Thursday, January 20, 2005

"...so far as it is translated correctly."

I happened upon a conversation today between the Bible Answerman, Hank Hannaagraff of the Christian Research Institute and a caller to his radio show. I joined in in the middle, but what I heard was intriguing. Apparently the caller had asked Hank about passages that are found in the King James Version of the Bible, but are not found in the NIV Bible. Hank’s answer went something like this: “It’s not that the passage has been left out of the NIV, but rather that it should never have been in the KJV to begin with”.

Why is this so intriguing? For more than 160 years, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has been chastised for it’s 8th Article of Faith which states “We believe the Bible to be the word of God so far as it is translated correctly…”. At the time, the KJV was the primary bible then in use outside the Catholic Church, and so it is not difficult to assume that Joseph Smith was referring to the KJV when he made this proclamation. Since that time, those who criticize the Church will include this heretical point of view as one of the reasons why the LDS Church cannot be true. “The Bible is the word of God, written by the finger of God, and preserved by the hand of God. Of course there is no error in it!”

Isn’t it ironic that now, 160 years later, one whose career is built partially on his negative publications about the LDS Church could make a statement that so fully supports the very founder of that Church and a printed declaration that members of the Church hold as truth? Add to this, the irony that he doesn’t even realize that he is doing it.

It’s one of those issues that makes one go “Hmmmm”.

2 Comments:

Blogger Mabel Maybe said...

What's interesting to me is the "passages that never should have been in the KJV to begin with" were additions to the later Greek text. KJV attempted a word-for-word translation of what was the best available Greek text of 1611.

When the NIV was put together in the 1960s, earlier Greek manuscripts had been discovered, closer to the original autographs. However, since NIV is not a word-for-word translation, but an idea-for-idea translation, NIV added phrases that were never in any Greek manuscript, for clarification.

But whether we're in the NIV or KJV, my evangelical friends and I read the text differently. They read about grace and come out with "never add to the finished work of Jesus Christ." I read about grace and believe God is going to make something of my earnest little efforts that would otherwise amount to nothing. I dare to believe I participate in my own salvation, how very LDS of me.

I haven't yet found an addition that truly upset me as a serious corruption. I think the main translation problem we face is how to translate the scriptures into our living.

http://www.biblicalanswers.net/kjv.html for some KJV/NIV comparisions.

Interlinear Greek NT edited by Jay Green--feel like a Bible scholar.
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ISBN%3D0801021383/103-5606256-1549417

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