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Reasons to Trust the Bible: Unpacking Bible Translation

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In this series, we embark on a journey to explore fundamental questions about the Bible's reliability, and to start, we delve into the intricacies of Bible translation.

Bridging Language and Meaning

Do our English translations of the Bible from its original language into our language accurately reflect the original Bible texts, or is it saying things the original never did?

Now, this is no small matter. Translating the Bible from ancient languages like Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek into modern English requires a meticulous approach. Most of us aren't fluent in the original biblical languages, and this raises essential questions about the trustworthiness of our English translations.

The first obstacle to overcome is the question of whether translation is even possible. We must convert ancient scripts like this:

"Μὴ θησαυρίζετε ὑμῖν θησαυροῦς ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς, ὅπου σὴς καὶ βρῶσις ἀφανίζει, καὶ ὅπου κλέπται διορύσσουσιν καὶ κλέπτουσιν· θησαυρίζετε δὲ ὑμιν θησαυροὺς ἐν οὐρανῷ, ὅπου οὔτε σὴς οὔτε βρῶσις ἀφανίζει, καὶ ὅπου κλέπται οὐ διορύσσουσιν οὐδὲ κλέπτουσιν· ὅπου γάρ ἐστιν ὁ θησαυρός σου, ἐκεῖ ἔσται καὶ ἡ καρδία σου,"

into a comprehensible message, such as:

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." (Matt. 6:19–21)

Translation is, without a doubt, a challenging endeavor that demands extensive knowledge of both the source and target languages. It involves understanding the essence of words or sentences and crafting an equivalent meaning using different words to make it accessible to a different audience.

Scholars have devoted centuries to the study of Greek, Hebrew, Aramaic, and English, and their expertise allows them to perform accurate translations between these languages.

You may wonder why there are so many Bible translations and whether they cast doubt on the original message. In truth, while different translations may use distinct words to convey the same Greek or Hebrew phrase, they do not leave us uncertain about the original message.

For instance, consider Mark 10:50 and its translation by various English Bibles. In its original Greek form: "ὁ δὲ άποβαλῶν τὸ ἱμάτιον αὐτοῦ ἀναπηδήσας ἦλθεν πρὸς τὸν Ἰησοῦν."

Several English translations render it differently, yet the essence remains unmistakable:

  • English Standard Version: "And throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus."
  • New American Standard Bible: "Throwing aside his cloak, he jumped up and came to Jesus."
  • New International Version: "Throwing his cloak aside, he jumped to his feet and came to Jesus."
  • New Revised Standard Version: "So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus."
  • King James Version: "And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus."

Despite variances in these translations, the action described is evident. The man swiftly removes his outer garment, rises, and approaches Jesus. Different translations do not obscure the original message. In fact, comparing multiple translations often provides a clearer understanding of the text.

While certain words and phrases pose translation challenges, it's important to remember the following:

  1. Scholars have substantial disagreements about the translation of only a tiny fraction of words or phrases in the Bible. These instances represent a minuscule portion of any given biblical book.
  2. When disagreements or uncertainties arise, reputable translations include footnotes, providing alternative interpretations or indicating when the meaning of the original language is uncertain.
  3. The abundance of scholarly translations aids in identifying and rejecting misleading translations. Such diversity helps ensure the preservation of major doctrines of orthodox Christianity.

The multiple translations serve different purposes, allowing readers to choose between strict, word-for-word translations and more readable, phrase-for-phrase approaches. Rather than causing doubt, these variations provide a comprehensive view, enhancing our understanding.

As we continue this series, we'll address more questions that help us build confidence in the Bible's reliability. Alongside exploring these questions, we must examine our own commitment to trusting the Bible. It's essential to value the truth of God's Word and incorporate it into our daily lives, for, as Jesus said, the truth will set us free.

Warm Welcome Space

Our Warm Welcome Space is open at Cale Green Life Centre every Thursday, from 10am to 3pm

Lots to do

Newspapers, board games and craft activities are available free.

Café open

Open for cake, hot drinks and a light lunch. All free.


Toddlers takes place every Friday morning during school term times, from 9:30am to 11:30am, at Cale Green Life Centre, 71 Adswood Rd, Stockport, SK3 8HR.

Who is Toddlers for?

Toddlers is for children aged from birth through to 4 years old, together with their parents and carers.

What does it cost?

It costs just £2.00 for one adult with one child, plus an extra 50p for each additional child or adult.

What's included in the price?

The charge includes a drink, fruit and toast, and all craft materials.

Coming along for the first time

Just turn up!

We have to limit numbers to 30 children, so it's advisable to arrive soon after we open since Toddlers is a popular group. Once we reach 30 children we are unable to admit anyone else.

A monthly event at Cale Green Life Centre - usually held on a Saturday from 10:30am to 2:30pm.

Come and go as you wish. Stay for as long as you want. Choose how to pray.

The Prayer Space provides creative "zones" for you to pray and reflect, either on your own or with others.

Kintsugi Hope Well-being Groups

The stress and demands of modern living are taking their toll on our mental health and well-being. A Kintsugi Hope Wellbeing Group is a safe and supportive space for people who feel or have felt overwhelmed, providing tools for self-management in a facilitated peer-mentoring-style setting.


Well-being groups run for 12 weeks, each week looking at a different theme of mental or emotional health such as anxiety, disappointment, loss and resilience. Groups are free to attend.

Watch this space for news of when the next group is running.


The aim of these groups is to equip individuals with self-management tools at the same time as providing space to develop relationships with others.


Sessions include group and individual activities designed to help participants to accept themselves, to understand their value and worth, and grow towards a more resilient and hopeful future.

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A chance to meet and chat with other Dads

Who Let The Dads Out takes place at Cale Green Life Centre on the third Saturday of every month from 9:30am to 11:30am.

Who Let The Dads Out? offers a place for you and your children to spend time together having fun while mixing with other dads and their children.

You’ll find a relaxed and warm welcome, tea & coffee & juice, a free breakfast barm and plenty of toys and activities.

Neighbourhood Chaplains

An estimated one-fifth of the UK population (9 million people) are lonely. Charity research says that the UK culture leaves many completely isolated, in what the press is calling “the UK’s loneliness epidemic”.

In response to this, our Neighbourhood Chaplains team aim to help tackle loneliness through befriending. We offer a listening ear and practical help towards meeting our neighbours’ physical, emotional and spiritual needs.

  • 360Life Church's Neighbourhood Chaplains began operating in the first half of 2022.

  • Help available includes “helping hands” for simple daily tasks which those in need may not be coping with. There is also an opportunity for regular phone calls or visits for those on their own who would like someone to chat to. Volunteers can also offer prayer and signposting to other helpful local agencies and events.

Keep In Touch

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We won’t bombard you with emails. Emails only go out when we post new updates - rarely more often than once a week.

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking on the Unsubscribe link provided in every email.

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  • Cale Green Life Centre
  • 71 Adswood Road
  • Stockport
  • SK3 8HR
  • 0161 850 8360

The Life Centre car park has disabled parking spaces.

The building has wheelchair access and an accessible toilet.

Wheelchair access is not available to the upper floor, which is used for some children's groups during Sunday services.

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