More On Translation Differences

Q. In my KJV, I was reading Isaiah 61 verses 1-2 and then read Luke 4:18-19 where Jesus is in the synagogue reading those same two verses in Isaiah. Of course the two passages say the same thing but I would expect the wording to be exactly the same. Since it’s not, what would account for the differences?

A. All quotes from the Old Testament that are found in the New Testament come from the Greek translation (called the Septuagint) of the original Hebrew text. This is because Greek was the language most people understood when the New Testament was written. Later it was translated again into English for our use. Every time a document passes through a language its original meaning changes somewhat, due to the differences in languages.

Obviously, the fewer languages a document has to pass through the closer its final meaning will be with the original intent. Since the Old Testament part of your Bible is translated directly into English from Hebrew, it’s always a good idea to compare a New Testament quote with the Old Testament passage from which it was taken to see what, if any, differences you find. Most of the time the differences are insignificant, but sometimes they can be quite noticeable.

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