13 April 2006

Bible translations, "dynamic" and otherwise: the heart of the matter

by Dan Phillips
Yes, that's right: I'm going to explain it all to you, right here and now.

Okay, seriously, not doable. But Tim Challies—who may or may not still think of me as James, if at all—just wrote on Eugene Peterson's personal issues with literal translations, and his rationale for providing a turbo-charged, super-duper dynamic version. That in turn provoked me to impart what I hope are some clarifying points about translations. To wit:
  1. All translations unavoidably paraphrase to some extent. To re-phrase one of Steve Martin's old schticks, "It's like the Greeks (and the Hebrews) have a different word for everything!" Not only do they have a different word, but they have a different word-order, and a different dynamic for how the sentences are structured ("syntax"—it's not just about whiskey).
  2. For this reason, if you don't know Greek or Hebrew, woodenly literal translations such as Young's, or interlinear versions, do not really get you any closer to understanding the original text. They may leave you further away, in fact. "Translation" and "wooden equivalence" are not synonyms.
  3. No translation can ever communicate everything that is in the original text. They certainly can convey it accurately enough, and truly enough; they're just not substitutes, if your life-calling is to teach that God-breathed text. Does a good black and white TV faithfully present a color movie? Absolutely. Same-as? No.
  4. There is a place for paraphrases, if they are clearly understood and marketed as paraphrases, and not held to substitute for the real deal. Think of a paraphrase as a very short running commentary. F. F. Bruce, I think, had the right idea in his commentary on Romans in the TNTC series. He had his more detailed commentary, but he also included a free paraphrase of Romans, which presented what he thought to be the flow of Paul's thought. Pastors regularly do this, and that can be immensely helpful. But they don't then write down all their paraphrases, bind it in leather, gold-edge the pages, and call it a "Bible."
  5. Here is the real problem with all paraphrases, and all "dynamic equivalent" (DE) "translations": they all remove the work of interpretation out of the hands of the readers, often without notice.

That last point is my main point, so that's where we'll spread our tent.

As Reformed Baptestants, or whatever we call ourselves, we don't believe in a magisterium. We believe that God spoke His word to His people (i.e. Romans 1:7; 1 Corinthians 1:2, Hebrews 1:1-2, etc.). We do not believe that He then immediately yanked it out of our hands and entrusted it to some caste, some sacred special class, given decoder rings direct from Heaven, and authorized to tell the unwashed ignoranti what the text Really Means. We affirm the perspicuity of Scripture, and the truth that God's Word was composed, sent, and intended for His people—all of them.

But what DE necessarily does, to some degree, is to take that key out of people's hands, and keep it, too often without notice. To some degree, dynamic equivalence necessarily says in effect, "Okay, the text says A, but what it really means is B"—and B is all that the unwashed masses get. Sometimes they get a footnote. Often, they don't even know that there was an "A." The decision to replace it was made for them.

To the degree that a DE moves into the arena of paraphrase, while calling itself a "translation," the translators set themselves up as a de facto magisterium.

For instance, take my favorite DE "translation" to bash: the New International Version (NIV). I adduce two examples.

The first example is the NIV's rendering of sarx, commonly translated in more literal versions as "flesh." The NIV itself sometimes translates it that way (e.g. 1 Corinthians 6:16). But in certain Pauline uses, it renders sarx as "sinful nature" (i.e. Romans 7:5, 18, 25; 8:3ff, Gal. 5:13, 16f, 19, 24; etc.)

Now, maybe Paul means "sinful nature" when he says "flesh." Of course, had he meant that, he could have said so in so many words (phusis hamartias, for instance, or psuche hamartias, or some such). But Paul didn't say that, he said sarx. Is Paul actually saying that the Christian has two natures, like Christ? Christ had divine and human natures; does the Christian have a sinful nature and a new nature—two full-blown, active, complete natures, existing side-by-side?

Some Christians think so. But some Christians don't. Some think the Christian has one nature (a new nature), but is still constantly plagued by "the remnants of sin"—sarx, the flesh.

The English-only reader of the NIV does not know that there are those two options, unless he checks the footnotes. The "translators" made the decision for him. He doesn't have the burden of interpretation—nor even the option of interpretation. The ambiguity has been moved to a footnote.

Not that this is all the NIV does with sarx. In Galatians 3:3 it is "human effort" ; and in 4:23 and 29 kata sarka ("according to the flesh") is "in the ordinary way." None of these paraphrases is admitted in a footnote.

Or take a subtler example: Matthew 17:1. The NIV has, "After six days Jesus took with him Peter, James and John the brother of James, and led them up a high mountain by themselves." Certainly seems straightforward enough; no heavily-doctrinally-controversial words there. Where's the beef?

The trouble is not what's there. It's what isn't there. When Matthew wrote this, he wrote "And [Greek kai] after six days." That little conjunction, "and," is dropped without note in the NIV.

How can that possibly matter? It is true that both Hebrew and Greek were a lot more profligate than we in using little conjunctions which we translate "and" or "but" or "now." It is also true that literally translating every one of them (particularly with the waw in the Old Testament) can make for pretty awkward English.

But here, it serves a purpose. It reminds the reader that Matthew did not create the chapter divisions, and that chapter 17 is part of a continuing narrative—not "next week on 'The Gospel of Matthew.'" It alerts the reader to the fact that Matthew 17 immediately follows the preceding events—and, I think, gives us a key to interpreting the very difficult promise in Matthew 16:27-28, which immediately precedes. But the English-only reader of the NIV lacks that clue.

Don't focus on those two instances. If commenters start arguing over my interpretations, they'll only prove my point. I offer them as illustrations. Focus on this: to one degree or another, the dynamic-equivalence "translator" takes the key of interpretation out of the hand of the reader, and keeps it for himself, without notice. In relatively "tighter" DE versions, such as the NIV, the wrong done (in my view) is usually limited. When we get into abominable PC-fad-driven versions such as the TNIV, the wrong is more egregious, as the reader is led to believe singular passages (such as Psalm 1) are really plurals. And in wildly "free" versions that are passed off as translations, the gulf is great indeed.

If you've read this far, and have any notion that I'm saying, "It's so simple! Just translate literally!", then I've failed to communicate very well, in my own language! It's far from simple. My point is that the "solution" of the DE school of thought is far riskier, far less obviously necessary, and potentially a bit more threatening to the priesthood of all believers, than they tend to admit.

(In case anyone cares to read further, I make some more remarks about translations in this essay.)

Dan Phillips's signature


donsands said...

Very helpful. Thanks.

"gives us a key to interpreting the very difficult promise of Matt. 16: 27-28"
I wonder if in the future you might discuss this difficult promise with a more thorough study?
I'd love to know your thoughts.

CraigS said...

Carson wrote an essay called "The Limits of Functional Equivalence" which you should read.

Surprisingly for an article of that title, it is largely a defence of the NIV (and the NLT, which he worked on).

He addresses 2 directly two of the issues you brought up. Regarding conjunctions, he points out that greek uses hypotaxis as opposed to the parataxis favoured by modern English. So does the translator use English syntax or greek?

He also speaks about the translation of sarx. He points out that sarx and flesh do not have the same semantic range in both languages, so it is naive to say one must always translate the other.

He uses the following english sentence to demonstrate his point - "The board decided to board up the old boat with a piece of board while the passengers got on board."

Imagine translating that sentence into Swahili, and insisting the same word be used for "board" in all 4 instances!!

Anyway mate, email me if you'd like me to send you the full article. I think you will find his points persuasive.

DJP said...

I was hoping we could discuss the specifics longer before a would-be discussion-ending Big Name would be dropped. (c;

Thanks for the offer of the article. I respect Carson a lot, have read many of his books and enjoyed his lectures.

I don't collapse into quiver jello fall down at the mention of his name, however. In fact, I feel free to disagree with him on a number of issues.

Whatever you/Carson might say about "board" or idioms like "keep an eye on," it doesn't touch any specific points I made in my essay. "Flesh" would be perfectly intelligible in English in these cases, and would leave interpretation in the hands of the reader instead of the academic magisterium.

DJP said...

Well, and let me add this. As I tried very carefully to say -- in fact, did say -- a certain amount of paraphrase is unavoidable.

My point was that it is always dangerous, and the less we do it, the better. To stick with my example, suppose an English reader wanted to study Paul's use of "flesh." He sure couldn't do it with the NIV.

But he could use the NIV as a running commentary.

Patagonia Mike said...

Good presentation. Just a thought Dan, Why not post your 2nd point from your article concerning translations cited in the post. I think you might get some interesting comments and opinions. Craigs essay link would be nice to have also.

DJP said...

You trying to get me in trouble or something, Mike? (c;

At present, let's stick with #3 in that essay, about translations. I'm sure that'll keep me plenty busy at the moment.

Patagonia Mike said...

Ok, another time then (grin)

Jeremy Felden said...

I recall when The Message was sold as a paraphrase and purposely came without verse numbers so that people would be encouraged to read it like any other book. Now it's sold like any other translation and cited in books and sermons.

Mike Y said...

Dan, I think there are several huge errors in Christendom as a result of this, so thanks for taking the time.

1) Great commission in Matt and Mark both use the same same aorist participle, "poreuthentes", which is translated in KJV as the imperative "Go". Teaching and Preaching are rendered as mere participles. The problem with this is that mathetusate and keruxate are both aorist imperatives expressing the dire need for truly discipling converts. Instead, fundamentalism is primarily focused on "winning" the lost and then simply teaching them to do the same. They frown upon scholorly study of the bible.

2) Doing simple word searches in a concordance isn't a great thing either. For example, look up Eph 2:8-9. For by grace you are saved, through faith. That little phrase "through faith" is often interpreted because of faith by people. When one does a word search on Dia, it can be of course translated in a variet of ways including "through" or "because". But the usage in all of the passages concerning faith are in the genitive and never in the accusative, hence it's always "through". So, we are never saved because of our faith. Faith is not an inward trait of ours that qualifies us to be saved. This is often used in conjunction with the non-calvinistic view of foreknowledge. Instead, the scriptures make clear that faith to believe has to be imparted.

I guess I could go on. But these are errors I've had to deal with amongst family and friends who are Hyles Anderson graduates. Slowly we're making progress. But there is so much to unravel.

Keep up the good work.


centuri0n said...

Can I disagree with Dan and not cause a blogospheric catastrophy that gets Easter cancelled this year?

Mike Y said...

BTW, you can really have a good time in Gen 1:1 in translating beresit. It is a favorite passage amongst certain critics of six day creation as the word is used in the construct state in several passages in Jeremiah. But in Gen 1:1 the Massorah saw fit to include the disjunctive tiphca to ensure it would be translated in the absolute. Anyway, it's something you only get from looking at the Hebrew text and something most people will take for granted.


Father Brown said...

I'm planning a book burning ceremony. Everyone's invited. Bring your copies of The Message.

centuri0n said...

Dan said this:

To the degree that a DE moves into the arena of paraphrase, while calling itself a "translation," the translators set themselves up as a de facto magisterium.

I think that's tromping the ball on this issue and unnecessarily villifying people who already have enough problems.

I'm not a big fan of NLT, CEV, NIrV, TNIV and MSG, but to say that the "translators" (and I think your point in injecting commentary is a good one) are trying to make their translation the only, infallible translation of a passage is a little, um, far fetched.

If all translations are, on a spectrum of "necessary" to "excessive or defacing", engaged in some kind of grammatical and idiomatic art rather than science, then the question is really about how much liberty they are taking rather than how much doctrinal creepiness they are engaged in.

Does too much liberty lead to doctrinal creepiness? I think it does, but at the same time nobody is saying "NLT Only" or "TNIV Only" or even "ESV Only". To accuse Peterson (or anybody) of being a magsterium unto himself really misses the point that Peterson thinks his work is, at best, innovative but expendable. I am 100% certain that if you asked him, he'd tell you that in 15 years the Message text will be irrelevant and someone will have to do what he did all over again.

Gummby said...

Dan: If you ever get to Arkansas, we must meet. Sounds like we would have a lot to talk about.

One piece of this broad topic that I've not seen anyone explore (though Ryken's Word of God in English alluded to it) is whether Nida's translation theory, which was created in the main for languages that have never had translations before, can be properly applied to a language that already has translations.

In an interesting twist, I also wondered recently if dynamic translation theory has had the opposite of its intended effect. By that, I mean if some were to adopt Robert Thomas's view that a literal approximation is good enough, would we have more languages with translations (just wondering out loud here--don't really know the answer).

Finally, as I read things from DE proponents, I'm struck by what seems to be an underlying notion that the Bible must be read and completely understood outside of a local church context. Not to resurrect the James Spurgeon issue, but it seems like the idea that an unchurched person must have a translation that they can read and completely understand without any outside help necessarily leads to the dumbing down of translations.

With all of this said, I will go on to say that I agree with Ryken that the NIV was clearly on the early end of dynamic theory, and so it doesn't suffer from what later translations do. And I will also affirm, along with Piper, that I would rather have people read any translation of the Bible—no matter how weak—than to read no translation of the Bible.

There are a lot of people who frankly may never be in a position to appreciate the difference in translations, and for them, I'm thankful that DE translations exist. For the rest, I say "quit being lazy and start doing some bookwork."

Mike Y said...

Hi Centurion, I think there is another aspect of what you said.

If all translations are, on a spectrum of "necessary" to "excessive or defacing", engaged in some kind of grammatical and idiomatic art rather than science, then the question is really about how much liberty they are taking rather than how much doctrinal creepiness they are engaged in.

When we interpret scriptures, we do so according to our presuppositions. I think it's very difficult to do otherwise. So, I don't think it's so much an issue of liberties as much as it is a manifestation of a particular translator's beliefs.

Since you really can't produce a true literal translation of the Hebrew or Greek into English, the "glue" in between is where we tend to get astray if we're not careful.

I used to do this a lot in the past when my views were very different and before I learned any languages.

Anyway, I don't think this is meant to contradict you as much as elaborate.

DJP said...

Nossir, Frank, you miss the point, and I totally defend my statement as it stands. Once again, with emPHAsis:

To the degree that a DE moves into the arena of paraphrase, while calling itself a "translation," the translators set themselves up as a de facto magisterium

I think I can do fairly authoritative exegesis of what I wrote, in the original broken English. To wit:

"De facto" (okay, that's Latin, but anyway) means that they do not announce it formally, but simply take that position. "To the degree" means it varies proportionate to how far they depart from the wording, and close up ambiguities without notice.

Your point would have merit if the DE versions said, in the preface, "Now there is a great deal of interpretation in this version, and you'll have to be on your guard for that. We won't always notify you, but we feel free to impose our interpretations on the text when we feel good about it. But that's OK, you shouldn't take this as a real Bible. Besides, it'll be outmoded in a few years. So hey, relax, have some fun with it... whatever!"

But they don't say anything like that. It's put out as a Bible. English-only readers depend on it; worse, English-only pastors preach from it.

I was afraid that, by admitting the undeniable fact that paraphrase is not completely avoidable, someone would say, "Well then, it's got to be a good thing! Let's go nuts!"

But you, Frank? You? Whyyyyyyyy......

DJP said...

Matt -- ...Robert Thomas's view that a literal approximation is good enough....

Dr. Thomas was one of my profs.



Cameron Cloud said...

Thanks for your thoughts on this. Great post!

James Spurgeon said...

Dan, - not taking sides, but just wanting to add my two cents in to an interesting conversation - I would hope than an English-only pastor would at least have enough sense to not rely on one translation only and also to have at least enough of an understanding to know what kind of translation he is looking at and also to know that if he doesn't have knowledge of the Greek himself he should certainly be willing to listen to a variety of people who do on any given passage.

Make sense? Now get back to the discussion.

James Spurgeon said...

Frank, it's your turn.


Gummby said...

Now Dan, you know that as a good Centuri0n sidekick I don't believe in coincidence.

thelittlefields said...

Thanks for your insight. As a Hebrew student I have been struggling with some of the English translations while translating for class. This is a topic that needs to be discussed, and I appreciate you taking the opportunity to voice your opinion. I agree with you from what I have seen thus far in translating that some of the interpretation is taken away by the translators. And agreeing that literal translations don't make sense in English, can this be avoided? I don't know, but I would submit that all serious Bible students (i.e. pastors etc) should learn the languages! I doubt that will happen.

It sure would have been easier if I would have learned Hebrew and Greek growing up! I plan on teaching these to my kids (assuming I get blessed with some!).

Thanks for the discussion!--Dirk

JackW said...

English gives me enough problems, that's why I love the MacArthur Study Bible. Now if he would just do one in the NASB ... oh, he has!

DJP said...

Yes, Dirk, I've often envied Timothy growing up in (presumably) a Greek and Hebrew-speaking household (2 Timothy 3:15, hiera grammata).

When I preach, I will often provide my own ad hoc translation of the section, leaning towards literal, so that we can all be looking at the same text. I assume they'll compare it with theirs; and I explain the words and syntax, in keeping with the emphases of the sermon.


Bill Combs said...

Your say: "But what DE necessarily does, to some degree, is to take that key out of people's hands, and keep it, too often without notice. To some degree, dynamic equivalence necessarily says in effect, 'Okay, the text says A, but what it really means is B'—and B is all that the unwashed masses get."

I think this a distortion of what DE normally attempts to do. In your essay you say: "Dynamic equivalence is said to mean "thought for thought." In truth DE is primarily a meaning-for-meaning translation. And who can argue that that should not be goal of normal transation of the Bible. By that I mean producing a Bible to be read by ordinary, common folk.

The problem with a literal translation like the NASB is that it produces a text that is most beneficial for people like you and me who have some skill in the original languages. We can look at the NASB and pick out the Greek syntax very well. We can read the word "flesh" and understand that it has multiple meanings. But none of this helps your normal, everyday reader. He only finds out what "flesh" really means when the pastor preaches on the passage (average Christians do not look at commentaries for help). Why is the magisterium of the pastor(s) necessarily superior to the translators? I have tried to hash out some of these ideas in my own essay (everybody has an essay, I guess): http://www.dbts.edu/combs/pdfs/translationtheory.pdf

Finally, (I know your glad) I think you are confused by what some of us mean when we use two-nature terminology. And as you might have guessed, I have an essay on that too: http://www.dbts.edu/dbts/journals/1997/Nature.pdf

centuri0n said...

Dan --

While I agree that your qualification "to the extent" is useful and carries most of the weight of your assertion, I think you're still wrong about DE translators appointing themselves as a magisterium.

Here's why: They do not produce their work as "the Bible" but as "a bible". It may have the words "Holy Bible" on the cover, but it doesn't make any kind of claim to being exclusive of other translations. And they get sold on a wall with literally a dozen other translations. There's not way to mistake that as saying "we did it better", I think.

And I think your retort doesn't answer my objection that Peterson recognizes that his work is essentially planned obsolesence.

centuri0n said...

Bill --

Meaning-for-meaning translation violates the tenet that the Bible was the result of plenary inspiration.

So I would argue that one is not trying to translate "meaning-for-meaning" in the broad sense that I think you mean here.

Bill Combs said...

Centurion said...
"Meaning-for-meaning translation violates the tenet that the Bible was the result of plenary inspiration."

Forgive my dullness here, but I don't get the connection.

And: "So I would argue that one is not trying to translate 'meaning-for-meaning' in the broad sense that I think you mean here."

I am completely lost on this one. My brain must be in neutral this afternoon. Maybe you can elaborate.

David said...

Why do not more translations come in a version like the NET bible (netbible.org).

Then at least you get the translator(s) reasoning behind most of the versus.

For example, in

7:5 For when we were in the flesh,9 the sinful desires,10 aroused by the law, were active in the members of our body11 to bear fruit for death.

9tn That is, before we were in Christ.

10tn Or “sinful passions.”

11tn Grk “our members”; the words “of our body” have been supplied to clarify the meaning.

You at least get the reasoning behind many decisions.

Note, this is not an arguement for the NET bible (which I like), but a question as to why more translations do not make the same attempt?

Wayne Shih said...

I appreciate reading Bill Combs comments. He was one of my profs many moons ago.

I know he doesn't need me to defend his point. But I did want to touch on a couple of things he brought up.

I think it's acknowledged by most that strictly wooden translations of word-for-word are not necessarily clear translations. Even in "literal" translations there is an element of meaning-for-meaning that is needed.

Taking that a step further, consider the translation of a single word. We are still concerned about meaning, aren't we? The translator has to know the meaning of the original Greek or Hebrew, and then has to use a word in the receptor langauage that has the same or similar meaning.

And about sarx: Yes it can be translated "flesh" ... but unless a preacher or commentator explains that the meaning of "flesh" is not the normal, everyday meaning (physical), is the translation clear?

DJP said...

Frank -- you're still The Man, you're still my friend, I'll still cower reverently in your wake -- and you're still mistaken on this.

Maybe I'm not saying it well enough. Did you read the Challies article? Did you read what Peterson said about his own version, versus more literal translations? He certainly doesn't strike me as presenting an "Oh well, you can take my version or leave it; and be sure to check it against a more literal version" stance.

Let's try something different. Everything I said in my previous post to you, plus this, from the preface to the NIV: "It may well be that no other translation has been made by a more thorough process of review and revision from committee to committee than this one."

And this: the goal was "that it would be an accurate translation [not paraphrase] and one that would have clarity and literary quality and so prove suitable for public and private reading, teaching, preaching, memorizing and liturgical use."

And this: "The first concern of the translators has been the accuracy of the translation [not paraphrase] and its fidelity to the thought of the biblical writers."

Perhaps you have the time to go on and on, but that'll do it for me. The clear message: this is an accurate translation. You can depend on it absolutely.

Nothing of what you say is reflected in this forward. In fact, find me one DE version that says what I said in my previous post to you, or what you said in your last to me.

My point stands. They make a host of interpretive decisions, put them in the text of the Bible (often without notice), and say "Here you go, this is a painstakingly accurate translation that you can use for any and every purpose." No disclaimers such as you suggest.

What's the evil of the Roman magisterium? "Here, give me that Bible. I'll tell you what it means, so you don't have to trouble your pretty little head about whether to believe the Pope or your lying eyes."

Is it better when the pre-deciders and filterers are doctrinally in or near our camp?

Not to me. The principle is too close for my comfort.

And Dr. Combs, thanks for taking the time to comment. The same points, above, are my partial responses to yours. If you happened to read my other essay, you saw that I am no promoter of the KJV for our day. But I'll say this for it: the church did fairly well on its more literal approach to translation for a couple-few centuries, even after it was no longer the current idiom.

I think you may underestimate the ability of folks to muddle out for themselves what Paul means by "flesh," when he develops it so vividly in Romans 7:14-25, and revisits it in Galatians 5, without the overly intepretive gloss "sinful nature."

Regardless, it's my conviction that the evidence should be out there, for the priesthood to see; not kept back in smoke-filled...er, diet soda-filled rooms, pre-digested, pre-filtered, pre-interpreted, and pre-decided by the elite.

CraigS said...

I don't collapse into quiver jello fall down at the mention of his name, however. In fact, I feel free to disagree with him on a number of issues.

Lol! I didn't quote Carson to saturation bomb the argument. I mentioned it because he specifically addressed the issue you were speaking to - and addressed it very comprehensively.

Lets be clear - I HATE IT when Christians say "Well, Jim Packer says so..." Man that drives me nuts...

craig said...




I always get a little funny about criticisms of any bible. I know many people who have been saved through the reading of and the preaching from KJV, NIV, GN, TNL, NASB, etc etc etc

I think it is good to read widely, and when I prepare a sermon I will often look at what other various texts say, as for my self, I like the NASB, and the NIV as my own devotional bibles, yet I also carry around a Gideon's Pocket Bible printed in the NKJV which is a good read as well.

I wonder if someone who has been saved by reading a non KJV bible is their salvation is really kosha? :)

Blessings craig b

DJP said...

Yes, of course Craig B, that's exactly what I'm saying: if you were saved reading an NIV, it was probably bogus.

< /joking mode >

Me too, Craig S; thanks for saying so. I knew a pastor who settled everything by claiming the immediate guidance of the Holy Spirit, and that he'd been reading Greek for 30 years. Well, now I've been reading it for over thirty years -- but if he were alive, it wouldn't matter, because it'd now be SIXTY years! So I'm for dealing with facts and logic, not name-dropping (per se) and browbeating.


Dan Paden said...

I echo the point made earlier about the NET Bible's marvelous notes; they are truly helpful.

Isn't the bottom line that no translation is perfect, that reading more than one, where available, is helpful, and that pastors and teachers are called to help explain the nuances of passages, regardless of which translation is used? Surely the lack of the perfect translation is more of a call to excellence in teaching than anything else.

Bible Discernment said...

The Bible is under attack from all sides. Satan knows it tells the truth about him, the victory that Jesus had at the cross, and what will happen in the future. As such, Satan has and still is making every attempt to destroy the Word of God. What better way to do this, than to change the meaning of the Bible over time with different bible versions; each version as it comes along claiming it is the truth and the most accurate of all the versions up until that point.
The line must be drawn where we say, "If the King James Bible was good enough for 400 years, then it is still good enough for me." For by it men and women have been saved and the knowledge of God imparted unto them. When new bible versions come along, they always take something away that is never replaced, only to be lost forever. If you believe that the Bible is the inspired Word of God, then stand up for it. Take a stand and speak out against these new bible versions. An objection often raised against the "King James Only Crowd" is that people learn something from the other (modern) versions, too, and that some even get saved: but I dare say that this occurs in spite of these errant versions, not because of them!
The Authorized Version of 1611, or, in other words, the King James Bible, stands alone in its uniqueness, integrity, and fidelity to the truthfulness of God’s Word. Among reasons why this writer holds this conviction is because of the great harm done not only to the Word of God, but the detriment wrought in the local church in its public worship, and, of course, because of the confusion created in countless group and individual Bible studies. After all, it could be said: How do you think your professor would think or feel if all of his students used different textbooks in his class?! In our case, God is our Great Professor! He alone is the one true God, who has walked among us upon this earth and left us the living and enduring legacy of His Word and His Spirit. Until He comes, Amen.