I often find my self reading several different translations when I study the Word of God. I do not believe that one of today's translations can have the title "best translation." Although, personally I hold NASB and NKJV to be my personal favorites. KJV, NIV, and NLT have several qualites to offer a person in their studies as well. We MUST ALWAYS refer to the original Greek to find what God really had to say on a subject. I often tell others, who have no ability to research or understand the Greek language, to read several translations. This way they get a feel from several different angles of what was to be translated on a particular verse.
This time of year we read scriptures that deal with the birth of Jesus Christ. I want to look at the words of a few verses with you. We will see the importance of using different translations. We will use the aforementioned translations to illustrate what I mean. Look at the following translations of Mt 1:21:
KJV- And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name JESUS: for
he shall save his people from their sins
NKJV- And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for
He will save His people from their sins
NASB- She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save
His people from their sins
NLT- And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save
his people from their sins
NIV- She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name
Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.
We can see that the words I have made made bold varies according to their translation. Sometimes we need to understand that these are more than just words. The Greek word used here is best translated "bring forth." Some might say, "So what! What is the difference if we say 'bring forth' or 'bear' a son?" The difference is very significant. Consider how Lk 1:13 is translated:
KJV- But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard;
and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name
NKJV- But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your prayer
is heard; and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call
his name John
NASB- But the angel said to him, “Do not be afraid, Zacharias, for your petition
has been heard, and your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you
will give him the name John
NLT- But the angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Zechariah! For God has heard your
prayer, and your wife, Elizabeth, will bear you a son! And you are to name
NIV- But the angel said to him: "Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your
prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and
you are to give him the name John.
We see here that these translations all use the word "bear." Which is properly translated. The question arises, "Why are the translations not in agreement on Mt 1:21 like they are on Lk 1:13?" Again we must understand that these are more than just words. These words are "inspired by God"(2Ti 3:16) and we must seek to find exactly what God was saying in each verse. That is why it is so very important that we look at the original Greek.
In Mt 1:21 we see the Greek word tikto. This word properly means to bring forth; to be born of a woman giving birth. There is no ties to being born of a man. This is significant, as Jesus Christ was born to be born of a virgin. (Isa 7:14) This virgin birth was a sign from God. Thus, the word in Mt 1:21 should have been translated "bring forth."
Concerning Lk 1:13, we see all the translations used the word "bear." This is the Greek word gennao. This word properly means of men who fathered children. We understand that Elizabeth conceived from a man, Zacharias. In contrast, Mary was "found to be with child by the Holy Spirit."(Mt 1:18) This is no doubt referring to the virgin birth of out Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
You see, these are more than just words we read on paper. We are reading God's Words. We must be diligent in the study of these words so that we will not be lead astray by men who choose not to seek for the truth. These men will teach things that do nothing but tickle the ears of people. They teach according to their own lusts. The only reason false teachings come from the pulpits today is because the pews allow the false teachings to happen.
Have a red letter day,