WE CAN BE SURE OUR
TRANSLATIONS ARE ACCURATE
by Dr. Robert Joyner
Some folks delight in destroying peopleís faith in all other translations except the KJV. Let me list some reasons below which prove we have accurate English translations.
Scholars can compare old Greek manuscripts and thus omit errors. For example, if two errors exist out of 1,000 manuscripts of the same text, then when they compare them all together, and they find in a certain place, two are different from the rest. They can assume the two are wrong and thus omit errors. In other words, they can compare Greek manuscripts and those few which do not agree with the vast majority can be assumed to be a copyist error.
You can compare translations. There are probably about 100 English translations today. They are made by different scholars and groups of scholars in different places and at different times. So when they all come up with translations that teach the same things, they must be right. All translations teach the same doctrines. There will be places or verses that will be different. In these places you can compare translations just as the manuscripts discussed above. In other words, you can compare translations, and the ones that are different from the majority, may be assumed to be wrong.
Each person who can read Greek can check translations to make sure they are right. There are those who are continually doing this. Our translations have been checked literally millions of times by these people. If there are discrepancies or doubtful translations in some verse, you can be sure scholars know about them.
A person can check the Bible for himself if he is interested enough to obtain a STRONGís concordance. With this book anyone who can use an English dictionary can check the meaning of any Greek word. Also, there are books on word studies which have the meaning of Greek words explained in English. VINEís word studies is a good example. Even a person who knows nothing about the original languages, can check the meaning of any Greek or Hebrew word and see if it is translated correctly. Many Christians are continually doing this.
God guarantees to preserve His word. By this we know we have Godís word with us today. He does not promise to preserve His word perfectly in one particular translation as some people claim. The Bible does not say the KJV is Godís perfectly preserved word.
God has made it possible for us to know exactly what He has said in His book. You can check out any doubtful verse for yourself if you wish.
Every translation is Godís word in so far as it is translated correctly. Out of the 31,124 verses in the Bible, there are only about 200 or less that are even questioned, regardless of what translation you use or what family of Greek manuscripts you use. This means there are over 30,900 verses that are Godís word. So in any translation you use, the vast majority of it is the word of God. This is why the KJV translators said, ďThe meanest translation is the word of God.Ē
The differences between translations has been grossly exaggerated by some. The differences between families of Greek manuscripts have also been magnified and blown out of proportion by Ruckman, Riplinger, Waite, and others. These people make a lot of money appealing to the ignorance of Godís people. The fact is, both the Textus Receptus and the Alexandrian manuscripts set forth every doctrine that God has inspired. There is no important doctrinal difference. It is the same with the different English translations. Peter Ruckman said he had problems with only 152 verses of the New Testament (THE CHRISTIANíS HANDBOOK OF MANUSCRIPT EVIDENCE, page 89).
Some people go to great extremes to magnify the differences between translations and families of Greek manuscripts. These same people go to great extremes to play down the differences in the KJV and the Textus Receptus. In II Timothy chapter two, I counted 55 changes from the 1611 KJV to the 1769 version of the KJV that we use today. If you multiply 55 by 1189, (the number of chapters in the Bible), you can see there are at least 50,000 differences between the original KJV and the one we use today. The KJV Only people scream about the differences between the KJV and the NIV but excuse the changes within the KJV. They say the differences in the five major editions of the KJV were corrections in spelling, words, etc. The changes did not affect doctrine, they say. This is also true of the changes between the KJV and the NIV. However, the KJV Only group magnify the changes in the NIV and minimize the changes in the KJV.
The same is true when it comes to Greek Manuscripts. The KJV Only crowd screams about the differences in the families of manuscripts, but say nothing about the differences in the 18 editions of the Textus Receptus. Yes, there have been 18 different editions of the Textus Receptus with no two alike (some say 30 editions). When they say the Textus Receptus are the only inspired manuscripts, which edition do they mean? Why do the differences in the other manuscripts mean so much, and the differences in the Textus Receptus mean nothing? It sounds like someone is abandoning all logic and is trying to prove a point with no facts or Scripture.
When you read the Bible, you can be sure you are reading the word of God. Since God never promised a perfect translation, you may have to occasionally check some detail in the original or compare translations. But this is the exception rather than the rule.
The believer should read his Bible searching for blessings and to see Christ, not searching for flaws. Let the textual scholars work these few problems out.