Frank W. Nelte

April 2009

80 Mistranslations in the Bible and Their Significance

In this article the following mistranslations are discussed, in a Genesis to Revelation sequence.

GENESIS 1:1

GENESIS 1:2

GENESIS 1:6-8

GENESIS 1: 11-12

GENESIS 1:14

GENESIS 1:16

GENESIS 1:26

GENESIS 2:2

GENESIS 2:9

GENESIS 6:3

GENESIS 6:4

GENESIS 6:6-7

GENESIS 6:9

GENESIS 17:10-11

GENESIS 21:33

GENESIS 22:1

GENESIS 23:6

EXODUS 9:31

EXODUS 12:2

EXODUS 12:11

EXODUS 23:16

EXODUS 23:18

EXODUS 34:22

EXODUS 34:25

LEVITICUS 2:14

LEVITICUS 16:8-10, 26

LEVITICUS 23:2, 4, 37, 44

LEVITICUS 23:14

LEVITICUS 23:15-16

LEVITICUS 24:16

NUMBERS 13:33

DEUTERONOMY 16:1, 2, 4, 5, 6

DEUTERONOMY 16:3

DEUTERONOMY 25:9

1 KINGS 19:16

2 KINGS 7:13

ESTHER 1:10

JOB 16:14

JOB 40:23

PSALM 31:22

PSALM 81:3

ECCLESIASTES 1:4

ISAIAH 1:14

ISAIAH 9:6-7

ISAIAH 14:12

ISAIAH 39:7

ISAIAH 52:12

LAMENTATIONS 1:7

EZEKIEL 28:16

JOEL 2:2, 25

JOEL 2:8

ZECHARIAH 14:19

MATTHEW 4:5

MATTHEW 5:44

MATTHEW 10:4 (MARK 3:18)

MATTHEW 21:29, 32

MATTHEW 24:45

MATTHEW 27:3

MATTHEW 28:1

LUKE 12:42

LUKE 17:21

LUKE 23:43

JOHN 13:2

JOHN 19:34

ROMANS 1:23

ROMANS 11:29

2 CORINTHIANS 7:8

2 CORINTHIANS 11:6

EPHESIANS 5:21

2 TIMOTHY 3:16

HEBREWS 3:11, 18; 4:1, 3-5, 8-11

HEBREWS 4:6, 11

HEBREWS 7:21

HEBREWS 11:1

2 PETER 1:19

1 JOHN 5:7-8

JUDE 1:13

REVELATION 6:12

REVELATION 9:7

REVELATION 13:8

We in the churches of God have made a commitment to submit our lives to Almighty God and to live by God's instructions, as recorded in the Bible. Through the pages of the Bible God speaks to us; and we feel a moral responsibility to do our best to put all of God's instructions, as recorded in the Bible, into practice in our lives. For us the Bible is EXTREMELY important. It is without question the most important book in our lives. For us no other writing even comes close to the Bible in importance.

The Jews have their Talmud, and the Catholics have their Catechism. These two words are synonyms, both meaning "oral teachings". And in both of those religions these "oral teachings" (i.e. the Talmud for the Jews, and the Catechism for the Catholics) have a status that is basically equal to, if not even greater than, the status of "the Scriptures". In these religions it is sufficient for a specific teaching to be recognized as authoritative if it is found in their oral teachings, even if that teaching is not specifically based on anything recorded in the Bible.

We in the churches of God don't have any "supplementary authority" like that! For us THE BIBLE is the only source of authoritative religious and moral teachings. This makes the writings of the whole Bible far more important to us than those same writings are to Judaism (OT only) and to Catholicism.

For us the Bible represents the only absolute authority!

With such high stakes it becomes imperative that we base our understanding and our religious and moral practices on A FAITHFUL TRANSLATION of the Scriptures. We don't have, and we don't want, outside sources of authority to dictate our religious beliefs and practices. We accept the Bible as sufficient for this task.

There are a vast number of "minor mistranslations"; i.e. they are strictly speaking mistranslations of the Hebrew or the Greek text, but they don't have any impact on our doctrinal understanding or on the way we conduct our lives. Correcting such minor mistranslations does not require any changes in our overall perception of God's plan and purposes, and God's dealings with mankind, and God's requirements for us.

But there are also a considerable number of mistranslations that are not minor at all. These mistranslations can and do affect our overall understanding, our perception of God's actions, and our religious practices. And these mistranslations can become a real problem! Such mistranslations are to us what a deceptively flawed roadmap is to an explorer. They lead us in a totally wrong direction away from our real goal and destination, and they give us a false sense of security.

When we base our understanding of the Bible or any of our teachings on such a mistranslation, we can be very sincere. But sincerity, while very important, is not enough. And sincerity is not a measure of truth. The world is filled with people who are in many ways "sincerely wrong". And while they are sincere, they are still wrong. The only positive thing about such situations is that people who are "sincerely wrong" have a diminished degree of responsibility before God, when compared to people who are "knowingly wrong". It is especially for people who are "sincerely wrong" that God is going to "wink at the times of their ignorance" (see Acts 17:30).

We need to recognize that in this regard all of us in the churches of God are in the same situation as the rest of humanity. All of us, including me, are almost certain to be "sincerely wrong" in some of our views.

SATAN'S ROLE IN DECEIVING HUMANITY

In the churches of God we are very familiar with Revelation 12:9. This verse reads as follows in the KJV.

And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, WHICH DECEIVETH THE WHOLE WORLD: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

The Greek phrase here translated as "the whole world" means "the whole inhabited earth". In other words, Satan has throughout human history deceived all people in every area and in every nation. Except for Jesus Christ, all people, including me and including you, have been deceived by Satan. We only differ from other people in the degree to which we have been deceived by Satan. But none of us are immune, or have ever been immune. Every church and every religion, including the churches of God, has to some degree or other been deceived by Satan. That is what this Scripture really means!

As a body of believers, the Church of God as a whole has never been immune from Satan's deceptions. We have simply been less deceived, and we have been deceived on fewer issues, than people in other religions, that is all. But we have never completely escaped Satan's deceptions. The principle of Romans 3:23 also applies to being deceived by Satan. We know that "all have sinned", and we also need to recognize that "all have been deceived", precisely as Revelation 12:9 explains. Revelation 12:9 does not include an exception clause for us in the churches of God.

Some of us have made wrong inferences from Matthew 24:24. This verse reads:

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, IF IT WERE POSSIBLE, they shall deceive the very elect.

Jesus Christ was assuredly not saying that it is impossible for the very elect to ever be deceived in any way. It is really in the context of certain people falsely claiming to be God's prophets or even saviors or "Christ" that the very elect cannot be deceived by such claims and such "signs and wonders". But as far as life in general is concerned, every human being (apart from Jesus Christ) has at some point believed some things that are not really true. Whenever we say that we have come to some "new understanding", that is simply another way of saying that we have come to see that we were previously somewhat "deceived" in that particular area. There is no conflict between Revelation 12:9 and Matthew 24:24.

Since we are the ones who accept the Bible as the ultimate authority in our lives, Satan has also used the Bible itself to deceive us on many issues. This he has done in primarily three ways.

1) Satan has inspired a vast number of mistranslations of the correct text of the Bible.

2) Satan has inspired false explanations for Scriptures that are translated correctly.

3) Satan has inspired some spurious words and alterations to be introduced into the accepted text of the Bible, words and statements that do not really belong in the Bible, thereby corrupting the correct text of the Bible.

Now before God called us into His Church, the principle of Isaiah 29:11-12 applied to us as well.

And the vision of all is become unto you as the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one that is learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I CANNOT; FOR IT IS SEALED: And the book is delivered to him that is not learned, saying, Read this, I pray thee: and he saith, I AM NOT LEARNED. (Isaiah 29:11 -12)

When God called us into His Church, God opened our minds to understanding the truth. In that way Isaiah 29:11 - 12 ceased to apply to us. As far as the above three ways of deception are concerned, the following happened when God called us into His Church.

1) First of all we started to recognize the false explanations of Scriptures that are translated correctly (point #2 above). That is a direct consequence of having our eyes opened by God. When correct explanations for these Scriptures were presented to us (via the writings of Mr. Armstrong, etc.), we could see that these explanations are correct, even while our friends and relatives in the world could not see this.

2) In the process of studying the Bible we also became aware of a few devious alterations of the text of the Bible (point #3 above). While some such alterations of the text are well-known to scholars (e.g. 1 John 5:7 - 8, changing one Hebrew name for God to a different name in some OT passages, etc.), there are undoubtedly other alterations which have not been identified, and where no manuscript with the correct wording of the text has actually survived to the present day. That's part of Satan's deception of mankind. In some cases the only evidence for such a corruption of the text is of an internal textual nature, in the form of statements that were clearly altered to provide convenient scriptural support for certain otherwise unbiblical beliefs.

While this is not the primary focus of this article, one brief example should suffice to illustrate this particular point of internal textual evidence exposing an alteration.

EXODUS 23:18 reads:

Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread; neither shall THE FAT OF MY FEAST remain until the morning. (corrected text)

EXODUS 34:25 reads:

Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread; neither shall THE SACRIFICE OF THE FEAST OF THE PASSOVER remain until the morning. (corrected text)

[COMMENTS: The Hebrew text reads "leavened bread" in both of these verses. So I have altered "leaven" to "leavened bread" in Exodus 34:25. The Hebrew text also reads "remain until the morning" in both of these verses. So I have altered "be left unto" to "remain until" in Exodus 34:25, for the sake of consistency. The second word "sacrifice" in Exodus 23:18 is supposed to be a translation of the Hebrew word "chag", which means "feast". So I have corrected the second occurrence of "sacrifice" in Exodus 23:18 to "feast". The KJV of Exodus 23:18 hides the fact that in this verse two completely different Hebrew words have been translated into English as "sacrifice". The Hebrew text of Exodus 34:25 contains the correct Hebrew word for "sacrifice" TWICE, and the Hebrew word for "feast" once, showing that the second occurrence of "sacrifice" was added at some point to Exodus 34:25.]

A careful comparison of the context of both these verses makes clear that these instructions must originally have been identical. Though one word is mistranslated in the English text, the Hebrew text for Exodus 23:18 actually represents the correct text for both these verses. The only explanation for the problem here is that some dishonest Jewish scribe changed the correct wording of "THE FAT OF MY FEAST" (as found in Exodus 23:18) to the expression "THE SACRIFICE OF THE FEAST OF THE PASSOVER" in Exodus 34:25, with the explicit purpose of justifying the unbiblical Jewish custom of calling the Passover "A FEAST".

The motive behind the fraudulent alteration of the text of Exodus 34:25 (and the deliberate mistranslation of Exodus 23:18) is the same as the motive behind the fraudulent alteration of the text of 1 John 5:7 - 8, i.e. to provide some biblical support for an otherwise unbiblical custom or belief (i.e. combining the Passover with Unleavened Bread and calling it all "the feast of the Passover" in Exodus 34:25, and viewing God as "a trinity" in 1 John 5).

[COMMENT: Both these verses are examined later in this article; and there are also short articles on each of these verses on my website www.franknelte.net. Exodus 23:18 is located in the "Mistranslated Scriptures" directory, and Exodus 34:25 is located in the "Words with Changed Meanings" directory.]

Anyway, some corruptions of the original text of the Bible are documented, while others are not documented and can only be exposed by examining internal evidence in the text of the Bible itself.

3) As far as mistranslations of the original Hebrew (OT) and Greek (NT) text of the Bible are concerned (i.e. point #1 above), we do not become aware of these simply because God has opened our eyes to understanding the truth. It is only a careful study of the Bible, comparing our English translations with the Hebrew and Greek text, and working from a foundation of having our eyes opened by God, that will bring these mistranslations to our attention.

A HUGE PART OF THIS PROBLEM of mistranslations is the fact that the translators have in numerous cases translated two or more different Hebrew words in the Old Testament with THE SAME English word, and translated two or more different Greek words in the New Testament with THE SAME English word. This they have done in hundreds of cases. Now when the translators translate two or more different Hebrew words (or Greek words in the New Testament) with the same English word, they tacitly acknowledge that they don't really grasp the distinction between those words in the original text. Instead they imply that those two or more different Hebrew words are synonyms! But in the vast majority of cases that is simply not true! The different Hebrew or Greek words involved are NOT SYNONYMS, even if the translators chose to imply synonymity! It is a lack of understanding the real message of the Bible and the plan of God and the revelations of God, that has led translators and language scholars to infer synonymity to numerous sets of Hebrew and Greek words.

As far as the OT Hebrew text is concerned, it is a fact that Hebrew was indeed A DEAD LANGUAGE for many centuries! And the scholars who revived the Hebrew language from a state of near-oblivion were repeatedly confronted with gaps in their understanding of the Hebrew text that contained no vowel pointings. These scholars were time and again forced to "reason out" the likely meaning of a word. And while in very many cases they have come to conclusions that are correct, there are also other cases where their lack of understanding God's mind (see Isaiah 29:11, where the learned say 'I cannot read this') led them to assume synonymity for words that are not really synonyms.

We need to recognize that in the majority of cases different Hebrew words (the same applies to different Greek words in the NT) are used to convey DIFFERENT meanings, rather than being synonyms. We'll look at a considerable number of examples of the translators incorrectly ascribing the same meaning to two or more different words. It is tough for people who don't have God's Spirit to try to make perfectly correct translations of the Hebrew or Greek text. That is what 1 Corinthians 2:11 tells us, that without God's Spirit people simply cannot understand "the things of God", their impressive linguistic qualifications notwithstanding. Obviously, before anyone can make a correct translation of the Hebrew text, they first of all have to UNDERSTAND what that text actually means. Without a correct understanding of the original it is impossible to produce a correct translation. And so we end up with many mistranslations.

Now of the three ways that Satan has used the Bible to deceive us, the mistranslations embedded in the Scriptures are by far the most serious and dangerous for people in the churches of God.

We need to be aware of these tactics that Satan uses to deceive people, including us in the churches of God. And we in the churches of God need to be especially aware of the dangers posed by unrecognized mistranslations buried within the text of the Bible. They are intended to deceive us and to lead us astray.

Consider the following.

CONFUSION IS THE FOUNDATION FOR DECEPTION

In order to deceive people, Satan must first of all confuse people. Confusion is the foundation on which most deceptions are built.

Now if somebody introduces one single reasonably significant deception into a familiar story, we have a far better chance of detecting that deception, than if that person were to simultaneously introduce one hundred different minor deceptions into that same story (downplaying some things, exaggerating others, presenting changed perspectives, using stronger or weaker verbs to make his points, imputing different motivations, making unjustified insinuations, shading the truth, etc.). Within the context of one hundred minor deceptions one or two major deceptions can be hidden far more effectively. The sheer number of altered points in this scenario is likely to overwhelm us and to confuse us. And some of those minor deceptions are almost certain to find acceptance, thereby encouraging the acceptance of other deceptions that are not "minor" at all. Many people allow themselves to be pushed around on "minor" points.

Our recent history, in which our problems initially started with the introduction of a vast multitude of very minor changes, thereby setting the stage for eventually introducing a smaller number of major changes, amply illustrates this point.

Viewed in isolation, any one of those one hundred minor "alterations" to a familiar story (a stronger or weaker verb, etc.) seems totally insignificant and unworthy of being challenged. But left unchallenged these minor "alterations" become useful building blocks in the establishment of the one or two major deceptions that were also subtly introduced. [COMMENT: This is an approach which is very commonly employed fairly effectively by criminal defense lawyers, to infer innocence, or at least diminished responsibility, for their OBVIOUSLY GUILTY clients. They modify ever so slightly a detail here and another detail there, and before you know it a completely different motivation or activity seems quite plausible after all.]

Do you follow?

This is the principle Satan has applied to the Bible. As the god of this present age (2 Cor 4:4) he has inspired a vast number of seemingly insignificant minor mistranslations, which individually are really not worth fighting about. Anyone who questions such minor mistranslations is perceived as being picky, as not focusing on the important things. But sometimes a hundred very minor decisions can collectively have far more significant consequences than one major decision. The same is true for deceptions. And meanwhile Satan, the ultimate criminal defense lawyer, has methodically confused humanity.

Translators focus on those minor mistranslations when they change one word here and another word there from the previously accepted translation. Individually these "corrections" don't really make a difference. However, within the context of those thousands of very minor mistranslations throughout the whole Bible Satan has also deviously inspired a considerable number of mistranslations that hide the correct meaning; or they distort and twist the Scriptures in such a way that the truth of God is hidden from view. In some cases the mistranslations themselves are relatively minor, but the consequences are major. These are the mistranslations which, when left unexposed, lead us to totally wrong perceptions and teachings and expectations.

When mistranslations in this category are exposed, when we come to understand the Scriptures involved in these situations correctly, then that usually requires us to make some changes in our thinking, and in some cases even changes in our actual conduct and practices.

Over the years I have written a number of articles in which I have discussed some of the more significant mistranslations. While it is important to focus on each of these major mistranslations or misrepresentations individually, seen in isolation that focus may still miss the bigger picture to some degree. You see, Satan has a far greater goal than just deceiving you and me about the true meaning of a verse here or there. Satan wants to distort the entire picture. He wants to pervert the message of the whole Bible so thoroughly and so completely, that even those people who actually catch a few of his more blatant deceptions here and there are still going to remain confused and deceived on many other issues.

You know that is true for people in general; they are deceived.

In this article I will present the more significant mistranslations and misrepresentations that I am currently aware of. This is not the place where I intend to exhaustively prove that these verses are mistranslations of the correct text. That is something I have in many cases already done elsewhere in previous articles, which are available on my website. A detailed exposition of each of these mistranslations would make this article unacceptably long.

Here my intention is to provide a clearer perspective of the greater picture that is addressed by Revelation 12:9.

Every single member of the churches of God needs to be aware of all of these mistranslations, irrespective of where our organizational loyalties may lie. These wrong translations are aimed at deceiving all of us. In some cases these mistranslations are responsible for totally unjustified opinions and ideas on our part.

I don' t doubt that there are still other mistranslations of which I myself am not yet aware at this point in time. Revelation 12:9 also applies to me, as it does to everyone else. As time passes I hope and pray that God will help me to come to correctly understand more and more of the areas in which I myself am currently still deceived by Satan.

With each of the Scriptures below I will present the verse, point out the problem, and where appropriate show the significance and ramifications of the deception that is involved. We'll also consider a correct translation of the verse in question. And I will try to keep each discussion reasonably brief.

ONE LAST COMMENT: You may recognize and agree with some of the explanations that I will provide, and you may disagree with other explanations. In many cases the deciding difference in these two different reactions is not the clarity, or lack of it, of the explanations I have provided. In many cases your personal approach to the subject at hand will influence your reaction to this information in a major way. If you make each case a matter of a serious PERSONAL investigation of the facts, examining this information for yourself, in order to reach YOUR OWN PERSONAL understanding of the verses involved, without simply accepting (or rejecting) my assessment of the situation, THEN you are likely to reach an informed conclusion that is your own. The more personal effort you put into attaining a clear understanding of these Scriptures, the more help you will receive from God (Matthew 7:7). It is my hope that for many of the Scriptures discussed in this article the information I have provided will become the starting point for your own personal investigation of the subject.

So now let's get started. For easy reference purposes these examples are in a Genesis to Revelation sequence. While some of these mistranslations are certainly more significant than others, we should really be aware of all of them.

#1 = GENESIS 1:1

THE VERSE:

"In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth."

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This translation implies that this speaks about "the beginning", the first thing that God ever did.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

1) The Hebrew text does not have the definite article. So this must be translated as "in a beginning".

2) The Hebrew verb is in the "qal perfect" form, which should here be correctly translated as "HAD created".

3) The Hebrew noun is in the dual plural, and should be translated as "HEAVENS".

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

"In a beginning God HAD CREATED the heavens and the earth."

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

This opening verse of the whole Bible is NOT speaking about "the beginning". God is here simply telling us: at a certain point in time in the past God had created the universe, including this earth. A correct understanding of this verse makes provision for God to have created the angels before God later created the heavens and the earth. The verb "had created" implies that this creation had taken place at an earlier time than the things that will be discussed in the verses that follow; it implies that by the end of verse 1 the creation of the heavens and the earth had been completed.

#2 = GENESIS 1:2

THE VERSE:

"And the earth was WITHOUT FORM, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This translation implies that the ORIGINAL CONDITION of the earth was a complete mess! The words "without form and void" are a reflection of John Calvin's views that the originally created earth was an unstable "shapeless chaos", or in the words of the Greek LXX translation, that originally the created earth was "invisible", a clearly absurd view. The implication is that the original creation was totally worthless. It wrongly implies that God originally had to work in evolution-like steps, starting out with created chaos, in order to produce anything of value.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

1) The wrong interpretation of this verse is built on the foundation of the mistranslation of verse 1. When it is correctly understood that verse 1 speaks about the creation of the universe in the past perfect tense (i.e. "God had created ..."), then it becomes easier to understand that verse 2 is not a description of some primordial condition.

2) The Hebrew verb here is also in the "qal perfect" and should be correctly translated as "had become".

3) Isaiah 45:18 makes clear that God did not originally create the earth in a state of "tohu".

4) The Hebrew word "tohu" certainly does not mean "without form". It refers to a consequence of sins and means something like "waste". Tohu makes a value statement (i.e. the earth had come to have a lack of any value, i.e. without value).

5) The Hebrew word "bohu" makes a content statement (i.e. a lack of content), and means something like "empty", implying a previous condition of having been filled with some forms of life.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

"And the earth had become waste and empty; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

The condition of having become waste and empty was a consequence of the sins of Satan and the angels that rebelled with him against God. What follows in the next 7 days is an account of how God first renewed (i.e. repaired) the damage Satan's rebellion had caused, and then created man. Psalm 104:30 tells us "You renew the face of the earth", and that is precisely what God did from Genesis 1:3 onwards.

There must have been a considerable period of time between the original creation of this earth in verse 1, and the bleak picture of the earth in verse 2. Satan's original rebellion took place between these two verses. This verse is also discussed in great detail in my 28-page article entitled "Understanding Genesis 1:1-2 Correctly". The article is available on my website.

#3 = GENESIS 1:6 - 8

THESE VERSES:

"And God said, Let there be a FIRMAMENT in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made the FIRMAMENT, and divided the waters which were under the FIRMAMENT from the waters which were above the FIRMAMENT: and it was so. And God called the FIRMAMENT Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day."

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

The word "firmament" is derived from the Latin Vulgate translation, and it means "a support". The use of this word "support" is based on the incorrect world view accepted by people during Roman times, and even as late as the 1500's. However, the Hebrew word "rakia" which is used in this verse has nothing to do with "support". This Hebrew word means "AN EXPANSE", i.e. SPACE. Here it specifically refers to THE SKY. The use of the word "support" is an example of translators reading their own perception of the universe and of creation into a specific verse of the Bible.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

While this is not a major matter, it is an example of how an incorrect translation can introduce unnecessary confusion into a text. This translation to some degree obscures what God really did on this day.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THESE VERSES:

"And God said, Let there be AN EXPANSE in the midst of the waters, and let it divide the waters from the waters. And God made THE EXPANSE, THE SKY, and divided the waters which were under the expanse from the waters which were above the expanse: and it was so. And God called the expanse Heaven. And the evening and the morning were the second day."

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

In the previous few verses, on day one, God had thinned out the fumes and fog and vapors that had enveloped the earth during Satan's rebellion. This thinning out was to the point of making the day-night cycle somewhat perceptible from a location on this earth. NOW, on day two, God proceeded to clean up THE LOWER ATMOSPHERE. God was restoring CLEAN AIR on day two. The whole earth was still flooded and a heavy layer of clouds still enveloped the whole earth in the upper atmosphere. But the lower atmosphere, between the flood waters below and the clouds above, was cleaned up and it was made conducive to supporting life, vital preparation for what was to follow.

This word "firmament" effectively hides that this is the day on which God gave this earth clean air, something other planets simply don't have.

#4 = GENESIS 1:11- 12

VERSE 11:

"And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit tree YIELDING fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so."

[The information below applies equally to verse 12, where the same wording is repeated almost verbatim.]

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

There is not a major problem with this verse except that it contains an unfortunate translation. Though it doesn't change the meaning here, this unfortunate translation helps to obscure a clearer understanding of some subsequent verses in this chapter.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

The English translation of this verse contains the word "yielding" twice. However, in the Hebrew text these are actually two completely different words.

In "the herb yielding seed" the verb translated "yielding" is "zara", which means "to sow, to scatter seed". With the hiphil stem (used here) it means "TO PRODUCE". The word "herb" here means "green plants", rather than our modern meaning of the word "herb". So this part means: "and God said let ... the green plants produce seeds". God created the plants, and the plants in turn would produce the seeds that they would scatter. To be clear, the word "zara" (translated as "yielding") does NOT mean "create". The English translation of this part of the verse here is not a problem. Now let's look at the next word translated as "yielding".

In "the fruit tree yielding fruit after his kind" the verb translated "yielding" is "asah", and it means "TO MAKE". This translation here is also strictly speaking not a problem, except that it helps to obscure the correct meaning of this verb "asah". A more appropriate translation of this phrase would be "and God said let ... the fruit tree MAKE fruit after his kind". Here is why this should be the correct translation.

Many people tend to view the verb "to make" as a synonym for the verb "to create". In this Genesis account both these verbs are used. But God very clearly did not intend these words to be synonyms. Genesis 2:3 specifically differentiates between these two words by speaking about all the work which God "CREATED AND MADE". God made a distinction between these two verbs.

The Hebrew word for "create" implies bringing something new into existence by using only the Holy Spirit (the power of God) to do the creating.

The Hebrew word for "make" implies bringing something new into existence by working with, or making use of some things that were created previously. In other words, "making" generally presupposes that something used in the making process is already in existence before the new thing is "made".

By stating that God designed the fruit trees to MAKE fruit after their kind, it would show that "making" is not the same as "creating". Fruit trees do not "create" fruit; they make fruit in biologically predictable steps.

To be clear: the translation "the fruit tree yielding fruit ..." conveys this idea correctly. But IT HIDES that this process is in fact the correct meaning of the verb "to make". It would have been clearer if the translators, after translating "zara" as "yielding", would have here translated "asah" as "make", to indicate that two different Hebrew verbs are used in this context. Specifically, Genesis 1:16 would be less of a problem verse. See the discussion on Genesis 1:16 below for more comments on "asah".

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

"And God said, Let the earth bring forth grass, let the green plants PRODUCE (or yield) seeds, and the fruit tree MAKE fruit after his kind, whose seed is in itself, upon the earth: and it was so."

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

God created all the plants and they then in turn produce seeds and fruits. The action of producing seeds and fruits is not on the same level as the original creation of those plants by God. This difference between "creating" and "producing fruits in biologically predictable steps" illustrates the difference between the verbs "create" and "make". Translating "asah" as "make" in this verse also makes it easier to understand the correct meaning of the word "made" in Genesis 1:16.

#5 = GENESIS 1:14

THE VERSE:

"And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for SEASONS, and for days, and years:"

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

The word "seasons" here creates the impression that this word is a reference to the annual seasonal cycle. This is a completely wrong focus.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

The Hebrew word here translated as "seasons" is "mow'edim", and it has no reference to the annual seasons at all! This word really means "appointed gatherings", and in the O.T. it is used both, to identify the time of commanded gatherings (i.e. the Holy Days), and also to identify the place of commanded gatherings (i.e. the tabernacle of the congregation). (We have already seen that the word "firmament" is a mistranslation.)

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

"And God said, Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for (determining) HOLY DAYS, and for days, and years:"

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

1) By "lights" God is here referring specifically to the sun and the moon, not to the stars. These two lights do determine the length of a month, a season, and a year, but this is only part of the focus of God's statement in this verse. The statement that these two lights are for "signs" means that they, either individually or in combination, determine the start and the length of each month, and of each of the four annual seasons, and of each year.

These two lights are to be used for four things: for signs, for determining Holy Days, for days, and for years.

2) To make this clear: the annual seasons are covered by the word "signs". A month is to start with a new moon (the moon provides the deciding "sign" here); a season is to start with an equinox or a solstice (the sun provides the deciding "sign" here); and a year is to start with the first new moon in the spring. The first consideration for the start of the year is the position of the sun (it must at least have reached the equinox), and the second consideration for the start of a year is the position of the moon (it must be a new moon). So for the start of every year the sun and the moon provide "signs" in combination.

3) These two lights are for determining "Holy Days" (or "commanded assemblies"). This statement reveals the main focus of this verse.

Note! This verse is not a statement that God made to Adam and Eve. These things were said before Adam was created, but they were NOT said TO Adam. This verse is a statement that God made to Moses, who wrote it down! And Moses knew EXACTLY what God meant by "mow'edim". God was referring to all of the annual days listed in Leviticus 23. It has nothing to do with whether or not Adam had ever heard of "mow'edim", because Moses here recorded something God had said before Adam's creation.

The mistranslation "for seasons", instead of the correct "for Holy Days", hides the fact that God told MOSES that the timing of all the annual observances was to be determined by the movements of the sun AND the moon. This is significant because in Leviticus 23 the focus is totally on the movements of the moon. But Genesis 1:14 already makes clear that the sun takes priority over the moon, and that the year can NEVER start before the equinox!

4) As far as the statement "for days" is concerned, it is the sun that determines the start and the end of a day! The moon is never involved in determining the start of a day. This statement makes clear that a day cannot possibly start or end "with the onset of total darkness" (or at midnight for that matter), as some people have claimed. If "the onset of darkness" was used to determine the start of a day, then "the sun" would no longer be the dividing line between a day and a night. In effect, "the greater light would no longer be ruling the day" (verse 16).

5) The statement "for years" means that the sun is the first consideration in determining when a year may start. Now there are four days in the annual cycle, and four days only, that can be predicted in advance. These four days are the two equinoxes and the two solstices. Any other day in the annual cycle can only be predicted by referencing its relationship to an equinox or to a solstice. Unless the start of a year is conditional on one of these four predictable days having been met, the sun cannot be said to be "for years", i.e. the sun would cease to be a determining factor for the start of a year. This is important to keep in mind in establishing a correct calendar.

NOTE! God's statement in this verse that the sun (the greater of the two lights God is specifically speaking about) is "for the determination of years" absolutely DEMANDS that the year may not start before the spring equinox! To start a year before the spring equinox violates God's statement here in Genesis 1:14.

#6 = GENESIS 1:16

THE VERSE:

"And God MADE two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also."

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

Some people (including many commentators) read this translation to mean that the sun and the moon were only created on the fourth day, even though there had already been evenings and mornings on the previous three days.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

We often tend to treat the verb "made" as if it were a synonym for the verb "create". That is not right, as far as the two Hebrew verbs are concerned. And this verse does NOT use the verb "to create".

First of all, the Hebrew verb translated "made" is different from the Hebrew verb translated "created", and these words have different meanings. We can express the differences between these two verbs as follows:

The Hebrew word for "create" implies bringing something new into existence by using only the Holy Spirit (the power of God) to do the creating.

The Hebrew word for "make" generally implies bringing something new into existence by working with, or making use of some things that were created previously. In other words, "making" generally presupposes that something used in the making process is already in existence before the new thing is "made".

Secondly, the Hebrew verb for "made" is used with the imperfect mood in this verse, and it is here better rendered as "had made". In this context this statement should be understood as a follow-on to the statements in verses 14 and 15. Thus the intended meaning is "had made" or "had designated", keeping in mind that the Hebrew word used here does not mean "to create".

As a minor consideration, the Hebrew word that is here translated as the verb "to rule" is in fact a noun. So where the KJV English text reads "TO RULE the day" and "TO RULE the night", the Hebrew text literally reads "FOR THE RULE of the day" and "FOR THE RULE of the night". Young's Literal Translation has presented this aspect correctly.

Lastly, the words "he made" in the last part of this verse are not found in the Hebrew text, and are therefore printed in italics in the KJV. These words should either be omitted, or at least the appropriate tense should be supplied.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

"And God HAD MADE (had designated) two great lights; the greater light for the rule of the day, and the lesser light for the rule of the night: (He had made or had appointed) the stars also."

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

This verse expresses some of God's intended functions for the sun and the moon. The next verse then shows God restoring the correct orbit for the moon to achieve perfect 30-day months, and the correct orbit for the earth to achieve perfect 360-day years. But verse 16 is certainly not speaking about the creation of the sun and moon and stars.

#7 = GENESIS 1:26

THE VERSE:

"And God said, Let us make man IN OUR IMAGE, AFTER OUR LIKENESS: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth."

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

For most people the expression "after our likeness" has the same meaning as the expression "in our image". They believe these expressions to be synonymous. And that is simply not true.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

This is not strictly a mistranslation. Rather, the problem revolves around the incorrect meaning we tend to attach to the word "likeness" in this specific context.

The English word "image" means: a reproduction or imitation of the form of a person or thing. This is in line with the meaning of the Hebrew word translated "image".

The English word "likeness" has several meanings: 1) the state or quality of being like; 2) the same form, shape, semblance; 3) that which resembles something else, a copy, a portrait, a representation. The Hebrew word translated "likeness" has the first of these three meanings.

To summarize the meanings of our two English words: The word "image" always refers to appearance, to what something looks like. The word "likeness", on the other hand, can refer to two completely different things. The secondary meaning of the word "likeness" refers to looks and appearance, and in that sense "likeness" is a synonym for "image". But the primary meaning of the word "likeness" refers to "A STATE OR A QUALITY" of being like. And this primary meaning of "likeness" has no reference to actual appearances. In other words, "Object B" may actually LOOK different from "Object A" and yet still be in the LIKENESS of "Object A" because it has some of the same qualities or characteristics as "Object A".

Put another way, when it comes to the actual appearance of things, the word "likeness" is less specific and more abstract than the word "image".

This meaning of "likeness" is the correct meaning of the Hebrew word "demuwth", which is used in this verse. This correct meaning is illustrated in a number of Scriptures. For example, in Psalm 58:4 David said regarding the wicked: "their poison is LIKE (Hebrew "demuwth") the poison of a serpent". In other words, the wicked have THE STATE OR QUALITIES of a serpent, even though outwardly they most assuredly don't look like serpents, and neither are their vicious deeds literally the same as snake poison. Similarly, in speaking about the sins of Aholibah (i.e. Jerusalem) God said in Ezekiel 23:15: "all of them princes to look to, AFTER THE MANNER (Hebrew "demuwth") of the Babylonians of Chaldea". In other words, while the actual looks may have been different, these foreign leaders referred to in this verse were dressed IN THE STYLE of the Babylonians.

These Scriptures illustrate the abstract nature of the Hebrew word "demuwth", and they are in line with the meaning "a state or a quality of being like". Simply put, the two Hebrew words translated as "image" and as "likeness" in this verse have the following meanings:

IMAGE refers to LOOKING like something else. LIKENESS, on the other hand, refers to being CONCEPTUALLY like something else, independent of actual looks.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

The KJV translation is fine, provided we very clearly attach the meaning "the state or quality of being like something else" to the word "likeness", and provided we understand that God did NOT use the word "likeness" here to refer to appearances.

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

When God said "let us make man in our image", God was saying "let us make man to OUTWARDLY look like we do, with our shape and appearance". The physical human body was to have the same general looks as God's spirit body; same general appearance but a different composition.

When God said "let us make man after our likeness", God was saying "let us make man CONCEPTUALLY like us, with the same MENTAL capacities". To achieve this "after our likeness" condition, it absolutely required human beings to have the spirit in man, to enable human beings to think and plan and reason and to comprehend abstract concepts in the same way God does all these things.

Put another way, the complete statement "let us make man in our image after our likeness" reveals that God was going to do TWO things for mankind:

1) God would give human beings A BODY that would have the same form as the body of God. Where it would differ from God is in its composition: God is composed of spirit and man is composed of flesh. This fleshly body imposes a major restriction upon mankind when compared to God.

2) In addition God would also give human beings A SPIRIT that would enable human beings to engage in the same mental activities that God utilizes. Where this spirit would differ from God is in its capacity to exercise these mental activities. When compared to the Holy Spirit, which fills the mind of God, the spirit God gave to man (i.e. the spirit in man) is severely limited in its abilities and capacities to comprehend and think and reason and plan.

So in appearance (i.e. image) mankind is like God, but on a lower level. And in mental activities (i.e. likeness) mankind is also like God, but again on a lower level.

Now here is what we need to understand very clearly!

What REALLY makes us human is that we are made "after the likeness of God". This condition is far more important than the condition of being "in the image of God". Theoretically speaking, IF there was somebody who had the body of a man, but did NOT have the spirit in man, THEN that individual would not be a human being! Looks are not enough to make someone human. It is the spirit in man that makes us human.

That was precisely the case with King Nebuchadnezzar. For seven full years God took the spirit in man away from Nebuchadnezzar, and for that period of time he was not a human being, even though he continued to look like a (albeit wild) man. God said very clearly: "LET HIS HEART BE CHANGED FROM MAN'S, AND LET A BEAST'S HEART BE GIVEN UNTO HIM" (Daniel 4:16). For seven years Nebuchadnezzar was literally an animal and not a human being, even though he always looked human on the outside. The key here was that for that period Nebuchadnezzar did not have the spirit in man.

In contrast, a man may lose an arm or a leg or an eye or be severely disfigured by some severe accident (and thus strictly speaking no longer looking like God), but he still has the spirit in man. And it is that spirit in man that makes him human, irrespective of his looks.

It was important that God created mankind in "the image" of God. But it was far more important that God created man after "the likeness" of God, because it is this latter attribute that primarily sets us apart from all of the animals that God created.

#8 = GENESIS 2:2 - 3

THE VERSE:

"And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he RESTED (Hebrew "shabath") on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had RESTED (Hebrew "shabath") from all his work which God created and made."

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This translation implies that the primary focus on this very first Sabbath day was on resting. This picture is due to a mistranslation, and it is an example where a slightly different verb can create a different focus.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

The Hebrew verb "shabath", from which the Hebrew noun "shabbath" is formed, is here twice translated as "rested". But the verb "shabath" does not mean "to rest" as we define the verb "to rest". The meaning "to rest" was only added to this verb later by the Pharisees in order to justify their extreme rules for Sabbath observance, rules which Jesus Christ did not accept or adhere to.

This Hebrew verb really means: TO CEASE, TO STOP DOING SOMETHING. And so the noun Sabbath really means "THE DAY OF CESSATION FROM SOMETHING".

The main Hebrew verb for "to rest" is "nuwach". And this verb is not used in Genesis 2. But it is used in Genesis 8:4 where the ark "RESTED" on the mountains of Ararat.

We see that LATER, at the time of the Exodus, God also adds the aspect of RESTING to the Sabbath commandment. But resting was not really the focus back in Genesis 2.

Notice the Sabbath commandment in Exodus 20. Verse 8 tells us TO REMEMBER the "day of cessation". Verse 9 instructs us to do all our WORK on the other six days. Then verse 10 spells out that on "the day of cessation" we are not to do ANY WORK, and that also applies to our families and to our employees.

NOTE! Exodus 20:8-10 has thus far not said anything at all about us "resting"! The entire focus thus far has been on us keeping the Sabbath holy by CEASING FROM ALL OUR WORK. But ceasing from work is not necessarily the same as resting.

Thus far the Sabbath command has the same focus as Genesis 2. A correct translation of the text in Genesis 2 should read "... and He CEASED on the seventh day FROM ALL HIS WORK which He had made ... in it He had CEASED FROM ALL HIS WORK which God created and made". And thus Exodus 20:8-10 also focuses on us ceasing from doing all our work on the Sabbath day.

Then verse 11 introduces a new and added focus to the Sabbath. It tells us the following:

For in six days the LORD made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that in them is, and RESTED (Hebrew "nuwach") the seventh day: wherefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it.

This word "nuwach" really means "rested"! So did God "rest" on that original Sabbath day? Yes, Exodus 20:11 tells us this very clearly. But did Genesis 2 already tell us that God "rested"? No. Genesis 2 only tells us that on that Sabbath day God ceased from all His work.

Does the commandment in Exodus 20 actually command us to rest? No. It commands us to cease from all our work, thereby keeping the Sabbath holy. But should we use the Sabbath to rest? Yes certainly, because God set us AN EXAMPLE that we should follow; Exodus 20:11 spells out the example God set for us.

So the problem with the mistranslation in Genesis 2 is as follows:

THE CORRECT PERSPECTIVE IS: The Sabbath is first and foremost a day of ceasing from all our work. In ceasing from our work we are keeping the Sabbath holy. In addition to ceasing from our work, a second focus for the Sabbath is that we are to use it to rest. Much later, in the days of Isaiah, God added a third focus to the Sabbath, in that it is not to be used for "doing our own ways" or "finding our own pleasure" or "speaking our own words" (Isaiah 58:13-14). But ceasing from all our work always remains the primary focus of the Sabbath.

THE MISTRANSLATION IN GENESIS 2 changes that focus! The original focus is changed, and in that way resting becomes the most important criterion for Sabbath keeping! And that focus is wrong! Ceasing from our work is the first focus for the Sabbath, and then resting becomes the second focus.

This changed focus is the justification for the extreme pharisaical rules regarding any physical activities on the Sabbath. For example, the Talmud states: "Our Rabbis taught: If one carries out half a dried fig, and then carries out another half of a dried fig in one state of unawareness, he is culpable" (Talmud, Shabbath, 80a). It is absurd to claim that carrying the weight of a dried fig on the Sabbath amounts to "working". It was equally absurd for the Pharisees to claim that Jesus Christ was working on the Sabbath because He spoke words like "be healed", or "take up your bed (a small mat) and walk". There are very many absurd rules like this in the Talmud ... I have looked them up.

It is the incorrect emphasis on "rested" in Genesis 2 that is the justification for all of these extreme and unbiblical pharisaical rules for Sabbath observance. First focusing on not following our normal lines of work, and then focusing on resting places God's intent for the Sabbath in the correct perspective. The perspective should NEVER be: in order to rest we must avoid any expenditure of energy. God's Sabbath commandment in Exodus 20 is NOT about energy expenditure. Neither is God the author of the "Sabbath day's journey" regulation or any other Sabbath regulations along those lines.

And back in Genesis God had not said anything at all about resting!

The wrong translation in Genesis 2 is the foundation of many wrong ideas about the Sabbath. Young's Literal Translation has correctly translated the verb "shabath" in these two verses as "ceased".

This subject of "rest" is also discussed at length in the section that deals with Hebrews 4:1 later in this article. See the comments provided there for additional explanations.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

"And on the seventh day God ended his work which he had made; and he CEASED on the seventh day from all his work which he had made. And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it: because that in it he had CEASED from all his work which God created and made."

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

During the preceding six days God had created some things and also made some things. On the seventh day God ceased from both of these activities (i.e. creating and making). Later, in Exodus 20, it shows that this cessation included "resting". However, the setting apart of the Sabbath day was in the first instance not based on resting, but on ceasing from specific activities.

#9 = GENESIS 2:9

THE VERSE:

"And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of KNOWLEDGE of good and evil."

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This translation implies that eating the wrong fruit gave them some kind of knowledge. But that is simply not true! Eating that fruit did not give them any knowledge that they did not have before eating that fruit.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

In English we make a clear distinction between the concept of "knowledge" on the one hand, and the concepts of "perception" and "discernment" on the other hand. We see "knowledge" as something that is objective and factual. "Perception" and "discernment", on the other hand, are subjective and conditional. People who have the same knowledge available to them may have completely different perceptions regarding how that knowledge actually applies to life. "Perception" is very much conditional on the frame of mind with which a person comes to the table. "Perception" can result in different interpretations of the same knowledge.

In biblical Hebrew, with its rather limited vocabulary, these differing concepts are conveyed by the same one word. The word that means "knowledge" also means "perception" and "discernment".And in this verse the intended meaning of this Hebrew word is perception, not knowledge.

Neither tree was going to give them any KNOWLEDGE. What BOTH trees offered them was opposing PERCEPTIONS of good and evil, of what is right and what is wrong.

In plain language, had they eaten of the tree of life, THEN they would have PERCEIVED God's mind and plans and intentions, and then they would have received access to God's Holy Spirit, thereby receiving ACCESS to eternal life. The desire to grasp the godly perception of what is good and what is evil is a prerequisite for eventually receiving eternal life.

By eating from the tree of the perception of good and evil, instead of holding onto God's perspective of what is right and what is wrong, they accepted Satan's perspective of what is right and what is wrong. And this perception of right and wrong leads to death. This is the perception that is represented by Proverbs 14:12.

However, the KNOWLEDGE (i.e. the factual information available) is the same for both cases. The difference lies in two diametrically opposite ways of PERCEIVING or interpreting that knowledge, two completely different ways of evaluating the same factual knowledge.

There was nothing magical about that fruit. God really could have designated ANY one of the fruit trees as "the tree of the perception of good and evil". The fruit itself didn't do anything at all for them or to them. It was THEIR ACTION in taking that fruit that did something to their minds.

In plain terms: Had Adam and Eve eaten of the tree of life, this would have reinforced in their minds God's perspective of right and wrong by God giving them access to the Holy Spirit. But when they ate the other fruit instead, this changed their perception of right and wrong, and therefore God denied them access to His Holy Spirit.

God will NEVER give His Holy Spirit to people who have a wrong perception of what is right and what is wrong, people who reach morally wrong conclusions from correct factual information.

What happened to Adam and Eve is the exact same thing that happens to everyone of us. Whenever we do something that we KNOW is wrong, then that automatically changes our standards of what is right and what is wrong. We ALWAYS think of a transgression, any transgression, as less serious when we ourselves have engaged in it than when we ourselves have never been involved in that transgression. Knowingly doing something wrong always changes our subjective perception of right and wrong.

Satan was the first one to ever knowingly do something wrong, and that action changed his perspective of right and wrong for ever. He can never be rehabilitated.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

"And out of the ground made the LORD God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the PERCEPTION of good and evil."

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

This tree was the test as to whether Adam and Eve would be willing to do something that they KNEW was wrong. What specific type of fruit was involved is not significant. Their action of knowingly doing something wrong changed their perception of what is right and what is wrong away from God's standards for right and wrong. Eating that fruit did not give them any knowledge, but they immediately PERCEIVED their own situation (e.g. their nakedness) in a different way. Their minds had changed as a result of knowingly going against their own consciences.

#10 = GENESIS 6:3

THE VERSE:

"And the LORD said, My spirit SHALL NOT ALWAYS STRIVE WITH man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years."

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

The verb "strive" makes it sound like God was arguing with man, or pleading with man.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

This verse contains a mistranslation, which changes the focus of God's statement.

The Hebrew verb translated as "strive" is "din", which really means "TO JUDGE".

The wrong translation of this verb comes to us via the Greek LXX and the Latin Vulgate. The LXX Greek translation for "din" is "katameine", a form of the verb "katameno", and this Greek verb means "TO ABIDE, TO REMAIN". The Latin Vulgate rendered this verb as "PERMANEBIT", which also means "to abide, to remain". So instead of translating the Hebrew verb "din" Jerome simply translated the Greek verb "katameno". The influence of the LXX and the Vulgate can be seen in such translations as JPS and RSV.

Translating from the Latin Vulgate, John Wycliffe rendered this as "shall not dwell in man". It was William Tyndale who first introduced the word "strive" into his translation of Genesis for the Matthew's Bible in 1537. This verb "strive" was then retained by the Geneva Bible in 1560 and the later Bishops Bible, both of which formed the foundation for the 1611 KJV. From there the verb "strive" was accepted by many subsequent translators.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

"And the LORD said, My spirit shall not always JUDGE man, for that he also is flesh: yet his days shall be an hundred and twenty years."

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

From the time of Adam onwards God was JUDGING man's conduct! It was not a matter of God pleading with man, or arguing with man. None of those things would actually produce THE CHARACTER that God wants to see in human beings. God was objectively and fairly judging man's conduct throughout this entire period leading up to the flood. And very, very few people responded to God.

SPECULATION: WHY does God make this statement "My spirit shall not always JUDGE man because he is only flesh"? WHY? What is this statement supposed to tell us?

Could this statement be an indication that before the flood God had NOT YET made provision for the second resurrection? Could it be that until then God was therefore JUDGING every man and every woman as to whether or not they would be resurrected into God's Family? Could it be that this statement here shows God changing this approach in favor of a new approach, which made provision for the second resurrection? Could it be that God was here revealing that "judgment" for the vast majority of human beings would be delayed to the time when Jesus Christ will actually rule this earth (i.e. during the millennium, and for the period assigned to those in the second resurrection)?

The translation "shall not always STRIVE with man" has conditioned our minds to interpreting this passage a certain way. It downplays the meaning of "TO JUDGE" by providing an interpretation that doesn't involve any direct judging. If we had never before heard the translation "My spirit shall not always STRIVE (or "abide" for that matter) with man because he is flesh", we ourselves might also approach the statement "My spirit shall not always judge man because he is flesh" with different expectations and a different perspective. Our minds have been conditioned by the wrong translation we have read all our lives.

I don't know the whole answer here, and I don't have answers for all the questions that can be raised. But I do know that this verse has ALWAYS been mistranslated, first by the Greek LXX and the Latin Vulgate, and then by all the English language translations that came along.

Whenever people don't really understand something that God has said in the Bible, THEN their only recourse is usually to assign new meanings to some words that are used by God, new meanings that enable them to say something that makes sense TO THEM. However, new meanings for words are usually a tacit admission that the correct meanings don't make sense to people. But then God didn't say that scholars would necessarily understand the Bible (Isaiah 29:11-12).

#11 = GENESIS 6:4

THE VERSE:

"There were GIANTS in the earth in those days; and also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown."

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

The previous verse was spoken exactly 120 years before the flood, thus about 20 years before Noah started to beget his three sons Shem, Ham and Japheth. The word "giants" in this verse is a mistranslation of the Hebrew word "nephilim". Apart from this mistranslation there is no indication anywhere in the Bible that there were actual giants on earth before the flood. The only giants mentioned in the Bible all lived after the flood.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

There are three different Hebrew words in the OT which are sometimes indiscriminately translated in the KJV as "giants". Only one of these words actually means "giants".

1) The correct Hebrew word for "giants" is "rapha, pl. rephaim". This word is used in Scriptures like Deuteronomy 3:11, a verse that speaks about the giant king Og, whose bed was about 13 feet long.

2) The next Hebrew word is "gibbor, pl. gibborim". This word basically refers to those who have power, thus: mighty ones, conquerors, heroes, those who are victorious. While these attributes might also apply to giants in some cases, this is not the word to identify men of very large stature (i.e. giants). In only one place is this word incorrectly translated as "a giant", and that is in Job 16:14 ("he runs upon me like a giant"). There it should really read "he runs upon me like a mighty man".

3) The third Hebrew word is "nephil, pl. nephilim". This is the word used here in Genesis 6:4. This noun is formed from the Hebrew verb "naphal", which means "TO FALL". And so the noun "nephilim" really means "THE FALLEN ONES". The only other verse in the OT where this word "nephilim" is also used is Numbers 13:33, which we'll examine later.

In plain language, when this verse says "in those days there were in the earth the nephilim (those who had fallen)", this is NOT a reference to their physical attributes (i.e. their size or stature or origin of birth), but to their CHARACTER ATTRIBUTES (i.e. those who had fallen away from God's standards).

The story behind how the word "giants" ended up in our English language translations is covered in great detail in my article "Were There Giants On Earth Before Noah's Flood?". The article is available on my website in the General Articles directory under the keywords "Giants in Genesis 6".

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

"There were THOSE WHO HAD FALLEN (the fallen ones) in the earth in those days. And also after that, when the sons of God came in unto the daughters of men, and they bare children to them, the same became mighty men which were of old, men of renown."

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

This is the verse on which some people base their mistaken belief that before the flood fallen angels (i.e. demons) had sex with mortal women and that those unions produced giants. First of all, spirit beings are not able to mate with mortal human beings (Matthew 22:30). And secondly, this verse does not speak about giants. There is no biblical evidence for any giants before the flood. See also the discussion of Numbers 13:33.

My above-mentioned article about “Giants Before Noah’s Flood” discusses the meaning of this whole verse at length. My purpose here is simply to point out that this verse does not really speak about giants, and that “giants” is a wrong translation for the Hebrew word “nephilim”.

#12 = GENESIS 6:6-7

THE VERSE:

"And it REPENTED the LORD that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for IT REPENTETH ME that I have made them."

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This translation distorts the meaning of the word "repent" by implying that God also "repents". This is completely wrong. The Hebrew verb here translated as "repent" is "nacham".

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

None of the translators understood what the word "repent" really means. And so they all confused repentance with something else, with being sorry for something. But "being sorry" is not the same as "to repent".

In the OT there are two different Hebrew verbs with different meanings that apply to this question. They are:

1) NACHAM: This verb means "TO BE SORRY, TO HAVE REGRETS". This word has basically the same meaning as the NT Greek word "METAMELLOMAI".

2) SHUWB: This is the twelfth most frequently used verb in the OT, being used 1066 times. Its basic meaning is: TO TURN, TO RETURN. While this verb has many nuances, this is the verb that God has primarily used with the meaning "TO REPENT"! In that sense this word has the same meaning as the NT Greek word "METANOEO".

For a detailed discussion regarding the differences between "metamellomai" and "metanoeo" (and thus also between "nacham" and "shuwb") see the section that deals with Matthew 21:29.The explanation there also largely applies to "nacham" and "shuwb".

Basically, "nacham" should be translated as "to be sorry" or as "to regret"; and where appropriate, "shuwb" should be translated as "to repent". The point is: we can be sorry for something or we can regret that something turned out a certain way WITHOUT us necessarily having to "turn around". To be sorry for something is usually (for us human beings, never for God!) a small step in the right direction, but by itself being sorry falls far short of real repentance.

Another way to see these words is as follows:

Where "nacham" means "to be sorry", this word could also be expressed as "to change one's mind" in the following circumstances: either when real repentance is not in any way involved (as when this word is used to apply to God), or when the individual involved is referring to something other than real repentance. In a discussion we might say "I want you to think differently about this matter", and when we say this we are not thinking in terms of asking the person "to repent" in any way. In this sense we could use "nacham" to mean "to change one's mind"; i.e. in situations that clearly don't require real repentance. But "nacham" basically refers to an EMOTIONAL response.

Where "shuwb" means "to turn around" this could also be expressed as "to SERIOUSLY change one's mind"; i.e. to change our whole way of thinking, not just about one specific subject, but about every aspect of our lives. Again, where "nacham" represents a small step in the right direction, "shuwb" usually represents a giant step in the right direction. But basically "shuwb" refers to a MENTAL response, one of deliberately setting one's mind to think differently.

So when in the OT we use the expression "to change one's mind" it is the context that shows whether this refers to real repentance, or whether it refers to something less than repentance.

Old Testament Hebrew did not have a word for "the mind". But new Testament Greek does have a word for "the mind". Therefore in order to express the concept of "repentance" IN HEBREW you had to say "to turn around and go the other way"; but IN GREEK you could say "to change the way YOUR MIND works, to change your thinking". These differences in referring to repentance are due to the constraints of the Hebrew language.

The Hebrew verb "nacham" is used 108 times in 100 verses of the OT. It is translated 57 times as "comfort", 9 times as "comforter", 41 times as "repent", and one time as "ease". This word does not really mean "repent". However, since the process of real repentance INCLUDES the meaning of "nacham", therefore it could be used to refer to repentance, provided that the rest of the context identifies real repentance as the subject. We have one single example of where this word is used to refer to REAL REPENTANCE, and that is in JOB 42:6. However, the 66 times "nacham" is translated as "comfort" or as "comforter" illustrate that "repent" is not a primary meaning of this verb.

When the word "nacham" is used for God (e.g. Jeremiah 18:8 = "I will repent of the evil that I thought to do unto them") it generally means "I will change My mind regarding something". When the word "nacham" is used for God in a negation (e.g. Zechariah 8:14 = "and I repented not") it generally means "I will (or did) not change My mind regarding something".

Following is a list of the places where "nacham" has been wrongly translated as "repent". In all of these verses it should correctly be translated as "to be sorry" or as "to regret" or "to change one's mind". Here are these places. I am NOT addressing any of these verses individually. Genesis 6:6-7 is the first place where we have this mistranslation of "nacham".

GENESIS 6:6-7

EXODUS 13:17

EXODUS 32:12, 14

NUMBERS 23:19

DEUTERONOMY 32:36

JUDGES 2:18

JUDGES 21:6; JUDGES 21:15

1 SAMUEL 15:11, 29, 35

2 SAMUEL 24:16

1 CHRONICLES 21:15

PSALM 90:13

PSALM 106:45

PSALM 110:4

PSALM 135:14

JEREMIAH 4:28

JEREMIAH 8:6

JEREMIAH 15:6

JEREMIAH 18:8; JEREMIAH 18:10

JEREMIAH 20:16

JEREMIAH 26:3, 13, 19

JEREMIAH 31:19

JEREMIAH 42:10

EZEKIEL 24:14

JOEL 2:13, 14

AMOS 7:3, 6

JONAH 3:9, 10

JONAH 4:2

ZECHARIAH 8:14

We might just briefly consider Job 42:6. At that point in the Book of Job, the man had clearly come to a deep and sincere repentance. Here the verb "nacham" is also translated as "repent", and here that happens to be the correct meaning. It is THE CONTEXT that makes clear that in this instance "nacham" refers to much more than Job just having some regrets. The expressions "I abhor myself" and "in dust and ashes" provide the context that raises "nacham" to the level of real repentance. It was Job himself who provided this context of abhorring himself, to show that he was indeed committed to "turning around" his whole approach towards God and life in general.

So when the Hebrew verb "nacham" is used, it is additional information that can lift the meaning to a higher level. Without additional information this verb does not refer to real repentance.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THESE VERSES:

"And the LORD REGRETTED that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the LORD said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for I REGRET that I have made them."

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

These verses have nothing whatsoever to do with "repenting"! They are simply a way of saying that God regretted that He had made man, that it saddened God to see how things had turned out. See also the section that deals with Matthew 21:29.

#13 = GENESIS 6:9

THE VERSE:

"These are the GENERATIONS of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his GENERATIONS, and Noah walked with God."

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

People assume that this verse is a reference to Noah's pedigree, i.e. to his ancestral line. But that is not at all what God is telling us in this verse. In this context a reference to Noah's pedigree would have been meaningless!

Noah was the tenth generation from Adam (counting Adam as the first generation). EVERYBODY ALIVE at that time could also claim a direct line of descent from Adam. If the statement "perfect in his generations" was supposed to be a reference to Noah's pedigree, then everybody else was also "perfect in his generations". There is nothing in this verse that sets Noah's pedigree apart from every other descendant of Adam via Seth.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

There are two completely different Hebrew words in this verse, which are both translated into English as "generations". This creates some confusion.

In the expression "these are the generations of Noah" the Hebrew word is "toledah, pl. toledoth". But in the expression "perfect in his generations" the Hebrew word is "dowr".

The Hebrew word "toledah" refers to "families, races, generations", with the understanding that it specifically FOCUSES ON WHAT FOLLOWS, AND NOT ON WHAT WENT BEFORE. To make this quite clear: the English word "pedigree" refers to generations that have gone before, but the Hebrew "toledah" refers to generations that come after! So "toledah" does NOT refer to pedigree! It refers to the generations that follow, not to the generations that went before. In this verse "toledah" is best translated as "lines of descent from" or as "progeny".

The Hebrew word "dowr" refers to "a living generation, contemporaries". This word does NOT have anything to do with "pedigree", nor does it have anything to do with "a line of descent that may follow". "Generation" is not really a good way to translate the word "dowr". The best way to translate "dowr" in this verse is "contemporaries", because that is exactly what this verse is speaking about.

These distinctions are important to understand because there are some churches that have tried to draw some RACIAL conclusions from this verse, conclusions that agree with their own particular racial biases. Those conclusions are completely unjustified. Their wrong conclusions are based on a misinterpretation of "dowr".

Next, the Hebrew word here translated as "perfect" is "tamiym". This word basically means: upright, whole, sincere, complete, without necessarily implying perfection. In this verse it is far better translated as "upright". The JPS translation renders this section as "Noah was in his generations a man righteous and WHOLE-HEARTED", opting for "whole-hearted" instead of "perfect".

The 1977 NAS translation renders this as "Noah was a righteous man, BLAMELESS IN HIS TIME". The NIV renders this expression as "BLAMELESS among the people of his time". The RSV reads "BLAMELESS in his generation". The 1994 Dutch language Leidse Vertaling renders this as "Noach was een rechtschapen en ONBERISPELIJK man onder zijn TIJDGENOTEN", which literally translated reads "Noah was a righteous and IMPECCABLE man among his CONTEMPORARIES".

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

"This is THE PROGENY from Noah: Noah was a just man and upright AMONG HIS CONTEMPORARIES, and Noah walked with God."

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

This verse is an introductory statement for the section that follows. The first statement in this verse refers to Noah's progeny, and so the next verse spells out the line of descent from Noah, which consisted of his three sons.

The second part of this verse refers to Noah's character, that Noah "walked with God". His walking with God is based on Noah being a just man and upright amongst his contemporaries.

But this verse is not in any way a reference to Noah's pedigree. Such an inference is based on an incorrect understanding of the Hebrew words "dowr" and “tamiym”. We might also keep in mind that, while the Bible certainly lists genealogical lines for certain people, nowhere does the Bible ever make evaluative statements regarding the merits of such genealogical lines, that a specific line is “perfect” or words to that effect. Nowhere does the Bible hint at one race being “perfect” or “better than another race”. And this Scripture is no exception to that rule.

#14 = GENESIS 17:10-11

THESE VERSES:

"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." (v 10)

"And ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you." (v 11)

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This is not a mistranslation as such. Rather, here we are dealing with a totally inappropriate verse division, which then has the same effect as a mistranslation.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

Verses 1 to the first part of verse 10 form ONE DISCUSSION. These verses spell out the covenant (agreement) that God was making with Abraham. In essence Abraham's part in that covenant was "to walk before God and to be upright and sincere" (the same word "tamiym" as in Genesis 6:9 is used here, verse 1). God's part in that covenant was that He would bless Abraham and his descendants.

But that covenant between God and Abraham was NOT circumcision!

The first part of verse 10, which reads "this is my covenant which you shall keep between me and you and your seed after you", is A CONCLUDING STATEMENT! The discussion of the actual covenant has been concluded with these words.

The second part of verse 10 introduces a new subject, which goes to the end of verse 14. That new subject is A TOKEN OR SIGN THAT IS ATTACHED TO THE COVENANT THAT HAS JUST BEEN DISCUSSED!

The covenant was to live before God in uprightness and in integrity. The token added to this covenant was that every male was to be circumcised. But circumcision was to be nothing more than a token for the commitment to live a certain way.

There is a similarly clear distinction between the covenant God made with Noah, and the token that God attached to that covenant. God made a covenant with Noah to never again destroy all life by a worldwide flood (Genesis 9:9-11), and then God attached the rainbow as a token to this covenant (verse 12-17). There is a major distinction between a covenant and the token of a covenant. And the covenant itself is always, without question, far more important than the token that may be attached to that covenant.

Now the problem this inappropriate verse division here has caused is that THE TOKEN appears to have been elevated to the status of the covenant itself, thereby effectively diverting the attention away from the obligation to live a certain way before God. It is unfortunately very common to see people refer to this covenant as “the covenant of circumcision”. That is a way of detracting from the real significance of this covenant.

People don’t understand that without adherence to the REAL covenant here (i.e. to LIVE a certain way before God) the token of this covenant (i.e. circumcision) is totally and completely worthless! And so it should be no surprise that, while God expects Christians today to abide by the terms of this covenant in Genesis 17 (i.e. to live our lives in integrity before God), God does NOT require Christians to also accept THE TOKEN that God had attached for Old Testament Israel. The entire discussion in Acts 15 revolved around the fact that Paul understood clearly, and therefore defended vigorously, the distinction between this covenant itself (which is binding on Christians) and the token that was attached to this covenant (which is not binding on Christians).

As Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 7:19, “circumcision is nothing, and uncircumcision is nothing”. What Paul meant was: circumcision was never the real issue in the covenant in Genesis 17; it was nothing more than a token that God had added to that covenant. And therefore circumcision is also not required of people who live by the new covenant. The new covenant has a new token attached to it, namely that God gives us His Holy Spirit. We can also view baptism as "the token" God has attached to the new covenant.

Dividing the text of these verses correctly and applying the appropriate punctuation makes all of this much easier to see.

A CORRECT DIVISION OF THESE VERSES:

"This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee." (v 10)

"Every man child among you shall be circumcised, and ye shall circumcise the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you. And he that is eight days old ..." (v 11-12)

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THESE VERSES:

God made a covenant with Abraham that he and his descendants were to live in honesty and in integrity before God. To outwardly show their willingness and commitment to live by these terms, God added the token of circumcision to this covenant. In the New Testament that covenant is just as binding on Christians, and even more so. But in the New Testament the token to indicate the commitment to live by this covenant was changed from circumcision to both, baptism and to receiving the down-payment, the first instalment as it were, of the Holy Spirit. Same covenant but a different token.

#15 = GENESIS 21:33

THE VERSE:

“And Abraham planted A GROVE in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God.”

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

The idea of “groves” is generally associated with pagan customs and idolatry. “Grove” often refers to a carved idol. For example, in 2 Kings 23:6 we see that King Josiah “brought out THE GROVE from the house of the LORD” and burned it. So when this verse tells us that Abraham planted “a grove” it sounds somewhat questionable.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

There are several different Hebrew words that are at times translated as “grove” in the KJV. The word that refers to pagan religious customs and practices is “asherah”. This word is used in Exodus 34:13, where God told Israel: “you shall cut down their groves”.

However, in Genesis 21:33 the Hebrew word used is “eshel”, which word is only used three times in the Old Testament. This word simply means “a tree”, and in a number of translations it is translated as “tamarisk tree”. The other two places where “eshel” is used are 1 Samuel 22:6 and 1 Samuel 31:13; in both these verses it is rendered as “a tree” in the KJV.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

“And Abraham planted A TREE in Beersheba, and called there on the name of the LORD, the everlasting God.”

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

This verse simply states that Abraham planted a tree at this well which his servants had dug. The tree had no religious significance of any kind to Abraham. With the connotation which “a grove” has in other parts of the Bible (Exodus 34:13, etc.), it is not appropriate to here render “eshel” as “a grove”.

This is an example of the problems that arise when different people are responsible for translating different books of the Bible, as was the case with the KJV. If the man who translated 1 Samuel had also been responsible for translating Genesis, THEN the word "grove" would never have been used in this verse. It would have contained the word "tree". Many of the inconsistencies in the KJV translation can be led back to different scholars having been responsible for translating different books of the Old Testament.

#16 = GENESIS 22:1

THE VERSE:

“And it came to pass after these things, that God did TEMPT Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.”

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

The early English translators translated the Hebrew word "nacah" here by simply

anglicizing the Latin Vulgate’s translation of this word as "temptavit". So the English text reads “tempt”. We generally associate the word “tempt” with the prospect of sinning.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

Originally the English word "tempt" meant: to try the strength of, to test. But today this word “tempt” has the meaning of: entice to do something that is wrong. And that is certainly not what is meant here in Genesis 22:1.

Today we generally apply the following meanings to the following verbs:

1) TO TEMPT = to see whether or not someone is willing to do something that is wrong.

2) TO TEST, TO PROVE = to see whether or not someone will do or achieve something that is right. Doing something that is wrong does not really enter the picture. And this is what God was doing in Genesis 22.

God was NOT testing Abraham to establish whether or not Abraham was willing to break one of God’s laws and do something that is wrong. God was testing Abraham as to whether or not Abraham was prepared to make an enormous sacrifice for God, which went far beyond mere obedience to all of God’s laws.

In this verse the Hebrew verb “nacah” should really be translated as “test” or “prove”. And this is how it is correctly translated in many of the newer translations.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

“And it came to pass after these things, that God TESTED Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am.”

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

As James 1:13 points out:

“Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man”

God did not “tempt” Abraham to do any evil. But God tested Abraham as to whether or not Abraham was willing to do much more than is required by the law. God was testing Abraham’s character and commitment to God.

#17 = GENESIS 23:6

THE VERSE:

“Hear us, my lord: thou art a MIGHTY prince among us: in the choice of our sepulchres bury thy dead; none of us shall withhold from thee his sepulchre, but that thou mayest bury thy dead.”

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This translation hides the fact that these local people recognized Abraham as a servant of God.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

The word “mighty” in this verse is supposed to be a translation of the Hebrew word “elohim”, which means “God”. So these people really said: “you are a prince of God among us”.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

“Hear us, my lord: thou art A PRINCE OF GOD among us: in the choice of our sepulchres bury thy dead; none of us shall withhold from thee his sepulchre, but that thou mayest bury thy dead.”

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

The local people recognized Abraham as a servant of God and they treated him with the utmost respect.

#18 = EXODUS 9:31

THE VERSE:

“And the flax and the barley was smitten: for the barley was IN THE EAR, and the flax was bolled.”

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

The words “in the ear” are an acceptable translation, provided the reader does not attach any unintended meanings to this expression. Specifically, it is wrong to use this Scripture to claim that "abib" must mean "immature grain".

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

The words “in the ear” are a translation of the Hebrew word “abib”. This Hebrew word "abib" is discussed in detail in the section dealing with Leviticus 2:14. Please see the information presented there.

The point about "abib" is this:

Apart from referring to the first month of the year, this word is only used twice in the OT, i.e. here and in Leviticus 2:14. Here in Exodus 9:31 it does not allow us to draw any conclusions as to the stage of maturity that the barley had achieved at that point in time. But in Leviticus 2:14 "abib" is clearly identified as FULLY MATURE grain.

That is not to say that here in Exodus 9:31 "abib" might not have included grain that was not yet fully mature. The point is that the expression "in the ear" can cover the spectrum from early, immature grain to fully mature grain ready for harvesting. But this does not allow anyone to conclude that therefore "abib" MUST mean "green ears", because that claim is flatly contradicted by Leviticus 2:14.

So there is no problem with this translation, so long as no one tries to assert that "in the ear" must somehow apply exclusively to young, immature grain. Based on Leviticus 2:14 there is also the possibility that here "abib" could mean "ripe".

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

The KJV translation is acceptable.

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

At the time of these plagues just prior to the exodus from Egypt the barley was either ripe for harvesting or else it was not yet fully mature. But it was already standing in the fields, and so it was destroyed by the hail.

There is nothing in Exodus 9:31 that limits “abib” to mean “green, immature ears”. And there is nothing in this verse that contradicts the information which Leviticus 2:14 provides for the word "abib".

#19 = EXODUS 12:2

THE VERSE:

“This MONTH (chodesh) shall be unto you the beginning of MONTHS (chodesh): it shall be the first MONTH (chodesh) of the year to you.”

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This translation gives the impression that here God is focusing on A MONTH being at a certain time of the year (i.e. in the spring). But that focus is only partially correct. The focus is really on the new moon, THE FIRST DAY of the month, being at a certain time of the year.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

Ever since the Julian calendar (later the Gregorian calendar) was accepted in the western world, the moon has not been particularly important to people. We today don’t need the moon to establish our secular calendar. But in ancient times, before Julius Caesar imposed his calendar on the Roman Empire, the moon was seen as extremely important, because it was needed to accurately record the passage of time.

Historically people focused on a number of different aspects of the moon’s cycles. Specifically, people noted: 1) THE FIRST DAY of every month, 2) THE LENGTH of a lunar month, 3) THE EVENT of the actual new moon. Of these three things, the first day of the month and the event of the new moon are basically the same thing (without getting too technical here), but they have a different focus; i.e. either on the actual day involved, or on the actual event involved. And so some languages have one word to express both of these focuses (the first day of the month, and also the day of the new moon) at the same time (e.g. Hebrew), while other languages have two different words to distinguish between these two things (e.g. Latin).

Let’s look at these things in three different languages: Hebrew, Greek and Latin. The column “1st Day” below refers to “The First Day of the Month”.

LANGUAGE MOON MONTH NEW MOON 1ST DAY

HEBREW = YAREACH YERACH CHODESH CHODESH

GREEK = SELENE MEN NEOMENIA none

LATIN = LUNA MENSIS NEOMENIA KALENDA

[COMMENT: The Greek word for “new moon” is “neomenia” in the LXX and “noumenia” in the Greek NT. I have here chosen the form “neomenia” because this word was later accepted into Latin, and thus the origin of the Latin word is easier to identify.]

Let’s now examine this information by language.

IN HEBREW there are TWO distinct words involved. First there is the word for “moon” which is identical to the word for “month”, i.e. in Hebrew the spelling is identical but the unwritten vowels are different, enabling a distinction between “moon” and “month”. We should be able to see that “yareach” and “yerach” are basically the same word. Then there is a completely different word “chodesh” which also has two meanings. It at the same time means “new moon” and also “the first day of the month” (i.e. “the new moon day”). So in Hebrew the word for “month” is derived from the word “moon”, but a completely unrelated word means both “new moon” and also “first day of the month”.

However, while “yerach” is the word for “month”, the word “chodesh” is also frequently used to mean “month”. Moses already used both of these words to mean “month”. Thus, in Genesis 7:11 and 8:4 Moses used “chodesh” to mean “month”, while in Exodus 2:2 and in Deuteronomy 21:13 Moses used “yerach” to mean “month”. The one distinction that can be seen in these Scriptures is that when “chodesh” means “a month”, it is always referring to a period of days that STARTS with a new moon day, i.e. a period that starts with day #1 of the month. On the other hand, the uses of “yerach” in Exodus 2:2 and in Deut 21:13 show that this word simply focuses on THE LENGTH of a month, i.e. without regard for the day on which this period may start.

An interesting use of both these words in one verse is found in 1 Kings 6:38. This verse reads: “And in the eleventh year, in the month (“YERACH”) Bul, which is the eighth month (“CHODESH”), was the house finished”. In this verse the MONTH Bul is identified as the eighth NEW MOON of the year. The word “yerach” is the general word for “month”, and “month” is its only meaning. The word “chodesh” primarily means “new moon” or “new moon day”, and then by extension it means “a month starting with a new moon day”. The focus of “chodesh” is always on the new moon day of that month.

Gesenius in his Hebrew Chaldee Lexicon gives as the only meaning of "yerach" "a month," pointing out that this is the word "the older writers" (i.e. earlier writers, like Moses, etc.) used to refer to a month. For "chodesh" Gesenius gives the first meaning as: "the new moon, THE DAY of the new moon, the calends (i.e. the FIRST DAY) of a lunar month".

Gesenius has in fact pointed out the exact meanings that apply to Exodus 12:2.

IN GREEK there are THREE distinct words involved. First there is the word for “moon” (i.e. “selene”). This word is NOT used to form any of the other words here. Secondly, there is the word for “month” (i.e. “men”). Thirdly, we have the word for “new moon” (i.e. “neomenia”), which is formed from the word for “month”, and which literally means “new month”. This illustrates that in Greek THE PURPOSE of a new moon was to establish a new month. With this linguistic connection between “month” and “new moon” Greek did not have an extra word to mean “first day of the month”.

IN LATIN there are FOUR distinct words involved. First there is the word for “moon” (i.e. “luna”). This word is not used to form any of the other words here. Secondly, there is the word for “month” (i.e. “mensis”). This word came into Latin via the Greek “men”. Thirdly, there is the word for “new moon” (i.e. “neomenia”), which was also taken over from the Greek. While taking their words for “month” and for “new moon” from the Greek language, the Romans also had their own particular customs. And amongst the Romans THE FIRST DAY OF EVERY MONTH had always been given special attention. Thus the Romans had a special word to identify that first day of every month. They called that first day of every month “KALENDA”, and the year consisted of a succession of “kalendae”.

Our English word “calendar” comes from this Latin word “kalenda”. Thus “A CALENDAR” is simply “A SYSTEM FOR ESTABLISHING THE FIRST DAY OF EVERY MONTH IN THE YEAR”. That is what the word “calendar” literally means.

The point we should understand here is that the Hebrew word “CHODESH” covers the meanings of the two Latin words “NEOMENIA” and “KALENDA”, and that its Greek equivalent is “NEOMENIA”.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

“This NEW MOON shall be unto you the beginning of NEW MOONS: it shall be the first NEW MOON of the year to you.”

[COMMENT: If we were to use the correct Latin word for “chodesh” in this verse, then it should read as follows: “This KALENDA shall be unto you the beginning of KALENDAE: it shall be the first KALENDA of the year to you”. This is, however, not the way Jerome translated “chodesh” in this verse. Here Jerome translated “chodesh” with “mensis”, i.e. “month”. But Jerome did translate “chodesh” with “kalenda” in other verses, like Isaiah 1:14, 2 Kings 4:23, Numbers 29:6, etc.]

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

Yes, this verse speaks about the season in which God says the year is to start, i.e. in the spring. However, this verse does NOT imply that it is acceptable to start the year with a new moon that occurred before the start of spring. That line of reasoning might perhaps have been possible if the word “yerach” was used in this verse. But that line of reasoning is simply not possible with the word “chodesh”.

As the Hebrew scholar Gesenius pointed out, “chodesh” focuses on “the calends of a lunar month”. That focus cannot be denied. “Chodesh” is the equivalent of the Latin “kalenda”. With the word “chodesh” THE FIRST DAY of the month is always the key focus. And therefore that first day itself must be in the spring.

If a new moon day (i.e. a “chodesh” or a “kalenda”) before the start of spring is used to start the first month, then God’s instruction here in Exodus 12:2 is being violated. It is because the present Jewish calendar is repeatedly in violation of this clear instruction, that some people argue for only “A PART” of the first month having to be in the spring. But that line of reasoning violates the clear meaning of “chodesh".

And THAT VIOLATION is addressed by God Himself in Isaiah 1:14. See the comments there for further information.

#20 = EXODUS 12:11

THE VERSE:

“And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it IN HASTE: it is the LORD’S Passover.”

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

The expression “in haste” here is used to imply that they would rush through the meal before departing from Egypt that same night. Jewish customs for the Passover on the 15th day rely heavily on the words “in haste” in this verse.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

The Hebrew word here translated as “in haste” is “chippazown”, which is used only three times in the OT. It is formed from the verb “chaphaz”, which really means “to fear”.

Hebrew words that really do mean “in haste” include “”mahar” (used in Genesis 18:6; Genesis 19:22; Genesis 44:11; etc.), “chuwsh” (used in Judges 20:37; 1 Samuel 20:38), “uwts” (used in Genesis 19:15; Exodus 5:3), and “nachats” (used in 1 Samuel 21:8). But “chippazown” does NOT mean “in haste”.

It is clear that the ancient Jewish sages (i.e. the tannaim and the amoraim) deliberately assigned a new meaning to the verb “chaphaz” in order to support their 15th day Passover customs. “Chaphaz” means “to fear, to be in trepidation”. But these sages gave this word the meaning of “haste” in order to apply the meaning “in haste” to the noun “chippazown” in Exodus 12:11.

THE THEOLOGICAL WORDBOOK OF THE OLD TESTAMENT (TWOT) lists the verb “chaphaz” as entry #708.0. There it makes the following statement:

“Some contexts give support, THOUGH LESS THAN DECISIVE SUPPORT, for a meaning of ‘hasten’ (i.e. in terror).”

In plain language, this is an admission that “chaphaz” really does mean “to fear, to be in terror”. It also shows that people have REASONED OUT the meaning of “hasten” by the way they interpret certain passages. TWOT obliquely acknowledges that this reasoning out is weak at best, and hardly convincing.

Even the JPS tacitly acknowledges that elsewhere “chaphaz” means “to fear” rather than “haste”. In Job 40:23 the KJV reads: “Behold, he drinketh up a river, and HASTETH (chaphaz) NOT”. In the JPS this has been corrected to read: “Behold, if a river overflow, he TREMBLETH ("chaphaz") NOT”. When we consider that the JPS largely follows the text of the earlier KJV translation, this is a clear admission that they really KNOW that “chaphaz” refers to fearing and not to hastening.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

“And thus shall ye eat it; with your loins girded, your shoes on your feet, and your staff in your hand; and ye shall eat it IN TREPIDATION: it is the LORD’s Passover.”

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

Of all the annual observances listed in the Bible, this is the only one that was to be kept in their homes and also the only one that took place in the evening.

The instructions in this verse were to get Israel to be in a sober and respectful attitude, fully dressed. Their whole demeanor was to convey this attitude of fear and respect. It was a night in which perhaps half a million Egyptian first born would die. The Israelites were NOT to be barefoot and thinking about going to sleep. But neither were they to go out of the doors of their houses until the morning light (verse 22).

The word “chippazown” describes the attitude with which the Israelites were to eat the Passover, an attitude of fear, not one of gulping down their food in haste. No supporters of the "in haste" position actually ever offer an explanation for what "eating in haste" would look like in practical terms. And Jewish customs for the Passover hardly qualify for the expression "eating in haste". Realistically, it is absurd to claim that God instructed the Israelites to eat the Passover "in haste".

A correct translation of Exodus 12:11 removes a major argument for the Jewish custom of keeping the Passover on the 15th day.

See also the sections on Deuteronomy 16:3 and Isaiah 52:12, the only other places where the word “chippazown” is used.

#21 = EXODUS 23:16

THE VERSE:

“And the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy labours, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering, which is IN THE END OF THE YEAR, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field.”

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

The wording “in the end of the year” is intended to support the Jewish custom of referring to the 1st day of the 7th month as “new year”. But we are dealing with a mistranslation.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

Before we even look at the Hebrew words involved, let’s notice the absurdity of referring to the Feast of Tabernacles as supposedly taking place “in the end of the year”. If the 1st day of the 7th month (i.e. Day of Trumpets) is supposedly “new year”, then how on earth could the 15th day of that same month possibly be “in the end of the year”? In terms of our Roman calendar that would be like referring to the period of January 15 - 21 as “in the end of the year”, when January 15 onwards is very clearly near THE BEGINNING of the Roman year.

So IF the year is supposed to start with the 7th month, THEN the Feast of Tabernacles would have to be placed AT THE BEGINNING of the year, and not “in the end of the year”.

On the other hand, if we accept that the year starts with the first month, then the Feast of Tabernacles takes place 15 DAYS AFTER THE MIDDLE OF THE YEAR, which hardly qualifies for the term “in the end of the year”. In Roman calendar terms that is like referring to the period of July 15 - 21 as “in the end of the year”.

We need to recognize that either way there is no possibility that the Feast of Tabernacles could be described as taking place “in the end of the year”!

In this verse the expression "in the end of the year" is a translation of the Hebrew "bezet ha-shanah" (or "betset ha-shanah"). This expression is made up of two words: the verb "yatsa," translated as "in the end of," and the noun "shaneh," translated as "the year".

This verb "yatsa" is used 1069 times in the Old Testament, and it is translated 518 times as "out" and 411 times as "forth". But this verb does not mean "end". ONLY here in Exodus 23:16 is this verb "yatsa" ever translated by the English noun "END". One single time out of 1069 occurrences shows that “end” is a mistranslation! And "bezet ha-shanah" does not mean "in the END of the year" at all.

Rotherham translates this expression here as “at the outgoing of the year”, trying to express a more appropriate meaning for the Hebrew word “yatsa”.

The timing for the Feast of Tabernacles is identified in three different ways:

1) Exodus 23:16 = “in the end of the year” = “bezet ha-shanah”

2) Exodus 34:22 = “at the year’s end” = “tekufat ha-shanah”

3) Leviticus 23:34 = 15th day of the 7th month

It follows that the expression “bezet ha-shanah” refers to the exact same time as the expression “tekufat ha-shanah”.

In Exodus 23:16 Tabernacles is identified as “the feast of ingathering”, and the expression “bezet ha-shanah” is clearly a reference to the harvest time, the season of autumn at “the going forth of the year”, but certainly not “at the end of the year”.

In Exodus 34:22 Tabernacles is identified by the same expression “the feast of ingathering”, and here the expression “tekufat ha-shaneh” means “at the turn of the year”, a reference to the time of the autumn equinox, one of the four annual “turning days” which have been correctly identified since antiquity.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

“And the feast of harvest, the firstfruits of thy labours, which thou hast sown in the field: and the feast of ingathering AT THE PROCEEDING FORTH OF THE YEAR, when thou hast gathered in thy labours out of the field.”

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

The Feast of Pentecost and the Feast of Tabernacles are in this verse both identified with harvesting grain crops. The timing of the autumn crop is when the year is “going forth”, but considerably before the year comes to an end. See also the section on Exodus 34:22. And it is impossible to consider the Jewish calendar equivalents of either "January 15 - 21" or else "July 15 - 21" to ever be called "in the END of the year". Such a reference defies all logic, and this is not the meaning of the Hebrew expression used here.

#22 = EXODUS 23:18

THE VERSE:

“Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread; neither shall the fat of my SACRIFICE remain until the morning.”

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

The KJV translators did not understand what this verse is speaking about. It seems they thought this is an instruction for Passover observance, and so they mistranslated one word in their attempt to make the text clearer. As a matter of fact, the Passover is NEVER mentioned in Exodus 23, and this verse is certainly not a reference to the Passover.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

There are two different Hebrew words in this verse which are both translated as “sacrifice”. This creates unnecessary confusion.

Here is this verse with key Hebrew words correctly translated in brackets. Notice:

“You shall not ZABACH (offer) the blood of my ZEBACH (sacrifice) with CHAMETZ (leavened bread); neither shall the CHELEB (fat) of my CHAG (feast) remain unto the morning.”

The correct Hebrew word for “sacrifice” is “zebach”, formed from the verb “zabach”, which means “to sacrifice”. The Hebrew word “chag” means “FEAST”. And so where this verse in the KJV reads “the fat of my sacrifice” the Hebrew text actually reads “the fat of my feast”.

This verse has been correctly translated in many translations including ASV, RSV, NIV, NAS, JPS, etc.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

“Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread; neither shall the fat of my FEAST remain until the morning.”

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

There are two different Hebrew verbs with somewhat similar meanings, but also with clearly distinct uses. And then there is one Hebrew noun we should also look at.

1) “ZABACH”: This verb is used here in Exodus 23:18, and translated "offer". This verb means "to sacrifice," but it is NEVER used to refer to THE PASSOVER.

2) “SHACHAT”: This is the verb which is used to refer to the Passover being killed. But this verb is never used in Exodus chapter 23. The use of the verb "zabach" here in Exodus 23:18 makes clear that the Passover is NOT being referred to. See the section on Exodus 34:25 for more details regarding this verb.

3) “CHELEB”: This noun for “fat” is never used to refer to the Passover; it is invariably used to refer to the sacrifices of the whole sacrificial system performed by the Levitical priesthood. The Passover was not a part of that system. The Passover had already been instituted by God in Exodus chapter 12, almost a full year before God instituted the Levitical priesthood and the sacrifices for which the Levitical priests would be responsible. And so the Book of Leviticus does NOT give a discussion of the Passover anywhere, showing that the Passover was NOT one of the duties of this Levitical priesthood. The word "Passover" is mentioned only one single time in the whole Book of Leviticus, in Leviticus 23:5, which simply spells out when the Passover is to be observed. But the Passover was NOT one of the duties of the Levitical priesthood. Its omission from the Book of Leviticus proves this.

Exodus 23:17 speaks about the three annual FEASTS (Hebrew "chag"), and Exodus 23:18 refers specifically to those three feasts, and not at all to the Passover, which is not a "chag" occasion.

Notice verses 17 and 18 when they are read together, with verse 18 being correctly translated into English:

“THREE TIMES in the year all thy males shall appear before the Lord GOD. Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread; neither shall the fat of my FEAST remain until the morning.” (Exodus 23:17-18)

Verse 18 is an instruction for the sacrifices that were brought to the priests at the annual feasts. This verse has nothing to do with the Passover. See also Exodus 34:25.

#23 = EXODUS 34:22

THE VERSE:

“And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering AT THE YEAR’S END.”

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

As also in Exodus 23:16, we are again dealing with a mistranslation.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

Here the expression "at the year’s end" is a translation of the Hebrew "tekufat ha-shanah". This expression is made up of two nouns: the word "tekufah," translated as "end," and the word "shaneh," translated as "at the year’s".

This noun "tekufah" (or "tekuphah") is used only four times in the Old Testament. It comes from a verb that means “to go around in a circuit, to compass about”. And so this noun means “circuit” or “turning”. Many translations have acknowledged this in their translations of this verse (e.g. Darby, JPS, NAS, NIV, NRSV, etc.), thereby clearly showing that “end” is an incorrect translation.

Jewish encyclopaedias, the Talmud and many other Jewish reference works freely acknowledge that this word "tekufah" has only TWO meanings. Firstly, it refers to the only FOUR "TURNING DAYS" in the solar year that can be predicted in advance, i.e. the two equinoxes and the two solstices. Secondly, it refers to THE FOUR SEASONS which start on those four "turning days". It has no other meanings, and “tekufah” certainly does not have the meaning "end".

The correct translation for the KJV expression “the feast at the year’s end” is “the feast at the season that starts with the autumn equinox”, meaning that the Feast of Tabernacles is always after the autumn equinox; it can never start before the fall equinox (Northern Hemisphere).

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

“And thou shalt observe the feast of weeks, of the firstfruits of wheat harvest, and the feast of ingathering AT THE TURNING OF THE YEAR.”

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

The text of this verse is very similar to Exodus 23:16, and so the meaning is also identical to that verse, except in one small respect. The Feast of Pentecost and the Feast of Tabernacles are in this verse again both identified with harvesting grain crops. But in this verse the timing of the Feast of Tabernacles is identified with the season that starts with the autumn equinox (“the turning of the year”). This is a slightly different way of pinpointing the timing than the way it is stated in Exodus 23:16 (where the focus is on the crops being gathered in), but the end result is the same: this feast is to be observed in the season that starts with the autumn equinox, when the crops have been gathered in. See also the section on Exodus 23:16.

#24 = EXODUS 34:25

THE VERSE:

“Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leaven; neither shall THE SACRIFICE OF THE FEAST OF THE PASSOVER be left unto the morning.”

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This translation is vital to uphold the otherwise unbiblical Jewish customs regarding calling the Feast of Unleavened Bread "the Feast of the Passover".

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

The problem here is discussed in great detail in my article on Exodus 34:25, which is available on my website ("Main Article Directory", then "Words with Changed Meanings", then "Exodus 34:25"). Please refer to that article.

Briefly: Originally Exodus 34:25 was a verbatim repetition of the text of Exodus 23:18. The Old Covenant is recorded from Exodus 19:17 to Exodus 24:3. While Moses was with God on the mountain, the people made the golden calf (Exodus 32). Moses then smashed the two tables of stone, and then went up to God again (Exodus 34:4).

Since the people had descended into idolatry after the instructions in Exodus 23, therefore God REPEATED THE ORIGINAL INSTRUCTIONS in Exodus 34. Had the people not gone into idolatry, Exodus 34 would never have been recorded. This chapter is simply a re-statement of instructions that had been given before, but which the people had ALREADY violated.

A careful comparison of Exodus 23 and Exodus 34 shows that the subject matter is the same. And the instructions are also the same, with some very minor additions in Exodus 34. But to suddenly introduce "the Passover" into Exodus 34 would have represented A MAJOR CHANGE IN FOCUS from what was said during the original covenant.

THE KEY to understanding the fraudulent alteration of the text in Exodus 34:25 is to recognize that THE PASSOVER is simply NOT mentioned within the Old Covenant between God and Israel! It was not a part of the Old Covenant! After the Passover was discussed in Exodus 12 (mentioned five times in that chapter), it is briefly mentioned one time in Leviticus 23:5, and then it is discussed in Numbers 9 (mentioned eight times in that chapter). So after Exodus 12 the Passover is not discussed again until the next Passover came around in Numbers 9. The Passover simply does not feature in the covenant recorded from Exodus 19:17 to Exodus 24:3. It just isn't mentioned in that covenant! The word "Passover" is COMPLETELY OUT OF CONTEXT in Exodus 34:25.

Please see the article on this Scripture for a detailed discussion with much additional information about this point, including identifying the three changes that were made to the text of this verse.

A CORRECTED TEXT FOR THIS VERSE:

“Thou shalt not offer the blood of my sacrifice with leavened bread; neither shall THE FAT OF MY FEAST remain until the morning.”

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

Because the people had fallen into idolatry after the original instructions in Exodus 23, therefore God here repeated the original instructions from Exodus 23:18.

At some point some dishonest Jewish scribe altered the text of Exodus 34:25 by doing three things: 1) he changed the verb "zabach" to the verb "shachat", 2) he changed the noun "cheleb" to the noun "zebach", 3) he inserted the word "pesach" between the words for "feast" and "until the morning". And in this way he produced a justification for the Jewish customs regarding the Passover.

#25 = LEVITICUS 2:14

THE VERSE:

“And if thou offer a meat offering of thy firstfruits unto the LORD, thou shalt offer for the meat offering of thy firstfruits GREEN EARS OF CORN dried by the fire, even corn beaten out of full ears.”

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This is a major deception! It has been around for so long that it is usually accepted as self-evident and above being questioned. Its purpose is to justify why the Jewish calendar so frequently starts the year in the winter. If you are a part of the Church of God, then very likely you have heard that the Hebrew word “abib” means “GREEN ears of corn”. That is not correct.

[COMMENT: Throughout this article the word "corn" means "grain", rather than the American meaning of "corn".]

By attaching the meaning of "GREEN ears of corn" to the Hebrew noun "abib" used here, it is implied that "abib" refers to YOUNG or IMMATURE ears of corn. This has enabled the Jews to justify placing the start of the first month (previously called "Abib" and since Ezra’s time known as "Nisan") VERY EARLY in the seasonal cycle, in fact frequently even before the end of winter.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

Here the words "green ears of corn" are a translation of the Hebrew noun "abib," which is used eight times in the Old Testament. Of those eight occurrences, it is in the KJV rendered as "Abib" six times (name of the first month of the year), once as "in the ear" in Exodus 9:31, and once as "GREEN EARS of corn" here in Leviticus 2:14.

The point is that "abib" really means "EARS OF GRAIN," and NOT "GREEN ears of grain"! The characteristic "green" (meaning "young" or "immature") does not enter the meaning of "abib" at all. “Green” was subtly added by the ancient Jewish sages in an attempt to justify their calendar.

The Bible itself explains this correct meaning quite clearly. Of the eight times this word "abib" is used in the Old Testament, the six cases where it refers to the name of the first month do not provide us with any clues as to what this word means.

That leaves Leviticus 2:14 and Exodus 9:31 as THE ONLY PLACES that can faithfully reveal the correct meaning of this ancient Hebrew word. And these two verses also happen to be the only sources available to Hebrew language authorities to establish the meaning of “abib”.

So let’s look at Leviticus 2:14 again, but this time let’s leave the Hebrew word “abib” untranslated. Here’s what we have:

“And if thou offer a meat offering of thy firstfruits unto the LORD, thou shalt offer for the meat offering of thy firstfruits, ABIB DRIED BY THE FIRE, even CORN BEATEN OUT OF FULL EARS.”

Without any preconceived ideas about the meaning of “abib”, what does this verse tell us?

1) First of all, it tells us that “abib” is something that is DRIED BY THE FIRE. But that is assuredly not immature GREEN ears. Parching is reserved for MATURE grains.

2) Secondly, it tells us that “abib” is corn that is BEATEN OUT. The Hebrew word “geres” used here also means “that which is CRUSHED”! But immature GREEN ears are assuredly not beaten out or crushed because their water content is still far too high. Beating out and crushing are reserved for fully mature plants with a lower water content.

3) Thirdly, it tells us that “abib” refers to FULL EARS. Again, this does not refer to immature GREEN ears; it means fully grown mature ears.

So in this verse the word “abib” is followed by THREE qualifying expressions, all of which identify “abib” as FULLY MATURE GRAIN!

Without a mind that is preconditioned to believing that “abib” has to mean “GREEN ears”, it is IMPOSSIBLE for anyone to draw the conclusion from Leviticus 2:14 that “abib” somehow means “green ears”. The only conclusion an unbiased person can draw from this verse is that “abib” must refer to fully mature plants. THIS VERSE makes no provision for "immature plants". And the three qualifying expressions that follow “abib” in this verse make the correct meaning quite clear and unambiguous.

The only other meaningful occurrence of “abib” is in Exodus 9:31. There the word “abib” is translated as “in the ear”, an expression that does not really specify whether the grain is mature, or whether it is still young and immature. The point in Exodus 9:31 is that the hail destroyed the barley. Exodus 9:31 does not provide any clear guidance to the state of maturity of the barley. See also the section that deals with Exodus 9:31.

Thus Leviticus 2:14 provides THE ONLY CLEAR APPLICATION for the word "abib", by providing us with three qualifying expressions. All those people who insist that "abib" must mean "GREEN ears" willingly ignore the evidence to the contrary that this verse provides.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

A correct translation leaves out the word “green”.

“And if thou offer a meat offering of thy firstfruits unto the LORD, thou shalt offer for the meat offering of thy firstfruits EARS OF CORN dried by the fire, corn beaten out of full ears.”

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

This is a part of the description of the grain or flour offerings in the sacrificial system God gave to Israel. The offering was to consist of MATURE PRODUCE, a part of which was intended as food for the priests. There was no intention whatsoever to offer young and immature grains in this offering, as is implied by the word “green”. The last part of this verse clearly spells out that it was to be mature produce.

COMMENT: The burden of proof should really be on those who claim that "abib" means "green ears", rather than expecting the burden of proof to rest with those who state that "abib" does NOT mean "green ears". This deception has been promulgated for so long that we have the situation where the deception enjoys the status of acceptance unless proof to the contrary is presented. It should really be the other way around: we should be suspicious of the claim for "green ears" unless that claim can be supported by the Scriptures. Leviticus 2:14 is a very clear statement, and any assertions that contradict Leviticus 2:14 demand sound scriptural proof before they can be accepted. And such scriptural proof is simply not available.

#26 = LEVITICUS 16:8-10, 26

THE VERSES:

“And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for THE SCAPEGOAT. And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD’S lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering. But the goat, on which the lot fell to be THE SCAPEGOAT, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for A SCAPEGOAT into the wilderness.”

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

The word “scapegoat” implies an innocent victim who takes the blame for someone else’s transgressions. This is a completely inappropriate translation of the Hebrew word used in these verses.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

The Hebrew word translated “scapegoat” in the KJV is “azazel”, and a number of translations have left it untranslated in their versions (JPS, RSV, Darby, Rotherham, etc.).

The Hebrew word “azazel” is formed from two root words. They are: “EZ” and “AZAL”. The word “EZ” in turn is formed from the word “AZAZ”. So “azazel” is a compound word that incorporates the meanings of the two words “azaz” and “azal”.

“Azaz” means: strong, hard, obstinate, etc.

“Azal” means: to go away, to disappear, to depart, etc.

So this compound name “azazel” (used only in Leviticus 16:8,10,26) is intended to mean: THE STRONG AND OBSTINATE ONE WHO IS DESTINED TO DISAPPEAR.

This name combines two different facts about Satan. The first part of this name describes Satan’s character (he is obstinate and rebellious); and the second part describes Satan’s fate (he is destined to be driven away into everlasting darkness).

“Azazel” is clearly intended to be a codename for Satan. And Satan is anything but an innocent “scapegoat”. The account in Leviticus 16 is an enactment of what will happen to Satan in the future. In this regard see also the section on Ezekiel 28:16.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THESE VERSES:

The name “Azazel” is best left untranslated, with a clear understanding of the meaning this name has.

And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for AZAZEL. (Leviticus 16:8)

But the goat, on which the lot fell to be AZAZEL, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for AZAZEL into the wilderness. (Leviticus 16:10)

And he that let go the goat for AZAZEL shall wash his clothes, and bathe his flesh in water, and afterward come into the camp. (Leviticus 16:26)

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

The goat that was sacrificed represented Jesus Christ, and the goat that was driven away represented Satan, whose codename in this ceremony is Azazel. This name Azazel incorporates into its meaning the stubbornness of Satan’s character and also his future destiny to be permanently driven away from any contact with other beings.

#27 = LEVITICUS 23:2, 4, 37, 44

THE VERSES:

“Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the FEASTS of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my FEASTS.”

“These are the FEASTS of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.”

“These are the FEASTS of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day:”

“And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the FEASTS of the LORD.”

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

The implications are that these verses are speaking about “feasts”, which is not true at all! None of the above references are to “feasts”.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

The problem is that there are two completely different Hebrew words, both of which the translators unfortunately translated into English as “feasts”. However, only one of these two words means “feasts”, and the other word means something else.

The two Hebrew words are: “CHAG” and “MOW’ED”. “Chag” is the Hebrew word for “feast”. But “mow’ed” does not mean “feast”!

“Mow’ed” is derived from a root verb which means “to meet together”. And so this word is mostly translated as “congregation”. In a religious context this word means “HOLY DAY” or “RELIGIOUS MEETING DAY”. Typically the focus of “mow’ed” is on a religious meeting (i.e. a church service). An appropriate translation in the context of Leviticus 23 is “commanded assemblies”.

The word “chag”, on the other hand, comes from a root verb that means “to celebrate, to hold a festival”. So this word really does mean "feast”.

So Hebrew has TWO distinct words to differentiate between two different categories of religious occasions: some occasions are “feasts”, while others are “religious meetings” without necessarily being “feasts”. In some cases a day may be both “a feast” and also “a religious meeting”. But that is only sometimes the case.

Biblical Greek (i.e. LXX and NT text) DOES NOT HAVE THE ABILITY TO DISTINGUISH BETWEEN THESE TWO DIFFERENT OCCASIONS. Biblical Greek only has one word to apply to both of these categories of occasions. That is a problem, because the New Testament could not distinguish between a “chag” occasion and a “mow’ed” occasion. And so for scholars of the Greek text this distinction, so clearly preserved in the Hebrew text, has become obscured.

THE ONLY WAY for us to know with certainty whether a New Testament reference to “a FEAST” is really a reference to a feast (i.e. a “chag”), rather than being a reference to a Holy Day (i.e. a “mow’ed”), is to be able to correctly relate that New Testament reference to a specific verse in Leviticus 23. There is no other way to correctly understand New Testament references to “a feast”, because Greek simply did not have the ability to distinguish between “a feast” and “a Holy Day”.

For example, New Testament references to “THE FEAST of the Passover” don’t make the Passover “a feast”. The Old Testament makes clear that the Passover is a commanded gathering (for families back then, and for the whole congregation today), and that means that the Passover is a “mow’ed”. But the Passover is not, and never has been, a “chag”, i.e. a feast! The Jewish customs that have turned the Passover into a feast are unbiblical. The constraints of biblical Greek have created some confusion in this regard.

Both these Hebrew words are used in Leviticus 23, and there both of them have been translated as “feast/s”. That has also created confusion.

The English word “feasts” (i.e. in this chapter always in the plural) in verses 2, 4, 37 and 44 is a translation of the Hebrew “mow’edim” and in these verses it should read “HOLY DAYS” or “COMMANDED ASSEMBLIES” rather than “feasts”.

The English word “feast” (i.e. in this chapter always in the singular) in verses 6, 34, 39 and 41 is a translation of the Hebrew “chag” and therefore in these verses “feast” is a correct translation.

So here in Leviticus 23 the following are identified as “mow’ed” occasions (i.e. meetings for a religious purpose) WITHOUT actually being “a feast”: the weekly Sabbath, Passover, the 1st Day of UB, the 7th Day of UB, Pentecost, the Day of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement, the 1st Day of Tabernacles, and the Last Great Day. All of the above “meeting occasions”, except for the Passover, are “Holy Days”. We should consider the weekly Sabbath to be a weekly “Holy Day”.

In the greater context of all these “mow’ed” occasions Leviticus 23 also identifies the following two “chag” occasions (i.e. annual feasts). Every “chag” occasion contains either one or two “mow’ed” days, i.e. meeting days. This chapter identifies the Feast of Unleavened Bread (verse 6) and the Feast of Tabernacles (verses 34, 39, 41). So Leviticus 23 identifies only TWO annual Feasts.

However, Exodus 23:14-17 and Exodus 34:18-23 and Deuteronomy 16:16 clearly identify THREE annual Feasts. The point is that Pentecost is both, a feast (i.e. “chag”) and also a Holy Day (i.e. “mow’ed”). In Leviticus 23 Pentecost is not specifically identified as a Feast (i.e. “chag”) because the focus there is on the activities and the service for that day. So Leviticus 23 identifies Pentecost only as a “mow’ed” occasion. But these other passages clearly identify that Pentecost is at the same time also a feast (i.e. “chag”).

The three annual offerings (Deuteronomy 16:16) are commanded for the three “chag” occasions (Unleavened Bread, Pentecost, Tabernacles), not for the seven annual “mow’ed” occasions.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THESE VERSES:

“Speak unto the children of Israel, and say unto them, Concerning the COMMANDED ASSEMBLIES of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, even these are my COMMANDED ASSEMBLIES.” (Leviticus 23::2)

“These are the COMMANDED ASSEMBLIES of the LORD, even holy convocations, which ye shall proclaim in their seasons.” (Leviticus 23:4)

“These are the COMMANDED ASSEMBLIES of the LORD, which ye shall proclaim to be holy convocations, to offer an offering made by fire unto the LORD, a burnt offering, and a meat offering, a sacrifice, and drink offerings, every thing upon his day:” (Leviticus 23:37)

“And Moses declared unto the children of Israel the commanded assemblies of the LORD.” (Verse 44)

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THESE VERSES:

The focus of Leviticus 23 is on the COMMANDED ASSEMBLIES for the year. The primary focus of this chapter is NOT on “the feasts”. It is within the greater framework of all the annual Holy Days (commanded assemblies) that God also identifies two seven-day periods that God designates as “feasts”. Other Scriptures (Deuteronomy 16:16; etc.) identify that Pentecost, an annual Holy Day, is the third of the three annual feasts.

To be quite clear:

When verse 2 says: “concerning the MOW’EDIM of the LORD which you shall proclaim to be HOLY CONVOCATIONS, even THESE are MY MOW’EDIM”, this is God’s specific statement for defining the word “mow’ed”. In this verse, and again in verse 37, God equates “mow’ed” with “holy convocation”. And today we refer to “a holy convocation” as “a Holy Day”. So GOD HIMSELF defines “mow’ed” for us. If a day is NOT “a holy convocation” then it is NOT a “mow’ed”.

When referring to religious events, “mow’ed” has a specific meaning, which distinguishes it from a feast. The distinction between a “mow’ed” and a feast is extremely important to grasp, if we wish to correctly understand the subsequent occurrences of these words.

Leviticus 23 identifies the following as “Holy Days” (i.e. as “mow’edim”) by calling them “holy convocations”: the weekly Sabbath (verse 3), the 1st Day of UB (verse 7), the 7th Day of UB (verse 8), Pentecost (verse 21), Trumpets (verse 24), Atonement (verse 27), the 1st Day of Tabernacles (verse 35), and the Last Great Day (verse 36). All later references to “mow’ed”, when speaking about a religious occasion, must apply to one of these 8 days (i.e. the weekly Sabbath or one of the 7 Holy Days). The ONLY “chag” that is also a “mow’ed” is Pentecost.

So: IF a Scripture speaks about the “CHAG” of Unleavened Bread, THEN this is a reference to the 7-day feast. But IF a Scripture speaks about the “MOW’ED” of Unleavened Bread, THEN this is a reference to either the 1st Day or the 7th Day of Unleavened Bread. But the “MOW’ED” of Unleavened Bread is NEVER a reference to either the Passover or to the entire 7-day period.

These distinctions are unfortunately not preserved in the New Testament, because biblical Greek had only one word to translate both, “chag” and “mow’ed”. That is because the pagan religions of ancient Greece were familiar with the concept of “a religious feast”, but they were not familiar with the concept of “a Holy Day” devoted to listening to religious instructions, without any feasting being involved. So they didn’t have a word for this latter concept. And the New Testament writers were limited to using the one Greek word that means “feast” to refer to these two rather divergent concepts.

#28 = LEVITICUS 23:14

THE VERSE:

"And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor GREEN EARS, until the selfsame day that ye have brought an offering unto your God: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings."

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

The translation "green ears" implies young immature corn (i.e. grain). But that is not correct.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

The words "green ears" in this verse are a translation of the Hebrew word "karmel". But "karmel" does NOT mean "young immature plants". The word "green" is totally out of place in this verse.

This word "karmel" is used 13 times in 11 different verses of the OT. In eight of those verses it is translated in the KJV as a "fruitful (or plentiful) field (or place or country)". These eight verses are: Isaiah 10:18; Isaiah 16:10; Isaiah 29:17; Isaiah 32:15; Isaiah 32:16; Jeremiah 2:7; Jeremiah 4:26; Jeremiah 48:33.

In Leviticus 2:14 "karmel" is translated as "FULL EARS". In 2 Kings 4:42 it is translated as "FULL EARS OF CORN". This covers all the places where "karmel" is used. It is only here in Leviticus 23:14 that this word is translated as "GREEN ears", implying immaturity. In this context "green" is an interpretation rather than a translation. It should be left out, to avoid inferring an incorrect meaning to the word "karmel".

Gesenius in his Hebrew-Chaldee Lexicon to the Old Testament states that "karmel" refers to "a fresh and tender ear of corn, NOT A GREEN EAR", what we might call "newly ripe". The expression "green ears" presents an unjustified limitation for the word "karmel".

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

"And ye shall eat neither bread, nor parched corn, nor EARS OF CORN, until the selfsame day that ye have brought an offering unto your God: it shall be a statute for ever throughout your generations in all your dwellings."

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

This instruction covered three things they were not to eat before bringing the commanded offering. Firstly, they were not to eat any "bread", meaning any baked products made from grain. Secondly, they were not to eat any "parched corn", meaning any grain that had been "processed" by parching or roasting. Thirdly, they were not to eat any "ears of corn", meaning ANY grain that had not yet been processed.

With these three instructions God covered ALL grain and grain products from the earliest plants that could perhaps be eaten, to the harvested grain that had been roasted for preservation, to the grain that had been turned into flour for use in the baking of bread. While "green" may sound plausible in this context, it is not really justified from the meaning of the Hebrew word "karmel".

#29 = LEVITICUS 23:15-16

THESE VERSES:

“And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after THE SABBATH, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the wave offering; SEVEN SABBATHS shall be complete: Even unto the morrow after THE SEVENTH SABBATH shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall offer a new meat offering unto the LORD.”

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This translation is in fact correct! However, there are those who want to assign a different meaning to the word “Sabbath” in this context. These verses are an example of where people attach a wrong meaning to a correctly translated passage.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

The attempt to attach a wrong meaning to this passage is most clearly illustrated by the Jewish Translation. The JPS text for these verses reads:

“And ye shall count unto you from the morrow after THE DAY OF REST, from the day that ye brought the sheaf of the waving; SEVEN WEEKS shall there be complete; even unto the morrow after THE SEVENTH WEEK shall ye number fifty days; and ye shall present a new meal-offering unto the LORD.”

This is clearly one of the more dishonest translations for these two verses. The word for “Sabbath” appears THREE TIMES in the Hebrew text of these two verses, but you wouldn’t know that from looking at the JPS translation. The expression “the day of rest” is a deliberate attempt to hide the fact that the word for "Sabbath" is used here, in an attempt to apply this to the First Day of Unleavened Bread rather than to the Sabbath. And the other two expressions “seven WEEKS” and “the seventh WEEK” are blatant mistranslations. The Hebrew word “shabbath” NEVER means “week”.

Jewish religious customs require that NONE of the three uses of "Sabbath" in these two verses actually mean "Sabbath". Beware of people who try to tell you that here (and nowhere else in the Bible!) “shabbath” supposedly means “week”. These verses are discussed at great length in some of the articles on my website.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

The KJV has translated these verses correctly.

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

The Bible gives us two different ways of counting for Pentecost, with both ways always reaching the same answer.

1) Here in Leviticus 23:15-16 we are instructed to count SEVEN SABBATH DAYS from the Sunday during the Days of Unleavened Bread. Pentecost is then declared to be the Sunday FOLLOWING that Seventh Sabbath.

2) In Deuteronomy 16:9-10 we are instructed to count SEVEN WEEKS from the same Sunday morning during the Days of Unleavened Bread. By starting with a Sunday, counting seven weeks brings us to another Sunday seven weeks later. So in this instruction to count “seven weeks” there is no need to then still go to “THE MORROW AFTER” (as in Leviticus 23:16).

Both counts start on the same Sunday morning. In counting “seven weeks” there is no instruction to go to “the morrow after”. But in counting “seven Sabbath days” there is THE ABSOLUTE NECESSITY to go to “the morrow after the seventh Sabbath” in order to get to the same Sunday result as the seven weeks counting.

Note! This distinction (that "7 Sabbaths" requires us to go to "the day after", but "7 Weeks" does NOT require us to go to "the day after") makes unequivocally clear that the Hebrew word "shabbath" in Leviticus 23:15-16 cannot possibly mean "week"! If this word did mean "week", then Leviticus 23 would lead us to a different result than the one to which Deuteronomy 16 leads us.

THIS EXPRESSION “THE MORROW AFTER THE SEVENTH SABBATH” PROVES THAT “SHABBATH” IN LEVITICUS 23:15-16 CANNOT POSSIBLY MEAN “WEEK”! IN COUNTING WEEKS (DEUT. 16) THERE IS NO “MORROW AFTER” INVOLVED!

#30 = LEVITICUS 24:16

THE VERSE:

"And he that BLASPHEMETH the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: as well the stranger, as he that is born in the land, when he BLASPHEMETH the name of the LORD, shall be put to death."

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This is not a mistranslation at all. However, an incorrect understanding of the instructions in this verse lies at the root of why the correct pronunciation of the Hebrew name "YHWH" was lost.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

The Hebrew verb here translated as "blaspheme" is "naqab" (or "nachav"). This verb "naqab" has several meanings. The three main meanings listed by Gesenius are: 1) to hollow out, to bore, to excavate; 2) to separate, to distinguish; 3) to curse.

In the Old Testament the two basic meanings are:

1) to bore, perforate, pierce or cut. This meaning is exemplified in 2 Kings 12:9, 2 Kings 18:21, and Habakkuk 3:14. When applied to speech, this meaning is: to curse or make cutting remarks or to blaspheme.

2) to declare distinctly, to say clearly, to express precisely. This meaning is exemplified in Numbers 1:17, 1 Chronicles 12:31, 1 Chronicles 16:41, Amos 6:1, and Ezra 8:20.

Clearly this Hebrew word has two distinct meanings, one positive meaning and one potentially negative meaning.

The Jews applied the meaning of "naqab" as "to declare distinctly" to Leviticus 24:16, thereby making this verse a prohibition to even pronounce the Hebrew name "YHWH". This interpretation of Leviticus 24:16 is clearly wrong. The clear intention of Leviticus 24:16 is to prohibit speaking the name of God in a cutting or derogatory or contemptuous way. This verse is an amplification of the third commandment, "to not take the name of the LORD your God IN VAIN" (Exodus 20:7). The emphasis of the commandment is on not taking the name "in vain"; the emphasis is not on not "pronouncing" the name of God.

It is because of this approach to Leviticus 24:16 that the Jews have lost the correct pronunciation of the Hebrew name "YHWH".

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

The KJV translation of this verse is not really a problem.

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

This verse is a prohibition to ever use any of God's names carelessly, callously, contemptuously, or in any blasphemous or vulgar way. The only way we are ever to refer to God is with the utmost respect. ANY reference to God that lacks respect violates this instruction here in Leviticus 24:16.

#31 = NUMBERS 13:33

THE VERSE:

“And there we saw THE GIANTS, the sons of Anak, which come of THE GIANTS: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.”

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This verse is clearly speaking about giants. But the Hebrew word that is used here for these people does not mean “giants”. It has a different meaning.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

This verse is a statement made by the ten evil spies who convinced the people of Israel to not want to cross the Jordan into Palestine. Their statement here is a distortion of the truth.

The word “giants” is a mistranslation, even though the people these evil spies referred to were clearly “giants”. The Hebrew word these spies used here is “nephilim”. This Hebrew word means “the fallen ones”, without implying that those fallen ones are of unusually large stature. See the discussion of Genesis 6:4 for more details.

There is also a 6-page section dealing with Numbers 13:33 in my article “Were There Giants On Earth Before Noah’s Flood?”, which thoroughly discusses this mistranslation. See my website for this article.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

“And there we saw THE FALLEN ONES, the sons of Anak, which come of THE FALLEN ONES: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.”

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

The evil spies were lying by grossly exaggerating. Yes, they had seen a few giants. But their analogy was clearly absurd, considering that Caleb by himself later drove those three sons of Anak away (see Joshua 15:14) without any trouble whatsoever. These spies also lied in referring to these sons of Anak as “nephilim”. The giants they had seen were assuredly NOT “nephilim”! They were only "rephaim". See my article for more details.

#32 = DEUTERONOMY 16:1, 2, 4, 5, 6

THE VERSES:

“Observe the month of Abib, and keep the PASSOVER unto the LORD thy God: for in the month of Abib the LORD thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night.” (verse 1)

“Thou shalt therefore sacrifice THE PASSOVER unto the LORD thy God, of the flock and the herd, in the place which the LORD shall choose to place his name there.” (verse 2)

“And there shall be no leavened bread seen with thee in all thy coast seven days; NEITHER SHALL THERE ANY THING OF THE FLESH, WHICH THOU SACRIFICEDST THE FIRST DAY AT EVEN, REMAIN ALL NIGHT UNTIL THE MORNING.” (verse 4)

“Thou mayest not sacrifice THE PASSOVER within any of thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee:” (verse 5)

“But at the place which the LORD thy God shall choose to place his name in, there thou shalt sacrifice the PASSOVER at even, at the going down of the sun, AT THE SEASON (Hebrew “mow’ed”) that thou camest forth out of Egypt.” (verse 6)

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

These verses give the impression that the Passover is being spoken about. But the word “Passover” was deviously inserted into these verses by some dishonest scribe. The motivation for these devious changes was to justify the Jewish custom of referring to the Seven Days of Unleavened Bread as “Passover”.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

The evidence for the fraudulent changes in this section of Scripture is not found in preserved manuscripts but in the pages of the Bible itself. We are dealing with a passage that is absolutely vital to upholding a Jewish belief, which belief is clearly unbiblical according to all the other Scriptures in the entire Old Testament. And these fraudulent changes have been accepted in every preserved manuscript, because they endorse a specific Jewish custom.

In addition, there is also a mistranslation in verse 6.

The only evidence for these alterations consists of exposing incompatible, contradictory and illogical statements in the changed text, when compared to other biblical passages. The person who altered this text overlooked some things which expose his fraudulent tampering.

Here are the changes that were made:

In these verses some scribe REMOVED the expression “the Feast of Unleavened Bread” from verse 1, and then REPLACED IT with the word “Passover”. In addition, this scribe also simply INSERTED the word “Passover” into the text of verses 2, 5 and 6. The instructions in verses 2, 5 and 6 are in accordance with the command in Leviticus 23:8, to bring “an offering made by fire” for all of the seven days of unleavened bread, but the instructions in these verses are NOT for the Passover. Furthermore, the forger also added a section from Exodus 12:10 to the text of verse 4.

The evidence for these deceptive alterations of the original text is presented in an article on my website. The article is located under the "Main Articles Directory" in the sub-directory "Words With Changed Meanings". There the article is titled "Deuteronomy 16:1". This article discusses the evidence for this corruption of the original text at length.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THESE VERSES:

The text of these verses must originally have read more or less as follows:

“Observe the month of Abib, and keep THE FEAST OF UNLEAVENED BREAD unto the LORD thy God: for in the month of Abib the LORD thy God brought thee forth out of Egypt by night.” (verse 1)

“Thou shalt therefore sacrifice unto the LORD thy God, of the flock and the herd, in the place which the LORD shall choose to place his name there.” (verse 2)

“And there shall be no leavened bread seen with thee in all thy coast seven days.” (verse 4)

“Thou mayest not sacrifice within any of thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee:” (verse 5)

“But at the place which the LORD thy God shall choose to place his name in, there thou shalt sacrifice at even, at the going down of the sun, ON THE HOLY DAY on which thou camest forth out of Egypt.” (verse 6)

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THESE VERSES:

Briefly:

1) Exodus 23:14-17 = “Three times in the year” is equated with: Feast of Unleavened Bread + Pentecost + Tabernacles. Passover does NOT feature in this “three times a year” instruction. These verses are a part of the Old Covenant context.

2) Exodus 34:18-23 = “Three times in the year” is equated with: Feast of Unleavened Bread + Pentecost + Tabernacles. Again, Passover does NOT feature in this instruction.

3) Deuteronomy 16:16 = “Three times in the year” is equated with: Feast of Unleavened Bread + Pentecost + Tabernacles. Here Passover also does NOT feature in this instruction.

4) In each case (Exodus 23:17; Exodus 34:23; Deuteronomy 16:16) the “three times in the year” statement is A SUMMARY STATEMENT of what was discussed in the preceding verses. So in Deuteronomy 16 the discussion of Unleavened Bread is clearly MISSING. WHY? We should EXPECT the Feast of Unleavened Bread to have been discussed in the verses prior to Deuteronomy 16:16, as is the case in Exodus 23 and in Exodus 34. “Passover” does not really fit into the discussion preceding Deuteronomy 16:16.

5) Deuteronomy 16:1 = Israel came out of Egypt by night on the 15th day (Numbers 33:3), the day after the Passover day. So this verse here identifies the 1st Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and not the Passover day.

6) Deuteronomy 16:2 = The Passover lamb was NOT selected out of “the flock AND THE HERD”. This instruction identifies animals for regular daily sacrifices. The Hebrew word here translated as “herd” is NEVER used for sheep and goats. See Exodus 12:5. Further, the Passover was NOT instructed to be sacrificed “in the place which the LORD shall choose”. This instruction really applied to the Levitical sacrifices in general, but not to the Passover.

7) Deuteronomy 16:3 = The reference to “seven days” identifies the Feast of Unleavened Bread and NOT the Passover. Only a Jew who had accepted the unbiblical Jewish custom of referring to the whole Feast of Unleavened Bread as “the Passover” could possibly be fooled to believe that this verse is speaking about “the Passover”.

8) Deuteronomy 16:4 = This verse contains a clear forgery! The first part (“and there shall no leavened bread be seen with you in all your coasts seven days”) is a repetition of Exodus 13:7, clearly speaking about the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This is the original text of this verse. The next part (“neither shall there any thing of the flesh which you sacrificed the first day at even remain all night until the morning”) was ADDED AS A FORGERY. It is copied from Exodus 12:10, a reference to the Passover. This backtracking from the text of Exodus 13:7 to the text of Exodus 12:10 is equivalent to backtracking from speaking about the Feast of Unleavened Bread to again speaking about the Passover. This last section of Deuteronomy 16:4 is a forgery!

This forgery is also an incomplete statement. Missing are the instructions regarding what to do when something DOES remain over until the morning. Verse 4 ends with an incomplete instruction, which didn’t seem to bother the man who made this forgery.

9) Deuteronomy 16:5 = The original Passover instruction was VERY MUCH intended to be “sacrificed” within their own gates. That is common knowledge from Exodus 12. The word “Passover” should be omitted from this verse, and then the instruction applies perfectly to all the Levitical sacrifices during the Feast of Unleavened Bread. The Passover was NOT given as a part of the Levitical sacrificial system.

10) Deuteronomy 16:6 = The words “at the season” are a clear mistranslation of the Hebrew word “mow’ed”. The text here correctly reads: “on the Holy Day on which ...”. This verse is NOT speaking about “a season” at all! This verse really identifies THE HOLY DAY on which Israel left Egypt. This verse states in clear terms that Israel left Egypt at the going down of the sun on the Holy Day (“mow’ed”), that being the start of the 15th day. Once the word “mow’ed” in this verse is correctly translated, it becomes clear how completely out of place the word “Passover” is in this verse. See again the discussion of Leviticus 23 in the earlier section.

11) One more MAJOR problem with the text of Deut 16 is the use of the WRONG VERB for the Passover. Two Hebrew verbs need to be considered here: “zabach” means “to sacrifice an animal”; and “shachat” means “to kill an animal or a human being”. The word that is ALWAYS (except in this altered text of Deut 16) used for the Passover is “shachat”, and the word that is always used for the animal sacrifices is “zabach”. In Deuteronomy 16 the verb “zabach” is used in verses 2, 4, 5, and 6, and also in Deuteronomy 17:1. The scribe who altered the text here did not grasp that “zabach” NEVER refers to the Passover, otherwise he would surely have altered it to “shachat” in these verses. The use of “zabach” in verses 2, 4, 5, and 6 makes quite clear that these verses are speaking about regular animal sacrifices and NOT about the Passover.

My article on this subject presents more details and information regarding this alteration.

#33 = DEUTERONOMY 16:3

THE VERSE:

“Thou shalt eat no leavened bread with it; seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread therewith, even the bread of affliction; for thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt IN HASTE: that thou mayest remember the day when thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of thy life.”

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

The focus of “in haste” is in line with the Jewish teaching that Israel left Egypt later on the same night that they ate the Passover.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

This is a mistranslation. It is the same mistranslation as the one in Exodus 12:11. See the comments in the section dealing with Exodus 12:11 for a detailed discussion.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

“Thou shalt eat no leavened bread with it; seven days shalt thou eat unleavened bread therewith, even the bread of affliction; for thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt IN FEAR: that thou mayest remember the day when thou camest forth out of the land of Egypt all the days of thy life.”

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

This is a repetition of the information already presented in Exodus 12. The focus is on remembering the 1st Day of Unleavened Bread when Israel had come out of Egypt, and on keeping the Feast of Unleavened Bread for seven days.

#34 = DEUTERONOMY 25:9

THE VERSE:

“Then shall his brother’s wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit IN HIS FACE, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother’s house.”

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This sounds far more humiliating than it was intended to be. After all, there could always be certain perfectly valid circumstances for refusing to marry a brother’s widow.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

The Hebrew noun translated “face” is “paniym”, and here it is used with the prefix “beth” (i.e. the letter “b”). This prefix mostly has the meaning of “in”. However, there are also cases where “beth” is used with “paniym” and where this clearly has the meaning “BEFORE THE FACE”.

For example, in Joshua 21:44 the Hebrew translated “BEFORE THEM” is “beth” + “paniym”. In Joshua 23:9 the Hebrew translated “FROM BEFORE YOU” is also “beth” + “paniym”. In Ezekiel 42:12 the Hebrew translated as “BEFORE (the wall)” is “beth” + “paniym”, and literally reads “before the face of the wall towards the east”. [In all of the above examples I have omitted transliterating the personal pronouns from the Hebrew text, to avoid unnecessary information.]

So while the prefix “beth” generally has the meaning of the preposition “in”, when used with the noun for “face” it can readily mean “BEFORE”. And that is also the case here in Deuteronomy 25:9.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

“Then shall his brother’s wife come unto him in the presence of the elders, and loose his shoe from off his foot, and spit (on the ground) BEFORE HIS FACE, and shall answer and say, So shall it be done unto that man that will not build up his brother’s house.”

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

The general intent of this whole instruction was that an UNMARRIED brother of the deceased man would marry his widowed sister-in-law. Understand that God was not actively encouraging anyone to engage in polygamy. Rather than encouraging polygamy, polygamy is something that God “tolerated” (for lack of a better word) at that time. And the intent here was that an unmarried man would fulfill this duty.

We need to also understand that this instruction was not limited to immediate brothers, but included the looser meaning of “brother”, i.e. cousins and uncles in our terms. This becomes clear from the account in Ruth. Boaz was not the brother of Elimelech, but “a kinsman” from the clan of Elimelech (Ruth 2:1 and Ruth 3:2). And Boaz was most certainly not “the brother” of the deceased “Mahlon”; at best Boaz was an uncle of Mahlon, the deceased husband of Ruth. Likewise, the “kinsman” ahead of Boaz was also not a brother of Mahlon; he too was only “a kinsman”, i.e. a cousin or uncle (Ruth 4:1).

In other words, in recognition of the possibility that the actual brothers of the deceased man themselves might already be married, this custom provided for (unmarried) immediate cousins and uncles to also be eligible to marry the widow of the deceased man. It was still considered to be within the same family. And the firstborn child would theoretically be counted as a descendant of the deceased man (Deuteronomy 25:6). (I say “theoretically” because the Bible never presents Obed as a son of Mahlon, son of Elimelech; rather, Obed is always presented as a son of Boaz (Ruth 4:21; Matthew 1:5). It is the line of Boaz that has been preserved by Obed, not the line of Mahlon.)

When the brothers (or cousins and uncles) of the deceased man were themselves already married with children of their own, THEN taking their deceased brother’s or nephew’s widow as an additional wife could easily have had unintended consequences. Specifically, if the new wife did have some children, that might have the effect of diminishing the inheritance of this man’s own children, by some of his inheritance going to the firstborn child that would be reckoned to the deceased man. It was never the intention of this instruction to adversely affect the living because a relative (a brother, nephew or cousin) had died childless.

We see an example of this in Ruth chapter 4. Boaz informs his “kinsman” that he has the right to redeem Naomi’s property. Once this kinsman (likely an uncle or cousin of Mahlon) learned that he would then also have to marry Ruth, he said: “I CANNOT redeem it for myself, LEST I MAR MY OWN INHERITANCE”. He presented a very valid reason for not wanting to take an additional wife. Boaz knew this and Boaz had in fact COUNTED ON this reaction from his kinsman, since Boaz (he was still unmarried) was in fact very eager to marry Ruth himself.

When this kinsman then agreed to let Boaz redeem the property, it says: “so he drew off his shoe” (Ruth 4:8). No spitting of any kind is recorded here. This other kinsman was certainly not spit in the face by either Boaz or by Ruth (who wasn’t even personally involved in this whole incident). And IF spitting had been involved, then it would have been spitting on the ground in the presence of (i.e. before the face of) the individual involved.

#35 = 1 KINGS 19:16

THE VERSE:

“And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet IN THY ROOM.”

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This translation implies that Elisha would replace Elijah fairly soon. But this is not what the text really indicates.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

The expression “in your room” is a translation of the Hebrew “tachath” (or “tahat”). This word has a range of meanings. The main meanings are: beneath, instead of, under, in exchange for.

In the following examples the translation of “tachath” is rendered in capital letters for easier recognition.

Genesis 1:7 = UNDER the sky;

Genesis 6:17 = UNDER heaven;

Exodus 32:19 = BENEATH the mount;

Deuteronomy 4:18 = BENEATH the earth.

This is a case of the translators all simply having opted for the wrong meaning of the Hebrew word in this text.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

“And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel: and Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet UNDER YOU.”

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

God was NOT replacing Elijah with Elisha! Not at all! This is quite clear from subsequent references to Elijah (Malachi 4:5; Matthew 17:3, 10-12; etc.).

Here God was simply appointing an assistant for Elijah. As this text says, Elisha followed Elijah “AND MINISTERED UNTO HIM” (1 Kings 19:21). In fact, Elisha ministered to Elijah for a number of years. In 2 Kings 3:11 Elisha is identified as the one who “poured water on the hands of Elijah” (i.e. acted as Elijah’s personal servant). That hardly goes together with supposedly replacing Elijah.

When Elijah was discouraged and complained that he was alone (1 Kings 19:10), God didn’t say: “Okay, then I’ll just replace you with Elisha”. Not at all! What God really said was: “Alright, in that case I’ll give you AN ASSISTANT, so you are not alone. And in due time (i.e. many years later) when your life comes to an end, THEN he can take over the job that you will be doing until that time. So go and anoint Elisha to be a prophet under your guidance.”

God gave Elijah an assistant (i.e. Elisha) just like God had given Moses an assistant (i.e. Aaron, and also Joshua).

#36 = 2 KINGS 7:13

THE VERSE:

“And one of his servants answered and said, Let some take, I pray thee, five of the horses that remain, which are left in the city, (behold, they are as all the multitude of Israel THAT ARE LEFT IN IT: BEHOLD, I SAY, THEY ARE EVEN AS ALL THE MULTITUDE OF THE ISRAELITES that are consumed:) and let us send and see.”

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

As it stands this verse is somewhat confusing due to the repetitions in it.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

Here we have an example of the careless repetition of seven Hebrew words, made by some Jewish scribe. These repeated words are not found in the Greek LXX, the Syriac text of the Old Testament, and in over 40 other MSS that have survived. What this indicates is that this careless repetition only entered the text at a relatively late date, probably no more than 1000 years ago. And yet these words have been fully accepted as part of the official text.

This is an example of unauthorized words finding their way into the official text, in this instance due to an unintentional mistake.

While the English wording here presents slight changes from the previous seven words, in the Hebrew text this repetition is immediately apparent as 100% identical to what went before.

The section presented in CAPITAL LETTERS in the above quotation should not be in the text of this verse.

In addition, this verse also contains a mistranslation.

The words “that are consumed” are a translation of the two Hebrew words “asher” + “tamam”. “Asher” is a relative pronoun here used to express a result, and therefore correctly translated as “that”. The verb “tamam” has a range of meanings. While it does also mean “consume”, its primary meaning is “to be complete”.

For example, here are some translations of this verb “tamam”:

In Leviticus 25:29 it is rendered as “WHOLE” (“within a WHOLE year”).

In Joshua 3:17; 4:1 it is rendered as “CLEAN” (“people passed CLEAN over Jordan”“).

In 1 Samuel 16:11 it is rendered as “ALL” (“are here ALL your children?”).

In Psalm 18:25 it is rendered as “UPRIGHT” (“You will show Yourself UPRIGHT”).

In Job 22:3 it is rendered as “PERFECT” (“that you make your ways PERFECT”).

In 2 Samuel 22:26 it is rendered as "UPRIGHT" ("You will show Yourself upright").

In Isaiah 18:5 it is rendered as "PERFECT" ("when the bud is perfect").

In 2 Samuel 15:24 it is rendered as "HAD DONE" ("until all the people had done passing out of the city").

So the point is this:

Because the text with the added words did not make much sense to them, therefore the translators selected the meaning “consumed” for the Hebrew “tamim”. They assumed that the verse was supposed to convey two parallel statements.

However, when we leave out the words that were unintentionally added, then the correct meaning of “tamim” in this context will be easier to see.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

Most likely this verse should read more or less as below:

“And one of his servants answered and said, Let them take five of the horses that remain in the city, behold, they are as all the crowd (multitude) of Israel that are whole, and let us send and see.”

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

Here the servant was saying to the king: let’s take five of the horses that are still healthy enough to ride, horses that are healthy like “the multitude” of the Israelites (with this expression this servant was referring to those Israelites in the city who were still strong enough to fight), and let’s investigate this report.

When people provide the word “consumed” here, they are thinking of “horses consumed, like multitude of people consumed”. This would have been a very negative perspective for this servant to present in his attempt to solicit some action from the king. It’s a perspective of: it can’t do any harm because they’ll die if they stay here, so let’s just send them.

By providing the word “whole” (also a possible meaning of “tamim”), the perspective for this obviously bad situation is somewhat more positive. The intent of the statement is: take five of the horses that are still in reasonable shape, like the shape the fighting soldiers are in that are left. This was more likely to elicit a positive response from the king than saying: let’s send some of the nags that are likely to drop dead from starvation and exhaustion before they get very far. This version offered the king more hope, and that’s what that servant apparently wanted to do, investigate an avenue that appeared to offer hope.

Either way, in the Hebrew text it is quite clear that seven words were accidently repeated. Once they were in the text, there was the fear to remove these words. But they don’t belong in the text.

#37 = ESTHER 1:10

THE VERSE:

"On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was MERRY WITH WINE, he commanded Mehuman, Biztha, Harbona, Bigtha, and Abagtha, Zethar, and Carcas, the seven chamberlains that served in the presence of Ahasuerus the king,"

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This is another example of a correct translation which some people interpret incorrectly. Some people assume that this verse means that the king was drunk when he called for queen Vashti. But that is not correct.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

The Hebrew word here translated as "merry" is "towb". This word does NOT mean "drunk". The Hebrew word for "drunk" is "shakar", and that word is used in Genesis 9:21, a Scripture that speaks about Noah having been "drunk". But it is not used in Esther 1:10.

The word "towb" is used 559 times in the Old Testament. It is translated in the KJV 361 times as "GOOD", 72 times as "BETTER", 20 times as "WELL", 16 times as "GOODNESS", 9 times as "GOODLY", etc. The word NEVER has a negative meaning.

In the Hebrew text of this verse there is not the slightest indication that the king was drunk or intoxicated or even on the verge of getting drunk when these events took place. In fact, the exact same Hebrew word is used in Proverbs 15:15, which says "he that is of a MERRY (towb) heart has a continual feast". And that part of Proverbs 15:15 has a totally positive meaning.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

The KJV translation is fine.

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

This verse shows that the king was relaxed, happy and in a good mood. In this frame of mind he wanted the queen to make an appearance in her royal robes. There is not the slightest hint that the king was in any way intoxicated. Much later Jesus Christ turned a large quantity of water into wine for the same purpose, to make the people at that wedding in Cana (John 2:9) relaxed and "merry".

#38 = JOB 16:14

THE VERSE:

“He breaketh me with breach upon breach, he runneth upon me LIKE A GIANT.”

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This is a mistranslation.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

The Hebrew word here translated as “giant” is “gibbor”, and it does not mean “giant”. This word really means “mighty one”, i.e. someone like a powerful warrior in battle.

Many translations have recognized this mistranslation. For example, Darby and Young’s Literal Translation and Rotherham translate this expression as “like a mighty man”, and NAS, NIV, RSV and NRSV translate this as “like a warrior”.

“Giant” is clearly a mistranslation of the Hebrew word “gibbor”.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

“He breaketh me with breach upon breach, he runneth upon me LIKE A MIGHTY MAN (or like a warrior).”

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

Job is discouraged and he feels almost like he is being worked over by a mighty warrior, with all the pain and suffering he was enduring. But “giant” is an inappropriate translation here.

As an aside, this illustrates one weakness in having different people translate different parts of the Bible (i.e. the way the KJV was produced). Whereas the man who translated Genesis quite competently translated “gibborim” in Genesis 6:4 as “mighty men”, the man responsible for translating the Book of Job unfortunately chose to render “gibbor” as “giant” here in Job. Had the same man who translated Genesis also been responsible for translating Job, this verse would most likely NOT have the word “giant” in it.

Unless everyone involved in making a translation of the whole Bible has active input for EVERY SINGLE VERSE, there are always going to be numerous inconsistencies in a translation produced by a team of translators. When every person involved in making the translation actively checks every single verse, there is a far greater likelihood for consistently rendering a specific Hebrew or Greek word by the same English counterpart.

Unfortunately the KJV set the precedent for a very large number of English words in the translation of the Bible representing TWO or more Hebrew (OT) or Greek (NT) words. This incorrectly implies that the Hebrew (or Greek) words involved are synonyms, when in the majority of cases they are not really synonyms at all. It is due to their lack of really understanding the Bible (i.e. see 1 Corinthians 2:11) that translators have frequently incorrectly assumed different source words to be synonyms.

This also raises some questions regarding the competency of subsequent translators, when they don’t even correct such obvious mistranslations as Job 16:14. What OTHER mistranslations have they also copied blindly from their predecessors?

#39 = JOB 40:23

THE VERSE:

“Behold, he drinketh up a river, and HASTETH not: he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth.”

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This Scripture is not a major issue, except that it involves the verb “chaphaz” which we saw in Exodus 12:11. This verb really means “to fear, to tremble”, rather than “haste”.

God is here speaking about a very powerful, but unidentified, animal. The KJV translators did not really understand the point God is making in this statement. This verse is also NOT speaking about this animal “DRINKING up a river”. That statement is further evidence of the lack of understanding of the KJV translator of the Book of Job.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

Here are some translations that are far closer to the intended meaning.

JPS: “Behold, if a river overflow, he trembleth not; he is confident, though the Jordan rush forth to his mouth.”

ASV: “Behold, if a river overflow, he trembleth not; He is confident, though a Jordan swell even to his mouth.”

DARBY: “Lo, the river overfloweth"he startleth not: he is confident though a Jordan break forth against his mouth.”

NAS (also NIV & ROTHERHAM): “If a river rages, he is not alarmed; He is confident, though the Jordan rushes to his mouth.”

RSV: “Behold, if the river is turbulent he is not frightened; he is confident though Jordan rushes against his mouth.”

These translations all recognize that the basic point being made in this verse is that this powerful animal is not intimidated by a mighty rushing river.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

Any of the above translations is more accurate than and preferable to the KJV.

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

In this verse God is speaking about a powerful unidentified animal that is not easily intimidated.

#40 = PSALM 31:22

THE VERSE:

“For I said IN MY HASTE, I am cut off from before thine eyes: nevertheless thou heardest the voice of my supplications when I cried unto thee.”

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

Like Job 40:23, this Scripture also involves the verb “chaphaz”. The verse itself is not a major issue. As stated above, this verb means “to fear, to tremble”, rather than “haste”.

This illustrates that a mistranslation in a verse that does matter (i.e. Exodus 12:11) can influence minor mistranslations in other verses that don’t have any particular significance (i.e. Job 40:23 and Psalm 31:22).

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

The correct focus of David’s statement in this verse is not on haste but on a spirit of fear.

A number of translations, including NAS, RSV, NRSV, NIV AND ROTHERHAM, translate this expression more appropriately as “in my alarm”.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

Rotherham’s Translation is closer to the meaning of the Hebrew text.

“But I had said IN MINE ALARM, I am cut off from before thine eyes, "But, indeed, thou didst hear the voice of my supplication, when I cried for help unto thee.” (Psalm 31:22 Rotherham)

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

Here David acknowledges that during his trials he sometimes doubted and feared. It was in a state of fear and panic that he thought God might have forsaken him, but he then realized that God was indeed helping him with his trials.

The KJV “in my haste” implies more an attitude of impatience and impulsiveness, which was not the case. It was a feeling of fear during some of his intense trials (the years that he spent fleeing from King Saul), not impatience that is really addressed in this statement.

#41 = PSALM 81:3

THE VERSE:

“Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, IN THE TIME APPOINTED, on our SOLEMN feast day.”

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This translation implies that this verse is speaking about only one specific day in the year, which day is called “a feast day”. That is not correct.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

There is a major mistranslation in this verse. The Hebrew word translated as “in the time appointed” is “kece”, a noun that really means “FULL MOON”.

This meaning is well known. And so the following translations all translate this as “full moon” instead of the KJV’s “in the time appointed”: ASV, JPS, NAS, NIV, RSV, ROTHERHAM, NRSV. Even the NKJV reads “full moon” in this passage.

Next, the word “solemn” is totally inappropriate here. It is nothing more than a carry-over from the influence of the Latin Vulgate Translation. There is no equivalent word for “solemn” in the Hebrew text. And “solemn” is NOT really the attitude with which we are to approach A FEAST (Hebrew “chag”).

This is one of Satan’s attempts to turn a joyous FEAST of God into a somber and serious occasion, when God Himself tells us TO REJOICE, and that this is a time for good food and wine (see Deuteronomy 14:26).

Most translators do not seem to have grasped that in this verse David was speaking about blowing the trumpet ON MORE THAN ONE OCCASION IN THE YEAR! This verse is one example where the translators really should have provided the conjunction “and”, because here it is certainly implied.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

“Blow the trumpet in the new moon AND on THE FULL MOON, on our feast day.”

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

There were several occasions in the year when the trumpets were to be blown. In Numbers 10:10 we see three specific categories of days in this regard.

“Also in the day of your gladness, and in your solemn days, and in the beginnings of your months, ye shall blow with the trumpets over your burnt offerings, and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings; that they may be to you for a memorial before your God: I am the LORD your God.”

The three categories of days are: 1) days of gladness, 2) your solemn days, 3) the first day of every month. The Hebrew for “solemn days” is “mow’ed”, and it means “Holy Days”.

Two of the annual Holy Days fall on full moon days: the 1st Day of Unleavened Bread and the 1st Day of the Feast of Tabernacles.

So this statement in Psalm 81:3 applies equally to at least 14 days in the year: 12 new moon days (one of which happens to be a Holy Day, the Day of Trumpets) and 2 full moon days. The two full moon days happen to be “mow’ed” days, but at the same time they are both the first day of a seven-day feast (“chag”). That is why David here referred to the trumpet being blown on the FEAST (“chag”) day, because these “mow’ed” full moon days are each the start of a seven-day feast.

We should note that Psalm 81:3 does NOT call the Day of Trumpets “a feast day”. The Day of Trumpets is a NEW moon day. But the words “FEAST day” in this verse are specifically linked to “the FULL moon”. And so these words “feast day” refer equally to the 1st Day of Unleavened Bread and the 1st Day of Tabernacles; but the words “feast day” do NOT refer to any of the new moon days. The implied conjunction “AND” is the key to understanding this verse correctly.

Next, we should not attempt to limit the application of this verse to one specific day in the year, because that is not what David had in mind. This verse CAN apply to the 1st Day of Unleavened Bread, AND to the 1st Day of Tabernacles, AND to the Day of Trumpets, AND to the 11 other new moon days in the year. With this verse David did not single out one specific day in the year for attention. This is a far more general statement than that.

#42 = ECCLESIASTES 1:4

THE VERSE:

“One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth FOR EVER.”

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This implies that this planet earth will exist for ever. But that is not correct.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

Biblical Hebrew (and the same is true for biblical Greek) has only one word that means both, “eternal”, and also “for a very long time”. The Hebrew word for both these concepts is “olam”. Latin, on the other hand, had a way to distinguish between “eternal” and “for a very long time”. It was the Latin Vulgate that translated the Hebrew word “olam” in this verse as “eternal”. The early English translators (KJV, etc.) then relied on the Vulgate to tell them that in this verse “olam” supposedly means “for ever”.

When we understand these things (that neither biblical Hebrew nor biblical Greek had one specific word that meant “for ever” without sometimes only meaning “for a very long time”), we should realize that Scriptures that in English have the words “for ever” or “eternal” in them based on a single word in the original text, are really based on the translators deciding to say “eternal” or “for ever”. It is really the context that tells us whether this one Hebrew or Greek word means “for ever”, or whether it only means “for a very long time”.

To get around this limitation, Old Testament Hebrew used the word “olam” in combination with the word “ad” in the expression “le-olam va-ed”. So when this expression “le-olam va-ed” is used (usually translated as “for ever and ever”), then it is clearly referring to “for ever”. But when the word “olam” is used on its own, it may be referring to “for ever”; but it could also be referring to only “a very long time”. (The NT Greek equivalent for “for ever and ever” is “tous aionas ton aionon”.)

Since “olam” is used on its own in Ecclesiastes 1:4, therefore we have to look to OTHER Scriptures to tell us whether here in Eccl 1:4 it is supposed to mean “for ever” or whether it is supposed to mean “for a very long time”.

So let’s examine some other statements about the earth.

In 2 Peter 3:10-12 Peter tells us that: the heavens shall pass away, the earth will be burned up, physical matter shall be dissolved, the heavens shall be dissolved, and all physical matter will melt. These statements tell us that this entire universe, including our planet earth, is going to disappear.

Revelation 21:1 tells us that the present heavens and the earth are going to pass away.

Psalm 102:25-26 tells us that this whole universe is going to be folded up like an old garment, and it will then be exchanged for a new one.

Hebrews 1:10-12 has Paul quoting these verses from Psalm 102. Paul shows that this present universe will perish and wax old, to then be replaced by a new one.

The utter destruction of the present universe is a precondition for the creation of the new heavens and the new earth.

This subject is expounded further in the article “A New Heaven And A New Earth” on my website, under the key words "New Heaven" in the "General Articles Directory".

So “for ever” in Ecclesiastes 1:4 is a mistranslation based on the faulty Latin Vulgate interpretation of this verse. Here “olam” really only means “for a very long time”.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

“One generation passeth away, and another generation cometh: but the earth abideth FOR A VERY LONG TIME.”

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

In this verse Solomon was comparing the “lifespan” of the earth to the length of a human generation and to various cycles in nature. Compared to these cycles and to the human lifespan, the earth has existed, and will continue to exist, “for a very long time”.

Keep in mind that in this Book of Ecclesiastes Solomon basically presents his own observations and his own conclusions. Very few of his statements in this book should be viewed as absolute statements. Very many of his observations here are subject to someone else seeing the same situation in a completely different light. Had Solomon really wanted to dogmatically say “for ever” in this verse, then he could have used the expression “le-olam va-ed”. But this Solomon did not do in this verse.

Here Solomon only intended to say that the earth abides for a very long time. Other Scriptures make clear that the earth itself will at some point in the future also “pass away”.

#43 = ISAIAH 1:14

THE VERSE:

“YOUR NEW MOONS (chodesh) and YOUR APPOINTED FEASTS (mow’ed) my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.”

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

People sometimes infer that this is speaking about God hating “the way” the Jews observed their new moons and some of their feasts. But that explanation is completely wrong.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

There is one mistranslation here, and then there is an additional case of a correct translation that actually hides the intended meaning.

The mistranslation involves the words “your appointed feasts”. The Hebrew word used here is “mow’ed”, and this does not mean “feasts”. It means “Holy Days” or “commanded assemblies”.

The technically correct translation that is involved in this verse is “your new moons”; but here the intended meaning is something for which biblical Hebrew did not yet have a word available. So here “new moons” is only a descriptive reference to what God really means.

At any rate, for a start this says: “YOUR new moons and YOUR commanded assemblies (i.e. Holy Days) My soul hates”. “Holy Days” is a reference to the commanded annual church services. So the question is: WHAT does God “hate” about these annual church services, or WHY does God hate them?

There are basically two possibilities here.

EITHER it is something about THE CONTENT of their church services that God hates, OR it is something about THE TIMING of these annual church services that God hates. Or it could be a combination of both of these factors. At any rate, when God tells us that He “HATES” something, then that should fill us with fear. We don’t want to see God becoming angry, do we? So we surely will do our best to establish exactly what it is that God hates, so we can carefully avoid getting involved in whatever that hated activity may be, right?

The context of this chapter is that God is criticizing Judah (verse 1) in extremely strong terms, referring to them as “Sodom” and as “Gomorrah” (verse 10). They do appear before God with an outward show of obedience (verses 11-12). But God still disapproves.

Now verses 13 and 14 go together. In verse 13 God criticizes THEIR CHURCH SERVICES, and in verse 14 God criticizes THEIR CALENDAR! Verse 13 applies to THE CONTENT of their meetings and verse 14 applies to THE TIMING of their meetings. Let’s notice these things.

Verse 13 states:

1) Your offerings are worthless to God (“vain oblations”).

2) Your prayers (“incense”) are an abomination, i.e. prayers at religious occasions.

3) God can’t stand any of your meetings (on the “Sabbath” or “new moons” or “calling of assemblies” or “solemn meetings”).

With this verse God has covered ALL of their religious meetings. This verse expresses God’s rejection of THE CONTENT of all of these religious meetings, all of them! God clearly disapproves in the strongest terms of what is being taught or practiced at all of these services in the course of a year. However, notice that in listing all of these different categories of religious occasions God carefully avoided using the word “mow’ed”. Holy Days are included by using the expressions “the calling of assemblies” and “the solemn meeting”, but the actual word for “Holy Days” has not yet been mentioned.

So far God has said that these meetings are “an abomination” to Him, that they are “iniquity” and that He can’t stand them. Verse 14 then expresses AN ESCALATION in disapproval. Now God says that He HATES something. This is going one stronger than what God has said thus far.

We need to recognize that verse 14 is NOT A REPETITION of what God has already covered in verse 13! Verse 14 addresses something NEW that has not yet been addressed. Verse 14 addresses THE FOUNDATION on which all of the points in verse 13 are based. Verse 14 addresses THE CORE of the problems. This is the climax of God’s expression of disapproval.

Notice!

God singles out TWO specific things on which His hatred is focused. These two are: 1) new moons, and 2) Holy Days. The question is: are these two connected? Yes, they are. The new moons provide THE FOUNDATION for ALL of the Holy Days. If there is a problem with the new moons, then there is automatically also a problem with all the annual “mow’ed” days.

Notice also that, while the Sabbaths and new moons had both been mentioned in verse 13, verse 14 does NOT mention the Sabbath again. Why not? WHY mention only the Holy Days ("mow’ed), in addition to mentioning the new moons again?

Verse 14 is making a different point from verse 13. It is these two things in verse 14 that are “A TROUBLE TO GOD”, and that “WEARY GOD”. These expressions should tell us that God is finding fault with THE WAY these things (new moons and Holy Days) are determined!

God is here expressing intense ANGER and HATRED for two very specific things! Now IF it was only “the content” of those days (i.e. what was going on in the services) that God was addressing, THEN all the other days mentioned in verse 13 should ALSO be listed here in verse 14. That is because THE CONTENT doesn’t set new moons and Holy Days apart from the weekly Sabbaths and “solemn meetings”, etc. If the teachings or the conduct are supposed to be the problem for the new moons and the Holy Days, then the teachings or the conduct for all the other occasions mentioned in verse 13 (Sabbaths, etc.) are surely equally much of a problem.

But verse 14 focuses on two very specific items, where item #2 (Holy Days) is totally dependent on item #1 (new moons). And it is specifically these two things that God is tired of putting up with (“I am weary to bear them”).

Please refer to the detailed discussion in the section on Exodus 12:2 for the correct meaning of “chodesh”. It applies equally to this discussion here.

While in Latin you could clearly distinguish between “new moon” (“neomenia”) and “the first day of every month” (“kalenda”), in Hebrew both these concepts are expressed by the one word “chodesh”. And even as the Latin word “kalenda” provided the idea of “a calendar” to us, so in Hebrew the word “chodesh” is the word that conveys the idea of “a calendar”.

We might also note that in his Latin Vulgate Translation Jerome translated “your chodesh” in this verse with “KALENDAS VESTRAS”. Like Gesenius, Jerome recognized that “chodesh” frequently refers to the “kalenda” of the month.

Understand this!

THERE IS NO WORD IN BIBLICAL HEBREW, OTHER THAN “CHODESH”, THAT IS CAPABLE OF EXPRESSING THE CONCEPT OF “A CALENDAR”.

And here in Isaiah 1:14 God is really saying: “I hate YOUR calendar and YOUR Holy Days determined based on that calendar. That calendar provides the foundation on which all of your religious activities throughout the year are based. I am tired of putting up with that calendar.”

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

“Your new moons (meaning “YOUR CALENDAR”) and YOUR HOLY DAYS My soul hates; they are a trouble to me, and I am weary to bear them.”

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

After in verse 13 expressing total disapproval for all their religious meetings during the year, in verse 14 God then expresses hatred for the Jewish calendar and the religious days that are determined based on that calendar.

This verse is not a reference to any supposed “pagan” activities on the new moons and Holy Days. Rather, Isaiah 1:14 is a prophetic statement in which God expresses His disapproval in the strongest terms for the manipulative calendar (i.e. postponements, etc.) the Jews have devised for determining the dates for their religious observances.

#44 = ISAIAH 9:6-7

THESE VERSES:

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the GOVERNMENT shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his GOVERNMENT and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

Some people have drawn the conclusion that this speaks about a government that will continue to increase for all future eternity. But that is not the case at all.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

This translation is an example of the translators trying to please King James himself, by implying that “the government” is intended to be on the shoulders of kings.

The Hebrew word translated as "government" in both these verses is "misrah," which comes from a primitive root meaning "TO HAVE POWER". This word "misrah" is only used here in these two verses and nowhere else in the Old Testament.

[The only other reference to “government” in the OT is in Isaiah 22:21, where the Hebrew word used is “memshalah”. That word is usually translated as “dominion” and only translated as “government” in Isaiah 22:21. This word need not concern us here.]

These verses here have nothing whatsoever to do with “government” as we understand it. The correct translation for “misrah” is “power”. And the focus of these statements is that Jesus Christ’s power will continue to grow throughout future eternity, as will also the power of God the Father and of the entire Family of God.

The focus of these verses is really the same as the focus of Jesus Christ’s statement after His resurrection, recorded in Matthew 28:18. There Jesus Christ said: “ALL POWER IS GIVEN UNTO ME IN HEAVEN AND IN EARTH”!

Translating “misrah” as “government” was an unfortunate pandering to King James.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and THE POWER shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of HIS POWER and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

Matthew 28:18 really sums up the meaning of these verses here in Isaiah 9. The power of the entire Family of God will always grow, it will always increase. And God the Father and Jesus Christ will always be supreme.

#45 = ISAIAH 14:12

THE VERSE:

“How art thou fallen from heaven, O LUCIFER, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!”

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

The implication of this translation is that Satan’s name, before he sinned and rebelled against God, USED TO BE “LUCIFER”!

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

This is a HUGE mistranslation! It is perhaps THE WORST MISTRANSLATION in the whole Bible. This translation in fact makes a statement that is BLASPHEMOUS, a statement that is an insult to God and to Jesus Christ!

I have written a detailed article, available on my website, that exposes this twisting of the truth. “Lucifer” was NEVER, at any time in the past, a name for Satan.

Briefly:

The Hebrew word here translated as “Lucifer” is “HEYLEL”, which is derived from the verb “halal”. This verb “halal” has a range of meanings, which include: bright and shiny, to praise, to boast, to be mad, etc. Clearly this verb has both, positive meanings and negative meanings. The translators, following the lead of the Greek LXX and the Latin Vulgate, chose a positive meaning for the noun “heylel”, when they clearly should have chosen a negative meaning.

The noun “heylel” really means: braggart, boaster, arrogant, opinionated fool, etc. God used the designation “heylel” with a derogatory and contemptuous meaning. God was not praising Satan, but showing contempt and scorn for the one who had rebelled against Him.

God never, at any time, speaks respectfully of the wicked. God laughs at the wicked and holds them in derision (Psalm 2:4; Psalm 37:13; Psalm 59:8). God hates the wicked (Psalm 11:5-6). God will laugh at and mock the wicked (Proverbs 1:26). Could we really expect anything else?

Now it is THE CONTEXT in which this word is used that makes clear beyond any doubts whatsoever that God is showing SCORN and not respect for Satan. The context is one of unbelievable arrogance and of mind-blowing boasting. Could ANY being ever be so arrogant and so taken up with his own supposed brilliance that he would DARE to challenge Almighty God? The statements in verses 13-14 (“I will ascend into ... I will exalt ... I will sit ... I will ascend above ... I will be like ...”) represent the ultimate, supreme and greatest possible boast that any creature could ever make!

IT IS FOR THAT BOAST THAT GOD REFERRED TO SATAN AS “HEYLEL”, BECAUSE GOD CALLS THINGS WHAT THEY ARE, AND NOT WHAT THEY USED TO BE!

The word for “LIGHT-BRINGER” is “AARON” in Hebrew, “PHOSPHOROS” in Greek, and “LUCIFER” in Latin. These three words are identical in meaning! It should be easy to understand that if in Hebrew “Aaron” means “Light-bringer”, then the Hebrew word “heylel” can’t possibly have the same meaning.

In 2 Peter 1:19 Jesus Christ is called “PHOSPHOROS” in the Greek text, and “LUCIFER” in the Latin Vulgate text. And if 2 Peter 1:19 was translated correctly into Hebrew, then Jesus Christ should there be called “AARON”. The English translation “day star” in that verse is another HUGE mistranslation, and one that is deliberate! See the section that deals with 2 Peter 1:19 for more details.

[COMMENT: There is a "Hebrew Language New Testament" available. However, this Hebrew New Testament is not a translation of the Greek New Testament text into Hebrew. It is only a translation of the English text into the Hebrew language. So most of the mistakes found in the English text will also be found in the Hebrew text of the New Testament. Regarding 2 Peter 1:19, the Hebrew New Testament has made no attempt at all to translate the Greek "Phosphoros" into Hebrew. They used neither "Aaron" (which would have been correct), nor "heylel" (which would have been terribly wrong). Instead they opted to translate the English rendition "day star", coming up with Hebrew words that basically mean "rising star". It is well-known that "Aaron" means "light-bringer", and I wanted to see if they would translate "Phosphoros" honestly into Hebrew. They didn't! The deception regarding the correct meaning of 2 Peter 1:19 is truly universal.]

2 Peter 1:19 makes quite clear that “Lucifer” is actually a name for JESUS CHRIST! That’s what Peter tells us in plain words!

Now Jerome used the noun "lucifer" in the following three places:

1) ISAIAH 14:12 = as a name for Satan. Here this represents the Hebrew noun "heylel".

2) JOB 11:17 = the expression "you shall be as the morning" reads in the Vulgate "putaveris orieris ut lucifer", which literally means "you'll be reckoned to arise like a lightbringer". Zophar is here applying the word "lucifer" to Job. Here "lucifer" represents the Hebrew noun "boqer", meaning "morning".

3) 2 PETER 1:19 = as a name for Jesus Christ. Here this represents the Greek noun "phosphoros".

In addition Jerome also used the adjective "luciferum", which means "light bringing", in the following two places:

1) JOB 38:32 = God challenges Job with the question "can you bring for Mazzaroth?" in reference to the heavenly constellations. In the Vulgate this expression reads "numquid producis luciferum", literally "now lead forth the light-bringing (stars)". Here this adjective is applied by God to stars. Here "luciferum" represents the Hebrew noun "mazzarah".

2) PSALM 110:3 = Here David is speaking about Jesus Christ. The expression "from the womb of the morning: you have the dew of your youth" is translated in the Vulgate as "ex utero ante luciferum genui te", which literally means "from the womb before the light-bringing (one) you give birth". Here "luciferum" represents the Hebrew noun "mishchar", meaning "dawn".

The point is that Jerome used the words "lucifer, luciferum" to refer to Jesus Christ in the Old Testament (Psalm 110:3) and in the New Testament (2 Peter 1:19). Without question the word "lucifer" is the perfect translation of the Greek word "phosphoros" in 2 Peter 1:19. Yet Jerome had the gall to also translate the obscure Hebrew word “heylel” in Isaiah 14:12 as “Lucifer”, when he knew full well that Isaiah 14 is speaking about Satan! Jerome saw no problems whatsoever to use the same name for Jesus Christ and for Satan. This is EXACTLY what Paul meant in 2 Corinthians 11:14, that Satan has transformed himself into a light-bringer (i.e. "angel of light").

From this Vulgate version the English translators chose to retain the word “Lucifer” as a name for Satan. But when the word 'Lucifer" refers to Jesus Christ, then they all carefully disguised this fact.

These comments only scratch the surface. There is a great deal more about Satan’s deceitful usurpation of the name “Lucifer” in my article on this subject. See also the section on 2 Peter 1:19.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

“How art thou fallen from heaven, YOU ARROGANT BOASTER, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!”

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

In plain terms God was saying: "So you opinionated arrogant fool, you think that you can knock Me off My throne and take over from Me, do you? Well, here is what I am going to do to you, sucker!". See Psalm 2:4 for God's general tone in this kind of situation.

Understand that God will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER speak in respectful tones about those who rebel against Him! God never shows respect for rebels!

The expression “son of the morning” simply shows Satan’s origin, that he was CREATED by Jesus Christ, “the morning star” (Revelation 22:16).

#46 = ISAIAH 39:7

THE VERSE:

“And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be EUNUCHS in the palace of the king of Babylon.”

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

Some people assume that these descendants of Hezekiah would be made eunuchs literally, i.e. they would be castrated. But that is not correct in most cases.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

The Hebrew word translated "eunuch" is "saris". Now while this word was indeed derived from an unused root word meaning "to castrate," it also became at an early time a title for high-ranking government officials. The word "saris" is used 42 times in the Old Testament, and it is translated 17 times as "eunuch," 13 times as "chamberlain," and 12 times as "officer".

For example, the very first time this word "saris" is used in the Old Testament is in Genesis 37:36, which reads:

And the Midianites sold him into Egypt unto Potiphar, AN OFFICER (Hebrew "saris") of Pharaoh’s, and captain of the guard.

Potiphar was a married man, and clearly not a physical eunuch. So the very first time this word “eunuch” is ever used in the Bible, it did NOT refer to a man who was a physical eunuch. Similarly, Pharaoh’s chief butler and his chief baker are also called “saris” in Hebrew (Genesis 40:2), and they were hardly physical eunuchs.

Already in the days of Jacob this word was used as a title for royal officials.

Coming down to about 700 years later, the people of Israel came to Samuel and wanted a king. In his response Samuel included the following statement in the warning he gave to the people:

And he (the king) will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to HIS OFFICERS (Hebrew "saris"), and to his servants” (1 Samuel 8:15 AV)

Samuel was not talking about the king giving things to "his eunuchs," but to his officers, to the higher officials in his employ. And this meaning was quite clear to the translators; that is why they here translated “saris” appropriately as “officers”.

Israelites were clearly aware of this word “eunuch” being used as a title for high ranking officials in the employ of a king.

Even in New Testament times the word “eunuch” was still being used as a title. This can be seen in Acts 8:27, which refers to “a man of Ethiopia, A EUNUCH OF GREAT AUTHORITY under Candace queen of the Ethiopians”. Once again, the word “eunuch” is used to designate a position of high authority at the royal court, and it did not mean that the man was a eunuch physically.

So from the time of Jacob right down to the New Testament the word “eunuch” was used as a title for certain officials. And here in Isaiah 39:7 God was telling Hezekiah that some of his descendants would end up serving as court officials to the king of Babylon. And this was fulfilled by Daniel. Daniel was certainly NOT a physical eunuch, but he equally certainly was a very high ranking official in Babylon.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

“And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be OFFICIALS in the palace of the king of Babylon.”

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

After King Hezekiah had foolishly showed the Babylonian ambassadors all his wealth, God told the king that some of his own descendants would end up working for the king of Babylon, as officials in his palace. They were not going to be used as slaves in menial tasks, but as important officials in the affairs of the Babylonian Empire. But still, they were basically in a state of slavery, i.e. unable to choose for themselves where they wanted to live their lives or what jobs they would like to be involved in. This was fulfilled by Daniel and his three friends.

As far as being castrated is concerned, Leviticus 21:20 says that men with any of the following defects were to be excluded from the priesthood.

“Or crookbackt, or a dwarf, or that hath a blemish in his eye, or be scurvy, or scabbed, or HATH HIS STONES BROKEN;”

The Hebrew words translated here as “has his stones broken” is King James terminology for referring to a man who has one or both testicles missing. This verse is an instruction from God. So this verse spells out that eunuchs were not to be used as servants for God in a priestly capacity. The same would surely also apply to prophets. It should make clear that Daniel, who was used as a major prophet by God, certainly did not “have his stones broken”! The only sense in which Daniel was a eunuch is in the sense that he was a high ranking official.

#47 = ISAIAH 52:12

THE VERSE:

“For ye shall not go out WITH HASTE, nor go by flight: for the LORD will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rereward.”

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This is not really a major issue. It is just that there is a mistranslation. While this mistranslation has no particular doctrinal impact in this verse, the same mistranslation has a significant impact in Exodus 12:11.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

The Hebrew word translated as “with haste” in this verse is “chippazown”. It should be translated as “in fear”, or as “in trepidation”.

This same word is mistranslated in Exodus 12:11, and in the section that deals with Exodus 12:11 this point is explained in detail. Please refer to that section for further details regarding “chippazown”.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

“For ye shall not go out WITH FEAR, nor go by flight: for the LORD will go before you; and the God of Israel will be your rearguard.”

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

When God intervenes for His people, then they will not come out of these different areas in a spirit of fear and trepidation, or be fleeing from an enemy. God will guard and control the entire process, and Israel will be confident in God’s guidance and protection.

#48 = LAMENTATIONS 1:7

THE VERSE:

"Jerusalem remembered in the days of her affliction and of her miseries all her pleasant things that she had in the days of old, when her people fell into the hand of the enemy, and none did help her: the adversaries saw her, and did mock at HER SABBATHS."

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This translation implies a mocking of the religious days being observed. That is not the focus of this verse.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

While this is not of any major consequences, we do have a mistranslation in this verse.

The Hebrew word translated as "her Sabbaths" is "mishbath". This word does not mean "Sabbath". It really means "annihilation, ruin", etc. This is well known and most translations have corrected this.

Thus: The ASV and JPS read "desolations", NAS and Darby read "ruin", RSV, NRSV and NKJV read "downfall", NIV reads "destruction", etc.

The source of this wrong translation is Jerome's Latin Vulgate, which translated "mishbath" as "sabbata eius", Latin for "her Sabbaths". This is another clear example of the powerful influence the Latin text had on the early translators, including those of the KJV.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

Any of the above mentioned translations is acceptable. For example, JPS reads:

"Jerusalem remembereth in the days of her affliction and of her anguish all her treasures that she had from the days of old; now that her people fall by the hand of the adversary, and none doth help her, the adversaries have seen her, they have mocked at HER DESOLATIONS." (Lam 1:7 JPS)

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

The enemies are shown mocking Jerusalem's ruin and desolations, rather than her religious days.

#49 = EZEKIEL 28:16

THE VERSE:

“By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I WILL DESTROY THEE, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.”

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This verse is addressed to Satan and the implication is that God will “destroy” Satan, i.e. blot him out.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

Here we have an example where the translators due to a lack of understanding chose to apply the not-intended meaning of a word.

The Hebrew verb here translated as “destroy” is “abad”. This verb “abad” is formed from a primitive root, and it literally means: TO WANDER AWAY, TO LOSE ONESELF. It is only by implication from these literal meanings that the meaning “to destroy” is derived. So yes, the word “abad” frequently means “to destroy”. But it also still retains its literal meaning of “to wander away”.

Thus, in the 184 places where “abad” is used in the Old Testament, there are many places where it means something like “destroy”, and there are also many other places where the intended meaning is the literal meaning of “abad”, namely “to wander away”, or “to drive away”, or “to lose oneself”. Thus, many times when we read that God would “destroy” (“abad”) certain nations, it really means that God would cause those nations to be “driven away”, as God explained, for example, in Exodus 23:28 (“hornets shall drive out those nations”), rather than those nations being “blotted out”.

Here in Ezekiel 28:16 the intended meaning is “to wander away and get lost”.

The proof for this intended meaning is the ceremony that was enacted every year on the Day of Atonement. The goat that represented Satan (see the section dealing with Leviticus 16:8-10) was driven away into the wilderness; it was NOT killed. God used that goat (the one for Azazel) to represent Satan’s fate. The word “abad” describes exactly what happened to that goat; it was to be driven away from any possible contact with anyone else.

That is what will happen to Satan and the demons. That same fate is also spelled out in Jude 1:13, where Satan and the demons are referred to as “wandering stars (literally “stars that wander deceitfully”) TO WHOM IS RESERVED THE BLACKNESS OF DARKNESS FOR EVER”. That is precisely what “abad” means.

The Hebrew noun “abaddon” is an intensive form of the verb “abad”. This noun is used six times in the books of Job, Psalms and Proverbs, and it is always translated as “destruction”. These references are not to any specific person or being, and so “destruction” is a suitable translation in those six places. However, at the end of the New Testament God gave John the visions of the Book of Revelation. And in THAT context God chose to use this Hebrew noun “Abaddon” as a name for Satan (Revelation 9:11).

So when “Abaddon” is used as a name for Satan, then its intended meaning is “THE ONE who is destined to be driven away”. See the section on Revelation 9:11 for more details.

Thus God chose to reveal Satan’s ultimate fate in the following ways:

1) The ceremony on the Day of Atonement reveals that Satan will NOT be "killed” or “destroyed”, but that he will be “driven away”.

2) God revealed this same destiny for Satan by using the verb “abad” in Ezekiel 28:16.

3) God revealed that same destiny in Jude 1:13, pointing out that Satan and the demons will wander in “the blackness of darkness for ever”.

4) God then sealed that destiny by, at the end of the book, giving Satan the name “Abaddon”.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

“By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I WILL CAUSE YOU TO WANDER AWAY AND GET LOST, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire.”

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

Satan’s fate is to be driven away from any possible contact with anyone or anything, other than contact with all the demons that will share “the blackness of darkness for ever” with him. In this verse “destroy” is not an appropriate translation for “abad”.

#50 = JOEL 2:2, 25

THESE VERSES:

“A day of darkness and of gloominess, a day of clouds and of thick darkness, as the morning spread upon the mountains: A GREAT PEOPLE AND A STRONG; there hath not been ever the like, neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations.” (Joel 2:2)

“And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm, MY GREAT ARMY which I sent among you.” (Joel 2:25)

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This is an example of a correct translation for verse 2, coupled with the omission of a conjunction that is clearly implied in verse 25, which has led some people to read a wrong meaning into these verses.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

Based on these verses there are people, including various Bible commentators (Adam Clarke, etc.), who believe that these verses are speaking about “an army of locusts”. That is totally wrong.

For a start, Exodus 10:14 makes clear that verse 2 cannot possibly be a reference to locusts. Exodus 10:14 describes the locust plague in Egypt as follows: “before them there were no such locusts as they, NEITHER AFTER THEM SHALL BE SUCH”. And here Joel 2:2 says: “THERE HAS NOT BEEN EVER THE LIKE, neither shall be any more after it ...”. The wording in these two verses makes these two events (the plague of locusts in Egypt, and this event here in Joel 2:2) mutually exclusive. They cannot both be references to a plague of locusts. And since Exodus 10 DOES speak about locusts, therefore Joel 2:2 must be a reference to something else.

Next, in the expression “a great PEOPLE” the Hebrew word for “great” really means “great in number”, and the Hebrew word for “people” is “am”. Now “am” ALWAYS refers to human beings, not to animals or to insects. Consider the three Hebrew words that are relevant in this context: “goy” refers to “a nation”, “le’om” refers to “race”, and “am” refers to “people in general”. Because this huge army will transcend national and racial boundaries (i.e. it will include people from different nations and different races), therefore the term “am” was the most appropriate one to use here. But “am” does NOT refer to insects or to animals.

People who interpret Joel 2 as a reference to locusts do not understand the references to locusts in Joel 1:4 and Joel 2:25 in their correct context. They wrongly assume that the discussion between those two verses is just about locusts.

The Book of Joel is one of the earliest places where God reveals the chronological sequence of end-time events. In Joel the sequence is still incomplete, when compared to the Book of Revelation, but it is there. We should see Revelation as the ultimate refinement in revealing this sequence, and the Book of Joel is one of the steps along the way. God’s revelation throughout the Bible is always progressive, and that also applies to revealing the exact sequence of end-time events.

Here, in terms of the Book of Revelation, is the sequence of end-time events that is revealed in the Book of Joel. See if you can identify all of these events.

JOEL 1:4-5 = the 3rd Seal of Revelation

JOEL 1:6-7 = the 5th Seal of Revelation

JOEL 1:15 = the 7th Seal of Revelation

JOEL 1:17-19 = 1st Trumpet of Revelation

JOEL 1:20 = 3rd Trumpet of Revelation

JOEL 2:1-10 = 6th Trumpet of Revelation

JOEL 2:15-27 = 7th Trumpet of Revelation

JOEL 3:2-14 = 6th Plague of Revelation

JOEL 3:16 = 7th Plague of Revelation

JOEL 3:17-21 = Millennium and Beyond

When we understand this chronological, though still incomplete, sequence, then we can see that “locusts” in Joel 1:4 are a reference to the 3rd Seal, the famine. The focus in Joel 1:4 is that these insects, starting with locusts, “HAVE EATEN” all the food supplies. That’s a discussion of famine.

The reference to locusts in Joel 2:25 is contextually near the end of the discussion of the 7th Trumpet, when Jesus Christ returns with His army and the first resurrection takes place. Once Christ returns He promises to repair all the damage that was caused by these events and to restore prosperity to this earth.

In this verse the translators really SHOULD HAVE provided the conjunction “and”, as they have done in hundreds of other places in the Bible. In most cases the translators could immediately see that in English such a conjunction is clearly needed, and therefore they provided it (printed in italics in the KJV). Here they did not provide the conjunction “and” because they didn’t really understand this verse.

By “MY GREAT ARMY” Jesus Christ does NOT mean “a bunch of locusts”! By “MY great army” Jesus Christ means “THE ARMIES WHICH ARE IN HEAVEN” and which follow Him at His coming (see Revelation 19:14). Those armies provide the outward appearance of POWER and great glory (Matthew 24:30). Christ’s army consists of “ALL” the holy angels coming with Him (Matthew 25:31). THAT is what “My great army” means! But a bunch of locusts never has, and never will, qualify to be called “My great army”.

We need to understand that interpreting the term ‘My great army” in Joel 2:25 as a reference to locusts is just one more of those major deceptions Satan has palmed off on mankind. It is an insult to God’s great power to think of “God’s army” in terms of locusts.

Now the context of Joel 2:25 is that Jesus Christ has just returned at the 7th Trumpet (verse 15), and that He will restore EVERYTHING that was damaged or destroyed during the events leading up to His return.

Verse 25 should read (Jesus Christ speaking):

“And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm AND my great army which I sent among you.”

Christ is saying: “I will restore EVERYTHING FROM A TO Z", everything from the very first catastrophe mentioned in Joel (the locust plague causing a famine) to the very last event mentioned in Joel (i.e. the devastation that will result when Christ and His army put down all human opposition).

This verse is not intended to refer to locusts and cankerworms and caterpillars and palmerworms as ”God’s army”. That idea is completely wrong. This verse focuses on the first major event and the last major event, with the understanding that EVERYTHING IN BETWEEN those two extremes is also included in the restoration. And this promise to “restore” also applies to the destruction that will immediately follow Christ’s return (i.e. the 7 plagues). Specifically, it will also include restoring the damage done by the huge army at the 6th Trumpet (which was discussed in the first ten verses of this chapter).

To be clear, by “my great army” Jesus Christ is referring to the army of spirit beings that comes with Him at His second coming. And those in the first resurrection will actually join that army! That army will be involved in the final destructions that occur before Jesus Christ begins to restore all those things that were damaged.

With this as background, we should be able to see that Joel 2:1-10 is indeed the discussion of a vast human army with artillery and air support and vast numbers of soldiers.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

As far as verse 2 is concerned, no changes are needed.

“And I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the cankerworm, and the caterpiller, and the palmerworm AND my great army which I sent among you.” (Verse 25)

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THESE VERSES:

The first ten verses of Joel 2 are a discussion of the second woe, seen from the perspective of Palestine. The whole comparison to locusts is absurd! The reference to “my great army” in verse 25, on the other hand, is a reference to the holy angels that accompany Jesus Christ at His return. Joel 2:2 and Joel 2:25 are in fact separated by one trumpet, which is blown in verse 15. So where verse 2 applies to Trumpet #6, verse 25 applies to Trumpet #7.

And Joel 2:2 has nothing to do with the reference to locusts in Joel 1:4. Joel 1:4 and Joel 2:2 are also separated by (at least) one trumpet, which is blown in Joel 2:1. The trumpets in Joel need to be identified with the trumpets that are blown in Revelation.

#51 = JOEL 2:8

THE VERSE:

“Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, THEY SHALL NOT BE WOUNDED.”

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

Because the members of this army supposedly cannot be wounded by swords, some people feel this describes locusts, which also cannot be killed with swords. Or perhaps they are immortal?

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

Here we are dealing with another mistranslation. The Hebrew verb here translated as “wounded” is “batsa”. This verb is used 16 times in the Old Testament, and in these 16 occurrences it is translated 12 different ways. It is translated as: “cut off, gained, given, greedy, covet, covetous, cut, finish, fulfilled, get, performed, and wounded”. I mention these 12 different ways these 16 occurrences of “batsa” are translated to illustrate that “wounded” is hardly an appropriate translation for this word. “Wounded” is in fact the least likely option amongst those 12 different ways “batsa” has been translated.

When this Hebrew verb “batsa” is used with the qal stem, its meaning is “TO CUT OFF” or “TO STOP”. And that is the meaning that is intended here in this verse.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

“Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword THEY SHALL NOT BE STOPPED (i.e. they shall not be finished).”

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

This is describing an incredibly huge human army (Trumpet #6), the likes of which this earth has never seen before. The message of this particular verse is that there is no way that ANYTHING human can stop that army from reaching its goal.

When they are engaged in combat, many of them will die, certainly. But that army as a whole cannot be stopped by any weapons. No matter how many casualties they suffer, their numbers are so huge (200 million, Revelation 9:16) that they will just keep on advancing. Losses of twenty million men, or even fifty million men, cannot deter them from their goal; the remaining one hundred and fifty million (or however many?) will just keep on coming. THAT IS THE POINT THIS VERSE IS MAKING!

The concept of “wounded” is totally inappropriate here in Joel 2:8. The translators chose “wounded” primarily because in their minds this was supposed to be a reference to locusts. Had they viewed this account as a discussion of a human army, then most likely they would have chosen a different way to translate “batsa” in this verse.

The point to understand is that “THEY” AS A WHOLE are not going to be stopped or be finished, even though INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS comprising that greater “they” end up dying in the process. This verse is not focusing on individual members of that huge army, but on that army as an entity. Those individuals who DO “fall upon the sword” die, certainly! But “THEY” (i.e. the army) just keep coming, with every gap in the ranks being filled by an endless supply of replacements.

[COMMENT: We have the words of Joel 2 put to music in one of our hymns. When we sing the words “climbing walls like men of war” (from Joel 2:7) most people don’t realize that we are actually singing about the army that makes up the second woe of Revelation 9:13-19, and that is definitely not God’s army! It is that army which is going to be destroyed by Jesus Christ at His coming. This is an example of people being totally clueless about the meaning of the words we are actually singing. We cannot attach a different meaning to Joel 2 from the meaning that God has attached to this passage.]

#52 = ZECHARIAH 14:19

THE VERSE:

“This shall be THE PUNISHMENT of Egypt, and THE PUNISHMENT of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.”

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This translation creates a focus on punishment. But that focus is not correct.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

This verse contains a mistranslation. The Hebrew word that is twice in this verse translated as “punishment” is “chattah”. This is the normal Hebrew word for “SIN”, being derived from a verb that means “to miss the mark”.

Since this meaning of “chattah” is well-known, we might ask: how did this mistranslation get into our English versions of the Bible. Here is how this happened.

In the Greek language LXX “chattah” is correctly translated as “sin”. The same is true for the Latin Vulgate. Thus it is also correctly rendered as “sin” in John Wycliffe’s Translation (made from the Vulgate). Similarly, it is also correctly translated into German by Martin Luther, and thus in the Dutch language translations that are based on Luther’s German version.

“Chattah” is always translated correctly as “sin” until we come to the Geneva Bible translation. It is the Geneva Bible that introduced the expression “this shall be the PUNISHMENT of Egypt” into this verse. Following after the Geneva Bible, the Bishops Bible rendered this as “this shall be the PLAGUE of Egypt”. Then came the King James translators. They accepted the wording of the Geneva Bible (i.e. “punishment”), and from there it has found almost universal acceptance in the English language translations.

The driving force behind the Geneva Bible was John Calvin. And this verse is an example of John Calvin’s influence affecting the views of most Protestant religions.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

“This shall be THE SIN of Egypt, and THE SIN of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.”

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

John Calvin had a very aggressively punitive view of life; he wanted to see punishments dished out for everything. Calvin himself personally handed out his share of punishments to people who disagreed with him (e.g. imprisoning some men who had laughed in church, putting another man to death for rejecting the trinity teaching, etc.). Our mistranslations reflect Calvin’s view of a stern and harsh God.

The wrong focus created by the mistranslation is on punishing. That wrong focus actually turns this verse into a threat! That focus is: here is the penalty that you can expect if you don’t toe the line.

The focus of the correct translation for this verse is on the right form of conduct before God, by stating that neglect to do certain things is sin. Yes, there are still penalties for transgressions. But the focus is: those nations that don’t keep the Feast ARE MISSING THE MARK (literal meaning of “chattah”), without issuing an additional threat in this verse.

This mistranslation is not a major issue. But it illustrates how a slight change here and another slight change there can contribute towards creating a distorted perception of God and His dealings with mankind.

#53 = MATTHEW 4:5

THE VERSE:

“Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him ON A PINNACLE of the temple,”

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

The implication here is that the Temple had spires or towers or a dome of some kind. This is wrong.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

The word “pinnacle” is a mistranslation based on the Latin Vulgate. The Temple had a flat roof. There simply were no “pinnacles” on the Temple, as there are on most other buildings for religious worship.

The Latin Vulgate text here reads “pinnaculum”, and the English translators turned this into the English word “pinnacle”. What happened on this occasion is that Satan took Jesus Christ to a wing or corner of the flat roof of the Temple, in an attempt to get Jesus Christ to commit suicide.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

“Then the devil taketh him up into the holy city, and setteth him ON A WING (or corner) OF THE ROOF of the temple,”

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

There were no pinnacles and no spires or towers on the Temple. Those features (pinnacles, spires, etc.) are identifying marks for the false religions and their religious services. Here the translators were influenced by their own religious views in providing the word “pinnacle” in this verse.

#54 = MATTHEW 5:44

THE VERSE:

“But I say unto you, LOVE your enemies, BLESS them that curse you, DO GOOD to them that hate you, and PRAY FOR them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;”

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

There is no mistranslation here. This is an example of where the correct meaning of a correct translation has been effectively hidden by the correct meanings of words having been almost completely obscured.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

The problem is that the meaning of the word “love” has been almost totally obscured and distorted. When we say that we “love” playing golf or eating cheese cake or driving a sports car or going on vacation, etc., then we are totally and completely missing the meaning of the word “love”.

The Bible tells us that “God is love” (1 John 4:8). For this reason Satan wants to deceive and to confuse human beings about what love is. If we don’t understand love, we are also unlikely to understand God. And in this effort to deceive people Satan has succeeded to a very large degree.

The reason why I chose this particular reference to “love” is that this verse actually defines love from God’s perspective.

Love is not a feeling or an emotion. Love is not something that is beyond our control. We have total control over whom we determine to love and whom we decide not to love. The statement “I don’t love you any more” really means “I HAVE DECIDED that I will no longer love you”.

This verse tells us that love consists of three things, and none of them are a feeling of some kind. If we were to present an equation for love, it would look as follows:

LOVE = SAY GOOD + DO GOOD + PRAY FOR

The word “bless” literally means “say good words to people”.

So: LOVE = RIGHT (WORDS + ACTIONS + ATTITUDE) towards somebody. This obviously can’t apply to golf and cheese cake and a sports car, etc.

This is what love always means, whether we talk about loving our spouse or children or parents or neighbors or enemies. It always comes back to: say good + do good + pray for. Mr. Armstrong used to sum this up as “love is an outgoing attitude of concern for other people”.

This subject and this specific Scripture is discussed in more detail in the article on “Love” on my website.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

The translation we have is fine.

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

This verse presents how Jesus Christ chose to define “love” in the basic teachings He presented in “the sermon on the mount”. And it is always within our power to decide whether to love someone or not. The best synonym for "love" is "COMMITMENT".

#55 = MATTHEW 10:4 (and MARK 3:18)

THESE VERSES:

"SIMON THE CANAANITE, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him." (Matthew 10:4)

"And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and SIMON THE CANAANITE," (Mark 3:18)

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

These translations imply that one of the twelve apostles was a Canaanite. But this is wrong.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

This man was correctly known as "Simon called ZELOTES". This is recorded accurately in Luke 6:15 and in Acts 1:13. "Zelotes" was not the man's name; this word merely indicated that the man had previously been a member of an extreme faction of the Pharisees called "Zealots". They had been started by Judas of Galilee and refused to pay taxes to the Romans.

Here in Matthew 10:4 and in Mark 3:18 "Canaanite" is a translation of the Greek word "Kananites". This word was formed from the Aramaic root word "qanna", meaning "jealous" or "zealous". Instead of translating the meaning of this Aramaic designation for the followers of Judas of Galilee into Greek, this designation was simply transliterated into Greek as "Kananites", without having any connection whatsoever to the word for "Canaanite". It simply sounds similar to "Canaanite". From the Greek term "Kananites" it was again simply transliterated into English as "Canaanite". This was unfortunate.

This designation "Kananites" should really have been translated as "Zealot", indicating the man's prior religious affiliation. There are indications that this is the same man who in the Gospel of John is identified as "Nathanael" (John 1:45-49; John 21:2).

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

"Simon THE ZEALOT, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him." (Matthew 10:4)

"And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon THE ZEALOT," (Mark 3:18)

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

Prior to becoming a disciple of Jesus Christ this Simon had been a member of an extreme faction of the Pharisees that looked for the coming of the Messiah and that also rejected Roman taxation. The man was most likely a Jew from Galilee, as were all the other apostles.

#56 = MATTHEW 21:29, 32

THE VERSES:

“He answered and said, I will not: but afterward HE REPENTED, and went.”

“For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when YE had seen it, REPENTED NOT afterward, that ye might believe him.”

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This translation downgrades the correct meaning of repentance. While the differences we will examine may seem to be slight, this is in fact another mistranslation with huge consequences.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

In the New Testament there are two different Greek verbs, with distinctly different meanings, which are both translated into English as “repent”. Only one of those two words means “repent”. Translating them both as “repent” has the effect of hiding the correct meaning of “repent” from most people.

As a result, none of the world’s scholars really understand true repentance. So don’t expect Bible translators and commentators to grasp the difference between the two Greek words involved in this matter; they treat them as synonyms, which is wrong. The two words involved are:

1) METANOEO means TO REPENT.

This word literally means: TO CHANGE THE WAY WE THINK; TO CHANGE THE WAY OUR MINDS WORK. This word is used 34 times in the NT, and it is always translated in the KJV as “repent”. (In the Old Testament the Hebrew word "shuwb" has the same meaning as the Greek word "metanoeo". "Shuwb" is typically translated as "turn" or as "return". It involves a change of mind.)

2) METAMELLOMAI means TO BE SORRY, TO HAVE REGRETS.

This word literally means: TO AFTERWARDS TAKE CARE, i.e. to regret. This word is used 6 times in the NT, and in the KJV it is also always translated as “repent”. (In the Old Testament the Hebrew word "nacham" has the same meaning as the Greek word "metamellomai". "Nacham" means "to be sorry, to have regrets", and it is commonly mistranslated as "repent".)

Here is the distinction in the meanings of these two Greek verbs:

A godly repentance (i.e. “metanoeo”) involves changing the way we think, and as a consequence to that changed way of thinking our wrong conduct also changes (we stop doing things we understand are wrong, and start doing those things we understand are right). The motivation underlying that changed way of thinking is the realization that we have sinned against God, that we are therefore guilty and in need of forgiveness from God. Our changed way of thinking and, where required, changed way of behaving does not earn us anything, but it is nevertheless a prerequisite for receiving undeserved forgiveness for “sins that are past” (Romans 3:25). A godly repentance involves seeing our relationship to God in the correct perspective. The sorrow in godly repentance concerns our realization that we have sinned against God and are therefore responsible for the death of Jesus Christ.

A worldly repentance (i.e. “metamellomai”) involves changing some of our actions. The focus is on the things we do or have done. The sorrow in worldly repentance is typically focused on self! People are sorry because they are now suffering a penalty which they don’t like; they are not sorry because the things they did are wrong or were hurtful to other people. There is no change at all in the way the mind works and thinks. The view of self is largely unaffected by a worldly repentance. And it should not really be called “repentance”. This word “metamellomai” really describes an emotion that EVERYBODY experiences at various times: we are sorry for something we did, or sorry for the way the things we did turned out, i.e. we have some regrets. This is independent of our relationship to God. Unrepentant people also experience this emotion expressed by “metamellomai”, and “metamellomai” is never evidence of real repentance. At the other extreme, people who make a point of actively suppressing all feelings of “metamellomai” in their lives are in really, really bad shape! They are searing their conscience, and they are getting as close as is humanly possible to Satan’s mindset.

To put it another way:

“Metamellomai” is an emotional response to certain situations. It is typically the result of feelings of guilt or remorse. It is expressed by the words “I am sorry”. The emotions are the key, and the mind takes a backseat in this process. This process does not necessarily affect the person’s future actions and conduct, because there is no committed setting of the mind to in future carefully avoid doing whatever we are sorry about right now. It MAY have a positive effect on future conduct, but there is no real commitment in this regard.

“Metanoeo”, on the other hand, is a consciously thought-out mental response to actions and to attitudes we have come to see are wrong before God. The mind comes first in this process, and the emotions take second place. Real repentance must always be driven by the mind, not by the emotions. The mind makes a commitment to in future avoid the wrong actions and attitudes. The mind is guided in this process by a desire to please God in all we do.

Real repentance (“metanoeo”) certainly includes being sorry for certain things (“metamellomai”), but being sorry (“metamellomai”) by itself is on a far lower level than real repentance (“metanoeo”).

However, here is the point we need to realize:

WITHOUT GOD’S SPIRIT PEOPLE CANNOT SEE OR UNDERSTAND THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN “METANOEO” AND “METAMELLOMAI”! And they can’t understand that when there are no wrong actions committed, but there is already a wrong attitude present, then ALREADY there is a need for real repentance. With worldly repentance the focus is on wrong actions and conduct; with godly repentance the focus is on wrong attitudes, TOTALLY INDEPENDENT OF whether or not wrong actions are also involved.

Because they can’t understand this distinction between these two concepts, expressed by these two Greek verbs, that is why translators simply translate both these words into English as “repent”. In this regard 1 Corinthians 2:11 is the deciding factor: unrepentant people cannot really understand what real repentance is.

The thing that “metanoeo” and “metamellomai” have in common is that they both represent steps in the same right direction. “Metamellomai” represents A SMALL STEP in the right direction, and “metanoeo” represents A GIANT STEP in that same right direction. For those people who really “repent” (“metanoeo”), having regrets and being sorry for certain things (“metamellomai”) is often a first step that precedes or goes hand-in-hand with their actual repentance (“metanoeo”). It is not that “metamellomai” is somehow wrong or bad, not at all. “Metamellomai” expresses a GOOD step in the right direction; it is just that we need to understand that “metamellomai” on its own still falls far short of real repentance.

[COMMENT: To keep things simple, I have not introduced the Greek noun for “repentance”; I have simply continued to use the Greek verb “metanoeo” in its place.]

Can you imagine the magnitude of the problems that were created when, in the course of centuries, the men who were responsible for baptizing new members into the Church of God themselves didn’t grasp the great distinction between “metanoeo” and “metamellomai”? As a result very many people were baptized because they exhibited “metamellomai”, but at no stage did they ever experience “metanoeo”. THIS has always been a problem for the Church of God. This is the reason why “tares” manage to come into the Church. This is the reason why Jude wrote that “there are certain men crept in (i.e. into the body of the Church) unawares” (Jude 1:4); in many cases people have come into the Church because they demonstrated “metamellomai”. That is fine as a start, but it is NEVER enough. Without “metanoeo” nobody can ever become a true member of God’s Church. Without “metanoeo” nobody will ever receive God’s Holy Spirit.

The 6 places (in 5 verses) where “metamellomai” has been incorrectly translated as “repent” are: MATTHEW 21:29, 32; MATTHEW 27:3; 2 CORINTHIANS 7:8 (2 times); HEBREWS 7:21. Here we are examining the first two occurrences. The other occurrences are discussed in their proper locations.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THESE VERSES:

“He answered and said, I will not: but afterward HE WAS SORRY and went.” (verse 29)

“For John came unto you in the way of righteousness, and ye believed him not: but the publicans and the harlots believed him: and ye, when ye had seen it, WERE NOT SORRY afterwards, that ye might believe him.” (verse 32)

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THESE VERSES:

In this parable Jesus Christ was not speaking about real repentance at all. He was not speaking about that giant step of real repentance we must take in order to establish a right relationship with God. Jesus Christ was simply using ordinary everyday regret, or being sorry for having made a mistake, to illustrate the hardness of heart of the Pharisees. They weren’t even prepared to take the smallest of steps in the right direction, the step of at least acknowledging that they had been wrong, the step of showing some regret. That is what this parable was designed to illustrate.

We should never confuse remorse and regret with real repentance. Those emotions are fine, and they are great attributes, and they represent a small step in the right direction. But real repentance requires a lot more than some remorse or regret.

#57 = MATTHEW 24:45 (also LUKE 12:42)

THE VERSE:

“Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord HATH MADE RULER over his HOUSEHOLD, to give them meat in due season?”

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This sounds like a logical translation, that this verse is speaking about a ruler over a household. But that is not exactly the case.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

Here we are dealing with two mistranslations in this one verse.

Let’s start with some basic New Testament Greek.

1) The Greek words for “HOUSE” are “OIKOS” and “OIKIA”.

2) The Greek word for “HOUSEHOLD” is “OIKIAKOS”.

3) The Greek word for a STEWARD (manager) of a HOUSEHOLD is “OIKONOMOS”.

Specifically, the word for “household” in Matthew 10:25, 36 is “OIKIAKOS”, and the context of those two verses makes clear that there it is REALLY speaking about “a household’. Those verses also show that Matthew was well aware of the correct Greek word for “household”.

I mention these things because none of the above Greek words are used in Matthew 24:45. So the first thing we should note is that this is NOT speaking about “a household”! Secondly, there is no word for “ruler” in the Greek text. So this verse is also not necessarily speaking about anyone who is “a ruler”, though that possibility is also not excluded. Specifically, the Greek word for “a ruler over a household” is not used in this verse.

Here are the key Greek words used in this verse.

1) The Greek word translated as “household” is “THERAPEIA”. This word really means “HEALING”, and it is correctly translated as “healing” in Luke 9:11 and in Revelation 22:2. By extension it means “well being”. But it does NOT mean “household”.

2) The three words “HAS MADE RULER” are a translation of the one Greek VERB “KATHISTEMI”, which means “TO APPOINT, TO SET, TO PLACE”, etc. While it may refer to “ruling”, it does not really require the word “ruler” to be used in its translation. This verb “kathistemi” is translated as”‘ORDAIN” in Titus 1:5, Hebrews 5:1 and in Hebrews 8:3. It is translated simply as “MAKE” in Hebrews 7:28 and in 2 Peter 1:8. It is translated simply as “IS” in James 4:4 (“... friend of the world IS the enemy of God”). The translation of this verb does not require the noun “ruler” to be used.

The translators were trying to make sense out of the Greek text, and the translation they provided is primarily an expression of how they INTERPRETED this verse, how they tried to find a possible meaning. But that is not the same as providing an accurate and faithful translation of the Greek text.

We should note that THE ONLY REASON various dictionaries of biblical Greek state that “household” is supposedly one of the meanings of the word “therapeia” is because it is used in Matthew 24:45 and in the parallel verse in Luke 12:42. Without the word “therapeia” in these two verses nobody would ever have suggested that “therapeia” supposedly means “household”, since all Greek scholars know that “oikiakos” is really the Greek word for “household”.

The above comments regarding “kathistemi” also apply to verse 47; and all of the above comments also apply to the parallel verses in Luke 12:42, 44.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

“Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord HAS APPOINTED OVER HIS HEALING, to give them meat in due season?”

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

A correct translation of this verse didn’t make any sense to the translators. After all, what is the expression “appointed over His healing” supposed to mean? The difficulty in understanding this text lies at the root of our wrong translations.

The context of these verses refers to the end time shortly before the second coming of Christ. That timing is made clear by the evil servant’s attitude of “my Lord delays His coming”. In that time context Jesus Christ spoke about TWO distinct servants, presumably in similar positions or situations. The first one is “faithful and wise”, while the second one is “evil”. That is the sequence Jesus Christ presented.

The implication seems to be that both of these servants had been, or will be, “appointed over God’s healing”. When it says that these two servants are to “give them meat in due season”, I suspect that this means that these two servants are supposed to PROVIDE RIGHT TEACHING (i.e. spiritual meat) for God’s people, rather than this referring to them providing physical food for someone. And “therapeia” ties into this responsibility in a significant way.

The expression “appointed over His healing” I take to mean that these two servants had (or have, or will have?) a certain amount of control over teaching “the truth about divine healing”. Of all the “meat in due season” that these servants are to provide for God’s people, God has here singled out a focus on the teaching regarding divine healing.

These verses (Matthew 24:41 - 51) are really an introduction for the parable about “the ten virgins” in Matthew 25. And even as in this introduction there are two servants (a wise and faithful one, and an evil servant), so in this parable these ten virgins fall into two equal groups (five are wise, and five are foolish). Putting these together, it seems likely that “the five wise virgins” are the recipients of the spiritual food (including the true teaching about divine healing) provided by the “faithful and wise servant”; and “the five foolish virgins” are the recipients of the spiritual food provided by the “evil servant".

It is interesting that there have been distinctly contrasting approaches to the Church’s teaching regarding “therapeia” (i.e. healing) by the most recent leadership in the Church. Mr. Herbert Armstrong wrote a major booklet about “Healing” in the last few years of his life. This booklet reflected the Church’s official teaching on this subject. Shortly after Mr. Armstrong’s death the new leadership under Mr. Joseph Tkach withdrew Mr. Armstrong’s booklet on this subject (long before all the others were withdrawn) and then replaced it with a booklet that showed a markedly different approach to this subject. While this is an interesting point to consider, I don’t know whether this recent history has any direct application to this section of Scripture or not?

#58 = MATTHEW 27:3

THE VERSE:

“Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, REPENTED HIMSELF, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,”

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This translation almost sounds like Judas repented. But that is not the case.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

The Greek word here translated as “repented himself” is “metamellomai”. It does not mean “repent”; it only means “to regret” or “to be sorry”, which is not what “repent” means.

For a detailed discussion of the meaning of “metamellomai” please see the section dealing with Matthew 21:29.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

“Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, REGRETTED WHAT HE HAD DONE, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,”

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

Once Jesus Christ had been condemned to death, Judas regretted what he had done. His was not a true repentance but a worldly sorrow or regret, which focused on Judas himself. This self-centered focus is proved by Judas then committing suicide, the ultimate expression of not being willing to face up to one's problems.

#59 = MATTHEW 28:1

THE VERSE:

“IN THE END OF THE SABBATH, AS IT BEGAN TO DAWN TOWARD THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.”

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This translation is used to support a Sunday morning resurrection scenario. But that is not correct.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

There are a number of problems with this translation. First some general comments.

As far as the events surrounding the resurrection are concerned, the different gospel accounts approach this from different perspectives. They record some things that are also recorded by other writers, and in some cases they record things not mentioned by other writers. They also don’t always point out how much time had passed before the next event they record actually took place. In some cases one or more days elapse between consecutive statements in their accounts. This is not always immediately apparent.

One other point we should be aware of is that the concept of a seven-day WEEK was well-established in Jewish culture and thinking. Back in the days of Moses Hebrew already had a distinct word for “week” (i.e. “shabuwa”). In fact, this Hebrew word for “week” is not even related to the Hebrew word for “Sabbath” (though to us English speakers those Hebrew words may sound similar), illustrating the linguistic independence of this word for “week”. In Hebrew the word for week is derived from the word for “seven”, but the word for “Sabbath” has no connection at all to the word for “seven”.

By contrast, the seven-day week was NOT a concept with which either the Greeks or the Romans were familiar. Consequently even 1500 years after Moses (i.e. in NT times) Greek and Latin still did not have a word for expressing the idea of a 7-day week. This placed a constraint on the NT writers who used the Greek language. How could they convey the idea of a repeating cycle of seven days in a language that had no previous experience of the "7-day week”? At the same time those writers had to convey the idea of A SPECIFIC DAY (i.e. the Sabbath) also being repeated in a consistent and uninterrupted pattern.

The lack of Greek and Roman familiarity with a 7-day week becomes apparent from the following things:

1) In the New Testament there are 9 references to "week/s". They are: Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2, 9; Luke 18:12; Luke 24:1; John 20:1; John 20:19; Acts 20:7; and 1 Corinthians 16:2.

2) In all 9 places the Greek NT text has the word "sabbaton".

3) In all 9 places the Latin Vulgate has the Latin word "sabbatum, sabbati".

4) Where the Hebrew word for "week" (i.e. "shabuwa") is used in the OT, the Greek language LXX typically translates this as "ebdoma".

5) In the MODERN GREEK language NT, the above 9 places are all translated as "ebdomados", the modern Greek word for "week" being "ebdomada".

6) The modern Latin word for "week" is hebdomas", clearly taken over from the Greek word that is used in the LXX. But this word "hebdomas" is never used in the Latin Vulgate.

7) It was the Roman Emperor Constantine who eventually established the 7-day week in the Roman world. This Constantine did in 321 A.D. Before that time the 7-day week was not a part of Roman life.

HERE IS WHAT THE ABOVE INFORMATION TELLS US:

1) While in Hebrew the word for "week" ("shabuwa") had already been around for over 1500 years, at the time of the New Testament NEITHER GREEK NOR LATIN yet had a distinct word for the concept of a 7-day week.

2) Therefore the NT writers were FORCED to use the hellenized word "sabbaton" to refer to both the weekly Sabbath and also the 7-day week. Had the word "ebdoma" (used in the LXX) already been in common usage in Greek, the NT writers would surely have used this word. The fact that "ebdoma", or any variation of this word, is never used in the Greek NT text, is PROOF that the word "ebdoma" was simply not yet a part of the spoken Greek language. THE CONCEPT of a 7-day week was not a part of Greek thinking.

3) This also shows that the LXX, AS WE HAVE IT TODAY, was not yet fully established. The inclusion of the word "ebdoma" in the text of the LXX shows that this word was only edited into the LXX text AFTER THE TIME OF THE NEW TESTAMENT. It is well-known that our LXX text today goes back only to Origen, the Egyptian Catholic scholar of the 3rd century A.D. Some parts of the LXX were translated in B.C. times, but today's text in its entirety goes back only to Origen.

4) Jerome, over 100 years after Origen, still did not use the Latin word "hebdomas", even though the Greek form "ebdoma" is used 18 times in the LXX. Instead, Jerome only used the word "sabbatum" to refer to "a week". And Jerome made his Vulgate translation about 60 years after Constantine had established the 7-day week in the Roman world. It seems that at Jerome's time the Greek word "ebdoma" had not yet found its way into the Latin language. And so Jerome used "sabbaton" to refer to a week.

Anyway, with these linguistic constraints of the Greek language being a given, it was only natural that the NT writers opted to use the hellenized word for “Sabbath” (i.e. “sabbaton”) to mean BOTH, the weekly Sabbath day, and also the concept of “a week”. In the Greek language New Testament it is always the context which tells us whether the Greek word for “Sabbath” means “a Sabbath day” or whether it means “a week”. But this is NEVER the case in Hebrew, which from the start had different words to identify these two concepts.

With this background information in mind, we can now look at Matthew 28:1.

1) The Greek text for the first part of this verse reads as follows: “OPSE DE SABBATON TE EPIPHOSKOUSE EIS MIAN SABBATON”.

2) The Greek word “de” is a conjunction, which has been left untranslated in the KJV. However, it really MUST be translated! The meaning of “de” is both adversative (i.e. “but”) and also continuative (i.e. “and”). The point is that this conjunction is intended to BRIDGE THE GAP between the previous verse (which took place a few days earlier) and the statement that now follows in Matthew 28:1. Omitting a conjunction altogether to some degree obscures this intent by the author to bridge that gap.

A number of translations have acknowledged this conjunction by translating it as “AND” (Rotherham, Young’s Literal Translation, Murdoch), or as ”NOW” (Darby, ERV, NAS, RSV, NKJV, ASV), or as “AFTER” (NIV, NRSV, Weymouth NT). Clearly, a conjunction must be provided at the beginning of this sentence.

3) The Greek word “opse” is an adverb of time. When “opse” is followed by the genitive case (which we have here in this verse), then it means “LATE IN THE PERIOD SPECIFIED BY THE GENITIVE CASE” (Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the NT).

4) In this verse the Greek “sabbaton” is twice used in the genitive plural case. This means either “OF SABBATHS”, or it means “OF WEEKS”.

5) So the first few Greek words should be correctly translated as follows:

“AND TOWARDS THE END OF THE SABBATHS”

Matthew used the plural, and he was clearly stating that TWO Sabbaths were coming to an end. The only possibility is that Matthew meant that since the time of the previous statement (i.e. Matthew 27:66), where Pontius Pilate had set a watch over the tomb, TWO Sabbaths had passed. This means that a Thursday was the first of those two Sabbaths (i.e. it was the First Day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread), and a Saturday was the second of those two Sabbaths.

Now “late in the period specified” (the meaning of “opse” with the genitive) means that this could ONLY be late on Saturday afternoon, very shortly before sunset. That is the exact time identified by the first three Greek words in this verse. It could not possibly have been “very early Sunday morning”.

6) The Greek “epiphoskouse” is a form of the verb “epiphosko”. This verb is only used twice in the NT, the other place being Luke 23:54, where it is translated as “drew on” in the expression “and the Sabbath drew on”. There the meaning is that the Sabbath was “APPROACHING”. It has the same meaning here in Matthew 28:1, that the first day of the week “was approaching”.

7) The Greek expression “eis mian sabbaton” means “into the first of the weeks”, a reference to the first day of the week. Of interest is the Greek preposition “eis”, which denotes two things. First of all “eis” denotes “movement towards an object”. But “eis” also implies that the object towards which “eis” is moving HAS NOT YET BEEN REACHED!

8) So the whole Greek text we looked at above literally means:

“AND TOWARDS THE END OF THE SABBATHS AS THE FIRST DAY OF THE WEEK WAS APPROACHING (but it had not yet been reached!).”

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

“And TOWARDS THE END OF THE SABBATHS, as the first day of the week was approaching, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher.”

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

In this verse Matthew is telling us about something that took place after TWO Sabbaths had passed. The time was shortly before sunset on a Saturday evening. The two Marys left their lodgings a few minutes before sunset and then arrived at the sepulcher a few minutes after sunset. When they left their lodgings the time was moving TOWARDS the first day of the week, and by the time they reached the sepulcher the sun had set and the first day of the week had actually started.

The purpose of their visit on this Saturday evening was not to embalm the body, but merely “to see the sepulcher”, i.e. to familiarize themselves with the exact location. They had intended to return the next day.

#60 = LUKE 12:42

THE VERSE:

“And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise STEWARD, whom his lord shall make RULER OVER HIS HOUSEHOLD, to give them their portion of MEAT in due season?”

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This verse contains a mistranslation.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

This verse is the parallel to Matthew 24:45. See that section for a detailed discussion regarding the content of this verse.

Some additional comments on Luke’s version of this statement by Jesus Christ.

1) Luke clearly presents this statement in a completely different context from Matthew’s account. Matthew presents this within the context of the Olivet prophecy. Luke, on the other hand, presents this statement more than 8 chapters before Luke presents the Olivet prophecy (in Luke 21).

2) Where Matthew records Jesus Christ as speaking about a faithful and wise “SERVANT” (Greek “doulos” meaning “slave”), Luke has Jesus Christ speaking about a faithful and wise “STEWARD” (Greek “oikonomos”, the Greek word for a manager of a household). This tells me that Luke didn’t grasp the significance of Jesus Christ’s use of the word “therapeia”, and that Luke therefore interpreted the word “doulos” to mean “oikonomos”.

3) Where the Greek word translated as “meat” in Matthew 24:45 is “trophe”, a general term for food or nourishment, the Greek word in Luke’s account is “sitometrion”, which literally means “a measured amount of corn”. This word refers specifically to the responsibilities of a steward. Luke’s choice of this word was no doubt influenced by his perception that this is speaking about an “oikonomos” rather than just a “doulos”.

I suspect that these slight changes in focus in Luke’s account, when compared to the record preserved by Matthew, are due to Luke having had to rely on secondhand accounts for his information. That is also indicated by Luke placing this statement into a completely wrong time context.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

“And the Lord said, Who then is a faithful and wise steward, whom his lord HAS APPOINTED OVER HIS HEALING, to give them their portion of grain in due season?”

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

See the comments in the section devoted to Matthew 24:45. The above text reflects a translation of the words Luke actually used, rather than the words Luke should have used.

#61 = LUKE 17:21

THE VERSE:

“Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is WITHIN YOU.”

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This translation is used to imply that the kingdom of God is something that is in the hearts of people. That is completely wrong!

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

The Greek words here translated as "within you" are "entos humon". The marginal reading renders this more appropriately as "AMONG YOU".

The Greek preposition "entos" means: inside, within, among, in the midst. The Greek pronoun "humon" is the genitive plural, meaning "of you". So the expression "entos humon" means "in the midst of you". This COULD mean either "inside of you" or it could mean "among you". A clear understanding about every other statement regarding the kingdom of God in the New Testament is essential in establishing the intended meaning in this verse here.

We might keep in mind that at no stage of His ministry did Jesus Christ ever speak to people in the Greek language. His whole ministry was conducted in the Aramaic language, with occasional quotations from the Hebrew text of the Old Testament. So the things Jesus Christ said in Aramaic have been recorded for us in Greek.

You might also examine my article on "The Gospel of Luke", in which I have compared 77 passages in Luke's Gospel with the corresponding passages in the other gospel accounts. Besides Luke not having witnessed any part of Christ's ministry personally, Luke also repeatedly displays a less accurate understanding of the details pertaining to the events and conversations he has recorded in his gospel account. The 77 examples in my article clearly demonstrate that Luke repeatedly introduces minor details that are at odds with the other accounts provided by the eyewitness authors.

I mention these things here because, while the Greek expression "entos humon" can convey the idea of "among you", it would have been clearer if Luke had used the expression "mesos humon", which expresses "among you" in a less ambiguous way. For example, in John 1:26 John the Baptist is recorded as saying "there stands one AMONG YOU ("mesos humon") whom you know not".

While I have no way of knowing this for sure, I suspect that the Aramaic expression John the Baptist used in John 1:26 and the Aramaic expression Jesus Christ is recorded by Luke to have said in Luke 17:21 were the same. So where the Apostle John recorded John the Baptist's statement in Greek as "mesos humon", Luke recorded Jesus Christ's statement in Greek as "entos humon". Luke could have chosen the Greek adjective "mesos" instead of the Greek preposition "entos" to translate Christ's Aramaic words less ambiguously into Greek.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

“Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is AMONG YOU.”

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

Jesus Christ is the King in the kingdom of God. When Jesus Christ is present somewhere, then the kingdom of God is also present. Since Jesus Christ was standing there in person before them, therefore the kingdom of God was also represented right there before them.

A careful comparison of the verses before and after Luke 17:21 shows that Luke is recording events that Matthew has recorded in Matthew chapter 24. Now the context of Matthew 24 is that Jesus Christ has repeatedly castigated the Pharisees as "hypocrites" (all of Matthew 23). Previously, in Matthew 12:38-45, Christ referred to the Pharisees as "an evil and adulterous generation". When the Pharisees again tried to provoke Christ in Matthew 16:1-4, Christ again called them "hypocrites" and "wicked" and "an adulterous generation". And in Matthew 21:31 Jesus Christ told the chief priests and elders that "the publicans and the harlots GO INTO the kingdom of God before you".

So an examination of all of Jesus Christ's dealings with the Pharisees makes clear that the meaning of Luke 17:21 cannot possibly be that the kingdom of God was "WITHIN" those Pharisees, because such a statement contradicts every other reference Jesus Christ made to and about the Pharisees.

Furthermore, the kingdom of God is not something that is "within" anybody! The kingdom of God has a King (Jesus Christ), and a territory (initially it will be this planet earth, to later be extended to the whole new universe), and a constitution (the laws of God), and subjects (all those who will eventually comprise the Family of God). The only thing regarding this kingdom that will be "within" anyone will be THE CONSTITUTION of that kingdom; every member of God's Family will have internalized the laws of God to the point where those laws will perfectly reflect the mind of every member of God's Family.

#62 = LUKE 23:43

THE VERSE:

"And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, TODAY SHALT THOU BE WITH ME IN PARADISE."

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

The implication is that Jesus Christ and the thief went to paradise that same day. This is false.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

In the Greek manuscripts all the words on one line were originally written together without any spaces between words. Also, there obviously was no space for any punctuation. These factors made reading difficult, and frequently a text could be ambiguous.

There is no mistranslation here. Rather, the uninspired punctuation that was provided much later has the same effect as a mistranslation. The punctuation achieves a completely unintended meaning.

In the previous verse the thief had referred to THE FUTURE, by saying: "Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom". The thief was looking for future favor from Jesus Christ. It is in this response to the thief looking to the future that Jesus Christ replied: "I can tell you right now, today, that, when that time comes, you will be with Me in the presence of God the Father in the New Jerusalem (which is what "paradise" refers to)".

Jesus Christ's own testimony slightly more than three days after this conversation makes clear that Christ Himself had not yet been to "paradise"; He had not yet been in the presence of God the Father. In John 20:17 Christ told Mary: "I am NOT YET ascended to My Father". So Jesus Christ Himself did not go to "paradise" the day He died on the stake, and therefore neither did the thief.

The problem with this verse is not the translation, but the uninspired and wrong punctuation that was provided by translators and editors.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

"And Jesus said unto him, Verily TODAY I SAY UNTO YOU that you shall be with me in paradise."

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

In response to the thief's good attitude Jesus Christ was encouraging him by saying: I can tell you today, right now, that one day you will be with Me in God's kingdom.

#63 = JOHN 13:2

THE VERSE:

"And supper BEING ENDED, the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him;"

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This translation implies that the footwashing took place after supper. But that is not true.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

It is well known that the Greek expression with the verb "genomenou" (a form of the verb "ginomai") used here should be translated as "and DURING supper". For example:

ASV, NAS, RSV, WEB, and Darby translate this as "DURING SUPPER". The NIV translates this as "the evening meal was being served". Rotherham translates this as "and supper being in progress". Young's Literal Translation renders this as "and supper being come".

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

"And DURING supper the devil having now put into the heart of Judas Iscariot, Simon's son, to betray him;"

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

The footwashing took place during the supper, BEFORE Judas left, and BEFORE Jesus Christ then instituted the new emblems of the bread and wine to represent His broken body and His shed blood.

#64 = JOHN 19:34

THE VERSE:

"But one of the soldiers with a spear PIERCED his side, and forthwith came there out blood and water."

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

The previous verse states that Jesus Christ was already dead. And so this translation here implies that a soldier pierced His side after Christ had already died. But that is not correct.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

The verb here translated "pierced" is "enuxen", the aorist active indicative of the verb "nusso", meaning "to transfix, to pierce".

In the indicative mood the aorist tense really refers to the past perfect in English grammatical terms. Thus here "enuxen" should be translated as "HAD PIERCED".

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

"But one of the soldiers with a spear HAD PIERCED his side, and forthwith there had come out blood and water."

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

The Apostle John actually witnessed these events personally (verse 35). What had happened is that earlier one of the soldiers HAD pierced the side of Jesus Christ with a spear. When that happened, Jesus Christ cried out in agony and died (Matthew 27:50). That was soon after 3:00 p.m. Later, when the soldiers wanted to speed up the deaths of these three crucified men, they broke the legs of the two thieves (John 19:32). But by that time Jesus Christ had already died, and therefore they did not break His legs (John 19:33).

Verse 34 is John's explanation for why the legs of Jesus Christ were not broken. The reason was something another soldier had already done earlier, i.e. stab Christ with a spear.

#65 = ROMANS 1:23

THE VERSE:

"And CHANGED the glory of the uncorruptible God INTO AN IMAGE MADE LIKE TO corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things."

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

Human beings rejected God and went into idolatry. The mistranslations in this verse are of consequence to people who use this verse to draw certain conclusions regarding the nature of God. Specifically, some people have reasoned from this translation that God does not have any form or shape. That is completely wrong.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

I have written a detailed article on Romans 1:23. It is available in the "Mistranslated Scriptures" directory on my website.

Briefly:

First of all, the Greek word here translated "changed" really means "TO EXCHANGE one thing for another", i.e. to replace something with something else. It is correctly translated "exchanged" in the NAS, NIV, RSV, etc.

Next, in the Greek NT there are TWO different words with somewhat similar meanings, but also with some differences between them. Romans 1:23 is the only place in the New Testament where these two words are used together, expressing a relationship to each other. These two words are "eikon" and "homoioma".

The word "eikon" refers to a true and accurate image of someone or something. The word "homoioma", on the other hand, is used to express ABSTRACT CONCEPTS. So when a writer is making a literal comparison, then the word "eikon" is used; and when a writer is making a conceptual comparison, then the word "homoioma" is used.

The expression "into an image made like to" in this verse is a translation of the Greek expression "EN HOMOIOMATI EIKONOS". Let's look at these three words.

1) "En" means "in" or "into" and takes the dative case.

2) "Homoiomati" is the dative case of "homoioma," here translated as "made like to".

3) "Eikonos" is the genitive case of "eikon," here translated as "an image".

A correct literal translation of this Greek expression is "INTO THE LIKENESS OF AN IMAGE," and it is correctly rendered this way in both, Darby's Translation and in Young's Literal Translation. Now this expression "into the likeness of an image" is another way of saying "FOR THE CONCEPT OF AN IMAGE". So Paul is in this verse talking about a CONCEPTUAL comparison, not a literal comparison. This is something very few commentators seems to grasp.

Understand that the subject of this verse is NOT God! The subject of this verse is THE GLORY of God! Can we see that? And glory is an abstract concept. So in this verse Paul is NOT speaking about men exchanging God for "eikons". No, Paul is speaking about men exchanging the glory of God for a "homoioma"; they are exchanging the glory of God for a concept of what supposedly constitutes "God", and that "concept" manifests in a vast range of idols.

To be clear: The subject of this verse is NOT "eikon". Therefore this verse itself does not tell us anything at all about "the eikon or image of God". For information about the "eikon" (image, appearance) of God we have to examine other Scriptures (e.g. Genesis 1:26, etc.). Here the subject is the "homoioma" of God's glory, and this word has nothing to do with actual appearance.

See my article on this verse for more information.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

"And EXCHANGED the glory of the incorruptible God FOR THE CONCEPT OF AN IMAGE of corruptible man, and of birds, and four-footed beasts, and creeping things."

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

It is the concept of "the glory of God" which Paul states human beings HAVE exchanged for the concept of idolatry. The concept of idolatry is the contrast focus to the concept of God's glory, and therefore all the different manifestations (whether looking like human beings or like birds or animals or creeping things) form a part of that ONE concept. Many different idols constitute one concept of idolatry; many different "eikons" make up one "homoioma".

#66 = ROMANS 11:29

THE VERSE:

"For the gifts and calling of God are WITHOUT REPENTANCE."

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This verse is not talking about repentance one way or the other.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

The word here translated as "without repentance" does not apply to the biblical concept of repentance. Rather, this word applies to the idea of regret or being sorry. See also the section that deals with Matthew 21:29 for more information on repentance.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

"For the gifts and calling of God are WITHOUT REGRET."

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

To use the word "repentance" in this verse is somewhat misleading. In response to God's calling we DO have to repent. But that is not being addressed in this verse. Paul's point here is that God is in full control of the execution of His plan for mankind.

The only translation I have found that captures the intended meaning somewhat is Rotherham, which reads as follows:

"For, not to be regretted, are the gifts and the calling of God:" (Rom 11:29 Rotherham)

#67 = 2 CORINTHIANS 7:8

THE VERSE:

"For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not REPENT, though I did REPENT: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season."

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

Repent is the wrong word to use here.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

Paul is saying that he did not regret sending them a tough letter.

See the discussion on Matthew 21:29 for a detailed explanation of this subject.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

"For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not REGRET it, though I did REGRET it: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season."

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

After initially feeling somewhat bad about sending them such a corrective letter, Paul then decided that it had been the right thing for him to do, to call them to task for the numerous problems that were extant in the Corinthian Church. He saw that the letter had borne good fruits.

#68 = 2 CORINTHIANS 11:6

THE VERSE:

"But though I be RUDE in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been throughly made manifest among you in all things."

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

While the word "rude" has a range of meanings that includes the meaning Paul had in mind here, our modern use of the word "rude" makes it less appropriate in this verse.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

Today the expression "rude in speech" can be taken in a different sense from the one Paul had in mind.

There is no question that the Apostle Paul was a powerful and effective speaker. Recall that the pagan people of Lycaonia called Paul "Mercurius" "BECAUSE HE WAS THE CHIEF SPEAKER" (Acts 14:12). On some occasions Paul would speak all night (Acts 20:9), hardly a novice speaker giving his first sermonette. Paul frequently spoke in the synagogues, and in all the churches he visited. But he didn't consider himself to be a great speaker. So he always gave himself a low grade on "speech mechanics". I suspect that many of Paul's converts would have disagreed with that assessment. But be that as it may.

In the Greek world of the first century one recognized profession was that of the professional orator. For example, when the high priest wanted to accuse Paul before the governor (i.e. Felix), the high priest brought along a professional "orator" named Tertullus (Acts 24:1). Such orators had a specific way of speaking (i.e. their speech manners and traditions), which was supposed to be effective in influencing an audience.

With the expression that is translated "but though I be rude in speech" Paul was saying: "though I speak like a common man, and not like someone who has studied to be an orator". Our common modern meaning of "rude" doesn't enter the picture. A number of modern translations have tried to rectify this. For example:

The NIV reads: "I may not be a trained speaker, but I do have knowledge."

The NKJV reads: "Even though I am untrained in speech, yet I am not in knowledge."

The NRSV reads: "I may be untrained in speech, but not in knowledge".

Translations that say "unskilled" still miss the point to some degree. It wasn't a matter of Paul being "unskilled" in speaking. It was really a case of Paul neither having any credentials from a recognized "college for orators", nor even attempting to make use of any of the recognized speech techniques that were used by the orators of his time. And anyone without such credentials who attempted to become a public speaker was considered to be "a simple person" by others.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

The NKJV reads as follows:

"Even though I am UNTRAINED in speech, yet I am not in knowledge. But we have been thoroughly manifested among you in all things."

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

Paul's reference here is to his lack of recognized schooling as a professional orator. The rest of this verse makes clear that he had done an enormous amount of speaking in Corinth, and that his knowledge of the Scriptures could hardly be faulted.

#69 = EPHESIANS 5:21

THE VERSE:

"Submitting YOURSELVES ONE TO ANOTHER in the fear of God."

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This translation implies that everybody is supposed to submit to everybody else. That is completely wrong.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

There is a subtle mistranslation in this verse. It is not one where any wrong words are provided. Rather, this mistranslation implies that a certain Greek word is used twice in this verse, when in fact it is only used once.

This verse is the introductory statement for instructions to (in this order) wives and husbands, children and fathers, servants and masters. In those instructions Paul presents a clear hierarchy for each pair. Thus:"wives submit ..." and "husbands love ..."; "children obey ..." and "fathers don't provoke ..."; "servants be obedient ..." and "masters forbearing threatening ...". There is never a hint at a reversal of these roles; i.e. that husbands are to submit to their wives, or that fathers are to submit to their children, or that masters are to submit to their servants.

In Ephesians 5:21 the words "yourselves one to another" are a translation of the ONE Greek pronoun "allelon". Now this pronoun means: one another, yourselves, or themselves. But it does NOT mean a combination of these terms! It does NOT mean "yourselves one to another" or "themselves one to another".

The Greek text of this verse reads:

"hupotassomenoi ALLELOIS en phobo theou".

However, if we translate our common English text back into Greek, we get:

"hupotassomenoi ALLELOIS ALLELOIS en phobo theou".

Do you see the problem? The first "allelois" is the translation of "yourselves", and the second "allelois" is the translation of "one to another". Our English translation implies that the word "allelois" is used TWICE in this verse, because our English translation conveys TWO distinct THOUGHTS for this ONE Greek WORD. The first thought is that we are to "submit ourselves", and the second thought is that this submission is to be "to one another". The first thought explains WHO is to do the submitting (i.e. "yourselves"), and the second thought addresses TO WHOM that submission should be (i.e. "one to another").

Now the Greek word "allelon" ("allelois" is the dative plural) can convey either of these two concepts, but ONE use of this word does not convey both of these concepts at the same time. We have to limit ourselves to one of these options. This the translators did not do.

A correct translation of the Greek text of this verse should read EITHER: "Submitting yourselves in the fear of God" (obviously implying that we are ALL to submit ourselves to God and His rule over our lives); OR IT SHOULD READ: "Submitting one to another in the fear of God" (which will need some explaining to give it any tangible meaning). But it should NOT read: "Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God".

This verse is discussed in more detail in my article on this Scripture, which is located in the Mistranslated Scriptures directory of my website. There is also an article listed under the key word "SUBMITTING" in the General Articles directory, which deals with this verse.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

"Submitting YOURSELVES in the fear of God."

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

As a foundation for the specific instructions Paul will spell out in the following verses, here Paul lays the foundation for all interpersonal relationships, that we are all to submit ourselves TO GOD'S LAWS and instructions. This statement is important because in the subsequent verses some people will be told to "submit" and to "obey". These are things that people might not be inclined to do very readily if they have not first submitted their lives to God and His rule. The foundation for any submission to other human beings has to be our relationship to God. That is the point of this verse.

Some people have attempted to use this mistranslation to infer that husbands are supposedly also required to "submit" to their wives. We should not confuse "serving" with "submitting". Christ "served" the Church by giving His life for all people, but Christ never has and never will "submit" to the Church! That very thought is preposterous! There is no way that this verse means that husbands are "also supposed to submit to their wives". Such a position requires an enormous twisting of the word "submit".

#70 = 2 TIMOTHY 3:16

THE VERSE:

"All scripture IS GIVEN BY INSPIRATION OF GOD, AND is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:"

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This translation implies that every verse in the Bible was inspired by God. But that is simply not what this verse actually says or means. There are in fact FIVE distinct problems with the KJV translation of this verse.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

There is a long story behind the mistranslation contained in this verse, which goes back to the time of the Protestant Reformation. There is an 80-page article on my website, entitled "The Real Story Behind the Translation of 2 Timothy 3:16", and there is a 20-page article that presents a synopsis of the 80-page article. Look for the key words "Scripture Inspiration" to find these articles.

These two articles expose the deliberate mistranslation contained in this verse. Please refer to them for details.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

"ALL GOD-BREATHED SCRIPTURE IS PROFITABLE for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,"

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

Some parts of the Bible are "God-breathed" and other parts are not "God-breathed", though they are still a part of "the Scriptures". In this verse Paul is presenting specific purposes for those parts of the Scriptures that ARE God-breathed.

The two articles discuss this matter at great length.

#71 = HEBREWS 3:11, 18; 4:1, 3-5, 8-11

THE VERSES:

"So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into my REST." (Hebrews 3:11)

"And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his REST, but to them that believed not?"  (Hebrews 3:18)

"Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into his REST, any of you should seem to come short of it." (Hebrews 4:1)

"For we which have believed do enter into REST, as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into my REST: although the works were finished from the foundation of the world. For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God did REST the seventh day from all his works. And in this place again, If they shall enter into my REST." (Hebrews 4:3-5)

"For if Jesus (i.e. Joshua) had given them REST, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day. There remaineth therefore A REST to the people of God. For he that is entered into his REST, he also HATH CEASED from his own works, as God did from his. Let us labour therefore to enter into that REST, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief." (Hebrews 4:8-11)

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

The implication of these verses is that this is speaking about RESTING. These verses underlie the totally false idea that salvation is about "idly sitting around in heaven playing a harp", that there is nothing to do, that it will be an existence of nothing but rest and relaxation. That is not correct.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

Here we are dealing with a mistranslation that is universally accepted. In ALL of these verses the word "rest" represents a mistranslation. At no stage does the concept of "rest" ever enter the picture in the Book of Hebrews.

These verses are explained at length in my 22-page article entitled "WHAT IS 'THE REST' OF HEBREWS CHAPTER 4?" Basically the words translated as "rest" refer to "a period of cessation from rebellious human conduct". See the article for details. Look for the key word "REST" on my website.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THESE VERSES:

Because of the universal misunderstanding regarding what Paul is really speaking about in this section, there are no precise words to express the correct translation concisely. This makes a correct translation somewhat cumbersome. This is explained in the article. Below are what we might call "the corrected amplified translations" for these verses.

"So I sware in my wrath, They shall not enter into MY PLACE DEDICATED TO THE CESSATION OF REBELLION AND PROVOCATION (katapausis), the promised land." (Hebrews 3:11)

"And to whom sware he that they should not enter into HIS PLACE OF CESSATION OF ALL REBELLION (katapausis), but to them that believed not?" (Hebrews 3:18)

"Let us therefore fear, lest, a promise being left us of entering into HIS STATE OF CESSATION OF ALL HUMAN ENDEAVORS (katapausis), the Family of God, any of you should seem to come short of it." (Hebrews 4:1)

"For we which have believed do enter into A STATE OF CESSATION FROM ALL FORMS OF WRONG CONDUCT (katapausis), as he said, As I have sworn in my wrath, if they shall enter into MY PLACE DEDICATED TO THE CESSATION OF REBELLION AND PROVOCATION (katapausis): although the works were finished from the foundation of the world." (Hebrews 4:3)

"For he spake in a certain place of the seventh day on this wise, And God DID CEASE (katapauo) the seventh day from all his works." (Hebrews 4:4)

And in this place again, If they shall enter into MY PLACE OF CESSATION OF ALL REBELLION (katapausis)." (Hebrews 4:5)

"For if JOSHUA had given them THE CONDITION OF CESSATION FROM REBELLION (katapauo), then would he not afterward have spoken of another day." (Hebrews 4:8)

"There remaineth therefore A MILLENNIAL PERIOD OF CESSATION FROM REBELLION (sabbatismos) to the people of God." (Hebrews 4:9)

"For he that is entered into HIS CESSATION (katapausis), he also HATH CEASED (katapauo) from his own works, as God did from his." (Hebrews 4:10)

"Let us labour therefore to enter into that PERIOD OF CESSATION OF HUMAN REBELLION (katapausis), lest any man fall after the same example of DISOBEDIENCE." (Hebrews 4:11)

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

The focus of Hebrews chapters 3-4 is on the need for rebellious human conduct to stop. In the days of Moses Israel didn't cross the Jordan because of rebellion against God. Later in the days of Joshua, when they did cross into the promised land, the rebellion against God never stopped. So Israel NEVER entered a state of cessation from rebellion against God. Paul used Israel's example to explain that God's Church is also looking forward to entering a state of cessation from all rebellion against God, i.e. the resurrection into God's Family and then ruling with Jesus Christ during the millennium. We need to guard against disbelief and disobedience.

#72 = HEBREWS 4:6, 11

THE VERSES:

"Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of UNBELIEF:"  (Hebrews 4:6)

"Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of UNBELIEF."  (Hebrews 4:11)

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This mistranslation hides the fact that Paul elevated the problem with Old Testament Israel to a higher level. This translation implies that the only problem was unbelief. That is only the start of the story.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

The word correctly translated as "unbelief" in Hebrews 3:12, 19 is "apistia". But the word wrongly translated as "unbelief" in Hebrews 4:6, 11 (KJV) is "apeitheia". This word "apeitheia" really means "obstinate rejection, disobedience". Many other translations have clearly identified this switch in words by Paul, by in these two verses translating "apeitheia" as "disobedience" (ASV, ERV, NAS, NIV, RSV, NKJV, etc.) or as "obstinacy" (Rotherham).

Paul's reasoning in chapter 3 starts out with identifying Israel's lack of faith in God (i.e. unbelief). They repeatedly failed to trust God for all their needs. But then, when Paul repeats the same information, he changes the charge against Israel from "unbelief" to "disobedience". Paul is showing that Israel never CEASED FROM disobeying God and from rebelling against God, even after crossing the Jordan.

The word "apistia" (unbelief) focuses on THE MIND. Unbelief is something that takes place in the mind. But whatever takes place in the mind NEVER remains confined to the mind. Sooner or later what happens in the mind will manifest itself in some outward actions or conduct. And the word "apeitheia" (disobedience) focuses on that transition from the mind into outwardly discernible conduct. The word "apeitheia" focuses on the actions which really should have CEASED! We need to recognize the inevitable progression that is involved in going from "apistia" to "apeitheia".

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

"Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of DISOBEDIENCE."

"Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of DISOBEDIENCE."

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

These verses are right in the middle of Paul's discussion about OT Israel's problems. And so these verses are also explained in the 22-page article referred to in the previous section, "WHAT IS 'THE REST' OF HEBREWS CHAPTER 4?". These verses need to be understood within the context of the discussion about "rest".

#73 = HEBREWS 7:21

THE VERSE:

"(For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not REPENT, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:)"

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This translation implies that the word "repent" could also apply to God. But that is wrong.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

This verse contains a mistranslation. The Greek word that means "repent" is "metanoeo", and this word is NOT used here in Hebrews 7:21.

The Greek word "metamellomai" which is used here, only means "to be sorry, to regret". This is not at all the same as "repent".

The distinction between "metanoeo" and "metamellomai" is discussed in great detail in the section devoted to Matthew 21:29. That explanation applies equally to this verse.

A number of translations have recognized that "repent" is not really correct here. Thus RSV, NRSV, NIV and NAS read "and will not change His mind", and Rotherham reads "and will not regret". All of these are better than the wording "and will not repent".

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

"(For those priests were made without an oath; but this with an oath by him that said unto him, The Lord sware and will not REGRET, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec:)"

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

Repentance doesn't enter the picture in this verse. This verse tells us that God the Father will never regret that He appointed Jesus Christ to the position of being the High Priest in the Family of God.

#74 = HEBREWS 11:1

THE VERSE:

"Now faith is THE SUBSTANCE of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This is actually a correct translation, but here the common meaning of a word has changed.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

The Greek word translated as "substance" in this verse is "hupostasis". This Greek word literally means "that which stands under"; i.e. A FOUNDATION.

Now the English word "substance" comes from the Latin "substans", which is the present participle of "substare", and this Latin word also means "TO STAND UNDER".

So the word "substance" used to be a good translation for the Greek word "hupostasis".

The problem is that today most people who hear the word "substance" think of the meaning "the physical material from which something is made". In other words, while this English word used to be seen as a synonym for "foundation" (definition for "foundation" is "the basis upon which something stands or is supported"), it is now more commonly seen as referring to the composition of something. So the commonly accepted meaning of "substance" has changed from "a foundation" to "composition of something". This changed perception of the word "substance" makes it unsuitable today as a translation of "hupostasis".

Many modern translations recognize this shift in the meaning of the English word "substance". And so many translations have exchanged "substance" in this verse for "assurance" (ASV, RSV, NRSV, ERV, NAS, Williams, etc.) or for "being sure" (NIV), or for "a confidence" (Young's Literal Translation), etc.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

"Now faith is THE FOUNDATION of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

Our relationship with God has to be built on a foundation of total trust and faith in the immutability of God's promises. Unless we are willing to trust God implicitly in everything, we can never become spirit-born members of His Family. Without complete faith in God everything else is totally worthless (see verse 6).

#75 = 2 PETER 1:19

THE VERSE:

"We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and THE DAY STAR arise in your hearts:"

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This is another enormous mistranslation! It carefully disguises what Peter is really telling us in this verse. This translation implies that here Jesus Christ is referred to as "the day star". This is an enormous deception.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

This mistranslation must be seen in conjunction with the mistranslation in Isaiah 14:12. See the explanation provided in that section.

The Greek word here translated as "the day star" is "PHOSPHOROS". This Greek word has nothing whatsoever to do with either "day" or with "star". The Greek word for "day" is "hemera", and the Greek word for "star" is "aster". The word "phosphoros" has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with any kinds of stars!

This is a deliberately devious mistranslation! Here is the deception that is involved:

1) The Greek word used here is "phosphoros".

2) ALL the translators have recognized that this is the Greek equivalent of the Latin word "lucifer". "Lucifer" and "phosphoros" are 100% identical in meaning, with zero margin of error! Both words mean "light-bringer". So in this verse the New Testament INDISPUTABLY calls Jesus Christ "Lucifer"!

3) And the Latin Vulgate text here correctly reads "lucifer". There was no other possible way for Jerome to correctly translate "phosphoros" into Latin.

4) The first English language translation, made by John Wycliffe around 1380, was made from the Latin Vulgate text. John Wycliffe IMMEDIATELY realized that in his Latin Bible Isaiah 14:12 (wrongly!) refers to SATAN as 'lucifer", and that 2 Peter 1:19 (correctly!) refers to JESUS CHRIST as "lucifer".

5) Since it would OBVIOUSLY have been a major problem to use the name "lucifer" for both Jesus Christ and Satan, therefore John Wycliffe opted to use SOME DECEPTION! Instead of either retaining the word "Lucifer" as a name for Jesus Christ, or alternately actually translating "lucifer" into English as "light-bringer", Wycliffe decided to use A CORRECT NAME FOR JESUS CHRIST FROM SOMEWHERE ELSE!

6) In Revelation 22:16 Jesus Christ identifies Himself as "the morning star". So Wycliffe borrowed this title from Revelation 22:16 (see also Revelation 2:28) and simply inserted it into 2 Peter 1:19. In this way he avoided the word "lucifer" completely.

7) "Day star" may not seem to be so bad, since "day star" or "morning star" is after all a correct title for Jesus Christ. However, the sole purpose for this transposition was TO HIDE THE EMBARRASSING FACT THAT PETER CALLED JESUS CHRIST "LUCIFER"!

8) So in the Old Testament John Wycliffe chose to retain the word "lucifer" (he was translating from the Latin Vulgate) as a name for Satan in Isaiah 14:12, and in the New Testament Wycliffe chose to totally obscure the word "lucifer", and to replace it with a title from elsewhere. Had he been able to do so, Wycliffe would have expunged the word "lucifer" from 2 Peter 1:19. This he could not do, and so the next best thing was to replace it with a more acceptable expression.

9) To be clear: NO TRANSLATOR (i.e. after Jerome's Latin text) has ever yet accepted the word "lucifer" as "acceptable" for the text of 2 Peter 1:19, even though that is an exact translation of the word Peter used.

10) And so every translator since Wycliffe's time has upheld this deception, by using either "day star" or "morning star" as a supposed translation for the words "phosphoros" or "lucifer". In his NT translation Murdoch goes one further, and translates this phrase as "THE SUN shall arise ...". They don't want people to know that Peter called Jesus Christ "Lucifer"!

See the section on Isaiah 14:12 for more details on this subject.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

"We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and LUCIFER (Light-bringer) arise in your hearts:"

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

Lucifer is not originally an English word; it is a Latin word that was simply accepted into the English language. IF you choose to retain it as a name in one place, THEN you should also retain it as a name in other places. Be consistent.

However, there is absolutely no way that GOD would inspire one and the same name to apply to Satan in one place, and to Jesus Christ in another place. Used as a name "Lucifer" can only apply to one of those two beings. That is what Wycliffe (and every translator since then) recognized. And so Wycliffe and every translator since then opted to apply the name "lucifer" to Satan! It follows that none of them could afford to then also use it for Jesus Christ.

As far as "phosphoros" in 2 Peter 1:19 is concerned: this Greek word has one meaning, and one meaning only. There is no possible ambiguity in this word. It cannot be misunderstood. If you speak Latin this word means "lucifer", and if you speak English this word means "light-bringer". And if you speak Hebrew this word means "Aaron". There are no other possible options for "phosphoros". To claim this word means "day star" or "morning star" is a staggering lie!

As far as the word "heylel" (translated as "lucifer" in Isaiah 14:12) is concerned: this Hebrew word is EXTREMELY AMBIGUOUS! The word "heylel" was never again used in any other writing, preventing us from establishing a meaning from other contexts. The root word "halal", from which "heylel" is formed, has contradictory meanings. On the one hand it means "bright, shiny", etc. But on the other hand it also means "mad, arrogant, boastful". Both of these sets of meanings are clearly established in the Old Testament. I suspect this connection in the meanings of the Hebrew word "halal"exists because it is typically the "bright and shiny ones" who end up being "arrogant" and "boastful", and eventually "mad". At least, that is what happened to Satan.

If follows that there is a 50% chance that "heylel" could mean "bright and shiny one", and there is a 50% chance that "heylel" means "arrogant boaster". The only way to establish for certain which of these two possible meanings was intended by God (remember that it was GOD who called Satan "heylel"!) is to examine the context in which God used this word "heylel". What do the verses that FOLLOW this word "heylel" actually say? Do they refer to wisdom and great intelligence (i.e. the bright and shiny one), or do they refer to arrogant bragging?

The context for Isaiah 14:12 is clearly one of staggering boasting on the part of Satan. It follows that in Isaiah 14:12 "lucifer" is a mistranslation.

If we do use the Latin name "Lucifer" at all, then this name should ONLY be applied to Jesus Christ (and it should appear in the text of 2 Peter 1:19). And Isaiah 14:12 should contain an expression like "arrogant boaster" instead of the word "lucifer".

This case illustrates an important principle. Once the translators had committed themselves to a mistranslation of Isaiah 14:12, this created the need for another mistranslation in 2 Peter 1:19. Their mistranslation of Isaiah 14:12 actually PREVENTED them from translating 2 Peter 1:19 correctly.

That is the way lies always work: one lie creates the need for another lie somewhere else, and that in turn creates the need for additional lies. Mistranslations follow the same pattern. Eventually all the mistranslations become entwined, mutually supporting one another. And once we start to unravel one mistranslation, it opens the door to recognizing other mistranslations, and that in turn opens the door to identifying further mistranslations. It is extremely difficult to recognize some mistranslations without first correctly identifying certain other mistranslations. That is why I am writing this article, to present the major mistranslations in one place.

#76 = 1 JOHN 5:7 - 8

THE VERSES:

"For there are three that bear record IN HEAVEN, THE FATHER, THE WORD, AND THE HOLY GHOST: AND THESE THREE ARE ONE. AND THERE ARE THREE THAT BEAR WITNESS IN EARTH, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one."

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This verse is intended to support the idea that God is supposedly a trinity.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

It is well-known that all the words in capital letters in the above quotation were only added to the text at some point in the Middle Ages.

As far as manuscripts predating the invention of printing by Gutenberg in the 1450's are concerned:

1) There are 112 Greek manuscripts which include this epistle and which DO NOT INCLUDE THIS ADDED SECTION.

2) This added section is found in ONLY ONE manuscript, known as Codex Montfortii (also as Montfortianus). This manuscript belongs to Trinity College in Dublin (a very appropriate location for this document). Codex Montfortii is a late Greek MSS that was made as a translation from a copy of the Latin Vulgate; it was NOT made from earlier Greek language manuscripts. The Catholic Church needed some "manuscript evidence" for this trinity text in order to persuade Erasmus to include it in the Greek text he was preparing, and so the monks at TRINITY College conveniently produced a Greek text with these words in it.

It should be noted that these added words had appeared in the Latin Vulgate several centuries earlier. Thus John Wycliffe, translating from the Latin text, already included these words. However, they do not appear in ANY Greek manuscripts before the time of the "back translated" (i.e. producing a Greek manuscript from a Latin source document) Codex Montfortii.

Let's understand something very clearly. Whenever someone produces a "back translated" manuscript, THE PURPOSE is always the same! That purpose is ALWAYS TO MIMIC A GENUINE SOURCE DOCUMENT! In plain language: the purpose of any "back translated" document is to produce something that is supposed TO LOOK AUTHORITATIVE.

In this case here: the monks at Trinity College in Dublin were far, far, far less conversant with Greek than they were with Latin. So they didn't produce this "Codex Montfortii" for their own benefit, to somehow do a deeper study of the Scriptures. No, they produced this codex with the explicit intention of gaining some "AUTHORITY" for their Latin version that contained these spurious words, and of pressuring Erasmus to include these words in his Greek text. They personally had no use for this Greek codex they produced; it was simply a way to gain acceptance for some words that were spuriously introduced into the Bible.

Anyway, Erasmus, a life-long Catholic, initially did not include these words in his Greek text. However, when Codex Montfortii was conveniently brought to his attention, he then added these words to the subsequent editions of his Greek NT text. That is how these words ended up in our Bibles (KJV, etc.).

Scholars know that these words were fraudulently added to the text.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THESE TWO VERSES:

"For there are three that bear record: the Spirit, and the water, and the blood; and these three agree in one."

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

In this verse the Apostle John was referring to the three things he had mentioned in the previous verse. Notice:

"This is he that came by WATER and BLOOD, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is THE SPIRIT that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth." (Verse 6)

The next verse should correctly read:

"For there are THREE THAT BEAR RECORD: the SPIRIT, and the WATER, and the BLOOD; and these three agree in one." (Verse 7, and no text for verse 8)

John's statement "these three agree in one" means that the three things he has listed identify the ministry of Jesus Christ, and they agree in establishing one overall plan of salvation. Notice the switch in the sequence of these three things. Verse 6 lists "water - blood - spirit", and verse 7 lists "spirit - water - blood".

Verse 6 refers to this sequence: START of Christ's ministry (baptized in water by John the Baptist), END of Christ's ministry (shed His blood and died on the stake), START OF THE CHURCH (the Holy Spirit bearing witness in Acts 2).

Verse 7 refers to this sequence: the HOLY SPIRIT announcing Christ's coming and identifying Christ (Matthew 1:20; Matthew 3:17; etc.), the START of Christ's ministry (water), the END of Christ's ministry (blood).

#77 = JUDE 1:13

THE VERSE:

"Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; WANDERING STARS, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever."

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

"Wandering stars" does not fully convey what this statement actually tells us.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

The Greek words translated as "wandering stars" are "asteres planetai", the nominative plural of the words "aster" and "planetes".

"Aster" means "star". The word "planetes" is derived from the word "planos", which means "DECEIVER". "Planos" is also the root word for "plane", which means "an error", and the verb "planao", which means "TO DECEIVE".

A clear illustration of this meaning is found in Matthew 27:63, where the priests and Pharisees referred to Jesus Christ as "that DECEIVER" (Greek "ekeinos ho PLANOS"). The idea of "wandering" comes into this from "wandering away, straying out of the way that is right", etc.

"Planetes" really means: "TO DECEIVE BY WANDERING OUT OF THE RIGHT WAY". The primary focus is on this attribute of deception, rather than viewing this as "wandering arbitrarily".

Our English word "planets" really means "deceivers". The reason the planets got this name is because the sailors in antiquity relied on the constellations of the stars to navigate their ships by night. In this regard the locations of the vast majority of the stars were quite dependable. But certain ones among the stars were "deceivers" because they constantly changed their positions in relation to the other stars. From here on earth they LOOKED just like the other stars, but they were imposters, or fake stars, since they kept moving. Therefore they could not be relied upon for navigation purposes, and so these "wandering stars" (i.e. planets) were named "deceivers". And once people had determined that these "deceivers" (i.e. the planets) were totally unreliable, they promptly named all of them in honor of their pagan gods. I wonder what that is supposed to tell us about their pagan gods?

With the expression "asteres planetai" Jude was calling these individuals "deceitful stars who lead people into error". In other words, the real stars symbolize the holy angels of God, and the planets symbolize the fallen angels with Satan. And the individuals Jude was speaking about were people who clearly represented Satan and his way of life.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

"Raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; DECEIVING STARS, to whom is reserved the blackness of darkness for ever."

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

This verse presents some more attributes of the "ungodly men" (verses 4 and 15). When they get into leadership positions they use deceptions to lead people astray, like the planets leading sailors astray in antiquity.

#78 = REVELATION 6:12

THE VERSE:

"And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great EARTHQUAKE; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;"

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

The implication is that the sixth seal involves a great earthquake. That is completely wrong! This is a misleading translation.

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

The Greek words translated as "great earthquake" are "seismos megas". "Megas" means "great", and "seismos" means "SHAKING". Note! The word "seismos" does NOT mean "EARTHquake"; it only means "QUAKE".

"Seismos" can refer to a shaking of THE HEAVENS, or THE EARTH, or THE SEA. The context in which this word "seismos" is used establishes whether we are talking about an event in the heavens (i.e. "a shaking of the heavens"), or an earthquake (i.e. "a shaking of the earth"), or a storm at sea (i.e. "a shaking of the waters").

For example, Matthew 8:24 tells us that "there arose a great SEISMOS in the sea", which is correctly translated as "a great TEMPEST in the sea".

The point is this: while the word "seismos" will often refer to "a shaking of the earth" (i.e. an earthquake), this is not the only meaning of this word. It is the context that has to reveal to us what is actually being "shaken". The word "seismos" does not intrinsically refer to the earth; the earth simply happens to be the most common thing that "is shaken".

In the sequence of end-time events "seal #5" is "the great tribulation, and "seal #6" is "the heavenly signs". And seal #6 follows seal #5. Now Matthew 24:29 speaks about the same events as Revelation 6:12. Notice:

"Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and THE POWERS OF THE HEAVENS SHALL BE SHAKEN:"

"Immediately after the tribulation" refers to the start of seal #6. And here Jesus Christ very clearly said that it is THE HEAVENS that shall be "shaken". With this expression "the powers of the heavens" Jesus Christ was NOT using code language! He meant exactly what He said! Read the entire context of Matthew 24 and it is clear that Jesus Christ is speaking about literal events throughout. So "powers of the heavens" is NOT code language for any spirit beings, good or bad.

With the expression "powers of the heavens" Jesus Christ was referring to THE POWERS that keep this earth and all the planets in their orbits, the powers that keep all the constellations in the universe in their respective places, the powers that uphold this universe in its present configuration. But this expression is not a reference to demons or to angels.

Matthew 24:29 is really a reference to something most people will view as "unbelievable". It is THE UNIVERSE that is going to be "shaken up". This will be the time when THE ORBITS of the moon around the earth, and of the earth around the sun WILL BE CHANGED! Very possibly the positions of the stars will be changed also, so that thereafter there will not be a single constellation (of the signs of the zodiac, etc.) that will look the same when viewed from this earth. These events will prepare THE HEAVENS for Jesus Christ to commence His 1000-year rule on earth.

It is precisely because the orbit of this earth around the sun will be changed that "the sun shall be darkened". The sun is not darkened permanently, but for some time during which the change in the earth's orbit is made. And "the moon shall not give its light" because the moon's orbit around this earth will also be altered at that time.

THERE ARE REASONS WHY these things (sun being darkened, etc.) will take place. Changes will be taking place in the configurations in the heavens.

Now Revelation 6:12 speaks about the same time and same events as Matthew 24:29. And so the word "seismos" in Revelation 6:12 is really a reference to THE HEAVENS being shaken. Perhaps this also includes the possibility of the earth being shaken at the same time? But the focus of Revelation 6:12 is on the shaking of the heavens, as Matthew 24:29 also makes clear.

A consequence of this shaking of the heavens will be that IT WILL APPEAR AS IF ALL THE STARS ARE FALLING (Revelation 6:13). That is a reference, not to some meteorite shower, but to THE POSITIONS of all the stars being changed! An observer on earth will see the stars moving to different positions, giving the appearance of "falling".

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

"And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great SHAKING (of the heavens); and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood;"

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

This verse refers to the same events as Matthew 24:29.

#79 = REVELATION 9:7

THE VERSE:

"And THE SHAPES of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men."

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This translation gives the impression that this discusses the appearance of these "locusts". Consequently many people have tried to find similarities between locusts and horses.

THAT IS ABSURD!

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

In NT Greek there are two words that concern us in this regard. The Greek word "eikon" refers AN IMAGE of something. "Eikon" refers to looks, to appearance.

The Greek word "homoioma" refers to A CONCEPTUAL COMPARISON. It is often applied to comparing abstract things, things that don't have any form or shape. And "homoioma" has no reference at all to any kind of physical looks or appearance.

The Greek word translated as "the shapes" in this verse is "homoioma". "Eikon" would refer to shape and appearance, but "homoioma" has no reference to shape at all.

The distinction between the Greek words "eikon" and "homoioma" is discussed at length in the section dealing with Romans 1:23, and also in the article on Romans 1:23, which is available on my website.

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

"And CONCEPTUALLY the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men."

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

The whole army that is spoken about here (also known as "the first woe") is CONCEPTUALLY compared to a swarm of locusts. In actual looks they are more like military cavalry units prepared for battle, though that description is also based on the military actions with which the Apostle John was familiar from his own time.

The comparisons John has drawn here are intended to be conceptual, not literal. That is why John used the word "homoioma".

#80 = REVELATION 13:8

THE VERSE:

"And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD."

THE IMPLICATIONS OF THIS TRANSLATION:

This translation implies that Jesus Christ was predestined to be slain even before the creation of mankind, or even at the exact time that Adam was created. That is not true!

THE PROBLEMS WITH THIS TRANSLATION:

The key to understanding this statement correctly lies with two Greek words: the word translated as "foundation", and the word translated as "world".

The expression "from the foundation of the world" in this verse is a translation of the Greek expression "apo kataboles kosmou".

The correct NT Greek word for "foundation" is "themelion". It is used 16 times in 15 verses, and it is always translated as "foundation". The 15 verses are: Luke 6:48, 49; Luke 14:29; Acts 16:26; Romans 15:20; 1 Corinthians 3:10, 11, 12; Ephesians 2:20; 1 Timothy 6:19; 2 Timothy 2:19; Hebrews 6:1; Hebrews 11:10; Revelation 21:14, 19. The contexts in which "themelion" is used in the above verses make quite clear that this is the correct word for "foundation". However, this word "themelion" is NEVER used in the expression "foundation of the world".

The expression "foundation of the world", on the other hand, is used ten times in the New Testament, and it is ALWAYS "kataboles kosmou". This tells us that all ten references to "the foundation of the world" refer to exactly the same thing. But it should also be clear that this expression does NOT really refer to "THE FOUNDATION" of anything, since the Greek word for "foundation" (i.e. "themelion") is not used in this expression. It must refer to some event OTHER THAN "the foundation" of the world.

The noun "katabole" is formed from the verb "kataballo" which means "TO THROW DOWN". Thus the noun "katabole" literally means "A THROWING DOWN".

Now the Greek word "katabole"is used eleven times in the NT: ten times in the expression "foundation of the world", and one time in Hebrews 11:11. This verse reads:

"Through faith also Sara herself received strength TO CONCEIVE (Greek "katabolen") seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had promised."

"Katabolen", the accusative singular of the noun "katabole", is here translated into English as the verb "to conceive". Here the Greek expression "eis katabolen spermatos" literally reads that Sarah received strength "INTO THE THROWING DOWN OF SEED". Paul used the Greek noun "katabole" to refer to Sarah conceiving because "katabole" literally means "TO THROW DOWN".

To refer to Sarah conceiving, Paul could have used the verb "sullambano" (used in Luke 1:24, 31, 36) or the verb "gennao" (used in Matthew 1:20) or even the noun "koite" (used in Romans 9:10). But instead of using any of these words, Paul chose to use the noun "katabole". By using "katabole" in reference to Sarah, Paul was presenting a much more graphic and dramatic picture to his readers, in talking about "the throwing down of seed".

Next, let's consider the English word "WORLD". This word comes from two Anglo-Saxon words meaning "the age of man". The Old English "woruld" means "human existence". However, the first three out of twelve meanings for the word "world" that are listed in Webster's Unabridged New 20th Century Dictionary are:

1) THE EARTH, 2) THE UNIVERSE, 3) THE EARTH AND ITS INHABITANTS.

So where the word "world" originally meant "THE AGE OF MAN", it has since then come to mean "the earth" or even "the universe". That is quite an expansion in the meaning of this word. It is in fact very common today for people to think of this planet earth when they hear or read the word "world".

Now the Greek word "kosmos", which is always used in the expression "the foundation of the world" refers to "human society", rather than to this planet earth. In other words, the Greek word "kosmos" means EXACTLY what the English word "world" originally meant! It used to mean only "the age of man" or "human existence".

When people today think of the word "world" as referring to this planet (or even to the universe), then it is no longer appropriate to translate "kosmos" as "world". In our context today it is much more accurate to translate "kosmos" as "the age of man" or as "human existence".

When the Greek words "katabole" and "kosmos" are used together, as is the case in this Scripture, then this expression has the following meaning:

APO KATABOLES KOSMOU means FROM THE THROWING DOWN OF HUMAN EXISTENCE!

Note! "Apo kataboles kosmou" is NOT a reference to the CREATION of human beings. It is a reference to an event AFTER Adam and Eve had been created. It is a reference to the time when they ate the fruit of the tree of the perception of good and evil.

When the New Testament refers to the time of the CREATION of Adam and Eve, then it uses the phrase "FROM THE BEGINNING OF CREATION" (Greek is "ap arches ktiseos"). This is clear from the following Scriptures. ("ktiseos" is the genitive singular of "ktisis", meaning "creation"; "arches" is the genitive singular of "arche", meaning "beginning"; "apo" or "ap" is a preposition meaning "from")

"But FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE CREATION ("ap arches ktiseos") God made them male and female." (Mark 10:6)

Here the expression "from the beginning of creation" clearly refers to when Adam and Eve were created.

"For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE CREATION ("ap arches ktiseos") which God created unto this time, neither shall be." (Mark 13:19)

Again, this verse refers to the time when Adam and Eve were created.

"And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE CREATION ("ap arches ktiseos")." (2 Peter 3:4)

This too is a reference to the time when God created human beings.

Then there is also the expression "from the CREATION of the world" in Romans 1:20, which in Greek reads "apo ktiseos kosmou".

"For the invisible things of him FROM THE CREATION OF THE WORLD (apo ktiseos kosmou) are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:" (Romans 1:20)

So we have three different Greek expressions:

1) "AP ARCHES KTISEOS" refers to the time when God CREATED Adam and Eve.

2) "APO KTISEOS KOSMOU" refers specifically to THE CREATION of human beings.

3) "APO KATABOLES KOSMOU" refers to the time WHEN ADAM AND EVE SINNED, the time when human society was "thrown down".

We should recognize that "apo kataboles kosmou" does not mean the same as "apo ktiseos kosmou". These expressions are not synonymous! Both expressions contain the word for "human society" (i.e. "kosmou"). But one expression contains the word for "creation" (i.e. "ktiseos"), while the other expression contains a word that means "a throwing down of something" (i.e. "kataboles").

When the Bible refers to "the throwing down" of human society that is not a reference to God having "created" human society.

Here is the thing that is important:

What distinguishes "apo ktiseos kosmou" from "apo kataboles kosmou" is not so much THE TIME ELEMENT (these two events were just a few days apart), as it is THE CONDITIONS that applied to each of these two events.

At the time of "apo ktiseos kosmou" mankind still had access to the tree of life, and the future looked extremely positive. But from the time of "apo kataboles kosmou" onwards access to the tree of life had been cut off, and totally different conditions came into force. Since "apo kataboles kosmou" this present evil world (or age) has prevailed (Galatians 1:4).

THE FOCUS IS DIFFERENT! "Apo kataboles kosmou"FOCUSES on the time when Adam and Eve SINNED! "Apo ktiseos kosmou" FOCUSES on the time when Adam and Eve were CREATED! The difference between these two events is just a few days. But there is a MAJOR difference in the focus between these two expressions.

It is a major MISTAKE to translate "katabole" as "foundation"! Such a mistranslation completely misses the focus that God provides for us with this expression "apo kataboles kosmou".

A CORRECT TRANSLATION OF THIS VERSE:

"And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from THE THROWING DOWN OF HUMAN SOCIETY."

THE CORRECT MEANING OF THIS VERSE:

We need to recognize that BEFORE "the throwing down of human society" all human beings were going to have access to immortal life. Nobody was predestined to be excluded from eventually receiving immortality.

It was when Adam and Eve sinned, and when God then cut off the general access to the tree of life, than THEN "the book of life" was established by God. From then onwards God has kept A RECORD of those who will be resurrected into His Family (i.e. those who will be in the first resurrection).

It was also at the point when Adam and Eve sinned that the commitment was made that Jesus Christ would be "slain" for the sins of human beings. Prior to Adam and Eve sinning there was NO NEED for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ.

This is not to say or imply that God the Father and Jesus Christ had not already carefully thought through the possibility (or even likelihood?) of Jesus Christ having to give His life as a sacrifice in order for Them to achieve Their plan of creating a Family. God the Father and Jesus Christ had undoubtedly thought through every potential aspect relating to the sacrifice that Jesus Christ would be required to bring in the event of human beings sinning. So when Adam and Eve sinned, this certainly did not catch God off-guard. But the required sacrifice of Jesus Christ only became "official" and "inevitable" when Adam and Eve actually did sin.

At the "throwing down of human society" (when Adam and Eve sinned) the sacrifice Jesus Christ would have to bring became binding and irreversible. That is the point on which Revelation 13:8 is focused.

ALL THE PLACES WHERE THE EXPRESSION "THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD" SHOULD BE TRANSLATED AS "THE THROWING DOWN OF HUMAN SOCIETY" ARE:

MATTHEW 13:35

MATTHEW 25:34

LUKE 11:50

JOHN 17:24

EPHESIANS 1:4

HEBREWS 4:3

HEBREWS 9:26

1 PETER 1:20

REVELATION 13:8

REVELATION 17:8

The reason all these verses focus specifically on the time when Adam and Eve sinned is because at that precise point in time, GOD SWITCHED TO A DIFFERENT PLAN FROM THE ONE HE WOULD HAVE USED HAD ADAM AND EVE NOT EATEN THAT FORBIDDEN FRUIT. And so the focus is not on the creation of human beings; the focus is on the plan that took effect when human beings first sinned. All the above listed Scriptures should be read with that specific focus in mind.

IN CONCLUSION

We have now covered a large number of Scriptures that are mistranslated. Some are very major mistranslations. Others are perhaps not quite as significant. But they all work together in creating a whole environment in which there are so many things that are wrong or distorted, that the end result is that even the people whose minds are open to the truth of God are still likely to be confused on many points.

As I mentioned at the start of this article, all of us, including me, are almost certain to be sincerely wrong in some of our views. It takes effort to grow in an understanding of God's truth.

God's Spirit can help us to understand correctly-translated Scriptures that are generally misunderstood by most other people. But mistranslations don't come to our attention simply because we have God's Spirit. God's Spirit can help us to understand that some Scriptures just don't seem to be in harmony with certain other Scriptures, thereby prodding us to investigate the matter more closely. This process will at times help us to recognize certain mistranslations.

But other mistranslations don't arouse any suspicions on our part because they support or agree with things we have always accepted as truth. In this regard God's Spirit becomes an enormous help when these mistranslations are eventually brought to our attention, because God's Spirit will help us to recognize and understand correct explanations for mistranslated Scriptures, when those explanations are presented to us. In other words, without a certain amount of effort on our part ("seek and you will find ...") God's Spirit does not automatically bring mistranslations to our attention; but once they are brought to our attention, then God's Spirit will help us to recognize explanations that are true and correct.

You may not agree with all the explanations I have provided in this article. That's your prerogative. I would suggest that you don't worry about those, and instead focus on the explanations that you yourself can see are correct. And bear in mind that in some cases two or three mistranslations work together towards one goal, with some becoming easier to recognize after certain other mistranslations have been cleared up.

Irrespective of which organization you may be a member, these mistranslations are Scriptures of which every member of God's Church in every fellowship should be aware. Satan uses these mistranslations to blind not only the people in the world, but even the people in the churches of God. It is only the truth that can really set us free from Satan's hold over us. Deception enslaves people. The truth is one of our greatest weapons in overcoming that slavery.

When you consider all of the mistranslations we have examined in this article, and you briefly recall the major consequences of those mistranslations, then you get some idea of how all-pervasive Satan's hold is over the religious understanding of the majority of people. I am convinced that there are still many more mistranslations, of which I myself am currently not yet aware. It is my intention to update this article every time I have about ten new mistranslations to add to the number. If you are aware of any significant mistranslations that I have not discussed in this article, please let me know, so I can consider them for future updates to this article.

Frank W. Nelte