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"Seek ye the Lord while He may be found, call ye upon him while He is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon." (Isaiah 55:6-7)


Jan 10, 2017

In this episode we continue our series on Bible versions. The focus is on the nature of translation. Can we assert that we have God's Word? Do words have fixed meaning? Can words accurately convey meaning? What types of translation are there, and is there a method to be preferred? Listen to this episode to find out.

Here are the notes for this episode:


Bible Versions Part 2: The Nature of Translation

  1. Introduction
    1. One thing I want to say before we begin is for those particularly who are more simplistic in their faith. You may not have ever studied out things like logic or manuscripts. What I want to tell you is DON’T BE INTIMIDATED. Don’t let things that may be foreign to you keep you from looking into things. And don’t let people who use big words that sound really intelligent ever intimidate you. A lot of times when you look up definitions and examine what people said you find that it doesn’t make any sense. That’s because there are certain people who try to talk a certain way to portray themselves in a certain light. Does that mean they’re wrong? No. But does that necessarily mean that they are correct and you should follow them blindly? Absolutely not. My main point is to encourage you to always examine things and take time to learn new things to make sure you’re not deceived. For those who are more learned, don’t ever use what you know to talk down to others. I know simple Christians who rarely use 3-syllable words that have more critical thinking skills than some people with doctorates. Don’t be afraid to be simple you scholars. Whether you’re educated or simple, it only helps you if you’re grounded in truth.
    2. If you haven’t listened to the last episode, please listen to that episode first. I’m intentionally going over things in a certain order. If you listen to things out of order you might think, “He didn’t go over this,” or you may assume I’m trying to overlook something intentionally. I assure you I’m not intentionally avoiding certain things. I’m just trying to address things at the appropriate time. I honestly just don’t have enough time to make something exhaustive on this issue.
    3. Some people will want me to assert things up front like, “God must’ve preserved His Word in English perfectly for us.” Others will want me to assert things up front like, “Because of the variants in the MSS evidence we will never be 100% certain about the rendering of the original autographs.” The fact is, people need to stop asserting things before they prove the premises that lead to those conclusions. In other words, you need to begin at the first point, and prove it first. Only after that can you move forward in your argument.
    4. People have a lot of prejudices and biases when it comes to Bible versions. Usually because of denomination, level of education, ministries you listen to, and books you’ve read you’ve already formed some biases in your thinking that affect how you interpret things. Evidence never speaks for itself. It is always interpreted in light of your biases. The only thing that matters is that our biases are logical, consistent, fact based, and especially godly.
    5. So, in discussing Bible versions and the nature of translation, we have to take a massive step back and begin at the first point. In arguing for a particular conclusion you must lay down premises, and order them logically so that your conclusion follows from those premises. Now I’m not going to be formal in laying out things logically. I just want to emphasize this point because a lot of the reasoning around the topic of Bible versions is not sound. A lot is assumed that is not proven. That means you have no logical reason to believe the person’s conclusion. So let’s try to begin at the beginning and think about some things.
  2. Can we logically assert that we must have God’s Word?
    1. If we come to the table as believers, that is as Christians, then we come to the table understanding that there is one true God who Himself became man to die on a cross, be resurrected, and redeem a fallen mankind from sin, death, and judgment. I’m not going to bother with arguing those points. I come to the table with that as my assumed truth.
    2. God is going to judge mankind for sin, sin is the transgression of the Law, therefore, man has broken God’s Law because he has sinned.
    3. God will cast all those who are condemned by the Law into Hell, some men are going to Heaven, therefore some men have become obedient to the Law of God.
      1. I use the word Law in the general sense, and not just in the sense of the Mosaic Law. I mean “Law” in the general sense of God’s Word. I’m not intending to imply that men are saved by the Law. We know that it is through faith in Christ that a man is reckoned righteous before God. Faith establishes the Law we are told. Only in this sense do I reason.
    4. If some men are going to Heaven then they must have the Word of God to obey it. I’m not going to argue doctrinal points right now. I don’t hold to the teaching of “once saved always saved”. But to clarify, so that I’m not falsely accused of teaching a works-gospel, we are told in 1 John 3:10 that, “In this the children of God are manifest: he that doeth righteousness is born of God.” The distinguishing characteristic of the children of God is that they obey Him. Only in that sense do I mean “obey”. It is referred to as the “obedience of faith”. (Rom. 16:26) I don’t mean it in the sense of earning salvation by works or anything like that.
      1. But that is Paul’s reasoning in Romans 10, “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Rom. 10:17)
      2. “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Rom. 10:13-14)
    5. If men are saved by grace through faith, and faith comes by hearing the Word of God, then men must have God’s Word at their disposal. Not just in a general sense, (i.e. know about Jesus by word of mouth). Men cannot follow the teachings of a man whose words they do not have. Christ says only those that do the Father’s will enter into the kingdom of heaven (Mat. 7:23). We must know the Father’s will to be doers of it.
    6. In essence, if nobody has God’s Word then nobody is saved. Some people then put forth a question about that old man on the mountain who has never heard of Jesus. If you’re thinking about something along those lines then please listen to our episode called, “Do people who have never heard the gospel go to hell?”
  3. Words and Meaning
    1. Some people then say, “Well, do you mean that we have God’s Word or His very words?”
    2. Some assert that we only have God’s thoughts or ideas and not the very words that He spoke. We have to take a moment to consider words and meaning. They say that it’s just a phrase that indicates the gospel only and not the words or teachings of Christ Himself. Most don’t consider it strange to think that God would preserve for us the exact books He wanted in the canon of scripture (39 books in the OT and 27 books in the NT) and not take care to make sure the contents are correct. That would seem to be pretty useless.
    3. Words are the basic unit of communication, not ideas or concepts. We think with words, we describe with words. If someone asked you, “What do you mean?” You would use words to explain your meaning to them. You wouldn’t use pictures. Like the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” It’s true, but if you are trying to convey a specific meaning you don’t want to leave it open to interpretation. If you accidently took too much of a particular medicine, and there was danger of an accidental overdose, wouldn’t you hope that the instructions on the bottle about what to do were specific and conveyed the meaning clearly? How much more can we expect the things pertaining to eternal life and death to be conveyed specifically?
    4. To illustrate the folly of believing that only the “thoughts” or “concepts” of God are preserved for us today, consider how you would answer the following question: “If you have an idea can you explain it to me?” How could you communicate an idea to me “specifically” without using words? Some say through facial gestures, body language, sign language, pictures or visions, etc. I then ask how does a God you never knew before you were saved, who is a Spirit and not a physical entity, specifically communicate to you that unless you repent of sin (as He defines it), and unless you believe on His Son (whom you’ve never met), and unless you obey His commandments, then you’ll be cast into Hell? It is absolutely impossible without God giving men His very words. There must be an objective truth that God has communicated to men so that they may hear it and do it.
      1. It is interesting to consider that even when prophets had visions, as recorded in scripture, they were still told things using words regardless of what they saw. Consider Peter’s vision of the sheet descending out of heaven in Acts 10:9-16. Though he indeed did see things, there was still a voice speaking with him also.
    5. It will be asked then if words have objective meaning that can be correctly understood by a reader. Do words have objective meaning? By that I mean, can one person’s intended meaning accurately be carried using words so that others may hear it and understand it exactly as the speaker/writer intended? Can you get exactly what the speaker/writer intended simply using words? Listen to what Dr. Jason Lisle has to say on this:
      1. “To say that a word (or combination of words) has “meaning” is to say that it represents a particular idea or limited range of ideas that the author/speaker is intending to convey to the reader/listener. When you read the word “lion” on a page, it likely conjures a particular thought in your mind. Although this thought may not be exactly identical to what another person thinks when reading the word (size, age, posture, mountain lion vs. African lion, etc.), it is very likely that the ideas will be very similar. It certainly won’t conjure up the idea of a quasar, an apple, or waffles. The word has meaning since it represents an idea. And that meaning is objective since the word represents the same idea regardless of who reads it within the context of a given language. The entire point of communication is to transfer an idea from one person to another person, often to induce a particular action in the recipient. Thus, general communication is only possible if words have objective meaning. Of course, it should be obvious from everyday observation that communication is possible. Ideas are indeed transferred from one person to another. Thus, it follows logically that words do have objective meaning.” –Dr. Jason Lisle (Understanding Genesis, p. 17)
    6. It’s a self-refuting concept that words do not carry fixed common meaning given context. This would mean that communication is impossible. Imagine the foolishness of someone asserting that extracting an author’s intended meaning is impossible because words have multiple meanings, and then they write a book about it. If their proposition is true, then how could they write a book about it for people to understand the ideas that they were explaining? This shows that it is not only possible to understand an author’s intended meaning by the words that they use, but it shows also that it is a normal part of everyday life.
      1. In fact, it’s a New Age idea that words don’t convey truth very well. Neal Donald Walsch, in his New Age book Conversations with God, wrote, “Words are the least reliable purveyor of truth.” (Walsch, Conversations with God, p.8) Even in the Hyper-Charismatic movement they proclaim that pictures and visions are more effective than words. This is why they encourage visualization—which is also a New Age and occultic practice.
    7. People know that words are effective in their hearts, but they try to apply different rules to the Bible. That’s the fallacy of special pleading. God intends for men to have His Word so that they can hear it and do it. Men cannot obey things that they do not have, or that they cannot understand.
    8. So words have objective meaning that can be understood by the context of how they are used. That’s basic communication. Words strung together in a grammatically structured way convey more specific ideas than individual words do. So in consideration of this, there is only one correct meaning of any given statement: the one that the Author intended. This not only applies to interpreting scripture, but to the nature of translation as well.
    9. Consider the statement, “The plane is going to land.” Is “plane” meant to convey a geometrical plane? Is “land” meant to convey the action of setting down on the ground or the noun of earth? I’m pretty sure that when you heard me say that sentence you understood that “plane” meant airplane and “land” meant setting down. Why could you understand that? You could understand that because the context of the words together and us having a common cultural understanding made it possible.  
    10. There is only one correct interpretation of any statement. That is self-evident because of the fact that me and you can communicate. Then that interpreted meaning as intended by the speaker/author can be understood by the listener/reader. In essence, if it can be understood, then it can be translated. We see practical examples of this every day. When the President of the United States speaks at the UN everyone there has headphones on. Someone is translating what the President is saying in real time for the other diplomats to hear. It’s an example of how words have fixed meaning that can be understood by others and translated correctly into other languages with the same meaning as intended by the original speaker still being intact. It’s communication.
  4. Translation
    1. The word “translation” means, “The act of removing or conveying from one place to another; The act of turning into another language; That which is produced by turning into another language; a version.”
    2. The act of translation is taking the meaning of a given word, or statement, and conveying the same intended meaning in another language.
    3. There is even a scriptural example of this being possible. On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit fell on the Apostles and they began to speak with other tongues (languages) as the Spirit of God gave them utterance. All the men who were gathered in Jerusalem heard them speak in their own language. Nowhere is it even implied that the Jews or Greeks heard some “additional” thing that the other languages couldn’t convey. Some could argue that the Holy Spirit is the one who did the translating, but the fact remains that it shows that earthly languages can equally render the same meanings intended.
    4. We must remember that Hebrew and Koine Greek are not “magical” languages. They are simply the languages that the original autographs were penned in. Though, there were also some places in the OT where it was written in Syriac/Chaldee such as Daniel and Esther.
  5. What’s necessary for translation?
    1. It should be obvious that in order to translate a person must have an excellent knowledge of both languages involved. In translating scripture a person must have an excellent knowledge of Hebrew, Koine Greek (depending on whether or not you are translating the OT or the NT), and an excellent knowledge of the language into which it is being translated. There is grammar and syntax, idioms and figures of speech, types of literature in the language, etc.
    2. But contrary to some people’s thoughts this is not all that is required of a person translating scripture. The Holy Scriptures are not just like any document needing translation today. It is one of the most copied and distributed documents in all of human history. That creates not only some benefits, but it creates some peculiar difficulties.
    3. Philip Mauro had this to say in his book Which Version?:
      1. “Very few of those who read the Scriptures have any idea how much depends upon the all-important matter of settling the Greek Text of the New Testament, or how many and how great the difficulties involved therein. Of those who give any thought at all to the matter the larger number seem to suppose that there exists somewhere an acknowledged original Text of the New Testament, and that the work of preparing an English Version is merely a matter of the correct translation of that Greek Text.”
      2. “But the case is far otherwise; for the first part of the work is to settle the Greek Text from which the translation is to be made; and this is a matter of immense difficulty, for the reason that the original materials from which the Text must be constructed embrace upwards of a thousand manuscripts. Some of these contain the whole, or nearly the whole, of the New Testament; and the rest contain a part, some more, some less, thereof. Of these manuscripts a few are supposedly as early as the fourth or fifth century, and others as late as the fourteenth.”
      3. He continues, “It will be seen, therefore, that the making of a Greek Text, as the first step in producing an English Version, involves the immense labor of examining, for every disputed word and passage, the numerous manuscripts, ancient Versions, and quotations now known to exist, and also the making of a decision in each case where there is a conflict between the various witnesses.”
      4. “This is a highly complicated task; and for the proper performance of it other qualities besides Greek and English scholarship are required. For example, one must settle at the outset what degree of credibility is to be imputed to the respective manuscripts…” (Mauro, Which Version? as quoted in True or False?, edited by David Otis Fuller, p.61, 62-63)
    4. We’ll get into the issues around manuscripts and textual criticism next episode, the point to be seen now is that the issues of translation of scripture are not so simple as some would like it to be.
    5. In addition to these things, it must be acknowledged that an understanding of the cultural customs of Biblical times are required to accurately understand the ideas being conveyed by the languages used at the time of the writing. There are customs, traditions, figures of speech and idioms that need to be understood as figurative and/or symbolic language. The reason for this will be seen as we continue.
  6. Types of Translation
    1. There are basically two types of translating: Formally equivalent, and dynamically equivalent.
    2. Formal equivalence is where individual words are the basis of translation. The text is rendered word-for-word as much as possible. Only minor deviations are allowed such as grammatical structure being suited to fit the new language’s grammar.
    3. Dynamic equivalence is where the translation is attempted on a thought-for-thought basis. Phrases or whole sentences are the basis of translation.
    4. The contention between the two methods should become clear quite quickly. There are some things that you must first take into account though.
      1. Not every one word in a given language can accurately translate its meaning into another language with one word. You cannot always do “one word equals one word”. Sometimes it takes a phrase to accurately translate one word from a given language into another.
      2. What if there is no equivalent in the language being translated into? Do you choose the closest already existing word, or do you create a new word in that language?
      3. What if there is a grammatically significant structure in the original that cannot convey the same significance in the new language? An example would be the Hebrew waw-consecutive. The significance in the original Hebrew is shown when a long list of statements uses the waw-consecutive. It indicates a historical narrative. That’s important in defending the Genesis 1 account of creation. But how would you emphatically render that concept in English grammatically? All that we can do in English is render it “And ___” or “Then ____”, but it doesn’t get the significance across.
    5. These are just a few examples to show you that it’s not as simple to translate as we think sometimes. To complicate matters, each language can be different. Have you ever heard of tonal languages? That’s a whole other matter entirely!
    6. So you see the problems that can arise using either method of translation. When using formal equivalency, word-for-word, you can come across grammatical and readability difficulties. When using dynamic equivalency, thought-for-thought, you are relying on the person doing the translating work’s ability to comprehend the meaning of the statement being translated.
    7. On another note, there is also the question of translating literally or figuratively. That’s a major point when considering a dynamic translation. Is the author intending a literal or figurative meaning? Then there’s the question of translating it appropriately. This is really the battle-ground for a major portion of the arguments about which translation of the Bible is “more accurate”.
    8. Consider the example of Romans 6:2. The phrase in Greek is “Μη γενοιτο”, and it’s rendered several different ways in the English versions:
      1. KJV says, “God forbid!”
      2. NKJV says, “Certainly not!”
      3. NASB says, “May it never be!”
      4. NIV says, “By no means!”
    9. If you would notice they all carry the same basic meaning. There is an emphatic denial of what Paul previously said in the passage. If you wanted to be ultra-literal you would have to render it something like, “Not come to pass!” It is literally rendered but it doesn’t read well in English. Oftentimes people will point to a Bible translation in a situation like this and accuse the other versions of being incorrectly translated. Someone could say, and indeed they have incorrectly said it, “The word “God” is nowhere in the Greek so the KJV has incorrectly translated this verse.” Has it? Well, it’s not a literal translation it’s a dynamic translation of the phrase. It can’t qualify as “incorrect” though. If it was, then you would have to disqualify the others also for not being ultra-literal.
    10. It’s a simple phrase, but you can see how lots of supposed “mistranslations” are cleared up with a better understanding of the process of translation.
  7. Thee’s and Thou’s
    1. I will digress here for a moment. I find it funny to listen some of the discussions of the Greek scholars sometimes. For example, Bill Mounce, a Greek scholar on the committee of the NIV, was discussing 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 in his blog entry for September 5, 2008. He gave an illustration of a fictional foreign student coming and asking why English used the same word (you) to signify one or more than one.
    2. I found it quite funny because people always mention that they want to get rid of the “thee’s” and “thou’s”, or the “-est” and “-eth” endings in the KJV of the Bible. I marvel that I’ve never really seen an honest enquirer as to why they are there in the first place. It may surprise people that that form of English passed out of common speech some years before the KJV translation ever began.
    3. The reason that the translators kept them is because it is the easiest way to accurately translate first, second, and third person in English. As well as distinguishing between singular and plural pronouns. Everyone who wants to take them out then faces the dilemma of what to do in situations like Bill Mounce related. In my opinion, it’s easier to keep them in as it makes exposition of a passage in English easier in my mind.
    4. But back to the issue at hand.
  8. Words or the meanings they carry?
    1. Is there then a better way to translate? Should one method be taken over the other: formal or dynamic? It may surprise people to be made aware that every version uses both methods. So we find it to be more of a scale than an either-or situation sometimes. The KJV is more formal than dynamic. The NIV is more dynamic than formal. Both versions use both methods though at certain times. Formal focuses more on translating individual words and trying to retain the Hebrew/Greek grammar structure as much as possible when going into the other language. Dynamic focuses more on translating whole phrases or sentences.
    2. The question does arise though, is there a simple “method” that is biblical or non-biblical? The nature of translation is such that it deals with understanding meaning. The meaning of words, the meaning of statements, and how to faithfully communicate those same meanings in a different language. Meaning makes interpretation necessary. So all translation implies interpretation.
    3. Here is where I can relate a funny story. Pepsi once started an advertising campaign in China with the slogan, “We bring you back to life.” The person who did the work should’ve done more research, because the way in which it was rendered on a billboard was read as, “We bring your ancestors back from the grave.” It caused some alarm in China.
    4. The buzz-word in translation is “literal”. People assume that the best translation is the most literal one. But that’s not necessarily the case. Listen to this quote where Philip Mauro is quoting Dr. Alexander Carson:
      1. “ “There is no greater mistake than to suppose that a translation is good according as it is literal. It may be asserted that, without exception, a literal translation of any book cannot be a faithful one. For if the word is not used in its literal sense in the original it is a mistranslation of it to translate it literally. This is a canon of Biblical Interpretation of universal application, and of the greatest moment—a canon not only often violated, but to violate which is, in the estimation of some translators, the highest praise. A translation of this kind, instead of conveying the original with additional light, is simply unintelligible.” Such being the case (and we think that the truth of Dr. Carson’s statement is self-evident) it will be clearly seen that the making of a real translation is not merely a matter of giving the literal meaning of the words of the original. Further, in order to be a good translator, one needs other qualifications besides a knowledge of the original tongue.” (Mauro in Which Version?           quoting from Dr. Alexander Carson’s Inspiration of the Scriptures)
    5. So literal is not always good. We might wonder, how can it not be good? The answer being that sometimes things rendered literally, or too formally, can actually obscure, or altogether change, the meaning of the original statement. Just like the Pepsi ad slogan. For instance, if a figure of speech or a cultural idiom is translated literally into a different language (that is word-for-word equivalent) it can sometimes be taken to mean something quite different in the new language. You are forced to either have some sort of cultural explanation, or in the process of translating the phrase go by the meaning of it and choose a cultural equivalent in the new language.
    6. The problem with doing a dynamic translation though is that it allows for more interpretation than is safe in my opinion. You leave yourself at the mercy of the mind of the translator for doctrinal interpretation. They will read a sentence, interpret it, and then render their interpretation. Sometimes it can be pretty close to just being a formal translation, but sometimes it is something altogether different. For instance, in the Message “bible” (which is actually just a full-blown paraphrase) the Lord’s words in the model prayer, “on earth as it is in heaven,” is changed to the occultic phrase, “as above so below”. What happened? False interpretation is what happened. An interpretation that connects the words of Christ to the New Age Movement and the occult.
  9. Words with multiple word equivalents
    1. Before I make some closing remarks I would like to address a specific issue. Sometimes a word in Greek can have up to 50 English words that match its meaning. Which do you choose? For example, here is 1 John 2:24 in the KJV:
      1. “Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father.”
    2. The Greek word I would like to point out is “meno”. It is translated by 3 separate words here by the KJ translators: abide, remain, and continue. If you look at some other English versions you will find that sometimes all three instances the Greek word is in this verse they use the same English word for each instance. This brings up a common question: what constitutes a perfect translation?
    3. Having talked about words, meaning, and translation a little bit, what could be classified as a “perfect” English translation? One with no translation errors? What does that mean? No word translation errors? I would agree, but what do you mean when a particular word in Greek can legitimately be rendered by multiple English words? I’m obviously addressing an issue common to those of the KJV-only school of thought.
    4. If I may, I would like to relate some points to simply provoke some thought on this issue:
      1. “Perfect” needs to be specifically defined before one can say something is perfect.
      2. Words that are synonymous, by very definition, have the same meaning and are therefore equivalent with each other. That means if they’re equivalent with each other then each of them can be translated from the same Greek word.
      3. Words, or phrases, that define each other are equivalent in meaning. If God has chosen only one specific English word to be translated from one Greek word, then what do you do when someone says, “What does that word mean?” You have to use other words to explain it.
    5. Some have criticized the KJV for using multiple English words of the same meaning to translate one Greek word. My question is, “If they are synonyms how is it wrong?”
    6. Some people have criticized other versions for using words different than the KJV because they believe its English rendering to be specifically chosen by God providentially, my question then is: if they are synonymous how is it wrong?
      1. We’ll talk more about this view later.
    7. In the case of 1 John 2:24, the KJ translators used these three English words because they were synonyms. Their reasoning being that if you didn’t know one of the words you most likely would’ve known one of the other two. Then, seeing them used interchangeably in the passage makes clear that they all carry the same meaning. It’s just a different view on making the meaning of the underlying Greek text clear to the English reader.
  10. Let’s put it all together
    1. We can logically expect to have God’s words available to us in some objective form because God is going to judge us one day according to His Word. Men cannot obey commandments that they don’t have; therefore, God must’ve given us His Word.
    2. Words are the basic unit of communication. This is very much to our advantage. Words have fixed meaning that can be determined by the context of how they are used. If this weren’t so, then you wouldn’t be following what I’m saying. Communication proves that words do have fixed understandable meaning that can accurately convey ideas from one person to another. If meaning can be carried from one person to another, using words, then there is nothing that stands in the way of accurate translation.
    3. There are two main forms of translating: formal equivalency is translating word-for-word as much as possible between two languages. Since words have fixed meanings in cultures and languages, it is more preferable to have a more formal translation of the scriptures. While all translation requires interpretation, it is much easier to accurately convey the meaning of individual words than whole sentences without allowing for bias. This also allows for bias to be shown more easily since words do have fixed meanings, and they can be checked easily.
    4. Dynamic equivalency should be used only when necessary to render the meaning of a particular phrase accurately. Whole sentences translated dynamically allow for too much personal interpretation. This can affect doctrine. Anything that limits personal interpretation coming through should be encouraged. Words have objective meaning. Statements need interpreting. Only translating phrases dynamically when absolutely necessary is the best way to protect the integrity of scripture.
    5. If something is figurative in the original languages then it ought to be translated so as to not be taken literally in the language being translated into, and vice-versa. If something figurative is translated to be taken literally then it is mistranslated.
  11. Closing
    1. Now one thing you will see about the information in this episode is this: it’s not enough to help you settle on a particular Bible version. The dividing line comes when you mention the underlying Greek text of the Bible versions. There are two things that every pastor, teacher, or really every believer needs to have some knowledge of:
      1. Textual Criticism: what it is, and why it’s important.
      2. Textual Theory: what it is, and why it’s important.
    2. These two issues being settled upon will generally solidify the Bible versions confusion for believers. That is, if we base our views upon facts and not conjectures.
    3. Remember, don’t be intimidated. Keep all things in prayer. The Lord will give wisdom to those that ask Him in sincerity.