A Satisfactorily Revealing, Functionally Literal Translation
A new translation is not necessary if it is going to perpetuate in different vernacular the same old mistakes in translation that have been made in all English translations heretofore over the last 600 years. Though I do not consider myself particularly qualified, this translation inadvertently became an attempt to somewhat remedy this travesty by honoring the grammatical aspects of the root language. Also, literal should not mean using as few words as possible, or adhering to a “one word for one word” policy, but it should mean using as many words as needed to convey properly the thoughts and senses of the authors. This work is not perfect, but it seems to have overshot whatever else is out there in comparison when it comes to a literal presentation of the Greek in the epistles.
Rather than providing a smoothly refined, pleasing reading experience, it was deemed of greater necessity that the true facts, messages and meanings in the text be brought forth. This ought to be of greater importance to the reader. In light of the fact that this past centuries’ quest for a better Bible has continually produced a plethora of versions to choose from, it is obvious that heretofore our need has not been satisfactorily met. They are all different, and yet they are all termed, ‘the word of God.’ This book is set forth, within its limits, to meet the need for plain truth. Again, one has said that the best version is the one which someone will read. I agree with this statement.
It may be necessary to refer to a dictionary. Proper conveyance of truth cannot adequately be had at an eighth-grade reading level. Many elementary/middle school-level English words are woefully insufficient in and of themselves to completely and properly embody the heavy meanings in Greek, and when mechanically used in a word-for-word translation, leave much unsaid, misunderstood, or inapplicably rendered with reference to the context. Thus, for greater accuracy and understanding of the Greek, multiple proper, applicable, complex words have been employed — up to as many as five deep in some places — sometimes utilizing forward-slashes, and other times stringing them together with either commas, or the supplied words ‘and’ or ‘or,’ depending on when the section was translated between 2003 and 2014. The gospels are my oldest work. I do not have enough life remaining in me to rework them in order to format them all in a consistent way. Some think of wordiness as “adding to the word,” but in word-for-word translations, translators are inadvertently “taking away from the word” by not conveying all that is there into the host language.
In places like the Beatitudes, inherent meanings have been rendered where a mere translation gives us no real meaning to personally utilize. Meanings also are given where standard words have become corrupted, or have changed meaning, or are inadequate or indistinguishable in differences to the modern mind, like with the quartet: ‘sin,’ ‘trespass,’ ‘iniquity’ and ‘lawlessness.’ ‘Sin’ is missing the moral mark. ‘Trespass’ is stepping over the moral line. ‘Iniquity’ is unrighteous injustice. ‘Lawlessness’ is open rebellion against God. Words like: ‘world,’ ‘death,’ ‘love,’ ‘believe,’ etc. required special treatment in places in order to convey the real intent of the Greek, which can be pregnant with meaning, though it was not consistently done in every instance, because once learned, the mind can eventually make those connections. After enough exposure to these changes, one’s mind automatically converts to the proper meaning when they are thereafter encountered. In the epistles supplied words not in the text, required for proper contextual understanding — meaning, explanations of/for certain Greek words like: ‘pisteuo’ (believe), ‘thanatos’ (death), or ‘agapao’ (love), whose meanings are so complex as to require elucidation — have been put in parentheses. Helping words/phrases have also been put in parentheses.
Apart from the early gospelic embellishments supplied for enhancing faith and understanding, attempt was made in the epistles to remain true to Greek grammar, resisting the temptation as often as possible to subjectively “fix” the text, or “tweak” the grammar, for the sake of English syntax, which in common practice tends to impose a false meaning upon the text. Instead, adjusting punctuation — which was never in the original Uncial manuscripts to start with — and properly utilizing voice, case, tense and mood, paying special attention to datives, genitives, definite articles, and honoring anarthrous constructions, I was able to become more adept in the area of the discovery of truth. The policy and modus operandi for the epistles was — even with meanings: what is there is what is translated, and what is not there is not. This policy does not apply to my flamboyant gospel elucidations. I have not hit perfection, and am infinitely fallible, but the results in presenting the truth herein so far are far more encouraging than what we have been provided with by translators to date. This ends in results differing significantly from the epistles of other translators I have read heretofore. This also becomes very enlightening, and multitudes of textual problems are subsequently resolved. Hidden and overlooked truths suddenly spring to life. Millions of man-hours spent by pastor-teachers researching the many obscure passages in order to present a clear ‘Thus saith the Lord,’ will be saved for actually ministering to the needs of the flock, and the sheep themselves will require much less hand-holding in life as they are able to digest the clear words of God for themselves and grow on to spiritual maturity more quickly. Best of all, people will no longer be victimized by the false assumptions arrived at from reading faulty translations. 1st John is my case in point, as will be noted by its singular and lengthy introduction. I also sought to translate more accurately: for example, pisteuo should not be mechanically translated “to believe.” Mental assent saves no-one. It should more often than not be translated in the verbal form “to faithe,” and as a participle “faithing,” and thus all confusion and uncertainty is gone, and the correct idea is conveyed. Of course belief is in play as the facts are presented to the mind for consideration, but that is merely the initiation of the process. The consummation of the process is like swallowing food — faith is the ultimate in commitment resulting in full appropriation of the provision of God (John Ch. 6:25-59).
Honesty in Translation
Now take Matthew 5:3 for example: “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” This has been mistranslated for over 600 years. We’ll never get out of the quagmire of religious errors and conflicting doctrines through revisions that are “referring to and diligently comparing with previous translations” — which is essentially like saying, “We are afraid to step out of the accepted norm,” or “We’ve always translated it this way.” That is like excusing one’s resistance to a Just-In-Time Manufacturing Coordinator’s objective by refusing to submit one’s self to the required changes for the justifiably better and more efficient modern ways of manufacturing which have proven out over the long haul to be inherently best, and the right way to effectively and economically produce.
In the Greek (transliterated because I have no Greek keyboard), the first half of the verse says, “Makarioi hoi ptoxoi toi pnuemati.” There is one nominative plural masculine adjective matching in case and gender with both the following nominative masculine plural definite article, and the first nominative plural masculine noun — the nominative case specifically designating those who are “blessed, happy or fortunate.” Happy, blessed, fortunate — the plural adjective describing condition — can only apply to the specifically designated plural noun for ‘poor,’ “ptoxoi.”
Now, “ptoxoi” is another problem. The habitual, mechanical rendering of it as ‘poor’ without regard to the context in which it is found does the passage no justice and makes it religiously unintelligible. A word study reveals that in Kittle’s Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, volume 6, page 904, his concluding statement says that emphasis is shifted from the material sphere to the spiritual — hence religious sphere — and that the Evangelist (Matthew) is not greatly interested in the problems of actual want. On page 886 is given first the etymologically primary and secular meaning of the word as to ‘bow down timidly’ because it is first related to the word “ptosso.” Also in Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, page 557, he also first connects the word with “ptosso” and says it means ‘to be thoroughly frightened, to cower down or hide one’s self for fear;’ hence properly, ‘meaning one who slinks and crouches, often involving the idea of roving about in wretchedness.’ I would venture to add, ‘making one’s self subject in fearful deference’ and maybe also the idea of ‘lowliness — that being a true assessment and thus realization of one’s station or position in the realm of true, factual reality.’ Submission here comes to mind as a result.
There is no virtue in poverty other than realizing one’s need, so why would that make happiness or good fortune? Lowliness of spirit, meaning an attitude of humility, is also virtuous, and required in the process of salvific faith, resulting from a good understanding of the facts. But the grammar does not support these applications. “In” spirit is not even represented nor warranted in the text, neither by a presence of the Greek preposition “hen,” which at times means “in,” nor by the fact that “pnuematai” (spirit), is not an adverb describing how or where the blessing occurs, but a proper noun — the object receiving the action of the subjects. The dative singular definite article, and the singular (proper) noun, also in the dative case, which is the case of personal interest, makes it translate: “for the Spirit,” or better, “to the Spirit.” “In” is nowhere to be found, nor even to be justifiably applied there. Where they all come off justifying their making that happen is beyond me. They are forcing a false interpretation upon the text. Granted the verb (are) can be correctly supplied for the sake of English syntax. The verse thus properly translated should read: “Fortunate (are) those submissive to the Spirit, for the kingdom of the heavens is theirs alone.” Now that makes a whole lot more sense, is more doctrinally and grammatically correct, and makes a very nice and applicable first contextual requirement supporting all that follows in the Sermon on the Mount. If they cannot or will not honestly translate this simple verse correctly, what about all of the others encountered in the New Testament? These Beatitudes are herein presented for the most part utilizing an interpretive translation with meanings for essential clarity and understanding. Clarifying dialogue is also utilized in places in the Synoptics to complete instruction where needed. Any associated creative embellishments I have utilized are only to enhance the truth, such as those employed to properly time Jesus’ crucifixion by Good Thursday, the fifth day of the week within the prescribed limits of Exodus 12:1-6, thus completing the 72 hour sign of Jonah — ‘three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.’ There were two Sabbaths that weekend: the special Sabbath starting the week of unleavened bread on Friday, and the customary Sabbath that Saturday. Matthew 28:1 has the Greek word for Sabbath in the plural — two Sabbaths. Jesus was crucified on the Day of Preparation and buried by 6 PM that same day — to Jews, the start of the Sabbath of the next day.
Slave or Servant?
Now, take the Greek word for ‘slave’ for example: in the Authorized King James Version, 117 times “doulos” is translated ‘servant/servants,’ and 10 times “sundoulos” ‘fellow servant,’ and 3 times “douloo” ‘servant/servants,’ and 2 times “doulon” ‘servants,’ and 21 times the verb “douluo” ‘to serve,’ rather than the proper renderings, “slave/slaves/fellowslaves” and “to slave.” Being a servant implies a free-will hireling, and the option to terminate that arrangement when the situation becomes uncomfortable, or in order to pursue other interests. Being a slave is an entirely different arrangement. A slave is property purchased and owned, has no rights or property of his own, is totally dependent upon the owner/master for all of his shelter, medical care, clothing, food, drink and work provisions — and a bad or neglectful master can make his life a living hell. This is the picture of our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, when we enter voluntarily into that relationship, and the price for us has been then paid through faith in his blood. All of a sudden Matthew 6:24-34 now makes sense! “Therefore” is there for a reason. To the average man money has all the characteristics of deity and therefore can be owned by it as its slave. You cannot slave for both God and money — you can’t obey or be possessed by two masters at the same time, so you must choose your master — money can let you down — especially at the end of life, but as a slave of Christ, all of your needs will be met — guaranteed — for he is a good Master. So, a servant is not a slave, and a slave is not a servant.
All versions but the Holman Christian Standard, the Goodspeed and the New World Translation do this word disservice by following suit and translating “doulos” as ‘servant’ to a greater or lesser degree, thus skewing the Master-slave relationship completely, and rendering numerous passages unintelligible or emasculated of meaning as a result. Why they do this is not understood, but I suspect that they have been under social pressures. It is obvious that political correctness has evidently affected even the revered King James translators of 1611, when it comes to the social stigma of slavery. In all reality, God owns all men by creative right, whether they are willing to admit to it or not, and therefore we are ultimately accountable to him. We are, though, free to choose for now, what our god will be, and when we choose Jesus Christ in faith, he then becomes our Owner and Lord by redemptive right. Our benefits are out of this world! Ultimately, there are no unbelievers presently swimming in hell.
This translating stuff has to be taken gravely and seriously, because people base their whole religious outlook, life decisions, personal conduct, and eternal destinies upon what they read in, or what is taught from, their New Testament. How can God allow this disinformation situation to go on? Well, I do understand that the grace of God does not go where it is not wanted, and that he does not grant to man anything other than common grace when man thinks he has no need, or is unwilling to change. Man is without excuse (Romans 1:18-32) because the general revelation of creation sufficiently covers God’s obligation of self-revelation to his created ones. The subsequent specific revelation of gospel hearing covers God’s obligation toward those who seek him out as a response to that general revelation. If man then rejects the specific revelation of God through Jesus Christ, God is not under any further obligation to make himself known.
Again, someone has said that God does not call the qualified, but that he qualifies the called. Maybe this is one of those times. I do not understand or even pretend to know why these things have been revealed to me (i.e. the Shuffled Manuscript Theory — why me now, and not earlier to someone else), nor why things have been allowed to remain awry for so long, other than that God prefers to reveal himself through his infinitely fallible people, and as his hands and feet on earth, we have been infinitely fallible from the start. This must be the working of God. Apart from him I can do nothing.
The Definite Article
With regard to this translation, also will be noticed is the absence of the abusive, subjective, arbitrary imposition of the definite article upon most anarthrous Greek constructions (that is, places where no definite article occurs) to unjustifiably impose a syntactical smoothness to the English. This practice invariably corrupts the intended meaning of the author of any given document. The definite article (that is, the word ‘the’) redundantly occurs enough times in the text that it is totally unnecessary to arbitrarily insert it in places where it does not occur. Many times it is not translated because of its inordinate redundancy in the Greek. That is a common and acceptable practice among translators.
Take for example: John 1:1a “In the beginning was the Word.” Here they make ‘beginning,’ “arxei,” out to be a noun, but there is no definite article in the Greek text. This is an anarthrous grammatical construction, so qualitative attributes are stressed rather than identity, and “arxei” is used as an adverb — not a noun; so it should read: “In eternity was the Word,” without a definite article imposed upon the text. It basically is stating that the Word was before time began. And why not say ‘eternity-past,’ “arxei,” rather than the mechanical rendering of ‘the beginning,’ “arxei,” which makes the grammar impossible, or at best, an imposed translation ambiguous? Before the heavens and the earth were created there was no time, so there could be no beginning in view in verse one. Thus ‘eternity’ is correct and also true. It could be made to say, ‘before time,’ but to legally have that meaning, the Greek would need to say “en xronos,” and not “en arxei.” The idea of past is only here supplied because of the inherent thought of the word archaic as ‘old.’ God is truly older than (that is, preexisting ) — created dirt.
Even so also Colossians 1:18a: “And he (Christ) is the Head of the Church, which is ‘beginning’ or ‘starting’… (“arxe” is a present tense verb meaning, ‘is starting,’ that is, during the time of Paul). No definite article is needed, or here used, because this is a verb, and thus it is quite a different application of the Greek word than the “arxe” from Revelation 3:14, which says, “These things the Amen is saying (that is, Jesus Christ), the faithful and true Witness, ‘the Source,’ “hei arxe,” of the creation of God.” A definite article is used in this verse, thus stressing identity rather than quality — and it is a proper noun. This proper translation shows that the Creator cannot be a part of what is created; and He also must of necessity precede what is created; and also we cannot separate the Creator of John 1:1-3, 10, 14 from the Creator of Genesis 1:1, 26. One would of necessity have to rip one or both of these passages from the Bible to support the subjective error that Christ is merely a temporally created being without an eternal past through whom things were ostensibly created by the Father, and who was subsequently filled with the Spirit when baptized, and that he was not God manifested in the flesh, or even worse, he was made a lesser god, with the Father an even greater god, as those idolater Jehovah Witnesses believe (that is, they hold to both a greater God, Jehovah, and a lesser god, Jesus) cf. John 1:1-3, 10, 14; 1st Timothy 3:16; Colossians 1:13-16; Hebrews 1:1-4, 8-12; Revelation 3:14. Jesus is creator God manifested in flesh.
Also in the same way we can resolve the dilemma of Colossians 1:13c-17: “…his loving Son (Christ) who is an exact replication of the invisible God — Author, Head Maker, Supreme Generator, “prototokos,” of all creation (no definite article here, because the definite article applicably carries over from ‘invisible God’ preceding it, thus stressing identity) — for by him all were created, those in the heavens, those in the earth, the visible, the invisible, whether thrones or dominions, or rulers “arxai,” or authorities; all things have been created by him and for him, and he is ahead of all, and by him all things have had permanent cohesion (that is, presently resulting in reliability and predictability).” Referring to “prototokos,” Cain alone was the ‘firstborn’ of the creation of God — not Jesus Christ. Adam and Eve were not firstborn — they had no navel. Christ is “first-born” in the sense of being God’s only Son — meaning the incarnation of the preexistent Creator God and Lord, whose flesh was formed in Mary’s belly. (In Matthew 1:16 ‘whom,’ “hase,” is a genitive singular feminine pronoun which makes Mary alone Jesus’ human parent, and not Joseph. God the Holy Spirit was the generating Father of his flesh in the womb of Mary: Matthew 1:20; Luke 1:35.) Thus he is God manifested in flesh: Son of God. Man begets man, God begets God. God plus Mary beget the God-man — Jesus Christ — fully God and fully man according to Isaiah 7:14; 9:6-7; and “God made for himself a temporal abode (middle voice),” John 1:14; and since the seed of man transmit’s the human sin-nature from Adam (Romans 5) — and the womb of the woman does not — having no human father, Jesus was sinless and fully qualified therefore to bear the sin of the whole world — the sinless Messiah who was crucified in our place.
Some Jews just refused to believe the prophecies of Daniel 9:26, and Isaiah 52:13-53:12, and Psalm 22, which indicate that the Messiah must die for our sakes; and the fact that other Jews knew what they were doing is also illustrated in Jesus’ parable of the vineyard: Matthew 21:33-46; Luke 20:9-19. Legally he is king of the Jews by virtue of the lineage from David’s son Solomon to his surrogate father, Joseph, and also by virtue of the additional lineage from David’s son Nathan to Heli, Joseph’s stepfather. The New Testament Father and Son distinction between the Godhead was not made until after the incarnation. They were together present while creating in Genesis 1:26, and so was the Holy Spirit in Genesis 1:2; thus we have a trinity at least implied in Genesis, shown as well by the plurality implied in the word “Elohim.”
Likewise, back to Colossians 1:18, in this verse we also have: “(and he, Christ, is) ‘first-born,’ “prototokos,” from the dead, having preeminence in order that he can be in all, etc.” Though Christ raised Lazarus and others first, they all had to die again. Only Christ himself was first-born from the dead by means of a permanent resurrection. Likewise, the same distinction concerning him is also to be made in Romans 8:28-29: “hoti hous proegno kai proorise summorphous tes eikonos tou uiou autou, eis to einai auton prototokon en pollois adelphois,” — “…for, whom he (God) foreknew, he also predestined a resemblance to the likeness of his Son (no definite article here), for him to continually (that is, forever) be ‘the firstborn’ “to protozoon,” among many brothers.” The definite article here is included, thus indicating his identity as the prototype each of us are destined to be modeled after — and it is also referring to the Eternal One’s incarnation (John 1:14) for the purpose of identifying himself with us ( ‘baptism’ metaphorically meaning, his immersion into humanity), and us identifying ourselves with him (‘baptism’ metaphorically meaning, our immersion into him) as we become born from above by faith in Christ (cf. 1st Peter 3:21; Romans 6:3-4; John 3:3).
Word selection also must be made very carefully in translating. In this translation every word has more or less been weighed carefully to see if it is worthy of the place it occupies. In Philippians 2:5-11 the word “arpagmon” should not be rendered ‘robbery,’ or ‘grasped’ but would be better translated ‘wielded,’ because the passage states, “Indeed, let this mentality be in you which (was) also in Jesus Christ, who, existing in a form of God (no definite article being present means this is an anarthrous construction, therefore we may legally insert the word, “a” or “an”), considered the equality with God (definite article included here indicating identity) not a thing to be wielded, but emptied himself (that is, set aside all his divine right and privilege) taking a form of a ‘slave,’ “doulos,” etc.” In the light of this translation, all references in the New Testament referencing Christ’s submission, obedience, subordination and deference to the will of the Father are to be understood. We are to do as he has done. He is not a lesser god and the Father a greater god because of it, for this verse in Philippians states he has equality with God, but of his own choosing he set aside all of his exclusive, divine prerogatives (and some of his attributes as well). Mechanical renderings have done so much damage in the Christian realm. The cults just love mechanical translation. However, note how nobody takes Jehovah Witness scholarship nor their New World Translation seriously.
Another word selection issue is whether to put ‘a,’ or ‘an’ before a noun or not in the anarthrous construction. 1st John 4:8, for example: “God is love.” Love is not a god. It may be to some people, but realistically, love is not God, and therefore God, conversely, cannot be love. But legally put in the small ‘a’ and we are able to realize a big truth; that God is a lover (a noun meaning an “agape” kind of lover)! That is a horse of an entirely different color. Without the definite article the reference is qualitative. That means identity is not the issue. The same thing can be, and should be, done in Romans 7:18, “In me dwells ‘a’ no good thing,” for the Holy Spirit is in Paul, and it is a good Thing, so Paul can’t legitimately say that no good thing is dwelling in him; but Paul also has a sinful nature in him, and that is a no-good thing; therefore we all have the constant inner battle mentioned in Galatians 5:16-17 going on in all of us if we are truly saved. Also in 1st Timothy 6:10, “Money is (not ‘the’ root of all evil, but) ‘a’ root of all evil,” for greed, hatred, power, control, lust, desire, covetousness all are roots of evil; so money is not the catch-all evil at the base of all wrong. No definite article is in that place. Also in Acts 16:17, the demon in the girl was saying, “These men are the servants of the most high God which show to us (not ‘the’ way of salvation, but) ‘a’ way of salvation;” in other words, she is saying it is just one more of many other ways of salvation — thus giving credence to pluralism and syncretism — and that is why Paul cast the lying demon of confusion out of the girl (cf. John 14:6).
Another issue is when to capitalize. We justifiably did so above already with the proper noun “Spirit” in Matthew 5:3. Now take 2nd Corinthians 4:4 for another example: most all translators cannot believe that God would be blinding the eyes of men, because they have read that he desires that none should perish, but that all would come to repentance. So they make the erroneous assumption that Satan must be ‘the god of this world.’ But God has always operated in the blinding business, therefore 2nd Corinthians 4:4 should read: “The God of this age has blinded the minds of those who refuse to believe lest the effulgence of the glorious good news of Christ should shine to them.” The translators refused to consider, first, John 3:18: “He that believes on him is not condemned, but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed (the perfect tense in the indicative mood is completed action in time past having present and lasting results — according to God’s foreknowledge ) in the Name of the only begotten Son of God,” and so, as a result, second, God blinded them: 2nd Corinthians 4:4 God judicially blinds stubborn unbelief with volitional immutability; Romans 1:18-28 God judicially hands obstinate unbelievers over to their own depravity; 2nd Thessalonians 2:9-12 God judicially sends strong delusion to unbelievers so that they can believe a lie because they had not a love for the truth. It is judicial blinding by the sovereign God of the universe. Satan is not and never has been a God. He is a Prince: cf. John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11; Ephesians 2:2. Other passages concerning blinding are: John 12:39-41; Romans 11:7-8, 25; 2nd Corinthians 3:11-16. The translators just could not believe that God would blind people, so they intentionally and arbitrarily used a small case “g,” but in the uncials, all Greek characters were capital letters. There were no lower case letters in the original Greek manuscripts until cursive came along. Unbelief is a sin. The only unforgivable sin is unbelief. Apostasy and heresy are both forms of unbelief. Blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is merely the outward expression of the inward reality of unbelief in men’s hearts.
Greek Spelling Similarities
One more area of concern is that of the situation where the Greek word is spelled the same way for three different moods, and one must decide which one to use based upon the context in which it is found. The two words following are this way. The indicative mood is the mood of certainty which states something as a fact, the imperative mood makes it a charge or command requiring action, and the subjunctive mood is the mood of possibility where maybe it will, or maybe it will not, or it ought to be; but with these spellings being the same a decision must be made as to which case should be applied. “Agapate” in 1st John 2:15, “Love (not the world),” can be translated, as an imperative: “You all love…,” and as a subjunctive: “You all should/might/may love…,” or even as an indicative: “You all are loving…,” (the present tense verb form implies “are” in the translation, even as the word “were” is implied by the imperfect tense; and the second person “you” and plural number “all” is also indicated in the spelling of the verb in all of these moods). According to the context the indicative mood sounds ridiculous, and as a result should not be used there, but both the imperative and the subjunctive fit the context nicely without destroying or altering the intent of the author. “Zeloute” in 1st Corinthians 12:31 has been a problem for centuries, though. Most all translators insist on translating it in the imperative mood as with the King James Version because they have always done it that way, “But covet earnestly the best gifts.” It just doesn’t fit. The context of the whole letter is Paul correcting spiritual abuses from front to back, and the spiritual charismata are no exception. The indicative mood choice here is definitely the best fit, Translate it thus: “But really, you all are coveting the more gainful/prominent gifts (meaning, the showiest/flashiest gifts — the attention-getters — the ego-builders — the ‘look at me, see how spiritual I am’ gifts); but/yet now I will point out/show to you all an extraordinarily more excellent way/approach/course/system (that is, that of the Christian “agape” love of chapter 13 which follows). Chapter 14, verse 1 further supports this view. Now we’ve removed one big thorn (tent peg) from Paul’s side.
The Second Person Plural
Also noticed will be a distinction made between the second person singular and plural. In the King James Version, as well as in the later Revised Standard Version, the English distinctions were retained so that we could tell the difference. The rule of thumb was: if it began with a ‘t’ it was singular, and if it began with a ‘y’ it was plural. Therefore, both “thou” and “thee” meant ‘you’ in the singular; “thy” meant ‘your’ in the possessive singular; and “thine” meant ‘yours’ in the possessive singular. Likewise, “ye” meant ‘you’ in the plural wherever it was found, and “you” also meant ‘you’ in the plural wherever it was found. Modern English has blurred these important distinctions with the blanket use of the words ‘you’ and ‘your’ for both singular and plural, sadly leaving the reader on his own to discern the difference. In this translation, “you” was left as ‘you’ for the singular, and wherever “you” was plural, I employed the use of the southern ‘you all’ to so indicate that distinction. “You” was left as ‘you’ in some places where other words in the context made it clear that the author was communicating to more than one individual. Speaking of ‘you all,’ many times translators arbitrarily put the word “things” after the word ‘all’ when it is encountered. This sometimes changes the intended meaning of the author. The word ‘all’ as employed by the author with reference to ‘people’ was left as “all” without the word ‘things’ after it. When ‘all things’ is intended, it is thus stated.
Errors and Interpolations
Copyist errors and interpolations are bears of another type. Only three or four challenges should be indicated and seriously dealt with: in Luke 3:36 “the son of Cainan,” should be removed because it is obviously a visual mistake by an early copyist who wrote it twice by accident. Go back to Genesis 5:9-14 and you will only find one Cainan listed, and he is the one listed in Luke 3:37. Also, from 1st Corinthians 14:34 to the end of verse 38, where the apostle Paul is made by another hand to be railing about women speaking in the assembly: this is most obviously a bold-faced scribal interpolation called pseudepigraphy. First, it jumps right out of the context as foreign to the flow of thought and the surrounding language of Paul, and second, it reeks of prejudicial bias against the feminine gender, and third, there are scriptures to refute its point of view. Paul rarely asserts, ‘Thus says the Law of Moses,’ in this fashion. In the first half of chapter 11 he just finished talking about the assembly in regard to men and women praying publicly with long or short hair because temple prostitutes used to customarily crop their hair short, and so we can be sure that women are not precluded from worshipping God since they can pray in the assembly. Moreover, Deborah was a judge in Israel, Judges 4:4; Huldah was a prophetess in Israel, 2nd Kings 22:14-20 and 2nd Chronicles 34:20-28; Priscilla had a hand in correcting Apollos, Acts 18:24-28; The evangelist Philip had four daughters which did prophesy, Acts 21:8-9; Euodias and Syntyche labored together with the apostle Paul and Clement in the Gospel, Philippians 4:2-3; Men and women are all one without distinction in Christ Jesus, Galatians 3:28-29. Phebe was a deaconess, Romans 16:1. Jesus himself always esteemed women highly when he walked the earth, and they ministered to him as he journeyed. Also, since the testimony of a woman was not regarded as worthy of credit in Israeli circles, just for spite God made women to be the first witnesses to bring word of the resurrection of Christ to his disciples. I do not believe that 1st Timothy 2:11-15, as well as the many other later graceless things found in it, is of the apostle Paul either. It sounds as odious as the section we are here examining, so it must also be by another’s hand. The graceless, legalistic rules of church government are too organized and comprehensive within 1st Timothy to have been written in Paul’s lifetime. I believe 1st Timothy to be heavily interpolated.
Ultimately truth is determined in the process of interpretation; and interpretation is dependent upon properly understanding the text correctly without the interposition of subjective, feel-good, inclusive, fits-all presentations of the documents supporting our Faith. So, great responsibility to man and grave accountability to our Savior and Lord abide ever-presently upon the translator. This is the sphere wherein translators ought to operate, and Greek, Greek grammar, and Greek syntax are our vindication both before the Lord and others. Motive is what we will be judged on in everything we do. I am aware that I am fallible, and I am human, and by my own admission, I am consistently inconsistent, and this showed, over time, in the formatting of this work; but I tried to present the truth to the best of my ability. Refer to A Manual Grammar of the Greek New Testament by Dana and Mantey to gain an understanding of some of these things, but I do not believe that those men are always correct in everything they present. There have always been dissenting opinions by others. In Greek Grammar there are six tenses, three voices, four moods, eight cases, and multitudes of articles and particles among other parts of speech, and all of these have bearing on how a translation is determined. Also, many Greek words have a variety of colors, flavors and applications, so a one-word-for-one-word translation is simple, but inadequate and incomplete, for the Greek language is pregnant with meaning; and again, a word-for-word presentation is actually taking away from the word of God; conversely a full translation is not really adding to the word of God, but presenting all that is actually there. Some other books the layman ought to refer to are: Gerhard Kittel and Gerhard Friedrich’s Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, 10 volumes; Joseph Henry Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament; and The Analytical Greek Lexicon Revised, 1978 edition — a revision of the original work of George V. Wigram — by Harold K. Moulton ISBN 0-85180-118-4; and A Parsing Guide to the Greek New Testament by Nathan E. Han ISBN 0-8361-3693-4; and The Majority Text Greek New Testament Interlinear, by Farstad, Hodges, Moss, Picirilli and Pickering ISBN 1-4185-2617-7; and The New Greek-English Interlinear New Testament, translated by Brown and Comfort, edited by Douglas ISBN 0-8423-1213-7. These would be very beneficial for the uninitiated reader in understanding this kind of work and all that it entails. All you would have to do in order to utilize these study tools is buy Strong’s Concordance and learn the Greek alphabet, and with time, you will slowly be able to make your way through these above tools and discover what you want to know about any part of the Greek text.
So, in conclusion, simply put, when we consider the original Greek texts (apart from pseudepigraphy) the bottom line is that we must subjectively rip completely out of the Bible those texts that we do not agree with in order to feel good about ourselves before a God of our own making, or turn state’s evidence and come to the true God on his terms and comply with his good news concerning his Son, Christ Jesus; and I am not referring to the seven non-apostolic writings not included in this canon according to Eusebius as discussed below. When it comes to doctrine, distinctions must be made between what is apostolic, and what was written by disciples. [See further the 1986 work of Sir Anthony Kenny: A Stylometric Study of the New Testament ISBN 0-19-826178-0 (search www.bookfinder.com to obtain it); and both The Canon of the New Testament, Its Origin, Development, & Significance, ISBN 978-0-19-826954-0, and The New Testament, Its Background, Growth, & Content ISBN 0-687-05263-7 both by Bruce Manning Metzger.] We then must recognize the greater authority of the earlier apostolic works when encountering contradictions of fact, concept and principle regarding the things of God in the later disciplic works, and give the apostles’ words greater weight, priority and authority over those written by mere disciples who were no more inspired than any of us are today. We must also un-shuffle the unintentionally shuffled apostolic writings because they have obviously been that way long enough; for the context of many passages have been evidently and invariably altered because of this phenomenon, thus affecting understanding and interpretation. In doing so, we can reconcile conflicting concepts of principle and doctrine in the Bible, and discover the true genius of original apostolicity. I welcome further research in the Shuffled Manuscript Theory phenomena discussed below, for I am almost sure some improvement could be found. I would like to see it make its way into other Bibles. These above considerations and changes should resolve many, if not most, of the schismatic differences between the many camps of believers. The only other option for the rational, thinking, analytical mind to do is — as many have done in frustration and exasperation — chuck the whole religion thing and become an agnostic.
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