Habakkuk 2:4 "the just shall live BY FAITH."
KJB - "Behold, his soul which is lifted up is not upright in him: but the just shall live by HIS FAITH."
NIV 1978 and 1982 editions - "See, HE is puffed up; his desires are not upright - but the righteous will live BY HIS FAITH."
NIV 2011 edition - "See, THE ENEMY is puffed up; his desires are not upright - but the righteous PERSON will live by HIS FAITHFULNESS."
There is a world of difference between the just living by faith and the just living by his faithfulness. The first is the principle of living by the faith God has given us to believe the gospel of the grace of God in redeeming us through the sacrifice of Christ on the cross.
The second - "the just shall live by his FAITHFULNESS" - is to remove the entire focus away from what Christ has done for us and to place it on ourselves, our performance and our own works.
In fact, the Catholic commentary in the New Jerusalem bible 1995 which also says "the upright will live THROUGH FAITHFULNESS." says: "Being faithful to God, to his word and to his will, is characteristic of the upright, and assures him security and life here on earth."
Dan Wallace's NET version also translates Habakkuk 2:4 as "the person of INTEGRITY will live BECAUSE OF HIS FAITHFULNESS."
And then he comments: "Or “loyalty”; or “integrity.” The Hebrew word אֱמוּנָה (’emunah) has traditionally been translated “faith,” but the term nowhere else refers to “belief” as such. When used of human character and conduct it carries the notion of “honesty, integrity, reliability, faithfulness.” In this case the Lord is assuring Habakkuk that those who are truly innocent will be preserved through the coming oppression and judgment by their godly lifestyle, for God ultimately rewards this type of conduct."
Obviously both the Catholic versions mentioned and Dan Wallace and company are focusing on the "godly lifestyle" and personal "faithfulness" of these "persons of integrity", instead of their "faith" in God and what He does. And yet the Scriptures themselves quote this same verse as "the just shall live by his faith" and is found in at least 100 Bible translations, and many of them done by those who actually speak Hebrew as their native language.
The verse is quoted in the New Testament in direct contrast to the works of the law and what might be referred to as "a godly lifestyle". The gospel is for sinners who are lost, have no righteousness of their own and are under condemnation.
The whole theological argument of the apostle Paul in Romans 3-4 is that no man, either before or after the law was given, was justified by works. Neither Abraham (pre-law) nor David (under law).
3 For what saith the scripture? Abraham BELIEVED God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.
4 Now to him that worketh is the reward not reckoned of grace, but of debt.
5 But to him that worketh not, but BELIEVETH on him that justifieth the ungodly, HIS FAITH is counted for righteousness.
6 Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,
7 Saying, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered.
In Galatians 3:11-12 we read: "But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, THE JUST SHALL LIVE BY FAITH. And the law is not of faith: but, The man that doeth them shall live in them."
So, whose right, Dan Wallace or the apostle Paul? (See also the commentaries on this verse at the end of the article.)
This wonderful verse in Habakkuk 2:4 is repeated again in the book of Romans where it is made the centerpiece is the apostles arguments about the difference between being saved by works or by grace.
Romans 1:16-17 "For I am not ashamed of the gospel OF CHRIST: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek. For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live BY FAITH."
The NIV 2011 completely perverts this truth. First of all, the Hebrew word used in Habakkuk is not "HE" and much less is it "THE ENEMY" but it is "his SOUL" It is the same word used in Genesis 2:7 where we read: "And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living SOUL."
Secondly, the verse in Romans 1:16 is changed in the NIV and other critical text Vatican Versions as well. There we read: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel OF CHRIST."
The NIV, NASB, ESV, RSV, NET, Holman and ALL Catholic versions omit the words "OF CHRIST" because not found in Sinaiticus, Vaticanus, A or C.
But the words "of Christ" are found in the Majority of all Greek manuscripts including K, L, P, Psi, Lamsa's translation of the Syriac Peshitta, Tyndale 1525, Coverdale, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549, the Bishops' Bible, the Geneva Bible, NKJV, and in the Modern Greek Bible - Διοτι δεν αισχυνομαι το ευαγγελιον του Χριστου· , as well as the Modern Hebrew Bible - כי אינני בוש מבשורת המשיח באשר גבורת אלהים היא. = "I am not ashamed of the gospel teachings of the Messiah"
Habakkuk 2:4 "the just shall live by his FAITH"
Agreeing with the reading found in the King James Bible that "the just shall live BY HIS FAITH" are - Wycliffe 1395 - "the iust man schal lyue in his frith.", Coverdale 1535, the Great Bible 1540, Matthew's Bible 1549, the Bishops' Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1587, Darby 1890, the Revised Version 1881 - "the just shall live by his faith.", ASV 1901, The Ancient Hebrew Bible 1907, the JPS 1917 (Jewish Publication Society), the 1936 Hebrew Publishing Company Bible, the RSV 1946 - 1971, NRSV 1989, NASB 1972 - 1995, Holman Standard 2003 - 2009, NKJV 1982, The Word of Yah 1993, Third Millennium Bible 1998, the Judaica Press Tanach 2004 - "the righteous shall live by his faith.", the Jubilee Bible 2010, the Online Interlinear 2010 (André de Mol), the Hebraic Transliteration Scripture 2010, the New European Version 2010, The Work of God's Children Illustrated Bible 2011, the Natural Israelite Bible 2012 - "but the just shall live by his faith.", the Interlinear Hebrew-Greek Scriptures 2012 (Mebust), The World English Bible 2012, the Biblos Interlinear Bible 2013, the International Standard Version 2014, The Hebrew Names Version 2014, the Modern English Version 2014.
The ESV 2001-2011 (BUT the ESV's have a footnote saying: "or, FAITHFULNESS.",
as does the Holman Standard 2009. The text reads "But the righteous one will live by his FAITH." but then footnotes: "or FAITHFULNESS."
Foreign Language Bibles
Among foreign language Bibles that likewise read "the just shall live by FAITH" in Habakkuk 2:4 are Luther's German Bible 1545 and the German Schlachter Bible 2000 - "Siehe, wer halsstarrig ist, der wird keine Ruhe in seinem Herzen haben; denn der Gerechte lebet seines Glaubens.", the Spanish Sagradas Escrituras 1569, Cipriano de Valera 1602, Reina Valera 1909-2011 - "He aquí se enorgullece aquel cuya alma no es derecha en él: mas el justo en su fe vivirá.", the Italian Diodati 1649, La Nuova Diodati 1991 and Italian Riveduta 2006 - "Ecco, l’anima di colui che si sottrae non è diritta in lui; ma il giusto viverà per la sua fede.", the French Martin 1744, Ostervald 1998 and Louis Segond 2007 - "Voici, l'âme de celui qui s'élève n'est pas droite en lui; mais le juste vivra par sa foi.", the Portuguese Almeida Atualizada - "mas o justo pela sua fé viverá.",
the Modern Greek Bible - "Ιδου, η ψυχη αυτου επηρθη, δεν ειναι ευθεια εν αυτω· ο δε δικαιος θελει ζησει δια της πιστεως αυτου.",
and the Modern Hebrew Bible - "הנה עפלה לא ישרה נפשו בו וצדיק באמונתו יחיה׃" = "the righteous shall live by faith".
Even though the NIV 2011 English version now says “the righteous person will live by HIS FAITHFULNESS”, yet the NIV Spanish version, La Nueva Versión Internacional 1999 still reads correctly with “pero el justo vivid por su FE.” = "but the just shall live by his FAITH."
BUT the NIV Portuguese version, Nova Versão Internacional 2000 reads: “mas o justo viverá pela sua fidelidade.” = “the just shall live by HIS FIDELITY.”
Other Perverted Bible Versions are -
The Jehovah Witness New World Translation - "the righteous one, BY HIS FAITHFULNESS HE WILL KEEP LIVING."
Youngs 1898 - "And the righteous by HIS STEDFASTNESS liveth."
Catholic Jerusalem bible 1968, New Jerusalem bible 1985 - "the upright will live THROUGH FAITHFULNESS."
Dan Wallace's goofy NET version - "Look, the one whose desires are not upright will faint from exhaustion, but THE PERSON OF INTEGRITY WILL LIVE BECAUSE OF HIS FAITHFULNESS."
The Koster Scriptures 1998 - "But the righteous one lives by HIS STEADFASTNESS."
The New Jewish Version 1985 - “But the righteous man IS REWARDED WITH LIFE FOR HIS FIDELITY.”
The Lexham English Bible 2012 (critical text) - "But the righteous shall live by HIS FAITHFULNESS."
Names of God Bible 2011 (critical text) - "But the righteous person will live BECAUSE OF HIS FAITHFULNESS."
The Voice 2012 (another critical text version) - "But the righteous one will live by HIS FAITHFULNESS."
The Common English Bible 2011 (another Critical Text version) - "Some people’s desires are truly audacious; they don’t do the right thing. But the righteous person WILL LIVE HONESTLY."
The New International Readers’ Version 2014 (another Critical text version) - ““But the person who is GODLY WILL LIVE BY HIS FAITHFULNESS.”
The big theological question to ask is this - Does the just live by FAITH, meaning by what he believes about what God has done for us in Christ, or by his FAITHFULNESS, meaning how he lives?
The whole Reformation began with God opening the eyes of Martin Luther when he read the passage "The just shall live by his FAITH." He was finally freed from the heavy yoke of trying to obtain his own righteousness through the works and self merit system of the Roman Catholic Church.
Do you think he could have seen this liberating truth if he had read instead "the just shall live by HIS FAITHFULNESS."? Not at all.
If you are using any Bible version whose Greek text is based on the UBS (United Bible Society) Nestle-Aland critical Greek text, then you are using a Vatican supervised "inter confessional" text. This is not some wild King James Bible only "conspiracy theory". It is a documented fact that is easily proven.
Undeniable Proof the ESV, NIV, NASB, Holman Standard, NET etc. are the new "Vatican Versions"
Just a small part of what you will see documented here is the following:
I have a copy of the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece 27th edition right here in front of me. It is the same Greek text as the UBS (United Bible Society) 4th edition. These are the Greek readings and texts that are followed by such modern versions as the ESV, NIV, NASB, Holman Standard AND the new Catholic versions like the St. Joseph New American Bible 1970 and the New Jerusalem bible 1985 AND the Jehovah Witness New World Translation.
If you have a copy of the Nestle-Aland 27th edition, open the book and read what they tell us in their own words on page 45 of the Introduction. Here these critical Greek text editors tell us about how the Greek New Testament (GNT, now known as the UBS) and the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Graece grew together and shared the same basic text.In the last paragraph on page 45 we read these words:
"The text shared by these two editions was adopted internationally by Bible Societies, and FOLLOWING AN AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE VATICAN AND THE UNITED BIBLE SOCIETIES IT HAS SERVED AS THE BASIS FOR NEW TRANSLATIONS AND FOR REVISIONS MADE UNDER THEIR SUPERVISION. THIS MARKS A SIGNIFICANT STEP WITH REGARD TO INTERCONFESSIONAL RELATIONSHIPS. It should naturally be understood that this text is a working text: it is not to be considered as definitive, but as a stimulus to further efforts toward defining and verifying the text of the New Testament."
There it is folks, in their own words. They openly admit that this text is the result of an agreement between the Vatican and the UBS and that the text itself is not "definitive" - it can change, as it already has and will do so in the future, and is not the infallible words of God but merely "a stimulus to further efforts".
The Bible Commentators
John Gill on Habakkuk 2:4 - "But the just shall live by faith - the "just" man is the reverse of the former, who has no overweening opinion of himself, and of his own righteousness; nor does he trust in it for his justification before God, and acceptance with him; but in the righteousness of Christ imputed to him, from whence he is denominated a just man"
David Guzik's commentary on Habakkuk 2:4 - "But the just shall live by his faith: In contrast to the proud, there are the just. The principle of their life is faith, instead of pride that looks to self. True faith looks outside of self unto the LORD God, while pride always looks to self. This brief statement from the prophet Habakkuk is one of the most important, and most quoted Old Testament statements in the New Testament. Paul used it to show that the just live by faith, not by law. Being under the law isn’t the way to be found just before God, only living by faith is."
John Calvin on Habakkuk 2:4 - "What does the just do? He brings nothing before God except faith: then he brings nothing of his own, because faith borrows, as it were, through favor, what is not in man’s possession. He, then, who lives by faith, has no life in himself; but because he wants it, he flies for it to God alone....Let us now come to Paul, who has applied the Prophet’s testimony for the purpose of teaching us that salvation is not by works, but by the mercy of God alone, and therefore by faith."
Keil & Delitzsch Commentary on the Old Testament - "The deep meaning of these words has been fully brought out by the Apostle Paul (Romans 1:17; Galatians 3:11: see also Hebrews 10:38), who makes the declaration ὁ δίκαιος ἐκ πίστεως ζήσεται (The just shall live by faith) the basis of the New Testament doctrine of justification by faith."
The King James Bible is always right. Get used to it.
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