Advancing the Revelation of Truth






PART 1.  Introduction

Christians are devoted to God's Word, in a greater or lesser degree.

Most of them are content to hear a few passages from the Bible when and if they attend a place of worship on a Sunday or during the week. Having received their Salvation by acknowledging the sacrificial death of their Lord Jesus Christ and subsequently attending Communion at regular or irregular intervals, they believe that their faith is accepted and well established.  If they are keener they will attend a house group meeting where the Bible is read and commented upon. The social side of Church meetings is what they really look forward to.

More enlightened Christians will study The Word of God, comparing passages in their translations by seeking to gain the God given understanding. It is right to say that Understanding is built upon Knowledge, and Wisdom comes from the practice of Understanding. Knowledge without Understanding cannot lead to Wisdom.

I Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him:  The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that you may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,      [Ephesians 1:16]

In seeking to understand the scriptures, Christians recognise three levels of study:

1.  Bible reading of a translation with or without comments.

2.  Bible study involving some reference to the God Breathed Words of Scripture in the Hebrew and Greek original languages referring to Lexicons and Concordances.

3.  Scripture Research based entirely upon the God Breathed Words using all the aids that God has provided, the Pattern of Sound Words, the basic numerology of the text and the built in Godly Structures.

Many meetings and House Groups of Christians are encouraged in The Word by simply reading the translations and commenting upon various subjects. Although this is called Bible Study, the students rarely seek to understand the God Breathed Words of the original Greek and Hebrew. In fact this is often discouraged as 'showing off', or by the use of other derogatory accusations in order that the apathetic and wilfully ignorant leaders can continue to maintain their authority. This attitude is the beginnings of that which seeks 'to hold down the Truth in unrighteousness'.

Paul tells us that the leaders of Christian groups should be apt to teach, but many leaders are not capable, not having the knowledge of the God Breathed Word, relying entirely upon translations. This places them in a position of inferiority to those members of a group who have often spent their lives in the heights of the God Breathed Word, studying by the use of the Greek, Hebrew and Chaldee languages with Concordances, Analytical Lexicons and many Godly aids.

Paul tells us also to 'give heed to the doctrine'. It is not possible when using translations only, to do this with certainty. There are real difficulties here, because the doctrine is the foundation of belief in seeking to rightly divide the Scriptures. Enormous errors of understanding are perpetuated because the God Breathed Words have been mistranslated, sometimes with intent, but more often through ignorance. This is typified by the number of different Christian groups, all claiming to have the correct doctrine.

The non-Christian argues that language lives and develops and it is therefore impossible to rely upon the consistency of any record compiled during thousands of years. This is true of all those languages that God has not used for communicating with mankind. They fail to recognise however that any work of God is perfect and that if He requires to reach mankind, He will do so by whatever medium He chooses. He will and can achieve this. All the books of the Old Testament are recorded in the same Hebrew or Chaldee dialect from beginning to end. The Patriarchs and Prophets who had charge of this ensured that it was so. A Hebrew word in the book of Malachi has the same meaning as the same Hebrew word in the book of Genesis. The Koinee Greek of the New Testament is a frozen language with identical characteristics. 

Examples of the importance of correct Word Translation.

It is appropriate at this point to give two examples of erroneously translated words which have perpetuated false doctrine. 

The Greek alphabet distinguishes the pronunciation of the vowels 'e' and 'o' in two forms......'e' as in 'depth' and 'E' as in 'teeth', with 'o' as in 'not' and 'O' as in 'tone'.  Here is a Greek word using this anglicised form of the Greek letters enabling easy recognition and quick pronunciation.

This first example is followed by its parsing in brackets:

1.  diapheronta.[accusative, plural, neuter, participle, present, of the verb diapherO]   

This Greek word is found in Paul's letter to the Philippians chapter one, verse ten, here in the KJV:

In other versions it is translated:

The basic verb diapherO is made up of two elements:

Thus the meaning of this verb is 'to carry through' and the present participle means: 'carrying through'. So, the Philippians are being asked by Paul to 'approve things that are carrying through':

That ye may approve things that are carrying through; that ye may be sincere and without offence until the Day of Christ. 

The nearest the other translators have been to this elementary translation is that of Weymouth, where he recognised that there was a difference between what had gone before and what was now required. Had he recognised the source of this difference, he with other translators would have given the correct emphasis. The change that caused this difference is recognised as God's action of the Spiritual blinding of the Jews in Rome which ended the introduction of The Kingdom of God in Israel.

Our second example is also followed by its parsing

This Greek word is found in Paul's letter to the Philippians chapter one, verse six here in the KJV:

epitelesei, [3rd person of the verb: epiteleO. singular, future indicative, active ]

This Greek word, so simple to translate, caused the translators much head scratching because its true meaning did not fit their understanding of their doctrine. In other versions it is translated:

The student will appreciate this confusion caused by these translators in their attempt to reconcile the meaning of the Greek words to their understanding of the doctrine.

This Greek verb epitelesei is made up of two elements:

Thus the meaning of this Greek verb is 'to end fully'. There is no doubt that the following Greek word 'achri' is correctly translated 'until'. The meaning of the phrase therefore is: 'to fully end until':

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will fully end it until the day of Jesus Christ:

The understanding that this correct translation gives is in line with that of the previous example, confirming that a change has taken place causing the 'good work' of the Philippians to be halted until that day when Jesus Christ appears, at which time it will be resumed. 

Because the translators had not recognised the change which took place at the time that God Spiritually blinded the Jews in Rome, they malformed the sentence to give a sense of continuity without change. JND seeing the true meaning of the verb, not recognising the true doctrine that it referred to, had to twist the meaning of 'achri' to 'unto' thus avoiding the change that even some of his supporters recognised at that time [Coates]. The examples of the other translators illustrate their confusion over this simple Greek word.

In this letter, Paul was confirming, the fundamental change of doctrine that he himself had initiated two or three years before, in 62ad, which those students who rely upon any of the translations, cannot perceive.

Maturity is based upon correct understanding.

The foundation of all Christian activity is the individual's God given faith based upon the presence of The Holy Spirit. Christ Himself has told us that Narrow is the Way and Few there are that Find It. This remains true of those seeking maturity. Many, many Christians remain babes, relying only upon the sincere Milk of the Word. A Christian's path to growth and maturity remains misunderstood. Take for example the following passage from the letter to the Hebrews where the writer tells us:

We have many things to say, and hard to be uttered, seeing ye are dull of hearing.  For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.  For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.  But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.  Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto maturity; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,  of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

There is a constant correspondence between those who understand and practice this God honouring procedure. Understanding is exchanged, but sometimes there are pitfalls of character which interfere with this free flow of information:

1.  Holding to an incorrect pet interpretation through ignorance and/or apathy.

2.  Failing to constantly place one's research before The Lord.

3.  Having an arrogant or self-righteous mind before both The Lord and one's correspondents.

4.  Dismissing a Truth because it is offered by what one believes to be an inferior or 'untrained' mind

5.  Dismissing a Truth offered by a younger person.

6.  Failure to constantly keep one's own understanding in review.

7.  Failure to discern The Body of Jesus Christ.

It seems that these faults are the parts of a students character which are played upon by those spirit forces which do not wish to allow any advancement of understanding to interfere with their plan to hold back the flow of Truth. All students of God's Word who seek to advance the recovery of Truth must face the reality of this activity. Those Christians whose purposes are locked into the traditions of Church activities are often the worst offenders, because they strongly resist any change to their doctrine which might be brought about by an improved understanding of The God Breathed Word. Maintaining the status quo is their erroneous priority. 

To sum up therefore, it can be said that for those who desire to lead a group of Christians it is necessary that they take steps to study the God Breathed Word, and in all humility ensure that their research uses the full facilities provided by the teaching of God's Spirit and the diligence of other inspired Christians. Without this determination they are not fitted out to be a leader or teacher.  This is so important that Paul tells his 'son' Timothy in both his letters to be apt and skilful in teaching, which is the true meaning of the Greek word didaktikos. The second time, he adds the word anexikakon which means you bear with, you listen. He wished to convey to Timothy that tolerance was needed if Truth was to be recognised. To-day, the belief that 'the majority cannot be wrong' eliminates this request.

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