“When there is wide divergence among Bible translations, readers have no way of knowing what the original text really says...”

“…It’s like being given four different scores for the same football game or three contradictory directions for getting to a town in the middle of the state.” - Leland Ryken
How many versions of the Bible do we need?

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Jason's picture

Very bad comparison. What it's really like is getting four translations of the commentary on the game. Which would be normal and appropriate were the game to be of enough importance to be being discussed two thousand years later.

The problem the article addresses sources to the casualness with which we tend to call something "Bible." Many of the different "Bibles" out there are merely traditional translations with study notes. Valid, but can hardly be viewed as different Bibles.

Others are paraphrases, literal translations, parallel translations, etc. These just need to be labelled properly (and in many cases, forgotten about 30 seconds after they are first imagined).

This view seems to dumb down the issues at stake, set the Church up for ESV-onlyism in a hundred years, and rob the Church of the humility that comes with realising the Bible is an ancient and holy book that is worthy of the best scholarship and most careful handling we can give it.

J Ng's picture

That's the difference between the Islamic and Christian view of the Scriptures.

Pushed to its extreme, Ryken's argument would permit only an Interlinear, and even then, one would be squabbling over glosses for words with multiple meanings as well as synonyms. Left on its own, it will only sow doubt in the hearts of readers--"Yea, hath God said?"

Far better to recognize that languages do not map neatly one over another and accept as Scripture, no less (as the NT writers do), both the free and the literal. If one wants to know the underlying structure, go learn Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic, or crack open a Strong's Concordance or Interlinear.

Enough already!