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Would you believe that there are literally hundreds of different translations of the Bible into English? For many people this huge variety is totally confusing and they just don't know which Bible to choose. How did we get into this situation anyway?
At the heart of the problem are two views as to what a translation should be. On one side are those who feel a translation should stick just as closely as possible to every word of the original Hebrew and Greek. They want the translation to be a literal transfer, word for word, of the original words into English.
Unfortunately, that approach encounters real problems. Some words simply don't have an exact equivalent in English. The word order and the entire sentence structure just don't match from one language to another. So these word-for-word translations are wooden and unnatural. They may be used for close study, but they often fail in terms of comprehension and readability.
On the other side are those who feel a translation should transfer the message, that is, the exact thought and emotion of the original text. To do this, it should use as many words as are necessary to reproduce the idea precisely in English. You don't really obtain accuracy, they contend, by a word-for-word translation, but you do when you convey the concept, the message, of the original, so that the reader understands it. In the end, they say, a thought-for-thought translation is actually more accurate as well as more understandable.
The fact is clearly seen that Mr. Dake put much work into this reference tool. However, there are severe problems with the theology contained in this work. For instance, heresies abound concerning subjects such as the nature and attributes of God, Soteriology, and Christology—just to name a few. Furthermore, many Word-Faith teachers, such as Benny Hinn and Kenneth Copeland, have verifiably used Dake as a source of their quizzical doctrines. The scope of this paper, however, is not a complete, systematic analysis of the Dake Annotated Reference Bible, but an analysis of what it says about Jesus.
[M]uch of the teaching in Dake’s Bible is considered cultic because it falls far outside the walls of orthodox Christianity. To be sure, there are many heretical claims concerning Jesus found in this study Bible.
There is hardly a page of this book that is free from error. Riplinger does not know Greek, Hebrew, textual criticism, linguistics, principles of translation, logical argumentation, proper citation and documentation standards, competent English grammar and style, or even consistent spelling. This book would never have done more than use Riplinger's savings and fill up her garage if Christian "celebrities" such as Texe Marrs and David Hocking had not promoted it. That Riplinger invested so much time, effort, and misguided zeal into this disaster is regrettable. That Marrs promoted it to his nationwide radio audience, that Hocking promoted it to almost 300 Calvary Chapel pastors, or that Jack Chick promoted it to his many thousands of catalog recipients is reprehensible. These irresponsible celebrities should remember James' warning: "let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment" (James 3:1 NKJV).
The New World Translation is unique in one thing – it is the first intentional, systematic effort at producing a complete version of the Bible that is edited and revised for the specific purpose of agreeing with a group's doctrine. The Jehovah’s Witnesses and the Watchtower Society realized that their beliefs contradicted Scripture. So, rather than conforming their beliefs to Scripture, they altered Scripture to agree with their beliefs.
Gail Riplinger’s works have been reviewed, and rejected, by numerous Christian leaders and scholars. For most, it’s a waste of time to even discuss the issue, since it’s so obvious that she is a troubler of the brethren, a woman who is out of control, setting herself up as an expert on topics about which she knows nothing at all. Her inability to function as a scholar is plain to anyone who wishes to see. The impact she has had in disrupting churches, damaging missions work, and in generally causing trouble, is hers to answer for.
Verbal plenary inerrancy means that one believes all of the Bible is inspired down to the very words of Scripture. The belief in non-verbal plenary inerrancy would mean that one believes all the Bible is inspired, but only as to its concepts—not all the words—meaning that it might contain historical errors.
Occasionally we hear references to the so-called lost books of the Bible, books that some people think have been hidden from the general populace. In 1979, Bell Publishing Company of New York came out with a book entitled The Lost Books of the Bible. On the flyleaf it says that these books were not among those chosen to comprise the Bible, and “They were suppressed by the church, and for over fifteen hundred years were shrouded in secrecy.”3
These books are not really as secret as the authors imply. New Testament scholars have been well aware of their existence throughout the centuries, though perhaps these books were not accessible to the common man. Their credibility is rejected by both Catholics and Protestants. These books never even vied for a place in the canon.
As a Bible scholar at Union University, one of the oldest American universities in the Southern Baptist tradition, Guthrie has tracked the decline in biblical literacy with consternation. With earlier books (The Structure of Hebrews and Biblical Greek Exegesis) best suited for academia, Guthrie has switched gears to produce a reader-friendly, digestible, biblical literacy study program that includes this book as well as a participant's workbook, study leader's CD-ROM, and three DVDs for group use.
- Source: Publishers Weekly, as quoted by Amazon.com
Christianity is a historically based religion. Its impetus was not merely a person’s sudden enlightenment. It is instead based on events that occurred in history: history centered, and not merely a philosophy of life. It is for this reason that Paul states “if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.” (1 Cor 15:17)
It is not surprising that non-Christians point out seeming contradictions in the Bible, nor is it wrong for them to do so. Even Christians who are thoroughly familiar with the Bible sometimes are stumped by what at first glance may look like inconsistencies.
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