Saturday, September 20, 2008

Bible Translations

It isn't uncommon for critics to suggest that all Bible translations are essentially the same. While I certainly think that all major translations have some validity (I am not a KJV-only supporter), I do not believe that there aren't major differences here and there. Occasionally, some translations show real bias. While I, overall, applaud the New International Version (NIV), it certainly has some problems. Consider the following:

For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit. (NIV 1 Peter 4:6)

Did Jesus preach the gospel to people after they died, or before? The NIV adds the word "now" which does not exist in any Greek manuscript of this verse. Notwithstanding the volumes of information from early Christianity about posthumous preaching and salvation (see HERE), the NIV study Bible note asserts that this edition to the text was made because “it is necessary to make it clear that the preaching was done not after these people had died, but while they were still alive.” The note then dogmatically asserts, “There will be no opportunity for people to be saved after death.”

Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, (NIV Philippians 2:6)

Compared to:

Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God (KJV Philippians 2:6)

Did Jesus think it was reasonable to be equal with God ("thought it not robbery") or not? Was Jesus "in very nature God" (a loose translation at best!) or "in the form of God"? The NIV is clearly translating the creeds into the text.

Keep these verses in mind the next time someone criticizes the statement that "We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly."

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Ante-Nicene Mysteries and Their New Testament Sources

Here is a rough draft of the paper I'll be presenting this November at the Sane Symposium.

It is a rough rough draft. So, it has a way to go still, but I thought I'd show you what I've been working on.