Bible translation and keys to the kingdom
We often create shibboleths which are "keys to the kingdom", social doors through which applicants must pass in order to be fully accepted within the group or church. Some Bible translation shibboleths which have developed are:
- Does this Bible say "young woman" or "virgin" in Is. 7:14?
- Does this Bible say "blood of Christ" or is it sometimes translated as "death of Christ"?
- Does this Bible retain "theological terms" such as "grace", "righteousness", and "sanctification"?
- Was this Bible version translated according to the Colorado Springs Guidelines?
- Is this Bible version gender inclusive?
- Does this version use "church" or "assembly"?
- Does this version use the name of God, "Yahweh" or "Jehovah"?
- Does this version retain literal translations of biblical idioms, such as "doing what is right in God's eyes", "son of perdition"?
Paul noted a problem like this in the Corinthian church:
10 I appeal to you, dear brothers and sisters,* by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to live in harmony with each other. Let there be no divisions in the church. Rather, be of one mind, united in thought and purpose. 11 For some members of Chloe's household have told me about your quarrels, my dear brothers and sisters. 12 Some of you are saying, “I am a follower of Paul.” Others are saying, “I follow Apollos,” or “I follow Peter,*” or “I follow only Christ.”What are some Bible version shibboleths you are aware of? Which ones are used in your faith community? Which ones do you yourself tend to use?
13 Has Christ been divided into factions? Was I, Paul, crucified for you? Were any of you baptized in the name of Paul? Of course not! 14 I thank God that I did not baptize any of you except Crispus and Gaius, 15 for now no one can say they were baptized in my name. 16 (Oh yes, I also baptized the household of Stephanas, but I don't remember baptizing anyone else.) 17 For Christ didn't send me to baptize, but to preach the Good News—and not with clever speech, for fear that the cross of Christ would lose its power. (1 Cor. 1:10-17, NLT)
What are the advantages and disadvantages of using Bible translation shibboleths for group identity?