I have repeatedly heard the claim that the Bible has been translated many times, and that as a result of this, one cannot be certain of what it says. This is used in two different ways. First, skeptics claim that one cannot rely on the Bible because such translation will introduce errors. Second, there are supporters of the scientific reliability of the Bible who will claim that if it is just translated correctly, then we will discover scientific accuracy. In this second view, most or even all claims of scientific inaccuracy are the result of translation errors.
Let’s look at the basics of the process of translation, and the history of the Biblical text to see if these claims are justified. I’m largely interested in the second claim, which is often used in arguing in favor of creationism of one sort or another.