I received this letter from a young Christian man. It is about Bible translations. Read his letter and my reply.
“Good morning Ma,
There is something bothering me for some weeks now. I came across a link online claiming NIV has removed 64,575 words from the Bible and also removed 45 complete verses. I was able to confirm from my bible on my phone and also proceeded to check a hardcopy to clear my doubt and to my surprise those verses were actually not there. I tried bringing it up in our light house but nobody has heard about it. I discussed it with some brethren. A brother told me when King James wrote the bible, he wasn’t having enough materials then so he assumed somethings which NIV decided to remove when they discovered more materials when they were writing. I wasn’t too convinced yet. I decided I was going to ask from my father & mother in the Lord first before drawing conclusions. I went to a church about 3weeks ago and I was faced with this same challenge again.
Ma, I know you use NIV & Tali uses KJV/NKJV. I need help in this subject matter likewise others in our church. Thanks for your time and God bless Ma”
Thank you for your note. This is my opinion in the matter. I will not join the train of arguments about translations. What matters the most is that I am saved. I am a born again child of God and God is speaking to me thru His Word, by the Holy Spirit. All I want is the read the Bible every day and pray. That is my business! There is no ‘perfect’ translation of the Bible. Even we, the believers, no one of us perfectly understand the Bible, in any translation. As you know, English is not my primary language. I use mostly NIV for I find it easier to understand the words. But I also use KJ, NKJ and others. To me, KJ version is too difficult to understand. I will waste too much time in finding the meaning of the words in the ‘old English’ and that is not profitable to me. The discussion about different translations and their weaknesses is an old one. Just the way some men say that the Roman Catholic Church is the only church approved by God, in the same way, some men say that the KJ version is the only one approved by God. To me, these arguments about translations, is a temptation in itself. In the country of my birth Romania, which was Communist for many years, the believers in a city use to have just one copy of the Bible. They will tear it and each one will take only one page to secretly read it at home. ‘When you finish your page I exchange it with mine…’ This is because religion in all forms was considered a state crime. That is why I did not see any Bible with my eyes before I came to Nigeria. So why will I complain about translations today? This is the truth, both in the natural and the spiritual: Hungry men appreciate even a small slice of dry bread. The rich and spoiled reject even fry chicken saying that it has too many calories. I hope you understand…
These arguments take away from us the desire to study the Word of God. There is a Nigerian proverb that says “a lazy man complains about his tools when he cannot perform”. I believe that this argument about which Bible translation is better is started by an evil spirit of religion and not by the Holy Spirit. If you follow this evil spirit (God forbid!) you shall soon find out that no translation is good enough for you and there is no need to read the Bible anyway. In the same way, a single (foolish) man will say that no woman is perfect therefore he will not marry at all. This evil spirit wants you to leave the most important things in life, go after details and get lost in them. I advise you to reject this evil spirit for it produces doubt, restlessness and depression. It is a spirit of spiritual suicide and backsliding! Reject it! If not, soon you will find fault with all things, including your wife, your child and all! God forbid!
Deceived men have divorced their wives and marry others, for they thought these were more spiritual, better ‘versions’ of women or better ‘translations’. I hope you see the evil spirit and the damage he intends to do! The only men who fall to these wicked schemes are the ones who are spiritually lazy and who do not love the truth!
“Timothy, guard what God has entrusted to you. Avoid godless, foolish discussions with those who oppose you with their so-called knowledge” (1Tim 6:20; NLT). The Word of God is the Word of God! No matter the translation! The Holy Spirit witnesses to it! And brings peace to my soul! I hope this has helped you! If you are helped, pray about it and you be the one that will explain and encourage the others who are confused.
Love in Christ alone,
May God help all true believers in these ‘perilous times’! Find peace with God! Jesus is Lord!