Conventional Wisdom, what most of the “experts” think, which I’ll personalize and call CW says that the Old Testament was written in Hebrew and the New in Greek. However, let me point out that over Jesus head on the cross were three languages God mentioned; Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.
Just as in Acts 27 and 28, two ships of Alexandria, perhaps referring to the two “great” codexes of Alexandria; Vaticanus and Sinaiticus, took Paul, representing the modern Christians, to Rome, what the Alexandrian manuscripts inevitably do, we must look to the Bible to develop a history of the Bible.
Much argument is made by King James Bible believers about how 95% of the extant (meaning available to us) Greek manuscripts agree with the King James. However, this is a trap as statistics can be used to mean anything. But, before I tackle that monster let’s look at Acts 2.
6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together, and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. 7 And they were all amazed and marvelled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? 8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, 10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews and proselytes, 11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God.
While the esteemed Cambridge History of the Bible notes that the New Testament was written in Greek, the great Bible scholar, Herman Hoskier notes in his 1910 work, Concerning the Genesis of the Versions of the New Testament, that immediately and concurrently with the Greek text would have been many vernacular, as in the common language of the people, Bibles, most notably Syriac. Not only then was the Old Latin Bible copied first from the Greek Vulgate, or common version, but also Latin Bibles were translated from Syriac manuscripts. Syriac, being the common language of the Middle East area around Palestine at the time. For our purposes, basically Syriac and Aramaic are the same thing, with Syriac being a dialect of Middle Aramaic but that doesn’t help us understand what we’re talking about so let’s move on.
Later on Greek manuscripts often had touches of being corrupted by what became the Greek Orthodox Church, which includes, like the Roman Catholic Church, many heresies including the veneration of Mary and the odd belief called Theosis where man might become a god, if you believe The Orthodox Church; 455 Questions and Answers. For instance, 1 John 5:7 is not found in most Greek manuscripts but is in the Latin. Even Jerome, who mangled the Old Latin that his
Pope claimed was already mangled, admitted that 1 John 5:7 was in the originals but had been removed.
The King James translators may have referred to the Greek texts compiled by Beza and Stephanus however they depended a great deal on already published vernacular Bibles. They also used Tyndale’s English version of the New Testament which was based on Erasmus’ Greek text.
There are several dozen Greek texts that have been compiled over the years. For someone to tell you that something is or isn’t “in the Greek” is not only not honest as you can ask him which Greek text and he will look at you like a cow looks at a new gate but it’s not relevant as the Greek is only a part of what makes the Bible the Bible.
Bibles have always been translated from Bibles and not always from fragmentary Greek manuscripts. For instance, Luther had access to many previously written German Bibles when he chose to translate from one of Erasmus’ Greek texts.
If you read The Bible of Every Land: A History of The Sacred Scriptures in Every Language and Dialect, published from the records of the British and Foreign Bible Society in 1860 and The Book of A Thousand Tongues: Being Some Account of the Translation and Publication of All or Part of The Holy Scriptures Into More Than a Thousand Languages and Dialects with over 100 Examples from the Text, edited by Eric M. North and published for the American Bible Society in 1938, you’ll see very clearly that the Holy Bibles of the past were translated from other complete Bibles in the vernacular languages as well as Greek manuscripts. For the Old Testament the King James Translators relied on the Second Great Rabbinic Bible, not the Ben Asher Masoretic text with only one corrupt manuscript from Leningrad really backing it up.
So, the translators not only translated from texts written in the Original Languages but compared and contrasted those verses with verses from Bibles already written in the common languages.
My point being, “finally!” you say, is that early missionaries translated common language Bibles directly FROM the King James until the corrupt Roman Catholic “science” of textual criticism overcame the traditional view and began giving preference to Alexandrian Gnostic Greek manuscripts, most notably Codex Vaticanus and Codex Sinaiticus.
In fact, even a Modern Greek Bible, the Bambas or Vambas, was originally translated FROM the King James, not the original Hebrew. The website www.bibleresources.org.uk says the following under “Modern Greek Bambas Bible”;
“The Greek Modern Bible was first published in 1840. Uses Modern Greek as opposed to Ancient (New Testament) Greek. The Bambas translation was originally published in 1951 with some subsequent revisions.”
Note, Greekophiles, that Modern Greek and Koine’ New Testament Greek are different. Your arguments about one from the other don’t wash.
Now, here, is what the The Bible of Every Land says on page 203;
“A certain portion of the books of the Old Testament was allotted to each of the Greek translators, who with the English authorized version, the French of Martin, and the Italian of Diodati, before them, consulting also the Septuagint, the Vulgate, and other versions and aids where necessary, made as good a translation as they were able into the Modern Greek. It was then the office of Mr. Leeves and Mr. Lowndes to compare this translation with the Hebrew, calling in the aid of other versions and critical commentaries,……”
When the American Bible Society was formed it only permitted translation from the King James Bible. Originally most Bible Societies translated into the languages that they were being sent from a vernacular Bible, not retranslating the Bible from Greek and Hebrew.
The line of scholars who talk incessantly about “the Greek” and “the Hebrew” and use what is called the critical text which focuses as legitimate what they call Alexandrian manuscripts or Hesychian manuscripts and prefer bibles called New International Version, New American Standard Bible, etc. etc. are a completely different line of Christian, Baptist, whatever, than those hold to the traditional viewpoint, the old time religion, the faith of our fathers, if you will, that the AV IS the Bible in English and IS God’s Holy Word and any translating should be done from IT. These two parties are as distinct as a Protestant is from a Catholic or Orthodox.
The modernists will call you a dunce, a moron, and even accuse you of causing division when THEY are the ones who have introduced something laid on Christians by the church of Rome which doesn’t believe in the authority of the Bible over its traditions and Unitarians who don’t believe Jesus is God. It is very safe for you to dismiss them as you would a Muslim attacking your faith.
There can be no unity with the foundation of it being a lie.
The lexicons and dictionaries used today all have a history of falsehood associated with them. Let’s just review a few facts that the modern Christian doesn’t care to find out about between the football scores and the newest “G” rated movie.
First, let’s examine a verse.
2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
Notice that “All scripture is given”, the present tense. This is not simply about some time in the past when God gave the scriptures in ancient languages.
Notice the verse before this.
15 And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Timothy most certainly did not have the originals. He had copies and translations of the originals. Did he know the holy scriptures?
The word “inspiration” in Greek is “theopneustos” having to with God’s Holy Spirit from which
we get InSPIRation, SPIRit, inSPIRe. It is not “God breathed” as modern versions insist.
Pneuma, from which the part after Theo, God, is derived is Spirit, translated as such 385 times
and NEVER NEVER NEVER as breath (AV-Spirit 111, (Holy) Ghost 89, Spirit (of God) 13,
Spirit (of the Lord) 5, (My) Spirit 3, Spirit (of truth) 3, Spirit (of Christ) 2, human (spirit) 49,
(evil) spirit 47, spirit (general) 26, spirit 8, (Jesus' own) spirit 6, (Jesus' own) ghost 2, misc 21;
385). God breathed implies a one time action thereby denying “is given”. God inspired the
scriptures. He did not dictate them. Every word is pure and perfect because of God’s hand on it.
The King James Bible is an inspired translation because it is Holy Scripture and God’s hand is
Just because the translators did not claim inspiration means nothing. Matthew doesn’t claim inspiration either but is his gospel inspired?
Job 32:8 But there is a spirit in man: and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth them understanding.
Another helpful thing in understanding the Bible is to understand the need, in English, for using thee and thou in the Bible context.
Thee and thou and thine are necessary in the Bible as singular pronouns. You, ye, and your are plural pronouns.
Here’s an easy one;
Ge 27:45 Until thy brother’s anger turn away from thee, and he forget that which thou hast done to him: then I will send, and fetch thee from thence: why should I be deprived also of you both in one day?
Genesis 17:9 And God said unto Abraham, Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee in their generations. 10 This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.
God tells Abraham that Abraham shall keep God’s covenant, Abraham and his seed in their generations. In the next verse God is referring to all of Abraham and his descendants, with the covenant being between God and them all and Abraham’s seed in particular after him. Every child among them must be circumcised.
Now, you might not think this is a big deal in understanding, after all, usually it’s pretty clear who God is talking to, however, there are some key verses that will be confusing if you aren’t careful. For instance;
Lu 13:34 O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, which killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee; how often would I have gathered thy children together, as a hen doth gather her brood under her wings, and ye would not!
Jesus addresses Jerusalem as a singular entity and then as the people in it, plural.
Luke 22:31 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: 32 But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
Jesus is talking to Simon Peter but He says that Satan desires to have all of them, that he may sift all of them as wheat. But, Jesus has prayed for Simon Peter, that his faith not fail, and when he is fully converted, that he will strengthen his brothers.
See, it’s not rocket science. Try it as you read your Bible.
Have you ever heard a Pastor reading a verse and then having them say to you, I like how this verse sounds without the italicized words which were not in the original. Let me just say that he’s incorrect, again. The italicized words are inspired. Let me explain.
1. Italicized words are used when there is no equivalent Hebrew or Greek word in the text for the English word but the English word must be used in order to say the same thing which is said in the Hebrew of Greek. Word for word translation is not possible because:
a. Some Hebrew and Greek words must be translated with 2 or more English words
b. Sometimes 2 or more Hebrew or Greek words may be correctly translated with only one English word
c. Words may need to be included in order to maintain correct grammar
d. Words or phrases may have an understood meaning in Hebrew or Greek which cannot be correctly understood in a word for word translation
e. English idioms or phraseology may be required to correctly translate from Hebrew or Greek
f. Syntax, grammatical structure and word order are often very different from one language to another
2. A number of Old Testament italicized words are quoted in the New Testament without the italics. This demonstrates the confidence that God places in the italicized words. When He quotes Himself in the New Testament, these words are not italicized. If God treats the italicized words as scripture, then so should we.
a. Compare Exodus 3:6 (am) with Matthew 22:32
b. Compare Deuteronomy 8:3 (word) with Matthew 4:4
c. Compare Deuteronomy 30:14 (is) with Romans 10:8
d. Compare Psalm 16:8 (he is) with Acts 2:25
e. Compare Psalm 82:6 (are) with John 10:34
f. Compare Psalm 118:22 (which) with Matthew 21:42
g. Compare Psalm 118:23 (is) with Matthew 21:42
3. Conclusions concerning italicized words
a. They are absolutely necessary for proper understanding in the English text
b. They are divinely placed and are therefore as much a part of the inspired text as the words which are not italicized
c. Italicized words are quoted by Christ (Matt.21:42; 22:32; etc.), Peter (Acts 2:25) and Paul (Rom.10:8)
d. Italicized words are sometimes critical to the correct doctrinal understanding of the passage (Matt.4:4; 22:32)
e. Italicized words demonstrate the following:
(1) The absolute honest of the KJB translators
(2) The feel of the original languages
f. Italicized words are also the inspired words of God
Another thing I want to point out to you is how prophecy is handled in the true Bible. Let me let Jesus Himself show you how it’s done.
We said before that Jesus was speaking this verse;
Lu 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
Quoting this verse;
Isaiah 61:1 ¶ The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;
Now, let’s read the two verses after these;
Luke 4:19 reads;
Luke 4:19 To preach the acceptable year of the Lord.
And Isaiah 61: 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
Jesus closes the book after He reads in Luke 4:20. But there’s more to what He is quoting. That comma after Lord, separates at least two thousand years of time between His first advent and His return to take the kingdoms of the world in Revelation 11:15. Now, understand that a comma or semi-colon can separate the two advents.
So, keep that in mind when you read the following Peter is saying;
Acts 2:16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: 21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
And the verses he’s referring to;
Joel 2:28 ¶ And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: 29 And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. 30 And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke. 31 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come. 32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.
Now, notice how (1) the meaning of “saved” here is “delivered” by contrasting the two sets of verses but more importantly, in keeping with what I’m trying to show you is that from the colon after “delivered” and on, Peter does not quote the rest of the verse.
“for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.”
This is a reference to the end of the Tribulation when there is a calling out or Rapture, if you will, of the faithful Jews. We’ll discuss that possibility next. However, for now, no matter what you believe, you can examine many New Testament quotes of Old Testament verses to see who the speaker handles prophecy. Go and do thou likewise.
The final thing I want to discuss on how to read the Bible, and this list is not complete, but just some of the things you can do to help yourself in understanding, is to look at punctuation marks and reading aloud. The Bible is phrased to make it easier to memorize and to read but also to read aloud.
Let’s look at how the punctuation can help you read the Bible aloud. How you read a Bible verse can affect its meaning. Its important to take reading aloud seriously. The front cover page of the 1611 Bible tells us it is to be read in the churches.
First, let me read this verse one way.
Ephesians 4:28 Let him that stole steal (pause) no more: but rather let him labour, working with his hands the thing (pause) which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth.
Now, the right way.
Ephesians 4:28 Let him that stole steal no more: (pause) but rather let him labour,(pause) working with his hands the thing which is good, (pause) that he may have to give to him that needeth.
Pause slightly on the comma, a little longer on the semicolons, perhaps a tad longer on the colons, and rest on the periods. Otherwise;
Isaiah 61:2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn;
Otherwise, where Jesus stopped reading, you will continue as if its all the same thought, which obviously it isn’t, based on how the Saviour used it. I’ll read it again, only this time wrong. You will find other verses that will be not the same if you don’t read them aloud properly.
Again, let’s go back to the quote by Peter.
Acts 2:21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved.
Now, he’s quoting this from Joel.
Joel 2:32 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the LORD shall be delivered: for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance, as the LORD hath said, and in the remnant whom the LORD shall call.
If you don’t take a break at the colon after delivered, it will come out like “shall call on the name of the Lord be delivered for in mount Zion and in Jerusalem shall be deliverance as the Lord hath said and in the remnant whom the Lord shall call.”
When you get to Peter, you’ll think he forgot the rest of the verse! Now, some people are going to tell you, well, he was alluding to the whole thing and only quoted part of it. In an ALLUSION you only quote part of a verse, quoting most of the passage and leaving out important parts won’t work.
Notice how Cyprian alluded to 1 John 5:7 in the third century, “it is written of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, "And these three are one."
1 John 5:7 reads, “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one.”
Jesus way of handling Isaiah 61 shows us clearly as his first advent hardly counted as vengeance. So, anyway, back to our reading. Take a breath at a natural hesitation mark and don’t run things together and practice reading, reading aloud. I have read the entire Bible through and recorded it to CD. I am not particularly fond of my own voice so I like to listen to Alexander Scourby read but it’s a good practice.
In Part 3 we'll discuss the backgrounds and theology of the men who wrote the "great" lexicons and show you how in error you are to even use them.