It is good to be able to quote an apt verse appropriately or to recite from memory. But this is not what I am referring to.
Knowing one’s Bible.
How did your Bible happen? 66+ books written by 44+ authors over a period of around 1,500 years, in different languages, yet it all adds up. Hebrew, Aramaic, Greek, for instance.
Very few Bibles are literal or direct translations. A literal translation is a translation directly from the original languages. One example is Young’s Literal Translation or YLT. Most Bibles are idiomatic translations, meaning that these are not directly translated from the original but from interpreted base texts. A popular example is the KJV which is based upon a number of base texts, about eighty percent of which are older English translations plus some newer works, including the Textus Receptus. All of these are directly or indirectly rooted in the Latin Vulgate of Rome, called the Textus Vaticanus.
The Old Testament is based upon Hebrew text and Aramaic, a language not too dissimilar from Hebrew.
Sometimes, Aramaic was wrongly translated as if it were Hebrew. Today, the LGBT community and their blasphemous Corpus Christi movie lean upon a typical translation error to promote the false belief that Jesus and His disciples were homosexual and claim that He gave license to "eunuchs" dedicated for Temple service. A rope became a camel through the eye of a needle, a furnace became a rock cliff, etc.
Content was also added, changing the message of the Bible in meaningful ways. More modern Bibles omit these additions but, sadly, these more correct translations are rejected by many for this reason.
There are no original texts in existence but rather copies of copies, upward of 5,800 and even over ten thousand. These are carefully compared to find synergy.
The supposed 10 commandments were given three times, differing somewhat every time, resulting in 22! Only 8 correspond perfectly. It becomes problematic to follow the "Ten Commandments." Which ten?
Moses wrote the five books known as the Torah in Hebrew, yet what is in the Bible today may not be exactly what he had written, either. The jury, according to some scholars, is still out on that.
The first attempt to the New Testament was compiled initially, in the first century AD, by a gent called Marcion who really only accepted Luke’s gospel which included the acts of the apostles. The New Testament, as we know it, only followed four centuries later!
Johannes Calvyn, Ulrich Zwingli and Martin Luther all rejected Revelation. Marcion loved the God of the New Testament but fiercely hated the God of the Old Testament. Little errors like this could have a significant meaning in the end.
Paul referred to the Old Testament as "inspired Scriptures", referring to the Law & Prophets, which is what were read in the Temple back then. Jesus also referred to the Law & Prophets when giving His Two Commandments.
Monks shredded and burned original texts and exiled the chief translator no less than five times when he fought for authenticity and preservation thereof. They then added content to suit their dogma. As already stated, some modern translations correct this in omitting some of these mischievous additions.
Solomon was deceived, as we know, by his many wives from pagan religions. He started following their beliefs alongside his Jewish faith. Perhaps this is why he plagiarized the Epic of Gilgamesh, producing Ecclesiastes which, in some places, directly contradicts the sweet gospel of Jesus Christ?
The most beautiful love story is omitted from most Bibles. It tells of God’s endless redemptive love for Adam and Eve, really affirming the message of the Bible known by most. Yet it is excluded for reasons that do not always make sense.
Today, we have "complete" Bible translations in almost 600 languages and partial ones in almost 2000!
Despite all the mischief of kings and scribes, of notaries and clergy, the message of redemptive love, of salvation by mercy and restoration by grace survives. This is because Jesus is the Living Word of God.
And He won’t return empty. He is collecting a harvest!