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As Christians we believe the Bible to be inspired, inerrant, and infallible. That statement refers to the Bible as written in its original text/language. And as stated above, great care was taken in copying and preserving the original text. The challenge today is bringing the text to the masses, who may not read original Hebrew or Greek, thru translations. The various translations have their strengths and weaknesses. Personally, I have found it valuable to read or study the same passage from several translations. This is easier to do now that online versions are available. There are also study aids available to research the original Greek or Hebrew word used (an analytical concordance to the Bible). Much of scripture can be read and understood without going to these measures, with current translations. But always remember that if you are struggling with a scripture, it may help to read another translation or try and go to the original language. And don't get too hung up on the superiority of one translation.
The teaching of inspiration is based on II Timothy 3:16 which is literally, “all Scripture is God-breathed (Greek “theopneustos”) …” II Timothy 3:16-17 states that God out-breathed the Scriptures so that it is profitable or useful to make a man or servant of God to have a special aptitude, equipped to accomplish every good work. The thinking of today’s scholars is that only the original documents were inspired. But there are problems with this. If multiple copies were made to different people at the same time, then each one must be inspired. If absolutely error-free copies were made, then it is quite reasonable to consider them as inspired. No originals or “autographs” of the Old Testament existed in Paul’s day. Only copies or “apographs,” existed and were considered the Word of God. Timothy had known the Scriptures, II Timothy 3:15. Kings were to make copies of the law, Deuteronomy 17:18-19, which means every copy was the Word of God to read and heed. Portions of Isaiah were read by Jesus in the synagogue, Luke 4:16-17, and by Philip and the Ethiopian eunuch, Acts 8:26-35. New Testament writers used the Old Testament Scriptures for defense of their writings. Copies circulated among the churches were all equally inspired, Galatians 1:2, Colossians 4:16, James 1:1, I Thessalonians 5:27, I Peter 1:1. II Timothy 3:16 says, “all scripture IS inspired,” not “all scripture WAS inspired.” This means copies are just as inspired and thus just as authentic so that the Bible is still authoritative and applicable, Romans 4:3, Matthew 22:29, 31, John 10:35. There are no different levels of inspiration. The Bible is still the pure Word of God, Psalm 12:6, 19:8. The Bible never ceased to be inspired. So, the question is, does the translation process impact the inspiration, inerrancy, and infallibility of the Bible? No, because it is still transferring words, albeit, into another language and carries on the process of reproducing and spreading the Word of God. In whatever language it is produced, it is still the Scriptures, and the reader can be confident it is. All translations and versions, except those by cults, are inspired, none more than others. When the Old Testament was translated into the Greek, the result being called the Septuagint (LXX), the New Testament writers sometimes used that version, considering it as Scriptures. Therefore, it is inspired as the original writings to the same degree and level. So, the question of inerrancy and infallibility is raised. It is true that mistakes have always been in the Scriptures, whether inadvertently by copyists, or by translators inserting their preconceived interpretations into it. There are differences, but these variants are minor in nature and few in number. Some versions and translations are better than others, but the point is a person can confidently read the Bible in his own language, or in one of many versions, and be saved, taught, encouraged, corrected, and edified. In its many translations and versions, the Bible/Scripture is inspired, still the Word of God.
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