Translation

It has been a long time since I posted anything here. The frequency is getting lower but things have been getting busier over at my side. Work wise, there had been a lot of happenings there and that contributed a bit. Study wise, I have to work on my assignments every week and that leaves very little time already. On top of that, I need to work on a few bible studies that I will be teaching over the course of August to October.

Nevertheless, I am just sharing a snippet of my view on a recent hot topic that has been spreading like wild fire - the issue of the NIV translation. In some sense, the issue is not new, and in fact, I had discussed this with an ex-colleague before over some very heated discussion. The key problem with this partly lies with the "King James Only" movement, which states that the KJV is the only English translation worth trusting, for many various reasons. For some who are unaware, the Bible-Presbysterian church is one tradition that apparently embraces this movement (or at least the conclusion from this movement). Various websites and doctrinal statements from different churches and institutes have listed their argument for a KJV only doctrine.

They key accusation behind this hot topic is that the NIV wilfully omitted a number of verses and hence has committed a grievous sin. Not to help in their case is that the parent company of Zondervan, Harper Collins, also publishes (apparently) several volumes that may have relations with Satanism. This drew the conclusion that the devil is actually behind the scene manipulating the publishers to remove certain words from the NIV translation.

One of my major contentions behind this conclusion is whether any major doctrines in Christianity have been compromised as a result of these omissions. Any sane readers (even New Atheists, if they ever read the Bible) would have said no. The omissions do not result in the presentation of a different God from the KJV translation (assuming that the readers of the KJV understand Shakespearean English).

And when we look deeper into the issue, most of the people who are drawn into the conclusion, or ended up confused, are people who do not understand the process of translations. Without going much into details, we need to understand that all translations (including KJV) are not exactly word-for-word translations and all translations depend on a set of manuscripts for their translation words. What most of the KJV movement people dislike was that the main manuscript used by NIV translators was compiled by people who believed in evolution (or at least these people claimed so). What they also don't tell you is that the translators depend on other manuscripts for counter-reference as well. And what they don't tell you even more is that the KJV isn't very accurate on several counts of translations, even if I grant the language being used.

And we are just scratching onto the surface of the issue.

This is not a post to outline all the issues in detail, but I just want to voice out that encountering such a topic is not an opportunity for Christians to get confused. Instead, it is an opportunity for Christians to dwell deeper into the Scripture that they are believing in and understand how it came about. This calls for the perseverance of the saints to study their Bible.

In fact, this is where I wished I had said the same thing to the ex-colleague. She asked me point blank if believers need to then go into the original language (Greek and Hebrew) in order to understand the Scripture fully. I stopped short of a yes. But now at this point, I would say that if the believers really want to know the Scripture for themselves, then they ought to learn the original language and see for themselves what the translators have translated, in all the versions, be it NIV, NLT, TJB, KJV etc.

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