Young’s Literal Translation
Robert Young printed Young’s Literal Translation in 1862. It is widely considered among scholars and Biblical experts to be the most accurate English translation. There are two major reasons for this. One is the tenses. This translation keeps the tenses that the original Hebrew and Greek use, while most English translations do not. For example:
Genesis 1:1 – In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. (KJV)
Genesis 1:1 - In the beginning of God’s preparing the heavens and the earth (YLT)
You may ask, “what’s the big deal?”, we know that the earth had to be created in the past. However, what about passages that are talking about life, death, heaven, and hell? How can we know if God is talking about the past or the future, if the tenses are not even correct? It is extremely important.
The second reason that Young’s Literal Translation is the most accurate is its translations of the Hebrew word olam and the Greek word aion. These words are correctly translated as “ages” or “age-during” instead of “ever” or “everlasting.” For example:
John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (KJV)
John 3:16 – for God did so love the world, that His Son – the only begotten – He gave, that every one who is believing in him may not perish, but may have life age-during (YLT)
As you can see, this completely changes the meaning of the most popular verse in the Bible. Many Christians have been tricked because of these mistakes. For more on this, again see my article on For Ever.
Removal of The Apocrypha
It wasn’t until the 1880s, when England printed the English Revised Version of the Bible to replace the King James. This was the first Bible to remove the 14 Apocryphal books. All Bibles from all denominations previously contained the Apocrypha. What were the criteria they used to remove these books? There were four criteria they used for a book to be considered accurate:
1. Apostolic Origin – the books must have been written either by the apostle themselves, who were first hand witnesses, or by associates of the apostles (for the New Testament)
2. Universal Acceptance – acknowledged by all major Christian denominations and Jewish authorities (for the Old Testament)
3. Liturgical Use – was widely used in church services
4. Consistency – contained beliefs that were consistent with the rest of the Bible
Removal of these books caused a lot of debate among various Christian denominations. Most Protestants agreed with the removal, but most Catholics and Orthodox Christians did not. This led to many versions of the Bible, each with different books from the Apocrypha. Today, the vast majority of Christians from all denominations now agree with their removal. However, Catholics still use the Apocrypha as a reference, but do not necessarily hold the books as authoritative.
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