There is a “vast bulk of agreement” between the many different English versions of the Bible, according to an expert translator who worked on the controversial 2011 edition of the New International Version.
Douglas J. Moo, professor of Biblical Studies at Wheaton College in Illinois, and chair of the Committee on Bible Translation, spoke with Darrell Bock of Dallas Theological Seminary in Texas on an episode of “The Table” podcast posted on YouTube on Monday.
During their conversation on the controversies surrounding modern and older English translations of the Bible, Moo noted that while they have plenty of “good texts” from ancient times, “those manuscripts that we have don’t always agree.”
“When we translate the NIV, we have to make our own judgment about what the best text is. Now, we usually are working from a kind of existing, generally accepted Hebrew OT, Greek NT, and we work from those, but we feel free to make different decisions if we think that we need to,” explained Moo.
“And as you say, then we will sometimes put one option in the text and use a footnote to indicate, ‘Here’s another really popular option.’”
Moo went on to note that while there are controversies and debates over differences in translation between versions like the NIV and the King James Version, ultimately these editions agree far more than they disagree.
“I like to tell people that when you look at, let’s say, the NIV and compare it to the King James, what’s remarkable, granted that history, is how similar they are. It’s an indication of the providence of God in preserving the text for us,” Moo said.
“So sometimes we seize on the differences. And yeah, they are there. But there’s such a minority compared to the vast bulk of agreement that you have between the King James and NIV and ESV or an NLT.”
Bock then spoke about how he tells people that it’s “generally regarded that you can look at all those differences and say that no core doctrine of the Christian faith is impacted by those differences.”
“What is impacted is how many verses might discuss a particular point and that kind of thing, which I think is an important kind of step-back point to make,” Bock said.
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SOURCE: Christian Post, Michael Gryboski