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Is It Rewritten?


Psalm 119:103

“How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”

Perhaps you played the telephone game at children’s parties. The participants are seated in a line, or maybe a ring. One person starts by whispering a phrase to his or her neighbor. That neighbor whispers the message to the next person. Eventually, the message has gone around the room. But when the final person speaks the message out loud, it usually does not bear too much resemblance to the original. Successive participants have misheard, or misinterpreted.


There are many people who suppose that Bible translation has happened in a similar manner. Every time the Bible was translated from one language to another, it lost something in its meaning. What we have today, states this argument, is substantially different from the intention of the original.


However, this is not actually how Bible translation happens. We do not translate from language to language to language. We have manuscripts in the original languages. The Old Testament was written mostly in Hebrew, with a little in Aramaic. The New Testament was written in Greek. These are known languages, widely studied, and we have numerous manuscripts of biblical books in these languages. So, for example, an English Bible has not been translated from Hebrew to Greek to Latin to German to English. It has been translated directly, in one step, from the original languages. When a Bible is translated into a new language, it is not translated from English to that new language; it is translated directly from the original languages. The Bible is not the product of a telephone game. We can have confidence that we are reading God’s word.


Prayer: How sweet indeed are Your words, Lord. There is no other book like Your book, which brings us closer to You. Thank You so much for the Bible. Amen.


Ref: < >, accessed 11/28/2017. Image: Photo by Raul654, Creative Commons Attribution Share-Alike 3.0 Unported.




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