Have you ever read the screwtape letters by c.s. lewis? if not, read it. it gave me a lot of insight on how the devil tries to have his way with us. he is sneaky and it will not always be obvious to us when he is at work. i used to think what you thought when i first heard the arguments of the niv versus the kjv of the bible. the difference, the major difference, is that the niv is an interpretation of the bible rather than a direct translation. i want to hear the truth out of the mouth of God, not an interpretation of what a human thinks it might be. it is fine to have intepretations, but just don't call it scripture or the bible. however, nobody should believe that you are not seeking God if you are reading the niv. God reads hearts and minds and he knows. but as for me, when i am reading the bible i want an anointed version of the bible- a direct translation. if i want a study guide i might read the niv. peace be with you, God knows your heart.
My response is in Green:
I agree with C. S. Lewis, but I think you missed the point. What if it was Satan's desire to keep people from understanding God's word? Would it not make sense in that case for him to promote a 400 year old translation which because of the changes in language is very hard for people to understand?
You are only half right about the NIV. It is a translation, which is not literal, or in other words which has been interpreted to make it easier to read. But it is an original translation, but if you don't want that, then read the NASB, which is much more literal. I will tell you that the KJV is not very literal either. If you want a Bible that is very literal and 400 years old then get Young's Literal Translation.
Let me quote a couple of passages from three of them (I don't have the NASB on this computer) and show you what I mean:
(Hebrews 6:4-6 NIV)  It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, who have shared in the Holy Spirit,  who have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the coming age,  if they fall away, to be brought back to repentance, because to their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace.
(Hebrews 6:4-6 KJV)  For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost,  And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come,  If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
(Hebrews 6:4-6 YLT)  for it is impossible for those once enlightened, having tasted also of the heavenly gift, and partakers having became of the Holy Spirit,  and did taste the good saying of God, the powers also of the coming age,  and having fallen away, again to renew them to reformation, having crucified again to themselves the Son of God, and exposed to public shame.
Notice the differences? The NIV is much closer to what the KJV is than either of them are to the very literal translation of Young's. So if you are reading the KJV because you think it is literally the words of God, you are mistaken, it is just as much an interpretation as the NIV. That is not a bad thing, if you have studied other languages you know that the grammar is different between English and other languages, that is why a very literal translation is always hard to read and why all translators tend to interpret at least a little to make sure the reader can understand what is being said.
As I said some are more literal than others. For a modern literal translation I like the NASB, but I like the readability of the NIV most when communicating with others. Let me show you one more passage:
(John 3:16 NIV) For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
(John 3:16 KJV) For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
(John 3:16 YLT) for God did so love the world, that His Son-the only begotten-He gave, that every one who is believing in him may not perish, but may have life age-during.
I wanted to quote this passage for two reasons, first it is one that is known by almost everyone and second it is one which shows that I don't always like what the NIV says nor what the KJV says. Both of those versions were colored so to speak by the doctrine of the people who translated them. Read all three passages above again and see if you see what I am talking about.
Notice in the NIV it says 'that whoever believes' and in the KJV it says 'that whosoever believeth.' Both of those translations of this verse make it sound like all you have to do is believe at one time to be saved. Yet look at the very literal translation of the YLT it says 'that everyone who IS believing.' It shows that it is a continuing in the faith not just a one time event. I don't know what you believe about once saved always saved, but I believe as the literal translation shows that we must continue to follow Christ. So in this instance I disagree with what the translators of the NIV wrote, but I also disagree with what the translators of the KJV wrote.
That is and has always been my point, they are all good translations, but you need to study God's word with all the resources available to make sure you understand what He is really saying. The KJV is a good solid translation, but it has many problems at the same time. The main problem is that we don't speak like they did 400 years ago and the lends itself to people misunderstanding what God's word says. It also lends itself to people who want to cloud an issue and convince people of their doctrine by 'explaining' what the KJV 'really means.'
I applaud you for wanting a literal translation, but don't be fooled by people who claim you have one in the KJV, yes it is good and it is pretty literal, but as I have shown you it is no more literal than the NIV which people bash.
I believe this whole argument is from the devil to keep people from knowing or being sure what God's word really says. Trust me if the new versions were authored by Satan then they would not have the 'clear' message of the gospel in them and they do. Rest assured that when you read the main stream modern translations you are reading God's word. Some are easier to read than others, but the message is the same.
One last comment. The United States has always been the leader in Bible translations to the rest of the world. Whether the translators started with the original languages or whether they start with the KJV or even the NIV, when they translate the Bible into another language, like Swahili, they have to paraphrase and interpret to a certain extent so that the people who they are trying to reach can understand God's word. There is nothing wrong with that as long as they are careful to keep the meaning. It is the same with the versions we give people to read here in the states, they need to be able to understand it so that the Holy Spirit can use it in their hearts. You could give them a Greek Bible but it would do them no good, even if it was the original writing of Paul himself. It is not wrong to update language so people can understand what is being said.
E-Mail Ralph (whose comments are in green)
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