The Profit Principle...

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(David) Placing authority over a translation of the Word of God in the hands of a commercial entity is no greater warrant for confidence than placing that translation in the hands of the descendants of Ellen White or the Watchtower Society. Pecuniary influences are just as real and baleful as sectarian influences.

I mean, really, if you're going to give a commercial entity control over your translation of God's Word, why not just sell it to Rupert Murdoch?

Translations of the Word of God should not be controlled by those with vested interests in their profits. Nor are arms-length translation committees which, though theoretically non-profit owe their existence and income to the profitability of a given version of Scripture, free from the temptations associated with venality and pride--considerations which pass all-too-easily through non-profit membranes.

The safest translations are those overseen by conservative authority free from financial interest in their publication. The King James Version was such a translation. No one party owned the KJV: it was controlled by the crown and established with wide ecclesiastical participation and agreement. Free from copyright and licensing issues, the KJV united the English-speaking Christian world for over four centuries.

It's inconceivable that any translation in print today will remain intact and popular for more than a century--not because language change will mandate their replacement but because the commercial interests at the heart of modern translations will continue to Balkanize the Bible landscape until a translation free from the considerations of copyrights, licensing, perpetual revisioning and re-copyrighting finally appears on the scene.

No translation in print today will ever approach the authority of the KJV. Is it thus impossible for a translation to become the uniform choice of English-speaking Christians? Perhaps. But the truth is, we won't know know for certain until we actually try. What is needed is a generous donor (individual or organization) to support the work necessary for a new translation, ecclesiastical support and authority in the translation process and freedom from licensing and profit for the ultimate product.