Will the Bible itself need to be “cleaned up”?
When Christ returns to rule the earth – soon, we all hope – will He sit back and let us continue to use the present versions of His Word --the Bible – as we know them today? Some think their KJV is practically as good as the original autograph Hebrew and Greek manuscripts. Others prefer their NIV or NKJV. And if you’re outside America, you have your own Bible in your own language.
Are the various translations, paraphrases and language versions of God’s word completely perfect – or do you think one of the first things Messiah will do will be to give us His perfect, cleaned up version of His word as originally written? What do you think?
When Yeshua (Jesus) returns, He will begin a process of restoring everything to the way it should be, before mankind was cast out of the Garden (Genesis 3). You may have heard of the “restoration” or “restitution” of all things. Will Bibles that people read every day also need to also be restored? And if so, why would that be necessary?
“Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, 20 and that He may send Jesus Christ, who was preached to you before, 21 whom heaven must receive until the times of RESTORATION OF ALL THINGS, which God has spoken by the mouth of all His holy prophets since the world began.”
Notice it does say “ALL things” in verse 21. Don’t misunderstand. I believe with all my being that the originally hand-written, God-breathed, God-inspired autograph manuscripts were perfect and had no error. I’m talking about the original manuscripts Moses and Ezra and the prophets wrote, and the original epistles of the New Testament.NO original autograph manuscript exists today. We do have carefully copied copies – and that’s what we use today as our authoritative source of what Scriptures says. I trust those ancient manuscripts are also reliable copies. But from those old manuscripts – copied carefully as they were – we now have hundreds of versions of the Bible in scores of languages. These versions are what people around the world are reading today as “the word of God”.
Now add this to the equation: it seems likely that one of the first things King Yeshua will do is to give us one worldwide language. Many believe that language will be Hebrew.Remember God is the one who scattered people from Babylon by instantly making the various groups (Genesis 11:1-9) speak in different languages.
Zephaniah 3:9 HOLMAN
“For I will then restore pure speech to the people so that all of them may call on the name of Yahweh and serve Him with a single purpose.”
How long Yeshua will take to have us all speaking one language again remains to be seen. God confused the languages in an instant in Genesis 11. He could work a miracle and once again, in an instant, have us all speaking one pure language with one another. I personally think that is likely.
Now especially if that happens, it seems very logical to me that one of the first orders of business will be for King Yeshua (Jesus) to purify His Word – the holy scriptures, the Bible -- from the many, many varying versions and translations that are “out there”. And again, I believe strongly in the inerrancy and accuracy of the original scriptures and how they have traveled through time to us today.
My point is: when the original gets translated into the various languages like English, French, Ilocano, Tagalog, Chinese or Russian and so on, and then add various versions within those languages, mistakes can and do happen. By “versions” I’m referring to KJV vs the NIV, or RSV, Holman, and so on. The reasons for the variations are myriad. There simply are differing ways that words and expressions can be translated. I spoke 2 languages fluently as a youth and learned the basics of two others. It’s hard to even get a “word-for-word” translation and have it really make sense all the time.
Look at everyday signs posted in English and Spanish, for example. If you know Spanish well, you’ll realize many times they are giving the sense of the English notice. They are saying it the way it would be said in Spanish, but it’s not always a word-for-word translation, and neither should it always be.
For example, in Ilocano, a Philippine dialect I grew up with, they have at least three words for “hair”. The words are different for head hair, pubic hair and air on the arm. The word of hair on the arm is “dot-dot”—literally meaning “feathers”, the same word they would use for the feathers on a chicken. But if you were translating from Ilocano to English, would you translate “dot-dot” when referring to the arm hair on a man as “feathers” – or would you not say “arm hair”? “Feathers” would be a literal word-for-word translation – but an English reader would be left very confused!
So translating is a very precise skill. I personally am astonished at how many pastors –who are not expert in Biblical Hebrew and Biblical Greek --are willing to come out with their own translations of the Bible, which of course, will be in harmony with their own theology!
MOST Bible translations – even the KJV—are NOT “word-for-word” translations, and neither should they be. In fact, the KJV often adds words and phrases in italics, so you know they are adding words to try to make the meaning clearer. Sometimes they succeed with that -- and sometimes they don’t.
So this is also why I like to study the original Hebrew or Greek words when trying to understand a passage of scripture and not just rely on what the translation says in English – or what it say sin your French or Swahili or Ilocano.
There are some glaring mistakes. Yes, even in the KJV. But the same can be said about the NIV, Holman, RSV and every other version out there – so I’m not picking on the KJV.
Click on “Continue reading” to the right to find out some of the corrections that will need to be made in the Bibles the everyday common man or woman reads in the Millennium.
Here are just a couple examples from the KJV and I could do the same with NIV, etc.:
---Bible students everywhere know that 1 John 5:7-8 in the KJV and NKJV includes some added words that were not in the original.Some priest back when decided we needed a clearer passage that would “nail down” the concept of the Trinity, so he added those words. The original epistle of John did not have those words. To their credit, most modern translations correctly leave the offending added words out. What I have underlined and in brackets below are added words; words not in the original.
1 John 5:7-8
7 “For there are three that bear witness [in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness on earth]: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.”
It should simply state:“For there are three that bear witness: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.”
---In Acts 12:1-4, the reference to “Easter” in verse 4 is clearly a total mistranslation of the Greek word “pascha” from the Hebrew word “pesach” meaning “Passover”. So “Easter” is a gross mistake that God allowed, but will have to be changed to the original inspired word: Passover. Many other translations I checked correctly have it “Passover”.
---And remember that italicized words in the KJV are words added. Those words are not part of the original. Sometimes they make the meaning clearer, and sometimes they don’t. But remember, we’re warned about adding or removing words from God’s scriptures!
So just realize that the Bible YOU are reading – in Ilocano, Spanish, Arabic or Russian, English -- or whatever – is not the original God-breathed series of words He spoke and inspired! They’re pretty good, they’re great to have on our desk and better yet, in our hearts – but they’re not the God-breathed original.
There are many, many more examples of outright errors, additions or changes that I could cite from the KJV and every other translation. There are whole pamphlets written on this.
It is also clear the Almighty has allowed all that for now! Again, the original autograph manuscripts were perfect, inerrant and God-breathed. But I’m convinced that a few years into the Millennium we will not be using our well-marked, color coded much beloved Bibles we use right now. For one reason, we will very likely be speaking a new and pure language and be reading from brand new Bibles.
One area – out of many - - I feel will be cleaned up is what they’ve done to God’s professed most personal name-- YHVH. In most of our English Bibles, that holy name is not translated, or even transliterated, but has been changed to a title with the word “the” added before it – “the LORD” (all caps). It is true; the Greek version (the Septuagint) of the Masoretic text translates it “Lord”. I realize God has allowed it. Is that His holy and perfect will?
Is the principle any different from the fact He allowed “Easter” to be in Acts 12:4, or allowed the extra words in 1 John 5:7-8?
I am not as upset when a name is at least translated, but “the LORD” is not a translation of YHVH. But even my name – when translated – means “Lover of horses”. I wouldn’t want someone calling me “lover of horses”. YHVH does not sound like “the LORD” and does not mean “the LORD”. Adonai means “my Lord”; Adon means “lord”. Those are OK translations.
But is it really OK to change the Creator’s very personal name YHVH to something that is not his name when we’re told not to add, delete or change anything? You know good and well that if YOUR name was changed to something that isn’t you – and it’s in a legal document (called a covenant!)—you know you’d have to get that corrected. Covenants aren’t even legal if names have been changed! God has allowed it. It doesn’t mean He’s happy with it or that he’ll keep those changes in there for perpetuity.
Well, I believe he’s going to go back to his special name, and the whole world will know His name as we’re promised in Jeremiah 31:34. We all know that to “know” someone is far more than just knowing their name, but don’t we at least start with someone’s NAME, if we want to get to know them? RE-READ Zephaniah 3:9. What’s one of the main reasons for restoring the pure language? It is so we can all say His NAME correctly!
Zephaniah 3:9 HOLMAN
“For I will then restore pure speech to the people so that all of them may call on the name of Yahwehand serve Him with a single purpose.”
“No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, 'Know YHVH (the LORD),' for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says YHVH (the LORD). For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more."
Isaiah 52:6 – “Therefore my people shall know MY NAME….”
Jeremiah 16:21 – “….and they shall know that my name is YHVH” (NOT “the LORD”!)
Isaiah 42:8 – “I am YHVH, that is my name…..” (again, changed to “the LORD”)
And notice he says over and over that “YHVH” is his NAME. He doesn’t say “is ONE of my many names.” No, he has other names, just like you and I have a personal name, a middle name and a surname, but we have one main name. God Most High’s personal name is YHVH. I want you to really notice he talks about his NAME, not his names. And that name YHVH is used in the original manuscript Hebrew almost 7,000 times – more than Elohim (God), El and Adonai put together! And we think we can change it? They didn’t even translate it, but changed it!
Surely, when the restoration of all things happens, this will be one of the big restorations: restoring God’s perfect word, and restoring his holy name. Even Yeshua said, “Hallowed (holy, sacred) be your name” in the “Lord’s Prayer”.
How will the whole world come to know YHVH’s name, unless the scriptures they read HAVE His name written down correctly? Please read that again.
We are even shown a glimmer of how YHVH feels about what we’ve done, by reading Jeremiah 23:27. Israel so often would transgress and worship the pagan deity “Baal” time and again. The primary meaning of Baal is “Lord”.Did you know that? “Lord” – even if in all caps -- is NOT the Creator’s primary name. YHVH is HIS name.
“How long will this be in the heart of the prophets who prophesy lies? Indeed they are prophets of the deceit of their own heart, 27 who try to make My people forget MY name by their dreams which everyone tells his neighbor, as their fathers forgot My name for BAAL”. (Baal means “Lord”).
You might want to hear my sermons on “What is the Creator’s name?”
The prophet Elijah is best known for restoring the worship of the true God to the children of Israel in 1 Kings 18. That included teaching them His name. You should read the story. Elijah challenged the hundreds of priests of Baal (which means “the Lord”), who was known as the god of the sky and fire, to send fire from heaven to consume their offering. Then when that didn’t happen, YHWH DID powerfully respond to Elijah’s prayer – and the people realized they should worship YHWH and not “Baal”. I find it troubling that in our English Bibles, in that story we see them change the Creator’s name to “the LORD” and don’t translate or change Baal’s name – which could be translated “Lord”.
So Elijah was challenging them: “decide today if you will worship YHVH or Baal.” (1 Kings 18:21, 38-39)
And yes, I do realize that those of us who are children of the Highest get to call him by a name that only children can use: “Daddy” – or in the Aramaic dialect, “Abba”, dear Father (Av in Hebrew). Yes, my heavenly Father has a name – and it’s YHVH. But you and I get to call him Abba, or Father, or heavenly Daddy.
I didn’t get off the topic. All of the above is to make the point: when Yeshua comes to RESTORE all things, I’m sure one of his top priorities will be to give us a PURE and flawless version of HIS word, in its original flawless language. I can’t wait. And surely that will include the correct spelling and pronunciation of His Father’s name – which he says over and over again he wants everyone to KNOW and use, though we are to use it reverently.
And He and God’s people will teach the whole world how to become a child of God and start to call him Abba, Daddy -- as we read His BOOK, correctly, 100% error free, in its pure original language, and perfectly RESTORED to what it was in the beginning.