Accuracy of the Bible

Currently I’m reading ‘The Bible’s Cutting Room Floor‘ by Joel Hoffman and he does a pretty thorough examination of the current Greek texts used to create Christian scriptures (also reviews Hebrew ones as well).

Christian scriptures
Septuagint – codex Sinai, Vatican, and Alexandria

Jewish Scriptures
Masoretic text

Apparently the Septuagint translators got pieces of the OT translated wrong. From passages in Isaiah and Proverbs to the whole book of Esther (which has a different storyline then the Masoretic text).

It calls into question: do we have the 100% accurate word of God? The answer is obviously ‘no’ – we’re close but scribes edited and made translation errors from Hebrew to Greek.

However the Masoretic text is very close to error free but even it contains an error concerning Moses in Deuteronomy. The text was created in the 11th century – errors could have slipped in over a period of a 1000 years from Hebrew bible used to create the Septuagint until the Masoretes created their text.

The more reliable of the texts is the Hebrew because it seems to follow context much closer in its translation. So if you are using a bible that relied on the Septuagint only, you could have passages in books that contain errors in translation since the Septuagint has been proven in this wise.

The most obvious example is ‘virgin’ from Isaiah 7:14 use in the Matthew story about Mary. The author of Matthew took a word which translated incorrectly into the Septuagint and created a whole story around it (Virgin Birth). One would ask why but it’s obvious the author was about fulfilling prophecy, even if it’s invented fiction, and not fixing translation errors.

So is the bible accurate? Yes and No. Yes in that we use the best options available for our English translations. No in that a whole story can be created from an error.


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