In my studies of linguistics and the history of the various translations, I have found that these translations were always undertaken with the utmost care and attention to detail. I write this because there are often ignorant detractors in the media or blogosphere who claim that there is no certainty that the Bible was translated correctly. I can assure you that, in each step along the way, every single person who handled these scriptures did so with the highest respect, integrity, and sense of responsibility for what they were doing as well as a do-or-die commitment to getting it right. Furthermore, those that produced the early English translations from the 14th through the 16th centuries knew that they risked their freedom and their lives if they were caught. Some, such as William Tyndale, did pay that high price. As Josh McDowell has pointed out in many of his writings, no one would be willing to take that much of a risk unless they were absolutely convinced of the truth to which they had committed their lives, even unto death. Additionally, I can confidently say that those who know and follow Jesus and have the Holy Spirit within them can easily discern the difference between the genuine text and “extra-biblical” texts that have been translated and passed along (whether by intention to deceive or by simple ignorance) with the real scripture. When you have truth within you, when you have studied truth all your life, and when you have committed your life to truth, you can easily discern that which is untrue. I know because I have studied the Bible extensively since my childhood, and the first time I read the texts of the Apocrypha, the differences between those texts and the real scripture were glaringly obvious even to me, a studious but not formally trained layman.
I do not worry about whether the truths in the Bible are accurately translated. I know from personal experience that the God behind those words and miraculously embodied and empowered in those words is unshakeable, unchangeable, infinite, and eternal. Knowing Him as I do, I have absolutely no doubt about His truth as revealed in the Bible. In addition, I have lived out the principles contained in this miraculous book, so I know that they meet the most sure test of truth: they correspond with reality and with common human experiences. Moreover, God has taken me through some very serious trials in my life, to include some mind-numbingly stressful military assignments, a combat tour during the height of the Iraqi insurgency in 2005, my subsequent PTSD and the horrendous mental and emotional grief I wrestled with for several years after (some of which still lingers, simmering below the surface awaiting any trigger), several periods of separation from my family, and even a long period of persecution for speaking “truth to power” in a high level military organization that was supposed to be the epitome of military values of duty, honor, and country. Yet, despite all this, I have survived and won so many battles against seemingly impossible odds, learning the profound and intimate love and power of My Awesome God in countless daily struggles when I had lost hope and had no more strength to fight. Inevitably, in my bleakest, my most hopeless, my most grievous moments, my God always gave me a little more strength, courage, peace, wisdom, and comfort to go on just a few steps more, and He walked with me, showing me where to place my footsteps on the treacherous path through the valley of the shadow of death.
I pray that you will know intimately and profoundly the boundless love that God has for you, whoever you are, no matter what circumstances you are in. As St. Augustine so eloquently wrote, “God loves us as if there were only one of us.” I pray that you will know, receive, and accept the love that He so wants to pour out upon you and your life. May His peace be with you.