The Scriptures in Our Language

We believe as do most of our interlocutors that people of all languages ought be able to read God’s word in their own language. If they ought to read God’s word as it is in their own language then this “ought” implies that they can read God’s word as it is in the own language. This of course assumes that God’s word can be translated into other languages. And not just that, but that all of God’s words can be translated into other languages which assumes that we have all of God’s words. Unless, of course we are to believe that vernacular translations cannot translate all of God’s words because we don’t have all of God’s words.

Most of our interlocutors would retort that we do have all of the words of God. It is just that we are not sure if they are in the apparatus or the body of the Greek text. Does that same criteria go for the version as well? Are we to believe that the translation of the CSB is the word of God or are we to think that perhaps something of God’s word was left in the textual apparatus of the N/A27 and thus never translated into the CSB?

If it is true that all of God’s words are either in the textual apparatus or the body of the Greek NT and the textual apparatus is not present in modern versions of the Bible, then it is quite possible according to most Critical Text advocates that all modern translations do not have all of the words of God. So why should the modern church around the world believe she has all the words of God in her Bible if we know, admit, and regularly teach first year seminary students that the words of God are either in the text or apparatus and modern versions don’t translate the apparatus?

“But what about the marginal notes,” says the critic, “sometimes the marginal notes may have the other rendering from the textual apparatus.” Indeed, but if it is God’s word in the margin, then the editors of that translation have quite literally marginalized God’s word. Well played.

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