you choose Q: is the KJV version of the Bible the only true one?
Q: With all the new versions the Bible, is it true that the Kings James Version (KJV) is the real one? Just found out that the New International Version (NIV) omits and changes a lot of the original version—the way God first had it written. It’s scary how subtle the devil works in deceiving us . . . but why isn’t this fact out there? —Linda
A: It’s important to understand that words or verses omitted by the NIV and other good translations aren’t omitted arbitrarily. Words or verses are omitted by the NIV only when they aren’t present in earlier and better manuscripts.
A person doesn’t have to be experienced in the translation of Hebrew and Greek to understand that it’s usually impossible to find words in two languages that are exact equivalents. Even if one has had experience only with a modern Western foreign language like French, Spanish, or German, one realizes that on many occasions different expressions, or idioms, must be used to capture the mean of a particular word or phrase in English.
We realize that we possess neither a perfect manuscript copy nor a perfect translation of the original biblical text. We do possess, however, more than 5,000 handwritten copies of all or part of the New Testament, and these copies—remarkable in their similarity—vary from one another in less than 10 percent of the text. Moreover, these differences do not call into question even one major doctrine or event.
It’s questionable whether God is as concerned about exact wording as He is about meaning. If God were concerned about exact wording, He would have preserved a perfect manuscript copy. Moreover, Jesus and the apostles were not slavish about exact words when they quoted from the Old Testament. Compare Isaiah 61:1-2 with our Lord’s quotation of it in Luke 4:18-19. The wording is quite different, but the meaning is the same. (Once again, anyone familiar with the difficulties involved in translation realize that exact wording usually can’t be transferred from one language to another.)
The New International Version was produced by twenty teams of five scholars each from various countries of the English-speaking world to give it an international flavor. All of the translators and editors were chosen because they were conservative scholars, thoroughly committed to the full inspiration of the Bible. It was a “fresh” translation that retained some of the familiar renderings of the King James Version.
We all admire the beautiful Elizabethan English of the King James Version. However, we must not become like the Judaizers who exalted their traditions to such an extent that they threatened the unity of the church and the proclamation of the gospel. —Dan VanderLugt
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