China Chiristian Daily

- November 23, 2017 -

Church

Is the Translated Bible Imperfect?

By Blog Roodo
on May 27, 2017 05:05 AM

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The Bible and hymnal in Miao language: The Bible and hymnal in Miao language

Somebody told me that while he believes the Bible is perfect, nobody can translate one language into another perfectly. To him this meant that the Bible translations, including the Chinese version, are imperfect and can be discounted. I felt at the time that what he said was wrong but I didn't know how to answer him.

No, there is no language or script that perfectly conveys the original speakers meaning.

However, that doesn't mean that people fail to interpret what others have said.

It is possible to understand another person when communicating, whether it is between a parent and child, a teacher and student, or just two people chatting.

In fact, we hardly understand another person's meaning from just one utterance.

However, the odds of misunderstanding someone's words are usually low after having gotten to know him. 

Suppose that what he says is not just one word but an entire article that allows a more comprehensive judgment. 

Is it then impossible to read properly what others want to express?

Don't reading comprehension quizzes strive for that function?

In other words, we can understand others  correctly through many words rather than merely one or two sentences, as well as ancillary aspects.  It's like knowing someone for a long time.

The Bible works the same way!

Although the translated versions of the Bible are incapable of conveying the full meaning of the original text, they are made by excellent translators and are quite correct.

This doesn't mean that each verse can be translated distinctly.  However, it is possible to understand the true meaning of verses from the Bible.

Further, a common method to explain a few verses is to compare them to different versions.  For ordinary

verses, one can just read any other version to get the basic idea.

However, versions must be universally recognized as good and not heretical.

Generally speaking, this means a common version used by all churches is all right.

The Revised Chinese Union Version (RCUV) and English King James Version (KJV) are actually very good translations.

Translated by Karen Luo

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