Vol.IV No.VIII Pg.4
September 1967

Story Of The Text 8

Robert F. Turner

The Preface to the Revised Standard Version of the N.T. says, "And we cannot be content with the Versions of 1881 and 1901 for two main reasons. One is that these are mechanically exact, literal, word-for-word translations, which follow the order of the Greek words, so far as this is possible, rather than-the order which is natural to English; they are more accurate than the King James Version, but have lost some of its beauty and power as English literature."

And so, in the name of literature, the translators abandon the idea of giving us what the inspired writers said -- passing to us the advantage of verbal inspiration -- (1 Cor.2:12-13); and launch out upon a course that obscures the actual divine message and makes the text more commentary than translation. Of the nine men who made the RSV eight have publicly avowed liberal positions relative to inspiration of the Bible. What can we expect from such men as these? One of them, Dr. James Moffatt, said regarding the difficulty of making accurate and idiomatic translations, "But once the translator of the N.T. is freed from the influence of the theory of verbal inspiration, these difficulties cease to be so formidable." (Quoted in "Revision or New Translation," by Allis)

Space will limit examples, but we note Eph. 5:32:

Greek: ego de lego eis Xriston kai

Literal: I but say as-to Christ and

K.J.: but I speak concerning Christ--

A.S.: but I speak in regard of Christ

R.S.V. and I take it to mean Christ -- "Take it to mean" not only is unwarranted by the Greek text, but leaves an impression that Paul may have been in doubt concerning the mystery.

The New English Version, follows the same principle. Note I Tim. 3:13:

Gr.: pistei te en Xristo Iesou-------

Lit.: faith the in Christ Jesus------

K.J.: the faith which is in Christ---

NEV: the Christian faith.

There is no word in this Greek for "Christian" and even if the adjective usage was justified ("Christian" is not so used in the N.T.) the fact remains that these translators (?) make little effort to tell us what the apostle Paul really said.

In the American Bible Society new translation, "Today's English Version," Acts 20:7 is made to read, "On Saturday evening we gathered together for the fellowship meal." There is absolutely nothing in the text to justify "fellowship." It is an added thought, easily misleading; and worst of all, it is a perversion of the translator's role.

These are but passing examples of supposedly major modern versions. In the "one man" translations (as Moffatt's, Goodspeed's, etc.,) we could expect such freedoms -- and read with the reservations necessary. But we face real wide-spread danger as the public is encouraged to accept these so-called "Standard" versions as the very word of God -- when actually they are better described as INTERPOLATION (please look it up) of men who do not believe in the verbal inspiration of God's word, nor hold His word sacred.

Better to read the K.J., archaisms notwithstanding, than these.