If someone doesn’t know Greek, isn’t the only option left to choose the “least messed up” English translation of the bible for our regular study?
I’m getting concerned that all of the English translations have many poorly translated words/concepts (pastor, church, bishop, etc.) I’m using the NASB, but even it has many poorly translated words. What’s your advice???
No hurry, but would appreciate your input. God Bless Y’all.
Winston, NASB is about as good as they get in most ways—IF you just look at one. The mistranslated words are there, but most everything else is fairly represented, unlike some translations. In America, we have the opportunity to read any and all verses in 10 different translations whenever we’d like, so that’s a pretty good idea. Frankly, they almost ALL have the SAME flaws, since most all live in the same external religious world, and find their vocabulary from their experiences. BUT, if you know the tendencies of the translators—the words and ideas that they commonly miss, then you can re-read it without their glasses on and see the REAL picture more readily. A good question to ask yourself while you’re reading is “WHAT ELSE COULD IT MEAN?!” beyond what I’ve commonly been told or have typically experienced. What would be another way to look at this that would be more consistent with Jesus and His Ways, and the Account that I read by the Holy Spirit of how people lived out this thing called Christianity? And don’t readily accept the lame rationalizations of “that was just cultural” or whatever. What were their MOTIVES and what were their PRIORITIES—and how does that differ from today? Not, “They wore togas and we don’t. Blah, blah.” The cultural stuff was not NEARLY as “cultural” as some want to make it seem. The rationalizations of “why” they did thus and such in the early days—but that doesn’t matter to us—are quite lame, in most cases.
Their LIFE together was an expression of their PRIORITIES and VALUES and EXPERIENCE OF THE INDWELLING CHRIST! The Life of Jesus manifesting itself! (John 14:15-23, Eph.2:21-22, etc). So, it’s not AS important to know Greek, as it is to know the tricks of the sinful nature and the traditions of men (that “nullify the Word of God”)—and then sort those out as you go. And absorb several different translations, NKJ, NIV, NLT, the Message (except twisted parts like Romans and Galatians), the Deaf Bible, Phillips, Young’s Literal, TCB, Weymouth, and the like. Look for the REALITY beyond the words, step in and experience! WHY did Paul only even SEE two of the leading brothers when he was in Jerusalem for fifteen days, staying with Peter? Wouldn’t he have seen them sitting on the platform in their thrones in front of the choir? At least TWICE (Sunday services) and probably Wednesday nights and home groups? OBVIOUSLY, life in the Church that was truly Apostolic quality life was VERY different, as evidenced by 1000 other “pictures” that we COULD notice and pray through if we were quiet and careful and Open to Him.
SO, what I’m saying is, the “conditioning of our minds” is EVERY BIT as big of a problem as the translations themselves! : ) A Vine’s, a Kittel’s, an Interlinear, Dana and Mantey, Wuest, AT Roberts, etc. are great fun. But, I know a lot of people that know that stuff and are VERY comfortable in the system that contradicts the very essence of Jesus and NT Christianity. A child with an honest heart, no pre-programming, and nothing personal to lose by Light and Liberty and Truth, no sins to hide… such a child will do better than all the Greek Scholars put together! Remember Herod’s “experts” in Scripture that even had it figured out where the Messiah would be born—in Bethlehem? Pagans from the East went to find the Child born to us, and those with the expertise stayed home and read their Bibles some more while the babies were being murdered in pursuit of Jesus. Well, gotta go…….