What I Believe: Preservation

The written word of God is, I believe, a dynamic creation of the Holy Spirit and not a holy artifact, somehow set in stone. This does not mean it should be changed by cultural trends but that it can be put into translations so that most of the people in the world can read it in their mother tongue.

The Old and New Testaments in their original languages have separate histories of their preservation. It would require a book, or several, to do these subjects justice. It was early in Christianity that translations began. St. Jerome (about AD 347 to 419/420) translated the Hebrew Old Testament into Latin during the years AD 391 to 406. When combined with his translation of the New Testament into Latin his version became known as the Vulgate.

The Vulgate for a long time preserved the Bible for Western Christianity. For English readers the King James Version (1611) served to preserve and spread the Word of God to much of the world.

The translations of the Bible have not ended the study of the texts we have in the original languages. The number of texts to be studied has been continually expanding. For example, the Nestle-Aland Greek New Testament that is now in its twenty-eighth edition reflects the expansion of and preserves the textual evidence presently available

We who do not use Nestle-Aland as our New Testament are dependent on the translation by others of the text into our own languages. I believe that any of these translations can be used by the Holy Spirit to provide God’s written revelation to believers. Of course, we should seek to find one that does speak to our mind and soul.


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