Some of my family members attend a mega-church. I have visited on several occasions. What strikes me most is…they love to pull from lots of translations, post them on the big screen, to make their point. When I look at my Bible sometimes it says someting different. It seems they start with a thought, then use whatever translation fits their purpose. It’s easy to do. To make the Bible fit into whatever you want it to say or prove. With all these translations coming out of the woodwork are we heading in that direction? That’s why I read the Bible for inspiration, not doctrine. I leave that up to the church.
That’s why it’s vital to interpret Scripture in light of Sacred Tradition and the analogy of the faith. Faith groups that don’t do this are abandoning the protection of the Holy Spirit and are prone to error no matter which translation they use!
MarcoPolo hit the nail on the head, because look at all the denominations that only use the KJV. But there is no doubt that the dime a dozen translations that they have just adds to their confusion. But when you reject the authority of the Church and claim that the Bible alone is the only authority to your faith, based upon a subjective interpretation of it, then there is no limit to how many different interpretations get created.
I took a graduate class in college named The Bible As Literature. The text was an interlinear in Hebrew, Greek and English to illustrate how much elbow room there is in translating ancient texts. The most interesting literature class I ever took and I highly recommend using interlinear texts to anyone interested in understanding the non-scriptural aspects of the bible.
OK, I give up. What is the title of the interlinear textbook that you used. Can anybody but a graduate student understand it?
If I don’t understand Hebrew and Greek, I’m not sure that such a book would be a good investment for me.
I use Jewish commentaries which fiddle a lot with the words, to bring out the meaning – perhaps biased towards Jewish preconceptions, but “meaning”, nonetheless.
I’m sure that there is a lot of wiggle room, just from the words that are difficult to translate.
Or from the words that are so ancient that they are not understood. Or from the fact that Hebrew didn’t use vowels, so it’s a leap to translate Hebrew at all.
the Masoretic texts came up with the vowels to standardize the meaning, but that was a judgment call on the part of the Masoretes at the literal meaning.
It’s why the Jews have a system that boils down to this “trust your rabbi.”
Yes, this highlights the aspect of “tradition” in interpreting texts. The basic issue of traditiion is what does the text say?
Protestants who condemn “traditions of men” don’t realize what they are saying. You can’t escape tradition in Judaism and Christianity.
Scripture must be interpreted in light of Scripture. Then a careful consideration of Church opinion is next in priority then reason.
Those who tear a text out of context and use it as a point of departutre with no consideration of Scrtipture, tradition and reason (2Peter 3:16) twist them to their own destruction, as they do the other Scriptures.
The problem with comparing the Hebrew with the Septuagint is that the Septuagint translated from a different but much older manuscript tradition than the Masoretic text, which means that there are places within the LXX that has Greek words that have been translated from different Hebrew words than what’s in the Masoretic text. Before the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered, scholars assumed that the LXX contained errors where it differed from the MT.