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Lord’s Day Reflections: WCF 1.8

It’s been a while since I’ve written one of these posts, but to be fair, my last post dealt with points 1.7 and 1.9 of the Confession, so I’m not actually that far behind. This week, we’re looking at the translation of Scripture:

The Old Testament in Hebrew (which was the native language of the people of God of old), and the New Testament in Greek (which, at the time of the writing of it, was most generally known to the nations), being immediately inspired by God, and, by His singular care and providence, kept pure in all ages, are therefore authentical; so as, in all controversies of religion, the Church is finally to appeal unto them. But, because these original tongues are not known to all the people of God, who have right unto, and interest in the Scriptures, and are commanded, in the fear of God, to read and search them, therefore they are to be translated in to the vulgar language of every nation unto which they come, that, the Word of God dwelling plentifully in all, they may worship Him in an acceptable manner; and, through patience and comfort of the Scriptures, may have hope.

Westminster Confession of Faith 1.8

When it comes to the topic of translations, the Westminster theologians were in favor of them. It is a good thing, they thought, when learned men work together to produce a translation of God’s Word in the vulgar (common) tongue. Through translation, it is possible for the Word of God to dwell in all nations so that they may worship God in an acceptable manner and have hope.

Some of you may know that I personally prefer reading out of the Authorized Version (also known as the King James Version). While this is the case, I do not want to diminish the work that is done by translation committees. I am very much aware that many people have difficulty reading the Authorized Version, so I’m very grateful that there are other modernized out there that make the language more common. It is important and right for people to be able to read Scripture in language they can understand.

Praise God that, even if you’re reading a translation that doesn’t stick as closely to the original language as scholars might prefer (like the NIV or the NLT), God still speaks to His people through it. We don’t need to learn Greek and Hebrew to be saved, to learn to worship God aright, and to hear the of the hope we have in Christ. He is pleased to make use of translations so that His Word might dwell plentifully in all the nations as they are baptized and discipled by the church.

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This article was posted on 10/05/2014 . It relates to these topics:
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