Amy Choate-Nielsen: Words of God: The challenges of translation

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  • Kevin J. Kirkham Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 21, 2011 11:17 p.m.

    Bill, the problem is that there is no one official Greek text. The KJV comes from the Textus Receptus while the modern translations, other than the NKJV and KJV2, use the United Bible Society's UBS4 consensus text. Some of the errors I posted above are undoubtedly due to the conflict between the 2 Greek texts.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Dec. 20, 2011 11:38 p.m.

    Sharrona: I've talked to many scholars both LDS and Non-LDS that disagree with the errors. In fact, if you read an article put out by a non-LDS scholar who has studied every verse from Greek to English in the KJV, there are no errors. Now does this mean there are no errors in KJV? No, there are and there are books missing. We know that but you as many of the so called scholars of the Bible state. I happen to know that Christ references a scripture that is not even in the canon of the Bible, yet it is referenced in the New Testament. However, you like many others fail to understand the Bible has had so many translations that it has lost its meaning and translation.

    Again if you actually read the Greek carefully and the KJV you will see that the differences are minute.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 18, 2011 8:57 p.m.

    Sharrona, am I to understand that your ignoring my inquiry regarding the Lectures on faith on the other recent article (Joseph Smith was known as truthful) and your willingness to reference the lectures here... mean that you are only using LDS references to fight the LDS Church? Or is there another reason?

    So far I'm not sure I've ever seen a post from yourself and certain other frequent critics of the LDS Church on these threads that have ever had anything 'equal' to say other than trying to continually disprove our beliefs or state that we believe something other than what we in fact claim to believe.

    Forget Biblical quotations, doctrinal disputations, and anything else and answer me this, if you will...

    Are you a friend of the LDS Church and its membership or not? Despite your different beliefs, claims, and continual attempts to define our beliefs for us, or criticize them... I don't intend to impose too much in asking you this very simple question, and in desiring a simple and respectful answer in return.

    Do you consider how you treat us and our beliefs to be kind, honest, and respectful? Is that a fair question?

  • lds4gaymarriage Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 18, 2011 6:15 p.m.

    Censors, the discussion deals with issues of various Bible translations. The below are just a few examples, of which I am aware, of problems/discrepancies between various translations -

    Num.11:25 - Did they continue to prophesy? kjv-yes, nasb-no
    1 Sam.8:16 - What will he take? kjv-young men, niv-cattle
    Isa.59:19 - Who will come like a flood? kjv-the enemy, nasb-the Lord
    Jer.27:1 - Who reigned? kjv-Jehoiakim, niv-Zedekiah

    Lk.14:5 - Who is pulled out? kjv-donkey, niv-son
    Phil.2:6 - Did Christ deem it appropriate to consider Himself God due to His being in God's form? nasb, niv, asv, rsv, nrsv, ncv, cev, tev, nwt-no; nlt, drb, neb, ylt, dby, kjv-yes

    Rev. 8:13 - Who flew in the midst of heaven? kjv, kjv2, ylt-an angel; asv, niv, nasb, rsv, nrsv, ncv, tev, cev, nlt, drb, neb, dby, nwt- an eagle

    Rev.13:1 - Who stood on the shore? kjv-John, niv-The Dragon

    1 Cor.7:36 - Who is the virgin? kjv2, dby, nwt-he himself; kjv, rsv, nrsv, ncv, drb, tev, cev, nlt, ylt, niv-his fiance; neb, nasb-his daughter

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    Dec. 18, 2011 1:28 p.m.

    The "challenge of translation" exists because "men" write all this stuff and God has never said a word.

    Dec. 18, 2011 9:58 a.m.

    Man will always play a part in translation - that's the beauty of the grand experiment - it's the literal translation which ultimately defies logic.


  • sharrona layton, UT
    Dec. 18, 2011 8:53 a.m.

    Bill: There are No original manuscripts.
    True ,but we have the original written, content, characters used in a document," from L. textus "style or texture of a work,"."Texual criticism".

    We also have over 26,000 N.T. quotes from the(2nd c) disciples of the apostles and early church fathers,we can reconstruct the N.T. less 8 verses.
    Example, If the original triangle was burned in a museum we have enough copies to reconstruct it.

    but TEST everything that is said[or JS wrote],(1Thes 5:21)

    Joseph Smith, Lectures on Faith, Q. What is the Father? A. He is a personage of glory and of power. (5:2.), agrees with, God [is]Spirit. (John 4:24 Greek N.T.)also see(Jeremiah 23:24)

    The KJV/3Nephi Sermon on the Mount. LDS Scholar Dr. Larson finds 12 examples where JS copied the 1769 KJV errors.

    Example, Mt 6:13 KJV and 3Nephi 13:13 Both have the doxology, For thine is he Kingdom and power and the glory forever amen. The KJV is based on 9th to 12th century texts. Earlier and better manuscripts do not contain the doxology. JS was unaware.

  • LDSareChristians Anchorage, AK
    Dec. 17, 2011 11:20 p.m.

    sharrona posted: The office of Prophet was filled.

    Then how is Rev 11:3,10 to be fullfilled? Where are these witness/prophets to come from, if not the LDS?

  • Kiyo Washougal, Washington
    Dec. 17, 2011 9:03 p.m.

    ....even The The Three little Pigs, can be a learning experience and yet no message of faith is required. The same is true for scripture. The only thing that is required is "an open heart and an open mind. Faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things." There is nothing wrong with all these arguements against traditional religions unless it stands in the way of ones own personal welfare. You decide.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Dec. 17, 2011 8:40 p.m.

    Sharrona: Whether they are errors or not it is still open to interpretation. That is why it is necessary for Prophets, modern prophets to help decipher it. Scholars are just that scholars but they do not hold the keys to what a Prophet says or does. I still will hold to what a prophet says over any scholar whether LDS or not. Besides as has been mentioned there is NO ORIGINAL texts. This is totally false. What you have said in the first is where a scholar has an interpretation that comes up with what THEY feel is close to the original but DO NOT have it in front of them. When you take a story and translate that story through several people, the same story is not the one of the original. As BOBP states, I will take the LDS KJV with the Joseph Smith translation over anything someone else can come up with. At least there I know it wasn't some scholar who decided what is true and what isn't.

  • BobP Port Alice, B.C.
    Dec. 17, 2011 8:17 p.m.

    For me the KJV supplements with some footnotes from the Joseph Smith trasnlation will suffice.

  • A voice of Reason Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 17, 2011 1:17 p.m.

    Hutterite, You stated "How can there be more than one version if it's divinely inspired?"


    God reveals to 10 different men in 500 B.C.

    They write it down in their journals, in letters to people, etc.

    Over 1000 years people alter, translate, and so on.

    What we have now was and is inspired scripture. Most of it isn't literally the word of God, but the observations of His prophets. These are imperfect men who worked on a perfect work. Finding fault in either their interpretation of events, or the accuracy of the translated text passed down to us- both do nothing to cast doubt on the work itself. Just because my journal may get altered over 500 years doesn't mean I didn't have anything good, inspired, revealed, or intelligent to say. I think Socrates was brilliant! I don't assume all of what is labeled "Socrates" is accurate or came from one person. I don't even agree with all of it.

    I believe the Bible, as far as translated correctly, to be the word of God. Meaning, His laws and doctrines can be found within it.

    I think that fairly answers your question. Sadly, most refuse this answer.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Dec. 17, 2011 12:44 p.m.

    @Bill, The problem is that it isn't a true manuscript but one that it totally open to interpretation. That is the way it is with every single verse of the Bible. It is open to the interpretation of the verse, True.

    A great portion of 3 Nephi seems to be "borrowed and lifted" from the KJV Bible. 3 Nephi holds exactly the same sort of errors that are unique to the 1769 version of the KJV Bible Joseph Smith owned. Stan Larson a Ph.D in N. T. former LDS Church translator.

    The MS discoveries since the KJV have provided a much better understanding of the Sermon on the Mount. Greek MS 200 A.D. thru Latin, Syriac, Coptic and patristic early support, which leads to the original text. These are earlier and better texts of Matthews Sermon on the Mount. There is unanimity support by modern scholars, but The BoM never takes us to a verifiable text in antiquity.

    The KJV/3Nephi Sermon on the Mount. LDS Scholar Dr. Larson finds 12 examples where JS copied the 1769 KJV errors.

  • Bill in Nebraska Maryville, MO
    Dec. 17, 2011 11:53 a.m.

    Sharrona: The problem is that it isn't a true manuscript but one that it totally open to interpretation. That is the way it is with every single verse of the Bible. It is open to the interpretation of the verse. As Jospeh Smith stated in his testimony of the First Vision one Bishop, one pastor, one minister interpreted the Bible verses differently. This is why it is so important for there to be a prophet upon the Earth.

    Our Heavenly Father has not ever changed his methods. As he spoke through Prophets during the Old Testament and then through his disciples after his death and resurrection. Where as the Old Testament foretold of his coming to the earth to be born of Mary, so also it foretells the last days. Daniel speaks to us as but yet also spoke to us today.

    Where as Amos states,"That God will not reveal anything except through his prophets." The Lord calls his prophets, not some man. Who called Isaiah, Isaac, Moses and others. They are all in the Bible and all were called by our Heavenly Father. Just as they in Old Testament times were denied so are they today denied.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Dec. 17, 2011 10:16 a.m.

    @ the truth, Please explain how manuscripts, often written several hundred years later, be considered "original" text, Ok.
    It's not true that we do not possess the original text of the Bible. What we do not possess are the original manuscripts. We have accurate well- preserved copies of the original text. Google,The science of lower criticism.

    @ the truth,modern revelation does contain what we need.
    The law and the prophets were until John(Luke 16:16),In the PAST God spoke...through the Prophets but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son.(Hebrews 1:1-2) The office of Prophet was filled.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Dec. 17, 2011 9:53 a.m.

    RE: atl134

    There will always be a need for faith, it is part this probation, this mortality.

    But with scripture, prophets, even personal prayer, God does desire to communicate with us, lead and direct us, bless us.

    And modern revelation does contain what we need.

  • atl134 Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 16, 2011 11:21 p.m.

    @the truth

    "How do know they contain all?

    Hence the need for modern revelation,"

    How do you know the "modern revelation" contains all? It still is going to involve faith, just in a different matter.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    Dec. 16, 2011 8:54 p.m.

    RE: sharrona

    Please explain how manuscripts, often writtten several hundred years later, be considered "original" text.

    It is not.

    How do know they contain all?

    Hence the need for modern revelation,

    which must be, since God is same yeterday, today, and tomorrow.

  • sharrona layton, UT
    Dec. 16, 2011 7:20 p.m.

    One of the reason for modern translations there have been many *significant finds including, 4th,century manuscripts and 2nd century Papyrus after the KJV.

    Now there are some 5,700 early N.T. MS, and they contain all or nearly all of the original text . The original text can be reconstructed 99% accuracy. There is a distinction between the text and the truth of the text. While we have 99% of the original text, 100 % of the truth comes through.

    As well as, over 26,000 N.T. quotes from the(2nd c) disciples of the apostles and early church fathers can reconstruct the N.T.. NIV,ESV,,etc., footnote *[The earliest and best manuscripts do not include John 7:538:11.]

  • New Yorker Pleasant Grove, UT
    Dec. 16, 2011 6:39 p.m.

    "20th century B.C. Abraham's story and those of the other founders of Israel were preserved by word of mouth before they were incorporated into the first five books of the Old Testament."

    This is an unjustified conclusion. Some things may indeed have been preserved by word-of-mouth, but that doesn't preclude transferal by direct revelation, by visitation of angels, and by written texts. The restoration of the Gospel in Moses' time was accompanied with many days of fasting and revelation at the burning bush and at Sinai. Taking a "secular historical" approach to sacred history as this article does leaves Jehovah out of the equation. Why bother to take a secular historical approach to a sacred history that was only preserved by the blood of countless believing martyrs before and after Christ's coming.

  • Hutterite American Fork, UT
    Dec. 16, 2011 5:16 p.m.

    It's the word of god. How can there be more than one version if it's divinely inspired? That there is more than one version suggests that man has played a role in it, and as such calls into question the validity of any version. Through the ages man has learned that there is power to be had in claiming to be an agent of god. The easiest way to prove your agency is to put words in gods' mouth.