There are two foundational things that are required for a sound Bible translation (not to speak of the qualifications of the translators). The first being that it must be translated from the right Hebrew and Greek texts. The second being the method of translation. Just as there are two competing Greek texts today (the received text underlying the Reformation Bibles such as the German Luther and the English King James vs. The Westcott-Hort line of Greek texts underlying most of the modern English versions since the 19th century). There are also two competing methods of translating the Bible from original to the receptor language. One is the literal method the type that was used to create the reformation Bibles such as the KJV, and the other is the dynamic equivalency method. Modern English Bibles such as the New International Version, the Today’s English Version, The Message, and the Contemporary English Version fail on both counts. They are loose dynamic equivalency renderings of the wrong Greek Text. Modern English Bibles such as the New American standard Bible and the English Standard Version fail only on the first account. They are literal translations of the wrong text.
The method of dynamic equivalency is fairly new and has many different facets to it, which we will look at shortly. Simply stated it is the idea that we take the words and speculate on the thought we think is portrayed in the text, instead of a word for word translation from the original to the receptor language. It means that the translation is only “dynamically” (active, energetic) equivalent (less authoritative and precise than exactness) to the original and meaning that literal equivalency is not the objective. Let’s start by defining a few types of dynamic equivalency.
Common Language: meaning the translator aims to translate the text into the level of linguistic aptitude common to the receptor language and if the receptor language is that of a group of people who are largely illiterate, the “common level” might be third or fourth grade.
Idiomatic Translation: meaning the translator is free to change idioms into those that would be easily understood by the people in the receptor language (if they don’t readily understand snow, for example, this can be changed to some other substance that is white in color).
Impact Translation: meaning the translator attempts to produce the same impact on modern readers that, in his opinion, the original language version had on the original readers.
Indirect Transfer Translation: meaning the translator does not have to translate literally and directly into the receptor language but is free to be indirect.
Functional Equivalency: meaning the translator does not have to aim for exact equivalence but for general, functional equivalence.
Thought Translation: meaning the translator is free to translate general thoughts rather than actual words.
Dynamic equivalency holds that we need to make the word more understandable to the unsaved, is it right to take the Word of God and rewrite it to be easier understood using today’s modern language? What are the dangers in this, if any? This is the whole argument for the new translations. This also is supported by the fact that dynamic equivalency holds that the Bible was written in language easily understood by the people then living. Is this also true? Let us now take a look at these two concepts of dynamic equivalency.
Consider a statement by ABWE missionary Linn Silvernale:
“The spiritual truth of Scripture was originally written in clear natural language which was intelligible to its readers. Its language conformed to the idiomatic usage of the native speakers of the time in which it was written. However, the illuminating work of the Holy Spirit was necessary to enable the original readers to grasp that spiritual truth, because spiritual truth must be spiritually discerned. When people today read a translation of the Bible, the only barrier they should have to encounter is the spiritual one, not a linguistic one which stems from the use of unnatural and difficult language” (Silvernale, pp. 36,37).
Silvernale is merely restating something she learned from one of the chief promoters of dynamic equivalency. John Beekman, translation coordinator with Wycliffe Bible Translators. On page 34 of his book (Translating the word of God) he says “The naturalness of the translation and the ease with which it is understood should be comparable to the naturalness of the original and to the ease with which the recipients of the original documents understood them”.
Lets return to Silvernale’s statement, at first glance it seems correct but upon closer inspection we see that it is a very subtle mixture of truth and error. It is not completely true that the “Scripture was originally written in clear natural language which was intelligible to its readers,” or that it’s language conformed to the idiomatic usage of the native speakers or tongue of the time in which it was written.
Even the writers of the Bible did not always understand what they were speaking! This is stated in 1st peter 1:10-11 10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.
Also in 2nd Peter 3:16 Peter states that some things in Paul’s epistles are hard to be understood. “As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.”
It is widely held among modern textual critics and assumed in the dynamic equivalency argument that Jesus spoke in parables to make his teaching simple and clear for the unbelievers, we see that this simply is not true. The parables had a twofold purpose; to reveal truth to believers and hide truth from unbelievers! “Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given….Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand”. Mathew 13:10-13
It simply is not true that the original scriptures were one hundred percent clear without study and Christian maturity to the native speakers of its day!
It is also not true that all of the idioms of the original writings were those of the native speakers at the time of writing. The Law of Moses, with its tabernacle, priesthood, and sacrifices, was given by revelation from God on Mt. Sinai and much of it was completely foreign even to the Israelites at the time of its reception. These were “patterns of things in heaven” (Heb. 9:23). The details relating to the Law, the priesthood, and the tabernacle and its service were not adapted to Israel’s culture; Israel’s culture was molded and created by that Revelation!
The same is true for many other parts
of Scripture. The teaching about the church in the New Testament is described
as “mysteries,” which means new revelation from heaven. The people of the first
century knew no more about New Testament salvation, propitiation,
justification, sanctification, baptism, the Lord’s Supper, or any other church
term and service than people of the world do today. They had to learn the
meaning of these foreign, heavenly things after they were saved, just as men do
now. Even common words used by the apostles under inspiration of the Holy
Spirit are often given new meanings when they are used in Scripture than they
had in everyday life.
These Bible things are foreign to all earthly cultures, because earthly cultures were formed by rebellious men who have turned from the truth and from the Living God. Truth has been lost from man’s cultures and only exists in the form of unperceived shadows remaining in the dark mists of manmade religions. It is not surprising that much of the Bible is obscure to the people of this world, for “our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Phil. 3:20). And again, “We know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness” (1 John 5:19). Again, Jesus said of Christians, “...they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world” (John 17:14, 16).
The Bible has great variety of style and doctrine—some simple enough for children to understand, some difficult even for the most educated adult; some simple enough for the unsaved to grasp, some difficult even for the most mature saint. First year Greek students soon learn that the language style of the New Testament holds great variety. Many first year Greek students can translate portions of the Gospel of John with considerable accuracy, while to the same students Paul’s epistles remain mostly obscure because of the greater difficulty in language style and content. Isn’t it amazing that in Greek the gospel of John is just as easily understood to the new Greek student as it is to the new Christian reading it in his King James for the first time? You see it carries over, if a portion of text is complex, or easily understood in Greek then it will be complex or easily understood in English, providing it was translated using the direct literal method of translation, and not dynamic equivalency.
Man is not free to simplify that which God has not simplified! The translator who produces a version of the Bible in which the Pauline epistles is as easy to read as the Gospel of John has corrupted God’s Word. I know that such an idea sounds like heresy to a follower of dynamic equivalency. Many ask, Isn’t it always good to make the Bible simple enough for people to understand? I say no, not if in so doing we have changed God’s Holy Word! Who is man to make simple that which God did not make simple? The Bible is God’s Book. Does any fallen man know better than God what man needs to hear?
Contrast today’s thinking among Bible translators with that of faithful William Tyndale of old, who first translated the English Bible from Greek and Hebrew: “I call God to record against the day we shall appear before our Lord Jesus, to give a reckoning of our doings, that I never altered one syllable of God’s Word against my conscience, nor would [I so alter it] this day, if all that is in the earth, whether it be pleasure, honor, or riches, might be given me.”
This I think we can see is very dangerous; don’t exact thoughts require exact words? How can man always know the original thought intended? Is this not the Holy Spirit’s job to reveal to us the mind of God as we read His Word? To translate this way is very dangerous and is resulting in the watering down of the scriptures.
Bruce Metzger states about modern textual criticism “Since Textual criticism is an art as well as a science it is understandable that in some cases different scholars will come to different evaluations of the significance of the evidence.” (The text of the New Testament P.210). Seeking to establish the original text of the Bible is about art! Whereas the Bible is all about absolutes from beginning to end, art has nothing to do with absolutes! To the contrary, settling the text of Holy Scripture is not art: it is a spiritual task of determining the text inspired and preserved by God, and it can only be accomplished through faith and spiritual wisdom, based on biblical principles, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Yet one thing Griesbach, Westcott, Hort, Kenyon, Epp, Streeter, Metzger, or Aland do not mention is faith, biblical principles, and the Holy Spirit! And one thing they all agree on (with their evangelical and fundamentalist disciples) is to discount any textual principle that even hints at being “theological.” The “fideistic” or “faith” approach is rejected out of hand. No wonder nothing is settled in this field.
~Taken from “Answering the Myths on the Bible Version Debate” by David Cloud, page 150-151
Most men on the United Bible Societies board, since its start in the 1800’s, believed that you should treat the Bible like any other history book. That is heresy and denies divine preservation. Most modern versions use The Dynamic Equivalent or Common Language method of translating. And this method along with the fact that there are different manuscripts underlying the translations accounts for most all the omissions and changes there are, which we will look at in a bit.
But before I do that, let’s take a look at just one of the many people like this working for the United Bible Societies. Bruce Manning Metzger (1914) is George L. Collard Professor of New Testament Language and Literature, Princeton Theological Seminary, and he serves on the board of the American Bible Society. Metzger is the head of the RSV translation committee, and his modernism is evident in the notes to the New Oxford Annotated Bible RSV (1973). Metzger co-edited this volume with Herbert May. It first appeared in 1962 as the Annotated Bible and was the first Protestant Annotated edition of the Bible to be approved by the Roman Catholic Authority. It was given an imprimatur in 1966 by Cardinal Cushing, Archbishop, Boston, Massachusetts. Metzger wrote many of the rationalistic notes in this volume and put his editorial stamp of approval on the rest. Consider some excerpts from the notes:
“Introduction to the Old Testament: ‘The Old Testament may be described as the literary expression of the religious life of ancient Israel. …The Israelites were more history conscious than any other people in the ancient world. Probably as early as the time of David and Solomon, out of a matrix of myth, legend, and history, there had appeared the earliest written form of the story of the saving acts of God from creation to the conquest of Promised land, an account which later in modified form became part of scripture. But it was to be a long time before the idea of scripture arose and the Old Testament took its present form. …The process by which the Jews became the people of the book was gradual, and the development is shrouded in the mists of history and tradition…’”
On the flood, Metzger says, “Archaeological evidence suggest that traditions of a prehistoric flood covering the whole earth are heightened versions of local inundations , e.g. in the Tigris Euphrates regions.”
On Job, he says, “The ancient folktale of a patient Job circulated orally among oriental sages in the second millennium B.C. was probably written down in Hebrew at the time of David or Solomon or a century later (about 1000-800 B.C.).
~All of the above about Bruce Metzger is taken from “Unholy Hands on God’s Holy Book” by David W. Cloud, pages 23-24.
Brooke Foss Westcott (1825-1901) and Fenton John Anthony Hort (1828-1892)
Westcott was Canon of Peterborough, Regius Professor of Divinity at Cambridge, and Bishop of Durham (consecrated 1890). F.J.A. Hort was Hulsean professor of Divinity at Cambridge. These two men edited the critical Greek N.T. Published in 1881 and were on the British committee the produced the English Revised Version (ERV) They secretly introduced their pre-publication critiacal Greek N.T. to the ERV committee starting in 1870.
“No one now, I suppose, holds that the first three chapters of Genesis give a literal history—I could never understand how any one reading them with open eyes could think they did—yet they disclose to us a Gospel. So it is probably elsewhere [In the Bible]” (Westcott, writing to the Archbishop of Canterbury in 1890, cited in life and letters of Brooke Foss Westcott, Vol. II, p.69)
Comment: Westcott wrote this when he was old. It is obvious that even when he spoke of the Gospel, he was speaking allegorically, because in his view the very foundation of the Bible was not literal truth. Of course, the denial of the history of Genesis 1-3 is a denial of Redemption and of Jesus Christ, Who taught a literal Adam and Eve. If there is not literal fall there is no literal salvation, and if the first chapters of Genesis are myth the rest of the Bible is nonsense.
Hort argues “…the popular doctrine of substitution is an immoral and material counterfeit. … Certainly nothing could be more unscriptural than his death; but indeed that is only one aspect of an almost universal heresy” (Hort to Westcott, 1860, cited in life of Hort, Vol. I p.430). Comment: What Hort called heresy is, in fact the truth. The atonement of Christ was made through His literal blood and death, not by his life. We are justified by His blood and reconciled by His death (Rom. 5:9-10) This is damnable heresy, meaning those who hold it cannot be saved. (2 Pet. 2:1)
These men, Westcott and Hort, are the two who authored the Critical Greek N.T which is behind every last single Modern Bible version, including the Jehovah’s Witness bible, and most all these Bibles have been accepted publically by Rome! Something they have never done to the K.J.V. The early translators were put to death and burned for producing the Bible from the received text which then lead to the K.J.V. later.
I would like to conclude this section on modern textual criticism with a conclusion on the whole issue that sums it up. It is such a huge issue, I in no way can put down all the information here. however much more documentation than this available for those that require it. And so the Conclusion-
The Doctrine of divine preservation overthrows modern textual criticism. According to modern textual criticism the pure Scriptures were discarded in the fourth century and not “recovered” until the 19th. This is one of its fundamental principles and is the reason why textual critics can discard the Traditional Text so flippantly, but such a thing is impossible upon its very face if divine preservation as taught in the Scriptures is true.
Modern textual criticism is an unsettled pseudo-science. It is a “science falsely so called” (1 Tim. 6:20)
Modern textual criticism dismissed the Traditional Text found in the vast majority of Greek manuscripts by claiming that is was the product of an alleged recension that occurred in the early centuries, though there is no evidence for such a thing.
Modern textual criticism is complicated and is therefore suitable only for the scholarly elite.
Modern textual criticism has produced uncertainty, skepticism and a weakening of the authority of the Bible and has encouraged the “back to Rome” movement.
~Information taken from “Answering the Myths on the Bible Version Debate by David Cloud” (pages 155-158)
This is only a few of these men’s erroneous quotes. There are many more from them and many others like them in the field of modern textual criticism. Thus we see that the people behind the modern versions do not hold God’s Word to be the preserved, inspired Word of God!
When text or verse is changed or omitted, all modern versions will have subtitles telling you this simply was not in earlier manuscripts, so they admit that’s why it is missing. What are these manuscripts? The modern versions are supported by about 5 of the total 5000 manuscripts available, the key ones being, Sinaticus and Vaticanus The differences between these two texts and the Textus Receptus, “The received text”, involves 5,604 changes totaling 9,970 Greek words. That affects 7% of the words in the T.R. and 45.9 pages of the Greek N.T. The omissions alone total 2,886 words, the equivalent of omitting 1 and 2 Peter!
I would now like to look at some of the differences we do have between the Authorized King James Version and the New International Version. Note: these changes also carry across into other modern versions. Here are some of the verses that are removed completely or in the footnotes.
Matthew 12:47 . . . This verse is removed in the footnotes.
Matthew 17:21 . . . This verse is completely removed:
"Howbeit this kind goeth not
out but by prayer and
Matthew 18:11 . . . This verse is completely removed:
"For the Son of man is come to
save that which was lost."
Matthew 21:44 . . . This verse is removed in the footnotes.
Matthew 23:14 . . . This verse is completely removed:
"Woe unto you, scribes and
Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye
devour widows' houses, and for
a pretence make long prayer:
therefore ye shall receive the
Mark 7:16 . . . This verse is completely removed:
"If any man have ears to hear,
let him hear."
Mark 9:44 . . . This verse is completely removed:
"Where their worm dieth not,
and the fire is not quenched."
Mark 9:46 . . . This verse is completely removed:
"Where their worm dieth not,
and the fire is not quenched."
Mark 11:26 . . . This verse is completely removed:
"But if ye do not forgive,
neither will your Father which
is in heaven forgive your
Mark 15:28 . . . This verse is completely removed:
"And the scripture was
fulfilled, which saith, And he
was numbered with the
Mark 16:9-20 . . . All twelve verses are removed in the
Luke 17:36 . . . This verse is completely removed:
"Two men shall be in the
field; the one shall be taken,
an the other left."
Luke 22:44 . . . This verse is removed in the footnotes.
Luke 22:43 . . . This verse is removed in the footnotes.
Luke 23:17 . . . This verse is completely removed:
"(For of necessity he must
release one unto them at the
John 5:4 . . . This verse is completely removed:
"For an angel went down at a
certain season into the pool,
and troubled the water:
whosoever then first after the
troubling of the water stepped
in was made whole of
whatsoever disease he had."
John 7:53-8:11 . . These verses are removed in the
Acts 8:37 . . . This verse is completely removed:
"And Philip said, If thou
believest with all thine
heart, thou mayest. And he
answered and said, I believe
that Jesus Christ is the Son
Acts 15:34 . . . This verse is completely removed:
"Notwithstanding it pleased
Silas to abide there still."
Acts 24:7 . . . This verse is completely removed:
"But the chief captain Lysias
came upon us, and with great
violence took him away out of
Acts 28:29 . . . This verse is completely removed:
"And when he had said these
words, the Jews departed, and
had great reasoning among
Romans 16:24 . . . This verse is completely removed:
"The grace of our Lord Jesus
Christ be with you all. Amen."
I John 5:7 . . . This verse is completely removed:
"For there are three that bear
record in heaven, the Father,
the Word, and the Holy Ghost:
and these three are one."
In all of these verses “Lord” is removed, thus weakening the overall testimony of the New Testament to Christ Deity.
Mathew 13:51; 28:6; Mark 9:24; Luke 9:57, 59 Romans 6:11; 1 Corinthians 4:10; Galatians :17; 1 Timothy 1:1; 5:21; 2 Timothy 4:1; Titus 1:4; 2 John 3
These are just a few examples of more than 60 passages in which the name “Jesus” is omitted in association with the great works of Christ, or in which “Christ” is omitted in association with the name “Jesus.”
Matthew 9:29; 12:25; 13:51; 14:14; 22:22, 25, 27, 15:30; 16:20; John 6:14; Acts 3:26; 9:29; 19:10; Romans 16:8; 2 Corinthians 5:18; Colossians1:28; 1 Peter 5:10, 14
“The separation of ‘Jesus’ from ‘Christ’ occurs far too often to look for any cause other than deliberate editing in certain N.T. manuscripts. That there was a strong movement in the early centuries which could result in such a systematic editing, there can be no doubt! The foremost error regarding the Person of Christ is of course, to deny His true Deity and true Humanity. The chief means by which this was done, and which finds expression down to our own day, is technically known as ‘Adoptionism’ or ‘Spirit Christology.’ Here, Jesus of Nazareth, an ordinary man of unusual virtue, was ‘adopted’ by God into divine Son ship by the advent of His baptism, rather than, the fact that He was always the Christ from eternity. And though united for a time, Jesus and Christ were separate personages. … it is the small group of Alexandrian manuscripts which consistently disassociate ‘Jesus’ from ‘Christ’ in 1 Cor. 15:47 it reveals its dark secret! ‘… the second man is The Spirit from heaven’ (P46)” (Jack Moorman, A Closer Look: Early Manuscripts And the Authorized Version, PP. 5, 6)
Mathew 17:21; Mark 9:29; Acts 10:30; 1 Corinthians 7:5; 2 Corinthians 6:5;
Also the modern versions have changed “fasting” to “hunger.” Yet hunger and fasting are two different things, as we see in the next example (2 Corinthians 11:27). In the Greek Received Text the word translated “fasting” in 2 Cor. 6:5 in the JFV is “nesteia,” which is always translated “fasting” in the KJV. It appears in Mat. 17:21; Mark 9:29; Acts 14:23; 27:9; 1 Cor. 7:5; 2 Cor. 7:5 and 11:27. The Critical Greek New Testament has the same Greek word, but for some reason the modern versions refuse to translate it.
KJV, Matthew 5:25; says, “But I say unto you, that whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment…”
NIV, Matthew 5:25 says “But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother will be subject to judgment. …”
The Modern Versions following the critical Greek text, omit the words “without a cause.” This omission creates a serious error, because the Lord Jesus Himself was angry at times. Mark 3:5 says, “And when he had looked round about on them with anger…” To be angry is not always a sin, but to be angry “without a cause” is. The Lord Jesus was angry for the sake of righteousness and the truth. The modern version omission in this verse makes Jesus Christ subject to judgment.
Mark 1:2-3 KJV: “As it is written in the prophets, Behold, I send my messenger before thy face, which shall prepare thy way before thee. The voice of one crying in the wilderness, prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths strait.”
Niv: “It is written in Isaiah the prophet…”
The KJV says Mark is quoting the “Prophets” plural, but the modern versions say he is quoting “Isaiah the prophet.” This creates an error, because it is plain that Mark was not quoting Isaiah only but was quoting Malachi 1:3 as well as Isaiah 40:3
There are many more examples of Scriptures missing. Many words that are changed and do not carry the original meaning, but we will stop here. There is so much more that can be written down on this subject. I believe it is clear the Modern Versions are Heretical and also there is documentation that they are backed by Rome. This is another subject in itself. May God Bless
In Christ Lyndon Bechtel
In : Bible Versions