I have done some research on how the two versions are different (KJV/NIV).
For instance Isaiah 14:12 (KJV) reads: "How art thou fallen from heaven, O LUCIFER, son of the morning!..." The NIV Bible reads: ""How you have fallen from heaven, O MORNING STAR, son of the dawn. . ."
Later in Revelation 22:16, "I Jesus have sent mine angel to testify unto you these things in the churches. I am the root and the offspring of David, and the bright and MORNING STAR".
Morning Star is used in both versions here.
Is the NIV saying Lucifer and Jesus Christ are the "same" in respect to power and/or persons? I have also read of many other differences in the two versions...
Which bible do you feel we should read? How do you feel about the NKJV?
Are you trying to prove the King Jimmy as the only correct version? I ask because of my history with KJV-onlyism. KJV has errors. I should say each version of KJV has errors. I understand it there are few actual 1611 versions out there, most are of a later date. There is one version of KJV that says "Thou shall commit adultery." Obviously a printer mistake. The NIV also has a few mistakes. Mistake might better said as a less than ideal translation in any translation. You have found a couple of choice verses that are often used to prove a position but when a clearer understanding is given, as in D. R Mosley's response, we see that the argument has little weight.
I was raised on the KJV and came to know the LORD through the NIV. Currently I lean toward the ESV or the HCSB. The crazy arguments from the KJV only crowd have tainted that version for me. I recognize the poetry, etc. but I no longer want to try to understand late -middle English. Cynical Shane also makes some good points and evidently is more up on the MSS used for the various translations than I. Again most of my comments are based on the abuse I've received from the KJV only crowd. I'm not knocking it. The major themes of Judeo-Christianity are all there in any major version/translation.
For more on the KJV vs. every other translation one can go to http://www.isitso.org/guide/kjvonly.html That's a start. If you read a Rutherford book be sure to read a book from the other side. She (Rutherford) might call it the dark side. And we have cookies.
Wow. I need a beer.
Cynical me. There's a reason I responded the way I did. BTW, the KJV is written in modern English, Chaucer is the most famous example of middle-English. And yes, you need a beer.
Original language won't help.
Should eliminate the question of whether the translator screwed it up.
It's meaningless. If you want to play around with it, without actually learning the language, try Young's Literal Translation. Won't be any help though.
It won't solve this problem because we're looking at Hebrew --> English and Greek --> English. The Hebrew and Greek might not be equivalent. He could look at the Septuagint, but we all still have to accept that there's never a perfect translation, whether from Hebrew to English or Latin or Greek.
One of my college "professors" said he learned Hebrew because he wanted to be able to figure out what translation was most literal. Turns out, they were all equally literal, they just made different judgment calls.
^This. Played that game. Took my ball and went home.
Another problem is; just because you know what the word says, doesn't necessarily follow you know what the word means. By that I mean, words have meanings within a culture distinct from their dictionary definition. That's why I say play around with Young's, or Green's, or Strong's. You're going to end up with a lot of "so what". You'll be interpreting those translations (know the difference) within your own culture.
An example is Rachel's theft of her father's household gods. The story I grew up with was; Rachel wanted to hold on to her idolatry. Jewish tradition is, Rachel was trying to keep Laban from continued idolatry. Competing traditions which don't really explains the pursuit, we know from the Bible itself, when people wanted to worship an idol, they just made one. But, when we get into ancient Sumerian clay tablets dating to the time of Abraham, we see legal proceedings in which these household idols were used as title deeds. By stealing them, Rachel stole her fathers land, explains why he was so pissed.
Another example, who was Moses' father-in-law; Jethro, Hobab or Reuel? Answer; we're never going to know. Anthropology (cultural and linguistic) tells us the ancient Semitic peoples in the region lived in patrilineal societies. As such, all male relatives on the wives side of the family, were referred to by the same term. In fact in Hebrew, the female relatives were referred to by the same term, with just the gender changed. Everyone related to the wife is referred to as either a male relative, or a female relative. There's a lot of ambiguity, and judgment calls are made. Which brings up another point.
Translating from precise languages to more ambiguous languages. This is easiest to see in the translation of "hell". In Hebrew and Greek we have, alternately; Sheol/Hades, Abaddon/Gehenna and Tartarus. Five different words translated into the single English word, "hell". It gets even messier because those five words represent, at least, three distinct concepts for the audiences they were written. All of which are foreign to modern American culture which receives its concept of Hell from Dante.
Still yet another problem is; while we know quite a bit about Biblical Greek, we know considerably less about Biblical Hebrew. There are many Hebrew words we don't have precise definitions for (I forget the number count, but IIRC it was ~40%). Many of those words, we can't even define contextually. Which leaves us with issues like the KJV talking about unicorns and others translating reym as "rhinoceros", "wild ox", "wild bull", "auroch" etc. What are we supposed to do with that?
So yeah, play around with the language if you want. There's some surprising revelations in there, such as the difference between "soul" and "spirit". But, it's not going to take you very far. Especially since our translations are about as good as they're going to get, barring discovery of more authoritative extant texts. What's more important is study of the history and culture. It helps the interpretation to understand the audience.
I don't know much about Greek or Hebrew, philologically. But English actually has more words than most languages. [The language matches the culture. As the American melting pot absorbs things like tacos, so does our language.] Compare: Easter, Passover; Pascha Catholica/Christianorum, Pascha Judaeorum. Even when Latin was the lingua franca, it was taking on words from Greek. And NT Greek takes on words from Aramaic, at least. So I might disagree that English isn't as "precise" as Greek or Hebrew.
Another sign that contemporary evangelicals worry too much about translation per se is that even those who can easily read the Bible in the original language, such as almost all my college "professors," don't.
When my study groups (which involve the Bible, philosophy, and liturgy) consult the original languages, it's usually to check that a translation is consistent, or that we are discussing a connotation-laden word, not exactly about accuracy (though we do have some accuracy issues for the denser texts in my philosophy group). This kind of consultation of the original language requires much less knowledge of the original language than checking the accuracy of a translation.
What I mean by "ambiguous" is, we have words in our vocabulary which allow us to think in broader concepts than other languages. The Iroquois could name every tree on a plot of land, but had no term for "forest". They, quite literally, couldn't see the forest for the trees.
In English, we have precise definitions, but often fall back on the broader, general term. Notice my annoyance in the discussions of gender and sex.
The Greek may have five words for love, representing five distinct concepts. But, we often use the generally broad and ambiguous "love". Faith, hope and love are the theological virtues. No wait; faith, hope and charity. Because, we certainly don't mean mania.
I think you just cleared up a great many concerns on the "best" translation. Thanks for your clarity.
The lion metaphor is also used of Christ and Satan. This isn't a translation thing; it's a hermeneutics thing.
I think you should read the translation that is used by your church. If your church regularly uses multiple translations, you should add yet another to the mix for group study. For individual study, different translations have different strengths and weaknesses. I prefer translations that preserve the original languages' second person singular v. plural distinction. Getting thus much of the original grammar into English is OK to ask for, IMO.
My church uses the Authorized for public worship. The clergy prefer the GNT as a supplement. I look at the Vulgate first if I'm going beyond the Authorized. If I'm going beyond the Authorized and the Vulgate, I'll probably be looking at the GNT, ESV, RSV, and NASB (hardly will ever look at just one of these; if I look at one, I look at all). I keep a NKJV for sentimental reasons and a NIV in case I get roped into an evangelical Bible study that tries to require it.
My Roman Catholic fiance uses the Authorized I gave him early in our relationship; he prefers the formal language over the NRSV (?) his parish gave him.
I think the NKJV did take some look at manuscripts not available to the original translators.
Oh, I of course read the Psalms most often in Coverdale's translation from the Vulgate.