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Chapter 36

The Amplified New Testament

 

While the translators of The Amplified New Testament appear to have made a sincere endeavor to treat their project with proper awe and respect, they blighted it from the commencement by selecting the Greek Text of Westcott and Hort as their basic text.

We are at a loss to understand the blindness of translator after translator who fails to perceive the inherent weakness of any translation based upon the Codex Vaticanus and the Codex Sinaiticus. It seems that fashion has become such a determining factor in the selection of the basic Greek manuscript to be used by modern translators that it takes these translators beyond the bounds of reason. Perhaps peer pressure has become a deciding factor. In many academic circles, whether scientific, literary, economic, or theological, such facts play a dominant role. In this case, it is hoped that the use of the fashionable will give way to insistence upon the accurate.

Thus while the translators protest that they have remained true to the original Greek, in point of fact this accuracy proved to be an impossibility because of their choice of a faulty Greek manuscript.

While The Amplified New Testament includes many of the passages omitted from most modern translations, it places them in italics. The reader is informed that the words placed in italics are those which, although attributed in former times to Scripture, have been discovered by recent scholarship to be later additions to the Word of God, unapproved by the writer of the sacred message. If the reader accepts such a view, he will ignore as worthless all passages presented in italics.

In the use of italics the translators of The Amplified New Testament have adopted a similar procedure to that of some other translators, including some who translated into languages other than English. These have placed those passages which they deny to be part of Holy Writ in parentheses.

In addition to including many of the defects inherent in other modern versions, the translators alter Scripture in other ways. One example is cited:

We shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Romans 14:10, KJV

For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God. Romans 14:10, The Amplified New Testament

This translation diminishes Christís authority as Judge of this world, for most readers would interpret "God" to mean in this passage "God the Father."

We question the right of the authors to amplify the Word of God. Is that not the duty of the Holy Spirit rather than of man?

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth. John 16:13, KJV

On the other hand, translators of The Amplified New Testament indicated that rather than preparing a literal translation, they have prepared one in which hidden meanings which they have deemed to lie behind some words, are brought out. We believe it is the prerogative of the Holy Spirit to enlighten the minds of sincere students of Godís Word if such hidden meanings exist. We have confidence that our God permitted words to be written which possessed a plain meaning which could be understood by Godís earnest servants without the "wisdom" of others. There is a very real danger that the altruistic aim of clarifying "mysterious" words could, in fact, open the way for the translator, however unwittingly, to insert his own presuppositions and biases into the Book of God.

 


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