The Translating of the Bible
September 17, 2021
Pastor Craig Ledbetter
Bible Baptist Church, Ballincollig, Cork, Ireland
I. Introduction (Acts 2:1-11)
A. So far, we have learned about the Inspiration of the Bible (2Peter 1:21) For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (like a writer’s pen is moved across the paper writing words of the author)
1. It matters whether these are only the words of men, or of God.
2. God spoke by inspiration, directly to His people, the Jews, in their language, Hebrew. And then later He spoke to the world in Greek when it was a Greek speaking world.
B. Then last week, we learned about the PRESERVATION of those words (Matthew 24:35) “Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away.”
1. GOD preserved His inspired words for all mankind, protecting them from being lost, ruined, or soiled with errors.
2. Even though these words are ancient Hebrew and Greek words from long ago… When we pick up and read the Holy Bible, we are reading the very same words they heard and read and believed so long ago!
C. But how many of you speak Hebrew or Greek? Not many I suppose. Less than a quarter of 1% of the world actually speak Hebrew or Greek still today.
D. This morning I need to teach you how you got that ENGLISH Bible in your hands, and why this church reads, believes, and loves the King James Bible above all other versions that are available today! Because it’s as true as if we had what Moses wrote 3500 years ago
E. Acts 2:1-11 (emphasis on verse 11)
A. The Great Commission (Matthew 28:19,20; Mark 16:15; Acts 1:8)
1. Jesus gave us a very big job to do
a. Matthew 28:19,20 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
b. Mark 16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
c. Act 1:8 But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.
2. Teach ALL nations? Go to All the world? To the uttermost parts of the earth? Win the world?
a. It is impossible enough to go from little Israel 12,000 miles in all directions
b. But remember, not everyone spoke Greek or Hebrew in Jesus’ day
c. There were and are tens of thousands of cultures, languages and dialect to deal with
3. Here is the promise... Jesus promised, “I will be with you”
a. Yes, Directing the footsteps of His people as they GO throughout the world
b. BUT ALSO directing us into the most strangest of cultures and languages
c. Jesus evidently oversees even the translation and preaching of the Bible
d. Because faith ONLY comes as you hear and understand God’s words!
B. An Important Word to Know – TRANSLATION (Colossians 1:13; Hebrews 11:5)
1. Meaning: To move a concept, truth, meaning of a word or sentence from one language into another language.
2. Just as every believer has been moved OUT of darkness, and into another kingdom…
3. Just as Enoch was raptured in Genesis 5, and moved from this planet all the way to heaven…
4. So must WORDS be moved from Hebrew and Greek into all other languages to obey Christ’s great commission to His people, and so that they can get saved!
C. Early Efforts (Acts 2:1-11)
1. The miracle of translation began on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4)
2. They took the words they heard from the Apostles back to their countries and started translating the Gospel to people there (Acts 2:5-11) – MAP
a. Act 2:5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven…
b. Act 2:7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans?
c. Act 2:8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue [OUR OWN LANGUAGE], wherein we were born?
1) Parthians, Medes, and Elamites (Persians in Iran and Iraq)
2) The dwellers in Mesopotamia (north of Israel in Syria)
3) Judaea (local Hebrew speakers)
4) Cappadocia (modern Turkey)
5) Pontus (northern Turkey)
6) Asia (into China and Russia)
7) Phrygia (central Turkey)
8) Pamphylia (far eastern Turkey)
9) Egypt (North Africa)
10) in the parts of Libya about Cyrene (Africa)
11) Strangers of Rome (Europe)
12) Both Jews and proselytes (people from all cultures)
13) Cretes and [EVEN] Arabians! (Arabs!)
d. “we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.” The Gospel!
3. Persecution pushed those early Christians to the farthest reaches of the world (Acts 8:3,4) – MAP
a. Act 8:3,4 As for Saul, he made havock of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women committed them to prison. Therefore they that were scattered abroad went every where preaching the word.
4. By around 300 AD, the entire world got the Gospel message in their language, from the Celts in Ireland and England, all the way to China and Southern Africa! (Colossians 1:3-6)
a. Colossians 1:3-6 We give thanks to God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, praying always for you, Since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus, and of the love which ye have to all the saints, For the hope which is laid up for you in heaven, whereof ye heard before in the word of the truth of the gospel; Which is come unto you, as it is in all the world; and bringeth forth fruit, as it doth also in you, since the day ye heard of it, and knew the grace of God in truth
D. Why Translate?
1. Because we are commanded to GO with the Gospel into every culture, and into every language and make Christ known and understood
a. This Bible has the greatest news for everyone in the world – the Gospel!
1) Peter called these words, “the words of eternal life” (John 6:63)
2) Jesus called these words “the TRUTH” (John 17:17)
3) King David called them “PURE words”
4) James called them “the perfect law of liberty” (James 1:25)
5) Ezra called them “the end of all perfection” (Psalm 119:96)
6) Paul called these words “the words of truth and soberness” (Acts 26:25)
7) And at the end of the Book of Revelation, Jesus called these words “True and faithful” (Revelation 21:5)
b. Christians translate the Bible so that other people can have the very same “words of life” in THEIR language
1) God is not expecting all the world to learn Hebrew and Greek, or Latin
2) He is expecting us Christians to go and make every effort to communicate what God has said to every heart, no matter what language they speak!
2. The Bible has to be carefully translated, so that all Christians can believe the same thing (1Corinthians 1:10) Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.
a. We do not trust our own goodness or our own hearts and feelings
b. We do not trust churches or religions
c. We do not trust governments and politicians
d. We want to know “What saith the scripture?” (Romans 4:3)
e. And whatever the Bible says, we choose to believe
f. Christians in Kerry should believe the same thing as the Christians in Cork, who should believe the same things as the Christians in Paris, and London, and Ethiopia, and in Kabul, and Tokyo, and New York, and Moscow!
3. And the ONLY way to make sure we all say and believe the same truths, is if we all have the same quality of Bible in our own language!
E. Translating is Not Easy
1. The Apostles supernaturally translated in Acts 2 – after that it has been hard work
2. Some languages had no written alphabet in the First Centuries (faith cometh by HEARING), so Christians developed entire alphabets and grammars for them
a. Middle Irish - William Bedell and William O’Donnall had to
b. Ulfias - the Gothic language of northern Europe was not written yet
c. American Indians had no written language – created by hundreds of missionaries
3. Moving concepts, and meanings from one language to another is hard sometimes
a. Like Repentance – it does not mean ‘penance’ and paying for your sins. It means abandoning your sin, and turning in your heart to God only
b. Forgive – to let the person who hurt you go free of the debt.
c. Love – there are five different words for love in Spanish
d. Rapture – a Latin word that means catching away, snatching, like grabbing up a child
e. Messiah – anointed leader, specially appointed
4. Sorting through all the manuscripts is an intense science
a. There are 10,000 Hebrew Old Testament copies, as well as the Dead Sea Scrolls
b. 5,220 copies of different portions of New Testament Greek Scripture
c. There are also thousands of different copies of the Bible translated into Old Latin, and Syriac, and Gothic, and Ethiopian, and Egyptian Coptic between 150 AD and 400 AD.
5. We have an enemy hindering at every step (2Corinthians 2:17) He HATES God’s word, and so do powerful people!
a. The serpent of Genesis 3:1-4
1) genesis 3:1-4 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden? And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden: But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die. And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:
2) The most evil of all Bible critics is the devil
a) Questioning God’s words
b) Lying about God’s words
c) Changing God’s words
b. Destroying the written copies as soon as they are written
1) Wicked rulers - Jeremiah 36
a) Jer 36:1-3 And it came to pass in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, that this word came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day. It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.
b) Jer 36:21-23 So the king sent Jehudi to fetch the roll: and he took it out of Elishama the scribe's chamber. And Jehudi read it in the ears of the king, and in the ears of all the princes which stood beside the king. Now the king sat in the winterhouse in the ninth month: and there was a fire on the hearth burning before him. And it came to pass, that when Jehudi had read three or four leaves, he cut it with the penknife, and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the roll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth.
2) The Roman Empire - Attempted to destroy every last bit of Judaism after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70AD
3) The Catholic Church (BURNING BOOKS)
a) Forced Jews to convert or flee Europe
b) Destroyed most Jewish communities throughout Europe during the Inquisition and Crusades – including Hebrew Scriptures
4) When 5,000 beautiful Irish Bibles were given away to parish priests all over Ireland in the late 1600’s, hundreds and hundreds of them were taken and burned by the Irish Bishops so that people could not read them!
5) There are less than 300 left in museums and libraries all over the world – and I have three of them!
c. Satan sows tares among the wheat (Matthew 13:24,25) - It ruins the crop! Constantly adding humanism and human reasoning into bibles
1) Matthew 13:24,25 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field: But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
d. Corrupting what is pure – poisoning
Psalm 10:4,5 KJV
NIV, ESV, JB, etc
4 The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts.
5 His ways are always grievous; thy judgments are far above out of his sight: as for all his enemies, he puffeth at them.
4 In his pride the wicked man does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God.
5 His ways are always prosperous; your laws are rejected by him; he sneers at all his enemies.
Galatians 2:20 KJV
I am crucified with Christ:
I have been crucified with Christ
e. Even ADDING and REMOVING God’s words!
1) 6,000 missing and changed words between the KJV and the new bibles
2) Hell is missing in most new bibles – it is ‘hades’ now
3) ‘Lord’ is missing 66 times
4) Repent is omitted 44 times
5) Damnation is gone
6) And references to Christ’s blood is missing from 23 verses
f. Most new versions teach all sorts of wrong doctrines
1) Never really saved until death – always only BEING saved
1Cor 1:18 For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God.
1Cor 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
2Cor 2:15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:
2Cor 2:15 For we are to God the pleasing aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing.
New bibles are why most Christians today believe they can lose their salvation
2) Baptism is all a person needs
Acts 8:36-38 KJV
36 And as they went on their way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, here is water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
Act 8:36 As they traveled along the road, they came to some water and the eunuch said, "Look, here is water. What can stand in the way of my being baptized?"
Where is verse 37?
Act 8:38 And he gave orders to stop the chariot. Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him.
3) No need to fast when praying about hard things
a) Matthew 17:21 It is MISSING
b) Mark 9:29 GONE
Mark 9:29 KJV
29 And he said unto them, This kind can come forth by nothing, but by prayer and fasting.
29 He replied, "This kind can come out only by prayer."
c) And ‘fasting’ is gone in Acts 10:30; 1Cor 7:5; 2Cor 6:5; 2Cor 11:27 and so on
g. And all other English versions get rid of important words and even entire verses
1) Mark 10:21 - no cross
Mark 10:21 KJV
21 Then Jesus beholding him loved him, and said unto him, One thing thou lackest: go thy way, sell whatsoever thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come, take up the cross, and follow me.
21 Jesus looked at him and loved him. "One thing you lack," he said. "Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me."
2) Luke 23:42 No ‘Lord’
3) John 9:35 Jesus is not the Son of God?
4) Mark 6:11 No mention of Sodom and Gomorrah
5) 1John 5:7 No Trinity
6) Luke 9:54-56 No warning against wrong spirits influencing Christians
Luke 9:54-56 KJV
Luk 9:54 And when his disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did?
Luk 9:55 But he turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of.
Luk 9:56 For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. And they went to another village.
Luk 9:54 When the disciples James and John saw this, they asked, "Lord, do you want us to call fire down from heaven to destroy them?"
Luk 9:55 But Jesus turned and rebuked them.
Luk 9:56 Then he and his disciples went to another village.
7) Now you know WHY Robert Estienne in 1551 took the time to sit down and number all the sentences of the entire Bible into verses… so that we could tell when someone has tried to mess with and remove or add lines to the Bible!
F. How Did This happen? FOUR Reasons…
1. All bibles do not get translated from the same Greek and Hebrew manuscripts
2. Two starting points – see MAP
a. Antioch of Syria
b. And Alexandria, Egypt
c. Antioch was where the first Missionaries were sent out from (Acts 11)
d. The King James Bible came from 5,200 Greek manuscripts from Antioch
e. Alexandria was a centre of knowledge and learning and cults
f. And all other bibles came from 9 manuscripts that trace their beginning in Alexandria
3. Christians are suckers for new things, and nice things, and feely-good things
a. ‘New’ King James Bible ‘New’ International Version
b. ‘New’ Jerusalem Bible The ‘New’ Living Bible
4. Most modern Christians believe Jesus didn’t preserve His own words like He promised (Matthew 24:35) – which means Jesus is an impotent liar! And they are okay with it!
5. Copyright law requires that any product or book must be at least 10% different than anything already on the market to be able to be copyrighted. So all new Bibles are NOT the same, but are at least 10% different than the KJV. PEOPLE MAKE MONEY OFF THE BIBLE AND RELIGION!
6. That ought to scare you!
G. Final Points
1. People DO get saved by believing other versions Bibles, but like poisoned plants, they do not grow straight and strong
a. Listen to the New Jerusalem Catholic bible (John 3:3) Jesus answered: In all truth I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.
b. Even Jehovah’s Witness Translation, (John 3:3) In response Jesus said to him: Most truly I say to you, unless anyone is born again, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.
c. So, the Gospel IS in most Bibles
d. But… just because you find a diamond ring in a rubbish bin, doesn’t mean you should LIVE in the rubbish bin
2. There usually is a KJV-like Bible in every language, and a few perverted versions. So, Check your Bible out to make sure all the verses are there! We need to CARE that someone has been editing the Bible every time it gets translated into another language!
3. Why some people can’t understand the KJV, there are two possibilities:
They are carnal
and lazy – not willing to do a bit
of study for yourself
Romans 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be.
Or, not saved – be honest! If people are not interested, then they
are not saved!
John 10:27 My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me…
1Corinthians 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
c. Or, Too Proud – don’t want to be “out of step” with world
A. The King James Bible is actually just fine for us English speakers, today
1. Most people in the world learn the king’s English – not modern slang!
2. It does not need to be updated, and made to sound like 21st century humans
a. It has been updated now over 220 times since 1881
b. You wouldn’t want to read it if it did sound like people talk today (f-ing and blinding all the time - do you really want a Bible to talk like Netflix?)
3. It really needs to just be re-read, and studied and learned AS IT IS – the word of God, faithfully translated into English
a. Yes, there are some things to get used to (Thee’s and Thou’s and hast’s and withereth’s) – but that was true with Math, Chemistry, Psychology books in school
b. Get over it, and start reading and hearing it as the word of God, in your language
c. From the youngest ages too – don’t be afraid to read this book with your children
B. Just read it and listen to it as if God was speaking (Psalm 119:161) Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of thy word.
C. Memorize it – mould it into your life! it was translated to be the easiest to memorise
D. Do whatever the Bible says do (Romans 10:9-13)
1. Confess to God / Repent – God is right and you have been wrong
2. Believe in your heart that the resurrection of Jesus is true
3. Call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to save you – just ask
4. And then live for Him