A Study of Translations

By Bobby L. Graham

The New English Bible

This product of the 1960’s was to England what the Revised Standard Version was to the United States, a vehicle for modernism. Its producers were not men of faith in the inspiration of the Bible; their product bears out their lack of faith.

The absence of italics to mark additions by the translators is one of the chief weaknesses. A host of passages become unclear as to speaker because of the missing italicized letters. This version throws the word Christian around with abandon, using the word some 32 times; the fact is that it appears only 3 times in the word of God.

Peter receives special emphasis as the rock in Matt. 16:18 through the capitalization of the word Rock. The fact is, of course, that the word did not refer to Peter at all, but to the fact of truth just confessed by Peter, as 1 Cor. 3:11 also indicates.

A serious mistake appears in Matt. 1:18, where the translators rendered “before they came together” (what the text really says) as “before their marriage”. Such inexcusable rendering provides something of a basis for the idea that Jesus was the illegitimate child of Mary and Joseph, an idea held to by many modernists.

The doctrine of justification by grace alone gets some support from this version’s wording of Rom. 3:24, where the word alone was added to the verse.

The miraculous conception of Jesus and his deity come into doubt if one accepts the mistranslations of Isa. 7:14, Luke 1:34 and the six “only-begotten” passages in the writings of John.

The role of the Holy Spirit in creation is denied in Genesis 1:2, where this version has “the wind swept.”

According to this version’s rendering of Matt. 5:17, Jesus did not come to abolish the Law and the prophets. Though the word here can mean abolish, such is not the idea in this passage: Jesus was stressing his respect for the Law so that he might fulfill it. He did abolish the Law, according to Ephesians 2:15.

Acts 20:7 says Saturday night instead of the first day of the week; Mark 1:4 speaks of baptism as a token of repentance; Matt. 16:22 has “Heaven forbid” for Peter’s “Be it far from thee, Lord”; Rom. 11:26 aids premillennialism with “when the whole of Israel shall be saved” instead of showing how Israel could be saved with the word so; 1 Cor. 2:14 offers help to the idea of the miraculous work of the Spirit in conversion when it says “unsaved man can’t understand”; it has Paul stating his opinion in 1 Cor. 7:25, 40; the mystery of godliness in 1 Tim. 3:16 is “our religion”; spirit is breath in Jas. 2:26; “the language of ecstasy” appears in 1 Cor. 14:2; Paul “sponged on no one” in 2 Cor. 11:9; 1 Cor. 16:8 puts Whitsuntide, a religious festival of the Church of England, for Pentecost. 1 Cor. 5:9, 10 speaks of loose livers; and the popular (not true) saying of 1 Tim 3:1 is related to aspiring to leadership.

Such a perversion is not worthy of the name Bible.

Truth Magazine XXII: 27, p. 441
July 13, 1978