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I received the following comments and question:

Hi Nathan, think I told you I enjoyed Sellers Phil 3:20 which you recommended I read.

Sellers’ paraphrase. Philippians 3:20, 21: For the acquired and developed character (disposition or prevailing spirit) which is ours (the one we have asked you to imitate) is existing (it is inherent, it has existed all along) among celestials; and it is out of this character (that is, an expression of it) that we assiduously and patiently wait it out for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform the body of our humiliation, to conform it to the body of His glory.

Sellers liked “conversation” but felt it didn’t completely cover what the Greek word meant. I find Sellers translation. Though accurate, a bit cumbersome.

When I think of conversation it is often conversation that shows others who we are, or at least gives a very good inkling of who we are. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

Gentlemen, I have recently finished a rereading of Mr. Sellers’ ten Seed and Bread articles on baptism (#134 – 139 and #143 – 146). I am very thankful for his exposition of this subject and these texts.

However I want to ask your thoughts regarding a statement that he makes in #146. This particular one is titled “Baptism in the Epistles.” I will copy and paste one portion of that:

1 Corinthians 15:29. This passage presents no problems when baptizo is translated into English. Paul asks: “If the dead rise not then what shall they do who are being identified with a dead Christ?” There is no value in being identified with a dead Savior.

The NASB reads this way:
Otherwise, what will those do who are baptized for the dead? If the dead are not raised at all, why then are they baptized for them?

Otherwise, what will they do who are baptized for the dead, if the dead do not rise at all? Why then are they baptized for the dead? Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:


This fact, that the “churches” we see today and the ecclesias of the New Testament are not in any way the same thing, is a truth that very few want to consider for fear that it may shout at them still louder. I seriously doubt if any actual objective study of the Greek word ekklesia has ever been made by them. If it were, it would be found that the institutions commonly called “churches” cannot be identified with and have no connection with the ecclesia of the New Testament. Many who recognize this try to resolve the difficulty by appealing for a distinction between “the visible church” and “an invisible church,” but all who do this must remember that these ideas are foreign to the New Testament.
Otis Q. Sellers (1901-1992)
Christian Individualism: A Way of Life for the Active Believer in Jesus Christ

I checked out many of the passages and would like to know why Mr. Sellers had difficulty with the term “invisible church”?????????

Having studied out the occurrences of both qahal in the Hebrew and ekklesia in the Greek, I can say that I agree fully with Mr. Sellers that the distinction between a “visible church” and an “invisible church” is not a Biblical one. The point of being ekklesia is that you are marked or positioned out. More often than not it refers to a governmental, representative positioning. Israel’s governmental rulers were their ekklesia, their qahal. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

Could I ask a question with respect to Genesis 3:16 (NKJV)

16. To the woman He said:
“I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception;
In pain you shall bring forth children;
Your desire shall be for your husband,
And he shall rule over you.”

I have been told elsewhere that “Your desire shall be for your husband” should render “Your desire shall be to usurp your husband.” Is that claim accurate?

The question here seems to be just what “your desire shall be toward your husband” (literally “your man,” since Hebrew has no word for “husband,”) means? I have heard this idea you mention as well, that it means “your desire shall be toward your husband’s position,” in other words you will want to rule, but he will rule over you. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following questions:

I will be changing the way I close prayers from now on. Many people say ‘Jesus Christ’. I would prefer ‘Jesus the Christ’ or put the title first and say ‘Christ Jesus’.

Yodh He Vav He, God gave this name to the Israelites to use. Makes me upset that the vowels from adonay were added by the Sopherim. The Jews read it as adonay and we read it as LORD. Much is lost in the rendering of this word. It seems disrespectful to call GOD by some other name than Yod He Waw He. Why would God give them his name and they say ‘but we will not use it’. The only thing that is good about it is that men today cannot corrupt God’s name.

I think the vowels from Adonai are added because no one else knows what vowels to add. For the longest time the vowel marks, added to every other word in the Hebrew manuscripts, were left off of the Name, until no one knew what they should have been. In modern Hebrew, they mark the Yehovah marks, but again that is just from Adonai, not from any real knowledge of how the name is pronounced. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

Recently we have had some discussion about the character “Lilith” in the Bible. She is mentioned in Isaiah as a “screech owl”. According to the internet, she is listed in Jewish mythology and Babylonian books as Adam’s first wife and was replaced with Eve when she abandoned Adam.

The question is, did Adam have a wife prior to Eve as it implies in Genesis or is it simply a urban legend? Also, in Genesis 1:27 it indicates that God created a male and female and gave them dominion over the earth and animals. Then in Genesis 2:7 he made Adam because “there was no man to till the land”. Then Genesis 2:21 Eve is made.

We are confused of this timeline and Genesis seems to be out of sequence to what we have been taught. Can anyone shed some light on this?

The exact identification of certain animals in the Hebrew is difficult. Once it became a dead language, no one remained to remember what animals were called what, and names that occur only once in Scripture do not leave us with a lot of clues as to their identity. This certainly would be the case with the lilith. Read the rest of this entry »

dictionary02I received the following question:

Here is a rather erudite article on the Greek word ‘metanoia’.  Please read it and give me your impressions.

Well, first of all, it is a rather biased way to promote your proposed meaning of a word by quoting a lot of English translations with the word you are trying to prove something about already translated to the meaning you are promoting. While this proves that your meaning can fit in these passages, it does not prove that your meaning is actually the meaning of the word, since you are dependent upon whatever translator you are using.

I teach that metanoia means literally, “after-mind.” To translate it to English in a single word, I would use either “submission,” “yieldedness,” or “easing.” This based on my translation of metanoeo as “to submit,” “to yield,” or “to ease.”

In the example of the Athenian counsel, one of the second two meanings would fit well. They yielded (to pressure to be more lenient,) or eased (the penalty they thought to impose.) Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following comment:

In your metanoia study you said that A. T. Robertson disagreed with the common translation of metanoia.  But did you ever say what he thought was the correct translation? Below is one study by him.  If you search in the document you will find that he believed that it should be translated to mean “change of mind or life” which is the current common view.

Read his commentary on Matt 3:2 listed here for a fuller idea of what he felt.

It is wise to not use a quote from a man who opposes your viewpoint to falsely bolster your own.  It is disingenuous and when ultimately found out, reduces your argument to rubble.

No, I did not say what Robertson thought was the correct translation. I actually said what I thought was the correct translation. What I actually said is that Robertson quoted his father-in-law as saying that translating “metanoia” by “repentance” is the worst translation in the New Testament. I am not sure I agree…there are some pretty badly mistranslated words. But I used his quote to point out that there is some agreement that the translation the way we have it now is far from satisfactory. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

Numbers 11:25 NKJV “Then the LORD came down in the cloud, and spoke to him, and took of the Spirit that was upon him, and placed the same upon the seventy elders; and it happened, when the Spirit rested upon them, that they prophesied, although they never did so again.

21st Century KJV “And the LORD came down in a cloud and spoke unto him, and took of the Spirit that was upon him and gave it unto the seventy elders; and it came to pass that, when the Spirit rested upon them, they prophesied, and did not cease.

What’s the correct translation?  They continued to prophesy or they only did one time?

Well, the Companion Bible note here says, “did not cease. So the Vulgate; but Hebrew = “did not add” (so Septuagint and Syriac), i.e. did not add any more, or again, after that day. Compare Exodus 11:6, Deuteronomy 5:22, Job 38:11, I Samuel 19:24.”

In other words, the translation that suggests they did not stop prophesying comes from the Latin Vulgate, translated in the fourth century AD. The Hebrew, however, along with the Syriac (second century AD?) both have that they did not prophesy again after that day. It appears that the same Hebrew exists in the four verses he has encouraged us to compare with this one, and they clearly have the idea of not adding or speaking any more after a certain day.

It would appear that they spoke forth God’s words that day, but never did so again. They now had God’s power with them for judging, however, and would have had it freely available to use in whatever difficult matters they had to deal with in the future. The initial sign of them publically speaking the words of God, however, was just to prove to the people that they now indeed were qualified to act in the place of Moses, and was not something that needed to continue after that day.