The Bible Has Been Translated Many Times Over, so How Can It Be Reliable?

by Tim Barnett

The Bible can now be read in nearly 700 different languages. For the New Testament, the number jumps to over 1,500 languages. It’s not surprising, then, that the Bible is the most translated book in history.

Christians see the number of translations as a good thing—more people are able to read God’s word in their own language. Others, however, seem to think the number of translations is a bad thing. In fact, they cite the number of translations in order to call into question the Bible’s reliability.

In a Newsweek cover story titled “The Bible: So Misunderstood It’s a Sin,” journalist and author Kurt Eichenwald asserts,

“No television preacher has ever read the Bible. Neither has any evangelical politician. Neither has the pope. Neither have I. And neither have you. At best, we’ve all read a bad translationa translation of translations of translations of hand-copied copies of copies of copies of copies, and on and on, hundreds of times.”

There are two different challenges in play here. The first concerns the translation of the text…

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The Bible Has Been Translated Many Times Over, so How Can It Be Reliable?