We are Lost in Translation.
Translations of the Holy Scripture are made for a people group to receive the Bible in a language they should understand. The problem is that so much can get lost in translation if there is a word that has no real exact translation then the whole sentence or even sections meaning could be a risk of changed meaning. The Scriptures we have today are translated from three different previous works. There is the Masoretic Hebrew text which is the Scriptures in the original language, the Greek Septuagint (S) which was written by Hellenized Rabbis for the Greek Jews, and the Latin Vulgate (V) or Roman Text. There are many differences just in these three from the original Hebrew/Aramaic to the other languages that there is truly a lot lost.
Students of Scripture can take many years to learn the original languages and be able to interpret meanings to gain better understanding and to be able to put the Scripture into words that others would understand. I personally use the Tenach (Hebrew Scriptures), the Complete Jewish Bible (translation from Masoretic), the English Standard Version (KJV 1611, S, V), and the NIV (KJV, S, V) to give me a better understanding.
The first thing that is misunderstood for the beginning reader is how is it that God separated light from the darkness making day and night, yet did not create the sun and moon till later? Answer… The first light is the enlightenment that separated order from chaos, good from evil. When God said, “Let there be Light” this was the creation order that caused the “order” of things to settle and begin life.
The King James Version of 1611 is a very good interpretation but there are some things that just do not work. For example, no one is converted, that is a term that means physically transformed. The original Hebrew is actually translated to turned or returned. As we change our ways and our spirits are turned and tuned in to God. Now I understand that many churches refuse, even today, to use another version but please consider the children. There are many words used that even adults these days have to look up the modern term to understand the meaning so just think of when you tell a child to read it. I observed a children’s study at a church I used to preside over and cringed at the sound of children struggling to read from the KJV. No wonder we have confused youth. And guess what, when words are translated down to modern times from this original, you have to look at over 400 years of language change!
When the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered and the copies of the Book of Isaiah were translated, it was found that all three of the versions in the first paragraph were similar if not almost an exact translation. Others were close but not as good as Isaiah. This definitely tells us the early translators paid close attention.
Today we are so inundated with many English translations that are given to having personal interpretations which change the original meaning. This makes it easy for people to get lost. In fact, there are even versions of Scripture that are changed so much that God’s Word has been perverted to a complete mistranslation so that man can feel good about himself. This is wrong. This is against God. What makes it worse is that the versions still put in the last two verses in Revelation thereby convicting and condemning those who made the translations.
When one talks Scripture that person should be referring to the Tenach or Christian Old Testament. Those scrolls are what the people who wrote the New Testament had and what Jesus proclaimed as truth. He did not reinvent anything but emphasized and made things easier to understand for the generation that was present in order to bring them back to God and to spread the Word to the world.
When choosing a translation to read, do some research. What might seem like a comfortable and easy read may have many misinterpretations. If the translation has a name attached to it, research the person. Study Bibles are at most sometimes one sided with small print that shares what other translations may say to open the eyes of the reader to differing points of view or share synonyms. Remember this, words have different meanings and if mistranslated will cause confusion in what God is telling us. What I ask of you is that you prayerfully consider the version you read. Brothers and Sisters in Christ, be blessed today and every day. Treat your fellow man with the kindness and love of God.