Does it Matter Which Bible Translation I Read?
So should you worry about reading different versions of The Bible? Well, not if you are not worried about the fact that many of the Bibles translations we have now contain quite conflicting teachings (remember not so long ago there was pretty much one Bible in general use – The King James – but now we have literally 100’s, and most of these were translated into text sufficiently differently to existing Bibles in order to obtain a copyright – yep that’s right – without changing the text sufficiently they cannot sell the best selling book in the word! These new translations are then sold in the main by publishers for profit).
So why am I writing this article? I’m writing it as i have just read of a Christian brother accuse another of being a ‘false teacher’ based on the fact that he believed Christians may actually go through at least some of the Great Tribulation, and quoted Revelation 3:10 as proof the man was wrong. Fair enough I thought – I guess he’s done his homework (the accuser) and proceeded to check the verse in more than one version – The NIV Bible 90% Christians have read over the last 40 years and the King James Bible – the only one that really widely available to people many years ago. (see the verses and the 2 versions below). Surprise!
OK here’s the quoted verse of ‘proof’ that the man was in error – an example of dozens of verses in the NIV that conflict with the King James Bible version;
Revelation 3:10New International Version (NIV)
10 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.
(this being proof Christians will not go through The Great Tribulation) or in the King James Bible we have;
Revelation 3:10King James Version (KJV)
10 Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
Now, a trial (NIV) may be a period of persecution – but a temptation (King James) is most definitely NOT persecution – as many believers having read the NIV example only have come to believe it means – it’s a temptation and nothing more or less. So which is it that is coming on the earth?.. a trial as the NIV says – which could be a dozen things including The Great Tribulation spoken of in The Bible – or a temptation as The King James Bible says – which is plainly pain and suffering caused directly by those that oppose God to His people and nothing else?
Either way – it’s now easy to see that regardless of which translation is right – 1000’s people now take the NIV’s translation and the word ‘trial‘ as proof we Christians will all miss the Great Tribulation – as the King James Bible no longer in general use and the word ‘temptation‘ not seen but may mean this verse has a totally different meaning – like perhaps; the hour of temptation when Satan tempts the whole world to follow him and we all Christian included may be forced to choose? (it came out later had a lesbian on the board or advisors to the NIV translators, and she on tape admitted had they known she would not have been allowed to advise – and miraculously many references to ‘homosexual’ activity being wrong were removed and replaced by… well I’ll let you read it and find out).
I suggest we do some homework to decide for ourselves which Bible and which ‘translators’ we can trust – who and for what purpose (and I mean the real purpose) it was translated. After all – if I were the Devil, my FIRST target would be to subtly change (mixing a tiny amount of error with the truth is far more lethal than plain error – everyone can taste plain arsenic!) the thing that underpins Christianity – The Bible! Here is a clue as to a Bible translation you can trust from the Bible itself; The Bible tells us that it’s wise to have many counsellors on any given subject or task – since they will be accountable to each other. An example of this; The King James Bible – translated by over 50 scholars – some with opposing views but ALL accountable to each other in the open having to fight out the true meanings of the text – lest they be seen as manipulative fools by their peers. Or a bad example; Eugene Paterson’s ‘Message‘ Bible – one man translating for what purpose? – a gap in the market perhaps? Who knows, I don’t and you would have to ask him, but remember The Bible tells us; “the love of money is the root of all even” (bad translations say “many” evils!).
Regardless of wether my example above is right or wrong – it does show that Bibles can say VERY different things that may have very different meanings. Therefore, we think that bearing in mind that our adversary would surely make The Bible his target, it would be very wise to study yourself to see if it is worth differentiating between Bibles – not by fishing for ones that suit your lifestyle – but for ones that tell the plain truth. Learn about Bible history, how it came to us and was very nearly kept out of the common man’s hands was it not for brave men and women that were burned alive for our sakes so we could have it and read it. I have found in my studying that one Bible seems more consistent (some say perfectly consistent) and that is The King James Bible. But you must make your own mind up and not be swayed by me – this is just to get you thinking! Ask the Holy Spirit (the still small voice that The Bible says He can teach you all things) to guide you as remember – we could be wrong!
More on which Bible should you read and Bible translation differences >>
Do Christians need the Bible?