Bible Texts – RCW editions

I have great respect for individual Bible Translators, especially those translating from Greek to a language other than their own native tongue. The LXX and the KJV are perhaps the two most influential and amazing feats of translation ever accomplished by humanity.  But no Bible translation is permanent. It is not the Bible that changes.  All languages and cultures constantly morph in several directions, with inconsistent velocities. No matter how perfect a Bible translation is, eventually it must be updated . The Dead Sea Scrolls were restricted for so long, that their impact was spread out over the last 76  years. Now various software programs and even AI is being applied to attempt to reconstruct the original Greek manuscripts of the New Testament. But it is debatable whether  any of  this will make much of a difference for a long time. Today, there are many linguistic Bible translation tools available at little or no cost online. It should not be surprising that anyone, like myself, who has had a couple of years of Koine Greek, would want to learn more about the art of Bible Translation. 

These are not original translations. The last time I did a full translation of a New Testament Book from the Greek was before the internet. I did  it the hard way. And I remember doing it, all the parsing, syntax, sentence structure diagrams, definitions, and all done without referring to any other translations. My goal is different this time. I am not trying to learn the Greek. I am trying to understand what the translators were thinking. What I am calling “Personal Translations” are the results of a process designed to help me pursue answers to my own questions. I have about 70 English versions of the Bible available to me, and on each verse, I am looking at the Greek, the Interlinears, and these other translations. I am looking for inconsistencies, deviations, bias and heresy. Most of the times the differences between the translations do not matter. Sometimes it is obvious that a systematic theological bias is present in one or more translations. I have my own biases, and am very self-conscious about them. So this work is to help me find answers to my questions. I have no desire to fix anything or to win an argument, or to publish in the future. Understanding is what I am looking for. 

Please do not consider this work to be on par with the major established Translations. I am completely dependent on them, but I am not writing for the same purposes that usually restrict translators. Since publication is not by goal, I have only myself to answer to. That means that if the Greek sounds awkward, I feel no need to soften it or explain it in modern terms. I would rather get my mind into the thought patterns of Jesus’ time. If I find something that will obviously be controversial, I will do my best to provide notes to explain how it appears to me, and provide the information I will need when I review my work in years to come.  The first of the ‘personal translations’ that has been posted to this website is the Book of Hebrews. It has been edited 7 times in the last 6 months.  For now, it is the best that I can do, but I will make more changes as the need arises. 

My original work is in line by line form, but one of the first people who read it asked for it in a less academic format, so its form here is in paragraph form, without commentary. The effort was very fruitful. Not only did I learn a lot, but felt a sense of discovery, especially concerning Jesus’ New Priesthood, Melchizedek, the authorship question, and the early church’s division over Jesus’ nature. 

Thank you for taking the time to read my work. I am humbled by this experience.  I have a commentary on the book of Matthew, printed in 1733. It is so far over my head that I still can’t read it. In those days, writers assumed they had readers far more intelligent themselves, and so they ‘wrote up’.  Always giving their best effort. Today we are used to books being ‘dummed down’. I prefer the old-fashioned approach.