Bible translations

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The Bible was originally written in Hebrew (Old Testament) and Greek (New Testament). God did not give His revelation to the Prophets and Apostles in English. That is why we need translations. Because language develops, new translations are needed as time goes by. It is refreshing to be able to read God's Word in the clear language of our time.

The attempt to translate the New Testament or the entire Bible into good present-day language is a matter that deserves our support, provided that new translations do not appear too often. It is well for each generation to become acquainted with a certain translation. A good translation may help to promote Bible reading and in that way be a good instrument for doing mission work.

Translators have a great responsibility. The Bible, with the threat of punishment, warns against adding anything to or deleting anything from the Bible. The translator must be especially careful and meticulous. Translating is not easy because it is extremely difficult to express only what and exactly what the original language says. But translators must earnestly try to do this. The pastor of a congregation must, in his teaching, be able to clarify the meaning of a translation on the basis of the original language if need be. In this way he sees to it that nothing is detracted from or added to the Word of the Bible.

In other words a translation must never be presented as the absolute revelation of God. God's Word must be sought in the manuscripts written in the original languages. A translation is an approximation. On the other hand the difficulty of translating must not be stressed too much. It has been possible, and still is possible, to translate the Bible so that through its words the matters pertaining to faith can be clearly understood. But especially when we are called upon to defend the teachings of the Bible we need the original languages.