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Christian: Problems With Modern Bible Translations

Discussion in 'Same Faith Debates' started by Linus7, Mar 10, 2005.

  1. may

    may Well-Known Member

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    True Christians have a commission from Jesus Christ to make disciples of people of all nations. When teaching these people, how would it be possible to identify the true God as different from the false gods of the nations? Only by using His personal name, as the Bible itself does.—Matt. 28:19, 20; 1 Cor. 8:5, 6.​

    Ex. 3:15: "God said . . . to Moses: ‘This is what you are to say to the sons of Israel, "Jehovah the God of your forefathers . . . has sent me to you." This is my name to time indefinite, and this is the memorial of me to generation after generation.’"​

    Isa. 12:4: "Give thanks to Jehovah, you people! Call upon his name. Make known among the peoples his dealings. Make mention that his name is put on high."​

    Ezek. 38:17, 23: "This is what the Sovereign Lord Jehovah has said, ‘ . . . And I shall certainly magnify myself and sanctify myself and make myself known before the eyes of many nations; and they will have to know that I am Jehovah.’"​

    Mal. 3:16: "Those in fear of Jehovah spoke with one another, each one with his companion, and Jehovah kept paying attention and listening. And a book of remembrance began to be written up before him for those in fear of Jehovah and for those thinking upon his name."







    John 17:26: "[Jesus prayed to his Father:] I have made your name known to them [his followers] and will make it known, in order that the love with which you loved me may be in them and I in union with them."


    Acts 15:14: "Symeon has related thoroughly how God for the first time turned his attention to the nations to take out of them a people for his name."


     
  2. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    I don't think this is a debate on the theology of whether or not to use the Tetragrammaton, and I'm not going to sidetrack it with my response, because that will get into the Divinity of Christ. It's a debate on translations, and while the pronunciation and transliteration of the Tetragrammaton is a translation issue, whether we use it in our daily affairs or not isn't.

    EDIT:

    That's nothing against what you posted, but if I did that, then I'd really take this discussion waaaay off into left field :). I can't do that. I figured I'd better clarify that, lest you think I was attacking you. My wording was poor :(.
     
  3. may

    may Well-Known Member

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    It is true that some translations of the Bible adhere more closely to what is in the original languages than others do. Modern paraphrase Bibles have taken liberties that at times alter the original meaning. Some translators have allowed personal beliefs to color their renderings. But these weaknesses can be identified by comparison of a variety of translations

     
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  4. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    Dang! There's something I mostly agree with you on :D.

    The only qualification I would make is that we can't get it right necessarily by comparing many translations. I read Greek, and I know that isn't the case. There are also somethings mistranslated in older translations, but translated right in newer ones. Then there's those annoying places that are never translated right :).
     
  5. dawnq

    dawnq New Member

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    Yes Linus, I have noticed the same. There are unfortunately many words in the original greek and hebrew that we don't really even have an English translation for. There for there are many misunderstanding that take place in todays society due to translation.
     
  6. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    Dawnq, please fill out your religion field.
     
  7. may

    may Well-Known Member

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    Certain unfamiliar terms supposedly invented by Jehovah’s Witnesses are supported by other Bible translations or reference works. At Luke 23:43, the New World Translation records Jesus’ words to the criminal executed with him: "Truly I tell you today, You will be with me in Paradise." In the original Greek, there were no punctuation marks such as commas; but usually some kind of punctuation is inserted by translators to help with the reading. Most, however, make Luke 23:43 read as though Jesus and the criminal were bound for Paradise that very day. The New English Bible reads: "I tell you this: today you shall be with me in Paradise." Not all convey this thought, however. Professor Wilhelm Michaelis renders the verse: "Truly, already today I give you the assurance: (one day) you will be together with me in paradise." This rendering is much more logical than that of The New English Bible. The dying criminal could not have gone with Jesus to Paradise that same day. Jesus was not resurrected until the third day after his death. In the meantime he was in Hades, mankind’s common grave.—Acts 2:27, 31; 10:39, 40.




    According to Matthew 26:26 in the New World Translation, Jesus, when instituting the celebration of the Lord’s Evening Meal, says of the bread that he passes to his disciples: "This means my body." Most other translations render this verse: "This is my body," and this is used to support the doctrine that during the celebration of the Lord’s Evening Meal, the bread literally becomes Christ’s flesh. The word translated in the New World Translation as "means" (es·tin´, a form of ei·mi´) comes from the Greek word meaning "to be," but it can also signify "to mean." Thus, Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament says that this verb "is often i.q. [equivalent to] to denote, signify, import." Indeed, "means" is a logical translation here. When Jesus instituted the Last Supper, his flesh was still on his bones, so how could the bread have been his literal flesh?​

    At John 1:1 the New World Translation reads: "The Word was a god." In many translations this expression simply reads: "The Word was God" and is used to support the Trinity doctrine. Not surprisingly, Trinitarians dislike the rendering in the New World Translation. But John 1:1 was not falsified in order to prove that Jesus is not Almighty God. Jehovah’s Witnesses, among many others, had challenged the capitalizing of "god" long before the appearance of the New World Translation, which endeavors accurately to render the original language. Five German Bible translators likewise use the term "a god" in that verse. At least 13 others have used expressions such as "of divine kind" or "godlike kind." These renderings agree with other parts of the Bible to show that, yes, Jesus in heaven is a god in the sense of being divine. But Jehovah and Jesus are not the same being, the same God.—John 14:28; 20:17.These are the German Bible translators who use the term (a god)

    Jürgen Becker, Jeremias Felbinger, Oskar Holtzmann, Friedrich Rittelmeyer, and Siegfried Schulz. Emil Bock says, "a divine being." See also the English translations Today’s English Version, The New English Bible, Moffatt, Goodspeed.

     
  8. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    I don't know how to say this, but you've been fed a load of bull here. "Means" is vastly different than "is" being used to "denote, signify, import." If I say, "This is a good day," I am doing just what you are using to justify "means." There is no cause for that, and eimi has never meant "means" in any case I have ever read in Greek. The source you're quoting is stretching things extensively, and that's the nicest I can be.

    Yes "a god" is a valid translation, but if you take that tack, then you invite polytheism given the context of John 1. The translation that most accurately conveys John 1 would be "And the Word was what God was." "Divine being," though, is a little bit of a stretch. There was a word for "divine," and it wasn't theos. If John had wanted that, he would simply have said theios.

    Even though it isn't as accurate as "the Word was what God was," I prefer "the Word was God," because it's short, and it encapsulates the basic idea effectively enough. For a more complete discussion on the matter, I have a Same Faiths thread on this very issue.
     
  9. may

    may Well-Known Member

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    John 17:3, RS: "[Jesus prayed to his Father:] This is eternal life, that they know thee the only true God ["who alone art truly God," NE], and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent." (Notice that Jesus referred not to himself but to his Father in heaven as "the only true God.")




    John 20:17, RS: "Jesus said to her [Mary Magdalene], ‘Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’" (So to the resurrected Jesus, the Father was God, just as the Father was God to Mary Magdalene. Interestingly, not once in Scripture do we find the Father addressing the Son as "my God.")​




    Does​
    John 1:1 prove that Jesus is God?





    John 1:1, RS: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God [also KJ, JB, Dy, Kx, NAB]." NE reads "what God was, the Word was." Mo says "the Logos was divine." AT and Sd tell us "the Word was divine." The interlinear rendering of ED is "a god was the Word." NW reads "the Word was a god"; NTIV uses the same wording.​

    What is it that these translators are seeing in the Greek text that moves some of them to refrain from saying "the Word was God"? The definite article (the) appears before the first occurrence of the·os´ (God) but not before the second. The articular (when the article appears) construction of the noun points to an identity, a personality, whereas a singular anarthrous (without the article) predicate noun before the verb (as the sentence is constructed in Greek) points to a quality about someone. So the text is not saying that the Word (Jesus) was the same as the God with whom he was but, rather, that the Word was godlike, divine, a god. (See 1984 Reference edition of NW, p. 1579.)​

    What did the apostle John mean when he wrote John 1:1? Did he mean that Jesus is himself God or perhaps that Jesus is one God with the Father? In the same chapter, verse 18, John wrote: "No one ["no man," KJ, Dy] has ever seen God; the only Son ["the only-begotten god," NW], who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known." (RS) Had any human seen Jesus Christ, the Son? Of course! So, then, was John saying that Jesus was God? Obviously not. Toward the end of his Gospel, John summarized matters, saying: "These are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, [not God, but] the Son of God."—John 20:31, RS.

     
  10. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    May, given what I've already caught your source doing, why should I listen to it? I already know you don't read the languages, so you can't offer your opinion as sound. You're responses are always a canned answer from a book, and frankly, if we believe those books to be about as untrustworthy as it gets, why should we listen to it?

    I think you shoudl address the points raised in the previous post rather than quoting another segment to defend your view, especially when the credibility of your sources is in question. It's even worse when it doesn't contain any new information relevant to translation itself. We've already gone over the "a god" thing, and the theology behind it is only useful if we can place the meaning of theos when the logos is called it. Your source doesn't address the situation, nor does it offer new information, nor is it credible.
     
  11. may

    may Well-Known Member

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    the fact that i have let the bible speak for it self answers the question as to weather Jesus is God or not, the whole of the bible is in harmony when john 1;1 is in line with the rest of the bible, and the rest of the bible tells us that jesus is seperate from God and not God himself .so in my limited knowledge even i can work it out. maybe some translaters are carrying preconcieved beliefs along with them,
     
  12. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    may..... I think No*s was trying to point out that although you claim to " let the bible speak for it self"...... if somehow an "original" copy were to appear in front of you, YOU COULDN'T READ IT.

    You are reading a TRANSLATION..... and the human bias than comes with it...... and your sources don't seem too credible..... so it brings into doubt the credibility of your translators.
     
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  13. may

    may Well-Known Member

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    i think these sources are very credible because they are sincere searchers for truth of what the original koi-ne Greek basically or literally says. many different translations have been made over the years but many of these have fallen victim to the power of religious traditions in varying degrees,consequently,religious traditions have been taken for granted and gone unchallenged and uninvestigated .these have been interwoven into the translations to color the thought.The endeavour of the new world bible translation committee has been to avoid this snare of religious traditionalism and get back to what it originally meant , so in my view ,i think they should be commended for this. There primary desire has been to seek not the approval of men ,but that of God , by rendering the truth of his inspired word as purely and as consistently as there dedicated abilities make possible .There is no benefit in self-. deceptionthey are aware of the need to be careful
     
  14. Scott1

    Scott1 Well-Known Member

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    Sincerity somehow promotes accuracy?
    Careful.... but not infallible, right?

    I wonder which parts are right........ and......:eek:

    Peace be with you,
    Scott
     
  15. No*s

    No*s Captain Obvious

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    May,

    Scott hit it right on the head. Here's the problem:

    1). I read Greek, not just a little bit, but several dialects. I can read the Hellenistic (koini), Attic, and Homeric. I have lesser experience with other dialects through the Greek tragedies. I can not only read, but also write in this language. I haven't had the oppertunity to speak ancient Greek, because nobody speaks it anymore.

    2). Your argument is completely dependent on a single collection of sources, and you can't go beyond it. You do not know the language under debate.

    3). I have found severe errors in your source material that draws its credibility into question. To put it another way, I think I have caught it outright lying and on other occasions stretching things considerably. The issue of eimi is either an outright lie, or it is evidence of complete ignorance of the language. In either case, your source material's credibility is destroyed, because eimi is an extremely basic issue in Greek, with its meaning learned within the first few lessons by necessity.

    4). That leads to the next problem, your solution to that problem is to quote from the same source material. When I understand the subject in question, I catch it in falsehoods, why would I listen to it for more "facts" to resolve the issue.

    5). That brings us ultimately to: you need to get another source completely independant of the Watchtower. We don't trust it, and while you think they are honest, we do not. If you want us to grant your arguments weight, you need to quote a source outside the Watchtower, which you did not learn of through the Watchtower to resolve the issue and establish the points we are debating.

    Anything short of doing that does no good. It can only hurt your argument, because you are dependant on one source and only one source.
     
  16. may

    may Well-Known Member

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    If a passage can grammatically be translated in more than one way, what is the correct rendering? One that is in agreement with the rest of the Bible. If a person ignores other portions of the Bible and builds his belief around a favorite rendering of a particular verse, then what he believes really reflects, not the Word of God, but his own ideas and perhaps those of another imperfect human.​





    John​
    1:1, 2:













    RS​
    reads: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God." (KJ, Dy, JB, NAB use similar wording.) However, NW reads: "In the beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god. This one was in the beginning with God."








    Which translation of John 1:1, 2 agrees with the context? John 1:18 says: "No one has ever seen God." Verse 14 clearly says that "the Word became flesh and dwelt among us . . . we have beheld his glory." Also, verses 1, 2 say that in the beginning he was "with God." Can one be with someone and at the same time be that person? At John 17:3, Jesus addresses the Father as "the only true God"; so, Jesus as "a god" merely reflects his Father’s divine qualities.—Heb. 1:3.​

    Is the rendering "a god" consistent with the rules of Greek grammar? Some reference books argue strongly that the Greek text must be translated, "The Word was God." but not all agree .In his article "Qualitative Anarthrous Predicate Nouns: Mark 15:39 and John 1:1," Philip B. Harner said that such clauses as the one in John 1:1, "with an anarthrous predicate preceding the verb, are primarily qualitative in meaning. They indicate that the logos has the nature of theos." He suggests: "Perhaps the clause could be translated, ‘the Word had the same nature as God.’" (Journal of Biblical Literature, 1973, pp. 85, 87) Thus, in this text, the fact that the word the·os´ in its second occurrence is without the definite article (ho) and is placed before the verb in the sentence in Greek is significant. Interestingly, translators that insist on rendering John 1:1, "The Word was God," do not hesitate to use the indefinite article (a, an) in their rendering of other passages where a singular anarthrous predicate noun occurs before the verb. Thus at John 6:70, JB and KJ both refer to Judas Iscariot as "a devil," and at John 9:17 they describe Jesus as "a prophet."​

    John J. McKenzie, S.J., in his Dictionary of the Bible, says: "Jn 1:1 should rigorously be translated ‘the word was with the God [= the Father], and the word was a divine being.’"—(Brackets are his. Published with nihil obstat and imprimatur.) (New York, 1965), p. 317.​

    In harmony with the above, AT reads: "the Word was divine"; Mo, "the Logos was divine"; NTIV, "the word was a god." In his German translation Ludwig Thimme expresses it in this way: "God of a sort the Word was." Referring to the Word (who became Jesus Christ) as "a god" is consistent with the use of that term in the rest of the Scriptures. For example, at Psalm 82:1-6 human judges in Israel were referred to as "gods" (Hebrew, ’elo·him´; Greek, the·oi´, at John 10:34) because they were representatives of Jehovah and were to speak his law.so maybe you have not done your homework and have not looked at others ideas this is what the new world translation commitee have been willing to do as they look to make an accurate translationand i for one am glad to read it

     
  17. 12jtartar

    12jtartar Active Member
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    Linus7,
    First, allow me to praise you for caring enough about accuracy in Bible translation!!!
    God, Himself has promised that His word will endure forever, and that He will protect His words from every generation, Psalms 12:6,7. Of course this does not mean that all translations will be without errors, but it does mean that if you are a lover of God's words, you will be able to find accuracy by comparing different translations.
    Just like in the English language, words can have several meanings, in all languages, so it is up to the translator to chose, what he thinks is the best word to fit the context. The trouble comes in when a wrong word is used, because the translator does not understand God's purposes, so he may use a word wrongly, even though the word is technically accurate, it is not the best translation for that place in Scripture.
    I have on my iPad around 50 different translations that I can compare. By comparing Bibles you can always find the truth of God's word. Now, some Bibles are easier to understand. If you are a rather newcomer to Bible research, I believe that the Amplified 2015 Bible is probably the most helpful Bible, because it puts in brackets much useful information, that might not be known. By putting this information in brackets, it does not corrupt the Holy, and Sacred words of God.
    If you want one Bible, that is even more accurate than, what are called Literal Bibles, the Darby Bible, I believe, is the best.
    About Isaiah 7:14. Many translations use different words for Almah, young woman, Maiden, Virgin, and all are technically accurate, but the best translation for us, contemporaries, is Virgin, because this translation is accurate and puts in the correct message from The Almighty God, Jehovah.
     
  18. RabbiO

    RabbiO הרב יונה בן זכריה

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    You're answering a post that is over 11 years old post. It was posted by an individual who has not been on the forum in over a 11 years.

    Good eye!
     
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