The Three Main Reasons for the Differences.
That versions of the Bible differ is common knowledge. When we bear in mind that the translators of the Bible were in the past and are at present all devout followers of Jesus, there should be good reason or causes for these differences. Responsible people with a high fear and reverence for God do not alter the word of God at will. Let us therefore look at the causes for these differences with an open mind. When we do understand the reasons causing the differences, we are able to evaluate the version we prefer and have respect for the version that differs.
We compare the King James Version (KJV) as representative of many of the older versions of the Bible with the New International Version (NIV) as representative of the modern versions.
The three main reasons are the following: 1. The KJV uses a direct or word-for-word translation method as far as possible, taking the standpoint that understanding comes from having every word written in Greek, translated into English. The NIV uses a thought-for-thought method, striving to evoke the same feeling and understanding in modern readers that the first readers would most probably have had. 2. The second reason is of more casual causes like synonyms or interpretations or even language developments. 3. The most alarming differences however are cases where clauses or even whole paragraphs are omitted from the one or the other version. This is caused by translating from different source texts. The KJV uses the Textus Receptus (Received Text), based on the first printed edition of the Greek New Testament of Desiderius Erasmus of 1516 A.D. Erasmus had only six manuscripts covering different parts of the New Testament to his avail when he compiled his text. The NIV and most modern translations use a text of the United Bible Societies, compiled from more than 5000 Greek Manuscripts, as well as thousands of manuscripts of the ancient translations and the quotations of more than 220 of the old Church Fathers.
The facts behind the differences will be provided to the readers of this blog in English to enable him/her to understand and evaluate their own decision on the version he/she prefers. All versions are important and so are all differences. Any alteration in the text had been done to enhance a certain aspect of the text or to elaborate something important. Therefore all differences should be evaluated with an open mind and in prayerful patience for God’s enlightenment in understanding His Word. After all, He can draw a straight line with a crooked stick!