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#122 - Will one English Bible translation some day be accepted by all?
by Robert Nguyen Cramer
This BibleTexts website administrator has very much enjoyed questions and insights that have been emailed to him ever since this site was launched in September of 1996. On this page I share with BibleTexts browsers a few of the questions, insights, and responses, so that we all can further learn from and with each other.
There seems to be pros and cons for every translation. What bible translation do you recommend for serious readers seeking the truth? Is it possible that one day an accurate translation will emerge in modern English and accepted by all?
Since there are so many languages, and since every language continues to develop and change, there likely will never be the ideal Bible translation in any language that will remain so forever. Also the continuing discovery of additional ancient manuscripts and the continuing improvement of our understanding of ancient Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek provide translators with tools to make even more accurate translations.
Even the King James Version (KJV) translators wrote in their "Dedicatorie" section that appeared in the original KJV:
Truly (good Christian Reader) wee neuer [never] thought from the beginning, that we should neede to make a new Translation, nor yet to make of a bad one a good one,... but to make a good one better, or out of many good ones, one principall good one, not iustly [justly] to be excepted against; that hath bene [been] our indeauour [endeavor], that our marke... How shall men meditate in that, which they cannot vnderstand [understand]? How shall they vnderstand [understand] that which is kept close in an vnknowen [unknown] tongue?... Indeede without translation into the vulgar tongue, the vnlearned are but like children at Iacobs well (which was deepe) without a bucket or some thing to draw with... So, if we building vpon [upon] their foundation that went before vs [us], and being holpen [helped] by their labours, doe [do] endeuour [endeavor] to make that better which they left so good; no man, we are sure, hath cause to mislike vs [us]; they, we perwade [persuade] our selues [selves], if they were aliue [alive], would thanke vs [us].
For example, the New Testament books originally were written in Koine (common) Greek. It was the common language of the people at that time, but the gospel spread to people of other languages and needed to be translated into those languages. Even the Greek language has evolved greatly since the 1st century.
Still there are currently some very good choices of Bibles and other reference materials. You will find the BibleTexts.com recommendations at the following address:
Copyright 1996-2004 Robert Nguyen Cramer