Overview of Bible
Translations for Better Understanding
- The Holy Bible
is inspired by God and originally written by
inspired men moved by the Holy Spirit. No Bible
translator or any particular translation was ever
inspired directly by God.
- The Bible is
naturally split into two parts: The New Testament
and The Old Testament. (Testament is also
another word for "will" or "covenant." The New
Testament is Jesus' Last Will and Testament.)
- The Old
Testament is translated from Hebrew Texts. The New
Testament is translated from Greek manuscripts.
- The Greek was
originally written in all capitals and in "scripto
continuum" (continuous writing). Because words
in Greek end in only a few letters of the alphabet,
anyone who knows Bible Greek (Koine or Common) can
read the manuscripts with no problem. The text had
little if any markings or punctuation except for
lines that told a word is in abbreviated form.
- CHAPTERS AND
VERSE NUMBERS ARE PLACED IN THE BIBLE BY MAN NOT
GOD. Because of really bad spiting of Greek
sentences and phrases many people quote 'out of
context' and many false teachings do arise. Then to
compound an already bad situation even worst some
Bibles are put in 'Verse Format'. It is always
best to study and especially to read the Bible in
'Paragraph Format' even then try to mentally ignore
all verse numbers and chapter splits. Here is one
example of what I just described:
Who are the "they"
in verse 2:1? The apostles or the hundred and
twenty who were spoken about before this section
of scripture dealing with the election of an
apostle to fill Judas' office.
- Many people
claim that the baptism of the Holy Spirit on the
day of Pentecost was poured out on the whole
church (120 people). But lets look at Bible.
In the original, Acts chapter one and two did not
exist so it reads:
1:26 And they gave
them their lots and the lot fell upon Matthias, and
he was numbered with the eleven apostles. And while
the day of Pentecost was being fulfilled, they were
all together in the same place. And suddenly there
became a noise from heaven like from the rushing of
a violent wind and it filled all the house where
they were sitting. And there appeared to them,
divided tongues, like fire, and it sat upon each one
of them. 2:4 And they were all filled with the Holy
Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the
Spirit gave to them to speak-out.
fall into two types of translation principles:
Many use other fancy wording like 'dynamic
equivalence, free style, better than word for
word, etc.' but they are all still 'Paraphrase.'
Some are even further from the truth and are a
'Paraphrase' of an already existing English Bible.
The 'Living Bible' was the first of these and with
modern computers in the past 15 years I have seen
a lot more of these pop up. In this style of
translation a person reads the Greek sentence or
phrase and puts it all into English format. You
are then reading an opinion not the 'Word of God.'
- LITERAL or
WORD FOR WORD Take first Greek word
translate it, go to next, translate it, and so on.
Then rearrange to be English format. Always
use this type-- your soul might depend on it.
- All Bibles
have both methods to some extent. It is really
hard to translate John 11:35 any other way than
wept." The question
is which is the majority and which translation
principle was the intention of the translator(s)
from the beginning to use? The Preface
generally always states.
- In recent
times there has been so much talk about which Greek
Text is best. All kinds of theories have evolved.
Many who wanted to get the King James version out of
the hands of the majority of the people (really just
to make money) have come up with some really good
ones, better than Darwinism in some cases. I have
and will discuss this much further but to the first
time reader all these discussions only hurts your
faith so ignore them. You need to worry about your
salvation in Christ Jesus and later, if so desired,
you can study this in depth.
- Another one
that plagues modern religion is "the Greek word
here..." This is pseudo knowledge used to impress
too often. This absolutely drives me nuts! If you
don't know Greek do NOT quote it! An Elder
said this once and it makes perfect sense, "If God
would have wanted us to know Greek, he would have
given it to us." Speaking foreign languages
(tongue speaking) was given to first century
Christians so they could evangelize the world in a
short period of time. If divine tongue speaking
really existed today we would have no need for
translations of the Bible. One would read the Greek,
one would translate and one would write down word
for word. (This is foolishness and there is no such
thing regardless of how many Pentecostals are out
I hope this helps your further reading of the Bible.
Copyright by Butch
Walker 2012. May be freely distributed for non-profit
uses. Content may not be changed.