The Septuagint was the first translation made of the Hebrew Old Testament into Greek. It was begun over two hundred years before the birth of Jesus. It was translated from a Hebrew Old Testament text-type that is older than the Masoretic text, from which most Old Testaments are translated today. This is sad, for the apostles had access to both the Septuagint and to the proto-Masoretic text that was in existence in their time. And they chose to quote from the Septuagint—not the proto-Masoretic text.
You have probably noticed that many of the Old Testament passages that are quoted in the New Testament don’t read the same in the New as they do in the Old. However, if you were using the Septuagint Old Testament, they would read the same.
- Perhaps the number one myth about Bible translation is that a word-for-word translation is the best kind. Anyone who is conversant in more than one language recognizes that a word-for-word translation is simply not possible if one is going to communicate in an understandable way in the receptor language. Yet, ironically, even some biblical scholars who should know better continue to tout word-for-word translations as though they were the best. Perhaps the most word-for-word translation of the Bible in English is Wycliffe’s, done in the 1380s. Although translated from the Latin Vulgate, it was a slavishly literal translation to that text. And precisely because of this, it was hardly English.
- Similar to the first point is that a literal translation is the best version. In fact, this is sometimes just a spin on the first notion. For example, the Greek New Testament has about 138,000–140,000 words, depending on which…
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Have you ever been in church on a Sunday morning and whoever is preaching asks for a certain verse to be projected? He or she starts reading it, stops midway then says, “Can you give me the King James. Aha! Yes, that sounds better.”The Authorised Version, more popularly known as the King James Version, is one of the most influential documents in all of English literature. Its importance to the English speaking Church cannot be understated and many Christians just love the way it sounds. The “thees” and “thous” just makes everything sound more regal and epic. When you watch old Jesus movies, God tends to speak with Shakespearean English and the voice of Sir Ian McKellen. Somehow in our imagination God has to sound as epic as Gandalf or have the mellifluous tones of Morgan Freeman. Even though the KJV has a historic place in our hearts and imaginations, it is not without its drawbacks and short comings. Continue reading “Dethroning King James”