Those who take the monumental responsibility upon themselves to alter the Word of God, whether in deference to the Greek or Hebrew languages or whatever other means, are treading on the most dangerous ground in creation. I'd rather walk across a frozen lake with known thin ice and no way of rescue than to tamper with God's Word. Using the original languages for added "color" is benign, but using them for altering God's Word carries with it the severest penalty possible. Have we not read the terrible consequences of "adding to," or "taking from," God's Word of prophecy in the Revelation?
Rev. 22:18: For I testify unto every man that HEARETH the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall ADD unto these things, God shall ADD unto him the PLAGUES that are written in this book: 19: And if any man shall TAKE AWAY from the WORDS of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.
Does anyone think they're immune because they're saved? I suggest they reconsider as these warnings apply to them too! Do they want their name removed from the Book of Life? If so, then take away from the Words of that Prophecy. Do they want to suffer the plagues of the Revelation? If so, then add to His Word of that Prophecy. But, if they think that's bad, what do they think will happen if they alter God's Word for our salvation plan and subsequent instructions for today? I'd say the penalty may be even worse!
And what if they are so clever as to think they've devised a subtle way to nullify the Words of our Lord in ANY part of His Word? I don't care "HOW" they did it, but that they did it, as that's the grave error here. Don't they know that God regards His Word above even His Own Name? Try saying something against God's Name and the charge will be blasphemy, but try saying something against God's Word and the charge will be worse than if one had bombed the Oklahoma City Federal Building and came out holding the detonator.
Note: It may be noted that Hymenaeus was, in 1 Tim. 1:20, delivered to Satan for destruction of the flesh for apparently saying the resurrection was past already [cf. 2 Tim. 2:17]. How much more shall we be guilty of a greater crime if we say any part of God's Word is fake, or in error, or not meant exactly the way It is written in the Authorized English Version? These may pride themselves in a fair show of self righteousness and in maintaining a certain high standard of living, but if one is guilty of altering the Word of God, then one may as well have a full time job as a male or female whore on international television, as the penalty would be far less severe than it is for tampering with God's Word.
And, if one has an academic degree, such as a doctorate, then, in God's Eyes, he is less than an amoeba, with an IQ of 2 and no degree! Plus, he gets the brunt of God's Wrath!!! Who are we serving anyhow?
And for those who dare take the exceedingly dangerous responsibility of re-translating God's Word, which seems so popular today, why are you risking it? I say it's better to have that great burden of responsibility laid on the shoulders of those who translated our Bible into English. After all, does God require all men everywhere to have studied the original languages or to have a college degree before being able to read and understand His Word? Will the millions of common folk who have believed an English translation of the Bible be less equiped or duped because they didn't re-translate it, or buy a copy of a retranslation? Will they be able to stand before God and tell Him that His Word, as already published in the AV is in error, or at least contains some error, and therefore they can't be judged righteously? Hardly!
This naturally brings up the question, which often came up on the AOL boards as follows: Where can we today find God's Word? I asked the elite professor of Greek and Hebrew with whom I posted on the AOL boards that question several times, and he couldn't say, nor could anyone. The best and only answer they could conjure up was that His Word is somewhere! [But none would venture a guess as to where.] Now this is really amazing. A further opinion was given which stated that His Word is in a person's heart and is a synopsis of all they have read in various translations. cf. Jer. 17:9, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" I'd say it would be a fool who would trust his own, or worse yet, someone else's "heart" to even do an ample job of minding an anthill, much less anything more important.
This answer reeks of the devil himself, as that's tantamount to saying God's Word is very like relative morality, and differs for each individual, or worse yet, for each damnable, American culture! Does this make the Almighty Word of God, by Whom the worlds were made [John 1:1: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2: The same was in the beginning with God. 3: All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made."], to be only that which is understood in the heart of a Christian Child in one instance and in the heart of a more mature person in another instance? While that may be true from the various levels of human knowledge which each individual has, is this to say there's no written standard for God's Word? I say there is a written standard, and, while I'm not KJV only, I've found it to be the best for advanced studies, although I have used other versions in the past.
Note: A written Standard must be available to mankind or else God has not kept His promise of preserving His Word. Psalm 12:6, 7; Prov. 30:6 Did we not know that scribes who made copies of the Old Testament stopped after each line to count the Words forward, backward and from the middle to each end? And when they came to the Name of the Lord, they had to change ink, change pens, wash and change clothes, before they could write it. That's one reason why modern Jews substitute "G-d" for God, as they see themselves as unworthy to write His Name. Note: This is also why the term, "Masoretic Text" is used to differentiate this type of accuracy from other texts.
It's amazing to me how well God trained Jews to honor His Word, yet some today have little regard for altering It, to make It conform to this sinful generation.
Having God's Word available in written form, as a Standard, is absolutely essential. Otherwise we are "tossed to and fro by every wind of doctrine," [or, worse yet by changes in social culture] and can never arrive at the truth. While we may consult the original languages for possible clues on certain subjects, we should never use them to alter God's Word.
For instance, substituting "overthrow" for "foundation" in Eph. 1:4 is enlightening for those who are aware of the overthrow, but to the ordinary reader, the "timing," which seems to be the main point, is essentially the same, as the overthrow occurred during the foundation stage of the world. So, no doubt God enlightens those to whom He has granted higher knowledge, to see even more than the lazy, careless or less faithful reader would see. But this further enlightenment should never, never include an attack upon God's Written Word, to alter it in any way.
I have studied enough about MSS [manuscript] evidence and the original languages to determine that it would take a lifetime to even begin to become professional in that field, and so I left that to the original translators [but not to any modern "newbies"] and got on with learning the Bible, as written in my native tongue, which God had already provided.
And, when you are re-translating a certain word, but not the whole passage, how do you know that the other Words in the passage aren't faulty too? Will the real faulty "Words" please stand up? Hmm...
And you who presume to run to the Greek for "New" discoveries, I suggest you learn the Bible in English before attempting to re-translate any portion from Greek or Hebrew. Don't you know that your present understanding of God's Word in English is all you have as a basis for your assumed ability to re-translate from Greek? [And what if even that's wrong because you failed to re-translate it too?] And, if you are unaware of various doctrines in the English version of His Word, then tell me how you presume to place yourself as an expert, re-translating ANY passage from the Greek This is dangerous to the extreme!
However, the habit of checking the Greek for additional light on a passage of Scripture is harmless and recommended, as long as the Word of God is in no way ALTERED by that habit. I've seen countless times in various publications where an appeal to the Greek only got people into trouble.
For instance, in Revelation 5:3, "And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon." Some so-called, top-notch scholars argue that the term "man" should read "creature." But these ignorant people haven't bothered to consider that MAN and only MAN, can take the Title Deed to the world and to Judge it. God Himself isn't qualified to take that position, because He Himself gave that authority to man, and ONLY to man!
cf. Genesis 1:26-28; Psalm 8:4-8; Hebrews 2:5: "For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. 6: But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? 7: Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honour, and didst set him over the works of thy hands: 8: Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet. For in that he put all in subjection under him, he left nothing that is not put under him. But now we see not yet all things put under him."
Jesus Christ referred to Himself some 80 times in the New Testament as the "Son of man," now you know why, but the scholarly retranslators still don't! Is this the calibre of individuals who claim they can "upgrade," "update," or "correct" the English Version?!!!
Our task is NOT to make God's Word say whatever suits our present concept, but merely to learn whatever It does say! When I first learned that some saved people today treaded on God's Word in such a fashion as to think little or nothing of altering some of It, I was shocked. Take a friendly warning from one who knows and, in all of your interpretations and Scriptural exegesis, always remember to treat God's Word, for Which He has the highest regard, even above His Own Name, with the highest possible adoration, love, honor and respect. If you do, you will flourish.
However, if you fail to do that, you will suffer exceedingly harsh retribution, even to the point of having to endure the extreme horrors of the plagues of Revelation. You aren't scheduled to go there, but you will certainly go there, just as much as if you had written a formal request to God, begging to go there, and personally signed it, if you do despite to His Word. [PS: Nullifying, or altering, by whatever means, any part of His Word constitutes doing despite to His Word.]
In the past, I made some of the same mistakes, but eventually learned to just let the English version say whatever it says and go with it. There is great safety in that practice, as the responsibility of accuracy is then placed upon the original translators and upon God Himself, to have made sure we have an accurate version of His Word. So why play games at the edge of the cliff when you can play less risky games in a safe location? :-)
Rule #1, NEVER tamper with God's Word! If you have a problem understanding Scripture, keep praying and studying until you get an answer. Otherwise, console yourself to not know that answer. BUT, NEVER do despite to the VERY SOURCE POWER ITSELF! Don't you know that your mistake in this most hallowed arena could propagate, leading scores of others over the cliff as well? And who will be responsible for that? YOU!
God guards His Word well. As already mentioned, two men were turned over to Satan for destruction of the flesh, in 1 Tim. 1:20 for not holding the faith of God's Word and possible promoting the fact that the resurrection was past already. Ever heard of cancer, stroke, heart disease, sudden death? For those misled and ignorant "scholars" who have the audacity to tamper with God's Word, get ready for that or worse, if you don't do everything you can to avoid ANY alteration. This is, by far, the most serious matter in the universe, second to none!
God has been extremely lenient in this matter in the past, due to man's ignorance. But now there's no excuse, because they've been informed. Past this point, I expect immediate and just retribution to be dealt to those who willingly and deliberately alter God's Word, so that others will learn a hard lesson.
Best Regards Always,
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