THE “ORIGINAL LANGUAGES”

 

The following quote is “standard fare” for those Christians who hold the belief that in order to understand the Bible you must have an understanding of the “original languages”; and that in order to understand the words in Scripture you must go to the “original languages” for the definition or “meaning” of those words.

 

Got to disagree with your statements above. Not against the A.V. mind you, but there are real benefits to looking up the meanings of the words in the original languages. First example would be in the 10 Commandents where "Kill" is used. The Hebrew word is "ratsach" Strong's reference number 7523. That verse has been used from the K.J. for people to try and get out of military service to their country. The meaning of that Hebrew word is "Murder". Have you never run into unbelievers and skeptics that like to use that verse to try and show that either there are contradictions in God's Word, or that The Lord God is "two-faced" because in other places in Scripture the Israelites are commanded to kill their enemies..?”

 

I believe that this approach to Bible study opens up a “Pandora’s Box” for the serious student of the Holy Bible; in that it places far too much reliance on Hebrew and Greek scholars & scribes for the meaning and definition of the Holy words of God, rather than encouraging a believer to “search the Scriptures” for themselves to find out what God Himself has to say about His words.

 

The above quote is a perfect example of what I call the “lazy man’s approach” to Bible study. Instead of spending the time searching the English Scriptures to ascertain the “meaning” of the word “Kill” in the Ten Commandments, our friend ran to a Concordance or a Lexicon to find out what the authors of the Concordances or Lexicons “think” the Hebrew or Greek words mean (or meant); which simply means that his Final Authority in all matters of faith and practice is NOT the English King James Bible, but instead is some (take your pick) “HEBREW” & “GREEK” Text, which can only be interpreted by HEBREW & GREEK scholars & scribes!

 

The reliance on “the Hebrew” and “the Greek” (and Hebrew and Greek Scholars) introduces a foreign element in an individual Bible believer’s study of the Scriptures. Instead of relying on the Holy Spirit to reveal the meaning of the words of God as found in the English King James Bible, reliance is placed on men - many of whom were NOT genuine born again children of God, and whose “claim to fame” is that they were (or are) SCHOLARS.

 

Read the above quote again. Our friend makes the claim: "there are real benefits to looking up the meanings of the words in the original languages." What he doesn’t take into account is that there is far more danger in accepting men’s “OPINIONS” as to the “meaning” of God’s words, than the supposed “benefits” he claims.

 

Instead of running off to Strong's "reference number" - he could have "searched the Scriptures" and he would have easily found what kind of "killing" is prohibited in the Ten Commandments:


Matthew 19:16 And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?
17 And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.
Matthew
19:18 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,

 
Now that was EASY - wasn't it? Without the “benefit” of “the Hebrew”, or “the Greek”; and without the “help” of the Hebrew & Greek scholars - The Holy Bible cleared up a supposedconundrum” in nothing flat! The English Scriptures themselves are always the best source for the definition of the words found in the English King James Bible. Strong's Concordance and Kittel's Lexicon give us men's "opinions" of what a particular Hebrew or Greek word "means", and those works, written by lost scholars, are highly susceptible to error.


Whereas, a search of the Scriptures (comparing Scripture with Scripture), cannot lead to error - unless the person who is doing the searching has a crooked heart and a corrupt mind, and is not searching for the truth; but instead is looking for a "proof text" in support of a personal "pet doctrine” or false doctrine.


When comparing Scripture with Scripture God may not reveal the meaning of a word, or shed light on a particular verse, but He sure won't lead a Bible believer astray - as these men, who wrote the Concordances and Lexicons, might; whether on purpose (deliberate) or whether in all sincerity (but sincerely wrong!).


And again, Webster's 1828 English Dictionary may be of some "help" when looking up a so-called "archaic" English word; but I have made it a practice, for over 41 years now, that whenever a word in the Bible has any "spiritual significance" at all, to never trust Webster, or a Concordance, or a Lexicon - instead I have relied on the Holy Spirit to reveal to me what God has to say about a particular subject or issue by searching the Holy Scriptures and comparing Scripture with Scripture.

 

This is not only the "safest" route for a Bible believer, but I also believe that it is the only "route" that God would have us to follow:


Isaiah 28:10 For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:

 

Isaiah 28:13 But the word of the LORD was unto them precept upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little; that they might go, and fall backward, and be broken, and snared, and taken.


After studying the Bible for over 51 years I may not know every thing there is to know about the word of God; I may not understand all things pertaining to the word of God; and the Holy Spirit may not have shown me all of the truth within the word of God; but I have been real careful (prudent & circumspect) to avoid leaning on other men for the "understanding" of God's Holy words, since I believe with my whole heart that although we can obtain "knowledge" from other men (churches, schools, etc.), and perhaps some "discernment" – genuine spiritual UNDERSTANDING of God's Holy words comes only from God Himself; just as I also believe that spiritual WISDOM comes only from God.


Since the foregoing is true - it behooves us to rely on God (not men) for the understanding of His words, and to seek the Holy Spirit's guidance and leading regarding just exactly: "What saith the Scriptures"? I am not so much interested in what other men may “think” what God's words "MEAN", as I am interested in knowing what God "SAYS".

 

The main reason why those of us who believe, as we do, in the King James Bible, and those skeptics, who are its critics, can never come to an agreement, is inherent in the difference in our world view (i.e. “belief system” or “basic motivational force”) and theirs. Amos 3:3 Can two walk together, except they be agreed? And of course the sensible answer is – NO they can not!

 

If the King James Bible Is not Infallible, Perfect, Holy, and without error; and exactly what God wants for His people today, then there never will be a “HOLY BIBLE” - the critics and skeptics (Scribes & Scholars) will see to that, since the day that they finally recognize someFinal Authority” other than their own speculations and opinions they will be out of a JOB! {And you may rest assured that that day will never happen – NOT with the “scholars” - they might have to go out and get a REAL JOB - Perish the thought!}

 

I believe that God has used three “authoritative languages” to establish His FINAL AUTHORITY (i.e. Standard). And each of those “authoritative languages” was directed at a particular audience (group of people).


HEBREW was the “authoritative language” of the OLD TESTAMENT (directed almost exclusively at the Hebrew people – as a Family, a Tribe, 12 Tribes, and then a Nation). The Scriptures in HEBREW were God’s written FINAL AUTHORITY (the “STANDARD”), although there were no prohibitions to translating those Scriptures into other languages, the Hebrew Scriptures were the “STANDARD” by which any Translation was to be measured by. Why was this so? Because from the time of Abraham up to and including the Lord Jesus Christ’s ministry on earth, God dealt almost exclusively with the Jewish (Hebrew) people, who were under God’s Covenants, which were the exclusive inheritance and possession of the Jewish (Hebrew) people. Thus – the “Hebrew Scriptures” were for the Jews (Hebrews).

 

Romans 3:1 What advantage then hath the Jew? or what profit is there of circumcision?
2 Much every way: chiefly, because that unto them were committed the oracles of God.


After the rejection of the Lord Jesus Christ and the subsequent rejection of the Holy Spirit (in the persons of the Apostles and all of Christ’s followers - following His death, burial, and resurrection), God broadened His outreach, from a single nation, i.e. one people – the Jews, to all of the people of the Mediterranean area and nearby surrounding areas. And although there were numerous languages in use amongst the many people living in the Mediterranean area, there was ONE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE (the language of Commerce, Science, Literature, etc.) used by all – the GREEK language was the UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE of that area and at that time.

 

When God established the “NEW COVENANT” and caused the NEW TESTAMENT to be written, He chartered a differentSTANDARD” (for a different people) for His NEW TESTAMENT. And so the GREEK (Koine) Language became the “authoritative language” of the NEW TESTAMENT. And although there were no prohibitions to translating those Scriptures into other languages, the GREEK New Testament Scriptures were the “STANDARD”, by which all Translations were to be measured. {Please notice: God chose the “specific language” (“Koine” GREEK) that was used UNIVERSALLY by all of the people in the Geographical area that the Apostle Paul (and others) traveled spreading the Gospel and establishing New Testament churches.}

 

Were the New Testament Scriptures translated into other languages? Without a doubt! But the “authoritative language” that set the “STANDARD” was GREEK (“Koine” Greek), the language that most, if not all, of the New Testament was written in. While the GREEK language became the “STANDARD” for the New Testament, God retained The HEBREW language as the “STANDARD” for the Old Testament. {So far the “scholars” had it at least partially right.}

 

However, when the time came to JOIN THE TWO TESTAMENTS (OLD & NEW) TOGETHER into ONE BIBLE (God’s written FINAL AUTHORITY), God needed a different “authoritative language” to reach a different group of people – a much wider and larger group of people, (i.e. all of the people of the world!), and just as in Paul’s time (when God chose the UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE of the Mediterranean area to reach all of the people of that area), once again, God chose the UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE of the world – ENGLISH, (the language that became the UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE of Commerce, Science, Literature, etc. 200 – 300 years after the publication of the King James Bible) to reach ALL of the people of the world!

 

At the time that the King James Bible was translated, no one (except God Himself) knew that ENGLISH would become the UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE of the world! In 1611, who could have imagined that those small Islands off the Coast of the European Continent would someday rule the seas, and reach the point where: “the sun never set on the British Empire”? Of course - God knew, and so He caused the TWO TESTAMENTS to be joined TOGETHER and established His written FINAL AUTHORITY (The FINAL “STANDARD”) in a different “authoritative language”, by which all Translations are to be measured. {Since 1881, all “New” English Translations of the Bible have always compared themselves to the King James Bible (God’s “STANDARD”) - On the one hand, giving “lip-service” to it in a dishonest, deceitful and duplicitous manner, while on the other hand, denigrating, impugning, and slandering it - typical of Hypocrites!}

 

Did God discard the “authoritative” HEBREW & GREEK “STANDARDS”? Of course not! The Hebrew “Canon” (number of authoritative Books) ended with Malachi, approximately 400 years before the birth of Christ, and is still the same today as it was in the Lord Jesus Christ’s day. The Greek “Canon” (number of authoritative Books) is still the same today as it was in the early church (200-250 A.D. - after the churches separated and discarded “false books” from the genuinely “inspired” Books of the New Testament).

 

Over many, many hundreds of years the text (in 5,000+ manuscripts) of the “authoritative” GREEK “STANDARD” became “marred” and contained some “blemishes” (See: “The Traditional Text” & “The Causes of Textual Corruption” by Dean John William Burgon), but from the time of Erasmus (1466-1536) up to the present day (nearly 500 hundred years later!) the scholars (“scribes”) have yet to decide on just exactly WHAT constitutes “THE GREEK”! And IF the day ever arrives when all of the scholars (“scribes”) finally agree on an “authoritative Greek Standard” – WHO will it be directed at? There are NO “Koine” Greek speaking people left in the world, and there haven’t been for hundreds of years! Of what use is an “authoritative Greek Standard”, if there is no one left alive on earth (except for a handful of scholars (“scribes”) that can understand it? What benefit does an “authoritative Greek Standard” serve if only a few people can understand it? Who is edified by it?

 

The HEBREW “authoritative STANDARD” is still directed at its original “target audience” (Jews), which simply means that, unlike the GREEK “authoritative STANDARD” (which no longer has a living, speaking “target audience”), The HEBREW “authoritative STANDARD” is still effective and can still edify its original “target audience” (Hebrews - Jews), but, on the other hand, since the Jewish (Hebrew) people make up less than 1% of the world’s population; and considering the fact that the vast majority of the people in the world cannot read, write, speak, or understand the Hebrew language – how is God to reach the rest of the world with His Holy word (in the Old Testament), if less than 1% of the world’s people speak or understand Hebrew? {And a large majority of the world’s people have a peculiar distrust and hatred for the Jewish people.}

The obvious answer is that God needed a different “authoritative language” to establish “THE AUTHORITATIVE STANDARD” for THE HOLY BIBLE (i.e. the combined Old Testament & New Testament), God needed a UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE that the vast majority of world has used for communicating between the many diverse people of the world for well over one hundred years, and that is where ENGLISH comes in, and conversely WHY God chose the English language as His “AUTHORITATIVE STANDARD” for THE HOLY BIBLE in order to reach ALL of the people of the world in the UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE of the world.

 

Does that prohibit Translations in other languages? Of course not! Does that mean that God won’t honor His word in a language other than English? Of course not! What it does mean, is, that ALL translations of the BIBLE (a BOOK that can be held in the hands) that are made into other languages, must come from God’s “AUTHORITATIVE STANDARD” for the whole world, and NOT from His “Authoritative Standard” for all the Greek speaking people of the Mediterranean area 1,500 – 2,000 years ago; or His “Authoritative Standard” for the Hebrew (Jews) people, who make up less than 1% of the world’s population!

 

Since there is NO modern GREEK “AUTHORITATIVE STANDARD” (despite the very “best efforts” of the scholars & scribes for nearly 500 years!) and hasn’t been for 1,500 years or so, it becomes obvious (at least to those of us who take God at His word) that God “needed” to reach the world with the UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE of the world – NOT a language that has been DEAD for hundreds of years, and which NO PERSON living uses in the daily course of their life.

 

The Hebrew Scriptures served their purpose in reaching the audience (hearers) for which they were intended, i.e. “Hebrews”. The Greek (Koine) Scriptures served their purpose in reaching the audience (hearers) for which they were intended. But the world does not speak Hebrew, and not even the Greeks speak “Koine GREEK”! So what is God to do? Does He “force” all the people of the world to learn Hebrew and Greek (Koine)? Or does He seek out the UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE of the world to institute a new and different “authoritative language” in order to establish His “FINAL AUTHORITY” – THE HOLY BIBLE (The combined Old and New Testaments into ONE HOLYBOOK”)?

 

We already have the “pattern” (from recorded history) – He went from a language, Hebrew, to reach His intended “audience” (hearers); to a more UNIVERSAL language, Koine Greek, to reach His intended “audience” (hearers); and, when the REFORMATION was well established, He caused His word (i.e. “words”), in English (THE FUTURE UNIVERSAL LANGUAGE), to be refined seven (7) times to produce (IN ONEBOOK”) His perfect, infallible, HOLY BIBLE! How can anyoneIMPROVE” on that?

 

Those of us who believe in and unequivocally support the King James Bible as being God’s Holy word - inspired and without error, hold the same convictions about it that millions of saints from 1611 up to the middle of the 20th century did. WHAT CHANGED? We haven’t CHANGED, so WHO has?

 

From the middle of the 1600's, and on up to approximately the middle of the 1900's, nearly all Christians (with the exception of Catholics and the scholars) agreed on ONE FINAL AUTHORITY - simply known as THE HOLY BIBLE (labeled the Authorized Version - by the "scholars", and the King James Bible by the Publishers). Most of the confusion amongst Christians about “WHICH BIBLE” is God’s Holy word has come about in the last 60 years or so. All of the disagreements, squabbling, arguments, and debates; and all of the contention, discord, conflict, and division between Christians (over this issue) came about AFTER the introduction of the myriad of modern English translations {Over 200 ENGLISH TRANSLATIONS since 1881. WHY so many translations in just one language (English) - unless ENGLISH is God’s “authoritative universal language” for today? And Satan knows it, even if most “Christians” today don’t!}. So the question arises – just exactly WHO is responsible for the splits, the strife, and the division between brethren?

 

The question for the modern day Christian is - are we going to trust the scholars and scribes? Or are we going to trust God? It’s your choice. After all is said and done, that’s what life is all about – choices. For the lost it’s – will you believe on and receive the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour or will you reject Him? For the Christian it’s - Do we believe what God has said about His word or do we reject His words and ignore them? That’s what the Christian life is all about – Believing God and obeying Him and serving Him according to His word. It’s your choice! WHO are you going to TRUST?

 

Psalms 12:6 The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.
7 Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

Psalms 18:30 As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him.

Psalms 56:4 In God I will praise his word, in God I have put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me.

Psalms 33:4 For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth.

Psalms 40:4 Blessed is that man that maketh the LORD his trust, and respecteth not the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.

Psalms 118:8 It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.

Psalms 71:1 In thee, O LORD, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion.

Proverbs 3:5 Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

 

Last eve I paused besides a blacksmith’s door,
And heard the anvil ring, the vesper chime.
And looking in, I saw upon the floor,
Old hammers, worn with beating years of time.
“How many anvils have you had?” said I,
“To wear and batter out those hammers so?”
“Just one,” said he, and then with twinkling eye,
“The anvil wears the hammers out, you know.”

And so I thought, the Anvil of God’s Word,
For ages, skeptics blows have beat upon.
But tho the sound of falling blows is heard,
The Anvil still remains – the hammer’s gone!

HAMMER AWAY, YE REBEL BANDS!
YOUR HAMMERS BREAK –
GOD’S ANVIL STANDS!