Preview-Bible Translations: A Closer Look

Defending the Bible’s inspiration, describing the Bible’s translation, and promoting the Bible’s study: an overview of “Bible Translations: A Closer Look.”

Christianity has faced three major theological issues since its inception.

During the first few centuries the question was this: what think ye regarding Christ?  Is He the Son of God and genuine deity, or is He something less?  Of course, the answer is that He is the Son of God, Creator and sustainer of all things, and eternally the second Person of the Trinity.

During the Middle Ages another question arose: what think ye regarding salvation?  Is it something to be conferred by the Church, or is it a matter of accepting Christ’s offer by grace through faith in what He did?  The answer, most definitely, is that salvation is a gift from God and must be accepted by faith in the finished work of Christ on the cross.

Since the Reformation a third question has been in the forefront: what think ye regarding the Bible?  Is it truly God’s Word (inspired, inerrant, and authoritative), or is it just another book which has some truth in it?  The answer is clear.  The Bible is indeed the Word of God!

Questions about the Bible’s translation have arisen in recent days.  Is the old method reliable?  Are the new translations helpful?  Why is the wording so different in various translations?  How can I study my Bible more effectively in the 21st century?

“Bible Translations: A Closer Look” is a serious attempt to answer some of these questions!

Here is a sample from the book:

Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a lamp unto my path
(Psalm 119:105, KJV).

There simply is no other book quite like the Bible.

Today we have books on virtually every imaginable subject.  Any interested person can read about anything from economic theory to diet strategies, to ancient mythology to the findings of modern medical research.

A book that is translated into two or three languages is considered quite significant.  If that same book sells a million copies the author is considered a genius.  If that book somehow manages to have any meaningful impact for fifty years or more, it is considered a classic.

These things having been said, there simply is no other book quite like the Bible!

Consider the following unique factors about the Holy Scriptures:

  1. They were written over a span of at least 1,500 years.
  2. They were written by about forty different authors.
  3. They were written in three languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek).
  4. They were written under varying conditions such as war and peace, prosperity and famine, revival and spiritual upheaval.
  5. They have been translated into over 1,300 languages.
  6. Nobody knows for certain how many copies are sold each year, but a simple internet search reveals an estimate of 100,000,000 per year.
  7. They have endured brutal attacks for thousands of years.
  8. They deal with vastly differing subjects such as history, geography, science, salvation, theology, and practical living.
  9. They are the basis for thousands of hymns, poems, and printed sermons.
  10. They have comforted, convicted, and inspired more people than any book in human history.
  11. The manuscripts of the Old and New Testaments have been meticulously and miraculously preserved.
  12. They very clearly claim to be God’s Word.
  13. They give God’s point of view from eternity past to eternity future.
  14. They are generally easy to understand but also contain elements that confound the world’s greatest scholars.
  15. They contain no contradiction even though they were written by so many authors, at so many different times, and on so many different subjects.
  16. All this is contained in one book which we can easily hold in our hands.

The author would like to express some personal sentiments here.  First, thank you for your interest in this book and its content.  Second, be sure that this author wholeheartedly believes and vigorously defends the inspiration, inerrancy, and authority of the Bible and is attempting to make it better known to all readers.

King Solomon wrote these words nearly 3,000 years ago:

And further, by these my son, be admonished: of the making of books there is no end: and much study is a weariness of the flesh  (Ecclesiastes 12:12, KJV).

Books surely have their place, but just as surely, the BOOK must have first place!

It is the purpose of this book to honor God and His Word by offering discussions divided into the following sections:

  1. What we should believe about the Bible.
  2. What we should know about past Bible translations.
  3. The difficulties a Bible translator faces.
  4. Why there are so many differences in translations.
  5. Some of the methods used in modern Bible translation.
  6. Some things to be aware of in modern Bible translations.
  7. The strengths and weaknesses of the best-known Bible translations.
  8. How a believer can study the Bible more effectively.

Biblical quotations and allusions will be made from various translations, old and modern.  Considerable effort will also be made to carefully consult the original Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic wording.  In addition, the applicable linguistic principles will be explained in a clear way.