Are all Bibles the Same?
 


No, not all Bibles are the same. First we need to understand the original Bible was written in Hebrew for the Old Testament and Greek for the New Testament. Since the vast majority of people in the world cannot read Hebrew or Greek we must settle for a translation of the original Bible into our native language. So the Christian church has relied on godly men who could read and understand Hebrew and Greek to translate the Bible into their native tongue.

Over the centuries God has blessed the Christian church with men who could accurately translate the Bible into the native languages of the people of the world. John 3:16 says, “For God so loved the world”.  God has a love for all the people of the world equally.  His love is without bias or prejudice and has provided Godly men throughout the world to make translations in most every language that has ever existed.

Syriac, Latin, and Coptic versions were some of the first translations of the Bible. The Latin Bible was the standard for many years. It was not until the middle of the 15th century that printing machines had been invented.  Now with this new technology, mass printing of the apostles witting could finally take place.  For years in England it was against the law to produce an English translation of the Bible. In 1466 a German translation was produced of the New Testament and in 1522 Luther's German New Testament was printed.  In 1475 a Czech New Testament was produced. The first French Bible appeared about 1523.

It was nearly 1500 years after the death of Christ before any English translation was produced. The pioneer of the English Bible is William Tyndale who published the New Testament in 1525. Complete Bibles appeared as early as 1535 such as Miles Coverdale's edition. Thomas Cromwell had the Matthew Bible another English version of the time revised by Coverdale to become the Great Bible in 1539. It is interesting to note that about 90 percent of Tyndale's original translation made it into the King James Version that we know today. In 1611 the King James Version was produced and drew heavily on previous translations as the translators clearly state in their Preface. In many ways the King James version is a updated version of the Tyndale Bible.

            Since 1611 the King James Bible was revised four times the last being 1769. Because it is one of the oldest translations that English people became familiar with, it became the English standard for many years. Even though there were other English translations before the King James Version, it became the best-known English translation and became the most prominent. Of course God continued to provide the entire world with translators of the Bible in more and more languages. It is important to understand the Bible existed for almost 1500 years without any English translation. We should rejoice that God loves the whole world and added us to His list for raising up those men who would be able to translate the original Bible into so many langauges.
2 Peter 3:9  The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

Besides the many King James Version translations that exist, there are many other English versions. Some are, the New King James Version, the New International Version, the American Standard Version, the New American Standard Version and the list goes on and on.

With so many English translations to use, what Bible is the best?

 I recommend the New King James Version.  It is translated in English that I find is easy to understand and varies little from the Old King James, keeping close to the tradition of the 1611 King James Version.  It also has updated words that we can better translate now than the 1611 translators were able to do.  Since 1611 many new manuscripts were found that helped today’s translators get a more accurate meaning of some words. But the New American Standard is also very good.  The New International Version is very easy to read and understand and is used by many churches today. So my recommendations are, 1st the New King James Version, 2nd the New American Standard Version and 3rd the New International Version.  While there are many others, I personally don’t recommend them, but that does not mean they are not any good.

Be careful Versions called “New World Translation” or “Joseph Smith’s Translation” are based on lies and are not real Bibles.  These two versions are made up by man and are based on lies and deceit so don’t ever use either of them. They are not real translations.

Things to remember: The original 1611 version was written in Old English and would be difficult for most to read today. The King James Bible has gone through word changes since it was first printed.  Most of the changes were based on out dated English words that we simply would not understand today. There aren't any churches today using the original 1611 King James Version as it was first printed. Some churches use versions of the King James Bible from the 1800's and believe it is the only Bible fit for use. Those churches usually advertise themselves as "King James Only" and deem use of other versions as an error. Here is a list of the old English words used in the original 1611 version. The truth is those who claim to be King James only don’t use the original version from 1611 and are not upfront about this fact.   They use newer translations of the 1611 translation.  The original version also contained the apocrypha, which is rejected by fundamental Christians today.

 Conclusion:

Not all translations are the same. For almost 1500 years many translations existed before the first English translation was made, Latin being one of the oldest. God cares equally for all people and wants His Word translated in everyone’s language. For English speaking people Pastor Tim recommends: 1st the New King James Version, 2nd the New American Standard Version and 3rd the New International Version.

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Pastor Timothy Baker   Questions or Comments: Pastort@lycos.com
Copyright 2004 All rights reserved.
Revised: September 12, 2007

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