Why So Many Bible Versions?

  We are going to shock our Muslim friends with this article because, in it, we are going to agree 100% with one of their favorite objections to the Bible:

  there are so many versions and translations of the Bible!



  With so many different versions available that even a small collection would strain your bookshelves, how is a poor Muslim who has never read a Bible in his life supposed to know which one of them is the right one?

  We think we can help to solve that problem with this blog post. Let us begin by demonstrating the differences between the original texts and the translations.

  Here are two Greek texts of a verse from the Gospel of Mark describing Jesus' last moments on the cross:

  15:37 (TR)   ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἀφεὶς φωνὴν μεγάλην ἐξέπνευσεν  

  15:37 (GNT) ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἀφεὶς φωνὴν μεγάλην ἐξέπνευσεν

  As you can see, the two Greek texts read exactly the same way and transliterate as:

  "ho de iEsous apheis phOnEn megalEn exepneusen"

  In English, that would read:

  "The yet Jesus from letting sound great expires"

  From the above you can see why translation is necessary. "The yet Jesus from letting sound great expires" does not make a lot of sense to an English reader. It is clear that translating the Greek text literally word for word into English does not give us a comprehensible result.

  Instead, we need to know Koine Greek and English as well as consider the context of the verse to give us a text that we can understand. So let us take a look at how different editors, scholars and publishers have translated the same verse over several centuries:

Mark 15:37

King James Bible
  And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.

American King James Version
  And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.

American Standard Version
  And Jesus uttered a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.

Douay-Rheims Bible
  And Jesus having cried out with a loud voice, gave up the ghost. 

English Revised Version
  And Jesus uttered a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.

King James 2000 Bible
  And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up his spirit.

World English Bible
  Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and gave up the spirit.

Weymouth New Testament
  But Jesus uttered a loud cry and yielded up His spirit.

Young's Literal Translation
  And Jesus having uttered a loud cry, yielded the spirit.

Jubilee Bible 2000
  But Jesus, giving a great cry, expired.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
  But Yeshua cried with a loud voice, and he expired.

Darby Bible Translation
  And Jesus, having uttered a loud cry, expired.

Webster's Bible Translation
  And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and expired.

New International Version
  With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.

New Living Translation
  Then Jesus uttered another loud cry and breathed his last.

English Standard Version
  And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last.

New American Standard Bible 
  And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed His last.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
  But Jesus let out a loud cry and breathed His last. 

International Standard Version
  Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. 

NET Bible
  But Jesus cried out with a loud voice and breathed his last.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
  Then Jesus cried out in a loud voice and died.

  As we can see, many of the older versions used a phrase that would have been familiar to readers of their day: "gave up the ghost." 

  On the other hand, many of the modern versions chose to stay as close to the literal Greek text as possible while continuing to convey the original thought of the verse.

  But all of them say the very same thing: "Jesus shouted and then died." Every single one of these translations tells us how Jesus died exactly as Mark described it 2,000 years ago.

  Each of our four Gospel writers relates how Jesus died. If we were to do with the other three Gospels what we have done here with Mark, we would still come to the same result: Jesus died.

  Because Christians are entirely open and transparent about our Bible texts, because we have manuscripts of the New Testament that date back to the earliest centuries of Jesus and the church, and because the Web has a plethora of Bible resources available to all for free, anyone with the patience and time can confirm for himself or herself if, in fact, our Bible texts have been corrupted. 

  They have not, of course, and the multiplicity of Bible versions and translations does not at all reflect a difference in their contents, but rather a freedom amongst Christians to continue to strive to bring the true Word of God to as many as will read it, and in the language which is the most accessible to them, no matter what generation they may come from.


Jesus is Lord!

  The Inter-Linear version of the Gospel of Mark can be seen on the Scripture 4 All website here:

  http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/NTpdf/mar15.pdf



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