“The Faith OF Jesus Christ” or “Your Faith IN Jesus Christ”?
“The Faith OF Jesus Christ” or “Your Faith IN Jesus Christ”?
Faith or belief is a gift from God. Faith is not something we can produce on our own. God has to give it to us. Those who are not His sheep do not believe because they are not His sheep. John 10:26. Jesus said to the Pharisees "But ye believe not, BECAUSE ye are not my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me."
The reason you and I believe the gospel is because God Himself gives us faith. Romans 12:3 "For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, according as GOD HATH DEALT TO EVERY MAN THE MEASURE OF FAITH."
The "every man" in the context is the "every man among you" or those who are already Christians. Not everyone has faith. 2 Thessalonians 3:2 "for all men have not faith" and obviously there are unbelievers.
Phil. 1:29 "For unto you IT IS GIVEN in the behalf of Christ, not only TO BELIEVE ON HIM, but also to suffer for his sake."
Eph. 2:8 "For by grace are ye saved through faith; and THAT NOT OF YOURSELVES, IT IS THE GIFT OF GOD."
Eph. 1:19 "And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward that believe, according to the working of his mighty power"
Tyndale and Geneva Bibles note that Faith is the work of God only, even as the raising up of Christ. The same power that raised up Christ, is the power of God that causes us to believe the gospel. This truth has been obscured in the NASB and NIV. They both add words not found in any Greek text and change the meaning of the passage.
The NASB says: "and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe. THESE ARE in accordance with the working of the strength of His might..." The New Jerusalem has: "the power that he has exercised for us believers; THIS ACCORDS WITH the strength of his power..."
The NIV has: "and his incomparably great power for us who believe. THAT POWER is like the working of his mighty strength..." And the St. Joseph NAB reads: "his power in us who believe. IT IS LIKE he showed raising Christ from the dead..."
Ephesians 3:12 - KJB "In whom (Christ Jesus) we have boldness and access with confidence BY THE FAITH OF HIM."
The underlying Greek phrase here is very clear, yet many modern versions have totally mistranslated it. "By the faith of him" is δια της πιστεως αυτου. This is quite literally "through the faith of him". That is exactly what it says.
And this is also the reading of Wycliffe 1395 - "bi the feith of hym.", the Great Bible 1540 -"which is by the fayth of hym.", even the Douay-Rheims! 1582 "by the faith of him", Whiston's N.T. 1745 "by the faith of him.", Webster's Translation 1833, The Commonly Received Version 1851, The Alford N.T. 1870, Darby 1890 "by the faith of him", Rotherham's Emphasized bible 1902, the KJV 21st Century 1994, the Jubilee Bible 2000 -"by the faith of him.", The Bond Slave Version 2012 and The Modern Literal New Testament 2014 - "by the faith of him."
However there are many versions that do not give us the correct translation here. The Revised Version 1881, RSV and ESV say "through OUR faith IN him." There is NO text that reads this way. There is no word "our" and no word for "in". The whole meaning of the verse is changed.
The NKJV, NASB, NIV and Holman unite in saying "through faith IN him." Again, this is not an accurate translation at all.
And others go even further in changing the meaning. The brand new International Standard Version says: "through HIS FAITHFULNESS." and Dan Wallace's goofy NET version says: "In whom we have boldness and confident access TO GOD BECAUSE OF CHRIST'S FAITHFULNESS." Dan Wallace has added the words "TO GOD", "BECAUSE OF" and CHRIST'S" to the verse with ZERO textual support. He just made this up and it totally changes the meaning of the verse.
Scripture speaks of "the faith of God's elect" Titus 1:1
We are told that Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith - Hebrews 12:2 "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith."
Acts 3:16 "yea, the faith which is by him (not just 'in' him, but BY Him) hath given him this perfect soundness "
Acts 18:27 "he helped them much which had believed THROUGH GRACE." It wasn't just that they believed "in" grace, by it was 'through grace' that they believed.
Acts 14:27 "they rehearsed all that God had done among them, and how He had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles." If God doesn't open the door, there is no faith.
Acts 16:14 "Lydia...whose heart the Lord opened, that she attended unto the things which were spoken of by Paul"
Acts 15:9 "and put no difference between us (believing Jews) and them (believing Gentiles) purifying their hearts by faith." God purified their hearts by faith, not 'because of' faith. God did it and He did it by faith which He himself gave them. It was not "their part".
Acts 13:48 "and AS MANY AS WERE ORDAINED TO ETERNAL LIFE BELIEVED." Their having been ordained to eternal life preceded their believing. The reason they believed is because God had ordained them to faith in the gospel.
1 Peter 1:21 "Who by Him believe in God that raised him up from the dead" Again, it is BY HIM that we believe in God.
2 Peter 1:1 "to them that have obtained like precious faith with us through the righteousness of God and our Saviour Jesus Christ".
They obtained this faith, they did not have it to begin with and then did their part to exercise it.
1 Cor. 12:9 "For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom... to another faith by the same Spirit."
Gal. 5:22 one of the parts of the fruit of the Spirit is faith. The Spirit produces FAITH, and this is the reading found in such Bibles as Wycliffe 1395 "feith", the Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva bible 1587, The Beza N.T. 1599, Whiston's Primitive N.T. 1745, The Revised N.T. 1862, Young's 1898, Worrell N.T. 1904, Lamsa 1933, Bible in Basic English 1961, The Word of Yah Bible 1993, The Lawrie N.T. 1998, The Tomson N.T. 2002, The Resurrection Life N.T. 2005, Green's 'literal' 2005, and even the Holman Standard 2009, The Jubilee Bible 2010, The Modern English Version 2014 and The Modern Literal New Testament 2014.
But versions like the NKJV, NIV, RSV, ESV, and NASB have changed this to 'faithfulness'. The New Jerusalem bible has "trustfulness".
1 Cor. 3:5-6 "Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase."
You can preach and teach gospel truths, but unless God Himself gives the increase and causes the seed to sprout and grow, there is no belief and no life.
The NASB & NIV have both changed the meaning of this section, added words not in any text, and don't even agree with each other. The NASB says: "through whom you believed, even as the Lord GAVE OPPORTUNITY to each one." This fallacious reading pictures God as giving the opportunity to believe, but apparently it is up to us to choose to take advantage of it or not. This fits in perfectly with today's Arminian theology.
The NIV, on the other hand, differs from them all and says: "only servants, through whom you believed ---as the Lord HAS ASSIGNED TO EACH HIS TASK." The NIV's focus is not on the act of faith as coming from God, but rather on the task God gave to Paul and Apollos.
The ESV is similar to the NIV saying: "Servants through whom you believed, AS THE LORD ASSIGNED TO EACH."
The Catholic St. Joseph is very similar, reading: "ministers through whom you became believers, EACH OF THEM DOING ONLY WHAT THE LORD ASSIGNED HIM."
The Faith OF Jesus Christ
One of the many serious changes being made in the modern bible versions is how they are altering the phrase "the faith OF Christ". Many times the phrase "by the faith OF Jesus Christ" has been changed to "by faith IN Jesus Christ". See for example Romans 3:22; Galatians 2:16, 20; 3:22; Ephesians 3:12; Philippians 3:9; James 2:1; Revelation 2:13; and 14:12.
Romans 3:22 "Even the righteousness of God which is by faith OF Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference."
John Gill comments on this verse saying: "Here it is said to be "by faith of Jesus Christ"; not by that faith which Christ himself had as man, but by that faith, OF WHICH HE IS THE AUTHOR and object."
Galatians 2:16, 20 - "Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith OF Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the faith OF Christ, and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified." ..."and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith OF the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."
Here the NKJV, NIV, ESV and NASB, as well as the modern Catholic versions like St. Joseph NAB and the New Jerusalem bible, have all changed this to "faith IN Jesus Christ", thus changing the truth that this faith comes from Jesus Christ and instead implying that it comes from ourselves.
Dan Wallace's NET version goes even further into heresy and says: "that no one is justified by the works of the law but by THE FAITHFULNESS of Jesus Christ.” (Gal.2:17) and "I live because of the FAITHFULNESS of the Son of God" (Galatians 2:20)
This is not a question of Greek texts differing, because they all say the same thing, dia pisteos iesou xristou, the genitive of possession or source. We speak of the birth of Christ, the death of Christ, the resurrection of Jesus, the body of Jesus, the cross of Christ, the riches of Christ, the kingdom of Christ, the glory of Christ, and many other things using the same grammatical construction, but suddenly the NKJV, NAS, NIV, and most modern bibles now have "through faith IN Jesus Christ."
"by faith OF Jesus Christ"
Reading "by faith OF Jesus Christ" are Wycliffe 1395, Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549, the Bishops' Bible 1568, the Douay-Rheims bible 1582, the Geneva Bible 1587, the Beza New Testament 1599, the Bill Bible 1671, Wesley's N.T. 1755, Webster's bible 1833, Morgan N.T. 1848, Julia Smith Translation 1855, the Emphatic Diaglott N.T. 1864, the Alford N.T. 1870, Davidson N.T. 1876, the Dillard N.T. 1885, Darby 1890, Young's 1898, Godbey N.T. 1902, the Douay Version 1950, The Word of Yah 1993 - "by faith OF Yahshua the Christ", Interlinear Greek N.T. 1997 (Larry Pierce), the Lawrie Translation 1998, the Third Millennium Bible 1998, God's First Truth 1999, the Tomson N.T. 2002, A Conservative Version Interlinear 2005, The Revised Geneva Bible 2005, the Concordant Version 2006, the Bond Slave Version 2009, the Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010, the English Jubilee Bible 2010, the Biblos Interlinear Bible 2011, The Aramaic N.T. 2011, The Work of God's Children Illustrated Bible 2011, the Revised Douay-Rheims Bible 2012 = "by faith OF Jesus Christ", The Hebraic Roots Bible 2012 - “even the righteousness of Elohim through the faith OF Yahshua Messiah”, and The Modern Literal New Testament 2014 - "through the faith OF Jesus Christ".
However beginning with the Revised Version of 1881 and then by the ASV of 1901, they changed about half of these references to "the faith OF Jesus Christ" to faith IN Jesus Christ. For example, the first place we find mention of "the faith OF Jesus Christ" is Romans 3:22. The ASV changes this to read: "even the righteousness of God through faith IN Jesus Christ", but then it footnotes "or, OF". The ASV continues to change most of the verses that correctly read "the faith OF Jesus Christ", except in James 2:1 where it still has "the faith OF our Lord Jesus Christ", and in Revelation 2:13 "hast not denied MY faith", and 14:12 "keep the commandments of God, and the faith OF Jesus".
From then on all the references have progressively been changed in the RSV, NRSV, NKJV, NASB, NIV, St. Joseph New American bible 1970, the New Jerusalem bible 1985 and the Jehovah Witness New World Translation to now read "the faith IN Christ" or even "OUR faith IN Christ".
Revelation 2:13 - "I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and HAST NOT DENIED MY FAITH, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.
All Greek texts read this way - "hast not denied MY FAITH" - καὶ οὐκ ἠρνήσω τὴν πίστιν μου. The simple meaning is that the faith of Jesus is the objective truth of Who He is and what He did for His people on the cross to redeem us from sin and hell. It has nothing to do with our own personal faith.
John Gill comments: "these held fast the name of Christ, or the Gospel, and denied not, but confessed the doctrine of faith in the worst of times. They had the truths of the Gospel in their possession, which were dear and valuable to them; and whereas there was danger of losing them, they held them fast, with great courage, magnanimity, and strength, though the greater number was against them, and they were attended with reproach and persecution."
Barnes' Notes on the N.T. briefly says: "And hast not denied my faith. That is, hast not denied my religion."
Agreeing with the King James reading of "not denied MY Faith" are Wycliffe, Tyndale, Coverdale, Bishops', the Geneva Bible 1587, the Beza N.T. 1599, the Bill Bible 1671, the RV, ASV, NASB, NKJV, Wesley, Youngs, Darby, Hebrew Names Version, Rotherham's Emphasized Bible, Lamsa'a 1933 translation of the Syriac, Douay, the RSV, ESV 2011, the Interlinear Greek N.T. 1997 (Larry Pierce), the Tomson N.T. 2002, Conservative Bible 2011, the Biblos Interlinear Bible 2011, The Work of God's Children Illustrated Bible 2011, The World English Bible 2012, The Modern Literal New Testament 2014 and The Modern English Version 2014 "did not deny MY faith".
However the NIV reads like no Greek text on this earth saying: "You did not renounce YOUR FAITH IN ME." Likewise the Catholic St. Joseph has "have not denied the faith you have in me" while the New Jerusalem reads: "AND DID NOT DISOWN YOUR FAITH IN ME."
Dan Wallace's NET version also reads "you have not denied YOUR faith IN me".
This would mean their own personal faith rather than the essential, objective truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Now going along with the NIV is the previous NRSV of 1989, the Holman Standard and the NET versions.
Notice that the RSV read like the KJB, then the NRSV was the first to change the Greek text to "YOUR faith in me", but then the newer ESV has once again gone back to the KJB reading of "not denied MY faith".
Revelation 14:12 - "Here is the patience of the saints: here are they that keep the commandments of God, and THE FAITH OF JESUS."
The whole idea here is that those who keep, guard and preserve the words of God and the truth contained in "the faith" of Jesus (the objective truth of Who He is, and what He did), shall overcome at the last against the false religion of antichrist and those who worship his image.
Again, all Greek texts read "the faith OF Jesus" (τὴν πίστιν Ἰησοῦ), and so too do the following Bible translations: Wycliffe 1395, Tyndale 1525, Coverdale 1535, Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599 (here are they that keepe the commaundements of God, and the fayth of Iesus.), the Beza N.T. 1599, the Bill Bible 1671, Wesley's N.T. 1755, Weymouth 1912, the Revised Version 1881, ASV 1901, RSV 1952, NRSV 1989, NKJV, Darby, Young's, Rotherham's Emphasized bible 1902, Lamsa's 1933 translation of the Syriac, the Interlinear Greek N.T. 1997 (Larry Pierce), the Tomson N.T. 2002, the Biblos Interlinear Bible 2011, Conservative Bible 2011, The Work of God's Children Illustrated Bible 2011, The World English Bible 2012, The Modern Literal New Testament 2014 and The Modern English Version 2014 - "the faith OF Jesus".
However the NIV reads: "who obey God's commandments and REMAIN FAITHFUL TO Jesus." - i.e. You better obey him faithfully or you will be lost.
The NASB and the ESV miss the mark too, and read exactly like the St. Joseph New American bible, with: "who keep the commandments of God and THEIR faith IN Jesus." - i.e. Keep on believing with your personal faith. Notice this time that the previous RSV, NRSV agree with the KJB, but now the ESV has changed the meaning of the verse by making up their own interpretation.
Dan Wallace does the same thing in his NET version, saying: "those who obey God's commandments and hold to THEIR faith IN Jesus"
Holman Standard has: "who keep the commandments of God and the faith in Jesus."
The ISV 2014 has put a whole new twist on the meaning of the verse with: "who keep the commandments of God and hold on to the FAITHFULNESS OF Jesus."
The King James Bible is right, as always. Get used to it.
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