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Why Does My Bible Read That Way?
`/23/2012 | Count-your -change

Posted on 01/23/2012 3:27:12 PM PST by count-your-change

Why Does My Bible Read that Way?

This question may have come to mind while you were reading and particularly so if you read and compare different translations of the Bible.

The differences can be quite minor, word order and choice of words that carry much the same the thought or of a rather substantial nature that will affect our understanding of the Scriptures as a whole.

John 1:18 serves as a good example since much has been written about it with experts offering quite opposite opinions.

Here The New American Standard Version reads' "No one has seen God at any time, the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, he has explained him".

The American Standard Version reads,

"No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him."

The New World Translation reads,

"No man has seen God at any time; the only-begotten god who is in the bosom [position] with the Father is the one that has explained him."

The New American Bible;

"No one has ever seen God. The only Son, God, who is at the Father's side, has revealed him."

The New Revised Standard Version,

"No one has ever seen God. It is God, the only Son, who is close to the Father's heart, who has made him known."

Some of the above have foot notes explaining that the most ancient manuscripts available , p66 and p75, from about 200 A.D. or before, support the reading, 'only begotten god/God.'

Part of the controversy that goes with translating John 1:18 arises from how one thinks of the Greek word, "monogenes" or only born, sole child.

However it's evident that other translators see a meaning in "monogenes" of "unique, one of a kind". The NIV reads,

"No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known. "

Clearly the text used by the translators and the manuscripts it is based upon will determine or influence how your translation of the Bible reads.

Does it matter? "Only begotten God" or "only begotten Son"?

Certainly it should to a translator who is attempting to produce as accurate a translation as possible.

And reasonably it would to the student of the Scriptures who believes his studies will lead to a better understanding of his Creator, gaining that 'accurate knowledge and full discernment' that marks the spiritually mature.


TOPICS: Theology
KEYWORDS: bible; religion
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Though I prefer the paper and ink books in my hands the internet has proved to be a remarkably useful tool for the Bible researcher at relatively low cost.
1 posted on 01/23/2012 3:27:16 PM PST by count-your-change
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To: count-your-change

It’s fortunate that virtually all of these manuscript differences (and I appreciate bible translations that note them as footnotes on the same page as the main text used) either amount to synonyms or equivalencies that are known from other scriptures to be true, or arguably omitted words that are still acceptable from other scriptures. Probably the difference that brings up the most practical controversy is the set of “snake handling” verses at the end of the Textus Receptus of Mark. And many of those who accept it do not think it would apply commonly in modern times, if at all — it is talking about exceptional witnesses, and probably by apostles.

Anyhow, a bible with these footnotes is very helpful when listening to a preacher preach from them. If the preacher becomes dogmatic about a certain disputed reading, there should be a good reason for it.


2 posted on 01/23/2012 3:38:18 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (Sometimes progressives find their scripture in the penumbra of sacred bathroom stall writings (Tzar))
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To: count-your-change

I don’t remember the exact verse, but there’s also one where the King James says “shall be born of a virgin”, and the other ones say “born of a young woman”, or something like that. That’s enough reason for me to stick with the King James!


3 posted on 01/23/2012 3:40:55 PM PST by Slump Tester (What if I'm pregnant Teddy? Errr-ahh -Calm down Mary Jo, we'll cross that bridge when we come to it)
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To: count-your-change

Anyhow, a bible with these footnotes is very helpful when listening to a preacher preach from them

(I mean, from passages which are affected in this manner).

It’s rather interesting to note that of all the biblical books, the one that has the most dire warning in it about alterations (i.e. Revelation) also has virtually no variant manuscripts, though there is still dispute about the meaning of certain passages. Perhaps scribes respected that over other books.


4 posted on 01/23/2012 3:43:55 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (Sometimes progressives find their scripture in the penumbra of sacred bathroom stall writings (Tzar))
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To: Slump Tester

This is the Hebrew term “alma” which actually means both or either depending on the context in which it is found. She would be, normally, a young never married woman who is a virgin and preparing to be married.

One problem with most King James versions is that they never note the existing manuscript variants even as footnotes. They stick dogmatically to the Textus Receptus.


5 posted on 01/23/2012 3:47:22 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (Sometimes progressives find their scripture in the penumbra of sacred bathroom stall writings (Tzar))
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To: Slump Tester
"That’s enough reason for me to stick with the King James!"

I agree with you. I don't find King James' version of the English language that difficult to understand. What I do find difficult to understand is "today's" version of the language that you'll find in text messages and the like. While I understand the desire to be brief, I find it more important to be understood.

6 posted on 01/23/2012 3:49:19 PM PST by davisfh
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To: count-your-change
Douay-Rheims
 
John 1: 18 No man hath seen God at any time: the only begotten Son who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him.

7 posted on 01/23/2012 3:53:50 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: davisfh

Beware of false certitudes, however — not noting existence of historically significant manuscripts doesn’t mean they did not exist.

(The example of “alma” isn’t a manuscript problem. The New American Standard, and the following revisions which dropped the pious thees and thous where God is addressed, take the orthodox meaning of this passage, and still note the variant manuscripts in other places.)


8 posted on 01/23/2012 3:54:05 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (Sometimes progressives find their scripture in the penumbra of sacred bathroom stall writings (Tzar))
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To: count-your-change

Here is a book I found to be both very useful and readable on this subject:

http://www.amazon.com/Understanding-English-Bible-Translation-Essentially/dp/1433502798/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1327362057&sr=8-3


9 posted on 01/23/2012 3:57:30 PM PST by Willgamer (Rex Lex or Lex Rex?)
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To: davisfh

U dnt wnt a Bbl n Txtese? :-)


10 posted on 01/23/2012 3:59:21 PM PST by HiTech RedNeck (Sometimes progressives find their scripture in the penumbra of sacred bathroom stall writings (Tzar))
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To: count-your-change

http://genevabible.com/

Prior to the KJV


11 posted on 01/23/2012 4:03:45 PM PST by silentreignofheroes
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To: count-your-change

I like the New King James version. Fixes the mistakes of the old one.


12 posted on 01/23/2012 4:05:56 PM PST by Free Vulcan (Election 2012 - America stands or falls. No more excuses. Get involved.)
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To: count-your-change

Although I’m a Catholic, I’m also a student of English literature. I usually prefer to quote the King James Version. If there’s a problem with any particular verse, I would make note of it.

I also like the Revised Standard Version, but it has largely been replaced by the New Revised Standard Version, another politically correct mistranslation like most of the rest.

Certainly the Douay-Rheims version was far better than the NAB which is currently being used by the Church.


13 posted on 01/23/2012 4:06:40 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Cicero

“Certainly the Douay-Rheims version was far better than the NAB which is currently being used by the Church.”

Why do you say the DR is better than the NAB?


14 posted on 01/23/2012 4:14:22 PM PST by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: count-your-change

My translation says: “Nobody has seen God. The only-begotten God who is close to the Father’s heart has told us about Him.”

Or this from NIV. No one has ever seen God, but the one and only Son, who is himself God and is in closest relationship with the Father, has made him known.

IPad Bible apps are nice.


15 posted on 01/23/2012 4:17:20 PM PST by PjhCPA (They all suck. Rick sucks the least.)
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To: Willgamer

Thanks!


16 posted on 01/23/2012 4:20:21 PM PST by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: Slump Tester
If you can read Shakespeare without catching the constant double entendra jokes, then you likely don't understand the KJB. Word meaning has changed considerably over 350 yrs
17 posted on 01/23/2012 4:27:19 PM PST by SampleMan (Feral Humans are the refuse of socialism.)
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To: Salvation

The NAB, “the only Son, God...” has attempted to perform some redefinition of the term “begotten” in order to justify it’s translation.

I guess the translators just couldn’t leave the DR.


18 posted on 01/23/2012 4:51:39 PM PST by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: PjhCPA
I think the NIV is taking liberties with the text there. Explaining what they think the verse means is one thing but pretending it's translation instead is quite different.
19 posted on 01/23/2012 4:57:36 PM PST by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: count-your-change
I find the free downloadable software from www.e-sword.net to be extremely useful for cross-bible study and reference. It also has a lot of free bible reference books and dictionaries.
20 posted on 01/23/2012 4:57:55 PM PST by Col Freeper (FR is a smorgasbord of Conservative thoughts and ideas - dig in and enjoy it to its fullest!)
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To: Col Freeper

Thanks!


21 posted on 01/23/2012 4:59:02 PM PST by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: count-your-change

I wasn’t thinking of this verse in particular. I just find the NAB kind of clunky, and it suffers from the political correctness of most recent translations.

A group of Protestants and Catholics got together and developed the Revised Standard Version, and as I said, I like that one. It has footnotes where Protestants and Catholics disagree about an occasional verse. And it contains the Apocryphal books in the Catholic version, duly noting that Protestants do not consider them to be formally part of the Bible. The New Revised Standard Version is a big step in the wrong direction, regretably.


22 posted on 01/23/2012 5:00:09 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Slump Tester

Gosh, if you don’t read the latin bible, you aint nuthin.


23 posted on 01/23/2012 5:05:38 PM PST by mamelukesabre
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To: count-your-change
Why would you ever quote the New World Translation?

You discredit yourself.

24 posted on 01/23/2012 5:06:37 PM PST by Manic_Episode (Politics is fake. I think it's owned by Vince Mcmahon)
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To: Cicero
I also like the Revised Standard Version, but it has largely been replaced by the New Revised Standard Version, another politically correct mistranslation like most of the rest.

You might want to take a look at the English Standard Version. It's a recent and conservative revision of the RSV. I think it reads well. (Free on Kindle.)

25 posted on 01/23/2012 5:12:39 PM PST by Lee N. Field ("Bad eschatology drives out good.")
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To: Cicero

Usually the RSV is better than the NAB, but not in this case.


26 posted on 01/23/2012 5:25:37 PM PST by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: Slump Tester
I don’t remember the exact verse, but there’s also one where the King James says “shall be born of a virgin”, and the other ones say “born of a young woman”, or something like that. That’s enough reason for me to stick with the King James!

King James gets it wrong at places too. Thou shall not kill... instead of "Thou shall not murder"...

It is not plausible that kill would be correct when just a few verses further down it explains reasons to enforce the death penalty.

27 posted on 01/23/2012 5:26:25 PM PST by LowOiL ("Abomination" sure sounds like "ObamaNation" to me.)
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To: Cicero
I appreciate that the NAB has dropped some spurious translating but in other places really falls down as here in John 1:18 and Act, chapter two when Peter quotes Ps.16:10.
The New Revised Standard Version I have comes with the interlinear attached so I find that useful.
28 posted on 01/23/2012 5:32:38 PM PST by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: Manic_Episode

Discredit myself? Why? How? It does a better job at rendering this verse than many other translations.


29 posted on 01/23/2012 5:38:11 PM PST by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: count-your-change
Why the difference in versions

MONEY...

It costs a pretty penny to have different versions translated. Copyright laws (and Bible sales are big business) don't allow you to word things exactly the same. So thus with each competing release, phrasing becomes shuffled.

Other factors include readability and how political correct the target audience version is intended to attract. Used to be the target audience was pretty conservative, but lately you have Bible lite liberal versions popping up.

Finally there is the devil at work.... He knows when you add to the truth you actually subtract from it. As you pointed out, the virgin birth is neglected from mention in one translation. That can only be for the devils pleasure.

30 posted on 01/23/2012 5:40:05 PM PST by LowOiL ("Abomination" sure sounds like "ObamaNation" to me.)
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To: count-your-change
The New World Translation reads,

"No man has seen God at any time; the only-begotten god who is in the bosom [position] with the Father is the one that has explained him."


Sorry, the New World isn't a translation. This is a paid for hire job that was, in the process, mangled to cut out or change things that the Russellites don't find convenient to their doctrine.

As far as those variations in John 1:8 go, there are many different manuscripts. There are variations in the Greek. Some have one phrase, some have the other, some have a conflation of both. If there's no clear way (short of the fideistic declaration that the defective compilation known as the Textus Receptus is the only true Greek apparatus, which is laughable), the best that can be done is to offer all the variations for the reader to see. If you think that the differences in the translation between versions (that used different Greek texts) is because the translators couldn't figure out what the Greek was saying, then you need to do a bit of study on the matter. See Bruce Metzger's latest edition (4th) of The Text of the New Testament, Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration, Oxford University Press, 2005.
31 posted on 01/23/2012 5:50:40 PM PST by aruanan
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To: LowOiL

I didn’t comment on the use of “virgin” to translate “maiden” although I don’t see any reason not to do so.
You’re probably recalling another poster. No problem.


32 posted on 01/23/2012 6:07:19 PM PST by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: count-your-change
"Discredit myself? Why? How? It does a better job at rendering this verse than many other translations."

=================================================

That is debatable but I am speaking of the translation itself, not the verse.

If you didn't already know it is the Jehovas Witness own version of "the bible".

If you are not a JW than perhaps you have just not done your homework and some research is in order.

Start with John 1:1

33 posted on 01/23/2012 6:12:03 PM PST by Manic_Episode (Politics is fake. I think it's owned by Vince Mcmahon)
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To: Manic_Episode
Forgot the h in Jehovahs.
34 posted on 01/23/2012 6:13:54 PM PST by Manic_Episode (Politics is fake. I think it's owned by Vince Mcmahon)
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To: count-your-change

“No man hath ever seen God; the only begotten God, he who is in the bosom of his father,he hath declared [Him].”

From the 1858 Translation of the Syriac (Peshito) New Testament by James Murdock, which was written in the original Aramaic. One of the earliest extant copies of the New Testament, estimates range from 90-110 AD.


35 posted on 01/23/2012 6:16:24 PM PST by djf (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2801220/posts)
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To: Manic_Episode

Agreed! The New World translation is the JW bible. Serious doctrinal flaws to say the least. Basically created to try and cover over the even more serious issues with their beliefs. Run, don’t walk...


36 posted on 01/23/2012 6:19:43 PM PST by boys3
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To: count-your-change
My best advice would be to cross-reference the passage in question.
Though the wording may vary from different editions/prints you can usually figure out what you want to know that way.
Also, a concordance is pretty indispensable for self study.
37 posted on 01/23/2012 6:23:34 PM PST by philman_36 (Pride breakfasted with plenty, dined with poverty, and supped with infamy. Benjamin Franklin)
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To: boys3
Welcome to Free Republic.
38 posted on 01/23/2012 6:23:37 PM PST by Manic_Episode (Politics is fake. I think it's owned by Vince Mcmahon)
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To: djf

Oooppps...

Re-reading the appendix doesn’t give any numbers, per se.

But it makes strong argument that the version can be traced back to the latter part of the first century or at its latest, the early part of the second century.

So what that means in years, I’m not sure...


39 posted on 01/23/2012 6:27:55 PM PST by djf (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2801220/posts)
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To: Manic_Episode
First of all the thread is not about John 1:1, that should have a thread to itself.

Then Catholics have “their own version”, the NAB, and the United Bible Society has “their own version” and someone has the Peshitta and so forth.

40 posted on 01/23/2012 6:31:01 PM PST by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: djf

How interesting, I would like to investigate further this early Syriac version of the scriptures.


41 posted on 01/23/2012 6:32:30 PM PST by Ciexyz
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To: philman_36
My meager library has Greek/English and Hebrew/English interlinears and lexicons as well as a couple of concordances and different translations that I use a lot.

I don't have much in quantity as I've used my small budget for quality and not regretted it.

42 posted on 01/23/2012 6:42:19 PM PST by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: djf

P66 and p75 “only begotten theos”, agrees.


43 posted on 01/23/2012 6:47:36 PM PST by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: Salvation

No, I was just speaking in general, not about this particular verse.

I taught the Bible as Literature for a number of years, and I used the Oxford edition of the RSV, which had numerous footnotes, including comments by the Church Fathers.

Then, regretably, that went out of print, and Oxford substituted the NRSV. Thankfully, Ignatius Press came out with a Catholic version of the RSV, and I used that. An excellent choice, although regretably lacking all those old Oxford footnotes.


44 posted on 01/23/2012 6:48:04 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Lee N. Field

Thanks. I’ll look when I have a little time to do it right.


45 posted on 01/23/2012 6:56:29 PM PST by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Slump Tester
Amen - “shall be born of a virgin”, is far more accurate to indicate the exact meaning of the prophecy than “born of a young woman” - so what does "young woman" indicate regarding a "virgin" - many "young women" have altogether lost their virginity during their youth - in “shall be born of a virgin” provides absolute assurance that the prophecy would be fulfilled with a "virgin"; absolutely no risk that a "young women" may or may not have lost her virginity during their youth.

The other omissions I have seen in some poorer translations omit the word "blood" several times in critical Scriptures; what are we to suppose to think - that we are saved WITHOUT blood!!! Preposterous - God forbid!!!

46 posted on 01/23/2012 6:58:01 PM PST by bibletruth
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To: aruanan
“The Text of the New Testament, Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration”

I don't have that book but i do have and have read Wallace's ‘Revisiting the Corruption of the New Testament’ and Metzger’s commentary on the Greek New Testament. Both quite informative.

47 posted on 01/23/2012 7:03:49 PM PST by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: count-your-change
“The Text of the New Testament, Its Transmission, Corruption, and Restoration”

I don't have that book but i do have and have read Wallace's ‘Revisiting the Corruption of the New Testament’ and Metzger’s commentary on the Greek New Testament. Both quite informative.


Is that Daniel Wallace? I finally broke down and sprang the >$40 for the paperback edition of The Text of the New Testament instead of going through many, many months of renewal at the university library.
48 posted on 01/23/2012 7:23:08 PM PST by aruanan
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To: aruanan
Daniel Wallace, yes. In this book Wallace takes on the methods and arguments of Bart Ehrman. It sounds like a running battle.
49 posted on 01/23/2012 7:38:23 PM PST by count-your-change (You don't have to be brilliant, not being stupid is enough.)
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To: Ciexyz

http://www.aramaicpeshitta.com/AramaicNTtools/Murdock/murdock.htm


50 posted on 01/23/2012 7:38:28 PM PST by djf (http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-chat/2801220/posts)
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