Finding an Authoritative Translation
- Many people put a great deal of weight into these kinds of studies in terms of finding or even creating new definitions, but without facility in the language in question it is doubtful that your work will be all that accurate. Such study can alert you to just where the problems are in a translation. This may not give you the final answer, but at least it may keep you from being embarrassed by finding out that you based your interpretation on a faulty translation, or that you were dogmatic about something that is really very controversial.
There are also links to the Energion.com Bible Version Selection Tool and Henry's book on Bible Versions, What's in a Version? I was able to read the first few pages on Amazon and was quite fascinated. Inspired by the Bible Version Selection Tool and browsing the book, I began to refine an idea I have had recently.
I have been wondering how long it will be before we can create our own Bibles. There would have to be a selection tool or quiz first, and then the results could be processed and a personalized Bible could be produced. You would just have to answer the following questions.
1. Was Jesus talking about his 'church' as an institution or an assembly of people?
2. Should the church have 'bishops', 'overseers', 'elders', or 'shepherds'?
3. Should the church have 'deacons' or ministers?
4. Should 'sisters' be included?
5. Should 'baptism' be by immersion or choice of method?
6. Should instructions to the individual be differentiated from instructions to the group?
7. Are women 'saved' by childbirth or 'kept safe' through childbirth?
8. Should the Bible be readable by laypeople?
9. Should the Bible sound like it was written by Shakespeare?
Then the decision would be made as to how to translate ekklesia, episkopos, diakonia, adelphoi, baptizo, su (thou), sozo and so on.
Actually this might be what some churches do. A select few elders sit down in private and say, "Should we have bishops and women; or no bishops, no women; women but no bishops, immersion - maybe; grade 11 reading level; congregation instead of church?" and so on. There must be many other defining questions that I have not asked.