Volume 1 September 15, 2002 Issue 15
 

Fair and Balanced

The popular News Network — Fox News Channel — takes a great deal of pride in the claim that their reporting is "Fair and Balanced." They also frequently use the phrase "We Report, You Decide." This issue of Diligence will be somewhat along that line of "We Report, You Decide," You may have noticed that since beginning this publication, we've quoted from a variety of different translations of the Bible. We believe that in order to better understand the Word of God, it is sometimes useful to read the same passage from several different translations. This issue of Diligence will not be a study of what we believe is taught in the Bible, but rather some comparisons of selected verses from different versions of the Bible. In planning this article, we decided that perhaps a good way to look at the differences would be to choose a few topics with which most of us are familiar and compare translations of Scriptures relating to those topics.

On the separate two-sided sheet enclosed with this issue, we have selected a few of those familiar topics and compared the way they are handled in various versions. For the most part we'll then leave it up to you, the reader to decide exactly how you feel about what we've "reported." We have included a few comments and/or questions to stimulate your thinking as to whether or not a particular belief may or may not be influenced by the various ways translations read. But first, let's begin with a few words about Bible versions in general.

One needs only to go to a Christian book store to see that there is a plethora of Bible versions from which to chose. There are as many Bible translations in existence today as there are groups who have "agendas" they wish to promote. Unless one is careful to be aware of the origin and purpose of any given translation, it's quite easy to be misled by the wording or choice of phrases used by the translators. Often times, a certain translation will skew the meanings of certain verses by the choice of words or phrases used in order to make a particular "cause" seem to be in accordance with the Scriptures when in fact the purpose is to intentionally slant the meaning of those verses.

It's not our purpose here to provide a detailed discussion of the history behind each of the different versions. The reader of this article can acquire that information by simply reading the "Preface" of whatever version s/he is currently using. Neither is it our purpose in this article to explain the difference between a paraphrase and a translation or to report on the "error of the way" of any specific version. In fact, that would be rather difficult to do since some translations may be very poor on some verses and yet very useful for understanding of other verses. We also would like to state here that we're not proponents of the school of thought that "there's only one real translation." Our belief is that a diligent student of the Scriptures should have several different versions from which to study when choosing to "dig" into the Word deeper than his/her daily Bible reading time allows.

Now that we have made that statement, we'll confuse you a bit be adding that we do however, believe that there are some very dangerous translations on today's bookshelves. At the time of this printing, we're considering devoting at least one future issue to a discussion of one or more of those versions. But for now, back to this issue.

With so many versions available to us today, it would of course, be impossible for us to address more than just a few. So for the most part, we will confine this study to only six different versions. So let's begin with a very brief look at the ones that we've selected for this study.

The first version listed on the enclosed chart is the King James Version (KJV). This version is probably the main one used by many of our parents for their own study. In the history of English translations it is by far the most prestigious of all. This time honored translation has been available for study and reading since 1611. In 1769 the Oxford University Press published an edition of the King James Version in which many insignificant changes were made (use of italics, modern spelling, etc.). This edition became known as "The Oxford Standard" edition. The KJV editions published today generally reproduce this Oxford edition of 1769.

The second version on the chart is the Today's English Version (TEV). The aim of those who translated this version was to use more modern vocabulary and style — what we would consider to be everyday, natural form of the English language. This translation has been updated several times with various printings.

The third one listed on the chart is the New American Standard Bible (NASB). This version is a descendent of the American Standard Bible which was a product of both British and American scholars and was highly regarded for its scholarship and accuracy. The New American Standard Bible was an effort to render the American Standard Bible into more current English. Translation work on the NASB was begun in 1959. There has since been an "Updated Edition" of the NASB published in 2000.

The forth version listed on the chart is the New International Version (NIV). This translation of the New Testament was first published in 1973. The entire NIV (Old and New Testament) was published in 1978 with several revisions to the New Testament. Additional revisions were incorporated into the 1983 edition. This version was the result of the meeting of a group of scholars who desired to have an accurate translation of the Bible that would have both clarity and literary quality suitable for public and private reading, teaching, etc.. This version is perhaps the one that many of us depend on today.

The fifth version on the chart is The Book (TB). The Book is actually a 1998 special edition of the New Living Translation (NLT) published in 1996. The NLT was a loose translation of the Living Bible that had been published some years earlier. The Living Bible was designed to be a gender neutral translation. (Gender neutral language is a style of writing that adheres to certain rules that were first proposed by feminist language reformers in universities during the 1970's. Feminists hoped that by means of such reforms in universities, the language of society as a whole would gradually be reformed, and that by means of such reform in the language, the consciousness of people would be rendered more favorable to feminist ideas. Gender neutral Bible versions originated as an attempt by those who supported the feminist movement to transform not only the language but also the beliefs of Christians as well). This version (The Book) claims to be one of the easiest to read and instead of a translation from the Hebrew and Greek texts expresses ideas "as ordinary people in the late twentieth century would say them...."

And finally, the sixth version referenced on the chart is The Message (MSG). This is a paraphrase written by Eugene H. Peterson and claims to be a "fresh interpretation of the New Testament." This version is written in a "rough and earthy language." The goal of The Message was "not to render a word for word conversion of Greek into English, but rather to convert the tone, the rhythm, the events, the ideas, into the way we actually think and speak." One might say it is the New Testament in "street language."

So now that we've looked at a very brief background of these six versions, a probable question one might ask is: "So what? Who cares if a word or phrase here and there is slightly different in one version than it is in another version? God will always preserve His Word anyway." Let's take just a moment and discuss that statement.

There could be two schools of thought that come to mind when addressing this question. One could be that God will see to it that His Word is preserved no matter what mankind may or may not do with it. The second school of thought could be that God's Word will be preserved because mankind will follow the instructions given to him within that Word itself to "Study to show thyself approved unto God. A workman that needeth not be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (II Timothy 2:15 KJV). These two schools of thought are drastically different from each other in that the first one places the burden on God and the Bible itself whereas the second school of thought places the burden on mankind and his passion to understand what God would have him to do.

When considering either of these schools of thought, it is important to realize that even though one believes that God will preserve His Word in whatever way we choose to believe He will do so, there is no promise that every book published that says "Holy Bible" on the front of it or simply claims to be the "Bible" is indeed going to be in accordance with the preservation of God's Word as He intended it to be. That is where diligence in the study of His Word comes into play. In addition to the instruction given in II Timothy 2:15, we are also told countless times in the Word itself that we should expect that there will be false teachers and false teachings. So why should we think that all Bible Versions are exempt from error simply because they are called a "Bible?" Again, God expects us to be familiar enough with His Word that we are able to recognize incorrect or erroneous translations when we read them. In the Garden of Eden the Devil deceived Eve by using God's own words when He said: "Did God really say...?" (Genesis 3:1 NIV also see Diligence issue 3; page 4) If Satan was successful then in leading mankind astray by twisting God's own words, why would we think that He wouldn't use the same tactics today? We should assume that harm will come in the form of books claiming to be of God and using God's own words to lead mankind astray. The Devil can and will corrupt anything in order to cause mankind to be lost. He did so in the beginning and he will continue to do so until the end of time. It is not "...rightly dividing the Word..." if we readily accept every book as "truth" simply because it says "Holy Bible" on the front of it!

So now, the real study involved with this issue of Diligence, begins with the enclosed chart. So we ask that you take the time to actually study every word on it and draw some conclusions of your own. Remember, this particular issue is a "We Report, You Decide" issue.

Since space on the chart doesn't allow us to list all of the Scriptures in their entirety, we will only include a very brief section of Scripture that is different and expect you to look it up for yourself in order to read the rest of the context. So we recommend that you get a cup or glass of your favorite beverage and every different translation of the Bible that you may have in your home and get ready to turn a lot of pages. Since you'll probably have a few versions that we have not included on our chart, use them and see how they measure up to those we have listed. Although we have of course, only included a very few examples of differences, there are literally hundreds that are not only a case of different words but in fact could very well put an inaccurate slant on the Word of God. One must be careful to discern correct and incorrect translations through diligent study.



BIBLE VERSIONS COMPARISON CHART

CONCERNING SCRIPTURES ON: THE DEITY OF CHRIST
SCRIPTURE KJV TEV NASB NIV THE MESSAGE THE BOOK
Acts 3:13 his Son Jesus his Servant Jesus His servant Jesus his servant Jesus his Son Jesus his servant Jesus
Acts 8:37 that Jesus Christ is the Son of God (omitted) (omitted with "See footnote") (omitted) (omitted) (omitted)
John 6:69 thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God you are the Holy One who has come from God you are the Holy One of God you are the Holy One of God you are the Holy One of God you are the Holy One of God

Note: In a day when there are so many teaching that Jesus was nothing more than a great prophet or a servant who had reached the highest level of "enlightenment," is it possible that these slight differences could eventually denigrate the deity of Jesus Christ?


CONCERNING SCRIPTURES ON: REDEMPTION BY BEING PURCHASED WITH THE BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST
SCRIPTURE KJV TEV NASB NIV THE MESSAGE THE BOOK
Colossians 1:14 through his blood (omitted) (omitted) (omitted) (omitted) with his blood
I Corinthians 11:24 is broken for you is for you is for you is for you broken for you is given for you
Ephesians 1:14 purchased possession those who are his Godís own possession those who are Godís possession this signet from God purchased us
I Peter 4:1 for us (omitted) (omitted) (omitted) (omitted) (omitted)

Note: We are purchased with the blood of Christ. His death alone does not automatically sanctify us. Salvation is a free gift but we must act in order to accept that free gift. There is no forgiveness of sins without coming into contact with His blood that has purchased us. We are bought with the blood of Jesus to become joint heirs with Him. Are all of these translations clear on that particular topic?


CONCERNING SCRIPTURES ON: THE INERRANCY OF THE SCRIPTURES
SCRIPTURE KJV TEV NASB NIV THE MESSAGE THE BOOK
II Corinthians 2:17 corrupt the word of God handle Godís message as if it were cheap merchandise peddling the word of God peddle the word of God for profit donít take Godís Word, water it down, and then take it to the streets to sell cheap hucksters...who preach just to make money
Luke 4:4 but by every word of God (omitted) (omitted) (omitted) (omitted) (omitted)
Psalm 12:6, 7 The words of the Lord are pure words:...Thou shalt keep them, O Lord. Thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. The promises of the Lord can be trusted;.... The wicked are everywhere...Keep us always safe...and preserve us from such people The words of the Lord are pure words;.... Thou, O Lord, will keep them; Thou wilt preserve him from this generation forever. And the words of the Lord are flawless,... O Lord, you will keep us safe and protect us from such people forever. Godís words are pure words,...Yahweh, keep us safe from their lies, From the wicked who stalk us with lies, from the wicked who collect honors for their wonderful lies. The Lordís promises are pure,.... Therefore Lord, we know you will protect the oppressed, preserving them forever from this lying generation.

CONCERNING SCRIPTURES ON: SIN
SCRIPTURE KJV TEV NASB NIV THE MESSAGE THE BOOK
Mark 11:26 But if you do not forgive, neither will your father which is in heaven forgive your trespasses. (omitted) (omitted with ďSee footnoteĒ) (omitted) (text not clear) (omitted)
Matthew 5:22 angry with his brother without a cause angry with his brother angry with his brother angry with his brother angry with a brother or sister angry with someone
Romans 13:9 Thou shalt not bear false witness (omitted) (omitted) (omitted) (omitted) (omitted)
Galatians 5:19 adultery immoral immorality sexual immorality repetitive, loveless, cheap sex sexual immorality
Luke 7:30 rejected the counsel of God against themselves rejected Godís purpose for themselves rejected Godís purpose for themselves rejected Godís purpose for themselves (text not clear) rejected Godís plan for them
I Timothy 1:10 them that defile themselves with mankind sexual perverts homosexuals perverts sex homosexuals
Isaiah 53:10 an offering for sin a sacrifice to bring forgiveness a guilt offering a guilt offering (Old Testament not available) an offering for sin
I John 5:19 wickedness rule of the Evil One power of the evil one control of the evil one grip of the Evil One power and control of the evil one

Note: When Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, remember that Adam blamed Eve and Eve blamed the Devil (Genesis 3:12 & 13). The wording of I John 5:19 in some translations attempts to use this same type of psychology by transferring the blame or responsibility for sin to the "Evil One" rather than simply requiring mankind to repent of his wickedness. Does mankind today try to place blame on others too much of the time?


CONCERNING SCRIPTURES ON: A DAY OF JUDGEMENT
SCRIPTURE KJV TEV NASB NIV THE MESSAGE THE BOOK
Mark 6:11 the day of judgement (omitted) (omitted) (omitted) (omitted) (omitted)
Luke 17:36 Two shall be in the field, the one shall be taken and the other left (omitted) (omitted with "See footnote") (omitted) (omitted) (omitted)

Note: Many new Bible Versions often do not include references to a final Day of Judgement. The New Age Religion teaches that since God is love, He does not judge anyone and therefore belief in hell is foolishness and offensive to modern man.


CONCERNING SCRIPTURES ON: HELL
SCRIPTURE KJV TEV NASB NIV THE MESSAGE THE BOOK
Mark 9:44, 46 Where the worm dieth not and the fire is not quenched (omitted) (omitted with "See footnote") (omitted) (omitted) (omitted)


"Diligence" is a privately funded publication of:
Dennis and Sherri Owens — Cincinnati, Ohio
diligence@gorfsystems.comhttp://www.gorfsystems.com/diligence/