CAN WE BELIEVE MODERN TRANSLATIONS OF THE BIBLE?
Are the foundations of our faith really crumbling? What is the foundation?
For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 3:11
The Bible teaches:
… And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. .. Hebrews 11-6
My search was done with faith that the Holy Spirit would lead me. God tells us to “study to show ourselves approved as workmen who do not need to be ashamed.” Therefore I share this journey of mine, even knowing when I began that:
The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever. Isaiah 40:8
WHY IS THERE EVEN A QUESTION?
The most direct answer is that there are questions because there is an enemy of Christ (Satan) who goes about accusing the brethren. We know there are many today who question the Holy Bible and the accepted translations preserved over the centuries. More than a few people deny the deity of our Lord Jesus Christ. Some go so far as to say that a “lie” was deliberately perpetrated to cause people to believe something that the early Christians never taught. Even as Christians know that God is in control and He has preserved His word and sent His Son, we also know that we should be ready to give an answer and we should search to see if these things are true so that we can give truthful and correct answers.
RESULTS OF RESEARCH
Because of the seriousness of this charge, I have done much praying and studying on the matter. I have looked at the Septuagint versus the Masoretic Text of the Bible. I have studied what is known about the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Council of Niccaea, and compared the original translations, Wycliffe, Geneva, Purvey-Wycliffe, and Tyndale.
Praying was the most important thing that I did. I did read the skeptics and I read why they do not believe the Bible. Both sides cannot be true and we cannot believe everything we read. Just as there were those in the first centuries who brought in heresy, there are those today who will do the same. Regardless of their opinions, many authors, along with their work, were examined. Yet, God is faithful and I feel that He led me to two web-sites where unbiased, factual information is available – AllAboutGOD.com. This site is for seekers, skeptics, and believers: the contributors have been some of each. They have examined the scriptures and the history of each translation. They have compared and have done much research themselves. The other helpful site is – Got?Questions.org. At Got Questions, their CEO, S. Michael Houdmann, is accountable for the content. He reviews all answers. He possesses a Bachelor’s degree in Biblical Studies from Calvary Bible College and a Master’s degree in Christian Theology from Calvary Theological Seminary (Kansas City, MO). While Mr. Houdmann is a Christian, it is obvious that much time was spent verifying answers.
It stands to reason that if our heavenly Father cared enough to reveal Himself to mankind and allow His only begotten Son to die for our redemption, He cared enough to preserve His word in a form whereby we can come to a full knowledge of the truth. He is also faithful in that the Holy Spirit reveals God’s word to the reader.
The words of those who wrote the Bible are very important since the Bible is inspired and guarded by God. Here are just a few of the words of men who knew Christ. How does their description of God’s Son sound to you? (The ESV Bible does not capitalize pronouns referring to Yahweh.) I believe their words are revealing and should be considered. (There is no way I can list all that they have said, but the New Testament is easily read with this in mind.) Here are a few ‘telling’ passages.
You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. 2 Peter 3:17-18
Think of this in light of Romans 11:35-36
“Who has ever given to God, that God should repay them? “For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.
And Jesus said to them, “Can you make wedding guests fast while the bridegroom (husband) is with them? The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast in those days.” Luke 5:34-35
Luke’s recording these words of Jesus is significant because of what Isaiah tells us:
“For your Maker is your husband, the LORD of hosts is his name; and the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer, the God of the whole earth he is called.” Isaiah 54:5
For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. Job 19:25
John the Baptist –
“I baptize you with water for repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand, and he will clear his threshing floor and gather his wheat into the barn, but the chaff he will burn with unquenchable fire.” Matthew 3:11-12
And going into the house, they saw the child with Mary his mother, and they fell down and worshiped him. Then, opening their treasures, they offered him gifts, gold and frankincense and myrrh.
“Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. Matthew 10:1
And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!” Mark 2:5-12
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it….And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:1-4, 14
“For just as the Father raises the dead and gives them life, even so the Son also gives life to whom He wishes…” John 5:21
Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, (Isaiah 53:7-8) preached Jesus to him. Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, “See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?” Then Philip said, “If you believe with all your heart, you may.”And he answered and said, “I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.” So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him.
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross! Philippians 2:5-8
For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Christ Jesus. 1 Corinthians 3:11
For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master (Some translations say Sovereign) and Lord, Jesus Christ. Jude 1:4
Writer of Hebrews –
And again, when God brings His firstborn into the world, He says: “Let all God’s angels worship Him.” Hebrews 1:6
This passage is important because Yahweh, our God of creation and redemption has said:
(for you shall worship no other god, for the LORD, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God), Exodus 34:13 and … fear the LORD your God and worship him and cling to him. Deuteronomy 10:20
Here is what Jesus Christ said of Himself:
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. If you had known Me, you would know My Father as well. From now you do know Him and have seen Him.” John 14:6-7