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The White of an Egg

Before we get to the business of identifying where the various denominations have come from and gotten off to, I thought to make a comment about the business of translations — that is biblical translations.

It may seem to some that there are more versions of the scriptures now than at any time. Though probably not true, there are a host of versions out and about which were not so much as a thought in time a mere twenty years ago. The method of delivery has certainly sped up the process of deliberating over the meanings of words and getting them out to the publisher. That is a good thing. But is the product better? Do we, the end readers, spend any time examining the specific worth of the products?

Have you ever thought about the process that drove one set of specialists to inspect and offer a unique translation for the entire second phrase from Job 6:6 (Can that which is unsavory be eaten without salt, or is there any taste in the white of an egg?)? One major version inserted a Hebraism and another a transliterated word; and none of it means much to a common reader. Do you lose Job’s metaphor on taste in the TNIV? I wonder why this was necessary. What intellectual process drove them to remove something so simple and seemingly straightforward? Is it to correct grave errors in the original languages; was the earlier English edition altogether wrong?

What elicited the change in the English wording in 2 Corinthians 11:3that your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ for, …that your minds may be led astray from your sincere (or complete) and pure devotion to Christ? The second is a compilation of several new renderings.

Do these phrases both accurately translate from the same Greek or Byzantine wording? Better yet, do we actually improve on the import and meaning of the language or the precision of the thought with the latter? Does sincere now mean complete? Or is it that simplicity now means the same thing as sincerity? My dictionary does not complement these wordings.

A quick reading and comparison of the second chapter of Hebrews as found in The New World Translation might give us pause before we offer a hasty answer.

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I know that whatever God does, it is forever. Nothing can be put to it and nothing taken from it. And God does so that mankind may reverence Him.

(Ecclesiastes 3:14)

First of all, you should know this; no prophecy of Scripture comes from one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the will of man; instead, moved by the Holy Spirit, men spoke from God.

(2 Peter 1:20 – 21)