Bible Translation Like Telephone Game?

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Have you ever heard someone say, “I don’t see how you can trust the bible.  It started out in Hebrew then it was translated into Greek and then Latin before coming into old English and, last of all, modern English?”  This is such a unfounded criticism though it sounds pretty convincing.  Here are the facts.

  1. The ancient Greek translation of the bible (called the Septuagint) is a direct translation from Hebrew into Greek, predating both our major Hebrew codices by 700 years.
  2. When Jerome translated the bible into Latin, he did not use the Greek Septuagint as his basis, but the Hebrew text.  This was controversial in his day, but he didn’t care.  He’d rather go from Hebrew to Latin than Hebrew to Greek to Latin.
  3. Other than Wycliffe (in the 1300s) all old English Translations based their work on the Hebrew, not merely the church’s authorized Latin translation.
  4. Modern English translations are not based on old English translations (except for the NKJV).  Once again, they go directly from the ancient Hebrew into modern English.

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