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Look at the whole verse in the KJV. Let's break it into four parts:
Isa 9:3 KJV
1) Thou hast multiplied the nation,
2) and not increased the joy:
3) they joy before thee according to the joy in harvest,
4) and as men rejoice when they divide the spoil.
1, 3 and 4 all reflect a positive joy while 2 describes a negative response. 2 does not seem to fit. In the NIV and NASB all four points align with a sense of joy.
Let's take another angle. If we start with the understanding that no doctrine rises or falls on one verse, but rather is dependent upon the totality of Scripture we can move from an anomaly between versions and ask a deeper question. That question is as follows, what doctrine in Scripture is altered from one version to the next, especially if we stay within KJV, NIV, ESV and NASB? Do all teach that Jesus is the Son of God, the Living Savior? Do all teach that salvation is by grace through faith ... an not by works? Do all teach that the shedding of blood, specifically the blood of Jesus is required for the remission of sin? Do all teach the message of the cross and resurrection. The list goes on ... Thus, what doctrine is altered when we compare versions? I am not asking whether there are variances, but even in the variances do we find doctrine of Scripture as a whole altered between the four versions I listed?
To go a step further we know that we do not have the original manuscripts, but a plethora of copies that all say the same basic thing with minor variations, but no alteration to doctrine. The Dead Sea Scrolls substantiated how well the Word has been preserved down through the ages. We also know that when one translates such a large amount of text from one language to another there will be some nuances due to the variations in language as well as an inability to give always an exact representation of what was said in the original. With that said we again find that the subtle variations do not alter doctrine found in Scripture. We can acknowledge that the KJV is translated from one set/type of manuscripts and the NIV from another that is believed to be older than the ones used for the KJV. Thus we find that there is some variation between the two versions, but in the end they teach the same fundamental doctrines.
I will close with this. I would be concerned if the difference in Isaiah 9:3 altered a doctrine or even changed the context of the passage, but I am not concerned over one word that has no affect outside of the single verse it is found in.
Hope that helps a little to add some perspective to the issue.
Only if the changes are intentional. Many of the translators are seeking to translate the text as accurately as possible. Again they have two sets of manuscripts as mentioned before. You also have the translators using various translation methods (i.e. dynamic equivalent, word for word, etc). Many do not like reading the NASB because it is a word for word with adjustments only as required. The KJV is written in a poetic style that brings a certain flow to it that makes it easy to memorize.
Again, I have no concern over variation unless it changes doctrine. When the core doctrine remains the same there is little reason to debate whether a number is 77 or 70 x 7. No translation is without error (that is not the same as saying God's Word is in error, we just don't have the original, but have enough to know that the doctrine of Scripture is sound). For instance in the KJV you will find the word "Easter." It is translated from the Greek word Pasuche (Without looking up the exact spelling). In every other verse in the KJV this word is translated as Passover. Why did they insert Easter? That is pretty obvious, but in the end did it change any doctrine? The answer is no.
To your point about the laws changing I would agree and yes we need to refute and refrain from using versions that have intentionally been altered to align with a societal shift or seek to propagate a lie. I like the 1984 NIV, but will not use a newer version of it. I have major concerns with the newer editions and thus rarely recommend the NIV, but when I do i will at some point clarify that I am talking about the 1984 version. In fact I have a very limited number I will read from ... pretty much listed them all earlier in this thread.
I didn't know there was a difference. I use NKJV but use to read the NIV. Had I never discovered the NIV, I probably wouldn't have ever picked up the book.
I think The Message is more of an intentional changing of the Word.
The Message is a paraphrase and not a translation. One, if they like it, could use it for reading, but should not consider it as a study Bible. This is true of all paraphrases.
So what is the difference?