposed and persecuted John Wycliffe, William Tyndale, John Rogers, and even attempted to blow up the English House of Lords and assassinate King James I? For over 1700 years, the ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH has been the arch enemy of the word of God, Bible-believing Christians, and Bible translation. The spirit behind the Catholic Church is none other than Mystery, Babylon the Great (Rev 17:5), who is pictured by the strange woman in the book of Proverbs. It is clear from reading Proverbs 5-7 that the only way to avoid the lure, lust, and lies of the strange woman is to have, hear, and heed the word of God. That is why she is so actively involved in trying to destroy it or discredit it. She is the eventual institutional source of all corruption of the Bible. The lesson to learn is that the greatest and most dangerous opposition to translation will come from those who call themselves Christians.

 

There are only three different translations by name in the Bible and all three were better than the originals. Consider the following:

 

        Was the translated version of the kingdom under David better than the original under Saul?

“And Samuel said unto him, The LORD hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou.” (1 Sam 15:28)

        Is the translated version of the believer in the kingdom of Gods dear son better than the original under the power of darkness?

        Was the translated version of Enoch in heaven better than the original on earth?

 

If a scholar heard someone say a translation is better than the original, they might have a heart attack from the outrage and infuriation. That’s because they think this statement means a Bible translation is more pure and perfect than the original writings, which is simply not the case.  There are no degrees regarding the word of God.  If a text is the word of God, it is 100% infallible, 100% inerrant, 100% incorruptible, 100% pure, and 100% perfect.  If it is 99.9% incorruptible, then it is corrupt.  If it is 99.9% pure, then it is impure.  If it is 99.9% the word of God, then it is NOT the word of God. A perfectly preserved copy or translation is no more and no less the word of God than the inspired originals.

 

The word better is applied in the same sense it is used in Hebrews 7:22 where the New Testament is said to be better than the Old Testament: By so much was Jesus made a surety of a better testament (Heb 7:22).  The New Testament is not any more the word of God than the Old Testament.  In fact, the Old Testament law is said to be holy, just, and good (Rom 7:12). The New Testament is better on the basis of it’s EFFECT- the Old Testament did not and can not save anyone but the New Testament can and has: For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God (Heb 7:19). 

A perfectly preserved translation like our King James Bible (KJB) is better than the originals, not because it is any more the word of God or because it contains additional or advanced revelation, but because of its EFFECT from the hearers perspective.

 

1.      The KJB is AVAILABLE and the originals are not

2.      The KJB is UNDERSTANDABLE to those who speak English and the originals would not be even if they were available

 

The scriptures were inspired to be profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness (2 Tim 3:16). This necessitates perfect preservation through translation because how can the scriptures profit a believer in each of these areas unless the words are in a language he understands?  The Hebrew Masoretic Text and the Greek Textus Receptus are perfectly preserved copies of the originals and equally the word of God as the originals or the KJB, yet they do not profit anyone who does not understand Hebrew and Greek. The scriptural precedent is speaking in an unknown tongue (i.e.- a language unknown to the hearer) without a subsequent interpretation (i.e.- translation). The person speaking in the unknown tongue may very well have spoken the words of God, but there was no profit or edification unless the words were interpreted in a language the hearer could understand (1 Cor 14:9-11,13-17).

 

The fact the scriptures are what makes the believer perfect is proof that the preserved translation must also be perfect because the seed (1 Pet 1:23) can only produce after its own kind (Gen 1:11).

 

Psa 19:7

The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

 

2 Tim 3:16-17

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

 

Creation is another example of how the Lord made the original better through translation. The Lord could have created everything all at once rather than doing it over seven days, but he didnt. Contrary to what the Gap Theory teaches, there was nothing wrong with the condition of the earth in Genesis 1:2. It was without form and void because that was how God intended the original to be. It was not his will however, to leave it in this condition because he purposed for the earth to have form and be filled with life.  So over the course of the 7-day creative week (Gen 1:3-31), he made it better by giving it form and filling it with life.  Likewise, there is nothing wrong with the originals or with perfectly preserved copies in the original languages of Hebrew and Greek; however, it is better for the purpose of getting the word of God to the world in a language they can understand if there is perfect preservation through translation. The scriptural precedent is the creation of the heavens.

 

Psa 33:6

By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.

 

The breath of his mouth is the same as inspiration (Job 32:8; 2 Tim 3:16) so, the original heavens were given by inspiration. But they were also translated into every language so all can hear and understand (Psa 19:1-4). The context of Psalm 19 provides a clear connection to the word of God (Psa 19:7).

 

Psa 19:1-4,7

1 The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork.

2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.

3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.

4 Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun,

7 The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

 

This pictures the plan and purpose of God for his word- to get his inspired, infallible, inerrant, incorruptible, pure, and perfect word to the world in a language they can understand. TRANSLATION fulfills this purpose and his promise of preservation (Psa 12:6-7).

 

Another word for translation is INTERPRETATION.  One of the meanings of the word interpret is, "to TRANSLATE" unintelligible words into intelligible ones".  What does the Bible say about interpretations?  "Do not interpretations belong to God?" (Gen 40:8)  Not every translation or interpretation is of God, but this verse supports the fact that God is in the translation business and is the source of all true translations.


It is interesting to note that the appearance of the words translate, translated, and translationin 2 Samuel 3:10; Colossians 1:13; and Hebrews 11:5 is a King James Bible exclusive.  In other words, they are changed in all the new bibles (e.g.- NKJV, NASB, NIV, ESV, etc.). While these words otherwise appear in these bibles (13x in the NKJV;  14x in the NASB; 2x in the NIV; 3x in the ESV) their lack of appearance in these specific verses means that everything gleaned about translation from a study of these verses in the KJB could not be gleaned from studying these other bibles.

  

Someone doesnt want the simple truth known about translation. Who wouldnt want the Christian to know that God promised to perfectly preserve his word and he has fulfilled that promise, even through translation?  Who would want the Christian to be in doubt regarding whether he has the word of God or not?   The same one whose first words recorded in the Bible were to cast doubt upon the word of God and whose purpose is to corrupt the mind from the simplicity that is in Christ- the serpent.

 

Gen 3:1

Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

 

2 Cor 11:3

But I fear, lest by any means, as the serpent beguiled Eve through his subtilty, so your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.

 

In light of all this information, is the spirit behind the teaching that no translation can be inspired, infallible, inerrant, and perfect of God or not of God? Judge ye.

 
 
 
 


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