I find it disturbing that you use many Bible versions, and not stick to just one. Why the need to use different versions?
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"Why use different Bible versions?"

Letter to the Editor:
GOD'S MESSAGE, June 2004, p.3

I HAVE READ several issues of your magazine. I greatly admire the way you tackle doctrinal issues by quoting directly from the scriptures. However, I find it disturbing that you use many Bible versions, and not stick to just one. Are you being subjective and arbitrary by choosing the version that suits your beliefs? Why the need to use different versions?

Kim Valdez
Oahu, Hawaii, U.S.A.

Editor's reply:

Using only one Bible version in both written and oral discourse seems practical and expedient. This would not pose any problem if and when those who translated various languages are completely free of bias or theologically neutral. Unfortunately, they are not. And this has resulted not only in differences in shades of meaning in some portions of the verse, but also  in differences in interpretation of the entire passage:  

"All translations involves interpretation. Interpretation, of course, involves the influence of theology; and as all translation involves interpretation, so all translation involves theology. ......... Translators cannot avoid totally the necessity of making interpretive decisions, nor can they avoid completely the influence of personal views of truth on their work. Translation in not hermeneutically neutral and translators are not theologically neutral." (Accuracy of Translation, p.41)

For these reasons there are times when it is necessary to choose the version that is not only easier to comprehend, but most of all renders the precise meaning---thus, the need to use more than one version of the Bible.

How do we determine which particular version of the Bible to use? Apostle Paul taught the guiding principle when it comes to the teachings written in the Holy Scriptures:

"But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God."

"These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual" (I Cor. 2:10,13, New King James Version)

Spiritual truth must be compared with spiritual truths, and in doing so, there must be no contradiction. Hence, if a term or phrase in particular version contradicts the true doctrine, then there is an error in the translation. Therefore it behooves us to use a version that does not contradict the biblical truth.

However, an important thing must be understood when it come to comparing spiritual truths with spiritual truths. A preacher of the gospel must be sent or duly commissioned by God for him to receive the Holy Spirit and be able to correctly compare spiritual truths and spiritual things. Hence, not everyone can rightfully explain the contents of the Bible. Apostle Paul said,

"And how shall they preach unless they are sent? ..... (Rom. 10:15, ibid)

John the Baptist also taught the importance of being sent by God:

"The one whom God has sent speaks God's words, because God gives him the fullness of his Spirit." (Jn. 3:34, Today's English Version)

God gave the knowledge of His words only to His messengers. They are the ones entrusted with the ministry and the message of reconciliation (II Cor. 5:18-20), and thus they are the ones who can rightfully teach the contents of the Holy Scriptures. People should listen to their preaching to be able to know and understand the will of God expressed in His Holy book.


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