The Berean Expositor
Volume 34 - Page 209 of 261
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Tools for the Unashamed Workman.
pp. 239 - 242
While the student of the Scriptures must ever aim at first-hand understanding of the
Word of God, he would indeed be unwise, as well as ungracious, to ignore the labours of
men of all ranks and degrees of ability who have translated the Scriptures into our
mother-tongue. Without attempting to place in any order of merit the translations to
which we shall refer, we draw attention to their distinctive characteristics and to some of
their limitations, trusting that those who may already possess copies will appreciate them
the more and that those who do not as yet possess them will have their interest quickened,
so that when they become available they will be appraised at their true worth and not
passed by.
"Young's Literal." By this abbreviated title students generally refer to the work more
fully described as:--
"The Holy Bible, consisting of the Old and New Covenants translated according to the
Letter and Idioms of the Original Languages, by Robert Young, LL.D."
Dr. Young profoundly venerated the Scriptures in their full and verbal inspiration and
the following quotation from the preface to the Revised Edition will inform the reader of
what to expect in his translation.
"This inspiration extends only to the original text, as it came from the pens of the
writers, not to any translations ever made by man, however aged, venerable or good; and
only in so far as any of these adhere to the original--neither adding to nor omitting from
it one particle--are they of any real value, for to the extent that they vary from the
original, the doctrine of verbal inspiration is lost, so far as that version is concerned.
If a translation gives a present tense when the original gives a past, or a past when it
has a present; a perfect for a future, or a future for a perfect; an a for a the, or a the for
an a; an imperative for a subjunctive, or a subjunctive for an imperative; a verb for a
noun, or a noun for a verb, it is clear that verbal inspiration is as much overlooked as if it
For example, in Matt. 2: 4 Herod is presented as enquiring "Where Christ"* (* - This
is corrected in the R.V.) should be born. But "Christ" is the surname of the man Jesus,
who was quite unknown to Herod, who could not consequently ask for a person of whose
existence he was ignorant. The true explanation is, that King James' Translators omitted
the definite article which occurs in the original. The correct translation is where "the
Christ" should be born. Herod knew of "the Christ" the Messiah, the long-promised
Saviour and King of the Jews, and his enquiry was, where He was to be born, whose
kingdom was to be over all. The simple article clears up the whole. There are about
two thousand instances in the New Testament where these translators have thus omitted
all notice of the definite article, not to say anything of the great number of passages
where they have inserted it, though not in the original."