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Title: The Bible in TRANSLATION

  • By the seventh month the people of Israel were
    all settled in their towns. On the first day of
    that month they all assembled in Jerusalem, in
    the square just inside the Water Gate. They asked
    Ezra, the priest and scholar of the Law which the
    LORD had given Israel through Moses, to get the
    book of the Law. So Ezra brought it to the place
    where the people had gathered---men, women, and
    the children who were old enough to understand.
    There in the square by the gate he read the Law
    to them from dawn until noon, and they all
    listened attentively. (Nehemiah 81-3)

  • They gave an oral translation of Gods Law and
    explained it so that the people could understand
    it. When the people heard what the Law required
    (when they understood the meaning), they were so
    moved that they began to cry. So Nehemiah, who
    was the governor, Ezra, the priest and scholar of
    the Law, and the Levites who were explaining the
    Law told all the people, This day is holy to the
    LORD your God, so you are not to mourn or cry.
    (Nehemiah 88-9)

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What is the Bible?
  • 66 Books
  • 39 Old Testament books Hebrew, some Aramaic
  • 27 New Testament books Greek

The Bible in Jesus day
  • The Greek translation of the Hebrew OT - the
    Septuagint, LXX (285 246 B.C.)
  • The first translation of the Hebrew
  • All Scripture is inspired by God (1 Timothy
  • All OT quotes in the NT are from the LXX
  • To this day it is the authoritative biblical text
    of the OT for the Greek Orthodox church
  • Christian Bible accepted the LXX sequencing, not
    the Hebrew

The Bible in Jesus day
  • Samaritans
  • Lived in the former northern kingdom
  • Only considered the 5 books of Moses (the
    Pentateuch) to be the Bible
  • he will send you a prophet like me from among
    your own people, and you are to obey him.
    (Deuteronomy 1815)

The Bible in Jesus day
  • Sadducees
  • Only considered the 5 books of Moses (the
    Pentateuch) to be the Bible
  • Did not believe in the resurrection or angels,

The Bible in Jesus day
  • Essenes
  • A collection of the books of Moses, the prophets,
    Psalms, and apocryphal works
  • Dead Sea scrolls

The Bible in Jesus day
  • Pharisees
  • Essentially held to the same 39 books of the OT
    as modern Christianity

The Catholic Bible
  • Includes the apocrypha
  • Considered 2nd class books (deuterocanonical)
    but yet.
  • What happens to the soul at the resurrection?
    (The Book of Wisdom)

Muratorian fragment (canon)
  • Discovered in Milan (1730s)
  • Dated late 2nd century (170 A.D.)
  • A list of all the works that were accepted as
  • Added the 4 gospels, and the rest of the NT
    (except Hebrews, James, Peter)
  • Rejected the gnostic writings
  • Accepted certain apocryphal writings (Book of
    Wisdom, etc.)

Eusebius canon (bishop of Caesarea)
  • 4th century (325 A.D.)
  • 27 books of the NT
  • Greek Septuagint (OT)
  • Apophryphal OT writings

  • Athanasius of Alexandria
  • Eliminated apocryphal books (367 A.D.)
  • Specified the 27 books of the NT
  • Council of Carthage (397 A.D.)

  • We have no original composition of any part of
    the Bible!
  • Copies of copies of copies of copies
  • Masoretes added vowels between 500-700 A.D.
  • Chapters added 1240 A.D.
  • Verses added 1551 A.D.

Ancient versions
  • A tribute to the success and spread of
  • Aramaic Targums
  • Arabic (10th century)
  • Syriac (Syria, Iraq, southeast Turkey) a branch
    of Aramaic
  • Coptic (Egypt)
  • Latin (Western church)
  • Gothic (Eastern Germanic people) - extinct
  • Slavonic
  • Anglosaxon (7th, 8th century)
  • Frankish
  • Greek (Eastern church)
  • Armenian (Black sea, turkey, Syria)
  • Georgian (North of Armenia Black/Caspian sea)
  • Ethiopian
  • Persian
  • Chinese

The Latin Vulgate (405 AD)
  • Multiple very poor quality Latin translations
  • Jerome (340-422 AD)

  • A scholar of Greek, Latin, and some training in
  • Translated in Latin from the Greek and Hebrew
  • Did not want to include the apocryphal works
  • For that time, a great translation

  • For almost 1,000 years (6th-16th century) the
    Vulgate was the recognized text of Scripture
  • Justification
  • Sanctification
  • Expiation
  • Propitiation
  • Salvation
  • Reconciliation

Jerome to his detractors
  • two-legged asses
  • yelping dogs
  • People who think that ignorance is identical
    with holiness

Pope Gregory VII (1073-1085)
  • For it is clear to those who reflect upon it
    that not without reason has is pleased Almighty
    God that holy scripture should be a secret in
    certain places lest, if it were plainly apparent
    to all men, perchance it would be little esteemed
    and be subject to disrespect or it might be
    falsely understood by those of mediocre learning,
    and lead to error.

English Bible pre-KJV
  • John Wycliffe (1330-1384)
  • Anticipated the reformation
  • The Bible is the sole criterion of doctrine, not
    the church or the pope
  • The authority of the pope is not found in
  • Handwritten translation from the Latin
  • 1382 literal and wooden
  • 1388 more readable
  • The only English Bible until 1526

  • Wycliffe Bible
  • Jesus spoke Aramiac ? Greek ? Latin ? English

  • About 180 copies survive

The Reformation
  • Constantinople fell (1453 A.D.), Greek scholars
    came west
  • Plato

The Reformation
  • Printing press, Guttenberg (1398-1468)
  • First printed Hebrew OT 1488
  • First published Greek NT 1516

The Bible translated from the original languages
the peoples book
  • French Bible (1530)
  • Spanish Bible (1569)
  • Dutch Bible (1637)
  • Swedish (1600)
  • Czech (1579)
  • Finnish (1598)
  • Hungarian (1541)
  • Polish (1541)
  • German (1534)
  • English (1525)

The reformation
  • Tension between scholar and priest
  • The scholar had better versions
  • Tension between priest and the common person
  • The common person had better versions
  • The authority of medieval Catholicism challenged

The reformation
  • Wealth/prosperity of the church vs. the humility
    of Christ
  • Sacraments
  • Indulgences
  • Need for a priest/saint in between
  • Purgatory
  • Monasticism
  • Transubstantiation

German Bible Luther (1534)
  • From the Greek and Hebrew
  • Sola scriptura (the Bible alone)
  • Hebrews, James, Jude, and Revelation of lesser
  • Preface to the NT (1522) James is a letter
    written in straw
  • Revelation I can in no way detect that the
    Holy Spirit produced it
  • Rejected all forms of allegory as a means of
    understanding scripture

English Bibles pre-KJV
  • William Tyndale
  • THE father of the English Bible
  • Educated at Oxford and Cambridge in Greek and
  • English version, based on the Greek and Hebrew
  • NT completed in 1525

  • If God spare my life, ere many years, I will
    cause a boy that driveth the plough to know more
    of the Scripture than thou dost.

  • Tyndale A great linguist!
  • Tush, ye shall not die. (Genesis 34)
  • The Lorde was with Joseph, and he was a luckie
    felowe. (Genesis 392)
  • 80 or more of the English Bible down to the
    Revised Version has been estimated to be his

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Toxic foot notes
  • 666 clearly the pope
  • Oh, abominable pope with all his idols.
  • Breaking someones neck This is a good text for
    the pope.

  • Lord, open the king of Englands eyes

  • Miles Coverdale (1535) first printed edition
  • NT based on Tyndales translation
  • OT based on the Vulgate
  • Matthews Bible (1537)
  • Pseudonym John Rogers
  • Tyndale (and Coverdale) revision
  • Burned alive in 1555 Rogers died with such
    composure that it might have been a wedding
  • Richard Taverners Bible (1539)
  • The Great Bible (1539) the largest Bible
  • A revision of the Coverdale and the Matthews

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  • Long live the King!

  • Edmund Becks Bibles (1549, 1551)
  • In the same way you husbands must live with your
    wives with the proper understanding that they are
    more delicate than you. Treat them with
    respect... (1 Peter 37 GN)
  • And if she be not obedient and healpeful unto
    hym endeavoureth to beate the feare of God into
    her heade

The Geneva Bible (1560)
  • Persecution in England, led to Protestants
    fleeing to Geneva, Switzerland
  • The names of the translators were hidden (William
  • From 1560 to 1616 a new edition was published
    every year!
  • The Bible of Shakespeare, John Bunyan, Mayflower
    captain, Puritan pilgrims, King James
  • The most popular English Bible for almost 200

The Geneva Bible (1560)
  • The first English Bible to have chapters and
  • Breeches Bible They sewed figge-tree leaves
    together and made themselves breeches (Genesis
  • Marginal notes
  • the angel of the bottomless pit the pope
  • King James decision in 1604 for a new translation

  • The Bishops Bible (1558)
  • Revisers were bishops
  • Displaced the Great Bible in churches
  • Less popular than the Geneva
  • Rheims-Douay Bible (1582-1610)
  • An English version for Catholics
  • A translation from the Latin Vulgate (KJV)
  • Footnotes
  • Protestant hereticks
  • 666

  • You cannot be a slave of two masters you will
    hate one and love the other you will be loyal to
    one and despise the other. You cannot serve both
    God and money. (Matthew 624 GN)
  • Footnote Two religions, God and Baal, Christ
    and Calvin, Masse and Communion, the Catholike
    Church and Heretical Conventicales.

The King James Bible (1611)
  • 1604 Committee of 50 learned men (the model
    to follow)
  • Lancelot Andrews had he been present at the
    tower of Babel, he could have served as
    interpreter general.
  • Rules
  • The Bishops Bible was to be followed with as
    little altered as the truth of the original will
    permit and to include other translations
    Tindolls Matthews, Coverdales, Whitechurchs
    (the Great Bible), and Geneva.
  • Marginal notes only to explain the Greek and
  • Italics used

  • The KJV is a REVISION, not a new translation
    (although they did have the Greek and Hebrew)
  • The KJV is really a revision of the Bishop
    Bible....which was a revision of the Great Bible,
    which was a revision of Coverdale and Tyndale.
  • The "credit" of the KJV in terms of vocabulary
    should go to Tyndale, the expression and harmony
    to Coverdale, the scholarship and accuracy to the
    Geneva Bible.

  • The first printed version of the KJV contained
    about one error for every 10 pages - some of
    these errors, due to printing, persist in the
    current KJV today.
  • Matthew 2334 Ye blind guides, which strain at a
    gnat, and swallow a camel (KJV) should have been
    printed, strain out a gnat.
  • 1631 printed edition of Exodus 2014 "Thou shalt
    commit adultery"!

  • Ask, and it shall be given you seek, and ye
    shall find knock, and it shall be opened unto
    you For every one that asketh receiveth and he
    that seeketh findeth and to him that knocketh it
    shall be opened. (Matthew 77,8 KJV)
  • Our Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy
    name (Matthew 69 - KJV)

  • Weakness
  • The textual basis for the KJV is inadequate.
  • NT Textus Receptus (Erasmus of Roterdam)
  • Mediocre manuscripts, the earliest from the 10th
  • Erasmus did not have a complete Greek NT text
    (Revelation) using the Latin Vulgate he
    finished it into Greek!!
  • OT A partially corrupt Erasmus Greek text
  • Codux Alexandrinus (5th century) not available
  • Many errors in the book of Job, Isaiah
  • But, the best Bible to date

  • Knowledge of Hebrew largely derived from the
  • Less knowledge of the Greek
  • The English language has changed
  • Verily I say unto thee, Thou shalt by no means
    come out thence, till thou hast paid the
    uttermost farthing. (Matthew 526 KJV)

  • Lest haply if they of Macedonia come with me,
    and find you unprepared, we (that we say not, ye)
    should be ashamed in this same confident
    boasting. (2 Corinthians 94 KJV)
  • From which some having swerved have turned aside
    unto vain jangling (1 Timothy 46 KJV)

  • And Jonathan stripped himselfto his girdle. (1
    Samuel 184 KJV)

  • ERV (1881)
  • ASV (1901)
  • RSV (1952)
  • NASB (1963 1995)
  • NKJV (1982)
  • NRSV (1990)

  • To many people, the KJV sounds like the Bible
    because it is different than our modern English.
    It is old and therefore seems to be
    authoritativeand other Bibles just dont sound
  • Most Bible translators greatly respect the KJV
    for what it is and what it was. But the KJV cant
    be used in modern translation work for the simple
    reason that its language and its text are out of
    date. (Essential Guide to Bible Versions, Philip
    Comfort, pages 159, 160)

Between the KJV and the RV (1870)
  • Private versions
  • Edward Harwoods NT (1768)
  • Charles Thomsons Bible (1808)
  • Noah Websters Bible (1833)
  • Found 150 words and phrases in the KJV to be
    erroneous or misleading. Almost all used by the
  • Julia E. Smiths Bible (1876)

The hunt for older/better manuscripts
  • Mid-1800s the Greek manuscripts had shown
    beyond question that the KJV was based upon a
    Greek text that contained the accumulated errors
    of fifteen centuries of manuscript copying. (The
    Bible in Translation, pg. 100 Metzger)
  • Today, 5,000 Greek NT manuscripts that date back
    prior to the 5th century!

Constantin Von Tischendorf
  • St. Catherines Monastery (1844)
  • 43 leaves in the trash - - virtually an entire
    Greek translation of the NT
  • The entire Old and New Testament dated as early
    as 340 AD
  • In the British Museum since 1933

P52 (1920)
  • The Oldest known fragment of the NT 125 A.D.
  • John 1831-33 37,38 Are you the King of the
    Jews?... I was born and came into the world for
    this one purpose, to speak about the truth.What
    is truth?
  • Shot down several theories!

Dead Sea scrolls 1947,1948
  • Scrolls found in a cave by the Dead Sea, dated
    100 BC 100 AD (? 70AD)
  • 1,000 years earlier than any of the Masoretic
  • Every OT book except Esther is represented, LXX,
    Targums of the OT
  • Surprisingly few differences from the Masoretic
    manuscripts, despite 1,000 years of copying!
    This shows that Jewish scribes for over a
    millennium copied one form of the text with
    extreme fidelity.

  • No one has seen God at any time. The only
    begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father,
    He has declared Him. (John 118 NKJV)
  • No one has ever seen God. The only Son, who is
    the same as God and is at the Father's side, he
    has made him known. (John 118 GN)

  • KJV still dominated
  • English Revised Version (1870-1895)
  • And they did eat, and were all filled and there
    was taken up that which remained over to them of
    broken pieces, twelve baskets. (Luke 917)
  • American Standard Version (1901)

NKJV (1982)
  • Updated language but still.
  • day of his espousals (Song of Songs 311)
  • dandled (Isaiah 6612)
  • Inferior edition of the Greek text

  • In these lay a great multitude of sick people,
    blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of
    the water. For an angel went down at a certain
    time into the pool and stirred up the water then
    whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of
    the water, was made well of whatever disease he
    had. Now a certain man was there who had an
    infirmity thirty-eight years. (John 53-5
  • Few textual scholars today would accept the
    authenticity of any portion of vv. 3b4, for they
    are not found in the earliest and best
    witnesses. Biblical Studies Press. 2003 2003.
    The NET Bible Notes .

Modern speech versions
  • Discovery of large numbers of Greek papyri
  • It became clear that the NT documents were
    written in a plain, simple style to meet the
    needs of ordinary men and women. Should they not
    then be translated into the same kind of
    English? (The Bible in Translation, pg. 105,
  • The Twentieth Century NT (1901,1904)
  • Drink ye all of it. (KJV, RV)
  • Drink from it, all of you.
  • Weymouths NT in Modern Speech (1903)
  • Moffatts Translation of the Bible (1913,1924-5)
  • Smith and Goodspeeds American Translation

  • I have said all this to you in figures, but a
    time is coming when I shall not do so any longer,
    but I will tell you plainly about the Father.
    When that time comes you will ask as my
    followers, and I do not promise to intercede with
    the Father for you for the Father loves you
    himself (John 1625,26 - Goodspeed)

  • Revised Standard Version (1952)
  • New Jerusalem Bible (1966)
  • The first Catholic Bible in English translated
    from the Greek and Hebrew
  • New English Bible (1970)
  • Asphodel, lapis, lazuli, panniers, reck, ruffled
    bustard, runnels of water, and stook
  • New Revised Standard Version (1990)
  • Revision of the ASV, using best Hebrew and Greek
  • the most up-to-date textual studies of the NT
    (Essential Guide to Bible Versions, Comfort, page

  • New International Version (1978)
  • Somewhere in between a literal translation and
    a free, modern-speech edition
  • Since 1987 has outsold the KJV
  • I gave your ancestors no commands about burnt
    offerings or any other kinds of sacrifices when I
    brought them out of Egypt. (Jeremiah 722 GN)
  • For when I brought your forefathers out of Egypt
    and spoke to them, I did not just give them
    commands about burnt offerings and sacrifices
    (Jeremiah 722 NIV)

  • New American Standard Bible (1971,1995)
  • Literal translation
  • J.B. Phillips Version (1972)
  • Of all modern English translations of the NT
    epistles, this is one of the best perhaps
    actually the best for the ordinary reader.
    (The English Bible, pg.223, Bruce)

  • If I speak with the eloquence of men and of
    angels, but have no love, I become no more than
    blaring brass or crashing cymbal. If I have the
    gift of foretelling the future and hold in my
    mind not only all human knowledge but the very
    secrets of God, and if I also have that absolute
    faith which can move mountains, but have no love,
    I amount to nothing at all. If I dispose of all
    that I possess, yes, even if I give my own body
    to be burned, but have no love, I achieve
    precisely nothing. This love of which I speak is
    slow to lose patience - it looks for a way of
    being constructive. It is not possessive it is
    neither anxious to impress nor does it cherish
    inflated ideas of its own importance. Love has
    good manners and does not pursue selfish

  • It is not touchy. It does not keep account of
    evil or gloat over the wickedness of other
    people. On the contrary, it is glad with all good
    men when truth prevails. Love knows no limit to
    its endurance, no end to its trust, no fading of
    its hope it can outlast anything. It is, in
    fact, the one thing that still stands when all
    else has fallen. For if there are prophecies they
    will be fulfilled and done with, if there are
    tongues the need for them will disappear, if
    there is knowledge it will be swallowed up in
    truth. For our knowledge is always incomplete and
    our prophecy is always incomplete, and when the
    complete comes, that is the end of the

  • When I was a little child I talked and felt and
    thought like a little child. Now that I am a man
    my childish speech and feeling and thought have
    no further significance for me. At present we are
    men looking at puzzling reflections in a mirror.
    The time will come when we shall see reality
    whole and face to face! At present all I know is
    a little fraction of the truth, but the time will
    come when I shall know it as fully as God now
    knows me! In this life we have three great
    lasting qualities - faith, hope and love. But the
    greatest of them is love. (1 Corinthians
    131-13, JB Phillips).

Easy to read translations (ABS)
  • The Good News Bible (1976)
  • The GNB is not a word-for-word translation.
    Instead it adopts the principlecalled
    dynamic/functional equivalence
  • Stresses the clear meaning of each passage
  • Gone are the Latin words
  • The Contemporary English Bible (1995)
  • Directly from the best available original texts
  • Designed for early youth

Paraphrase Translations
  • Free rendering or amplification of a passage,
    expression of its sense in other words.
  • Living Bible (1971)
  • Paraphrase of the ASV into simple English
  • Mid-1970s 46 of all Bible sales in the USA
  • The words of Amos, who was among the herdsmen of
    Tekoa (ASV)
  • Amos was a herdsman living in the village of
    Tekoa. All day long he sat on the hillsides
    watching the sheep, keeping them from straying.
  • New Living Translation (1996)
  • Dynamic/functional equivalence rather than
  • Reading level junior-high student

Paraphrase translations
Paraphrase Translations
  • The Message (2000)
  • This version of the NT in a contemporary idiom
    keeps the language of the message current and
    fresh and understandable in the same language in
    which we do our shopping, talk with our friends,
    worry about world affairs, and teach our children
    their table manners. The goal is 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. (introduction, page 7)

  • Does not choose simple English words, but
    power-packed words to convey the meaning
  • Chagrined, embryonic, resplendent
  • It is obvious what kind of life develops out of
    trying to get your own way all the time
    repetitive, loveless, cheap sex a stinking
    accumulation of mental and emotional garbage
    frenzied and joyless grabs for happiness trinket
    gods magic-show religion paranoid loneliness
    cutthroat competition all-consuming-yet-never-sat
    isfied wants a brutal temper an impotence to
    love or be loved divided homes and divided
    lives small-minded and lopsided pursuits the
    vicious habit of depersonalizing everyone into a
    rival uncontrolled and uncontrollable
    addictions ugly parodies of community. I could
    go on. (Galatians 519-21 The Message)

  • New Century Version (1991)
  • Readable down to 3rd grade level

  • GODS Word (1995)
  • Natural equivalence
  • Avoid the extremes of formal equivalence
    (literal), but the errors of dynamic/functional
    equivalence (inaccuracy due to oversimplification)

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  • For God has done what the law, weakened by the
    flesh, could not do by sending his own Son in
    the likeness of sinful flesh, and to deal with
    sin, he condemned sin in the flesh (Romans 83
  • But God sent his Son to have a human nature as
    sinners have and to pay for sin. (GODS Word)
  • to be an offering to pay for sin (NCV)
  • for sin (KJV)
  • by giving His Son as a sacrifice for our sins.
  • to be a sin offering. (NIV) footnote (for

  • for sin (ESV)
  • to do away with sin. (GN)
  • sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful
    flesh and as an offering for sin, He condemned
    sin in the flesh (NASB)
  • to be a sacrifice for our sin. (CEV)
  • on account of sin (NKJV)

  • God went for the jugular when he sent his own
    Son. He didn't deal with the problem as something
    remote and unimportant. In his Son, Jesus, he
    personally took on the human condition, entered
    the disordered mess of struggling humanity in
    order to set it right once and for all. The law
    code, weakened as it always was by fractured
    human nature, could never have done that. The law
    always ended up being used as a Band-Aid on sin
    instead of a deep healing of it. (Romans 83
    The Message)

  • The Bible has never been so widely available and
    so well translated
  • Taken as a whole all of the modern translations
    of the Bible are trustworthy but none are
  • - Strength in numbers
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