BIBLE TRANSLATIONS USED ON THIS WEBSITE
The main Bible translation used in this website is a modified version of the King James Bible. The reason the King James is used is because it is no longer copyrighted. It can be used without violating copyright laws. Furthermore many Greek and Hebrew language helps are keyed to the King James. Where verses from copyrighted Bibles are used according to fair use laws, they are noted accordingly.
The are two levels of modifications to the King James that are used. The first is a simple change to the antiquated thee's, thou's and whosoever's, ect. ect. The grammar\ sentence structure on this level is not addressed and may might be found to be obnoxious to some. However the aim is not to make a new translation of the Bible, but with as little labor as possible, remove the archaic language barrier that some find difficult to overcome. As of December 2013 this site will be making use of the American King James Bible for this first level of modification. Thanks to the great work of its author, Michael Peter (Stone) Engelrite who put it in the public domain. He has done exactly what has been done on this website so far, but to the whole King James Bible. His graciously putting it into the public domain will save hundreds of hours of labor on this website in the future making those simple modifications. For the most part when the AKJV is being used it will be noted.
The second level of modification is to verses deemed critical to what that particular article is teaching. In these modifications the Greek and Hebrew of the "Received or Majority Text" (and other readily available texts on the internet) are carefully referred too. The "Received or Majority Text" is the Greek and Hebrew "master copy" that the King James Bible is translated from. (This "master copy" has been revised over the years.) The other readily available texts on the internet are those built on the tradition of the totally discredited Westcott\Hort "master copy" that used older but obviously corrupt manuscripts. These manuscripts were written in Alexandrian Greek, (Egyptian\Coptic.) At the time of their discovery's they were older than any other ancient manuscripts. The main reason for their age? Very simply they were so corrupt that no one had been using them to make other copies with. The Codex Vaticanus just sat around in the Vatican library never used as a basis for any of the Roman Catholic Bibles and the Codex Sinaiticus was found in the a trash can of a middle eastern church. It was the same story, an ancient manuscript in great condition because of it's lack of use due to obvious corruption. If these and the other couple of ancient Coptic manuscripts had not been full of obvious errors they would have been worn out due to the many copyists using them to make additional copies down through the centuries. Hence, they would not have survived to be the "oldest" manuscripts available. This is not meant to convey the idea that there is not room for improvement or that the textual evidence we have renders the Word of God erroneous. On the contrary the evidence we already have and the witness of heaven itself demonstrates Gods hand in preserving his Word for us. It does however caution the use of non scientific bias both religious and irreligious in seeking "master copy" perfection.
In this site when deemed necessary for safety and accuracies sake Greek and Hebrew lexicons and dictionaries are carefully compared to the various translations with the goal of creating a literal translation of that verse understandable to the modern reader. When the word "understandable" is used, it is not meant to convey the idea of interpreting the verse using translation. Rather, it means using a literal translation of the words without trying to interpret the text. In reading Greek and Hebrew lexicons of the Majority Text for decades along with their literal translations of the individual words. Texts that ignore sentence structure and interpretations of meanings. In all those years my memory fails me to find any wording in any translation that fits the context of the chapters and the context of the Bible overall better than a literal word for word translation without applying any meanings or interpretations to the translation. This is not to say that all the translations do not have lots of verses in them that are right on the money literally, even though they apply proper grammar and modern wording to the foreign texts. It is to say though that some degree of bias is contained in all popular translations of the Bible which is manifested in a number of ways.
The main way this bias is manifested is that the translators attempt to interpret the meaning of verses for the readers in their translation. This method of translation is a grave error on the part of Bible translators. All popular Bibles are translated this way to some extent or another. (The King James Bible does not totally escape this scrutiny.) It confuses me to think that men cannot trust God to give his people the correct meaning of a verse without their "help." However this being the case, it behooves (archaic language) those who want to be careful with theirs and others salvation to avail themselves of easy to use language helps.
This website does not note when a careful examination of the original text is made and corrective measures taken. Obviously, this does not mean that corrections to translational inaccuracies are error free. Also the author cannot vogue for the translational accuracy of every verse used in this website. The bulk of the chapters and verses not deemed critical to the subject have not been closely examined. Furthermore "critical" to the subject at hand is subjective. This is not attempting to convey a lack of confidence to examine and correct translational errors. It is trying to convey that we must all work out our own salvation with fear and trembling, (Philippians 2:12.) Ultimately, something as important as the translation of Gods Word into your own language is not something to be left completely in the hands of others if it can be helped. When something is not setting right in the spirit of a believer about what might possibly be a translational issue. If possible the translation should be verified to ones own satisfaction. This has become easier and easier to do with the advent of the internet.
The website will usually note when the author purposely paraphrases a text, which is an interpretation rather than a translation. It also notes as stated above when other translations are used which in effect could amount to an occasional unnoted paraphrase. Usually but not always though an alternate translation is used when the wording generally lines up well with the original language.
Feel free to email if you find what you think is a translational error in something that is critical to the subject being written about. One can never be to careful about such things. That is the very reason for the examination of translational issues in the first place. When one believes they have an understanding about a subject in the Word of God. They should always check the original language to insure they are not being led astray by something that has been mistranslated. Anyone who is a long term student of the Word of God has been burned this way at some time or another. Conversely one must also be as careful to not "translate" something in a way that fits what they believe rather than what the text actually says. The use of "scholars" to do this is particularly troubling. One can find a "scholar" to prove practically any viewpoint they would like to bolster their argument. Sometime in the future Wordservice.org will have a series of articles on "Dangerous Translational Errors in the Bible." These articles will address some of the well known and some of the almost totally unknown translational errors that have contributed to the confusion that permeates the Christian world.
There is also something quite new and very interesting as far as the Hebrew text is concerned. The Dead Sea Scrolls that have only been being released to the public and public research in the last few decades seem to contain a treasure trove of data regarding the Hebrew texts, the Paleo Hebrew texts and the Greek LXX as opposed to the Masoretic Hebrew text our Bibles such as the King James rely on exclusively. None of this info has been incorporated into translational or other issues in this website but it will probably and greatly alter our understanding of the Hebrew in the centuries to come. I would strongly suggest anyone who considers themselves a serious student of the Bible in the sense of teaching it to others carefully read these two articles by following the hyperlinks supplied. Though these two articles extremely interesting and most enlightening that does not mean Wordservice.org endorses everything that author presents. (Especially on other subjects of his website.)
|© Daniel Martinovich 2011|