How do I know the Bible is true? (Part 7)

The Word of GodThis is the seventh in an eight-part series adressing skeptics’ claims against the Bible. Click on the “Bible” link under “Topics” to the right to read parts 1-6.

Objection 7: There are so many translations of the Bible today, it’s impossible to know which translation is the right one.

Keep in mind that the autographs, or original documents, of scripture are inerrant – not the subsequent copies and translations. Even though there are dozens of English translations that differ from one another, we have a high degree of confidence that the source documents from which these versions came are accurate representations of the autographs.

Andreas J. Kostenberger writes: “[T]he task of translating the Bible from its source languages (Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek) into a receptor language such as English involves many issues related to the nature of language and communication. Some translators maintain that accurate translation requires a word-for-word approach, called formal equivalence. The King James Version and New American Standard Bible, for example, employ formal equivalence. Other translators, however, contend that a one-to-one correlation between two languages actually distorts meaning. So they employ a phrase-for-phrase approach, known as dynamic or functional equivalence. The New International Version and New Revised Standard Version are among the translations employing this method. The goal, of course, “is the production of an English version that is an accurate rendering of the text written in such a way that Bible retains its literary beauty, theological grandeur, and, most importantly, its message” (“Is the Bible Today What Was Originally Written?” by Andreas J. Kostenberger, found in

Next — Objection 8: There are so many Christian denominations today, it’s clear that Christians can’t agree on what the Bible teaches.

Copyright 2008 by Rob Phillips