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For those of you who might be curious about the difference in translations, we have presented a few verses here in both King James Version (KJV) and the New American Standard version (NAS).
The NAS is considered by many to be the more accurate, precise translation while the KJV is widely held to be the most melodic and enjoyable to read. We present these verses in the two translations to illustrate how much of 17th century language remains clear and readable to us in the year 2006 yet also illustrate the challenges that archaic phrasings present to "readability" and clarity. It is small wonder arguments about biblical content abound.
Philippians Chapter 3
King James Version
12 Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.
Brethren, I count not myself to have
apprehended: but [this] one thing [I do], forgetting those things which are
behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
New American Standard Version
12 Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus.
I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do:
forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,
14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
Consider, too, that literacy rates in 1650 were a small fraction of what they are today. It is no mystery that a large, influential "professional clergy" developed - it was an inevitable solution to the problem of literacy, the mastery of communication skills and the limited production of books in general. In any case, any study of the evolution of faith, doctrine, and denominations is tied to translation of the New Testament through two thousand years and the Old Testament for thousands of years before that. While scripture itself has not changed our interpretation often depends upon our translation. Common sense would indicate that the reliability of a given point of view might depend upon the accuracy of the words from which it is drawn. Indeed, wars have been fought over the misunderstanding of a few words in the bible.
By the way, notice the insertion in parenthesis of the words "this" and "I do" in the King James version above? These are words inserted by the translation team when the original Latin, Greek and Aramaic phrasing could not be translated with clarity. These words are called out with parenthesis in order to tell the reader they are in addition to the original text.
We hope you found this little bit of
exploration in scripture interesting. If you would like to know more, we
recommend reading scripture itself. A good and reliable place to begin is here: Gidons International.
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