Satan's Religion of Works and The Modern Versions - Part One
The only common thread in all religions besides Christianity is a system of works and personal effort. Their ideas about God or gods, the afterlife, reincarnation, and the steps "to make it" all differ from one another. The religious scene is like the tower of Babel, from which we get the word Babylon. Satan delights in sowing confusion and contradiction, but all his false systems of belief contain the common element of works and self-effort.
Unfortunately, most Christians today are not resting in the grace of God and the finished redemptive work accomplished through the shed blood of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary. This unrest of spirit is caused by legalistic preaching and is further fomented by the way most new bible versions are being translated.
This works based salvation masquerading as true Christianity is best typified by the Roman Catholic Church, the great Whore of Babylon, and today's modern bible versions like the NASB, NIV, ESV and the NKJV too are the new "Catholic" bible versions, not only by reason of the virtually identical "interconfessional" New Testament text but also in the way they translated these same verses. For Undeniable Proof that the ESV, NASB, NIVs are the "new" Catholic bible versions, please see the two articles here filled with concrete evidence proving that this is so -
In this article I want to focus on how three sets of words are being translated and interpreted. I will divide this study into three sections so it won't be too long to read all at once. 1. "patience" vs "perseverance"; 2. "believe" vs "obey", and most importantly 3. "to keep" vs "to obey".
Romans 5:3-4 KJB - "tribulation worketh PATIENCE; And PATIENCE, EXPERIENCE"
ESV (NIV, NASB, NKJV)- "tribulation produces PERSEVERANCE (ENDURANCE) and PERSEVERANCE CHARACTER"
What is the difference between PATIENCE and PERSEVERANCE?
Stop for a minute before you continue reading and think about it.
"Patience" implies a waiting upon God, hoping in Him, and trusting Him to fulfill His promises in His appointed time.
The word "perseverance", on the other hand, causes us to focus on our own strength, efforts, and ability to overcome difficulties. There is a big difference in meaning between the two words; they are not the same at all.
In the King James Bible, as well as the older Bible versions like Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549, the Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, The Beza N.T. 1599, and even the Revised Version of 1885 and the American Standard Version of 1901, the noun form of the Greek word hupomone is most often translated as "PATIENCE". In fact, this word is translated as "patience" some 31 times in the KJB New Testament, and never is rendered as "perseverance".
The Greek word upomone CAN be translated as "enduring" and the verb form - upomeno - as "to endure", but the context is always that of suffering tribulation and persecution. Only one time is the noun form translated as "enduring" and that is in 2 Corinthians 1:6. Notice the context. "And whether we be afflicted, is it for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the ENDURING of the same sufferings which we also suffer".
The verb form is translated as "to endure" in such places as Matthew 24:13 where the context is that of "wars and rumors of wars, famines, earthquakes, they shall deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you; you shall be hated of all nations and many shall betray one another." Then we read: "But he that shall ENDURE unto the end, the same shall be saved." The context is clearly that of enduring hardships, sufferings, persecution, affliction and death.
There is a word translated as perseverance found in Ephesians 6:18 "praying always...and watching thereunto with all perseverance supplication for all saints", but this is an entirely different Greek word - προσκαρτερησει. Prayer is not easy and it does require personal effort; therefore the word "perseverance" is used rather than "patience".
The word hupomone is translated as patience 31 times in the KJB; the NKJV likewise translates this word as "patience" most of the time but 8 times has rendered this word as "perseverance". (See Romans 5:3,4; 8:25; 2 Cor. 12:12; 2 Tim. 3:10; James 5:11; 2 Peter 1:6 -twice).
The NASB and NIV both have rendered it as "patience" only once, and all the other times they translate it by such terms as "perseverance, endurance, or steadfastness". The ESV is a little better, but not by much. It has translated hupomone as "patience" 5 times (Luke 8:15, Romans 2:7; 8:25; 2 Cor. 12:12 and 2 Timothy 3:10) but the rest of the time as "endurance."
In Romans 8:25 we read: "But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with PATIENCE wait for it." The RV, ASV, Spanish (paciencia), Tyndale, Coverdale, Great Bible, Matthew's Bible - "then do we with pacience abyde for yt.", the Geneva Bible, and even the NIV (only time in the NIV), Holman Standard and the ESV all say we wait "with patience."
However both the NASB and the NKJV say: "we eagerly wait for it with PERSEVERANCE." NET has "with ENDURANCE". The older Catholic Douay-Rheims of 1582 and 1950 Douay likewise had "with PATIENCE", but the newer Catholic versions like St. Joseph NAB 1970 and New Jerusalem bible 1985 have "with patient endurance" or "persevering confidence".
Romans 5:3-4 "tribulation worketh PATIENCE; And PATIENCE, EXPERIENCE"
Notice how the emphasis has been totally changed in Romans 5:3-4. "And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh PATIENCE; And PATIENCE, EXPERIENCE; and EXPERIENCE, hope."
In other words, as we go through trials in our Christian walk, we wait upon God to see us through our difficult times and we learn by the experience of His repeated delivering us in the past that we can trust Him to do so in the future as well.
Both "patience" and "experience" are the readings found in the KJB, Tyndale 1534, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549 - "For we know that tribulation bryngeth PACIENCE, PACIENCE bringeth EXPERIENCE, EXPERIENCE bringeth hope.", the Geneva Bible 1587, The Beza N.T. 1599, Whiston's N.T. 1745, Wesley's N.T. translation 1755, Webster's Bible 1833, The Pickering N.T. 1840, The Revised English Bible 1877, Darby 1890, Young's 1898, Bible in Basic English 1961, Lamsa's 1933 translation of the Syriac Peshitta, the Aramaic Bible in Plain English, The Word of Yah 1993, the KJV 21st Century 1994, the Third Millennium Bible 1998, God's First Truth 1999, Tomson New Testament 2002, The Evidence Bible 2003, Bond Slave Version 2009, Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010, The Jubilee Bible 2010 and Conservative Bible 2011.
Luther's German Bible reads like the KJB - "Geduld aber bringet Erfahrung, Erfahrung aber bringet Hoffnung." = "patience however bring experience, experience however bring hope." The Spanish Cipriano de Valera 1602, Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569 and Spanish Jubilee Bible 2010 likewise read "y LA PACIENCIA, EXPERIENCIA", and the Italian Diodati 1649 and the Italian Riveduta 2006 both have the same with: " e LA PAZIENZA SPERIENZA, E L'ESPERIENZA, SPERANZA." and the Portuguese Almeida Corregida of 2009 has the same with: "sabendo que a tribulaçäo produz a paciência, E a PACIENCIA A EXPERIENCIA, e a experiência a esperança."
But see how the meaning has been altered in such versions as the NKJV, NIV, ESV, NET, Holman and NASB.
In Romans 5:3-4 they unite in saying: "And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces PERSEVERANCE, and PERSEVERANCE, CHARACTER, and CHARACTER, hope." - NKJV.
The ESV, NET and Holman have: "ENDURANCE PRODUCES CHARACTER."
The Catholic Connection
The Catholic New Jerusalem Bible of 1985 is basically the same having: "hardship develops PERSEVERANCE and PERSEVERANCE DEVELOPS A TESTED CHARACTER." Likewise the Catholic St. Joseph New American bible of 1970 says: "and ENDURANCE FOR TESTED VIRTUE."
Instead of patiently waiting upon God and experiencing His deliverance, these new versions focus our minds on our "persevering" and on our "character"! The meaning is not at all the same.
Patience or Endurance? (Continued)
Revelation 14 speaks of the coming judgment upon Babylon and tells us that if anyone worships the beast and receives his mark he will suffer the wrath of God. Then in verse 12 we read: "Here is the PATIENCE of the saints; here are they that KEEP the commandments of God and THE FAITH of Jesus."
This is the reading found not only in the KJB, but also in Tyndale, Coverdale, the Great Bible, Matthew's Bible, the Geneva Bible - "here are they that keepe the commaundements of God, and the fayth of Iesus.", the NKJV, RV, ASV and many others.
We are to trustfully wait upon God and His time to judge the wicked, guard and hold onto His commandments and His truth, and not be drawn away by the false religion of antichrist. To KEEP something is to guard it, hold on to it and not let it go. THE FAITH is the doctrine concerning the Person and work of Jesus Christ. Compare Galatians 1:23 "they heard only, That he which persecuted us in times past now preacheth THE FAITH which once he destroyed".
See also Jude 3 "ye should earnestly contend for THE FAITH which was once delivered unto the saints."
However the NASB reads here: "Here is the PERSEVERANCE of the saints who keep the commandments of God and THEIR faith IN Jesus."
Likewise the ESV says: "Here is a call for the ENDURANCE of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and THEIR faith IN Jesus." There are no words in any Greek text for "their" or "in".
The NIV is worse yet with: "This calls for PATIENT ENDURANCE on the part of the saints who OBEY God's commands and REMAIN FAITHFUL TO Jesus."
This is a paraphrase that changes the meaning of the verse and puts words in the sentence that are not found except in the mind of the translators.
Again, the Catholic New Jerusalem is similar to these works oriented modern versions and reads: "This is why there must be perseverance in the saints who keep the commandments of God and faith in Jesus."
Dan Wallace's NET version reads: "This requires the STEADFAST ENDURANCE of the saints – those who OBEY God’s commandments and hold to THEIR faith in Jesus."
To "keep" is not the same thing as to "obey" and there is NO text that reads "THEIR faith IN Jesus".
Read the KJB again and then compare it to the NIV. How does your spirit react to each reading? Are you trusting in God Who cannot fail? Are you holding onto His word, or are you relying on your own strength and trying to do the best you can hoping you will stay faithful and make it through?
One more example of the word "patience" -
In Luke 21, Christ is telling us of the last days before His return. There will be a terrible time of tribulation and persecution. He says: "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake. But there shall not an hair of your head perish. IN YOUR PATIENCE POSSESS YE YOUR SOULS." Luke 21:19.
This is the reading of the KJB, NKJV 1994, Tyndale, Coverdale, Great Bible, Matthew's Bible - "With your pacience possesse your soules.", the Geneva Bible, Whist's N.T. 1745, John Wesley's translation 1755, Worsley N.T. 1770, Thomas Haweis N.T. 1795, Webster's translation 1833, Youngs' 1898, Julia Smith Translation 1855, Worrell N.T. with study notes 1980, The Word of Yah 1993, Third Millennium Bible 1998, God's First Truth 1999, Bond Slave Version 2009, Hebraic Transliteration Scriptures 2010, English Jubilee Bible 2010, the Work of God's Children Illustrated Bible 2011- "in your PATIENCE POSSESS your souls." and the Natural Israelite Bible 2012.
In the midst of all these trials, we can keep our sanity and remain confident that our God is coming to judge the wicked and to take us home = in our patience we possess our souls.
The word "patience" is also found in the earlier RV and the ASV, but they change it's meaning by saying: "In your PATIENCE YE SHALL WIN YOUR SOULS."
Many modern versions change the meaning of this verse. The NASB keeps on changing both its texts and translations from one edition to the next. In the 1960-1972 editions the NASB read: "by your PERSEVERANCE YOU WILL WIN your SOULS", but then in 1977, 1995 they changed this to read: "by your ENDURANCE YOU WILL GAIN your LIVES."
The NIV does the same thing from edition to edition as the NASB. The NIV of 1977 says: "BY STANDING FIRM YOU WILL SAVE YOURSELVES", then the NIV of 1978 and 1984 says: "BY STANDING FIRM YOU WILL GAIN LIFE.", and then once again in the 2011 NIV they changed it for the third time and it now reads: "STAND FIRM, AND YOU WILL WIN LIFE."
Moffatt’s translation - “Hold out stedfast and you win your souls.”
Twentieth Century New Testament - “By your endurance you shall win yourselves Life.”
Likewise the Catholic New Jerusalem bible of 1985 reads: "Your perseverance will win you your lives."
Now, I don't know about you, but I gained life by the substitutionary death and sacrifice of my blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on the cross; certainly not by my standing firm or by my perseverance.
Is the way of salvation "narrow" or "hard"?
KJB - Mt 7:14 "Because strait is the gate, and NARROW is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it." (Tyndale, Geneva Bible)
ESV - "For the gate is narrow and the way is HARD that leads to life, and those who find it are few." (RSV, NRSV, New Jerusalem)
Holman - "How narrow is the gate and DIFFICULT the road that leads to life, and few find it."
NKJV - "Because narrow is the gate and DIFFICULT is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it."
The modern versions make salvation hard/difficult, when it is actually quite easy. Simply believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour from sin, hell and damnation. The scriptural examples of how easy it is are things like, opening a door, drinking water, eating bread, and all them actually require more effort than believing on Jesus.
Is it HARD to get into God's kingdom?
KJB - Mark 10:24 "And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them, Children, how hard is it for them that TRUST IN RICHES to enter into the kingdom of God!"
The KJB notes that it is hard for those who TRUST in RICHES to enter the kingdom - that's because we must TRUST in CHRIST - and then entering the kingdom is EASY. But the modern versions still make it hard:
NIV - The disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said again, "Children, how HARD it is to enter the kingdom of God!"
NET Version - "Children, HOW HARD it is to enter the kingdom of God!"
NASB - The disciples were amazed at His words. But Jesus answered again and said to them, "Children, how HARD it is to enter the kingdom of God! "
Holman Standard 2003- But the disciples were astonished at His words. Again Jesus said to them, "Children, how HARD it is to enter the kingdom of God!
ESV - And the disciples were amazed at his words. But Jesus said to them again, "Children, how DIFFICULT it is to enter the kingdom of God!
The Catholic New Jerusalem version - "How HARD IT IS to enter the kingdom of God!"
New Living Translation - This amazed them. But Jesus said again, "Dear children, IT IS VERY HARD to get into the Kingdom of God."
Contemporary English Version - The disciples were shocked to hear this. So Jesus told them again, "It's TERRIBLY HARD to get into God's kingdom!"
Now it is not just hard, not just difficult, not just very hard, it is now "terribly hard". At this rate the next version that comes out may well say "it is impossible".
Why do the modern versions omit the vital words "TRUST IN RICHES"? Prominent King James Bible naysayer James White says, "This variant gives us an instance where the modern texts follow a very small minority of Greek texts (White, The King James Only Controversy, p.169)."
The truth of the matter is that the United Bible Society and the Nestle/Aland Greek texts can muster only 4 (that's four) Greek MSS. that omit the phrase, viz. the ever untrustworthy Sinai and Vatican Codices, (Delta) and Y (Psi). The words "them that trust in riches" are found in the vast Majority of all Greek manuscripts including A, C, D, the Old Latin, Syriac Peshitta, Harkelian, Coptic Boharic, Gothic, Armenian and Ethiopian ancient versions.
For much more on Mark 10:24 and why the King James Bible is right see -
Satan's Religion and The Modern Versions - Part 2
"To believe" vs "to obey"
John 3:36 KJB - "He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life; and HE THAT BELIEVETH NOT the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him."
ESV (NASB 1995 edition, RSV, ASV, Jehovah Witness NWT, Catholic St. Joseph New American bible 1970) - "Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever DOES NOT OBEY the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him."
There is a site that criticizes the King James Bible for how it translates John 3:36. Their article is titled “Were the King James Version Translators Biased Toward the “Faith-Only” Doctrine?”
They tell us: “Compare the KJV with the ASV in John 3:36. The former renders apeitheo by “believeth not,” while the ASV translators correctly render the term as “obeyeth not.” The KJV OBSCURES the truth that belief is more than a mere mental process; rather, it entails OBEDIENCE.
Professor J. Carl Laney has written: “This text indicates clearly that belief is not a matter of passive opinion, but decisive and obedient action”
But such a rendition is not consistent with the “faith-only” position. Hence, some scholars believe that the KJV translators revealed something of their “faith-only” bias by translating apeitheo as “believeth not,” instead of “obeyeth not.” [End of their criticism]
Do the people who wrote this article believe that ANY Bible is the inerrant words of God? Of course not. They tell us that ANY and ALL translations have “weaknesses”, and further reading of their site shows they favor the ever changing Vatican Critical text.
The King James Bible translators were not ignorant of the translation "OBEYS NOT the Son" because it was in the Geneva Bible of 1587; but they deliberately and consciously rejected it.
"But he that BELIEVETH NOT the Son shall not see life"
This is the reading of the KJB, Wycliffe 1395, Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549 - "and he that beleueth not þe sonne shall not se life: but þe wrath of God abydeth on him.", the Bishops' Bible 1568, Douay-Rheims 1582, Whiston's N.T. 1745, Thomas Haweis N.T. 1795, Webster's 1833, L. Sawyer N.T. 1858, Alford N.T. 1868, Youngs 1898, W. Godbey N.T. 1902, Worrell N.T. 1904, the Bible in Basic English 1961, the NKJV 1982, Green's MKJV, The Word of Yah 1993, the KJV 21st Century version 1994, the Third Millennium Bible 1998, the Worldwide English New Testament 1998, God's First Truth 1999, The Evidence Bible 2003, Bond Slave Version 2009, English Majority Text Version 2009, Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010, Conservative Bible 2011, the Common English Bible of 2011, Biblos Interlinear Bible 2011, The Work of God's Children Illustrated Bible 2011 and The Holy Bible, the 2012 Natural Israelite Bible, Modern English Version 2014 - “He who DOES NOT BELIEVE the Son shall not see life”
Many foreign language versions have translated the phrase as “believe not" or "refuse to believe". Among these are Luther’s German Bible 1545 and the German Schlachter bible 2000 - "Wer an den Sohn glaubt, der hat das ewige Leben. Wer dem Sohn nicht glaubt", the French Louis Segond 1910, the Louis Segond 21 of 2007 -celui qui ne croit pas au Fils, the French La Bible du Semeur 1999, the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1549 - "mas el que al Hijo es incrédulo, no verá la vida" = "but he who is UNBELIEVING", Reina Valera 1960 -1995 (he who refuses to believe - el que rehúsa creer en el Hijo no verá la vida); the Italian Diodati 1649 - ma chi non crede al Figliuolo" = "he who DOES NOT BELIEVE", and La Parola e Vita 1997, the Nuova Riveduta of 2006, and the Portuguese O Livro 2000 -os que não crêem." = "he who DOES NOT BELIEVE" and the 1681 Portuguese Almeida - "mas aquele que näo crê no Filho näo verá a vida, mas a ira de Deus sobre ele permanece." = "he who DOES NOT BELIEVE".
The Holman Standard of 2009 and J.B. Phillips N.T. 1962 both say: "the one who REFUSES TO BELIEVE in the Son will not see life".
However in John 3:36 instead of saying "but he that BELIEVETH NOT the Son shall not see life", the NASB 1995, RSV, ESV say: "but HE WHO DOES NOT OBEY the Son, shall not see life but the wrath of God abides on him." This is much like the Catholic St. Joseph New American Bible of 1970 which reads: "Whoever DISOBEYS the Son will not see life, but must endure the wrath of God."
The Jehovah Witness New World Translation 1961 and the 2013 Revision both read this way too. They say: "He that exercises faith in the Son has everlasting life, HE THAT DISOBEYS the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him."
The NIV 2011, God's Word Translation 1995 and the 2011 Names of God Bible are not nearly as bad as these others here but read: "whoever REJECTS the Son will not see life".
Dan Wallace's NET version 2006 also reads like the NIV - "The one who believes in the Son has eternal life. The one who REJECTS 69 the Son will not see life, but God’s wrath remains on him.” Then he footnotes: “Or, refuses to believe,” or “disobeys.”
The New Life Version 1969 has: “He who PUTS HIS TRUST IN the Son has life that lasts forever. He who DOES NOT PUT HIS TRUST IN the Son will not have life, but the anger of God is on him.”
The New International Reader’s Version 1998 has: “Anyone who believes in the Son has eternal life. Anyone WHO SAYS NO TO THE SON will not have life. God’s anger remains on him.”
The Resurrection Life New Testament 2005 (Vince Garcia) has: “He who PLACES FAITH IN the Son has everlasting life, but he who DOES NOT PLACE FAITH IN the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God will remain upon him!
On one of the Christian internet forums I was asked: “Since you guys seem to hold that the KJV is the best English version then perhaps you could explain the following for me. Why two different words are rendered believeth in the KJV? “ He then quotes the King James Bible, and then by way of contrast he quotes the present NASB which says: “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who OBEYS NOT the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
I mention the “present NASB” because the NASB keeps on changing its text every few years. It has now gone through 10 different copyrighted editions and every time it changes its own text. The 1995 edition NASB omitted just short of 8000 words that were in the previous 1977 NASB.
Right here in my study I have a copy of the 1963 NASB New Testament. The 1963 NASB says in John 3:36 “He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who DISBELIEVES the Son shall not see life...”
It wasn't till some years later that the "scholars" behind the ever changing NASB decided to change this to now read "he who OBEYS NOT THE SON." But even now the present NASBs still retain a marginal note about this Greek word which says "OR, BELIEVES."
The Catholic Connection
As usual, the Catholic versions are all over the board. The 1582 Douai-Rheims read like the KJB with: “but he that BELIEVETH NOT the Son shall not see life” Then the 1950 Douay had “he who IS UNBELIEVING TOWARD THE SON shall not see life.” The 1968 Jerusalem has: “but anyone who REFUSES TO BELIEVE in the Son will never see life”.
Then the 1970 St. Joseph NAB goes all the ways and says: “WHOEVER DISOBEYS the Son will not see life”. But now the 1995 New Jerusalem has gone back to: “but anyone who REFUSES TO BELIEVE in the Son will never see life.”
Words have different meanings depending on the context. For example, in Hebrew the same word can mean either to "curse" or to "bless". In the book of Job the same word is translated as "blessed" in Job 1:10 and 21 where God blessed Job and Job blessed the name of the LORD. Yet the same word is translated as "to curse" in Job 1:5, 11; 2:5 and 9 where Satan said Job would curse God to His face and Job's wife told him to curse God and die.
Another Hebrew word #2617 is usually translated as "mercy", "goodness", "kindness", yet only once is this same word rendered as "reproach" in Proverbs 14:34 "sin is a reproach to any people".
The same Hebrew word, # 3117 yohm, can mean either "a year" or "a day". Context determines its meaning. For example, in Exodus 13 we read about the feast of unleavened bread. In 13:6 we read: "Seven DAYS thou shalt eat unleavened bread, and in the seventh DAY shall be a feast to the LORD." The Hebrew word is # 3117 yohm. Yet in 13:10 it says: "Thou shalt therefore keep this ordinance in his season from YEAR to YEAR." Again, it is the same Hebrew word - yohm.
The NASB complete concordance shows that they have translated this same Hebrew word #3117 yohm as "day or days, daily or today" a total of 1,971 times, and the same word as "year, years, yearly" some 28 times.
The NASB has also translated this same Hebrew word as "age, battle, birthday, each, eternity, fate, first, forever, full, holiday, life, lifetime, midday, long, once, period, now, perpetually, present, recently, reigns, ripe, short-lived, time, usual, very old, when, whenever, while, and yesterday"!
Likewise the word used in John 3:36 and translated as "believeth not" has several meanings depending on the context and sound theology. The word is apeitheo and can mean "to be unbelieving", "to believe not", "to not be persuaded", and "to be disobedient".
Even the 1995 NASB has translated this word as "disbelieved" in Acts 14:2 "the Jews who DISBELIEVED...", and the NIV renders it as "REFUSED TO BELIEVE" in Acts 14:2; as "UNBELIEVERS" in Romans 15:31, and as "HE WHO IS UNBELIEVING" in 1 Peter 3:1. So we see they too have adopted the meaning of "believe not" in other passages.
The 2001 ESV has also translated this same Greek word as "the UNBELIEVING Jews" in Acts 14:2; "continued in UNBELIEF" in Acts 19:19 and as "THE UNBELIEVERS" in Romans 15:31.
The Greek lexicons also tell us that the word apeitheo has several meanings, one of which is "to not believe".
Bauer, Arndt and Gingrich's Greek Lexicon tells us on page 83 "since, in the view of the early Christians, the supreme disobedience was a refusal to believe their gospel, apeitheo may be restricted in some passages to the meaning of DISBELIEVE, BE AN UNBELIEVER. THIS SENSE SEEMS MOST PROBABLE IN John 3:36, Acts 14:2; 19:9, Romans 15:31."
Likewise Thayer's Greek Lexicon (page 55) and Liddell and Scott's Lexicon (page 182) both list one of the meanings of this verb as "TO REFUSE OR WITHHOLD BELIEF", "UNBELIEVING".
Let's examine for a moment the NASB, ESV, Catholic St. Joseph version reading of "he who does NOT OBEY the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him."
According to the NASB, it is not enough that we only believe in Christ as our Saviour but we must also OBEY Him or else the wrath of God awaits us. It does not say "try to obey" or "wish to obey" or "obey 90% of the time" but OBEY.
Do we obey - not just attempt to obey - much of anything the Lord told us to do? Do we love all Christians and even our enemies more than ourselves? Are we sometimes critical of others, judgmental, proud, selfish, or unkind? Do we have lustful thoughts? Do we give up all our possessions to feed the poor? If we think we are always obeying the Lord, I don't think we know our own hearts very well.
Bible versions that translate the second half of John 3:36 as "he who does not OBEY the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." easily lend themselves to false doctrine because of a misunderstanding of what the verse is talking about. Those who do not believe in the Son ARE disobedient. This is true. Their mind and will and heart are set against God. There is none that doeth good; there is none that seeketh after God. The command has gone forth to all to Repent and Believe the gospel, and those who do NOT believe and who reject the Son, are indeed being disobedient. But the verse is referring to those who are not "obedient to the faith" and thus to those who do not believe the gospel of the grace of God in Jesus Christ.
But notice that the verse STILL says even in the versions that get the second part wrong, that he that BELIEVETH IN THE SON HAS everlasting life.
This is the testimony of a multitude of verses in the Bible. "Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God" (1 John 5:2) "through this man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: And by him all that believe are justified from all things" (Acts 13:38-39) "Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved" (Acts 16:31) "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (John 3:16) "He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God." (John 3:18)
Praise God for His grace and unconditional love to us His people. May they awaken within us a greater desire to please and obey Him. But this holy desire will spring out of a motive of love for our Saviour and not out of a fear of His wrath if we do not perfectly obey Him, which neither you nor I can do in this life.
Other verses that have been changed are found in the book of Hebrews chapters 3 through 4. There we read of the history of the children of Israel in the wilderness to whom the gospel was preached but it was "not being mixed with faith in them that heard it. For we which have believed do enter into rest" (Hebrews 4:2-3). "And to whom sware he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that BELIEVED NOT? So we see that they could not enter in because of UNBELIEF." (3:18,19)
"Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they to whom it was first preached entered not in because of UNBELIEF"..."Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of UNBELIEF." (4:6,11)
In all these verses not only does the KJB say "believed not" and "unbelief" but so also do Wycliffe, Tyndale, Coverdale, the Great Bible, Matthew's Bible, the Bishops' Bible, Wesley's N.T., Worsley Version, Douay, Youngs, Godbey, Spanish Antigua Versión, Italian Diodati, Webster's 1833, Green's MKJV, The Word of Yah 1993, KJV 21st Century 1994, Third Millennium Bible 1998, God's First Truth 1999, The Evidence Bible 2003, Bond Slave Version 2009, Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010, Conservative Bible 2011, The Work of God's Children Illustrated Bible 2011 and the Interlinear Hebrew-Greek Scriptures 2012 (Mebust).
However the NKJV, NIV, NASB and many other modern versions change the meaning in these four verses by saying: "He sware they would not enter His rest to those who did not OBEY"..."did not enter because of DISOBEDIENCE"..."be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall after the same example of DISOBEDIENCE." Is it faith and believing God that allow us to enter the land of rest in Christ, or our obedience?
Agreeing with the correct theology of faith or unbelief as seen in the KJB is the Old Testament itself. In Numbers 14:11, when the children of Israel feared to go in to take possession of the land of promise, God says: "How long will it be ere they BELIEVE ME, for all the signs which I have shewed among them." Deuteronomy rehearses the history of Israel before entering the land and God says he "bare thee, as a man doth bear his son, in all the way that ye went until ye came unto this place. Yet in this thing YE DID NOT BELIEVE the LORD your God"...and the Lord sware surely there shall not one of these men of this evil generation see that good land, which I sware to give unto your fathers, save Caleb...and Joshua" Deut. 1:31-35.
One more clear verse showing it was unbelief that prevented them from entering the land of rest is Deut. 9:23 "Likewise when the LORD sent you from Kadeshbarnea, saying, Go up and possess the land which I have given you; then ye rebelled against the commandment of the LORD your God, and YE BELIEVED HIM NOT, nor hearkened unto his voice."
Is it true, as the NASB, ESV teach in John 3:36, that "he who does not OBEY the Son, the wrath of God abides on him"? Consider the first disciples themselves. Instead of taking up the cross, denying themselves, forsaking all to follow Jesus, Peter denied the Lord three times with cursing and an oath and "all the disciples forsook him and fled" Matthew 26:56.
In 2 Peter chapter one we are exhorted to add various virtues to our faith and told that IF these things are in us we will not be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord. "But HE THAT LACKETH THESE THINGS is blind, and cannot see afar off, and HATH FORGOTTEN THAT HE WAS PURGED FROM HIS OLD SINS." (2 Peter 1:9)
The person referred to here who lacks these virtues is still a blood bought child of God, who has been purged from his old sins. He is then told to make his calling and election sure, - not to God, for He knows already, but to himself. This person may lose all personal assurance that he is a child of God, but he has been purged of his sins in the blood of Christ and is forever secure in the grace of God.
In 1 Thessalonians 5:9-10 we read: "God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, (watch or don't watch - same word as "watch" in verse 6) we should live together with him." My faithfulness in watching or sleeping spiritually is not the ground of my assurance. It is the fact that Christ died for me and nothing else.
Psalm 119 ends with this verse: "I have gone astray like a lost sheep; seek THY SERVANT, for I do not forget thy commandments." Even though he has gone astray, he is still God's servant. The disciples who forsook the Lord are still called disciples; the Christian who doesn't watch will still live with Christ; and the man that lacks the virtues listed in 2 Peter has still been purged from his sins.
What may confuse some saints is that there are frequent verses in the Bible that speak of "obeying the gospel", but a closer look at these verses shows that to "obey" is equivalent to "believe".
Romans 10:16 "...but they have not all OBEYED the gospel, For Esaias saith, Lord, who HATH BELIEVED our report?" Notice that to obey the gospel is to believe the report.
Acts 6:7 "...and a great company of the priests WERE OBEDIENT TO THE FAITH"; in other words, they believed the gospel of Christ.
Romans 6:17 "...but ye have OBEYED from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered you."
2 Thessalonians 1:7-8 "And to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that OBEY NOT THE GOSPEL of our Lord Jesus Christ."
1 Peter 1:1,22 "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto OBEDIENCE and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ...seeing ye have purified your souls in OBEYING the truth through the Spirit..."
And in Romans 16:26 we read of the mystery of the gospel which is now "made known to all nations for THE OBEDIENCE OF FAITH." Faith itself is the obedience to the command to believe the gospel.
The doctrines of the free grace of God and salvation by faith plus nothing are much more clearly set forth in the King James Bible than in the confusing and contradictory multitude of modern versions.
Satan's Religion and the Modern Versions - Part 3
"To Keep" vs "to Obey"
King James Bible - "And hereby we do know that we know him, if we KEEP his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and KEEPETH NOT his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but WHOSO KEEPETH HIS WORD, in him verily is the love of God perfected." 1 John 2:3-5
NIV 1984 edition - "We know that we have come to know him if we OBEY his commands. The man who says, "I know him," but does NOT DO what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone OBEYS his word, God's love is truly made complete in him."
1 John 5:2 "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and KEEP his commandments." (Tyndale, Geneva Bible, KJB, RV, ASV, NKJV, NASB)
1 John 5:2 "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and OBEY his commandments." (ESV, Catholic St. Joseph NAB, NET (Dan Wallace), Holman Standard, RSV, NRSV. "..and CARRYING OUT his commandments." (NIV 1984, 2011)
What do the phrases "keep my commandments" and "keepeth His word" mean? I am convinced that many Christians misunderstand the meaning, and some modern versions, like the NIV, ESV, RSV, NRSV, NET and the Catholic St. Joseph NAB and the New Jerusalem bible perpetuate the error.
This may come as a shock to many but the word TO KEEP in both Hebrew and Greek does NOT mean "to obey" or "to do"!!!. The Hebrew word Shamar # 8104 is translated in the KJB, Tyndale, Geneva Bible, Revised Version, ASV, NKJV, NASB as "to keep, to observe, to take heed to, to preserve, to be a watchman, and to regard."
The Greek word teereo # 5083 likewise in these versions is translated as "to keep, to guard, to watch, to preserve, to reserve, and to hold fast." If you are playing basketball in the park and take out your wallet and keys and ask a friend to keep them for you, obviously you want him to hang on to them and not lose them.
Many modern versions give these words new meanings. It started with the liberal RSV and continued with the equally liberal NRSV, and has continued to some extent among the more recent NIVs, ESVs, Holman and NET versions. The NIV 1984 edition translates the O.T. word Shamar as "to obey" 29 times and as "to do" 5 times. It also translates the N.T. word tereeo as "to obey" 21 times and "to do" 3 times.
I believe this is due, not only to Satan's hand at work to promote a works oriented religion, but also to much careless preaching. Legalism is natural to the human heart. Few Bible students take the time to actually look up a word in the Bible itself, not a commentary, to see exactly how the Holy Ghost uses this particular word.
Here are a few examples of how the word Shamar is used. Try to fit "to do" or "to obey" into the text and see if they fit. "Am I my brother's KEEPER?" (Gen.2:15). "The Lord bless thee and KEEP thee" (Num. 6:24). "KEEP me as the apple of the eye" (Ps. 17:8). "O KEEP my soul and deliver me" (Ps. 25:20). "PRESERVE me, O God." (Ps. 16:1). "I have set WATCHMEN upon thy walls, O Jerusalem." (Isa. 62:6)
Try to fit "to do" or "to obey" into these New Testament examples. "thou hast KEPT the good wine until now" (John 2:10). "Holy Father, KEEP through thine own name those whom thou hast given me...I have KEPT them in thy name...KEEP them from evil" (John 17:11-12,15) "Peter therefore was KEPT in prison." (Acts 12:5)
A good way to get the sense of a word is to compare it with the contrasting or opposite words used with it. "a time TO KEEP and a time TO CAST AWAY" (Ecc. 3:6). "They that FORSAKE the law praise the wicked, but such as KEEP the law contend with them" (Pro. 28:4). Speaking of wisdom God says: "FORSAKE her not and she will PRESERVE thee" (Pro. 4:6 - same word as "to keep"). "My son, ATTEND TO my words, INCLINE THINE EAR unto my sayings; Let them NOT DEPART from thine eyes; KEEP them in the midst of thine heart" (Pro. 4:20-21). "Only TAKE HEED TO (same word) thyself, and KEEP thy soul diligently, lest thou FORGET the things which thine eyes have seen and lest they DEPART from thy heart all the days of thy life..." (Deut. 4:9)
Notice too the distinction drawn between TO DO and TO KEEP in Deuteronomy 4:6. This passage contains four separate things the Israelites were to do. "And Moses called all Israel and said unto them, HEAR, of Israel, the statutes and judgments which I speak in your ears this day that ye may LEARN them, and KEEP, and DO them." They were to hear, to learn, to keep, and to do. The same concept is seen in may passages but one more may help to illustrate. "Ye shall therefore KEEP my statutes and my judgments which I speak in your ears this day that ye may LEARN them, and KEEP, and DO them."
When the Bible speaks of us KEEPING the commandments of the word of the Lord, God is telling us not to forsake, let go of, forget or turn away from them, but rather to guard, preserve, hold on to and cling to them. By God's grace we hopefully will not only keep them but also do and obey them; but, to KEEP and to OBEY are two distinct and separate concepts.
This difference between to keep and to obey is often illustrated for us in God's true words. Let's look for a moment at the life of king David. In 1 Kings 11 we are told: "And it came to pass, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned away his heart after other gods...for Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Zidonians, and after Milcom the abomination of the Ammorites...Wherefore the LORD said unto Solomon, Forasmuch as this is done of thee, and THOU HAST NOT KEPT My covenant and My statutes, which I have commanded thee, I will surely rend thy kingdom from thee and will give it to thy servant" (1 Kings 11:4,5,11)
Howbeit I will not take the whole kingdom out of his hand; but I will make him prince all the days of his life for David my servant's sake, whom I chose, BECAUSE HE KEPT my commandments and my statutes." (1 Kings 11:34)
In 1 Kings 14:8 God, through His prophet Ahijah, rebukes king Jeroboam. "...and thou hast not been as my servant David, WHO KEPT MY COMMANDMENTS, and who followed me with all his heart, to do right in mine eyes; but hast done evil above all that were before thee: for thou hast gone and made thee other gods, and molten images, to provoke me to anger, and hast cast me behind thy back."
The principal sin of Solomon and Jeroboam was turning to other gods - apostasy and idolatry. God says David KEPT His commandments, yet David certainly disobeyed the commandments of God by committing adultery and murder. But king David never turned away from Jehovah as being the only true God of his life. He held onto God's revelation of Himself in His word and never forsook Him to follow another religion or other gods.
Now, let's look again at 1 John 2:3-5. "And hereby we do know that we know him, if we KEEP his commandments. He that saith, I know him, and KEEPETH NOT his commandments is a liar, and the truth is not in him; but WHOSO KEEPETH HIS WORD, in him verily is the love of God perfected."
Among the Catholic bible versions, most of them still translate the word as "keep" and not as "obey". The Catholic Jerusalem bible of 1968 has only one of the three times the word is used in 1 John 2:3-5 translated as "obey" - verse 5 reads: "when anyone does obey what he has said" instead of "whoso keepeth his word", but the New Jerusalem bible of 1985 has gone back to correctly translated all three as "keep His commandments" and "keep His word". Even the new NIV of 2011 has gone back to the word "keep" his commands in verse 3, but still has "does not do" and "obeys" in verses 4 and 5 and has changed several other English words from the previous NIV in these three verses.
A Verse Comparison Chart of 1 John
1 John 2:3- if we KEEP his commandments - Tyndale, Geneva, KJB, RV 1881, ASV 1901, RSV, NKJV, NASB, ESV
1 John 2:3- if we OBEY his commandments - NRSV, NIV 1984, 2011
1 John 2:4- KEEPETH NOT his commandments - Tyndale, Geneva, KJB, RV, ASV, NKJV, NASB, ESV
1John 2:4 - DISOBEYS his commandments RSV, NRSV, DOES NOT DO his commandments NIV 1984, 2011
1 John 2:5 - whoso KEEPETH his word - Tyndale, Geneva, KJB, RV, ASV, RSV, NKJV, NASB, ESV, NIV 2011
1 John 2:5 - who OBEYS his word - NIV 1984, NRSV, NET version
1 John 3:22 - we KEEP his commandments - Tyndale, Geneva, KJB, RV, ASV, RSV, NKJV, NASB, ESV, NIV 2011
1 John 3:22 - we OBEY his commandments - NIV 1984, NRSV 1989
1 John 3:24 - he that KEEPETH his commandments - Tyndale, Geneva, KJB, RV, ASV, RSV, NKJV, NASB, NIV 2011, ESV
1 John 3:24 - he THAT OBEYS his commandments - NIV 1984, NRSV,
I John 5:2 - and KEEP his commandments - Tyndale, Geneva, KJB, RV, ASV, NKJV, NASB,
1 John 5:2 - and OBEY his commandments - Holman Standard, RSV, ESV, St. Joseph NAB, NET (Dan Wallace), NRSV; CARRYING OUT his commandments NIV 1984, 2011
1 John 5:3 - that we KEEP his commandments - Tyndale, Geneva, KJB, RV, ASV, RSV, NKJV, NASB, ESV, NIV 2011
1 John 5:3 - that we OBEY his commandments - NIV 1984, NRSV
The NIV 1984 and many other modern versions have changed the sense and meaning of these verses entirely. 1 John 5:3-5 - "We know that we have come to know him if we OBEY his commands. The man who says, 'I know him' but DOES NOT DO what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if any man OBEYS his word, God's love is truly made complete in him."
If the NIV, along with other modern versions, is the correct interpretation, then I do not know of anyone that is a true Christian. Please don't give me that old, tired out line about "a pattern" or the "habit" of obedience". Do you sin in thought, word, attitude or deed at least once a day? Or how about once an hour? Is this not then a pattern of sinning?
The commandments, or the Biblical teachings, are the words of God. In 1 John 3:23 we are told: "And this is the commandment, that we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment." This same chapter tells us "Little children, it is the last time; and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists...they went out from us, but they were not of us...who is a liar but he that denieth that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist, that denieth the Father and the Son...Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning..." (the original teaching concerning the Person and the work of Christ; don't leave that truth for a new or false religion) "These things have I written unto you concerning them that seduce you."
The epistle of First John speaks of two different kinds of sin. "If any man see his brother sin a sin which is not unto death, he shall ask, and he shall give him life for them that sin not unto death. There is a sin unto death; I do not say that he shall pray for it." 1 John 5:16.
Here is a BROTHER who is sinning a sin not unto death. He is a brother in Christ who continues in some kind of sin, (it is a present continuous tense), a garden variety sin to which we are all prone. But 5:16 also mentions a sin that is unto death, for which he is not to pray. I believe this sin is that of forsaking the doctrine that Jesus is the Christ, denying it, and following the false religion of antichrist. The prophet Jeremiah was likewise told not to pray for those who, having been warned repeatedly, turned to other gods. See Jeremiah 7:16 and 11:14.
New Age teaching and Eastern Religions such as Hinduism are very similar to each other. They teach that Christ is a divine spirit or consciousness within us all. They teach that soon we will all become this Christ Consciousness. No! This is not true at all. The Bible tells us that JESUS IS THE CHRIST; there is no other. He died and shed His blood for the sins of His people. There is no other Saviour. If anyone denies this truth, the apostle John does not say that they should pray for this sin unto death.
The true Christian can never sin in this way of continuing to deny that Jesus is the Christ. "Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him; and he cannot sin, because he is born of God" 1 John 3:9. The seed mentioned here is most likely the word of God - "the seed is the word of God" (Luke 8:11); "being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God..." 1 Peter 1:23.
Notice too how the word TO KEEP is used in 1 John 5:18: "We know that whosoever is born of God sinneth not; but he that is begotten of God KEEPETH himself, and that wicked one toucheth him not." When it says that he that is born of God sinneth not, it cannot be consistent with the rest of Scripture and our own experience to say that this refers to ANY SIN AT ALL. This would contradict 1 John 1:8 where it says: "If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us." This verse then, in the context of the whole epistle, refers to the sin unto death - that is, to deny that Jesus is the Christ.
To sum up the argument: He that KEEPETH His commandments, and KEEPETH His word is the Christian who holds onto, guards, preserves and retains the doctrine of Christ and does not forsake it to follow the antichrist religion. "Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the beginning. If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye also shall continue in the Son, and in the Father." 1 John 2:24.
In light of what the phrase "keepeth my commandments" really means, it adds a new dimension to the Bible version controversy. Most of the modern versions like the NASB, NIV, ESV, NET and Holman Standard are based on a very different, ever-changing Greek text that omits some 5000 words, including many entire verses, from the New Testament and they often depart from the Hebrew texts in the Old Testament.
With this in mind, consider the words of our Lord Jesus Christ when He says: "He that hath my COMMANDMENTS and KEEPETH them, he it is that loveth me...He that loveth me not KEEPETH NOT MY SAYINGS: and THE WORD which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's that sent me." John 14:21,24. Commandments = my sayings = the Father's word.
"I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world; thine they were, and thou gavest them me; AND THEY HAVE KEPT THY WORD...For I have given unto them THE WORDS which thou gavest me; and they have received them" John 17:6-8 - Keep them, preserve them, hold them fast, and do not let them go, depart or disappear.
If we love our Lord and Saviour, we will have a high regard for His words and not treat them lightly.
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