Question:

Since the orignial writings where inspired by God, but we can’t have the 100% perfect translation what would be the best Bible to read that would be closest to the Greek and Hebrew text?   What is different between the the manuscripts we have compared to the original writings?  Any numbers wrong ?  Are there any other small changes?   Or do they just say different words that have the same meaning?

Nick:

I have answered this question a few times at the web site, so I ask you to do a little searching there. In the meantime, there is a power point and an outline on this exact topic at the site. http://www.evidenceforchristianity.org/biblical-inspiration-manuscripts-and-versions/   Also, I have a chapter on manuscript/copying errors in my book “Reasons for Belief,”  available at www.ipibooks.com

My generic response is that there is no perfect translation and there cannot be one because, as a rule, no English word is exactly equivalent to a particular Greek word.  One Greek word can be translated by two different English words, and different translations will reflect this. The “true” meaning of the original word might be  somewhere between two English words.  For this reason, it is best to look at a few different translations. The “average” of the different translations in English will give you a rough idea of the meaning of the original Greek or Hebrew word. There is no “best” translation. Perhaps this will not be enough to answer your questions. If so, please send me further questions.

John Oakes

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