Tuesday, December 4, 2012

No need to reinvent the wheel!

In my view, it is better to use the English King James Bible to translate the Bible into other languages, since it is the preserved word from the original languages.  But could one translate from the Textus Receptus and the KJB and achieve identical translations?  This is an issue I am unsure about and would appreciate your input.

I agree that it is better to translate directly from the King James Bible.  When we talk about the Bible in English, we’re referring to the Authorized Version (the Textus Receptus) as the text for the King James Bible.  The KJB is used to make translations into other languages because it is the perfectly preserved word from the original languages.  What we have in English is exactly what was written in Hebrew, Aramaic and Koine Greek.

One could use either the Textus Receptus or the KJB to translate into another language, but remember that the King James translators were a group of 40+ men.  Each one was a believer and a scholar in the original languages.  For an individual to translate from the Hebrew, Aramaic and Greeks texts today, it would be almost impossible even if he knew all three languages. 

The safety of the King James translators was that they were scores of believers with a heart to get the scriptures translated into English.  They had the backing of the king (who was also a believer), so there was no hindrance.  This was their charge from the king with his authority.  There was safety in their numbers.  Each group would translate a section and the other groups would check their work, so their work was purified.  You can’t have that with only one person translating.

Psalm 12:6

The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.

I could type something right now and read it myself and miss mistakes.  My wife could read it and find some typos.  Someone else could read it after her and find even more errors.  It could be proofread seven times.  If seven different people read it with the same understanding and knowledge that I have, the final product would be the best it could be.  The same applies to having a group of translators who check each other’s work.

If a brother in the Lord knows the original languages perfectly he could use the Textus Receptus to translate from those languages into a modern language.  But why reinvent the wheel when we already have the King James Bible in English?  The work has already been done by those translators in the 1600’s.  If he is bilingual and speaks English, he doesn’t need to learn Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek to be able to translate into a second language.  He could if he wanted to take the time to do it, but it would be foolishness because skilled men have already done that.

Why not just take the English KJB and translate it word for word into the other language?  Appreciate the work that those men did because we can trust the King James Bible.  It is the preserved word of God for English speaking people.  So it is not necessary to go back to the original languages to translate the Bible into any language spoken today.  God wants us to have all his word and a translator today would have to know three (ancient) languages if they were to translate directly from the Textus Receptus.

English is understood all around the world.  There are even signs written in English in many countries.  God in his providence knew what he was doing when those men translated his word into English.  It was perfect timing because English would become the most popular language in the world.

I know a brother in the Lord who learned about right division and the grace of God here in America.  He took the KJB back to his country and translated it into his own language and is now collecting money to help print Bibles.  He translated the King James English word for word.

So the best way to make translations today is to use the King James Bible.  Like a relay race at the Olympics – just pick up the baton from the KJB translators and continue on.  Why run the whole race from the beginning all by yourself? 

Hopefully this helps...Maranatha!

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