Just How Important is a Single Letter?

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There are those who will tell you that the changes in the wording of the Bible text in the new versions does not change the meaning, and that we should not be concerned about how the words are changed.  However, this is to ignore the fact that even if we change a word to a different word that has “the same meaning” it nonetheless changes the contextual relationship of the words in the sentence.  In fact, any deviation at all from the words of the author will, of necessity, change the meaning to some degree.  It is not difficult to see how this would be, given the following example of what was a simple typing error when writing a letter. What happened was that I mistyped the word “not” and ended up typing the word “now” quite by accident. However, there is only one letter difference between the two words, but it changed everything about the sentence:

With this, we determined that it was now feasible to change certain doctrines concerning the church and the Scripture that we had found lacking.

So I just stated we CAN make the change, . . . or did I?

With this, we determined that it was not feasible to change certain doctrines concerning the church and the Scripture that we had found lacking.

No, what I intended to say was that we CANNOT make the changes. By changing only one letter, (the letter “w” to the letter “t”) there is a change in the meaning of the sentence to two diametrically opposing ideas and actions. Next time someone claims that a “few, minor changes” in the words don’t make any real difference in the meaning, don’t believe them . . . THEY’RE LYING!

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