Which Bible Version?
Every now and then the question is asked about which Bible to use. Is there a perfect Bible? Unfortunately there is no perfect translation. There are several things to consider however.
The source manuscripts. Many of the newer translations are derived from manuscripts that are claimed to be older and better. These manuscripts were actually incomplete and corrupted. They also were highly edited by men who did not believe in the verbal inspiration of scripture and that Christ alone could save. They were into the occult. Many preachers have a copy of the works of Westcott and Hort in their library. They should also consider obtaining a copy of the books of their correspondence to each other.
There is actually better support for the manuscripts that were used by the King James Version. However the KJV has a lot of errors. Here is one where a verb was translated as a noun.
Ephesians 2:12 "That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world".
The word aliens should have been translated "alienated". That is the people being discussed, the ten northern tribes afar off in Europe and Greece according to history, had been a part of the commonwealth of Israel. As Hosea promised they were brought back under Christ. That is one example of many grammar problems. Here are a few examples of hiding the meaning of words through translation.
The word baptism is just an English version of the Greek word baptizo. It was not translated due to current practice of the church in England to pour water on an infant. The word immerse should have been used. The word divorce is only found three times in the Greek text of the new testament. If it does not have writing of, writ of or something similar with the word then read it as separated or separated, still married depending on the context. While baptizo is pretty well known very few preachers are taught about the difference between the words translated as divorce or put away (separate).
I still recommend the KJV for several reasons. There are some words that are used properly that tie thoughts together between books, authors and even testaments that are lost in newer translations. The KJV is tied to Strong's Concordance. While that resource isn't perfect either, it is very helpful for study. Italicized words are helpful. You can then decide if the translators should have included them or not.
Two other words to watch for. Let the context determine the who for the word Gentile. Gentile is a Latin word that just means nation, not only non-Israelite. It was placed in some locations where the Greek word ethnos was found. Ethnos means nation. The context determines who is being discussed. Sometimes it is those ten, really twelve tribes scattered abroad. The word Jew is a problem because it only meant two of the tribes in the old testament. In the new testament it should have been translated Judean (as in country) in the way we use Texan, as in anyone living there. Most of the Jewish leaders in the days of Christ were not even Israelites which is why they hated Christ so much. Today's Jews are not Israelites at all. They have written a good bit about that, but Christians have not paid any attention to it.
One of the major problems concerning understanding the scriptures is spiritualization of the scriptures. Most are taught to take a verse and spiritualize it or understand it in a very inclusive way. If you really think about it then one must consider that the author or God did not know what was going to happen or that God broke a lot of promises. Rather than changing the meaning of bible verses to fit the world we should question the world. Believe the scripture and question the world. Once one figures out the problems with the world no spiritualization of verses is required to have scripture make sense today.
There is a new bible version that does use the source manuscripts of the KJV, the Textus Receptus. It is the MEV, the Modern English version. It has made some corrections, but has its own problems. Don't expect too many changes. Bible versions that make too many changes, even for better accuracy, do not sell well. People want to read what they are used to seeing, right or wrong.
Download and use e-Sword on your computer. It is my favorite software version of the scripture. You can even search for the Hebrew and Greek words and see how they have been translated in each instance. Search by the Greek or Hebrew Strong's number by putting a G or H before the number in the search in the program. If you use Bible Analyzer I always buy the Word Study Bundle. If you would like to see a bible version that has the grammar correct and can be extremely literal then download, by right clicking only, this module and use the module creation tools to add it to the program. Name it CNT. It is not perfect, but it will open your eyes on some verses.
This article is incomplete. There is quite a bit more information that could be added. We'll see if I am led to write more.
Feel free to send your helpful comments.