“Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:20-21)
The Bible claims to be the divinely inspired, inerrant Word of God and the absolute truth (John 17:17). Therefore, Bible translation is of pre-eminent importance, for if the Bible has been lost in translations, then it is no longer the Word of God nor is it an authoritative account of the absolute truth.
The statement, “The Bible has been lost in translations”, circulates widely among those who have never actually investigated the subject nor looked into the history and archaeology behind the translation of the Bible.
The fact is, the consensus even among non-Christian scholars is that the Bible has been extremely accurately translated and it is, by far, the most reliable ancient text we have in existence! This has been validated by numerous archaeological finds, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls, in addition to numerous historical evidences.
For example, did you know that we have in excess of 24,000 ancient copies and fragments of the New Testament today (twice as many if you include the Biblical quotes in the writings of the early church fathers from 100-250 AD), and that among these manuscripts there is only a 0.5% text corruption rate? (In other words, among those 24,000 copies, only 0.5% of the text differs, nearly all of which are either differences in spelling (Rebecca to Rebekah, for instance) or a difference in word order (Jesus Christ to Christ Jesus, for instance) and that NONE of these differences are major, change the meaning of the text or affect any doctrine?
Furthermore, did you know that even if we did not possess ANY ancient manuscripts of the Bible that we could actually reconstruct all but 11 of the 7958 verses of the entire New Testament simply by using the quotations of Scripture found in the writings of the early church fathers (from 100-250 AD)?
To say that the Bible has been lost in translations is an uninformed, false assumption that has been disproved by an overwhelming and ever increasing amount of historical and archaeological evidence which even many non-Christian Bible scholars accept.
For more information on the translation of the Bible, please see:
A web page that provides links to numerous articles concerning the integrity of Biblical manuscripts, including Bible translation:
A simple article that features brief answers to a number of questions about the Bible, including translation:
A short article about the accuracy of Bible translation, including some archaeological statistics:
A long, detailed paper about the accuracy of Bible transmission and archaeological finds:
The two articles below address Bible translation, existing manuscripts and errors. They include archaeological and historical information and many statistics:
A short section of a video about the authenticity of the Bible, start at 12:50:
The Case for Christ, By Lee Strobel