The Three Main Reasons for the Differences.


Starting out it would be good to look at the three main reasons for the differences between versions of the Bible. We compare the King James Version (KJV) as representative of many of the older and more conservative versions of the Bible with the New International Version (NIV) as representative of the modern versions.

The two 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!

God Bless. Herman.


About bibledifferencesfacts

I am a retired preacher of the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa. Since my studies at the University of Pretoria I had a keen interest in the reasons for the differences between the translations of the Bible, especially the New Testament. Since 1973 I am married to my dear wife and greatest friend, Leah Page. We are blessed with two daughters and two sons, two grand sons and one grand daughter. God is alive and omnipotent! Glory to His Name! Herman
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