Translations and Reliability of the Bible

Tim sets straight the assertion that the Bible has been translated many times over and therefore can't be reliable.



00:06 The Bible has been translated many times over, so how can it be reliable? The Bible

00:12 can now be read in nearly 700 different languages. For the New Testament, the

00:17 number jumps to over 1500 languages. It's not surprising that the Bible is the

00:22 most translated book in history. Christians see the number of

00:26 translations as a good thing. More people are able to read God's Word in their own

00:32 language. Others, however, see the number of translations as a bad thing. They

00:38 believe that the Bible cannot be reliable since it has been translated so

00:43 many times over its history. In a Newsweek cover story titled, "The Bible: So

00:48 Misunderstood It's a Sin," journalist and author Kurt Eichenwald asserts this: "No

00:54 television preacher has ever read the Bible.

00:57 Neither has any evangelical politician. Neither has the Pope. Neither have I.

01:02 Neither have you. At best, we've all read a bad translation - a translation of

01:08 translations of translations of hand-copied copies of copies of copies of

01:12 copies, and on and on, hundreds of times." if there are multiple steps in the

01:18 translation process, then it's possible that something gets lost in translation.

01:23 if our modern Bible translations are translation of a translation of a

01:29 translation of — well, you get the point —

01:31 then they probably wouldn't resemble anything of what the author intended.

01:36 This would be akin to playing the telephone game with people who translate

01:40 the message into different languages as it gets passed from one person to the

01:45 next. For this challenge, we need to employ the "Just the Facts, Ma'am" tactic.

01:51 Many challenges to Christianity are based upon bad information. They don't

01:55 get the facts right. We can overcome these objections by a simple appeal to

02:00 the facts. So what are the facts in this instance? Eichenwald and those who

02:06 continue to espouse this nonsense are wrong about modern Bible translations

02:13 and how it works. In reality, the modern English translations that we have go

02:19 back to the original languages. Those who can actually read Greek and Hebrew, the

02:24 original languages, are in the best position to know what the authors

02:28 actually wrote in their original language. As a result, there's only really

02:33 one step in the translation process - the original language to the modern language.

02:39 Every modern translation has only been translated once. It isn't a translation

02:46 of a translation of a translation. It's just a translation.

02:48 Therefore, modern translators are in the best position possible to provide an

02:54 accurate translation. This challenge might be confusing the translation of

02:59 the text with the transmission of the text, but that's a different question. In

03:03 the question before us, it is enough to point out that the number of

03:07 translations doesn't affect the reliability of the text.

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Tim Barnett