Friday, June 12, 2009

Why Do Bible Versions Matter ?

Most Christians have their favorite version of the Bible. Some like the newer versions, some like the old. Regardless of the version you use, the Holy Bible is a book believed to be divinely inspired and guided. When we enter into a discussion of this topic we must understand and keep in mind certain things.

1. Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. By reading the "Word" our confidence grows in it. It builds our faith and provides a firm foundation.

2. 1 Corinthians 14:33 For God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints.

3. 2 Timothy 3:16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness ...

4. 1 Peter 1:23 ... having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever, ... The Word of God has not been hidden away, but has been preserved in records and even the hearts and minds of men.

Just as we do not select and build a doctrine on one Bible verse alone, we also do not select and build Scripture on one manuscript alone. The various manuscripts have also been tested, reproved, corrected, and revised; within the various versions. Naturally, some manuscripts; Greek, Hebrew, Latin or otherwise have come up to the "top" just as cream rises in raw milk. One must also remember that the manuscripts come in bits and pieces at times and from differing historical figures; some trustworthy, some not so much. But "Tiger", you might say, "men have selected these manuscripts - men who sin like the rest of us!". Yes, that's right! But! They have been guided by the Holy Spirit! You either believe this or you don't.

Another thing to realize is that Chapters, Verse numbers, and all Punctuation DO NOT EXIST in the MANUSCRIPTS! We, man, added that and have caused some problems. Here is a classic example of what I mean (Jesus speaks to the thief on the cross):

Luke 23:43 And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

... the manuscripts simply say;

Assuredly I say to you today you will be with Me in Paradise

Now, look at this:

Assuredly I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise

or, is it;

Assuredly I say to you today, you will be with Me in Paradise

That one has created all sorts of consternation! When ALL of the Scripture is studied, you discover that Jesus states over and over that the dead are dead and that even He did not go to Paradise immediately after he died on the cross. Remember? ... do not touch me, I have not yet ascended to my Father ... ?

In the below blog entry, the "Teaser" example, the section of scripture that uses an older manuscript actually is the one that is less accurate! This is important to note, because, as stated above, doctrine should not be built just on one verse or one manuscript. Some churches baptize babies but "verified" Scripture says that one must be adult and aware enough to understand who Christ really was (is) before proceeding with such a serious action. It's no wonder so many different Sects are around with so many different ideas.

The study of all the various manuscripts and all the various academic arguments surrounding the "choices" made takes volumes of books, several panels of PhD's, and about 2000 + years! : ) So, we will have to be satisfied with a "Cliff Notes" version of the argument, if you will.

I have promised the Tigress I will take a week off from my all my activities and take some vacation time. In the meantime, I offer a wonderfully written "Cliff Notes" argument for the sake of this study.

It is located HERE and can be downloaded as a PDF or seen as an HTML document! I strongly recommend the PDF document as it is much more comprehensive!

Happy reading and I'll see you in 7 to 10 days. Feel free to leave comment.


The Observer

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