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QuestionAuthority
Oct 29th 2008, 04:59 PM
i know there are different versions of the bible with different transations and they use different words in many places. i also know christians say the bible is inerrant and god-breathed - so how do i know which is the right one?

Athanasius
Oct 29th 2008, 05:02 PM
The original texts.

QuestionAuthority
Oct 29th 2008, 05:03 PM
The original texts.

so i have to be able to understand and translate ancient hebrew to understand god's word correctly?

Literalist-Luke
Oct 29th 2008, 05:10 PM
No, no. It's just a matter of finding a translation that gives you the right balance of readability and word-for-word accuracy. And that is something that only you can make up your own mind about.

For what it's worth, the most popular translation today is the New International Version, although there's a new, updated version of that translation called "Today's New International Version", which I find to be a more accurate translation without sacrificing the original's readability.

It's usually agreed that the New American Standard Bible is the most word-for-word accurate translation you'll find, but it's also rather cumbersome in places and difficult to read for some people.

There's a wonderful website called Bible Gateway....

www.biblegateway.com

...where you can look up pretty much every translation known to man and compare them for yourself. Just pick some passage in the Bible that you like and try different translations of the same passage and make up your own mind.

As for "inerrancy", that only applies to the original texts. All translations are subject to human error, so it behooves us to keep that in mind as we read. Having said that, however, most of the mainline translations are going to have a reasonably high degree of accuracy and will not lead the reader into any doctrinal heresies. It's when you start getting down to really nitpicky details like the Rapture and other controversial issues that your translation will become more of a concern.

With you just now starting your search, however, I would say just pick whichever translation seems to be the most readable for you and it should give you a reasonably good starting place.

Hope this helps. :)

Dragonfighter1
Oct 29th 2008, 05:15 PM
so i have to be able to understand and translate ancient hebrew to understand god's word correctly?
NO, thats not what is meant.

You claim to be intelligent but you are firing off some pretty ridiculous responses to peoples answers...

The original texts are lost and the copies are extremely trust worthy, however for the sake of your likely response NO it is not easy to prove they are trustworthy unless you spend years studying all scriptures, ancient references, and become an archeologist, historian and researcher etc,, You have to trust the experts sometimes.
Anyway,
there is NO official language to use when reading the Bible. Since you speak in English I expect any commonly respected English tarnslation will suffice for general studies. If however You intend to do serious textual criticiism, then you will need to have several version to pick up on the nuances of word useage, and you will need to learn how to use a concordance, and a greek and hebrew interlinear Bible. You wont have to read greek etc.. just be able to identify the word (its easy with the interlinear) and then see what the dictionary and concordance usage of the word is to better understand the passage you are trying to comprehend.
If on the other hand you want to tear down the Bible, May I suggest the Bantu Bible. Its the only official Bible in the world, located at the bottom of a pot of boiling water surrounded by cannibals... very interesting stuff I'm led to believe:lol:

QuestionAuthority
Oct 29th 2008, 05:22 PM
NO, thats not what is meant.

You claim to be intelligent but you are firing off some pretty ridiculous responses to peoples answers...

The original texts are lost and the copies are extremely trust worthy, however for the sake of your likely response NO it is not easy to prove they are trustworthy unless you spend years studying all scriptures, ancient references, and become an archeologist, historian and researcher etc,, You have to trust the experts sometimes.
Anyway,
there is NO official language to use when reading the Bible. Since you speak in English I expect any commonly respected English tarnslation will suffice for general studies. If however You intend to do serious textual criticiism, then you will need to have several version to pick up on the nuances of word useage, and you will need to learn how to use a concordance, and a greek and hebrew interlinear Bible. You wont have to read greek etc.. just be able to identify the word (its easy with the interlinear) and then see what the dictionary and concordance usage of the word is to better understand the passage you are trying to comprehend.
If on the other hand you want to tear down the Bible, May I suggest the Bantu Bible. Its the only official Bible in the world, located at the bottom of a pot of boiling water surrounded by cannibals... very interesting stuff I'm led to believe:lol:

hmm i never heard of the bantu bible - i need to look into that.

i am trying to figure out why you are calling me ridiculous. i was told (on another thread) that the answer to my question hinged on the version i was reading.....so i don't think its 'ridiculous' to ask (on another thread) which version is the right one?? i mean, doesn't that strike you as a threshold question???

johnny's teacher: do a book report
johnny: what book are we talking about?
johnny's teacher: good question

you see what i mean. i don't understand how god's word is inerrant if its different in all these books! i mean, i don't know if the differences are big or little, but how can something be inerrant if there are different versions? the one guy suggested i would have to compare a lot of them and 'decide for myself' but if everyone does that and decides for themselves, they will come to different conclusions and will believe differet versions of a supposedly inerrant message.

Just a Door Keeper
Oct 29th 2008, 05:23 PM
No version or translation is God breathed, only the originals, today we have copies of those.
Your trust should be in God who said He would preserve His Word, Psalm 12:7.

Dragonfighter1
Oct 29th 2008, 05:31 PM
hmm i never heard of the bantu bible - i need to look into that.

i am trying to figure out why you are calling me ridiculous. i was told (on another thread) that the answer to my question hinged on the version i was reading.....so i don't think its 'ridiculous' to ask (on another thread) which version is the right one?? i mean, doesn't that strike you as a threshold question???

johnny's teacher: do a book report
johnny: what book are we talking about?
johnny's teacher: good question

you see what i mean. i don't understand how god's word is inerrant if its different in all these books! i mean, i don't know if the differences are big or little, but how can something be inerrant if there are different versions? the one guy suggested i would have to compare a lot of them and 'decide for myself' but if everyone does that and decides for themselves, they will come to different conclusions and will believe differet versions of a supposedly inerrant message.
Your point is valid, I appologize for the insult.

Now to your responses. You make perfectly good points.
The original WAS perfect, the translations are not. They cannot be becasue it is factually IMPOSSIBLE to translate anything into another language perfectly. EVERY language has nuances that are peculiar to its own unique ways.
WHich answers you other statement and explains why we have so many denominations and Bible versions. Everyone thinks they have a better take on the interpretation. We are humans, the supreme courts argue alll day about the constitution and they DO have the original text!:lol: Both parties argue over how laws should be written, one saying the exact text of the constitution, another saying the INTENT of it.

The accurancy of the old translations and manuscripts is such that it is decimal points off of accurate. Many scripture scrolls for instance were thought to be near perfect and then we found the dead sea scrolls and after comparison they were found to be even more perfect etc... Every time a parchment is found, a scroll is uncovered a cla tablet is unearthed it is compared to existing texts to see if there is any deviation. It amazing how accurate we can attest it to be...nonetheless, it still isnt the original AND it is in another language.

I've lost the coordinates for the Bantu tribe... I'll see if I can find them again:rofl: Perhaps you could "drop" in?

QuestionAuthority
Oct 29th 2008, 05:39 PM
Your point is valid, I appologize for the insult.

Now to your responses. You make perfectly good points.
The original WAS perfect, the translations are not. They cannot be becasue it is factually IMPOSSIBLE to translate anything into another language perfectly. EVERY language has nuances that are peculiar to its own unique ways.
WHich answers you other statement and explains why we have so many denominations and Bible versions. Everyone thinks they have a better take on the interpretation. We are humans, the supreme courts argue alll day about the constitution and they DO have the original text!:lol: Both parties argue over how laws should be written, one saying the exact text of the constitution, another saying the INTENT of it.

The accurancy of the old translations and manuscripts is such that it is decimal points off of accurate. Many scripture scrolls for instance were thought to be near perfect and then we found the dead sea scrolls and after comparison they were found to be even more perfect etc... Every time a parchment is found, a scroll is uncovered a cla tablet is unearthed it is compared to existing texts to see if there is any deviation. It amazing how accurate we can attest it to be...nonetheless, it still isnt the original AND it is in another language.

I've lost the coordinates for the Bantu tribe... I'll see if I can find them again:rofl: Perhaps you could "drop" in?

apology accepted on the insult - i was surprised because i like your sense of humor about the banti tribe, etc. i almost 'fell' for that one

i tend to agree about there logically being different versions because of language, context, time, different authors, etc. i guess my only point is that no version of the bible setting on the shelf in your local borders is 'perfect' - it is going to have some things in it that are at least a little bit off. if that is the case, i don't know why the baptists act like there is just one bible that is always the same - that is obviously not the case.

i don't have any problem looking at different versions and using my brain and some references to look for meaning (although i certainly haven't done that before). i would also ask do you really think most people do that? don't most people just take one and go with it?

Dragonfighter1
Oct 29th 2008, 05:50 PM
apology accepted on the insult - i was surprised because i like your sense of humor about the banti tribe, etc. i almost 'fell' for that one

i tend to agree about there logically being different versions because of language, context, time, different authors, etc. i guess my only point is that no version of the bible setting on the shelf in your local borders is 'perfect' - it is going to have some things in it that are at least a little bit off. if that is the case, i don't know why the baptists act like there is just one bible that is always the same - that is obviously not the case.

i don't have any problem looking at different versions and using my brain and some references to look for meaning (although i certainly haven't done that before). i would also ask do you really think most people do that? don't most people just take one and go with it?
Excellent follow up question.

YES!

The Baptists do tend to be on the stubborn headed side of the fence many times. Most of them are really good folks just perhaps occasionally bull headed. One thing I'll say for them, they are like foot soldiers while they are repelling everything, I am able to take the time to think more carefull and strategize or ally with the issue at hand. Every group plays an important part in a abttle. Take the democrats and repoublicans, there are the zealots who spout obviously false blather about any number of subjects, and then there are the more thoughtful who use the opportunity to engage and discuss for a better solution. Without activists there wouldnt be any battle that needed to be discussedc and resolved we would all be in a prozac world of confusion! so they do play an important part. (And by the way I do not mean that baptists are all this way cause they are not. I attend a abptists church even though I am not one and we have a mix just like most churches).

Your second question was I think, dont most people run with one Bible? Yes that is largely true, but then most people dont even study it they carry it, read along with the pastor on Sunday, and then are told what to believe about it. In this forum however, that is not the case, here you will find the bull headed and the intellectual but they all know their bible fairly well.

If you run into a discussion about the Baptists or the KING JAMES bible may I suggest you ignore it. You are already way past that stage of learning. Some onf them beleive that the King James is THE inspired text. It is not worth discussing with them as they will not listen to reason... sort of like telling the Bantu that humans shouldnt be eaten:P

Athanasius
Oct 29th 2008, 06:16 PM
i know there are different versions of the bible with different transations and they use different words in many places. i also know christians say the bible is inerrant and god-breathed - so how do i know which is the right one?


so i have to be able to understand and translate ancient hebrew to understand god's word correctly?

You asked which 'version' of the Bible was inerrant and God breathed. The answer is: none. At least none of our modern translations. Notice that word: translation. What we're reading is based on copies of original ancient manuscripts for which there are many things that don't transition smoothly from one language to another.

You don't have to understand Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek to understand God's word correctly, but it certainly helps. It's also one step closer to the 'inerrant and God breathed' scriptures when you think about it. Would you rather a copy of an original manuscript, or a translation into a different language of a copy of an original manuscript? Obviously the former.

thepenitent
Oct 29th 2008, 06:57 PM
so i have to be able to understand and translate ancient hebrew to understand god's word correctly?

Actually many who are serious about Bible study do just that. I am currently in the process of learing Biblical Hebrew and Koine Greek for just that purpose. But you don't have to go that far to accomplish almost the same thing as there are good study tools available for this purpose. A good Greek/English Reverse Interlinear Bible and a good Lexicon will do the trick nicely. They allow even those who don't speak the languages to look up the meaning of Bible words and passages in the original language for deeper meaning. Is it a lot of work? - YES. Is it worth it - double YES!

QuestionAuthority
Oct 29th 2008, 07:00 PM
Actually many who are serious about Bible study do just that. I am currently in the process of learing Biblical Hebrew and Koine Greek for just that purpose. But you don't have to go that far to accomplish almost the same thing as there are good study tools available for this purpose. A good Greek/English Reverse Interlinear Bible and a good Lexicon will do the trick nicely. They allow even those who don't speak the languages to look up the meaning of Bible words and passages in the original language for deeper meaning. Is it a lot of work? - YES. Is it worth it - double YES!


you are obviously very studious - i like that! however i have talked to a lot of christians and actually i doubt some of them have ever read the bible at all, much les use reverse interlinear bibles and lexicons. i mean, some of these people have 9th grade eduations.

Jollyrogers
Oct 29th 2008, 07:01 PM
i know there are different versions of the bible with different transations and they use different words in many places. i also know christians say the bible is inerrant and god-breathed - so how do i know which is the right one?



That really depends on what you like, I tend to use several and refer back and forth. I do word searches with the Kig James because it has kinda been the standard for the last 400 years or so (most of the verses we have heard thru the years are in KJV or NKJV, so word searches are handy in it.) That being said There are 3 basic types of translations. (source Halleys Bible Handbook)
Word for Word translation -These type of translations go thru and try their best to translate it exacally word for word what is said in the original texts. Sometimes these can be hard for the begginer to read because words and ideas do not often translate exactaly from one langiage to another. Some common Word for word translations that are in English are: KJV, NASB,ESB
Thought for Thought Translation - These types try to translate the original texts in such a way that the reader gets the equivalent meaning of what was said in the original texts. Some common english Thought translations are: NIV, NCV, & NLT
Paraphrase Bible - These are similar to a thought for thought but whereas the above trys to stay as close to the text as possible a Paraphrase does not. Instead a paraphrase takes the chapter and them attemps to retell it in the words of the language it is wrote in. It may diviate more to try to get the full meaning that the author sees in the original text. An example of one of these is The Living Bible.
As for which is best, That is up to you. Halleys comment is on this is that for normal reading a Thought for Thought is easier for just sit down reading however if you are doing in depth studies A Word for Word is better. I have left off what I consider a 4th type. That is when the author trys to change the text to suit their beliefs. The New World Translations (Jehovah Witness Bible) ia a good example of this. These are best to be avoided since they are often not true to the original texts. Hope this helps

Chimon
Oct 29th 2008, 09:59 PM
so i have to be able to understand and translate ancient hebrew to understand god's word correctly?


The major problem here is that all translation involves paraphrase. If it did not, the English would be completely unintelligible. However, almost all of the English translations that we have are extremely accurate.

I am learning Greek, and I know several people who know Greek, and we have compared the Greek to the modern translations many times, and found it to be very accurate.

If you are looking for a Bible with word-for-word accuracy, I suggest the NASB or the ESV. Of those, the ESV is more readable.