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Recently, a Gail-Friends reader asked this question: "What's the difference between the Torah and the King James Version?" I thought I'd share my answer as a blog post.
This was my response:
Thank you for asking this question. It's a good one. The Torah contains the first five books of the Old Testament. In many translations, it is called "the law." It is the basis of Jewish belief and practice. It is the lens through which we find understanding of the New Testament. Once I learned this, I began to understand many things that formerly puzzled me,
My rabbi (and husband) teaches the following to those who are beginning study of the Torah:
The Bible was written in Hebrew and Aramaic. The words were then translated as follows:
then into Latin
then German (when the Gutenberg Bible was printed)
then Old English (KJV- please note it is a version)
then modern English and then to the many versions of today
As you can imagine, some things became lost through translation. For
instance, some Hebrew words cannot be translated into Greek. Example: in
Proverbs 31:10 (KJV), the word "rubies" is actually "pearls" in Hebrew. And
that is only a minor difference. There are more. The important thing is that the Torah has been "thrown behind the back" as unimportant.
I was using the KJV when I began my search/study to KNOW that I was following Him and only Him. As I continued my study, Adonai led me to the Complete Jewish Bible and the companion Complete Jewish Study Bible. These are very enlightening and helpful.
My challenge to the women of our synagogue, and to you, dear Gail-Friends, is to begin a faithful, prayerful reading and then a deep study of the Torah. Also, to pray for wisdom and understanding. Seek Him - not a church, a religion, a denomination, or a preacher/teacher. Ask Him for ears to hear and eyes to see.
Shalom and blessings to you.
P.S. My husband/rabbi uses only the Hebrew translation, from the Tanach and/or the Chumash. These have the Hebrew on the right page, and the English on the left.
I recommend using online Bible reference tools such as Bible Gateway to compare different translations/versions. It can be very eye-opening.