Thursday, August 27, 2020

Is a "cashless society" really a sign of the end times?



Over the past couple of months, with the coin shortage in the United States during the COVID-19 pandemic, I have seen many people posting on social media that the shortage is a fulfillment of end-times prophecies, moving us toward a cashless society for the Beast’s global economy.

One post in particular said: “This morning I stopped at a convenience store...they would not take cash!! No coins. Signs of the times.”


I responded to that post with the question that has been cycling through my brain for a few weeks: “Where in Scripture is there any mention of a cashless society?”

To which someone replied, “So what do you think Rev 13 is describing, if not a cashless society?”

Monday, August 24, 2020

Textual Criticism -- part two

Just discovered this great little video explaining textual criticism much more thoroughly than my brief treatment back in part 4 of our series on modern English translations of the Bible. Check it out!

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Are Modern English Versions of the Bible Corrupt - Combined Document

The PDF with all the posts in this series combined into one document is available, as promised. 

I pray it is beneficial. Click here to download a copy.

 

Monday, August 17, 2020

Are Modern English Versions of the Bible Corrupt? -- Part 11

This is the eleventh and final installment in a multi-part series concerning social media posts that are circulating accusing the NIV and other modern English translations of the Bible of taking out important words and concepts, leaving out verses, and other nefarious things.

Read part 1 here
Read part 2 here
Read part 3 here
Read part 4 here
Read part 5 here
Read part 6 here
Read part 7 here
Read part 8 here
Read part 9 here
Read part 10 here
______________________________________________


Resources

Here is a collection of links related to this topic. Some of them have already appeared in footnotes throughout this series. Others were not cited, but provide valuable information. 

First, here is a list of links to pages on the Biblica website that address many of the issues raised in this discussion:







Next, here are a handful of links to the web site specifically for the NIV translation. I realize these links will be dismissed out-of-hand by conspiracy theorists and hardline opponents of the NIV, but the information contained in these pages is accurate.




Here are some links to both general discussion about textual criticism and Bible translation, as well as some complete basic-level free courses on textual criticism and how scholars try to determine the original text when manuscripts differ.







Thursday, August 13, 2020

Thoughts on Bible Interpretation / Pensamientos Acerca de Interpretación Bíblica

One of the things that the goood textbooks on hermeneutics teach is to read and compare various translations (especially if one cannot read the original biblical languages), in order to form a better idea of the semantic range of the words used by the writers.

A personal rule that I have is to never base a point of preaching or teaching on the meaning of one word that is used in just one translation in English or Spanish. I should build on the meaning of the words used by the majority of the trustworthy translations, and not "go fishing" looking for a meaning that is only found in one translation.

---------------------------

Una de las cosas que enseñan los buenos textos de hermeneútica es leer y comparar varias traducciones (especialmente si uno no puede leer los idiomas originales), para agarrar una mejor idea de rango semántico de las palabras usadas por los escritores..

Una regla personal que yo tengo es nunca basar un punto de predicación o enseñanza en el significado de una palabra que se usa en una sola traducción inglesa o española. Debo de basarme en el significado de las palabras usadas por la mayoría de las buenas traducciones, y no "ir de pesca" buscando un significado que solo se encuentra en una.

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

Are Modern English Versions of the Bible Corrupt? -- Part 10

This is the tenth installment in a multi-part series concerning social media posts that are circulating and accusing the NIV and other modern English translations of the Bible of taking out important words and concepts, leaving out verses, and other nefarious things.

Read part 1 here
Read part 2 here
Read part 3 here
Read part 4 here
Read part 5 here
Read part 6 here
Read part 7 here
Read part 8 here
Read part 9 here
______________________________________________


Some Closing Thoughts

After reviewing all this data, we must confront the elephant in the room: the motives of the persons who originally put these posts together and started circulating them. While only God and the individuals involved in the creation of these memes and articles know what was in their hearts, we can make some educated deductions based on the fruit they have borne.


Let me make one thing clear: I am not talking here about the motives of the people who have shared and circulated these alerts out of a heartfelt concern and love for God and His word. Most people sharing these alerts don't know all of the information I have presented over the past nine articles. They simply see something that grabs their attention using alarmist language, look at the few cherry-picked examples that allegedly support the claims being made, and then share or forward it without looking deeper or asking someone who has more knowledge in this area (such as a pastor or even a friend who is a Bible nerd). As I stated in the first post in this series, they have a zeal for God, but they lack knowledge. The purpose of this series is not to condemn these brothers and sisters, but rather to fill in the gaps in their knowledge.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

Are Modern English Versions of the Bible Corrupt? -- Part 9

This is the ninth installment in a multi-part series concerning social media posts that are circulating and accusing the NIV and other modern English translations of the Bible of taking out important words and concepts, leaving out verses, and other nefarious things.

Read part 1 here
Read part 2 here
Read part 3 here
Read part 4 here
Read part 5 here
Read part 6 here
Read part 7 here
Read part 8 here
______________________________________________

Gender-Inclusive Language

One of the objections raised against the New International Version is that it uses “gender-neutral” language. When this allegation first started popping up, many people were claiming that the NIV was capitulating to a radical feminist agenda and removing masculine terms for God (such as Father, and the pronouns he, him, and his). The NIV has not changed any of the masculine nouns or pronouns referring to God, so this accusation is without merit.

Now, the explanation on this one is going to get a little more technical regarding how languages work. It will be helpful (though not necessary) if you have had a first-year class in a language that uses grammatical gender (such as Spanish, Italian, Latin, etc.). I will use examples from Spanish, as that is the non-English language I know best.

“Grammatical gender” refers to a concept in linguistics where nouns can be classified as masculine, feminine, or neuter. This has nothing to do with the actual biological sex of a person or animal, but with how words are grouped. Spanish has two genders: masculine and feminine. Koine Greek (the language of the New Testament) has all three. English does not use grammatical gender.

Saturday, August 1, 2020

Are Modern English Versions of the Bible Corrupt? -- Part 8

This is the eighth installment in a multi-part series concerning social media posts that are circulating and accusing the NIV and other modern English translations of the Bible of taking out important words and concepts, leaving out verses, and other nefarious things.

Read part 1 here
Read part 2 here
Read part 3 here
Read part 4 here
Read part 5 here
Read part 6 here
Read part 7 here
______________________________________________



Now we proceed to the “missing verses” from John and Acts.

•Try and find these scriptures in NIV and ESV on your computer, phone or device right now if you are in doubt:
     Matthew 17:21, 18:11, 23:14;
     Mark 7:16, 9:44, 9:46;
     Luke 17:36, 23:17;
     John 5:4; Acts 8:37.


John 5:4

John 5:4 in the King James Version reads like this:
For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.

The NIV has a footnote:
Some manuscripts include here, wholly or in part, paralyzed—and they waited for the moving of the waters. 4From time to time an angel of the Lord would come down and stir up the waters. The first one into the pool after each such disturbance would be cured of whatever disease they had.

The ESV footnote reads:
Some manuscripts insert, wholly or in part, waiting for the moving of the water; 4for an angel of the Lord went down at certain seasons into the pool, and stirred the water: whoever stepped in first after the stirring of the water was healed of whatever disease he had

First, we must note that, as in the other cases we have already looked at, the modern translations do provide footnotes mentioning why they don’t include the “missing” words in the main text. So there is no attempt in these translations to deceive people, as these social media posts insinuate. It’s a simple case of earlier manuscripts not including the words, and the belief that the older the manuscript, the better the chance that it reflects the original text.