QUESTION: Can a translation be inspired?
ANSWER: Yes, God has inspired several.
EXPLANATION: In the Book of Genesis,
chapters 42-45, we have the record of Joseph's reunion with his brethren.
That Joseph spoke Egyptian instead of Hebrew is evident by Genesis 42:23.
"And they knew not that Joseph understood them;
for he spake unto them by an interpreter."
It is, of course, an accepted fact that no translation
can be "word perfect". Therefore we know that the Hebrew translation
of Joseph's Egyptian statements as found in the Old Testament
manuscripts cannot be an exact word for word copy. We are left with
quite a dilemma. WHOM did God inspire? Did He inspire
Joseph's Egyptian statements, the Egyptian interpreter's verbal translation,
or Moses' written translation as found in the Hebrew of the Old Testament?
If God inspired Joseph, was his "original" statement
marred by his Egyptian interpreter, or by Moses' translation? Or did
God inspire Moses to pen an "inspired translation" which would
fly in the face of many Fundamentalist's charges of "progressive
This same question arises in Exodus chapters 4-14 in Moses'
contest with Pharaoh. Moses, though speaking for God
to an Egyptian king in the king's native Egyptian tongue, translates
both his and Pharaoh's statements into Hebrew when
he records the account in writing. Which did God inspire? The verbal
statement made in Egyptian, a copy of which NO ONE ON EARTH HAS? Or
did He inspire Moses' Hebrew translation?
The problem of inspired translations refuses to go away.
In Acts 22 Paul speaks to his Jewish tormentors in the
Hebrew language (Acts 21:40, 22:2). The testimony found in verses 1
through 21 is all given orally in Hebrew. Yet there is NO manuscript
extant of Acts 22 which records Paul's statement in Hebrew. Luke wrote
it all out in Greek. Which did God inspire? Paul's verbal statement
or Luke's "progressive inspiration"?
The answer is simple and is found in II Timothy 3:16.
"All scripture is given by inspiration of God,
and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction
The word "scripture" by its very root, "script"
is a term for written words. Therefore, we can rest
assured that the various translations (there are more
than the few I have pointed out) we have in our Bible are the inspired
words of God. If a fundamentalist chooses not to believe in inspired
translations, he will have to do it contrary to the