Sunday, April 29, 2012

The Bible

It was said earlier that the Bible claims that God inspired it and it was also said that inspiration of the Bible is not the same thing as saying that the Bible is perfect.  The Roman Catholic Church does not claim infallibility for the Bible; that doctrine came along after the Reformation, and it seems that, until recently, it has grown continuously.  

Until about 50 years ago many Bible teachers taught that the Bible is word perfect, some even believe that in our day.  They insist that it says exactly what God wants it to say.  In the last number of years, Bible teachers have come a long way from that stance.  

If one insists that the Bible is word perfect, one must, of course, decide which translation is the perfect one.  For many years, many people insisted that the King James Version was the only Bible that Christians should use.  Fortunately, that teaching has diminished over the last few years.

How could any version of the Bible be verbatim the Word of God?  Every translation is different, in words and meaning than the writings were when the Bible was first assembled.  Lately there has been a whole horde of new translations and what is so upsetting about that fact is that the translators add their own theological bent to certain Bible portions. 

Surely, people have a right to their opinions but I do not believe that they have the right to rewrite the Bible so that it will foster their own theological viewpoint. 

This practice also happened back in the fourth century when the doctrine of the Trinity was being heatedly debated.  It is said that when Jerome was translating the Greek Bible into the Douay translation he added words to 1 John 5:7; words which clearly teach the doctrine of the Trinity.  He wanted to, finally, end the debate about the Trinity.  However, the words he added do not belong in the Bible, and the doctrine of the Trinity is not found in the Bible either.  (More about this later, right now we are discussing the Bible, not the Trinity). 

The Muslims believe that if the Koran is translated from the Arabian in which it was first written it ceases to be "the word of Allah".  In this matter the Christian Church might do well to learn from them.   In our faith every man and his neighbor feels free to translate the Bible, add their own opinions, and call it the Sacred Scriptures.