Greetings! Here is a situation which illustrates how important it is to have a consistently literal translation of the Bible if we are to grasp the full essence of what God’s Word wants to teach us.
I want to use this seemingly minor mistranslation as an example and then caution that other mistranslations can actually cause MUCH, MUCH GREATER harm, as set forth in the last paragraph of this Post. Wonderful truths can remain hidden and horrible, unscriptural doctrines can emerge from careless translations. Here is this example:
In Ephesians 1:17 Paul writes: ” the Father of glory, may be giving you a spirit of wisdom and revelation in the REALIZATION of Him” (emphasis mine). (Concordant Literal New Testament). Sadly, though, the versions mentioned below and others used the WEAKER word “knowledge” instead of “realization”. Concordant was the only one that was right on the money out of numerous translations.
The Greek word used here is “epignosis” and the meaning differs CONSIDERABLE from “gnosis”, which merely means “knowledge”. It is VERY important to distinguish the two! The following is an excerpt from http://biblefocus.net/living-word/knowledge/index.html:
“The two words generally translated as ‘knowledge’ are ‘gnosis’ and ‘epignosis’. Whereas ‘gnosis’ conveys the idea of just ‘knowing’, ‘epignosis’ is a knowledge that involves a ‘full discernment’, which is ‘to become fully acquainted with’ or to have a full understanding of something.” (End of excerpt)
And yet, all the major translations I reviewed (New American Standard, Revised Standard Version, King James, New King James, Good News Translation, Holman Christian Standard and others) simply used the INFERIOR word “knowledge”, or similar.
These versions used the same rendering of this word at Ephesians 4:13, which really WEAKENED what the Scripture is telling us. You don’t have to grow and seek to attain”knowledge” of Christ, that was given to us at our conversion….you grow and seek to attain to a “realization” of what that “knowledge” represents!!! The Concordant Literal New Testament had it absolutely correct, again.
This verse , properly translated, is to teach us there is something far beyond just having “knowledge” of a truth….we can go on and actually EXPERIENCE the “realization” of that truth. When not properly translated, this lesson from this verse is not seen and is lost.
As an illustration, ‘knowledge’ is like your corresponding with someone by mail and ‘realization’ is like your meeting them in person. BIG difference!! So it is with having a ‘knowledge’ of God and Jesus along with Spiritual truths in contrast to ‘realizing’ Them and experiencing the truths as a reality. This is what Paul wanted all believers to attain to and why he used the word “realization”.
Don’t get me wrong….the above mentioned Bibles do a very good job and service overall. You can go to http://www.biblestudytools.com/bible-versions and have access to a large number of versions and see how they rendered this verse….a few came close to a proper translation. Rotherham’s has “personal knowledge”. Bullinger’s Companion Bible has “further knowledge” but goes on to get it right with his footnote referring the reader to his Appendix 132.
Actually, this is “small potatoes” compared to the ENORMOUS DAMAGE done by the vast majority of Bible versions that do not translate “aion” (New Testament) and “olam” (Old Testament) properly and consistently. Please reference the Post on “Eon vs Forever” for further information on how these mistranslations have hidden WONDERFUL truths, such as set forth in the Posts “God’s Eonian Plan and The Present Secret Administration” and “All Creation Will Be Saved”. GOD HAS A GLORIOUS PLAN FOR HIS ENTIRE CREATION, which can easily be seen if there is accurate translation of His Word.
The 3 best Bibles I have found for consistent accuracy in properly translating God’s Word are:
ROTHERHAM’S EMPHASIZED BIBLE [ http://qbible.com/ebr-rotherhams-emphasized-bible-1902/ ], CONCORDANT LITERAL NEW TESTAMENT and CONCORDANT LITERAL OLD TESTAMENT [ http://www.concordant.org/version/index.html%5D and YOUNG’S LITERAL TRANSLATION [ http://www.biblestudytools.com/ylt/ ].
They can be purchased in print at Amazon.com, although the Concordant Literal Old Testament was not available the last time I checked.
Another really good reference Bible is E.W. Bullinger’s THE COMPANION BIBLE which can be found FREE online at http://companionbiblecondensed.com/. The marginal notes can be excellent at times.
All the best, in Him,