THE TRANSLATION PROCESS
By Don Kuhn, Burleson, Texas
The scene is the day of Pentecost. The account of all that happened that day is recorded in Acts chapter 2. One of the amazing things, for the people of many places gathered there, is that each person heard the message in his own native language. God through the Holy Spirit provided a way for each one to clearly understand. “Some of us were born Jews. Others are converts to Judaism. We can hear these men in our own languages! We can all understand the wonderful things they are saying about God. (Acts 2:11, The Simple English Bible.)
Today people still need to hear the message from God in their own language. That is why translations of the Bible are continually needed. Even within a single language, the meaning of words change with time. It is good to see that translations easily understood by English-speaking people are being published.
The translation of the Bible into English must continue the process began before the King James Version. We must not stagnate now and end up with a translation only a few can understand. This is the danger of a few interpreting the Word of God for the majority of people. Denominations, which by and large still use the King James Version, us it to teach error. No translation can be totally free of misinterpretation by those who wish to misuse it. However, the clearer it is to the average person, the better the opportunity for truth to be self-evident.
“While a major portion of the KJV is understandable to any person who reads English, because of the choice of words and/or the change of the English speech since 1611, some sentences in the King James will not be understood without the help of a commentary. Champions of the use of the KJV forget that they have been conditioned to its oddities by a lifetime of study. The new reader and the uneducated reader have not had that conditioning.” (The English Bible from KJV to NIV, Jack P. Lewis, page 53.)
The New International Version and The Simple English Bible are two fine examples of the ongoing translation process. For an indepth study of translations, read The English Bible from KJV to NIV, A History and evaluation, by Jack P. Lewis, Baker Book House and How We Got the Bible by Neil Lightfoot, Baker Book House.
–By Don Kuhn, Via, Johnson Park church of Christ, Borger, Texas. 1983 bulletin
My Note: It is strange, but I have noticed many times that people who have a disdain for the NIV and other good later translations, when they are explaining what a text means in the KJV or other early versions, explain it with the very same words that the NIV uses in Scripture! Are they wanting to go back to the ‘dark ages’ so all can not know what the Scripture says in today’s language? Evidently, it’s okay to say it, but you’d better not print it????