The true bible

First of all, let me start by saying this, I am in no way trying to belittle anyone's belief in which bible is the 'right' bible. I am not trying to say that any translation of the bible is either right or wrong. It is just that I have heard and read where many people have spoke against one translation or another. They have said everything from 'it is not accurate' to 'it is perverted'.

One booklet that I recently read said that the NIV should stand for "Not Inspired Version" or that it should be called the "NIP New International Perversion." I truly believe that this is not fair or accurate. Please understand that I am not trying to place one version of the bible over the other but like this booklet said, Please read what I am writing with an open mind.

The following is just one of the examples used it this one particular booklet about the NIV. It was said that these scripture were perverted. First of all I will tell you what was said and then I will try to tell you what I have observed myself. Please don't take my word for what I am about to show you. Get a copy of the NIV and read these for yourself.

The first example was found in I Timothy 3:16, The King James Bible reads, "And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh&" The NIV reads, "He appeared in a body". It is said that the NIV "twists" "God" to "he" and says "He appeared in a body" instead of "He appeared in the flesh" It is then said that that this perverts the truth concerning the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. It has been my experience that most every minister I have ever heard preach will be speaking of God and will reference God as "He" or "Him" does this mean that every minister is wrong by referencing God in this way? Is this minister then perverting the truth about God? The very King James Bible that is used to try and show that the NIV is incorrect and perverted says this in John 4:24 "God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth." In this one verse alone God is referenced twice as "him". Is this perverting the truth? Does this "twist" "God" to "him" as they have said about the NIV? And what is a body anyway? Isn't it really, nothing more than flesh and bones?

Every reference bible I have ever read has some type of notes, either at the bottom of the page, in the middle column, at the end of the chapter, or somewhere. If you will take time to look closely at the NIV you will see that, like many other bibles including King James reference bibles, it has footnotes at the bottom of each page. If you will look at the bottom of the page and read the notes on this scripture, note "a" says this, "some manuscripts God" meaning that some of the manuscripts use the word "God" instead of the word "He". Note "b" says this, "Or in the flesh". This note meaning that a second interpretation of the words "He appeared in a body" is "He appeared in the flesh". I feel that the translators chose to use the word "he" just like a minister would, knowing that God was the topic of this particular portion of scripture. So if you will look closely at this scripture and most every other scripture that this booklet questioned, It is well explained in the footnotes and many other possible translations are also given.

Here is another quote from one of the booklets I have read: "The King James Bible reads in John 14:2 In my father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you." The NIV reads: "In my fathers house are many rooms; If it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you." I don't know where you came from but where I came from there is a vast difference between a room and a mansion. The Holiday Inn has rooms, and I am certainly not going to live in a motel throughout eternity. So you see how the pure Word of God is perverted by the NIV"

This writer speaks often of perverting the Word of God but is he not doing the same thing when he says, "I am certainly not going to live in a motel throughout eternity." I don't recall the NIV ever mentioning a motel room. Do you? Personally I would love to spend eternity in a room in God's house. No mater how big or how small the room, it would be an honour just to be in his house. I just want to be in Heaven with God some day and I dont really care what I live in.

The writer of this booklet says this, "There are three important factors that should be considered when choosing a reliable version: (1) The Greek text from which it is translated: (2) The translators who translated it; and (3) The translation itself."

First, about the Greek text; I believe that the NIV translators, just like the translators of the King James Version, examined many of these manuscripts and chose the ones that they felt were most accurate. The footnotes in the NIV include notes from many different manuscripts. Some of them were very old and others were newer but none the less, if they found different translations they made foot notes about each of them.

Secondly, about the translators who translated it; if you will read the preface in the NIV you will find that these translators came from many different denominations from within the Christian faith. Some of these being, Methodist, Church of Christ, Assemblies of God, Baptist, and Presbyterian. It goes on to explain how the translations took place.

Third, about the translation itself: I believe that these individuals tried to make a translation that was as accurate as possible while was much more understandable than the King James version. At no time have I read anything in the NIV that I would consider a perversion of God's Word.

I could continue to go over this booklet one scripture at a time but I feel as if I have shown you the point I have been trying to make and I don't want to keep harping on the same points. Please, just look at it yourself.

The other arguments I have read and heard about the NIV and other translations like it is this; they are changing the words of the King James Version. It is said that this is changing or "perverting" the Word of God. Let's assume for a moment that this is true. Let's assume that if you change any of the wording in the King James Version that it is wrong. Let me ask you this, what about the children's bibles, bible storybooks, bible comics, bible coloring books, and Sunday school literature used to teach children? In writing this type of children's literature, the words of the scripture is changed in such a way that a child can easily understand it. Is this perverting the Word of God? Is this wrong or a sin? If so, does this mean that we should only teach our four, five, and six-year-old children by reading to them from the King James Version? To do so would be like taking them to see a Shakespeare play such as Hamlet and expecting them to understand what is being said!

Do you not believe that it is important for a child to learn of God in such a way that he or she will remember it? I have taught children for years and as of yet, I have not found that reading a long passage of scripture from the King James Bible has ever kept their attention and if you can't keep their attention then they don't learn. On the other hand, if you play bible games and teach them bible stories, they will remember them for years.

What about someone who does not know how to read or write, someone who is not well educated? If these individuals are not taught in the right way with the right translation and the right literature, they will not understand. Should we as Christians allow these individuals to end up in Hell because we have a problem with the NIV or some other similar translation?

I am not saying that every translation is totally accurate or that there are not some bibles that are totally wrong. I am saying this; I have read and studied the NIV and some others. I have compared them to the King James version and I do not feel that they are perverting God's Word in any way anymore than if the King James version is translated into Spanish, French, Indian, German, or any other language. In saying that the King James Version is the only "True Word of God" is to say that the bible translated into their language is not God's Word. It is like saying that any one who speaks another language is doomed to Hell because they can't read the Word of God!

I know there are those who will not like what I am about to say but I feel that I must. Please, take time to listen to what I am about to tell you. The King James Version is not a "perfect" translation of God's Word. Please allow me to explain.

The word love is used many times in the King James Version. This is just one of the words I have chosen as examples. This example holds true for most every word in the King James Version. I have looked this word up in the Strong's exhaustive concordance and cross-referenced it with the original Greek and Hebrew and this is what I found. There are seventeen different words in the original Greek and Hebrew that have been translated "Love" in the King James Version. These words having different meanings ranging from "to have affection for (sexually or otherwise)" to "to boil". Yes, you read it right the Hebrew word "Dowd" comes from the root word "dod" which literally means "to boil". It also goes on to say that it can be used figuratively to mean; love, love-token, lover, or friend when specifically speaking of an uncle. In the King James Version this word "Dowd" is also translated as; beloved, father's brother, and Uncle. You see, there are many different words in the Greek or Hebrew that are translated as love. All of these were translated "love" because this was the closest word in the English language at the time of translation, that would "match" or have the same meaning or because the translators thought that this was the writers intention when he wrote the text. This is the same method of translation that was used when the King James version was translated from the Greek and Hebrew back in "1611" and is still the method of translation used today.

There are fourteen different words that are in the original Greek and Hebrew texts that are translated "Clean" in the King James Version. There are ten different words that are all translated as the word "Close" in the King James version. The list goes on and on. If you don't believe me, just take the time and look it up for yourself.

You see the problem is that when you translate anything from one language to another there will be times, quite often even, when there is a word in one language that does not have an equal in the other. In other words, a word exists in one language and there is no word with the same meaning in the other language. Also when translating, you have to realise that not only do the words have to be translated but so do the meanings. If you were translating this; "Wow! That car is fast as all getout!" into a different language then not only would you have to translate the words but you would also have to decide how fast "all getout" really is. If you literally translated "all get out", this sentence would probably make no sense at all!

Translation of the Bible from the original Greek and Hebrew is done by people and no matter how well educated, well meaning, or how dedicated they are to God, they are all still human. We are not perfect and so nothing we ever do will be perfect. Not even biblical translations. We can only pray, ask God for his help, and do the best that we can. As Christians, we then have to use the translation that we understand the best, read and study it, and try to live for God the best way we know how.

This was said about bible translations other than the King James Version, "As long as the Devil can keep the people of God confused about the Word of God, the more souls he can doom for Hell." Let me ask you this, Does trying to force everyone to use a translation of the bible the many can not understand not help the Devils cause? Does it not keep people from learning what God's word truly says? Does the fact that King James authorised the bible to be translated into English make it the only true or correct bible? What if the Queen of England or the President of the United States authorised a new translation? Would that make it a true and correct bible?

One booklet says this; "The King James Bible is the bible God uses and the bible the devil hates." How can that writer state that this is "the bible God uses"? How do we know what bible he uses? Does he even use a bible? Isn't the bible God's Holy Word? Isn't this writer once again making assumptions about God that he has no way of knowing just like when he said "We need to use the one (speaking of the bible) that God has given us. The King James Bible." Who's to say that God did not give us the NIV or other versions like it? Who's to say that God did not lead these people to translate the Bible into more modern or simpler words that we could understand?

Do you not think that any book that speaks of God in a good way, the Devil hates? Any book that tells about Jesus and that he died for our sins would be one that the Devil hates! Any book that speaks of God's unfailing love, his kindness, or that tells us, we are to love each other, would be a book that the Devil would hate! What about a book that tells of Moses, David, Noah, Adam, Eve, and what God says is right and wrong. Would this not be the kind of book that the Devil would hate? Finally, Does the book I just described not sound like the NIV and other translations like it? So before you are so quick to judge the NIV and others like it, think about that individual, who will say, "Well, the bible is just to hard to understand and so I won't read it." You just might be leading that individual down the wrong path! A path without ever reading God's word!

The final thing I would like to point out is that I am not trying to say that all bible translations are correct. There are a lot of bible translations and other books that claim to be the word of God. Please dont believe every one of them. Please be careful what you read. Pray about it and speak with your minister about it. Let God lead you to the translation that he wants you to read.

In closing this letter, I would like to say this, "I am a Christian and a minister. I believe in Jesus Christ and the fact that he died for me. I believe in the bible and that it is the True word of God. I love Lord with all of my heart and would never try to lead anyone astray. What I have written has been researched and prayed over. I feel that it is totally true and although I know I will probably get a lot of ridicule about this, I feel that this letter is what God would have me to write. Let me say God bless each and everyone who reads this and may it help you to make a truly informed decision."

By Mark Davis