When Christ returns to rule the earth – soon, we all hope – will He sit back and let us continue to use the present versions of His Word --the Bible – as we know them today? Some think their KJV is practically as good as the original autograph Hebrew and Greek manuscripts. Others prefer their NIV or NKJV. And if you’re outside America, you have your own Bible in your own language.
Are the various translations, paraphrases and language versions of God’s word completely perfect – or do you think one of the first things Messiah will do will be to give us His perfect, cleaned up version of His word as originally written? What do you think?
When Yeshua (Jesus) returns, He will begin a process of restoring everything to the way it should be, before mankind was cast out of the Garden (Genesis 3). You may have heard of the “restoration” or “restitution” of all things. Will Bibles that people read every day also need to also be restored? And if so, why would that be necessary?
“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, 20 and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, 21 whom heaven must receive until the times of RESTORATION OF ALL THINGS, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.”
Notice it does say “ALL things” in verse 21. Don’t misunderstand. I believe with all my being that the originally hand-written, God-breathed, God-inspired autograph manuscripts were perfect and had no error. I’m talking about the original manuscripts Moses and Ezra and the prophets wrote, and the original epistles of the New Testament.NO original autograph manuscript exists today. We do have carefully copied copies – and that’s what we use today as our authoritative source of what Scriptures says. I trust those ancient manuscripts are also reliable copies. But from those old manuscripts – copied carefully as they were – we now have hundreds of versions of the Bible in scores of languages. These versions are what people around the world are reading today as “the word of God”.
Now add this to the equation: it seems likely that one of the first things King Yeshua will do is to give us one worldwide language. Many believe that language will be Hebrew.Remember God is the one who scattered people from Babylon by instantly making the various groups (Genesis 11:1-9) speak in different languages.
Zephaniah 3:9 HOLMAN
“For I will then restore pure speech to the people so that all of them may call on the name of Yahweh and serve Him with a single purpose.”
How long Yeshua will take to have us all speaking one language again remains to be seen. God confused the languages in an instant in Genesis 11. He could work a miracle and once again, in an instant, have us all speaking one pure language with one another. I personally think that is likely.
Now especially if that happens, it seems very logical to me that one of the first orders of business will be for King Yeshua (Jesus) to purify His Word – the holy scriptures, the Bible -- from the many, many varying versions and translations that are “out there”. And again, I believe strongly in the inerrancy and accuracy of the original scriptures and how they have traveled through time to us today.
My point is: when the original gets translated into the various languages like English, French, Ilocano, Tagalog, Chinese or Russian and so on, and then add various versions within those languages, mistakes can and do happen. By “versions” I’m referring to KJV vs the NIV, or RSV, Holman, and so on. The reasons for the variations are myriad. There simply are differing ways that words and expressions can be translated. I spoke 2 languages fluently as a youth and learned the basics of two others. It’s hard to even get a “word-for-word” translation and have it really make sense all the time.
Look at everyday signs posted in English and Spanish, for example. If you know Spanish well, you’ll realize many times they are giving the sense of the English notice. They are saying it the way it would be said in Spanish, but it’s not always a word-for-word translation, and neither should it always be.
For example, in Ilocano, a Philippine dialect I grew up with, they have at least three words for “hair”. The words are different for head hair, pubic hair and air on the arm. The word of hair on the arm is “dot-dot”—literally meaning “feathers”, the same word they would use for the feathers on a chicken. But if you were translating from Ilocano to English, would you translate “dot-dot” when referring to the arm hair on a man as “feathers” – or would you not say “arm hair”? “Feathers” would be a literal word-for-word translation – but an English reader would be left very confused!
So translating is a very precise skill. I personally am astonished at how many pastors –who are not expert in Biblical Hebrew and Biblical Greek --are willing to come out with their own translations of the Bible, which of course, will be in harmony with their own theology!
MOST Bible translations – even the KJV—are NOT “word-for-word” translations, and neither should they be. In fact, the KJV often adds words and phrases in italics, so you know they are adding words to try to make the meaning clearer. Sometimes they succeed with that -- and sometimes they don’t.
So this is also why I like to study the original Hebrew or Greek words when trying to understand a passage of scripture and not just rely on what the translation says in English – or what it say sin your French or Swahili or Ilocano.
There are some glaring mistakes. Yes, even in the KJV. But the same can be said about the NIV, Holman, RSV and every other version out there – so I’m not picking on the KJV.
Click on “Continue reading” to the right to find out some of the corrections that will need to be made in the Bibles the everyday common man or woman reads in the Millennium.