A side by side comparison of four translations of Colossians 2.

I made a table, and then converted it into a very large graphic. Then I added a link to the graphic on my Flickr page. You can view the file in its full size by clicking on the image below.

Now, I know many of you are like minded along with me that the differences in these texts are negligible, and don’t have an effect on the intended meaning. Yet, there are some out there who would disagree. I believe they do so out of a misguided devotion to a human tradition known as King James Onlyism. It is one thing to prefer one text over another, but these folks go further and make it into a primary article of faith. In other words, they don’t consider anyone using a different translation other than the 1611 King James to be a Christian. Pretty strange right? Well, it is more common than you might think. The KJVO people would claim that I am ignoring the most meaningful examples of how the other translations have got it wrong. I admit, I’m not going to do a thorough treatment here as many more people have already done so, and their work is readily available for free on the internet. What I am doing is simply asking you to think. For those who claim it must be the KJV, which version of the KJV are you talking about? There have been several editions over time. Usually they insist that it must be the 1611, “Authorized” edition. I think this is quite humorous. Many of them are surprised to find out there are different editions of the KJV, but the ones who insist on the 1611 make me laugh. The 1560 Geneva Bible was the first complete Old and New Testament Bible in English, with chapter and verse numbers to my knowledge. It was translated from the same collection of texts that the 1611 KJV was. Yet, most KJVO people have never heard of the 1560 Geneva Bible. Did you know it was the translation the Pilgrims took with them to America? Well, it was. It sure wasn’t the 1611 KJV lol! There is a reason the Puritans fled England, and Europe in general. It wasn’t because they weren’t locking them up in prison, hanging them, and burning them at the stake for being anabaptists…

Anyhow, enjoy your cult KJVO peeps. Remember, knowing is half the battle! G.I. Joe is there… or something like that.

3 thoughts on “A side by side comparison of four translations of Colossians 2.

  1. I do prefer the KJV however, I do occasionally refer to other translations for clarity. I used to think a good portion of the problem with progressive Christianity was due to the newer translations being used. The more I read and listen to various sermons/teachings, it seems to be more of a misinterpretation and lack of scriptural context. I’m by no means a scholar (I haven’t even driven by a Holiday Inn Express 😉) but on more than one occasion, I’ve found myself questioning whether or not the Bible (let alone the translation used) was even opened while the preacher was preparing his sermon.

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    1. I agree with your estimation. I’d go one further. I think over 80% of the people preaching on any given Sunday are unqualified/disqualified to/from preach/preaching according to the pastoral epistles. There is a fundamental misunderstanding of what Church is, and who it is for. Many preachers are entertaining goats instead of feeding sheep as good undershepherds. The Church is supposed to go out and evangelize, not expect the Pastor/Preaching elder to evangelize the lost from the pulpit. Pastors aren’t supposed to be up in the chancel telling jokes, anecdotes, tales about their golf game, or fish they caught. Once behind the pulpit they need to be about preaching the word of God expositorily. I am not in favor of constant topical sermons. They have their place, but as a rule the sermons should be expository. The preacher should never eisegete the text. Many preachers are Biblically ignorant, and theologically heterodox. It shows in their sermons. They also fail to do the preparatory work. A sermon takes between 20 and 40 hours of work each week to prepare. Some simply phone it in by plagiarizing someone else. As far as translations go, I think sticking to the formal equivalence translations is the best idea. I don’t like the dynamic translations, or the paraphrases. There is too much interpretation done by the translators at that point. Even with the formal equivalence translations there is a certain amount of interpretation that has to be done. After all, we are talking about 3 dead languages that need to be translated into modern English. I hate to see the word dumbed down so much that it loses something of its meaning. The word of God is so rich, that it is shameful to dumb it down on purpose like some translations do. The ESV, and NASB are both easy enough to read. People simply need to get a dictionary if they run into a word they don’t know instead of insisting on a simpler translation. I think, if you find yourself confused, educate yourself. Don’t expect everyone else to dumb things down for you. That might be an outmoded way of thinking these days though.


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