Minister of Education Reports
The Importance of Language in Bible Translation
There is a theory that says people who speak different languages have a different world view. This theory is known as the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis. If this theory is to be believed then we might very well suppose that the Lord God directed the very languages which both the Old and New Testaments were originally communicated in. He would want the language best capable of transmitting His correct world view to mankind. There is evidence that this might be true, because even in the New Testament, the writers appealed to Hebrew and Aramaic terms to more correctly express themselves upon occasion.
One of the great problems of man today is he as he has a wrong viewpoint toward just about everything. So it would then be the responsibility of the Bible translator to correctly transpose the correct world view into any language he is trying to transmit the word of God in. To do this effectively he would have to keep some of the words from the old language and bring them into the new as did our New Testament writers. Perhaps he might also have to invent some new words as did our King James translators. Maybe the faithful translator would also have to elevate the language of his translation so that it was more lofty and precise than the language spoken every day on the streets. This also happened with the King James Bible. There never was a time when people spoke English exactly as you read it in that Bible.
A great difference also exists between the kind of English used in the King James Bible and the kind used in the multitude of so called modern versions. The English of the KJB is primarily what we call Anglo-Saxon English with the variants we have discussed. The kind of English used in modern versions is a more Latinized English. People are deluded into thinking the Latinized form is easier to understand while in reality the reverse is true. But at the same time the Latinized form clouds the transmission of Biblical truth in ways that the former form did not. This lack of correct transmission of Biblical worldview is important to why some people like myself stand opposed to the modern versions thus far produced.
People keep saying that there is a need to make the Word of God more understandable. “Bring the Bible down to our level,” they say. To do that you must do damage to what the Word is saying to man. God has always sought to bring man up. God only came down one time. That was a visit to earth for the redemption of man. Redeemed men need to be willing to have themselves stretched, so that they might attain unto holiness. Nimrod wanted to reach God that he might control Him and influence Him. He found He could not bring God down, and the attempt to do so resulted in his downfall. The multitude of versions and perversions of God’s Word that have come and gone in the last one hundred fifty years have sought to do the same. One by one they have all passed away. Only men have been brought down by the attempts to carelessly alter the Bible.
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