What is the most accurate Bible translation?
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Question: What is the most accurate Bible translation? Which one is the most faithful to the original manuscripts?
Answer: Before we arrive at which modern translation is the most accurate we need to know a little bit about the manuscripts (writings) translators have used to produce copies of the Bible such as the King James Version and others.
The most common manuscripts used to translate the Old Testament into English are the Masoretic Text (MT) and the Septuagint.
The Masoretic text is the textual tradition and marginal notes of the Levitical scholars known as Masoretes. Active from about 500 to 950 A.D., they continued the work of earlier Aaronic priests and Levitical scribes who were appointed by Ezra the prophet to be the official guardians of the Hebrew text he helped canonize. The MT is considered by many to be the authoritative Hebrew text of what we today call the Old Testament.
The Septuagint, which means "seventy," is a GREEK translation of the Hebrew-based Old Testament. Also called the LXX (the Roman numeral for 70), the text is believed to be the work of seventy Jewish scholars that assembled in Alexandria, Egypt around 285 to 247 B.C. The most common manuscript families used to translate the New Testament into English are called Byzantine and Alexandrian (Egyptian).
The Byzantine family, also known as the Traditional or Majority Text, was the text used and preserved by the Greek church from the time of the apostles until the era of movable type printing. It is from this family that the manuscripts known as the Textus Receptus (also known as the Received or Stephens Text) were produced. The Textus Receptus was the translation base for the original German Luther Bible, the translation of the New Testament into English by William Tyndale, the KJV and others.
The Alexandrian Text manuscript family is composed of text that were generally circulated in the region of Alexandria. This family essentially disappeared for centuries after 500 AD, only to be rediscovered again in the mid-1800s. Although these manuscripts are quite old, they often disagree with one another and show significant signs of grammatical revision. It is from this family that what are known as the Sinaiticus and Vaticanus manuscripts were produced.