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Home: Questions and Answers: Do you believe that there are contradictions among the translations?
Question:

Do you believe that there are contradictions among the translations?

Answer:

It depends on what a person is calling a "contradiction." King James only advocates tend to argue (this is how I would argue when I was a KJV only advocate) that if a particular verse read slightly different in a modern translation than how it reads in the KJV, it was considered a "contradiction." This is not a contradiction at all, but translators choosing to re-translate a specific rendering of words into English that may better convey the original intent of the author, and that best reflects the original language of the text.

Even more seriously, KJV only advocates will exaggerate differences due to the translators' textual choice from which to translate their Bible. So, if a textual difference exists between the original language text used by the modern translators and the TR, the original language text used as the base for the KJV, that difference is considered a contradiction. Let me give an example: Colossians 1:14 reads in the KJV, In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins. In the New American Standard, Colossians 1:14 reads, In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Note that the phrase through his blood is added in the KJV translation. King James Only advocates argue (quite hysterically, I might add) that this is an example of modern Bible versions, like the NASB, removing an important biblical doctrine, in this case, Christ's atoning work by his blood on the cross. They will point out that such an omission by the modern version "contradicts" the Word of God and what it teaches about Christ's atonement. But, such an argument is highly exaggerated. First, it assumes that the KJV is the standard by which all other Bible versions are to be judged as orthodox. Second, the modern versions only "contradict" the translation of the KJV as it is based upon the TR text. Modern versions are based upon a Greek text that biblical scholars believe with good reason better reflects Paul's original letter to the Colossian Christians. Thus, the "contradiction" claimed by the KJV only advocates is really between two different text types. And third, the modern versions do not contradict what the Bible teaches on the atonement of Christ by his blood, because those translations affirm it in other passages that give biblical revelation concern Christ's work on the cross. The NASB has "through his blood" in Ephesians 1:7, a verse that is almost identical to Colossians 1:14. Thus, these kind of so-called "contradictions" are truly fabricated, and all attempts to use passages like Colossians 1:14 as evidence to argue that modern versions contradict the Bible, or even each other, do not take in all of the relevant information regarding textual criticism and translational methodology.


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