Archive for the ‘Bible Versions’ Category


Ephesians 1:3-12, William Tyndale’s New Testament

Sunday, April 12th, 2009

The following is extracted from William Tyndale’s 1534 New Testament1

It is posted so that rabid Calvinists can read it and get bent trying to warp it into “unconditional, sovereign election.” I am not worried as the language will stand. Though the language and grammar are very plain that the predestination pertains to what the born-again believer will be AFTER they are saved, those holding Calvinist/Reformed doctrine are always intellectually dishonest enough to throw out the rules of English grammar and sentence structure, and contort the passage into saying “predestined to salvation.

How do I know? I have dealt with several Calvinists, with the last “conversation” abruptly ending after about 6 months. During this time I found him to be more dishonest and unstable than most who hold Calvinist doctrine (he is a “charismatic Calvinist” (Extreme emotionalism plus hateful doctrine — what a combination!)), but right along the same lines as the rest of them. He used the same intellectually disingenuous arguments, and pulled the same shenanigans they all pull. He acted utterly superior, condescending, arrogant, bullying, and lied through his teeth, contradicting himself several times. When called on it, he changed subjects, bullied, and brought up questions that had nothing to do with the current discussion, and tried to seize control of the discussion. In short, typical Calvinist/Reformed behavior.

If you have been so abused by a Calvinist, you could drop a comment. I will gladly post it. The wickedness of Calvinist doctrine and the behavior it engenders needs to be seriously exposed.

With that, I leave you to the most excellent William Tyndale, the father of modern English and originator of the lineage of Bibles which culminated in the King James Version of the Holy Scriptures.

Ephesians, Chapter One:

Blessed be God the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which hath blessed us with all manner of spiritual blessing in heavenly things by Christ, according as he had chosen us in him, before the foundation of the world was laid, that we should be saints, and without blame before him, through love. And ordained us before through Jesus Christ to be heirs unto himself, according to the pleasure of his will, to the praise of the glory of his grace wherewith he hath made us accepted in the beloved.

By whom we have redemption through his blood even the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace, which grace he shed on us abundantly in all wisdom, and perceivance. And hath opened unto us the mystery of his will according to his pleasure, and purposed the same in himself to have it declared when the time were full come, that all things, both the things which are in heaven, and also the things which are in earth, should be gathered together, even in Christ: that is to say, in him in whom we are made heirs, and were thereto predestinate according to the purpose of him which worketh all things after the purpose of his own will: that we which before believed in Christ should be unto the praise of his glory.

  1. Modern Spelling Edition, edited by David Daniell, Yale University Press, 1989, ISBN 0-300-04419-4, pg. 282 []

The Hebrew and the Greek

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

You call yourself a student of the bible, and do not have the original Hebrew/Greek translation? Are you serious? I forgot, its KJV, or nothing for Paul.1

The Interlinear Bible is the OT in Hebrew and the NT in Greek, translated in literal English by Jp(sic) Green.You would no(sic) this if you had one. It is not a study bible, it is the original Hebrew/Greek translation of God’s Word! Every serious Bible student would have this original translation and would no(sic) this.2

I get challenged from time to time about where I stand on the Scripture, as I am King James Version only. Specifically, I use the 1769 Edition of the KJV, which is the last edition and incorporates standardized modern punctuation and spelling. I hold to the King James Version for several reasons that are well-grounded Scripturally, of which I will address a couple. Unfortunately, it means that I am going to get hammered as being “backward” and a “stick in the mud” as I steadfastly refuse to use any modern version, except to show the corruption of those versions. Worse yet, I am even more uneducated and unlearned as I also refuse to use interlinear bibles, commentaries and such like, choosing to remain with the Bible and a couple of authoritative unabridged English dictionaries and a thesaurus.

In the minds of some, this makes me ignorant, presumptuous and a bit of a dunce. However, that would fly in the face of certain facts about my abilities as a technician, able to grasp complex technical subjects like interferometric principles and laser interferometry, machine geometry and design, electronics, control systems, etc. It also is to have an attitude devoid of understanding some very significant things the LORD God has declared in His word. What I am stating here is plain: I deliberately chose this particular route to take against advice to the contrary, as I see certain things in Scripture that confirm and validate what I believe. With that stated, here is a portion of my case laid before you:

First, it is essential to understand that the LORD God is the Author of all languages, no matter when and where they come into existence. The LORD demonstrated this at Babel:

And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the LORD scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth. (Genesis 11:5-9)

Additionally, the LORD God performed the reverse of Babel on the day of Pentecost:

And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.
And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven. Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. (Acts 2:1-11)

At Pentecost the LORD did not undo the languages. Rather, He ensured that everyone present, regardless of where in the world they originated from, heard what was spoken in their own language, even down to the particular dialect they spoke. Thus we find the LORD fully capable of controlling and commanding not only the language, but the way we hear what is spoken, regardless of what language the words are spoken in.

The day of Pentecost had a specific and express function for the New Testament church, but is also applicable to the issue of what Bible we use and whether we need the Greek and Hebrew source texts to refer back to. At Pentecost the LORD made it very plain to all who heard, and to the apostles who spoke, that He intended to have His word in every language on the face of the earth. That is, after all, the only reason for having anyone speak in tongues on that particular day or any other day. We find this confirmation to spread the Scripture throughout the entire world confirmed and reinforced by the Lord Jesus Christ when He stated:

Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures, And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. (Luke 24:45-47)

Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matthew 28:16-20)

Now, it would be quite the stretch to believe the Lord Jesus Christ plainly commanded and intended for the gospel and all of the word of God to go to every single nation on the face of the earth, and then believe that everyone needs to learn ancient Hebrew and Koine Greek so they can understand what the LORD God requires of us, and what Jesus Christ did for us. Somehow, that simply does not work — at all. Thus we are forced to ask another question:

Did the LORD know that His word would need to be translated?

The answer is an obvious “Yes.” Certainly He knew. The only other option would be to require everyone on earth to learn ancient Hebrew and Koine Greek. Certainly we find that not practical, nor do we find anywhere in Scripture the LORD God requiring any particular language to be learned before one can learn of Him. Instead, what we do find is an outreach to every nation on earth, regardless of the language spoken. The particular preservation of the Old Testament Scripture was in Hebrew as the LORD’s covenant was with Israel.3 After all, what could we make of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon? Certainly it would be far, far from reason to assume that his court and kingdom spoke Hebrew, or that he allowed Hebrew to be spoken in His court during the conduct of business. Rather, they spoke Chaldee, or Aramaic and conducted business accordingly. So then another question arises which we ought to consider seeing the following declaration is in the Scripture:

Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. (Proverbs 30:5-6)

And again:

The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. (Psalm 12:6-7)

Since all the words of the LORD are pure and unadulterated, how did the LORD God intend for everyone in the world to have His word? Certainly the LORD God knows of the problems inherent in translating anything from one language to another, and certainly He has a plan for insuring that all who want His word can have it. If we care to note the passage from Psalm 12, where it is stated:

Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever. (Psalm 12:7)

We will understand that the preservation of the Scripture lies within the province of the LORD God, and is not given unto man. Moreover, we should understand that the Scripture is not given to man to have and to hold, rather what is given to man is actually a copy of the Scripture, and not the original. Whether we wish to understand it or not, the original is held inviolate in Heaven:

For ever, O LORD, thy word is settled in heaven. (Psalm 119:89)

And again:

Thy word is true from the beginning: and every one of thy righteous judgments endureth for ever. (Psalm 119:160)

Thus man has absolutely no power to change the original which is in Heaven. Moreover, all that results in men changing the Scripture to suit themselves, is to bring utter condemnation upon their own heads. Because the Scripture is so held inviolate, the Lord Jesus Christ made it utterly clear the standard by which man is to be judged:

And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day. (John 12:47-48)

If then, these things are true (and they are) and the LORD God is a righteous Judge, then He will insure that man always has access to His written word — the Scripture. Moreover, we can plainly see that the LORD fully intended for people to have His word in their native language so they know and understand how and why He judges them. Here then we turn to the problem of translating the Scripture, and yet retaining the purity of the word of God. However, before proceeding, we should consider how the LORD God views His own word, and consequently what our view of His word ought to be:

I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy lovingkindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name. (Psalm 138:2)

By this we should understand that mishandling the word of God — the Scripture, is worse than blaspheming the name of God. Therefore, we should be the more careful and cautious how we handle the Scripture, lest we outright condemn ourselves.

What this means is that those who do any translating of the Scripture into another language must be led and guided of the LORD God to do the translating, and must do it on a proper basis, else the work they undertake will not be blessed and will not result in an accurate and proper translation. Moreover, we do have examples in Scripture that demonstrate plainly the LORD’s ability to use individuals to present His word in multiple languages accurately. First, we have the several incidents recorded in Acts where Hebrew, or other known tongue was spoken and it was recorded in Greek. (Acts 22:1-2, 26:14, 10:44-46, 19:1-6) And, we have the apostle Paul’s own testimony of speaking the word of God to others who did not speak Hebrew, in which he effectively and accurately translated what is stated in the Old Testament:

I thank my God, I speak with tongues more than ye all: Yet in the church I had rather speak five words with my understanding, that by my voice I might teach others also, than ten thousand words in an unknown tongue. Brethren, be not children in understanding: howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding be men. (I Corinthians 14:18-20)

Here the apostle Paul testifies to the Corinthians that he spoke the word of God in several different languages, and refused to speak in an unknown language. This would not, and should not be surprising as the ministry of the apostle Paul encompassed a number of countries, and the LORD God equipped and enabled him to carry out that ministry. The one “language” the apostle Paul refused to speak was the “unknown” tongue, as there was and is no profit in it.

What this plainly demonstrates is the ability of the LORD God to carry forth His word into many different languages utilizing the individuals He has called and gifted for particular ministries. Moreover, the LORD is able to do so and maintain the purity of His word, all without the need for interlinear Bibles and constantly referring back to the Hebrew and Greek. Rather, what the LORD plainly intended was the translation of His word into every language on earth.

Though there is much more to be said about this, particularly as to why I hold to the King James Version only, for now this will suffice as I certainly am no better than the Waldensians, who had a Bible in their own language, and their doctrine was sound for quite a long time. However, we should also note that merely having a right Bible, or the correct underlying Scripture text, or even having the originals (which do not exist anymore) does not in any way guarantee that one will have right doctrine. Rather, having right doctrine is a matter of attentiveness and obedience to the LORD and His word, not merely possessing it and reading it.

There is one further item of note here as to why the particular interlinear Bible Aaron chose to use is J.P. Green’s “literal” interlinear. It really is quite simple, and it has everything to do with the doctrine interwoven in the English text of the “literal” interlinear Bible:


Hmmm . . . . a Bible that would validate Augustinian/Calvinist/Reformed/Sovereign Grace/Primitive Baptist theology. What better way to insure your doctrine is “valid.” After all, the “Bible” says so.

Oh, and Mr. Green had to attack the King James Version to support his new version (else why would we need a new version):

Although it is admitted that Erasmus has added to his Received Text two or three readings from the Latin Vulgate, without Greek manuscript authority (e.g. Acts 9: 5, 6), and one from the Complutension Bible which as no Greek manuscript authority (1 John 5: 7), we have not deleted these from the Greek text as supplied by the Trinitarian Bible Society – though we do not accept them as true Scripture.5

And, we also see that J.P. Green ignores the Formal Translation method and lumps it in with Dynamic Translation, smearing both the KJV translators and the Bible they produced (Should we wonder why?):


There are two translations in this volume, one appearing as the literal translation of the Greek words, with English equivalents directly under each of the Greek words, and the other, The King James 2 Version, on the side of the page, which serves to provide a straight-forward translation for the purpose of making it easy for the reader to see the proper word order in English, and to thus easily essiminate the message given in God’s word on that page. Both translations are accomplished in a word-for word translation.

The ‘conceptual idea’ form of “translating” the word of God has been rejected, studiously avoided because no person has the right, nor the inspiration, to rewrite God’s word to conform it to his own concepts.

Those passing off their conceptual ideas are, in our opinion, despising the words originally given, and carefully preserved……. It is hoped that these literal word-for-word translations will demonstrate that a true word-for-word translation can also be a readable and easily understood representation of the Scriptures.6

Now we have somewhat of the rest of the story. . . .

  1. e-mail from Aaron dated 20 Feb. 2009 []
  2. e-mail from Aaron dated 19 Feb. 2009 []
  3. There are the minor exceptions of part of the book of Daniel, minor portions of Ezra, and a verse in Jeremiah. []
  4. J.P. Green Study Archive @ – The Internet’s Only Balanced Look at Preterism – WHAT OTHERS HAVE SAID []
  5. J.P. Green Study Archive @ – The Internet’s Only Balanced Look at Preterism – THE GREEK TEXT IN THIS VOLUME []
  6. J.P. Green Study Archive @ – The Internet’s Only Balanced Look at Preterism – THE ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS []

Distorting the Word

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him. Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar. (Proverbs 30:5-6)

. . .There is no fear of God before their eyes. (Romans 3:18)

Of the more common things assumed by people concerning the Scriptures, there are a couple that really don’t sit well with me. It’s not that I get angry or anything, it’s just distressing to consider that people do not understand certain, very important items with regard to Scripture.

First, not all Bibles are the same. For as long as the word of God has been around, men have been perverting it. This is done mainly to justify themselves and their strange, ungodly doctrines and arcane religion. Most folks, even in solid fundamental churches, do not know that the King James Bible comes from the line of Scripture that never saw Roman Catholic influence, and is of the same source text as the Bibles used by the independent, autonomous churches that were persecuted by the Roman Catholic Church, the Muslims, and various other pagan religions ever since the first church at Jerusalem. Fundamentally, the underlying text is different, and in the case of the King James Bible, the method of translation is different as well. These things cannot help but bear strongly on the doctrine contained in the Bible one chooses to read.

Second, that the Scripture belongs to the LORD God and Him alone. It is His word. It is really puzzling to me that people will scream bloody murder over plagiarism and the unauthorized alteration of someone else’s work, but don’t seem to grasp the enormity of altering the word of God, and the condemnation that brings upon them. No, it is as if they believe there is no consequence to their action. It is interesting that the translators of the King James Bible held a very strong belief that they were not free to change anything in the Scripture. Unlike a lot of folks, they believed the Scripture to be sacred and not be touched without consequence. In short, they believed the truth of the following statement:

We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. (II Peter 1:19-21)

It is the understanding that the Holy Ghost caused the men who penned the Scriptures to put the words on parchment, vellum, and whatever else they used as a medium for their writing, that caused the translators to hold the Scriptures as sacred. Moreover, that the words written were not really the words of the prophets who penned them, but are the words of Almighty God, given to the prophets to write. Thus, the words are not to be tampered with, as one king in Judah found out:

And it came to pass in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah king of Judah, that this word came unto Jeremiah from the LORD, saying, Take thee a roll of a book, and write therein all the words that I have spoken unto thee against Israel, and against Judah, and against all the nations, from the day I spake unto thee, from the days of Josiah, even unto this day. It may be that the house of Judah will hear all the evil which I purpose to do unto them; that they may return every man from his evil way; that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin. Then Jeremiah called Baruch the son of Neriah: and Baruch wrote from the mouth of Jeremiah all the words of the LORD, which he had spoken unto him, upon a roll of a book. (Jeremiah 36:1-4)

When Jeremiah was done speaking everything the LORD had given him, Baruch took the roll and read it in the temple, in the hearing of all the people. In the events that followed, the roll was taken and read before the king. The king’s response was the same disrespect for the word of God that we see so much of today:

So the king sent Jehudi to fetch the roll: and he took it out of Elishama the scribe’s chamber. And Jehudi read it in the ears of the king, and in the ears of all the princes which stood beside the king. Now the king sat in the winterhouse in the ninth month: and there was a fire on the hearth burning before him. And it came to pass, that when Jehudi had read three or four leaves, he cut it with the penknife, and cast it into the fire that was on the hearth, until all the roll was consumed in the fire that was on the hearth. Yet they were not afraid, nor rent their garments, neither the king, nor any of his servants that heard all these words. (Jeremiah 36:21-24)

Though Jehoiakim, king of Judah thought that burning the roll would be the end of the matter, he found out that the LORD God does not take kindly to someone utterly disregarding, and then destroying His word. Not only would the words be written again, but judgement was pronounced upon Jehoiakim for his insolence.

Then the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, after that the king had burned the roll, and the words which Baruch wrote at the mouth of Jeremiah, saying, Take thee again another roll, and write in it all the former words that were in the first roll, which Jehoiakim the king of Judah hath burned. And thou shalt say to Jehoiakim king of Judah, Thus saith the LORD; Thou hast burned this roll, saying, Why hast thou written therein, saying, The king of Babylon shall certainly come and destroy this land, and shall cause to cease from thence man and beast? Therefore thus saith the LORD of Jehoiakim king of Judah; He shall have none to sit upon the throne of David: and his dead body shall be cast out in the day to the heat, and in the night to the frost. (Jeremiah 36:27-30)

Now, all the above is necessary to understand what a blessing it is that we, as English speakers have in possessing the word of God in the form of the King James Bible. English history is intertwined with the Bible and fundamental Christianity. This desire for the word of God is most visible during the time of Wycliff and Tyndale, but has existed since 63 AD when the gospel reached the British Isles. However, the pinnacle of the desire for the pure word of God culminated with King James the VI & I of Scotland and England, and the translation of the King James version of the Bible.

I call attention to all this because there is a third assumption made by the vast majority of individuals concerning the word of God. It seems that we implicitly assume that every language has a right Bible like we do. Nothing could be further from the truth. Sadly, most of the languages in the world do not have a Bible with the proper underlying Greek and Hebrew text, and are not properly translated either.

The reason for this lies in the way the Scripture has been handled in those languages from the time they first received the word of God. One of those languages is German. There is no right German Bible. Either the underlying text is wrong, or the translation suffers from the doctrinal/cultural bias of the translator. One of the reasons for this is found is a German religious poem tracing back to about 830 AD. The poem is supposed to be about Jesus, the Redeemer. But this Jesus is nowhere near the Lord Jesus Christ of the Scripture:

Der Heliand

Of the other religious poems, Der Heliand (Heiland – the Redeemer) is still mentioned. A showpiece of the Germanic Stave rhyme poetry of about 6000 long lines. The epic poem was written during the Carolingian times (around 830 A.D.) in the language of old Saxony. It is assumed that Kaiser Ludwig the Pious, the son of Karls des Großen, ordered a Saxon poet to poetically germanise the Gospel. The Redeemer is a gospel harmony, or a portrayal of the life of Jesus, which the poet put together from all four of the gospels.

In this epic Christ becomes, fully corresponding to the German feeling, a German king, his disciples, followers. The setting of the plot is not the Jewish Palestine, rather the German Saxony. The German traits of loyalty, honor, courage, masculinity, and heroism are brought forth strongly. Because the Germans were unfamiliar with loving your enemies, self sacrifice, humility, loving your neighbor, and the idea of peace, Christ is portrayed, not as a poor, humble man, but rather as a courageous, powerful king of the people, a man of the sword, who dies in the battle for his people and for God’s Kingdom. The shepherds in the field, don’t tend sheep, rather brave horses, Joseph is a loyal vassal, the holy three kings are noblemen, who come to swear loyalty to their feudal lord, the marriage in Cana is a German celebration, and in the Sermon on the Mount he promulgates his teaching to his followers. A few lines in modern translation should convey to us the spirit of this wonderful cultural document:

“Then was the quick sword-warrior Peter infuriated. His wrath boiled wildly, he could not speak, for it troubled him so deeply, that they wanted to seize the Lord. Wrathfully he stepped forward, the bold warrior, to stand up for his leader. Quickly he pulled the sword from his side and hit the nearest enemy with full force, so that Malchus was reddened with the sword’s cut, on the right side, his ear cut off, his cheek split. Blood shot out, seething from the wound. As the cheek of the nearest enemy was split, the people moved back out of fear of the sword’s bite.“1

Ever wonder why the gospel and fundamental Christianity never seemed to get anywhere in Germany? Perhaps it also has much to do with Luther as well, since Luther often translated the words “reprove,” “rebuke,” and “teach” as “beat and thrash” in the Bible he translated, which is fully consistent the German cultural understanding of Christ expressed in Der Heliand. Now, to be certain, Luther had the correct underlying text for his translation work. But Luther’s doctrine was also skewed, and he yielded far to much to German culture, as it is expressed in the poem above. In Luther’s mind the wonderful passage in Titus, chapter 2 concerning grace, becomes something to be avoided. When we read it in English, we equate teaching with instruction, since the word “teach” does mean exactly that — to instruct.

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; . . .(Titus 2:11-12)

But in the Luther Bible it becomes:

For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, beating and thrashing us . . .(Titus 2:11-12)

Now, the underlying word in Greek could be translated as “beating and thrashing.” But that would be terribly inconsistent with what “grace” is, and how grace works. No, the problem is that Luther was very much influenced by the culture he lived in, and translated the Scripture accordingly. This is apparent from the fact that the particular meaning Luther chose for “teach” is not the primary meaning of the word. Instead, Luther chose a meaning that was in minority usage, and out of step with how the rest of Scripture portrays the working of grace. Teaching and instruction do not require chastening unless the person being taught won’t learn any other way. Moreover, there is specific underlying Greek word for “chastisement.” The underlying Greek word for “teaching” is given below to demonstrate the error Luther perpetuated in his translation of the Bible. Luther could have used any number of German words that mean specifically “teaching,” such as “lehren” or “unterrichten,” et al. However, Luther chose to use the word “züchtigen” which has the specific meaning “to beat or thrash,” thus not even broaching the idea of teaching, let alone any other method of teaching. Since the rest of Scripture does a very good job of defining the methods the LORD uses for teaching, Luther could have used any German word for teaching, and let the context derive the meaning. In the following definition, please note that the meaning which includes striking someone, is very much the minority usage of the word:

3811 paideuo {pahee-dyoo’-o} from 3816; TDNT – 5:596,753; v
AV – chasten 6, chastise 2, learn 2, teach 2, instruct 1;
13 GK – 4084 { πpαaι?δdεeύ?ω? }
1) to train children
1a) to be instructed or taught or learn
1b) to cause one to learn
2) to chastise
2a) to chastise or castigate with words, to correct
2a1) of those who are moulding the character of others by reproof and admonition
2b) of God
2b1) to chasten by the affliction of evils and calamities
2c) to chastise with blows, to scourge
2c1) of a father punishing his son
2c2) of a judge ordering one to be scourged2

What this demonstrates is the error of allowing culture to influence the translation of the Scripture into the vernacular of the people of a particular language. The translation is supposed to be a formal equivalence translation that is independent of the culture of the people. This is necessary as the Scripture is supposed to reform the culture. If the Scripture condemns a particular cultural ideal, then so be it. We all are, meaning everyone in this world, supposed to conform to the word of God, not the other way around. To do what Luther did (and so many others have done), is to pervert and distort the message the LORD God has in his word. To do that is certain to incur the displeasure of the LORD. Moreover, the people who are influenced by such distortion of the Scripture, will never truly understand what the LORD is doing and why He is doing it. Finally, there are some specific thoughts that we ought to keep firmly in mind concerning the situation we see with translations of the Scripture into different languages:

1. Since every word of God is pure, changing the words in the slightest is certain to make them impure, and distort the meaning, thus changing the message.

2. There is a reason the LORD gifts some men to be teachers of His word. Things that are not so clear in Scripture must be taught. Nowhere in the Scripture does it declare the Scripture to be a “do it yourself,” self-teaching book. That is not the method the LORD chose to use. Instead, He expressly chose to use individuals to minister unto other individuals and teach them the things pertaining to the LORD, and what the LORD requires of man. This necessarily includes things that are obscured by the culture the man of God is sent to. Lest we forget, it is a glory to God that an individual voluntarily follows the LORD and willingly teaches His word unto others.

3. Tampering with the word of God does great harm and hinders the acceptance of the Scripture by the people to whom the Scripture is sent. Germany never has had a right Bible, and neither have the Spanish speaking people. The primary reason for this is the hearts of the people. The LORD God responds directly to the hearts of individuals, and when the predominance of individuals in a culture will not receive the things of God, the LORD responds accordingly. For whatever reason, the people of the British Isles have loved the word of God, and the things of God. This love reached its zenith between 1500 and 1700 AD, but has been evident from time to time since 63 AD. Clearly it has much to do with how the Scripture was handled by those entrusted with it. The LORD God responded to this by giving the English speaking people a pure and right Bible. Sadly, we do not see the same desire for the true word of God in history of either the German or Spanish speaking peoples. What is worse is the fact that we do not see that desire in hardly any other culture in this world — much to their detriment.

Last of all, we must remember whose word it is that we have the privilege of looking into. The Scripture belongs to the LORD God, and he will give understanding of it to whosoever He will. Our attitude toward the word of the LORD dictates how much understanding of that word we will receive.

Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest? For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word. (Isaiah 66:1-2)

  1. Deutsche Kulturgeschichte, 3rd Edition, 2002, Hans-Wilhelm Kelling, McGraw-Hill, ISBN 0-07-287027-3, pp 55-56. (Translated by SuAnne Droddy) []
  2. Strong, James. The Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship. []

And there’s not a problem with this . . .? (Part 2)

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

Yesterday, I addressed Isaiah 1:18 in and how it appears in the Spanish Bibles when it is translated literally, as compared to the King James Version and the underlying Masoretic text. However, I addressed only a portion of the error that is contained in the verse. In yesterday’s post, I focused on the use of the Spanish word “si” which means “if” instead of “aun” which means “though” and how that changed the entire meaning of the passage. Unfortunately, that is not the only error in the passage.

In the King James Version, Isaiah 1:18 states:

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isaiah 1:18)

And in the Reina-Valera 1602, it states:

Venid luego, dirá el SEÑOR, y estemos a cuenta: si vuestros pecados fueren como la grana, como la nieve serán emblanquecidos; si fueren rojos como el carmesí, serán tornados como la lana. (Isaías 1:18)

Which, literally translated, states:

The Lord will say come and let’s agree: if your sins are as scarlet, like the snow, they shall be made white; if the are red like crimson they shall be as wool.

Beside the use of the word “if” in place of “though” there is serious concern for the statement “The Lord will say come and let’s agree:” and what it means with its attendant implications for the doctrine of salvation. Now, I am certain that in the minds of many, the question will be raised: ‘What’s wrong with that statement, isn’t the Lord still seeking to call man to agree that man is a sinner?’ Yes, He is. But the problem lies not in the fact that the LORD is seeking to bring man to the understanding that each and every person is a sinner, as that is very much the case. Rather, the problem lies in the fact that this statement is placed in the future. Instead of “saith the LORD, ” which is present perfect tense. What is given in the Spanish is “The Lord will say” which is future tense.

Why is this an issue, and what real difference does it make? Well, of you are an ultra-dispensationalist, or are one that holds that salvation is different in the different periods of man’s history, I guess it doesn’t really make that much difference. However, if you believe that God has never changed, and that since the fall man has never changed, and you understand that the LORD God knew in eternity past that man would need a Savior, then it is a destructive rendering of the underlying Hebrew text, and inconsistent with the rest of the Scripture.

How so? Consider the following passages:

And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world. (Revelation 13:8)

And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people, And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David; As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began: . . . (Luke 1:67-70)

But those things, which God before had shewed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. (Acts 3:18)

By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts: and by it he being dead yet speaketh. (Hebrews 11:4)

Hearken unto me, O Jacob and Israel, my called; I am he; I am the first, I also am the last. Mine hand also hath laid the foundation of the earth, and my right hand hath spanned the heavens: when I call unto them, they stand up together. All ye, assemble yourselves, and hear; which among them hath declared these things? The LORD hath loved him: he will do his pleasure on Babylon, and his arm shall be on the Chaldeans. I, even I, have spoken; yea, I have called him: I have brought him, and he shall make his way prosperous. Come ye near unto me, hear ye this; I have not spoken in secret from the beginning; from the time that it was, there am I: and now the Lord GOD, and his Spirit, hath sent me. (Isaiah 48:12-16)

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to day, and for ever. (Hebrews 12:8)

For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us: Nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest entereth into the holy place every year with blood of others; For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. (Hebrews 9:24-26)

Now, I won’t quote all of Isaiah, chapter 59 as it is lengthy, but well worth reading as it details the condition of man. However, the last part of the chapter states:

Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment. And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him. For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke. (Isaiah 59:15-17)

Just when did the LORD see the condition of man? In Revelation, chapter 13 quoted above, it plainly states that the Lamb was slain from the foundation of the world. Please note this places the sacrifice of Christ to have occurred before the creation of man. Clearly, the Scripture details that the LORD created man on the sixth day, which is after the foundation of the world. So then, the LORD saw the fallen state of man before He made the heavens and the earth, and before man was ever created.

But, it is argued, how could the Lord Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, be slain on the cross before the world was ever made, and long before the Gospels detail His crucifixion? Isn’t that a contradiction, and doesn’t that cause problems in the Scripture?

Only if one’s understanding of God is incomplete or flawed. Consider the following passage and its implications as touching what the LORD tells us in Scripture:

Therefore it is of faith, that it might be by grace; to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed; not to that only which is of the law, but to that also which is of the faith of Abraham; who is the father of us all, (As it is written, I have made thee a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not as though they were. (Romans 4:16-17)

When God “calleth those things which be not as though they were.” what He is telling us is the following: He sees all time all at once and differentiates every point in time from every other point in time. Hence, in eternity past, when the LORD God made a covenant with Himself for the salvation of man, the outcome of Christ’s earthly ministry was never in doubt. The fact that the Word would become flesh, live perfectly before the Father, and go to the cross to pay for our sins, was a sure and certain thing: it was impossible for the Lord Jesus Christ to fail.

Hence, the gospel, and means of salvation for man, throughout the entire history of man from the fall has NEVER changed. In Ephesians, chapter 2 it is expressly stated:

For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. (Ephesians 2:8)

And just so men know that grace and works for salvation don’t mix, we are told in Romans:

And if by grace, then is it no more of works: otherwise grace is no more grace. But if it be of works, then is it no more grace: otherwise work is no more work. (Romans 11:6)

So then, when it states in Hebrews, chapter 11 that “by faith Abel” and in Genesis, chapter 6 “But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.” (Genesis 6:8) we know that both Abel and Noah believed in Christ to come and were justified in the sight of God based upon that belief and trust in God’s promise of a Savior. (Of course, one could read Job 19:23-27 or Hebrews 3:15-4:2) Thus, the gospel has always been the same.

Therefore, it is reasonable to pose the question: Is it “the Lord will say . . .” concerning our sin, or is it far more accurate to understand that it has always been “ . . .saith the LORD” in addressing the wicked and sinful condition of man?

Plainly, the LORD God has always stated, and continues to state that we, individually are sinners in need of salvation. He has made it clear that there exists no other means of salvation outside the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ, who being the Word, long before the world ever was chose to take on the form of a man and become our next of kin so that He would pay the price of our sin.

The statement and declaration of God is present perfect, not future tense. It is not ‘He will say.’ He has said and continues to say what He knew in eternity past. Thus instead of:

Venid luego, dirá el SEÑOR, y estemos a cuenta: si vuestros pecados fueren como la grana, como la nieve serán emblanquecidos; si fueren rojos como el carmesí, serán tornados como la lana. (Isaías 1:18)

To be accurate it must state:

Venid ahora, y razonamos dice el SEÑOR: aun vuestros pecados son como la grana, como la nieve serán emblanquecidos; aun son rojos como el carmesí, serán como la lana. (Isaías 1:18)

And there’s not a problem with this . . . ?


And there’s not a problem with this . . .? (Part 1)

Tuesday, March 4th, 2008

When I witness to someone concerning their need for salvation, there is a verse that I like to use as it is very applicable to rational Westerners (which we in America are). That verse is Isaiah 1:18, which states:

Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. (Isaiah 1:18)

The verse contains much in the way of doctrine. Primarily, I’d like to point out that the LORD God does desire to reason with every one of us. I want the person I am witnessing to, to understand that believing in Christ Jesus for one’s salvation is not an issue of superstition or blind belief. Rather, the Lord is not pleased by those methods of believing in either the Father or the Son. No, the LORD God desires that we are fully persuaded by reason. To be certain, this reasoning is not reasoning with the mind, although that does occur in the process. Instead, it is a reasoning with the soul. The reasoning primarily focuses on the state of that person’s soul as God sees it. The reasoning is about God’s righteousness versus man’s ability to become righteous by his own effort. And further, this reasoning also brings the person to consider who Christ is, why He died on the cross, and why Christ is qualified to pay the price for that individual’s sin, and that individual is not.

In all this reasoning that the Holy Ghost does with the individual, there is not an agreement between them, until that person yields on each particular point. Rather, it is an adversarial process that can take months or years with the person denying the truth of their state, and/or the truth of who God is, and how and why Christ came, along with who Christ actually is.

This last point is a very critical point that must be thoroughly understood and agreed to willingly before the LORD will accept the profession of that person. Why? Because the LORD is not pleased by blind belief, nor is He pleased by superstition as they who engage in such practices have no sure knowledge of who and what they are trusting. Instead, the LORD God desires that everyone come to know, not guess, but know Him personally, and know and fully understand that they can indeed trust Him and the provision he has made for us in Christ Jesus. This is what glorifies God. Whereas, blind belief doesn’t glorify at all. However, to persuade an individual and have them come to the knowledge of their Creator, and His love for them, and for that individual to be sure and certain of it, is indeed a glory and honor to God. After all, that soul turned to the truth willingly, and became obedient to the truth willingly; and all because the Holy Ghost persuaded them in their heart. Any fool will believe blindly and without proof, and that is no glory to God.

Thus, there is extreme importance attached to the phrase in Isaiah 1:18 which states “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD:” However, that phrase suffers when we decide to use the Spanish Bible. Now, for those who are not familiar with this issue, we in the English-speaking world are not the only ones to suffer from a proliferation of Bible versions. However, we at least do have a right Bible that we can turn to as the need arises. Unfortunately, that is not the case in the Spanish world.

I wish I could state differently, but based upon dealing with translating English into Spanish over the last two years, I cannot. I work with a translator that is qualified to translate, and normally does medical interpretation and translation. She, along with a brother in my home church, have translated the Reproach of Men site into Spanish. In so doing, the Statement of Faith was also translated (and I currently have to update the Spanish version) in which each and every supporting verse of each article was checked to see that it properly supported the statement made. The variation of the Spanish verses from the English is simply astounding. Now, to be sure, the Spanish Bible used was not the RV 1960, rather the Bible used was the Reina-Valera 1602, which is supposed to be the most like the KJV.

However, considering all that was discussed above about the LORD God reasoning with individuals (through the instrument of Faith) and what God requires of them in the way of belief, what is one to make of the following rendering of Isaiah 1:18:

Venid luego, dirá el SEÑOR, y estemos a cuenta: si vuestros pecados fueren como la grana, como la nieve serán emblanquecidos; si fueren rojos como el carmesí, serán tornados como la lana.

And now, the literal translation of that passage:

The Lord will say come and let’s agree: if your sins are as scarlet, like the snow, they shall be made white; if the are red like crimson they shall be as wool.

I don’t know about you, but I do not like what I read in the translation above. If, . . .? If . . . ? If your sins are as scarlet. . .

Uh . . . no, — I don’t think so. Our sins are, . . . not if, but are, as scarlet. The price of our sin is blood, and the shedding of it to cover them. Moreover, (and I asked specifically about this) since when is the snow, scarlet? No, that cannot be right either. It must mean that some punctuation is incorrect.

The Lord will say come and let’s agree: if your sins are as scarlet; like the snow, they shall be made white;

Which, with the replacing of the comma with a semicolon, is better, but it still does not resolve the first clause and all the attendant problems of using the word “if” rather than the Spanish equivalent of the word “though.” In Spanish, the word for “if” is “si” and the word for “though” is “aun.” Thus it is not a “mistake” in the sense of a typographical error. Rather, the word “si” was deliberately chosen when the word “aun” was a clear and unambiguous rendering of the underlying Hebrew (at least in the Masoretic). Moreover, the word “aun” would give the Spanish reader the plain sense and understanding that they are sinners in need of salvation. As this passage stands, the reader is given to option of questioning the validity of the LORD’s charge laid against them.

Of course, the error was repeated in the last phrase as well. Again, the question “if” our sins are red. No, sorry, they are red like crimson.

By the way, this is not the only passage in the Spanish Bible(s) that are flawed in this way. In the Statement of Faith, many verses from the 1602 (it’s worse in the 1960 RV) had to modified to match what is stated in the King James Version. And, yes, this verse was rewritten to match the KJV:

Venid ahora, y razonamos dice el SEÑOR: aun vuestros pecados son como la grana, como la nieve serán emblanquecidos; aun son rojos como el carmesí, serán como la lana. (Isaías 1:18)

Is it any wonder that the Bible seems to have no significant impact upon the Hispanic world?

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