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Most correct Bible?

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I am glad that I served in Germany many years ago (almost 20!) as a missionary . I was able to view and read several bibles and compare them. I had an old green bible, which, if I remember correctly was a version used by the Jehova's Witnesses, I also own a copy of the "Einheitsubersetsung", which is a translation that both German Catholics and Lutherans can agree on. Neither of the two predominant religions in Germany will read the version of the other, but often use their own Bible version to compare with the other.

We have so many translations today and even the modern day translations err in order to conform with today's dialects. The American English language alone is ever evolving. We LDS traditionally use the long established version of the King James Version. What I find interesting is that some people might believe that the translators of the 1611 authorized version could not really dedicate it to King James if his own name did not appear in it. The name James isn't even Biblical and so many people wave bibles and ask "Where is that found in the Bible" or "Show me in the Bible", etc.

But the reason, according to Kevin Barney, that the name James was used in the NT was not to honor King James, but as the result of a convoluted process of linguistic evolution.

The original name of the Hebrew patriarch whose name was changed to Israel was Ya’akob, which is directly transliterated into English in OT texts as Jacob. In the NT, which was written in Greek, this name was transliterated as IakObos. (Greek lacks a letter Y and uses a iota at the beginning of words to approximate that sound, and the -os at the end is a GR masculine ending.) This was rendered in Latin texts as Iacobus. There eventually was a Late Latin variant, Iacomus, which splintered among the romance languages, giving us Italian Giacomo and Spanish Jaime. Old French gave rise to two variant forms of this name, James and Jacques. English speakers, heavily influenced by Norman French, preferred James, and this name thus came into Middle English. The nail in the coffin was when I checked the Geneva Bible, which predated the KJV (so its translators were obviously not trying to honor the future King James), and that translation uses the name Iames to represent NT persons named Jacob.

I find Joseph Smith's commentary on the different Bibles that he read when he was alive:

“I have an old edition of the New Testament in the Latin, Hebrew, German and Greek languages. I have been reading the German, and find it to be the most [nearly] correct translation, and to correspond nearest to the revelations which God has given to me for the last fourteen years. It tells about Jacobus, the son of Zebedee. It means Jacob. In the English New Testament it is translated James. Now, if Jacob had the keys, you might talk about James through all eternity and never get the keys. In the 21st. of the fourth chapter of Matthew, my old German edition gives the word Jacob instead of James.

The doctors (I mean doctors of law, not physic) say, “If you preach anything not according to the Bible, we will cry treason.” How can we escape the damnation of hell, except God be with us and reveal to us? Men bind us with chains. The Latin says Jacobus, which means Jacob; the Hebrew says Jacob, the Greek says Jacob and the German says Jacob, here we have the testimony of four against one. I thank God that I have got this old book; but I thank him more for the gift of the Holy Ghost. (…) I have now preached a little Latin, a little Hebrew, Greek, and German; and I have fulfilled all.”

I believe Joseph Smith referred to the Luther Bible. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

Source:By Common Consent Peter, Jacob and John

An interesting comparison: Latter-day Saints (Mormons) and the Holy Bible: Frequently Asked Questions (LDS FAQ)

Source: Latter-day Saints (Mormons) and the Holy Bible: Frequently Asked Questions (LDS FAQ)

I am sure this thread will spark a healthy discussion on the Bible (please keep it relevant and respectful), what is biblical, what isn't, which version is correct, why it matters or doesn't and to whom, etc. It's time I get my old German bibles out of storage and dust them off.

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In fairness I should note that Joseph Smith worked on a "new translation". This is an important read and relevant to this topic (some comparisons are given to his inspired version vs. the KJV):

Joseph Smith Translation (JST) of the Bible

Here's an excerpt:

AUTHORITY TO TRANSLATE. The Prophet Joseph Smith claimed a divine appointment to make an inspired rendition or, as he termed it, a "new translation" of the Bible. This appointment can be illustrated by excerpts from his writings. After laboring off and on for ten months on the early chapters of Genesis, Joseph Smith received a revelation from the Lord on March 7, 1831, directing him to begin work on the New Testament: "It shall not be given unto you to know any further concerning this chapter, until the New Testament be translated, and in it all these things shall be made known; wherefore I give unto you that ye may now translate it" (D&C 45:60-61). The manuscript of the JST shows that Joseph Smith began the translation of Matthew the next day.

Further references:

Bible Dictionary: Joseph Smith Translation (JST)

Joseph Smith Translation

Although not the official Bible of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the JST offers many interesting insights and is an invaluable aid to biblical interpretation and understanding. It is a most fruitful source of useful information for the student of the scriptures. It is likewise a witness for the divine calling and ministry of the Prophet Joseph Smith.

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Most translations are incredibly accurate, and quite often, those who target certain translations for criticism, do so for convoluted reasons. Having said that, the more modern translations tend to be the most accurate, because they, ironically, rely on older manuscripts. Archealogists keep finding more and older manuscripts of the Bible.

Another factor is what is meant by "accurate." For example, the New International Version (NIV), or even The Message, may more correctly communicate the overall meaning of a passage, whereas the New American Standard Bible (NASB and similar word-for-word translations will do better with individual words, and for word studies.

Having said all this, I hate to take pot-shots, but the New World Translation is indeed published by the Watchtower Bible & Tract Society, and receives much criticism for making wording fit their doctrines, and then looking for scholarly support to pad their footnotes. In a few cases, those they have cited publicly rebuked the Watchtower for out-of-context citations.

Bottom-line: Most translations say the same thing, and the areas of difference are often grammatical, and almost never of meaningful content.

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Bottom-line: Most translations say the same thing, and the areas of difference are often grammatical, and almost never of meaningful content.

After my review of half a dozen different translations over the years I definitely concur. I like the KJV and the German Bible most.

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I am glad that we have such accuracy to rely on in our modern day. Especially with the availability of learning and information for the masses.

I worry though, when I hear that the bible is to be the only authority. As if it would trump God himself. Forgive my frankness. I appreciate understanding what we do today. But there have been many believers throughout centuries that did not have the benefit of the bible. And if they did, I would imagine that it would have been a very select few that could really understand them -- because of educational opportunity and literacy and then having it or NOT in their language. I just can't believe that God would place the importance of the bible above other things. Yes, it is vital. Yes, it is a tremendous boon. But it doesn't make or break salvation. And God is so very merciful to those who did not have this blessing. I am speaking of all the children born into this world, thru all time.

And then even the most correct version doesn't stop the seemingly infinite interpretations of the text. There is in all of my limited ability to assess, much in the way of confusion that comes from the reading of the bible alone.

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I worry though, when I hear that the bible is to be the only authority. As if it would trump God himself.

Don't forget that we believe the Bible is God's words, and so we would not see God trumping himself. And yet, sometimes it can seem that some focus on the literal words of God, rather than the heart of God--an error I see Jesus' condemning the Pharisees for.

Forgive my frankness.

I'm not sure we'd forgive you if you weren't frank. :D

I appreciate understanding what we do today. But there have been many believers throughout centuries that did not have the benefit of the bible. And if they did, I would imagine that it would have been a very select few that could really understand them -- because of educational opportunity and literacy and then having it or NOT in their language. I just can't believe that God would place the importance of the bible above other things. Yes, it is vital. Yes, it is a tremendous boon. But it doesn't make or break salvation. And God is so very merciful to those who did not have this blessing. I am speaking of all the children born into this world, thru all time.

And then even the most correct version doesn't stop the seemingly infinite interpretations of the text. There is in all of my limited ability to assess, much in the way of confusion that comes from the reading of the bible alone.

I doubt too many of even the most fundamentalist Christians would argue that reading or understanding the Bible was a prerequisite of salvation. And, to our credit, it is the issue of the Bible's importance that drove the missionaries of centuries past to teach reading and writing throughout the world. To bring literacy was to bring access to the direct word of God.

As for differing interpretations...you may find some of those same issues with the LDS faith, in relation to the BoM, D&C and PoGP. The only caveat, of course, is that the interpretations are not official church doctrine.

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I'm not sure we'd forgive you if you weren't frank.

LOL!! And I thank you for your good humor.

As for differing interpretations...you may find some of those same issues with the LDS faith, in relation to the BoM, D&C and PoGP. The only caveat, of course, is that the interpretations are not official church doctrine.

I wish that I could agree with you here. It just hasn't been my experience or hold true to observation. It is as you are saying that everyone else, except the LDS church, reads and interprets the Bible the same. The divisions of the Protestants and the Catholics is one, the Muslims and Jews are another (OT of course). And that is just a high level/very basic observation.

It seems within the protestant world has come to some kind of consensus. I personally find the methods used to come together suspect. I will reference the nicean creed. It seems to be the ideas of man....agreed upon by man....and published by man. Even though, I know some can't accept the story of Joseph Smith. At the very least, he does say that his source is God himself. And his account does sound very similar to the account of at least Stephen. And all the different philosophies within Christiandom.....well, frankly they seem so incredibly contradictory. I see so much in the way of argument. I see that their still are very different views. And sometimes, I wonder if I see certain aspects of the gospel omitted because they are not popular and because they either divide people or scare people away.

Don't forget that we believe the Bible is God's words, and so we would not see God trumping himself. And yet, sometimes it can seem that some focus on the literal words of God, rather than the heart of God--an error I see Jesus' condemning the Pharisees for.

I am glad to hear you put it like this. This is what I want to believe about most Christians. I am surprised however when I hear that listening to the Spirit or feelings within about right and wrong are rejected over the printed word. It seems to me that some kind of feeling must be important to at least accept the book and the Savior. I am surprised frankly about the amount of criticism the LDS church gets for relying on personal revelation to determine truth. I hope that we are all closer on this issue than maybe we understand about each other.

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I have a whole bookcase dedicated to different translations of the Bible, not all in English and I find it fascinating how similar and how different they are. I'm often amused by the way people treat names with such reverence when, as you say, those names which we have in English are not the original names and not the same as the names in other languages. Jesus wasn't actually called Jesus. Moses wasn't actually called Moses. These are Anglicised versions of their names. Likewise with Noah , who is also in our Bible called Noe.

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I am glad to hear you put it like this. This is what I want to believe about most Christians. I am surprised however when I hear that listening to the Spirit or feelings within about right and wrong are rejected over the printed word.

When I read the Bible before I joined the church, I accepted the Bible as the word of God because church leaders told me it was the word of God. As a latter-day saint, I know the Bible (as well as the other scriptures) are true because the Holy Spirit confirms it. Without inspiration from the Holy Ghost, a man is left to his own interpretation.

To illustrate this point, I will give an example of how an author's words can be interpreted completely different from what they were originally intended. In college, I took an English literature class where we studied poetry. We were assigned to read certain selections of one particular author (don't ask me who the author was, I can't remember... brain fart). When we met at the next class, we were met by the author of the poem. During the discussion of that class, the professor asked us to relate what the author meant in his writings. Each of us took a stab at a analyzing a line or two.When all of the students were done, the author began to talk about how some of our analysis was dead-on, some close and others completely wrong.

I believe it is similar with the scriptures. Before we receive the Holy Ghost, we are just like the students, using our own intellect to guide us our interpretation of the scriptures. Simply reading the words in the Bible (or any scriptures for that matter) is not enough. In order to truly understand what is written in the scriptures, we must, in a manner of speaking, "meet the author".

My humble opinion,

James

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this is going back to i think the second post about the JST. why isn't the JST the official version of the bible for the lds church?

Because Community of Christ owns the copywrite.

And also, I can just imagine the controversy that would come up if we published our own Bible. Just look at how much flack the JW's get for their Bible. It could really hurt the missionary effort and make us seen as even more "unChristian" in the eyes of traditional Christianity.

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I am glad that I served in Germany many years ago (almost 20!) as a missionary . I was able to view and read several bibles and compare them. I had an old green bible, which, if I remember correctly was a version used by the Jehova's Witnesses, I also own a copy of the "Einheitsubersetsung", which is a translation that both German Catholics and Lutherans can agree on. Neither of the two predominant religions in Germany will read the version of the other, but often use their own Bible version to compare with the other.

We have so many translations today and even the modern day translations err in order to conform with today's dialects. The American English language alone is ever evolving. We LDS traditionally use the long established version of the King James Version. What I find interesting is that some people might believe that the translators of the 1611 authorized version could not really dedicate it to King James if his own name did not appear in it. The name James isn't even Biblical and so many people wave bibles and ask "Where is that found in the Bible" or "Show me in the Bible", etc.

But the reason, according to Kevin Barney, that the name James was used in the NT was not to honor King James, but as the result of a convoluted process of linguistic evolution.

I find Joseph Smith's commentary on the different Bibles that he read when he was alive:

I believe Joseph Smith referred to the Luther Bible. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.

Source:By Common Consent Peter, Jacob and John

An interesting comparison: Latter-day Saints (Mormons) and the Holy Bible: Frequently Asked Questions (LDS FAQ)

Source: Latter-day Saints (Mormons) and the Holy Bible: Frequently Asked Questions (LDS FAQ)

I am sure this thread will spark a healthy discussion on the Bible (please keep it relevant and respectful), what is biblical, what isn't, which version is correct, why it matters or doesn't and to whom, etc. It's time I get my old German bibles out of storage and dust them off.

Germanic Bible was the most correct [Ref: The Contemporary Accounts of the Nauvoo Discourses of the Prophet Joseph Smith [pg 349 - 352]

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if community of christ owns the copyright, then why do lds have copies of it in the back of all their bibles?

and, so what about controversy? if it's the more correct bible and the true words of God... why not publish them proudly as you do with the book of mormon? oh well.

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LOL!! And I thank you for your good humor.

You do realize that such praise only encourages more of the same behavior? :D

I wish that I could agree with you here. It just hasn't been my experience or hold true to observation. It is as you are saying that everyone else, except the LDS church, reads and interprets the Bible the same.

I may have overstated myself to make the point--there is far more agreement than one would imagine...but of course, there are differences. However, usually those varying interpretations are over whether a passage of Scripture supports a doctrine or not, rather than what the basic content is.

It seems within the protestant world has come to some kind of consensus. I personally find the methods used to come together suspect. I will reference the nicean creed. It seems to be the ideas of man....agreed upon by man....and published by man.

Ironically, your chosen starting point confirms my point. The Nicene Council was a Catholic gathering...and yet we Protestants agree with the results. And, of course, the Catholic Church, and the rest of us trinitarians, believe the leaders who gathered were anointed by the Holy Spirit in their findings.

Even though, I know some can't accept the story of Joseph Smith. At the very least, he does say that his source is God himself.

And again, so would those at the Council of Nicea, and we who accept their results.

I am glad to hear you put it like this. This is what I want to believe about most Christians. I am surprised however when I hear that listening to the Spirit or feelings within about right and wrong are rejected over the printed word.

The Holy Spirit guides, leads, draws us. We'd never expect him to contradict God's written word, though.

It seems to me that some kind of feeling must be important to at least accept the book and the Savior.

Most Protestants expect the Holy Spirit to evoke feelings of conviction and hope at any presentation of the Good News. When reading the Bible, we expect leading, directing. Interestingly enough, no...we never hear that it is important to receive a spiritual confirmation that the Bible is God's word. Rather, since it is usually the Bible that is used to present the Good News in the first place, once we accept Christ and convert, believing the Bible goes without saying.

I am surprised frankly about the amount of criticism the LDS church gets for relying on personal revelation to determine truth. I hope that we are all closer on this issue than maybe we understand about each other.

The concern of some is that you are simply relying on feeling. Further, since they are convinced that you have embraced some innaccurate teachings and revelations, and you claim that the Holy Spirit confirmed these to you, well...they believe that the Holy Spirit did no such thing--so it must have been personal feelings and desires that were leading.

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It is interesting that we attempt to talk about the accuracy of the modern translations when in fact Christians cannot agree upon which of the many ancient texts are the most accurate. It is my humble opinion that if the Bible were to be the standard for doctrine for all that the worship the G-d of Abraham – things would become so convoluted that not only would there be thousands of sects all claiming to understand the scriptures correctly but that even Christianity, Judaism and Islam would not agree on what is accurate ancient texts of scripture.

To say scriptures are accurate is speculation in my mind because there is not even one verse of original Christian scripture text even though there are many thousands ancient of text which are not scripture that G-d has preserved for our day.

I personally find great irony in that we credit a era of Christians for preserving the scriptures when it was those same Christians that destroyed the world’s best known copies of scripture that a great man was trying to preserve with his life at the library of Alexandria. He was denounced as a heretic and put to death at the hand of the world’s most influential Christian.

I also find it ironic that when some one that loved the scriptures and thought it something for all (including the common or vulgar) was put to death for his effort by the Christians we honor for preserving the scriptures.

One thing I learned while developing weapons for the military was that even a little tiny mistake – less than 1 tenth of one percent would cause the target to be missed. And when Jesus talked face to face with men – most misunderstood him and claimed that they understood G-d and G-d’s scriptures better than Jesus did. I am convinced that most Christians today (including many Latter-Day Saints) if Jesus were to come among us and speak to us as he did in the days of old – that most would deny him for misunderstanding the Bible – Just as the experts of the scriptures denied him 2000 years ago.

One very important lesson we should have learned from history is that being an expert in scripture does not make one acceptable before G-d or knowledgeable of G-d. It was not the message of Jesus then and it should not be the message now.

The Traveler

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You reminded me of a story I heard a long time ago about three people who had been called to a meeting and were in a waiting room. Each one was called through seperately for an interview. The first went through and the interviewer asked him what he knew about Jesus of Nazareth. The interviewee replied that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, raised in Nazareth, claimed to be the son of God and had been crucified for blasphemy and claiming to be king. The second was called through and asked the same question. His reply was that he knew Jesus to be the Son of God, that he died for our sins and that through him all mankind could be saved. The third interviewee was called through into the room and he fell down at the feet of the interviewer and sobbed, "My Lord, and my God."

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Seeing the latest discover in Egypt with over 8,000 scrolls, the main stream Christian will find it hard to keep saying that the Bible is complete.

Would you mind directing me to where you learned about this? I dig this stuff! (No pun intended):lol::lol:

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