Bible versions

Bible Question: I’ve been following a debate on FB. This person posted below. What are your thoughts on there questioning the validity of today’s bible?

So what then is your opinion on the editing of KJV and consequent. Versions of the Bible?

Also what are your thoughts on the Nicene council?

It’s as if you refuse to acknowledge the editing of the Bible, the changing of scripture for political gain at many, MANY time periods and the corruption of original text in translation.

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This is question that is often ask. I think it is a fair question and I think that it can be answered with a high degree of certainty that what we have is what God intended. I am sure where your the person that you are engaged with is coming from but here is a link (there are many) of what I feel would be a good place to engage your friend.

This should give you a solid footing for your discussion. Somewhere in the back and forth see if you can go to the root of his question. Is he doubting the Bible as a whole? It can’t be trusted because we don’t have "an original manuscript (a common Muslim objection)? Is he just concerned with the KJV versus the NKJV or the RSV?
Do get back to the group with what you find. God bless your journey.

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Hi @RBoase,

That sounds like an educative debate. It is something we need for more exposure to the Christians of today, so they can confidently know the authenticity and authority of the Bible in their hands.

I’m actually entering the 2nd week of the Bible elective in the online RZIM academy, which teaches on the formation of the OT and NT scriptures.

Someone posted this video in the discussion board regarding the Council of Nicea, refuting excellenty all the unverifiable claims the doubters stand behind:

Regarding bible versions, even if the agenda behind the said translated version is shady, it doesn’t discredit the Bible texts in anyway, it is only detrimental to that translation version itself. Sidestepping the polemics behind the versions, true scholars and exegetes can always refer to the original language and study the contextual meanings of the associated pericope as the standard basis of understanding the text reliably. The different translations available only helps us to understand it easier in our respective languages, and gives us choices for more resources to study from. Each translation version has different purpose for different readers. Like the Message version is a looser translation compared to the NASB or NKJV for example, but it is much simpler to read for the average audience. It is always helpful to have 2-3 translations you prefer for cross-checking when studying the bible, and when in doubt, always check the lexicons for the original language.

Miscellanous Bonus (for those interested)
In translating any materials from different different languages, we will always lose something in the translation. Though the overarching narrative is kept. A good example of this is something I learned from the Bible Project podcast recent episode 151.

Gen 4:1 NKJV simply reads Eve, when she bore Cain, saying “I have gotten a man from the Lord.”
The original Hebrew for what Eve actually said is, “Qaniti ish et Yahweh”. To spare the details, you can always go to the said podcast channel, it was a double-meaning wordplay which can also imply Eve was actually saying she “created man like Yahweh”.

But my point is, this word-play is not easy to carry over to a different language. Meaning, if you really want to get it exactly the way the Jews received it, you gotta study the original Hebrew version.

I hope that helps for those wondering and interested
Blessings in Christ,
Roy

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The topic of the Bible’s reliability causes quite a bit of posturing and claims that are often unsupported. Of course, those who oppose Christianity have no patience for the lengthy answers that are often needed to prove that the text of the Bible has been edited=changed. The response to such claims is to ask for examples and proof.

The reference to the council of Nicea is also a sidestep. Which Nicean council are “they” talking about? (I am not referring to the video posted above nor to Roy_Sujanto who posted it.) My point is that making a bland reference to a historical event without providing details allows detractors to misrepresent the truth. These and other ecumenical councils enacted dozens of decisions. Which decision supports those who say the Bible has been changed? The burden of proof rests on squarely the shoulders of the person making the claim. And the lack of convincing evidence or system of proof is equivalent to a refutation of the claim because the claim has not been supported.

A number of worthy Christian authors have carefully discussed the reliability of the scriptures and the practices of copying manuscripts and the process of translation. A good point to make here is that the massive popularity of Christianity through the years was based on the use of scripture. Such usage wore out manuscripts then like Bibles wear out Bibles from constant use today. (I have several preaching Bibles whose bindings have failed and are now “loose leaf” versions.)

Further, the expansion of Christianity constantly required more manuscripts: for new churches and to replace worn out Bibles and even for translations. The early church busily translated the Bible. This translation practice declined at certain times in church history, but since the Reformation, the urgency to translate the Bible into modern, local languages has continually increased to this very day.

For Islam, the story is much different. Translation was never allowed until recent years. Even so, translations of the Quran are not regarded as authoritative, even though only approved Moslem leaders are allowed to make such translations. And the practice of Islam was not dependent on the masses of adherents constantly studying the Quran. Thus the need for manuscripts of the Quran did not approach the massive Christian usage of the Bible.

The translation history of the Bible into English is quite involved. Generally, the point was to produce a translation based on the best biblical manuscripts available using the best scholarship available and rendering a translation into the current form of English. This point is often misunderstood, even among believers. To say that a translation has been created for political gain is quite preposterous with so many able scholars to check the results. The masses of true believers are truly protected against the manipulation of the biblical text because God has carefully developed a widespread biblical scholarship constituted by individuals who are often committed believers.

To assert that the biblical text has been corrupted, one has to show where the text is corrupted. To do this, one must have the prior version of the text. Outsiders may respond with glee that the original manuscripts of the biblical materials have perished, but they cannot prove even this point! You need to know what the original manuscripts look like to know if other manuscripts have deviated from them. What we actually have is a massive number of ancient manuscript witnesses that testify to the biblical text. If some original manuscripts are among them, we currently have no idea how to distinguish them because they do not reside in their original locations.

God’s answer for massive daily human usage of the Scriptures along with dealing with the human frailties of the copyists has been to provide a massive number of manuscripts so that the “many correct the few” *** wherever a discrepancy may arise. (***This is only one principle of handling discrepancies in the biblical text. Another is to seek the reading of the oldest and best manuscripts. I am not intending to write a full discussion of biblical textual criticism here.)

I do not deny that discrepancies have arisen in the texts of biblical manuscripts. But finding patterns of discrepancy that prove corruption is a complex matter to prove. And, as always, the burden of proof is on those who claim that the biblical texts have been corrupted. Let’s get out our Greek and Hebrew textual apparatuses and have a chat!

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