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  #1  
Old 04-01-2009, 12:09 PM
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Default Translator's Errors

Mark wrote:
Quote:
Watchman,

You stated the translators were in error when they added the word "gifts" in the KJV of the Bible (no argument). Here's my question... by them doing so, would you say the translators were "following the will of satan" - considering they corrupted the word of God?

We have established that translators & copiest can make mistakes..., this raises an interesting point:

Since there is no original scripture left anywhere on the planet, I assume you (Warren) are also reading "translated / copied" material. How do you know for sure you are not being "misled" by an error?

I personally feel the Holy Spirit guides the church - and people should pray for wisdom... in this case, I like the verse "in the multitude of counsel there is wisdom"
Yes, the 'originals' of both the OT and NT books are no longer extant [as far as we know]. However, it is important to distinguish between that which is a copy and that which is a translation. With respect to 'interpretation', the issue of 'copying' is mutually exclusive of 'translation'.

Since copies were made by hand writings, it is entirely possible [and alterations appear to have been made] for a copiest to alter text. It is not clear how all these copies came into existence. Those are the facts that we are dealing with in evaluating scripture.

In addition, we do not know the manner in which text was copied. There were around 5,600 copies of certain NT books in the 2nd century. That doesn't mean that they are not copies of a copy. The 'original' might have been copied once, and altered, and all subsequent manuscript copies could have been copies of the copy.

If you do research on the NT, many will argue against its authenticity due to all of the anomalies associated therewith. As a Catholic, I am sure that you are aware of the burdensome job of the early church fathers in canonizing books for inclusion in that which ends up being our Bible today.

The Massorah [OT] had much more control on the text. There were marginal notes, numbers, etc., which, supposedly, made it impossible to alter. [I have not personally seen how it works -- just going off research.] Anyway, the argument surrounding the OT seems to surround the Septuagint, which predates all known Massoretic Text.

Accordingly, what we call 'manuscripts' are, indeed, 'copies'. The problems associated with copiest [purposeful] error, if any, is separate from translational error.

All Christian denominations are based upon the Bible, whichever rendering used. I know that Catholics use the Catholic Bible. Most earlier Protestant denominations used the KJV. There are a host of modern Bible renderings too.

Irrespective of rendering used by each denomination, their denomonitional beliefs are all premised upon the presumed authenticity of the manuscripts [copies] used to translate from the original languages to English. Therein lies the issue of translational errors and motives therefore.

With respect to the KJV, there is much one can research on the internet. Some say King James was a homosexual and overall bad-intentioned man. Others will say that was rumor only.

Without getting into the nuances, my research indicates that there were, at least, much politics involved in the KJV. England had commissioned an earlier rendering, the Bishop's Bible. There was the reformation rendering, the Geneva Bible, in existence too, which was translated by private parties.

It seems that King James was not happy that a vast majority of Brits preferred the Geneva Bible because it was easier to read and was not done by the gov't. [Of course, we would distrust a Bible issued by our gov't too.] He also had private beliefs that he wanted to enforce as well.

Hence, there were many constraints placed on the KJV translators. So, I don't really think they were following the whims of Satan in making the translation. Maybe, Satan was driving King James and the translators were just doing the King's will in duplicating the Bishop's Bible with minor alterations as they gleaned from their knowledge of the original languages.

The CYA letter included in the KJV was, in part, a disclaimer against error. IMO, the translators knew that they were forced to include errors therein to please the King.

Nonetheless, we have the ability to bypass translator's errors by way of the Strong's Concordance. This work is independently based upon the original languages and the manuscripts [copies]. Hence, with the Strong's concordance, my interpretations have only one source of possible error [the copiest error].

It is these same manuscripts [copies] with one source of possibile error, that those false religions are based upon. So, to the extent that there is no copiest error, I am not misled at all.
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  #2  
Old 04-01-2009, 12:30 PM
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Default Re: Translator's Errors

Watchman,

That was very well constructed post - and interesting to read.


Quote:
Hence, with the Strong's concordance, my interpretations have only one source of possible error [the copiest error].
I would argue that you have two sources of error... the first, as you stated, are the "copied" manuscripts (which I trust are probably accurate). The second, more important source of error, would be your personal interpretation of scripture. The Bible obviously does not list a series of facts... there are parables, inferences, etc. You may read the parable of the "rich young ruler," for example, and conclude that all that is necessary to enter into Heaven is following the 10 commandments - and only those that want to be "perfect" need to follow Christ (this is just one quick example to clarify the point).

Even if the Word is read to us "exactly" how it was originally written, there is still room for error because people find different meanings in stories, inferences, etc.
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Old 04-01-2009, 07:09 PM
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Default Re: Translator's Errors

I found Watchmans brief survey of scripture as interesting as Mark did. It merely underscores the problems inherent in the "sola scriptura" controversy.

All of Christianity believes that ours is a revealed religion - not a concoction originating from the mind of man but a revelation from God Himself. Islam believes precisely the same thing and, of course, points to the Koran as the pure, unadulterated and final "word of God" revealed to the last and greatest prophets - Mohammed. Islamic scholars, of course, place some value on the writings of all "Peoples of the Book" - Jews and Christians included in same. These scholars insist, of course, that cultural corruption crept into the Hebrew and Christian scriptures and to the extent of such inconsistency with the Koran - such scriptures are false. The clearest example would be the Gospel of John to the extent it stresses the divinity of Jesus of Nazareth.

The key way to frame the issue, from my own point of view, is to ask oneself precisely how the revelation of God - in terms of Christianity - comes about. The historical answer is three fold: God reveals Himself in nature; through tradition; and finally, through the scriptures. Islam ironically agrees with that traditional answer - with one huge caveat. The Koran is the final scriptural revelation dictated by Mohammad to his scribes. The current editions of the Koran are probably more faithful to the originals of the text (also lost) than the current editions of the Hebrew and Christian scriptures are to the originals of the texts (also lost). One is free to argue that point.

The answer regarding Christian revelation must go beyond the traditional answers. The ultimate means by which God reveals the dogmatic truths of Christianity can be summarized in a phrase: The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit inspired the writers of New Testament scripture but also inspired those same authors when they spoke - and indeed their spoken words came before the writings that followed. The common source of inspiration, therefore, is precisely the same - the Holy Spirit. He inspired the apostolic and oral tradition and He inspired the authors of scripture. Scripture, from my point of view, can best be viewed as drawn from the well of the inspired oral tradition that came before it.

When the Church ultimately had to "canonize" the scriptures - their only meaningful guide would necessarily be the oral apostolic tradition from which the written texts were derived - unless, of course, one accepts the notion that the Holy Spirit inspired the Church - by some means apart from the oral apostolic tradition - in the selective process. Whatever view one takes - it all comes back to the Holy Spirit - the very life blood of the Church.

The individual believer who attempts to discern the truths of scripture aid only by what his imagination may suggest from the text alone is attempting to climb a slippery slope. It reminds me of the quip of Martin Luther - when commenting on individual interpretation of scripture which did not comport with Luther's views (presumably set forth in his own translation of scripture into German) i.e. it seems that every milkmaid now hears the Holy Spirit whispering in her ear. The irony of Luther's comment lies in the fact that indeed the Holy Spirit maybe individually inspiring the reader to the discernment of truth. Although I believe that such inspiration is possible in isolated instances - it is a collective understanding of scripture that I personally endorse which takes into account the tradition from which scripture was derived. Watchman points to a "concordance" - as an aid to the reader of scripture which would be akin to what lawyers refer to as "commentary" on the text set forth in constitutions, statues and judical decisions. No segment of Christianity, of course, has ever taught that commentators were inspired either. I personally believe, however, that commentary either in religion or in law is a great aid in understanding. This is so because of the tradition by which the commentator is also guided.

If the Church collectively "canonized" scripture surely the Church might have something valuable to say regarding its authenticity and interpretation. The Church has never taught that translators or copyists were inspired. A copyist can make an error either purposely or carelessly and such an error can perpetuate itself. Even if the original text (which alone was inspired) is copied verbatim without any errors - there still lies the problem of interpretation. It is once again the oral apostolic tradition of the entire Church that guides the process of authenticating and interpreting (and indeed improving through better translations) the text. It would be wonderful, of course, if the original text could be replicated verbatim.

Whether inspires us individually or collectively or both - my overall point is exactly the same - He is the ultimate source of inspiration from Pentecost to date.
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Last edited by Olsen : 04-01-2009 at 07:16 PM.
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Old 04-01-2009, 07:33 PM
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Default Re: Translator's Errors

That christians entertain these kind of faithless discussions makes me quite ill TBH.

Whatever we have scripturally, we certainly do not have any deceptions except in the minds of readers.

Jesus promised me that when the Holy Spirit came, he would lead me into ALL truth. I believe he has done that for me through the scriptures. Whatever else might be said about it, we have "all truth" in the scriptures. Though there may be other scriptures that were not included, lost, destroyed, discounted, whatever else may have happened, the fact is, no one can say with any authority that what the we have in the bible, is anyting less than ALL truth.

Some use this baseless argument to support their dislike of particular doctrines and Christian practices.....so be it. What they do NOT have is nowhere near as powerful as what I DO have in the scriptures.

Luk 21:15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.

Grace and peace.
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neither is there any other thing which keepeth us
back from entering in, save only our own unbelief.
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Last edited by LaMontre : 04-01-2009 at 07:35 PM.
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Old 04-01-2009, 07:51 PM
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Default Re: Translator's Errors

Quote:
Originally Posted by LaMontre View Post
That christians entertain these kind of faithless discussions makes me quite ill TBH.

Whatever we have scripturally, we certainly do not have any deceptions except in the minds of readers.

Jesus promised me that when the Holy Spirit came, he would lead me into ALL truth. I believe he has done that for me through the scriptures. Whatever else might be said about it, we have "all truth" in the scriptures. Though there may be other scriptures that were not included, lost, destroyed, discounted, whatever else may have happened, the fact is, no one can say with any authority that what the we have in the bible, is anyting less than ALL truth.

Some use this baseless argument to support their dislike of particular doctrines and Christian practices.....so be it. What they do NOT have is nowhere near as powerful as what I DO have in the scriptures.

Luk 21:15 For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist.

Grace and peace.
LaMontre,

By posting in this thread, you yourself are "entertaining" the discussion - do you make yourself ill as well?

What specifically was said that you disagree with? Why do you think your interpretation of scripture is better than the next man?
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Old 04-01-2009, 08:55 PM
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Default Re: Translator's Errors

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark View Post
LaMontre,

By posting in this thread, you yourself are "entertaining" the discussion - do you make yourself ill as well?
No, I didn't.

Quote:
What specifically was said that you disagree with? Why do you think your interpretation of scripture is better than the next man?
Not at all! I am sure you are all correct and we cannot trust that the word of God is truly the word of God.
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No man is excluded from calling upon God,
the gate of salvation is set open unto all men:
neither is there any other thing which keepeth us
back from entering in, save only our own unbelief.
~John Calvin
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Old 04-01-2009, 09:01 PM
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Default Re: Translator's Errors

Quote:
No, I didn't.
Ok, I thought the 4th post was yours... my bad.


Quote:
Not at all! I am sure you are all correct and we cannot trust that the word of God is truly the word of God.
It makes me "quite ill" when people feel the need to "chime in" on posts simply to add a little negative sarcasm
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Old 04-01-2009, 09:47 PM
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Default Re: Translator's Errors

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark View Post
Watchman,

That was very well constructed post - and interesting to read.
Thank you.

Quote:
I would argue that you have two sources of error... the first, as you stated, are the "copied" manuscripts (which I trust are probably accurate). The second, more important source of error, would be your personal interpretation of scripture.
Regarding your second source of error, if you are speaking in general, as in all mankind, when you state "your personal interpretation", I agree. The Bible is not remiss in informing us what governs in Bible interpretation between spirit, tradition, and scripture. 2 Tim. 3:16-17 and 2:15 informs us that the man of God is based upon scriptural correctness.

If your comment was inferred to mean that I, personally, am in error in interpretation, then, surely, you will be able to point out which interpretation is in error and how it is in error based upon your superior knowledge of scripture. Otherwise, you fall into the category of another ignorant young man full of hot air -- one issuing nothing but feckless commentary.

Either way, the issue was textual errors. Of course, mankind's interpretation error is always prevalent and the subject of much debate herein this website.

Quote:
The Bible obviously does not list a series of facts... there are parables, inferences, etc. You may read the parable of the "rich young ruler," for example, and conclude that all that is necessary to enter into Heaven is following the 10 commandments - and only those that want to be "perfect" need to follow Christ (this is just one quick example to clarify the point).

Even if the Word is read to us "exactly" how it was originally written, there is still room for error because people find different meanings in stories, inferences, etc.
There is enough factual information contained in the Bible to confirm Christianity as reality and all other beliefs as religions. This separates the Bible text, both OT and NT, as the only true word of God.

Regarding a failure to understand upon hearing, undoubtedly, it has always been a problem. That is why it was so important to commit the word to writing instead of the continual spread thereof by word of mouth -- tradition.

Last edited by Watchman : 04-01-2009 at 10:08 PM.
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Old 04-01-2009, 09:49 PM
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Default Re: Translator's Errors

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark View Post
It makes me "quite ill" when people feel the need to "chime in" on posts simply to add a little negative sarcasm
I apologize if my post disturbed you, but I feel quite strongly that God has not left the elect as clueless as this thread implies.

Psa 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
Psa 12:7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.
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No man is excluded from calling upon God,
the gate of salvation is set open unto all men:
neither is there any other thing which keepeth us
back from entering in, save only our own unbelief.
~John Calvin
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Old 04-01-2009, 11:59 PM
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Default Re: Translator's Errors

Mr. Moderator,

Thank you for your intelligent and well-written post.

I am in general agreement with that which you have written. I have pulled out a few items that I felt was worthy of comment.

Quote:
Scripture, from my point of view, can best be viewed as drawn from the well of the inspired oral tradition that came before it.
This is true -- if all involved are 'inspired' [Holy Spirit involved]! However, as one reads the gospels' accounts of the same words of Christ, one will see slight variations. This can only be explained by the fact that the verbiage of Christ was committed to writing sometime thereafter Christ orated, with memory lapses as to the exact words spoken.

If minor variations occur in a relatively short interval between oration and memorialization for the 'inspired', we can see how gross variations in the oral tradition might occur with a longer interval of time for those that are 'uninspired'. That is why Christ often stated "Have you not read?" [paraphrased].

We see in the Epistles to the Thessalonians how oral tradition and writing is quickly corrupted by the 'uninspired'. The Thessalonians took 1 Thes. 4:16-17 and made a new religion [any moment doctrine] out of it. Paul had to correct them in his second epistle.

Quote:
When the Church ultimately had to "canonize" the scriptures - their only meaningful guide would necessarily be the oral apostolic tradition from which the written texts were derived - unless, of course, one accepts the notion that the Holy Spirit inspired the Church - by some means apart from the oral apostolic tradition - in the selective process. Whatever view one takes - it all comes back to the Holy Spirit - the very life blood of the Church.
Therein lies the issue. The extent to which oral tradition had been corrupted within the early church at the time the Bible was canonized is unknown. Surely, as you stated, they used their tradition to guide their selection process.

Quote:
The individual believer who attempts to discern the truths of scripture aid only by what his imagination may suggest from the text alone is attempting to climb a slippery slope.
By one's imagination, yes -- I agree. By one's devoted study, I do not agree.

IMO, the oral traditions are all committed to writing. Surely, God knows mankinds' propensity for alteration of oration with time and would be remiss in depending upon oral tradition to carry His message over the centuries. A perfect example of oral tradition that has bastardized church history for many centuries is 'Easter'.

Quote:
Although I believe that such inspiration is possible in isolated instances - it is a collective understanding of scripture that I personally endorse which takes into account the tradition from which scripture was derived.
Most people are not devoted students -- that is a simple fact. So, they have little choice but subordinate to the so-called 'collective understanding' [you won't find that here] of scripture. Nonetheless, for the true devoted student, the Word, [sola scriptura], prevails over tradition every time -- just as it is written. If the Word did not prevail, Christianity could be anything that the religious heirarchy claims is the 'tradition'.

Quote:
Watchman points to a "concordance" - as an aid to the reader of scripture which would be akin to what lawyers refer to as "commentary" on the text set forth in constitutions, statues and judical decisions. No segment of Christianity, of course, has ever taught that commentators were inspired either. I personally believe, however, that commentary either in religion or in law is a great aid in understanding. This is so because of the tradition by which the commentator is also guided.
Strong's is not a "commentary" in the sense that most Bible commentaries address interpretation today. Strong's issues the meanings of Hebrew, Chaldee, and Greek words in English and lists all the ways it was translated by the KJV translators. Dr. Strong issued no comments as to what he thought was the proper or improper translation. That job is left to the reader thereof.

Of course, Dr. Strong was subject to making error like any other man. Likewise, the English-only speaking person is also subject to making error by using his work, or any other concordance, for interpretation. Unless one is fully versed in Hebrew, Chaldee, Greek, and English, one cannot be in a position to comment as to the veracity of Dr. Strong's work.

Dr. Strong's Concordance has been in print since 1894. Those that are versed in English as well as one of the original manuscript languages have evaluated his work. There is little dissent as to its completion, thoroughness, and accuracy in providing proper English meanings.

As for proper interpretation, that is left to the individual to rightly divide the Word of God.

Quote:
Even if the original text (which alone was inspired) is copied verbatim without any errors - there still lies the problem of interpretation. It is once again the oral apostolic tradition of the entire Church that guides the process of authenticating and interpreting (and indeed improving through better translations) the text. It would be wonderful, of course, if the original text could be replicated verbatim.
I fundamentally disagree with allowing tradition to change the inspired Word. If oral tradition squares with the Word, we know that the tradition is truly apostolic in nature. If the oral tradition has not the full support of scripture, we know that tradition is of man -- not of God.

Quote:
Whether inspires us individually or collectively or both - my overall point is exactly the same - He is the ultimate source of inspiration from Pentecost to date.
True -- God has always promised that we would have teachers. This way, the Word can be used to prevail over oral traditions of man.
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