The Value of Bible Translations

“Jesus responded, “This voice came, not for Me, but for you. Now is the judgment of this world. Now the ruler of this world will be cast out.” (John 12:30–31 HCSB)

Jesus’ words: Now is the judgment of this world.  Now the ruler of this world will be cast out, are a little opaque.  The HCSB translates the passage well, but what exactly does it mean?  This is where comparing different translations can really help us understand a passage better.  Here are some ways this verse was translated:

  • “Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.” (John 12:31, NIV84)
  • “The time for judging this world has come, when Satan, the ruler of this world, will be cast out.” (John 12:31, NLT)
  • “Now is the time for this world to be judged; now the ruler of this world will be overthrown.” (John 12:31, GNB)
  • “At this moment the world is in crisis. Now Satan, the ruler of this world, will be thrown out.” (John 12:31, The Message)

I think the New Living Translation (NLT) helps me understand what Jesus said the best, even though they add  the word Satan which is not in the original Greek.  The ruler of this world is Satan, so they help the reader out a bit by doing some interpretation for them.

At any rate, as we compare the different translations we can see that what Jesus meant was that his coming death and resurrection would mark the beginning of the end for Satan, the ruler of this world.  He is about to be thrown out/driven out/overthrown.

 

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