DECEPTIONS Are Always So CLOSE to the Truth! — Can YOU Tell the Difference?

DECEPTIONS Are Always So CLOSE to the Truth!

Can YOU tell the difference?

By the way, not all deceptions are deliberate. That’s the sad part. Most of them are caused by sincere folks presenting their first findings as the truth, when often those first findings aren’t what is claimed. So, let’s look at a modern day dilemma.

COMMON PROBLEMS THAT CAUSE DECEPTION

1. When was the Messiah born? 3/2 B.C., 4 B.C., 6 B.C., 5 B.C. Notice how close the dates are.
2. Time of the “slaughter” of the Messiah? Wednesday afternoon, Friday afternoon, Thursday afternoon?
3. When did He rise? Saturday afternoon or Sunday morning?
4. Calculated Calendar or the Observed Calendar? Both often show Feast Days on the same date, other times days apart.
5. Women’s hair their covering or a man made shawl, scarf?
6. Passover wine or Passover grape juice?
7. Saturday or Sunday for the Sabbath?
8. Speaking in “unknown” tongues, or “known” languages?
9. Use “Sacred” names or “Pagan” titles?

Let’s take a look at two distinct but different groups.

A Sacred Names group versus a former Worldwide Church of God splinter group.
Both the Worldwide and the Sacred Name folks have a common source. They both, in the majority of the case, are splits from a “Church of God, 7th Day” group. That particular church, was also a break from another earlier group. But, let’s not get too complicated for the point at hand.

A BASIC COMPARISON

I know the main Elders of both these groups. One is located on the West Coast, and the other in Middle America
Let’s compare the basic teachings of both a particular Sacred Name Group I am familiar with (YRM), and a church that is a break off of the Worldwide that I am also familiar with (CBCG). In the below comparison, the Sacred Name stance will be presented first, vs the former Worldwide church group’s stance.

“SACRED NAME” vs FORMER WORLDWIDE GROUP

1. Uses Observed Calendar versus Calculated Calendar.
2. Sabbath Day — both the same.
3. Annual Feast Days — both the same.
4. Clean and unclean foods — both the same.
5. Passover grape juice versus Passover wine.
6. Women must cover head, versus woman’s long hair is her covering.
7. Yahweh is Father’s Name, Yahshua is Messiah’s Name, versus “the Lord” and “Jesus.”
8. Tithing — both teach tithing.
9. Baptism in the name Yahshua, versus baptism in the name Jesus.
10. Pentecost — both say on a Sunday. Older Worldwide said it was on a Monday.
11. Government approval — both claim their corporate assembly, or church, are just tools of the “spiritual” assembly or church. Do either know which government sanctioned the original apostles and disciples for corporate operations and tax deductions?
12. Regular KJV order of Bible versus Manuscript Order of the Bible books.
13. Both have own “translation” or version of the Bible now. Neither, to my knowledge, emphasize teaching members to learn to read Greek and Hebrew texts of the Bible.
14. There are other points but this is enough for now.

The above brings up the most important comparison, TRUTH versus ERROR. And, remember, error leads to deceptions.

Here are two groups teaching virtually the same things. AND, both come from the same lineage through previous groups. Yet, they both claim to have THE truth. If that is the case, why do they differ on things like the calendar, names, women’s head covering, wine or grape juice, etc.? Neither of these things are that far apart. Both claim certain Elders in their past. So, what gives?

Neither have fellowship with each other. As far as I know, neither accepts the baptism of the other as valid. Both keep Passover but not with each other. So… here’s the question:

Which one of these two has the truth over the other’s claim of truth? Only one can be right, assuming either one is. Which is it? Or, as we see clearly, they both have a smattering of the truth, and some obvious errors. Those errors keep them apart.

The problem is, both are as rebellious against the Father as the other. For example, one vehemently refuses to place the Names in their translation, and that with a huff and puff expression of disdain. The other uses the Names, but so far refuses to place the books of the Bible in the correct manuscript order. What childish rebellion from both groups. Neither will listen to the other, nor work with the other. This is also true with their “peer” groups. Each has its one or two points that totally prevent full cooperation together. Yet, they both claim to be right. So which is it, grape juice or wine, etc.?

Are they just old wineskins set in their ways. Wineskins that they know would burst if the new and powerful new wine was placed within them?

But, think of this. IF they would drop their, and let me be blunt, STUPID IGNORANT ARROGANT stiff-necked rebellious stubborn nonsense, they together could overwhelm the world around them with the real and full truth. But, alas, they are stuck in old wineskins.

Because of this situation, neither understand properly Biblical prophecy. Neither grows very rapidly, and with new younger generation members surpassing the elderly. They have become, like the rest of Christianity, an old folks club, clinging to stubborn errors deceiving themselves into believing they are holding on to the “faith once and for all delivered to the saints.”

If that’s true, why is the “faith once and for all delivered” that they claim to follow, DIFFERENT from the other?

It’s time these two groups WAKE UP and make a real difference. It’s time they take the time and REVIEW every stance they have taken on Biblical matters.

For instance, neither understand prophecy correctly, yet, claim they do. A revived Roman Empire is one they won’t look at for some reason. For, it is NOT a revived Roman Empire that is the fourth beast of Daniel. That fourth beast has never been on earth yet.

Be that as it may, I would like to suggest and encourage these two groups of very fine individuals to take a fresh look at what they teach, especially on those things with which they differ. And, let me suggest two or three changes for both to double check.

1. Women’s covering is their LONG hair, not a scarf.
2. The Observed Calendar is part and parcel of the canon of Scripture, the Calculated Calendar is not.
3. The Names of both the Father and Son MUST be placed into the new California translation, and the MidWest translation MUST be placed into the correct order. OR, even better, both should work together and use a corrected translation for both groups!

Can they bend to the Father’s WILL, or remain stuck with old and boring man conceived error? We’ll see soon enough. I’m rooting for both of them. Won’t you root with me!

BIBLE TRANSLATORS — WHAT are they REALLY doing?

TRANSLATION CONFUSION?
After 48 years of New Testament Greek studies, what can one learn? One major thing I’ve learned is this: There is not ONE English translation on the planet that is true to the Greek texts. Not even the beloved King James Version. Yes, I know, that is quite a statement. The problem is, it is true.

In 1963, I began my first university class in New Testament Greek. Then, in 1964, after graduating and getting married, I signed up for my second year of classes. My professor at the time was Dr. Charves V. Dorothy. He is also the minister that performed our wedding in 1964.

According to Fred Coulter, one of my fellow students at college, he began the Greek class under Dr. Dorothy 10 years later than I did.

I bring up Fred in this article because I know him, studied under the same professors he had, and am still in contact with him today. But, for this article, mainly because he has translated and published his version of the New Testament. And, because he is someone I can personally relate to. I do not know other translators.

Fred finished his Bible project by combining his NT with the Hebrew Scriptures to publish the complete Bible in the manuscript order. He describes it as a “faithful version.” I have copies of this translation, both the first and second revision. The revision copies were sent by courtesy of Fred.

POSSIBLE MISUNDERSTANDING
Let me preempt a possible misunderstanding up front. It is very possible for those reading this article to feel that I am overly criticizing Fred’s translation. If one came to that conclusion they would be way off track. Fred’s translation is one of the better translations on the market. But, like them all, there is room for improvement, sometimes vast improvement! What I am doing with this article, maybe a series, is using a known factor in explaining problems with translating the Bible. And, I have discussed with Fred a couple of the points I’ll be making. He knows and understands the problems involved. Sometimes the problem is knowing how to handle these problems, and where to draw the line. Also, remember, the reading public is very fickle. And, there’s another big rub for translators — satisfying the public so they will buy the end result.
Having explained that, I recommend Fred’s translation for several reasons. Wide margins, quality paper and printing, excellent cover, easily readable type, books in correct manuscript order, many errors in KJV & others corrected, etc. etc.

SPECIFIC PROBLEMS OF TRANSLATION
For our purposes, let’s begin with the simple and work up to the “difficult” and “complicated.”

1. Is It YOU or YOU-ALL?
One of the first things I pointed out to Fred was that his use of the word “you” was unclear, and misleading. The problem here is, this isn’t just Fred’s problem, it is the problem of virtually all new translations. It is part of the new translation fallacy. Let me explain.

One of the important points given by Scripture is this:

LET THE READER UNDERSTAND!

If this were not important it would not be mentioned. It is mentioned more than once. Why? Did the Father know in advance how the Scriptures would be watered down in our day?

So, if the “reader” is to understand, what does that say to translators? Translate 100% ACCURATELY so the “reader” of your work can understand what the Greek is really saying. The translator is not the reader. He or she is the one presenting what is to be read. And he or she already knows what the Greek says. The READER doesn’t. Are translators assuming the readers know what the translator sees in the Greek, even though not in their translation? If so, why bother with a new translation?

Now, back to “you.” When I brought this up Fred’s response was “I know.” Then he explained his reasoning why his usage was acceptable. I disagree, just as I disagree with other translators doing the same thing. It leaves the reader in the dark. They may think they understand when they read “you” in the translation, but do they? Actually, too often they don’t. This can be deceptive since doctrine can and is built on these things.

Steven E. Runge, in his Discourse Grammar of the Greek New Testament, speaks clearly to this problem. Let’s see:

“The pronoun ‘you’ provides something of a challenge, since it can be used in both SINGULAR and PLURAL contexts….
“In the case of ‘you,’ the person is clearly signaled (second person), but the NUMBER is not. It could be singular OR plural.” pps. 10, 11

Thus, by simply translating “you” in both contexts, as Fred and other modern translators do, the READER is not permitted to UNDERSTAND clearly what is being said to whom.

One example of this involves the seven ekklesias of Revelation chapters 2 & 3. No one pays attention to the fact the comments there are addressed to a SINGULAR “you” versus the PLURAL “you.” Those letters are written directly to the “messenger” NOT the group or assembly, ekklesia in the Greek text. This brings on all kinds of doctrinal teaching about the group, and their “history” and/or future position in prophetic events built upon misunderstanding which “you” is spoken to here. I suggest one re-read those chapters noticing the places where the singular “you” is used.

2. Let This MIND Be In YOU!
This brings up a second problem that is exemplified by this misuse of “you” in translation. That is, all these translators are trying to turn Greek thinking into English thinking. That is the MIND or thinking process of a Greek speaker into that of an English speaker. This is NOT the way to understand another language. And, one of the major reasons our high school and college language classes leave too many “speechless” when it comes to using the languages they were “taught.”

All translations should lead the reader to thinking the same way the Greek author thought. Then, and only then, can the reader get the full impact of what is being said in the New Testament, or even the Old Testament. Remember, this is one of three languages used by the Creator to preserve His Word. So, that is how He thinks. The same kind of exactness in thinking as claimed for these languages. Now, more on “you.”

“Believe it or not, this kind of ambiguity happens quite a bit in language, with one form wearing multiple hats. It may seem strange to an outsider, but to the native speaker it is ‘normal.’ In English, we have no concern for insuring that the listener [or reader] knows which ‘you’ we mean, except perhaps in the southern United States, where the form ‘y’all’ is used to disambiguate second person plural from singular (though I have heard this form used for a singular person – me!) Similarly, Old English used the distinct form THOU and YE to differentiate singular from plural. Pressure for efficiency and other factors in the historical development of the language led to a streamlining of the forms until the two finally came to share a single form [you],” Runge, p. 11

Over the decades the New Testament Greek grammars have also changed what they teach about this. One sees them going from a clear explanation and usage of the singular and plural “YOU” to confusion. One of the silly reasons is this: “To avoid sounding religious.” What does that mean? Only this. To PROPERLY and ACCURATELY use the actual grammar of the Greek text is to be labeled “being religious.” Ergo, forget accuracy, one must sound “normal.” What is “normal?” Believe it or not, “normal” is to be “carnal and unconverted.”

How does using the correct grammar rules sound “religious?” Well, using THEE, THOU, THINE, YE. Yet, in those words are the CORRECT way to express what is actually said in the Greek texts IF one wants to represent that in English. In other words, using correct grammar. It has nothing to do with “religion.” It has to do with being accurate, and using proper grammar, and not being a dummy.

Remember, “let the READER UNDERSTAND.” That is a command translators. That is YOUR job!

Does this misuse of the second person pronoun singular and plural help the READER? Absolutely not. A “small” deception, but when one starts compiling these “small” deceptions on top of one another, the wall gets pretty high. Is that what YOU want in your translation?
To be continued: