Muratorian Canon Marcion’s list prompted the other Church Fathers to publish a more generally accepted list. The Muratorian Canon was published between 170-200. It contained: The four Gospels Acts Paul’s thirteen letters Jude Revelation 1 John 2 John or 3 John, or both By the end of the Second Century, the NT was nearly complete.
We cannot be absolutely certain of the exact wording of the original documents, but with such a wealth of manuscripts, experts use two criteria: External Evidence Internal Evidence
External Evidence Compares the variety of witnesses – all of the manuscripts, versions and references in early church writings.
Internal Evidence Looks at the variations in wording among the manuscripts, including differences in writing style, vocabulary and grammar.
Example: Mark 16:9-20 1.Grammar, vocabulary and writing style are different from the rest of the book 2.Earliest manuscripts do not include these verses Conclusion: these verses were added later; were not part of the original book.
Finally, one combination of all of those manuscripts is developed with the wording experts believe to be closest to the original. It is from that final, authoritative document that modern English translations are made.
Two approaches to translation: 1.Formal (word-for-word) 2.Functional (thought-for- thought).
Translators try to balance being as true to the word-for-word translation while still getting the meaning of the original.
However, nearly all translations tend toward one or the other.
Where does your translation fall on the continuum?
Two very popular versions of the Bible, The Living Bible and The Message are not considered to be “translations,” but rather “paraphrases,” where the author puts the text into his/her own words. Little if any word-for-word faithfulness. The Living Bible is a paraphrase of the King James Version; The Message is a paraphrase based on the original Hebrew and Greek languages.
In 1604, King James I authorized a new translation of the whole Bible for use in the churches of England. The leading university scholars in England produced the Authorized Version of 1611, commonly known as the King James Version.
It has been revised numerous times since. The revision of 1769 is the one most prominent today. New translations have been produced in the last 60 years for two reasons:
1. The translators of the KJV used only about a half dozen very late Greek manuscripts to translate the NT. Since that time many older MSS have been discovered which more likely reflect the original text.
2. The KJV’s use of archaic English words and phrases like “aforetime,” “must needs,” “howbeit,” “peradventure,” make the text harder to understand, defeating the original purpose of providing a Bible that was easy for common people to understand.
Many of today’s versions are more accurate in their translations, and easier to understand.
Many of today’s versions are more accurate in their translations, and easier to understand. One thing we can all be sure of…
Jesus did not speak the King’s English, nor did the original authors write it!