You might find the above difficult to read as it has no spaces or punctuation. For those unawares, ancient Hebrew and Greek had no spaces between words. Moreover, there were no lowercase letters. It sort of makes one wonder how they managed to translate from the original Hebrew and Greek, which are the primary two original languages of the Bible.
To be sure, there are likely a few points of disagreements. Yet, the ancient Greeks and Hebrews had very little difficulty reading their language. However, to actually perform a translation, it is not easy and one must be very good at reading the languages to understand them.
Fortunately, during the middle ages, the languages were updated. Also, someone painstakingly updated the manuscripts too. Everything can still be read in Greek and Hebrew. However, we have some help. Spaces and punctuation have been added.
As a side note, punctuation is not that new, even in English. It seems to me as if the period came about around 1400. The comma was a little later. I’m not sure when the rest came about, but it was something of an evolution in the language. For years, arguments were held as to where the punctuation should be or even if it should be used at all. I have read of an author that wrote an entire book that had no commas, just for spite. Don’t know. I wasn’t there.
In addition, spelling didn’t become standard until centuries after the period. Even then, Webster, for spite changed the spelling of many English words just for spite against the English. So, color no longer has a u in it.
At any rate, before I so rudely interrupted myself, I was saying this. Any time we read the Bible, we would do good to remember that it is an interpretation. In order to read the original manuscripts of the New Testament, you must read ancient Greek, no spaces, no punctuation and totally in upper case. Hebrew would be more difficult. There were no vowels. (Good luck with that one.)
I’ve listened to a number of preachers, quite a few on TV. While I am sure their knowledge is far greater than mine, I have heard a number say, “You need to remember that comma there.” This even though, the comma did not originally exist. That comma was put there by the translator, based on his knowledge of the original language and how it fits with the rest of the Bible. Even the periods didn’t originally exist. And those little chapter and verse numbers, they were added for convenience. It makes it much easier for us to reference passages. As opposed to saying, it saying “It says in the scriptures….” We are able to say, in John 3:16, it says….”
I guess we shouldn’t really complain too much if we disagree with the translators. They had a rough job. And even today, they study the original manuscripts to make sure they got it right.
Even so, I suspect there are some places they might have gotten it literally right, but missed a little on the spirit. As I’ve said before, “Thou shalt not kill.” should be Thou shalt not murder.” Most scholars admit to that error, which has caused untold complications.
There are religions that preach that we should not kill even in self-defense or the defense of our family. I find it difficult to believe that Jesus would teach us to stand by while children are being killed.
I have also pointed out the miss-interpretation of good news to gospel. First, the term is abused and twisted. Secondly, it’s not just good news. It is the greatest news ever presented to man. It is the plan of salvation and without it, men, even the best men are doomed to an eternity in hell. The word has been trivialized and glossed over as if it has little or no importance. I wish the word would be completely done away with.
Also, maybe some of the words in modern translations need to be updated. I was saved at 13. I was about 18 when I found out what edify means, even though I tried many times. The words saint and sanctify should be updated too. The truth about saints is that anyone who is born again is a saint. It is not something for a church to place on someone special. We like to say, “Sanctuary,” instead of a special place set aside to worship God. Well, I guess that is wordy, but you get the idea. Either change the wording or make sure the meaning is properly understood.
Certainly, salvation and being saved is one of those words thrown around when, well, not everyone understands it. In some cases, people who call themselves Christians don’t really know what it means. Yet, understanding it is just about primary to being saved. To be sure, we need to know what we are being saved from, who is saving us and the privileges and responsibilities of being saved.
Let’s not disallow people from heaven simply because they don’t understand the terminology, as once did I. I went to church for almost a year before I knew what it meant to be saved. I may as well have been reading ancient Greek.