“It is better to make doubt of those things which are secret, than to strive about those things that are certain… For as it is a fault of incredulity, to doubt of those things that are evident; to determine of such things as the Spirit of God hath left (even in the judgement of the judicious) questionable, can be no less presumption. Therefore, as St. Augustine saith, that variety of translations is profitable for finding out the sense of the Scriptures: so diversity of signification and sense in the margin, where the text is not so clear, must needs do good; yeah, is necessary, as we are persuaded.”
OK. The old language is a bit hard to follow, but in short:
1. Where scripture is vague, we should be vague.
2. A variety of translations are a good thing.
So where is that passage from? Wait for it…
…from the original 1611 preface to the Authorized Version, that is, the King James, written by the translators themselves. Oh the irony if they knew how their text would be treated by KJV-only folks in America some 400 years later.
The Translators to the Reader: The Original Preface of the King James Version of 1611 Revisited, edited by Rhodes and Lupas. Quotes in Lamin Sanneh’s Translating the Message.