I don’t know how many times I have heard the words in the title of this post when it comes to the Bible. The pastor of my church even says them rather frequently. It also seems to be a major theme of some of the blogs I occasionally frequent. They seem to say that if you just read the original text it will be obvious that all the current English translations of the Bible have got it totally wrong! They typically take one word and say it does not mean xxxx but instead means something completely different.
I must admit that at this point in my life I don’t have much of a desire to take on the Aramaic or Greek languages. In my very limited knowledge in this area the best logical conclusion to these types arguments seem to be that there is a vast conspiracy among biblical scholars throughout time to twist Jesus’ words into something that they do not say. It is hard to explain “these obvious differences” without a conspiracy theory. But, another explanation might be that the person using these blog title words has a need to show that he is somehow superior to others and especially all the myriad of scholars that have come before him. A final reasoning might be that the person just does not have the depth of knowledge in this area that those past biblical scholars had. That is something like a teenager believeing that he is much smarter than his parents. I know I am at times guilty of going off half cocked but not in the language area; I claim total ignorance of that! I’m sure some of the many things I question I just haven’t studied enough. That is why I try to pose my concerns as questions and not answers.
Those of you to regularly read my blog know that I am definitely not a person who implicitly trusts others to tell me what the Bible says. I question many things others just take for granted. But, I just can’t buy into this logic that the Bible translators got it all wrong. There have been probably thousands of Biblical scholars in the last century who spent much of their lives pouring over the contents of the Bible. I do admit that many probably probably had a particular agenda going into their study but why hasn’t someone “fixed” all those errors and come out with a “real” Bible?
As you probably know I cling to the red letters in the Bible. No, I don’t believe that 100% of those words actually came out of Jesus’ mouth. I’m sure some of them the writers just got it wrong or maybe even added their own words, but hopefully that was a rare occurance. I do trust that most of those red letters were accurately transcribed and were accurately translated from their original language into English for me. We don’t have any of the original texts of the Gospels so again I have to trust that the copies they used to make the present copies we have were, for the most part, faithfully done. To believe otherwise would result in havoc! Even worse than the slippery slope I mentioned a few posts ago 🙂