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Chapter Seven

John's record of the Gospel begins with, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." (John 1:1). The Word spoke into being all that was created. Jesus is the Living Word, and later on we find these words from Jesus' lips: "The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life." (John 6:63b NKJV).

Even though mortal man has chosen to present a multitude of bible versions, often resulting from his own bias, the Holy Spirit will continue to reveal Jesus--the Living Word.

There is no such thing as the "perfect" bible version because man has fallen into apostasy--even centuries ago. He has responded to Satan's lies rather than seeking the Spirit of Truth. He has become taken up with arguments over who has the REAL bible. Among the many who are clamoring to be "right," Jesus has been forsaken. And forgotten are the fourteenth, fifteenth, and sixteenth century believers who gave their lives to preserve God's inspired words. One of these martyrs was even suspended in chains over a fire and roasted to death!

The more recent translations are promoted as being "easier to understand," but so much of the bible has been changed, distorted, or omitted. In many instances, errors have weakened the original thought and intent of God's heart; which is, that His people may know Him and the lost may find Him. Satan is pleased when he can use carnal minds to translate God's precious words and obscure the truth. That serpent was even casting doubt on God's word when he asked Eve: "Hast God said. . . ?"

In spite of what man has done to the written word, it is ultimately the Holy Spirit who will speak Life to a seeking soul. My friend Helen found the Lord while reading a more recent bible version. Jesus captured her heart, taking her for Himself. There was no sermon, no preacher--only the Holy Spirit revealing Jesus. And now, many years later, she is still consumed with a passion for Him. This is but one example of how we know that God's Word (Jesus Christ, through His Spirit) will always be "living, and active, and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and quick to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart." (Hebrews 4:12b).

My husband inherited from his grandmother a number of very old books, including a very large KJV bible. The bible is so old its pages have become brittle, and we have used many rolls of tape to hold it together to protect it from further deterioration. In my reading and study of this old translation, I became sadly aware of how some of the translations have weakened the truth about flesh and the significant role flesh has played in the falling away of the church. Jesus gave His all to redeem man from flesh and the knowledge of good and evil, which led to death, yet many continue in oblivion to what Jesus accomplished on His Cross.

One example of a much distorted verse is Jeremiah 14:18. In the Revised KJV, the LORD instructs Jeremiah to say how he went into a field and saw some "slain with the sword," then went into a city and saw others "sick with famine"; "for both the prophet and the priest go about in the land and have no knowledge." The "authorized" KJV reads, "yea, both the prophet and the priest go about into a land that they know not." The prophet and priest were without knowledge, lying to the people in saying there would be no sword or famine--which was the very reason for the slain with the sword and the sick with famine. The KJV changed the word "for" to "yea," thus negating the blame belonging to the prophet and priest for prophesying lies--rather than speaking the word of the LORD. And the last phrase omitted the fact that they were without knowledge from God. The “authorized” KJV made it appear as though the prophet and priest simply went "into a land that they knew not."

In the New Testament the King James translators used the name "James" in place of "Jacob." Strong's Greek dictionary shows that the Greek word "Iakōbos," which is the same as "Iakōb" (Jacob), was erroneously translated "James." One has to wonder if King James required his name to be used in place of the name that had its root in the Hebrew word for Jacob, which is "Ya'akov." The similarity in the Hebrew and Greek words for Jacob is obvious. We could possibly assume that Mary and Joseph named Jesus' brother "Jacob," after Joseph's father.

The source of error

God said His people perish for lack of knowledge.1 The knowledge that Jesus came to set us free from the bondage of our sinful flesh ought to lead us to cry, "Lord, change me" The cause of the error (flesh) is also the result of the error--flesh basically produces more flesh. This cause and its effect spin a very deadly, man-made web of deceit. It has obscured the true reason for Jesus' coming in the flesh.

The error that has crept into the church has masked our condition of flesh. We cannot even see ourselves! Until Christ comes in, bringing light to dispel darkness, we will remain in the dark. Jesus told Nicodemus that unless one is born again, he can neither see the Kingdom of God, nor can he enter it. (John 3:3, 5). Carnal man is blind to those things that can only be spiritually discerned.

Here is one example of how flesh has kept the masses from a clear understanding of the relationship the Father requires for His Son's Bride: In 1 Corinthians 10:8, Paul said, "Neither let us commit fornication, as some of them committed, and fell in one day three and twenty thousand."

Paul is referring to the account in Numbers, of Israel's unfaithfulness to God in taking up with a Moabitish deity.2 Typically, throughout the Old Testament, words such as "harlot" and "whoredom" were used to describe the adultery of God's people Israel. Their adultery was committed against the LORD God Himself. When Paul used the word "fornication" in this passage, he was not speaking according to the understanding of fleshly minds that can see only the things of this life: he was referring to the adulterous [Hebrew: apostatizing]3 acts of Israel with other gods, or "husbands [Hebrew: baal]."4

Regrettably, in one version of the bible, fleshly minds translated Paul's word "fornication" to "sexual immorality,"5 while another version used the phrase "sinned with other men's wives."6 In these versions, a veil of flesh has obscured the most important relationship that ever was--or ever will be. There is much more in the next chapter devoted to God's relationship with man and why His Ekklesia is the Bride of Christ.

As another example, in Revelation 2:20-22, the words "fornication" [Greek: idolatry]7 and "adultery" [Greek: apostasy]8 were used in the KJV. Again, these words were changed to reflect today's understanding which has served only to dilute the spiritual impact of Jesus' words when He spoke them to the church in Thyatira. Rather than showing the depths of Jezebel's evil influence, the newer translations have simply made it seem as though she was seducing the people to commit "sexual immorality." As evil as that practice is, the "seducing" to idolatry and apostasy is far more harmful because of the eternal consequences.

Due to the fact that so much can be lost in translation, I urge diligence in one's bible reading. We cannot assume to know the meaning of a passage in the New Testament that refers to a passage from the Old Testament, without studying the referenced Old Testament passage as well. More importantly, we must trust the Holy Spirit to open our eyes to the understanding of scriptures. After all, He is the Spirit of Truth and will be the One to whom the remnant has surrendered.

1. Hosea 4:6
2. Numbers 25:3
3. Hebrew #5003
4. Hebrew #1167
5. New International Version
6. The Living Bible
7. Greek #4203
8. Greek #3431 & #3432

Next chapter

©2012 Stella Paterson

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