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2013-12-04

You know there’s something wrong when half of the translators say something never stopped happening, and the other half says that it never happened again. That’s what we get with Numbers 11:24-25.

The Wycliffe’s translation of 1383, the Coverdale translation of 1535, the Douay-Rheims of 1582, the KJV of 1611, all the way up until Young’s Literal translation in 1862—every single translator agreed that the 70 men began to make prophecies, just like Moses, and never stopped making prophecies.

Modern bibles, however, say just the opposite, that the 70 were given the spirit of prophecy for that brief period of time and they never made prophecies again. The English Standard translation of 2001, the New Living Translation of 1996, the New International Version of 1978, the New World translation of 1950, the American Standard translation of 1901, and the earliest I could find, the Revised Version of 1881—it seems that something about the 1880s caused this verse to pull a 180. From the brief Googling I did, it appears that there was a typographical error in the source document that all those early bibles were based on. It wasn’t until the late 1800s that an older more complete source document was found with this new phrasing.

Apologists will no doubt argue that this is a minor point, and not worth making a fuss about, but they always fail to extrapolate these translation errors to the thousands of other places in the bible where these contradictions occur across years and translations. The reality of the bible isn’t just that there is a little ambiguity in some translations here and there, the reality is that the bible is ambiguous all over the place, in every language, including Biblical Hebrew.

 

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Oh the irony!