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Obsessed with Bible Versions?
Part Three

By Gary F. Zeolla


The following discussion is continued from Obsessed with Bible Versions? - Part Two. Again, the e-mailer's comments are in black and enclosed in "greater than" and "lesser than" signs. My comments are in red.

>Gary, Thanks for answering my e mail & thanks for posting it (this shows that you are fair - I did not know if you would be fair or not).

Just out of curiosity, who is J.P. Green? I have heard his name mentioned before, but I am not very familiar with him. I'd like to learn more about him. Can you give me some background information about him? When was he born? Is he still alive? Where was he from? Was/is he a Christian? What was his academic/theological training background, what was his denominational affiliation? Did he even have some sort of denominational affiliation, etc.?<

Jay Green us the editor of the MODERN King James Version (MKJV), The Literal Translation of the Bible (LITV for "Literal Version"), The Interlinear Bible, and the magazine/ book catalog Christian Literature World (CLW). He has been working in Bible translation and publishing of Christian books, especially Puritan and Reformed works, for decades. In a recent issue of CLW I believe he said he is in his late seventies and still working 60 hours per week!

His theological perspective is the same as mine, Reformed-Baptist, though I am not sure what denomination he is affiliated with. I am not sure of his academic background. I have correspondence with him for several years now, on the subject of Bible versions and many others. In fact, CLW offers for sale my little book on Bible versions.

You should think about subscribing to his magazine. It, and the books offered in it, I think you would find worthwhile. Particularly helpful is his interlinear, especially the most recent edition of the NT edition. In the middle column, it has the Greek text (TR) with word for word translation underneath each Greek word and Strong’s concordance numbers above each Greek word. In the left hand-column is the LITV and in the right the KJV.

CLW then has for sale several reference works coded to Strong’s numbers. These enable even the non-Greek (or non-Hebrew) reader some access to the original languages. As I mention in my article My Bible Versions Experiences it was the use of such aids that showed me how very unreliable the NIV was.

CLW can be contacted through their Web site or at: Christian Literature World ~ PO Box 4998 ~ Lafayette, IN ~ Within the USA: (800) 447-9142; Outside the USA: (765) 447-9143 ~ Fax (765) 449-4870.

>It's good to know you use info from Millard Erickson - I like him, he is definitely one of my favorite theologians, however, couldn't his quote also be interpreted to argue for "Dynamic instead of Verbal inspiration"? Erickson's quote seems to make an allowance either way (I realize this may be a stretch, but it could be argued).

I don’t see how; but to make the point clear I will quote from Erickson’s Christian Theology (one volume edition, Baker, 1985). In his theology, Erickson compares four different "Theories of Translation." The first two are "intuition" and "illumination" which I don’t think concern us here.

The third is what you mention and he defines as:
The dynamic theory emphasizes the combination of divine and human elements in the process of inspiration and of the writing of the Bible. The work of the Spirit of God is in directing the writer to the thoughts or concepts he should have, and allowing the writer’s own distinctive personality to come to play into the choice of words and expressions. Thus, the person writing will give expression to the divinely directed thoughts in a way that is uniquely characteristic of him.

Erickson defines the fourth idea as:
The verbal theory insists that the influence of the Holy Spirit extends beyond the direction of thoughts to the selection of words used to convey that message. The work of the Holy Spirit is so intense that each word is the exact word which God wants used at that point to convey the message. Ordinarily, great care is taken to insist that this is not dictation, however (p.207).

So to say God inspires the very choice of words is definitely a Verbal Inspiration theory. It is the dynamic theory that states God only inspired the concepts or thoughts which the Biblical writers put into their own words.

But first, by way of contrast, let me quote Erickson’s fifth and final theory:
The dictation theory is the teaching that God actually dictated the Bible to the writers. Passages where the Spirit is depicted as telling the author precisely what to write are regarded as applying to the entire Bible. This means that there is no distinctive style attributable to the different biblical books. The number of people who actually hold this view is considerably smaller than the number to whom it is attributed, since most adherents of the verbal view take great pains to disassociate themselves from the dictation theorists (p.207).

Please note Erickson’s qualifier at the end. I hold to a verbal theory not a dictation theory. And so does Erickson as I will explain below.

>Gary, you mentioned previously "If the very 'choice of words' was inspired by the Holy Spirit then I simply do not see how most new versions can leave literally thousands of these 'choice' words untranslated while adding thousands of their own words." First of all, I may be wrong, but I think "thousands" is an exaggeration on your part. I have heard messages from world class Christian scholars that most of the variant readings are not substantial in altering passages from the Bible.<

In my statement about leaving out and adding thousands of words I am not referring to textual variants (at least solely or primarily). I am referring to the method of translation. For instance, if you count all of the conjunctions that are left out in the NIV (which appear in any published Greek text) you might end of with thousand just with them. So I could be conservative in my estimate. It could even run into tens of thousand of omitted and added words when all words are counted.

I have not counted them one by one; but these are the estimates that Green makes. And based on my own comparisons of the NIV and similar versions with the Hebrew and Greek such numbers do seem to be justified.

Pick any verse in the NIV or most other modern versions and compare it with the word-for-word rendering of an interlinear and you will see what I mean. See the following article on my site where I do just this with Matt 2:10: Four Different Translation Principles.

Green, in the books I referred you to previously, has hundreds of such comparisons. And he shows how in many verses the number of omitted and added words actually outnumber the number of original words in many modern versions.

> From my viewpoint, I am not sure if I agree (based on the Verbal Inspiration Theory) that every word in the Bible is an exact, mechanical recording of God's words. I agree with your comments about conjunctions and your citation of Matthew 4:4 was good, however, I also think one needs to balance the Verbal Inspiration theory with historical context, don't you think? I don't know where you stand on this, Gary, but the brothers & sisters in Christ (I know) who hold to the extreme version of Verbal Inspiration seem to ignore or overlook the dynamic of personal context of the person who wrote a book (or books) of the Bible. To what extent, if any, did the prophets or apostles paraphrase God's words? To what extent were their personalities conveyed in their writing? To what extent did they edit or streamline historical events (by this I do not mean that they altered facts)? I am not sure what the answers to these questions are, but nevertheless, they do go through my mind.<

First off, there is no reason to use the word "extreme" when referring to a position to you do not agree with. If you mean the dictation theory then just say so. But to those of us who believe in verbal inspiration we do not ignore the "personal context" of the Biblical writers.

That said, you do raise a very important issue that might get to the heart of this discussion. If God only inspired the THOUGHTS of the Biblical writers then possibly a "thought for thought" translation (i.e. dynamic equivalence) would be appropriate. But if God inspired the very WORDS of the Biblical writers then a word-for-word translation (i.e. formal equivalence) would be necessitated.

So which is it? It would probably require a full length article to adequately answer this question. I do not have the time right now. However, Erickson discusses this question at length in his theology. If you have it I will refer you to Chapter Nine: "The Preservation of the Revelation: Inspiration" (pp.199-220). But in case you do not have his theology, I will provide a few excerpts and make a few comments.

He writes:
We must next ask about the matter of the intensiveness of the inspiration. Was it only a general influence, perhaps involving the suggesting of concepts, or was it so thoroughgoing that even the choice of words reflect God’s intention?

When we examine the New Testament writer’s use of the Old Testament, an interesting feature appears. We sometimes find indication that they regarded every word, syllable, and punctuation mark as significant. At times their whole argument rest upon a fine point in the text that they are consulting.

Erickson then cites and comments on the following verses: John 10:35; Matthew 22:32,44; Acts 2:34-35; and Gal 3:16 (pp. 212-213).

To these I would add Matt 4:4 and the other verses I cited previously: Deut 4:2; Prov 8:8,9; 30:5,6; Jer 23:30,31; Rev 22:18,19. See also: 1Ki 8:56; Josh 21:43-45; 23:14; Jer 1:9; 23:30f; 26:2; Matt 15:3-9; Mark 12:35-37; John 6:63; 10:34f; 11:49-52; 12:47-50; 1Cor 4:6.

I will simply encourage you to study these verses carefully and see if the Biblical writers considered every word important.

Erickson then add, "One other argument regarding the intensiveness of inspiration is the fact that New Testament writers attribute to God statements in the Old Testament which in the original form are not specifically ascribed to him." Erickson then cites: Matt 19:4-5; Acts 4:25; 13:34; Heb 1:6-7 (p.213).

Next, Erickson writes, "In addition to these specific references, we should note that Jesus often introduced his quotations of the Old Testament with the formula ‘It is written.’ Whatever the Bible said he identified as having the force of God’s own speech. It was authoritative" (pp. 213-214).

He then concludes, "On the basis of this type of didactic material, one would conclude that the inspiration of the Scripture is so intense that it extends even to the choice of particular words" (p.214).

Now, Erickson then presents an alternate view of Dewey Beegle based on the "phenomena" of Scripture. His view of non-inspiration of specific words is based on supposed contradictions in the Bible and the quotations of non-Biblical material.

Erickson does not consider this viewpoint to have as much weight as the former for reasons he discusses at length in the preceding section of his theology (which I will not take the time to try to explain). But he concludes, "In keeping with the methodology stated earlier, we will give primary consideration to the didactic material. This means concluding that inspiration extends even to the choice of words (i.e. inspiration is verbal)" (pp.214-215).

To Erickson’s methodology I would add that I personally do not believe there are any true contradictions in the Bible. Such supposed contradictions have been dealt with, at least to my satisfaction, by many Christian writers. For my thoughts in this regard see my article Is the Bible Reliable? See also: Bible Difficulties?

As for quotations of non-biblical materials, they are not introduced with "formulas" like, "It is written" or quoted in an authoritative manner, and most of all, appeals are not made to specify words in them.

I find the former reason for the dynamic inspiration theory most instructive. It would seem that at least Beagle bases his idea on a belief that their are "errors" in the Scriptures. So a belief in the errancy of Scripture can lead to a dynamic inspiration theory, which in turn, can lead to a dynamic equivalency translation principle.

OTOH, a belief in the inerrancy of Scripture would lead to a Verbal Inspiration theory, which in turn, would lead to a formal equivalency translation principle. I am not saying that all who ascribe to a dynamic equivalency in translation deny the inerrancy of Scripture or that all who ascribe to formal equivalency believe in inerrancy. But there does seem to be at least a logical connection.

Erickson now adds an important point:
An important point to notice is that words-versus-thoughts issues is an artificial issues. The two cannot really be separated. A particular thought or concept cannot be represented by every single word which happens to available in the given language. There is a limited number of words that will function effectively. The more precise the thought becomes, the more limited is the number of words which will serve the purpose. Finally, there is a point where only one word will do, if the match of word to thought is to be precise (p.215).

And if one can appeal to a specific form of a word, as the NT writers do, then the Biblical material is very precise. In other words, it takes words to express thoughts. And if one is trying to be precise, as God apparently is in Scripture, then only one specific word will do. So the Biblical writers could not have been "paraphrasing God's words."

As Erickson writes, "It is our suggestion here that what the Spirit may do is to direct the thoughts of the Scripture writers… By creating the thought and stimulating the understanding of the Scripture writer, the Spirit will lead him in effect to use one particular word rather than any other" (p.215).

As for the question of the "personal context" Erickson writes:
Through all of life God was at work shaping and developing the individual writer. So, for example, the experiences of the fisherman Peter and the physician Luke were creating the kind of personality and worldview that would later be employed in the writing of Scripture.

It is sometimes assumed that the vocabulary which is distinctive to a given writer is the human element in the Scripture, a limitation within which God must necessarily work in giving the Bible. From what we have just seen,. However, we know that the vocabulary of the Scripture writers was not exclusively a human factor. Luke’s vocabulary resulted from his education and his whole broad sweep of experience; in all of this God had been at work preparing him for his task. The vocabulary Luke had was the vocabulary that God intended him to have and to utilize. Equipped with this pool of God-intended words the author then wrote. Thus, although inspiration in the strict sense applies to the influence of the Holy Spirit at the actual point of writing, it presupposes a long process of God’s providential working with the author, Then at the actual point of writing, God directs the thinking of the author (pp.218,219).

So Luke had the personality and life experiences that God wanted him to have. So when Luke went to write his Gospel and Acts, he was the person God wanted him to be and would use the very words that God intended him to use. He "edited or streamlined historical events" in the exact way that God intended him to do.

Erickson then concludes his discussion by stating, "So a Scripture writer, given the circumstances which we have described, could-without dictation-write God’s message just as God wanted it recorded" (p.218). So again, those who believe in Verbal Inspiration do not believe in Dictation theory. The two should not be confused.

And I will conclude from all of the above that the exact words, not just the concepts, of the Scriptures are God-breathed. As such, formal equivalence is the most appropriate translation principle.

> Yes, I have read some (not all) of your articles, but I do not understand this emphasis on every word being literally exact. If there are passages (and there are some) where essentials of the faith are altered by poor or unreliable translation, then I will see the necessity for exact wording. However, after examining some of the evidence, I remain unconvinced.<

It is true that the major doctrines of the Christian faith can be shown from even dynamic equivalent-Critical Text versions. But that is only because the major doctrines are based on dozens if not hundreds of verses and not all of these are corrupted in such versions.

However, in my articles I discuss individual verse relating to the Deity of Christ, the Trinity, and the sinlessness of Christ which are compromised. In addition, I discussed compromises of verses relating to important, though non-essential, topics like predestination. Also, I show how some version try to "solve" such controversial topics as the role of women in the church by mistranslating pertinent passages. And lastly, I discuss how Christian ethics are compromised in some new versions.

As an example of the last point, if you have ever spent much time in "Christian" Newsgroups you are sure to come across posts by "Tim." He is a practicing homosexual who claims to be a Christian. He will tell you very strongly that the Bible does not condemn his lifestyle. Why? Because his preferred version is the NRSV. Its rendering of 1Cor 6:9 does not say that homosexuals will not inherit the kingdom of God but only that "male prostitutes" will not. And since he is not a prostitute that does not include him. For a detailed discussion of this verse see the following article which I wrote specifically to refute the claims of Tim: "Homosexuals" in 1Corinthians 6:9.

All of the above taken together, to me, indicates some major problems with these types of versions. And again, Green’s books that I have referred you to previously gives many more examples than I have in my writings.

> At times I wonder why we Christians get so much into the letter of things that we miss "the letter's" true meaning. Hyper literalism over the words of Scripture can be damaging and/or misleading (just a cursory look at church history - whether ancient or contemporary church history confirms this). I do believe the Bible is the Infallible word of God, I do believe that it contains the exact words of God when He is speaking. However, I also believe the Bible records the words of fallible creatures (Angels, men, etc.); and that the human beings God used through history to record His words of Scripture included some of their own unique human phrases without changing the truths God intended to communicate. I do not hold to an extreme version of Verbal Inspiration of the Bible. Those who hold to an extreme "every word of Scripture is recorded exactly as God dictated it" viewpoint (in my opinion) run the risk of insidiously duped into legalism and ignorance.<

First off, again such terms as "hyper" or "extreme" when referring to positions you disagree with are unnecessary. Also again, do not confuse Verbal Inspiration with Dictation Theory as discussed above.

Second, as also indicated above, the NT writers considered the OT Scriptures to be the Word of God even at places where God is not specifically said to be speaking.

Third, yes the words of "fallible creatures" are recorded in Scriptures. But as also indicated above, in all such cases we have a accurate record of what was said (or at least accurate summaries thereof). Either way, the exact words recorded are exactly what God wanted recorded.

Lastly, I am not sure what you mean by "duped into legalism and ignorance." But I will say that it is not legalism to study the exact, God-breathed words of Scriptures, to believe them, and then to live by them. Further, it is by such study that ignorance is dispelled and truth discovered (Ps 119:98-105).

> I wonder, do we Christians worship the medium (Scripture) so much that we at times miss it's true meaning? What does this lead to? Overt pious self righteousness and the loss of spiritual focus maybe? Because of an extreme interpretation of Verbal Inspiration, many people within the Christian church in America today seem to get entrenched within the mindset of "having to do everything only one way." This literalism seems to place life - it's problems and it's solutions in a cut and dry rut. The problem is, life - it's problems - and it's solutions aren't cut and dry. I think it is important for us to remember that it isn't the Scripture that gives us life in and of itself, it is God who empowers Scripture (not vice versa).

The Gospel is true and accurate, it is the power of God unto salvation for all who believe. But why is this so? Because it is dictated word for word accurately? In part - Yes, but it doesn't end there - we can be saved because the written word is the gospel of the living Christ - not because of it's own claims nor because it is an accurately recorded word for word Gospel. There is a subject/object distinction within this that needs to be made. The gospel isn't the subject, it has a subject and that "subject" is the living God. A Bible (even a perfectly translated one) without God is nothing. Hopefully, you see my point. Christ Jesus is the living Word that gives the written word it's meaning, power, authority. Our focus doesn't stop at the written word, it goes beyond it to the living Word don't you think?<

To all of the above, I will only cite the following Scriptures: Ps 19:7; 119:9-11; John 15:3; 17:17; Rom 10:17; Eph 5:26; 2Tim 3:16,17; Heb 4:12; James 1:21.

These and many other verses that could be cited show that it is through the Scriptures that God works in our lives.

> On another note, Gary, I think your utilization of Acts 20:20 doesn't tie in with the topic of modern Bible translations at all - it's "apples & oranges" - entirely unrelated. You are placing something into this text that isn't there and then you take a major step over into Ephesians? I fail to see the connection between the contemporary issue of modern Bible versions and Paul's teaching about Eternal security & predestination in the book of Ephesians, can you explain this to me? There is no connection.<

The connection is that Paul did not shun important topics that would be of help to his readers even though the topic might be controversial or even hard to grasp.

> Also, you mention about your desire to follow the apostolic example. It is good to try to follow "the apostolic example." However, it's my understanding that "apostles" ceased at the end of the first century. Also, I do not understand this comparing yourself and your ministry to Paul and his ministry!? Please, come on now Gary. You are no Paul (neither am I). I hope you don't really believe that you are in the same league with the apostle Paul!? If you do you are very deluded and I am afraid for you. I am not sure that it was your intent to portray yourself this way, but it sure came across in a questionable fashion.<

Paul wrote, "1Cor 4:16: Therefore I urge you, imitate me." And 1Cor 11:1: "Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ" (NKJV).

I am not comparing myself to the apostle Paul in any sense of having the same authority as him. I am simply saying what I said above: Paul did not shun controversial or hard to understand subjects and neither do I. In that way I am "imitating" Paul.

> You also previously mentioned "So following your logic, I should stop writing altogether or at least on controversial subjects." When did I ever say you need to stop writing or that you need to stop addressing controversial subjects? Stick to the issue Gary, you are unknowingly committing a logical fallacy known as "all or nothing thinking" and you are engaging in ad hominem argument. What I am questioning is this issue of modern Bible versions, not your ministry. I have to admit though, I'm a little surprised that you seem to have a tendency to add extra meaning to what I write (maybe this is my fault - maybe I should clarify things more).<

Maybe I got carried away a bit. But as for "all or nothing thinking" I was simply trying to take your argument to what I believed was its logical conclusion. I was basing this belief from what was apparently your main reason why I should not write on Bible versions: that it might cause the weak Christian to stumble.

Well, I would say that hearing Christians "fight" over predestination or any other topic in which Christians disagree just might cause such a one to stumble as well. As such I should avoid writing on these subjects as well. That was my point.

Of course, the way to prevent such a side-effect is to conduct such disagreements in a civil manner while emphasizing to the new Christian that topics like predestination, though important, are not essential.

As for "ad hominem" I first wanted to look this up to be sure I was correct in what I thought it meant. My Webster’s dictionary defines it as: "adj. 1. appealing to one's prejudice, emotions, or special interests rather than to one's intellect or reason. 2. attacking an opponent's character rather than answering an argument."

I have always used the term in the latter sense. If you feel like I was "attacking" you personally, my apologies. I did not mean to. As for definition #1, maybe my response might have been a little "emotional" but, as indicated above, there was a reason for it.

> Gary, did I ever compare you to Gail Riplinger? No. Once again, you are engaging in ad hominem argument. I know she did not start the modern Bible versions controversy, but she did add some extra fuel to the fire over the debate of modern Bible versions. That is the reason I mentioned her, she is a contemporary example that some of the viewers of your web site may be familiar with.<

My words were, "I do hope you are not trying to compare me to Gail Riplinger." I was not sure if you were; but just in case I made some comments to that effect.

Otherwise, I would say that Riplinger is a rather late-comer to the debate. Her writings basically regurgitate the ideas of Ruckman and Chick. Her book, however, does go beyond even what most KJV Advocates would advance. See, for instance, the following critique of her book by a KJV only advocate: Problem with New Age Bible Versions.

> Also, concerning you being "forced" to focus on the modern Bible versions controversy; Gary, nobody is forcing you to do anything - it's your web site. No one makes you answer specific e mails - it's your judgment call - no one else's. In fact, no one can force or make you do anything. You have a free will, you (not others) are responsible for the decisions you make, the actions you take, and the reactions you have.<

I put he word "force" in quotes for a reason. I was using a hyperbole. Of course no one is pointing a gun to my head making me answer e-mails. But I want to answer them as I am able as it is a part of my ministry and way of helping people.

> Concerning not completing projects on time, I can relate. As I also can relate to having "very limited time and energy." I have to wrestle with a full time college load; I juggle to part time jobs; I have a wife; I have a awesome 21 month old son; and on top of this I have two challenging chronic health problems.<

I have long since left school; I am not married nor do I have any children; but I do have several "challenging chronic health problems." So we have that much in common.

> I can also relate to your frustration over this "in house" debate and the issue of deadlines & conflicting priorities. I agree with you that "being able to properly interpret the Bible is very relevant." However, as I'm sure you can tell, I do not agree with the proportion the modern Bible versions debate is taken to. Yes, there are some issues in it that should be addressed, but in my opinion, too much is made out of the issue and I feel very passionately about it.<

And I feel just as passionately that it is an important issue that is worth addressing. I will say this though, you have helped me to understand why we disagree.

If, as appears to be the case, you believe in Dynamic Inspiration then I can understand why you do not find dynamic equivalence to be a faulty translation principle. I, OTOH, strongly believe in Verbal Inspiration. As such, to me, the only appropriate translation principle is formal equivalence.

> You previously shared, "I would hope the 'babe' in Christ would read my articles so that they could be spared the struggle I went through in trying to properly interpret the Bible while using an unreliable version." You appeal to experience (and that's OK), however, sometimes experience can be misleading. All of my Christian friends (myself included) did not struggle over this issue. It's interesting, Gary, that you are the only Christian I know of that struggled over "trying to properly interpret the Bible while using an unreliable version."<

My point here was in reference to the propensity of Christians nowadays to take verses out of context. And my contention was that the omission of conjunctions in many modern versions makes this practice more likely. So you say you do not have trouble interpreting the Bible. But maybe, you have mis-interpreted a verse without realizing it because you missed the context, because your version did not translate an important conjunction.

> The problem with relying on personal experience to validate truth is that experience can be mutually exclusive. In other words, my experience can be different than yours (as I just demonstrated). The opposite is also true, your experiences can contradict my experiences. We can cancel each other out based on different personal experiences. Nothing is proved this way via personal experience. Alistar McGrath talks about using the "Quadrilateral" of truth, they are: Revelation; Reason: History; and Experience. Maybe Research should be added to this also? Anyways, he (McGrath) goes on to mention that we must use all the components of the Quadrilateral together in order to accurately arrive at truth. In my opinion, I think this is sage advice. <

I would agree with that experience should not be a final determiner of truth. The Scriptures are our divine and final authority: 2Sam 7:28; Ps 19:7f; 119:97-104,130; Isa 8:20; Luke 11:52; 24:25-27; John 5:39,46f; Acts 16:14; 17:11; 18:28; Rom 10:17; 2Tim 2:15; 3:14-17.

>Finally, Gary, you mentioned I "may not understand the debate over Bible versions but many do." You are right, most probably do. I do not. In fact, if you took a survey of all of the feedback you received via the e mail concerning this topic the vast majority of people are probably heavily on your side. However, this proves nothing and is inconclusive. Since when did popular or majority opinion determine truth or relevance? Popular opinion proves nothing, nor does minority opinion, these things are inconclusive.<

The fact that I receive so much mail and e-mail on this subject, whether agreeing or disagreeing with me, shows me that it is a "relevant" topic in that it is a topic that is on some many Christians minds. Many Christians are struggling over this topic. And most of what is being written on it is by KJV Only advocates. The rest mainly promotes dynamic equivalence and/ or the Critical Text. And most unfortunately, a lot of this literature is written in a very caustic fashion.

What I am trying to do is present a "middle ground" in this debate. I do not write off ALL modern versions as the KJV Only advocates do; yet, at the same time, I do not agree with the alterations of Scripture seen in most modern versions. And most importantly, I try to present my views in a non-caustic fashion. It is this stance and method that people appreciate.

That said, you are correct, "majority opinion" does not determine truth. The Scriptures do. And the Scriptures cited in the discussion from Erickson above I do believe show the importance of the very words of Scripture. And it for this reason that I contend for the very words of Scriptures by defending formal equivalence in translation and, to a lesser degree, the Majority Text.

> Gary, I think you are doing a good work. I do, however, disagree with you (in some aspects) over the pertinence of the modern Bible versions controversy. I am willing to dialogue with you further (if you like) on this topic. If you want to talk about other things (that's fine too). God bless. The ball is in your court now.


Thank you for the kind comments. I do not think any further "dialogue" on this subject would prove fruitful. We would probably just start going around in circles, if we haven’t already.

And finally, to conclude this discussion, again, unless you object, I will post the above as the third and final part to our discussion.

For comments on this three-part discussion see
Re: Obsessed with Bible Versions?

Books and eBooks by Gary F. Zeolla, the Director of Darkness to Light

The above e-mail exchange was posted on this Web site May 26, 1998.

Bible Versions Controversy: General Comments
Bible Versions Controversy

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