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See what the blog “Bible Differences” can provide and how it may be of use to you. I focus mainly on the New Testament, but occasionally look at something from the Old Testament.
A list of Scriptures already studied can be found at “Scriptures“.
98 Seat of Moses, Mat.23:2
Sometimes a phrase represents a direct or concrete meaning. “Will you please polish that chair.” Everybody knows we are talking about something to sit upon.
Sometimes a phrase represents a symbolic or figurative meaning. “Sir, in court you may not speak directly to the judge, you have to address the chair.” Nobody will ever think one should speak to any chair, and not even to the person sitting in that chair per se, but to the judicial system and laws applicable in that state. Continue reading
You should love your enemies
Irenaeus (±135 – 202 A.D.) was a student of Polycarp who had been taught by John the disciple himself. This exceptional man had been the bishop of Lugdunum (Lyons) in Gaul (France) in his later years. The books he wrote, especially Adversus Haereses (Against Heresies) played an important role in the development of the Christian dogma and the interpretation of the New Testament.
He strongly opposed the Gnostic movements of his time, especially Marcion who altered the gospel of Luke to his own fancy and interpretation. In 177 A.D. Irenaeus strongly opposed the Montanists in Rome. The Gnostics claimed to possess a secret oral tradition from Jesus himself. Irenaeus maintained that the bishops in different cities were known as far back as the Apostles. Therefore they provided the only safe interpretation of Scripture. He also emphasized the tradition guarded by the Church. Continue reading
96 How the ‘Jesus’ Wife’ Hoax Fell Apart
Due to the widespread media coverage the “Jesus’ Wife Gospel” fragment had the past two years, and the confusion it caused, I decided to publish this article from the New York Times to conclude this chapter. It is reassuring that there are learned scholars that can honestly examine and test any alleged new fragments that come to the fore.
I praise God for protecting us against forgeries that could harm our faith. Continue reading
Mixture or Roll of Myrrh; John 19:39
In John 19:39 three different words are found in the manuscripts that describe what Nicodemus took along to take care of the body of Christ. The United Bible Societies text provides an evaluation of the relative degree of certainty with which they deem their own choice between variants. A signifies virtual certainty while with D the both variants could have equal weight. Their choice of C in this verse signifies that “there is a considerable degree of doubt whether the text or the apparatus contains the superior reading”. That is what I like, and have great respect for. A whole group of learned Christian academics with expertise in the fields of ancient languages, manuscript evidence as well as the religious and cultural customs of those times who outright state that they have no certainty on which could be the word John had originally written down in his autograph. And I often am so certain about my choices! On what do I base my certainty? Does the Holy Spirit choose to reveal to me His absolute certainty, and not also to them? These precious children of God who dedicate every day to bring the Word of God to His children unaltered and undefiled? Or is my certainty only built on the choices of previous translators, choices with which I grew up – or that I am familiar with? Or is it a matter of me jumping where angels fear to give even the smallest of treads? Continue reading
94 How Harmonizing could have happened, Matthew 20:22-23
Have you ever read a verse in the Bible and just know it’s not complete?
Fathom yourself being a monk in the middle ages, busy copying the gospel of Matthew in your cold cell in the monastery. You come to the part where the mother of John and James requested Jesus to promise that her sons would sit beside Him on his throne in his kingdom. And when reading Jesus’ answer you just know that Jesus said more than is written in the source manuscript you are copying. He didn’t only speak of the cup He would drink, but also of the baptism He would be baptised with, didn’t He? And yet in this manuscript is written: “But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of? They say unto him, We are able. And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give…” Surely Jesus also spoke of the baptism He would be baptised with. Continue reading
In this post I want to look at two important steps in the process of translating the Bible. First how to discern which word has the greatest possibility to be the original word that the author had used. That is vital in those cases where there are more than one variation in the manuscripts to our disposal. Second I would like to look at how one should go about to choose which word in the receiving language best conveys the actual meaning that the original author intended. We look at John 20:17 as an example. Continue reading
“The Spirit was not yet” John 7,39
What should one do when the source manuscript you are copying has a sentence that is open for misinterpretation? Should you just copy what is written, or should you add that which you might suspect had been left out by the previous scribe?
Young’s Literal Translation of 1898 gives the exact words as is found in the oldest Greek manuscripts John 7,38-39: “`If any one doth thirst, let him come unto me and drink; he who is believing in me, according as the Writing said, Rivers out of his belly shall flow of living water;’ and this he said of the Spirit, which those believing in him were about to receive; for not yet was the Holy Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified.”
These words are open to misunderstanding. Could John be thinking that the Holy Spirit did not exist until Jesus had been glorified? Yet already in Genesis 1:2 the Spirit is mentioned as “hovering over the waters. ” He could also not mean that the Holy Spirit had not yet been with Jesus, for he himself reported that John the Baptist had testified that he had seen the Spirit “come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him.” (John 1:32) Continue reading