The Word of God is not as transparent as one would think. To add to the the varying doctrines and interpretations, we also must deal with different languages, and also eras in which Bible translations came about. Which is the “best” or the most “correct” translation? Scholars and christians have been vexed by that question for centuries.
Which translation/ version that you read will likely have some quite different phrasing. Most people today are reading the KJV, the NKJV, the NIV, or the NLT. Catholics generally read the New American Bible, but some read the more traditional Douay-Rheims version. Which is “closest” to the words of the Lord?
Problems arise in that some words in some languages (like Hebrew or Greek) simply do not translate at all into English. However, much of the variances between Bible versions has to do with who exactly did the translating- and what preconceptions did they already have. What were the doctrines that they believed and lived by?
Many Protestants (and others) love the King James Version- the writing is eloquent, be it quite dated. Who wrote the KJV? Forty seven scholars who were all members and leaders of the Church of England/ Anglican Church. Its safe to assume that many other Christians, be it Catholics or Baptists, would not have translated each word and sentence the same as these men did. However, this does not cause one group to be wrong. In either case, we must acknowledge that a person’s opinions and theology will effect how they read, or translate, a Bible verse.
Psalm 23: “The Lord will guide me”
John Cunyus, owner of Searchlight Press and a current Bible translator, states the following in regards to his ongoing efforts to translate the 4th Century Latin Vulgate into English:
Which Bible translation should you read?
Many will not have the time or inclination to perform our own tedious Bible translations- but maybe we should at least read a couple of different versions. This will let us see what others see and feel. There are many who believe that there is only one correct version of the Bible, but with all the complexities of this subject, that is likely near-sighted. However, the most important thing for any Christian to do is to simply read, study, and pray upon whichever Bible you may have. They are all the true word of the Lord, regardless of how complicated man and history wants to make it.