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Why are there so many different Bibles?

Discussion in 'Denomination Specific Theology' started by ChristianForCats, May 5, 2021.

  1. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian

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    Forgive me, but that’s not the case.

    What you stated concerning the Vulgate is erroneous; there is a considerable controversy about the relative merits of the “Majority Text” or Byzantine Text Type and the Alexandrian Text Type, and in the case of the Dead Sea Scrolls, these contain a diverse array of material, much of which contradicts the Masoretic Text (for example, some of the material favors the Septuagint, the ancient Greek translation that the Eastern, Armenian and Coptic Orthodox churches prefer).

    Now, it is true the preface included in some pew copies of the older editions of the NIV mentioned the Dead Sea Scrolls, but the preface in question was essentially an apologia for producing a new translation, perhaps to placate churchgoers annoyed that it had replaced whatever was in the pew previously.

    (Full disclosure: I like the old version of the NIV, although I believe some of their editorial decisions, for example, concerning the Comma Johanneum, were excessive, but in terms of literary elegance, I think the old NIV is the best modern language Bible; I really wish Zondervan would release it into the public domain since their attention is focused elsewhere).
     
  2. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian

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    The problem is, these texts do not uniformly reinforce or validate the Masoretic text; some lean towards it, some lean towards the Septuagint. Furthermore, in the form of the Ethiopian Bible and the Septuagint, we already had Old Testament manuscript traditions that predated the Masoretic by a thousand years; translations of course, but the Dead Sea Scrolls have bolstered their credibility.

    There is a lot of material in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and these items each have to be considered on their own merits.
     
  3. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian

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    By the way, I have yet to see a modern English translation of the Eastern Orthodox Divine Liturgy that renders in a satisfactory manner “Thine own of thine own, we offer unto thee, on behalf of all, and for all.”
     
  4. Maria Billingsley

    Maria Billingsley Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well , I am no scholar but thank you for expanding my awareness of the controversy. Be blessed.
     
  5. GreekOrthodox

    GreekOrthodox Psalti Chrysostom

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    Seraphim Dedes uses: Your own of Your own we offer to You, in all and for all.

    AGES Digital Chant Stand
     
  6. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Well, I was told that we should speak to people in the language they know. So, if a translation is essentially another tongue, I can see this would not be Biblical to use what is not in the language that someone knows.

    But even though the King James Bible is not in the language which I speak to people, I have benefited plenty from this translation. Plus, I have been specially blessed by the 1960 revision of the Reina Valera translation.

    I would say real Christian Spanish people have translated the Reina Valera version; and so they have prayed to minister God's grace through their work. And so I get blessed not only with understanding but with how God's grace effects me, through their ministry.

    Jesus wants us to love any and all people; so I see it can be good to make an effort to understand the words of the King James Bible so you can communicate with one who use this. And in my case, loving our Spanish brothers and sisters has brought me to learn some Spanish . . . including so I can quote some Spanish verses in order to bless Spanish speaking people . . . while I also benefit.

    But if people are getting only an intellectual meaning . . . with ideas maybe to argue, but not how God's grace effects us . . . we can miss what we need, no matter which Bible we use.
     
  7. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Copyrights can have something to do with there being different translations, I think.

    For example . . . maybe . . . the New King James Version came out before a number of our newer translations. And because of copyright claims, later translators may not use more than a certain amount of the same wording which is already in earlier translation work. And so, it seems to me, they have done different sorts of verbal acrobatics, sometimes, in order to avoid using wording which is already in earlier copyrighted material.

    Even if their wording is how various independent scholars would put things, if it comes out the same as an earlier copyrighted version, they can be limited as to how much coinciding wording may appear in their translation.

    For example, NIV has come later than other translations. And there are verses in which it looks like they have reworded verses just to avoid them being the same as earlier copyrighted works. And the reworded way of saying things is not how I or even anyone else would usually talk to people.

    And I think that in the New American Standard Bible they use pretty advanced vocabulary words which are not what we use to communicate, usually. This, too, might partly be in order to avoid being accused of copy-catting earlier work. But it can be good to get readers to learn more vocabulary, I suppose :) But, for me, it can distract me to puzzling out the meaning of words, instead of the meaning of the sentence.

    I think there is question about copyrighting, then, since honest and competent translators very possibly could come out with a lot of similar translation. Plus, Jesus says, "Freely you have received, freely give," in Matthew 10:8 > I would say, then, that whatever is really God's word is not for sale, certainly not to be controlled by a publishing company or a government . . . if God has really given someone that wording.
     
  8. ChristianForCats

    ChristianForCats Bible Reader

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    God's light is snow white. He is pure. There is no symbolism in my choice to use one of each color when I got the idea. But it is true that all light comes from God.
     
  9. RaymondG

    RaymondG Well-Known Member

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    The reasons for so many different bible translations if similar to the reason for so many different soda flavors. Some people like ginger ale, while others like cola or sprite.....and for different reasons. It matters not which you buy......as long as you buy one of them.
     
  10. ChristianForCats

    ChristianForCats Bible Reader

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    Preferences developed after the Bibles were written, Why were many Bible versions written for all of us to choose from?

    Scripture says it is the Word of God and people cannot add to or subtract from it. So except for making it easier to understand by using modernized British and American English text, there should be no changes. That is what I am getting at here.
     
  11. ChristianForCats

    ChristianForCats Bible Reader

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    My sister used the NIV to teach me the Gospel. The church I was saved at uses the NIV. So I always read the NIV because that was the one I started with. The modern grammar and vocabulary helps me a lot too so I never had a reason to change.
     
  12. ChristianForCats

    ChristianForCats Bible Reader

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    What I meant by "easy to read" is the exclusive use of modern American English grammar and vocabulary without any changes to the meaning or context of any sentences. For example "if two men are fighting" is definitely not the same as "if two people are arguing," so the former phrase must be used in Exodus. It is not clear at all, however, what "brought forth" means because one version calls it a miscarriage and other Bibles call it giving birth. This is an example of why there should be only one Bible version in each dialect. With one version written in my language, I would know whether it is about miscarriage, birth, or both.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2021
  13. GreekOrthodox

    GreekOrthodox Psalti Chrysostom

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    The problem is that idioms, phrases, etc, may not translate well into a given dialect as in the example I provided with "holocausts". Even translating something that is fairly simple, such as John 1:1, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.", loses something in the translation. Logos is the Greek that gets translated into Word. However, that is not the best meaning as "Word" in English does not convey the meaning behind Logos as a philosophical concept.
     
  14. ChristianForCats

    ChristianForCats Bible Reader

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    Your own what? Who are "all" the offering is for? The sentence needs more nouns.
     
  15. ChristianForCats

    ChristianForCats Bible Reader

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    Continued from post #32:

    New International Version
    If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman's husband demands and the court allows.

    Opponents are physically attacking each other and both hit the woman.
    A baby is born alive. The woman and/or baby may have a minor injury.

    Brenton Septuagint Translation
    And if two men strive and smite a woman with child, and her child be born imperfectly formed, he shall be forced to pay a penalty: as the woman's husband may lay upon him, he shall pay with a valuation.

    Huh? Where did "imperfectly formed" come from? Why isn't the exact penalty (court-ordered amount that the husband demanded) in it at all? This is both adding to and subtracting from the original English Bibles and, as you can see, modern English versions corrected these errors.

    But not all Bibles correctly state the result of a child's expulsion . . .

    Contemporary English Version
    Suppose a pregnant woman suffers a miscarriage as the result of an injury caused by someone who is fighting. If she isn't badly hurt, the one who injured her must pay whatever fine her husband demands and the judges approve.

    Good News Translation
    If some men are fighting and hurt a pregnant woman so that she loses her child, but she is not injured in any other way, the one who hurt her is to be fined whatever amount the woman's husband demands, subject to the approval of the judges.

    Why are these new Bible versions popping up that tell blatant lies about the result of an attack during her pregnancy? This is not making the Bible easier to understand. In fact, it is the devil at work, calling a live, perfectly formed baby dead or malformed. I see disagreements on whether the woman suffered an injury or not too. If God wants His Word to be clearly understood, it must be consistent. That can't happen if we have a lot of different Bible versions printed.
     
  16. disciple Clint

    disciple Clint Well-Known Member

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    I have read some of the replies you received and they more than answer that question.
     
  17. GreekOrthodox

    GreekOrthodox Psalti Chrysostom

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    Morning,
    Liturgist and I like to go over the various services that liturgical churches use. It is part of the Orthodox Eucharistic service, the Divine Liturgy, just prior when the priest prays for the the bread and wine changed into Body and Blood of Christ.

    Τὰ Σὰ ἐκ τῶν Σῶν, σοὶ προσφέρομεν κατὰ πάντα, καὶ διὰ πάντα.
    “Thine own of thine own, we offer unto thee, on behalf of all, and for all.”
     
  18. The Liturgist

    The Liturgist Traditional Liturgical Christian

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    This is in my opinion the most beautiful part of the Divine Liturgies of St. Basil and St. Chrysostom.
     
  19. Silly Uncle Wayne

    Silly Uncle Wayne Well-Known Member

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    But you would only know what it is about if the one translator has actually translated it correctly and since some might argue with any given response, you are never going to be certain of the truth of what you are reading in such ambiguous cases... and you wouldn't even know that it was ambiguous.

    One of the other problems is the use of idioms and culturally relevant phrasing - do you translate word for word and run the risk that it becomes meaningless to the reader or turn it into an equivalent idiom but run the risk of missing something important. Or translate it both ways... which is the same as saying having two translations.

    I do suggest you check out the NET bible with the translation notes. It would tell you why they translated it one way and why some might disagree and alternatives.

    The other alternative is to use one good more literal translation (ESV, NRSV, NASB) and a commentary for each book you are reading - where they should bring out the nuances of translations. But since this would require a commentary for each book you would end up with multiple volumes anyway.
     
  20. Silly Uncle Wayne

    Silly Uncle Wayne Well-Known Member

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    Are they really telling blatant lies? Or are they trying to translate a language that does not tie directly to English with words that have multiple meanings and therefore their translation could actually be the correct one (I think it unlikely, given how many other translations use the term premature.).

    The NET translation notes here says the following: This line has occasioned a good deal of discussion. It may indicate that the child was killed, as in a miscarriage; or it may mean that there was premature birth. The latter view is taken here because of the way the whole section is written.... (and is followed by three points of reasoning.

    It should therefore be pointed out that the GNB & CEV could in fact be the correct translations and NIV incorrect. Which is why no one translation will ever be sufficient.

    On the other hand, one thing that can be said to be true is that two men fighting and a pregnant woman gets hurt is true in all versions and the point of the law, as a Christian, is to point to sin (see Romans), not to be a legalistic set of rules.
     
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