Category Archives: Commentary

Old Testament Agreeing With New

In 1 Peter 3:6, Peter tells us that Sarah called Abraham “master” or “lord,” but you could not verify that with half the Bible versions out there.  In Genesis 18:12, Sarah says “after I am grown old shall I have this pleasure, with my master being old as well?”  The Hebrew there for “my master” is וַאדֹנִי  But if the only Bible you had was, say, an NRSV, you would not be able to find anywhere in the Old Testament that Sarah did what Peter said she did.

Typos in Mark?

My son Jacob sent me a list of what he thought might be typos in my translation of Mark:

2:16 – “Torah scholars of the Pharisees” instead of “Torah scholars and the Pharisees”

This is a Greek textual variant between the Nestle/Aland, United Bible Societies’ text, versus the Textus Receptus.  The text as I have it is referring to the Torah scholars belonging to the sect of the Pharisees; there were Torah scholars belonging to other sects as well.  This is not the only place we find this variant; it is in other passages and other gospels too.

2:23 – The heading is “Man Over the Sabbath”. I was wondering if you meant “Lord Over the Sabbath”?

Well, I have it purposely ambiguous, because not only is there a man who is Lord over the Sabbath, Jesus Christ, but also it means man is more important than the Sabbath.  Judaism made the Sabbath the most important thing in the Jewish universe, far more important than people, or any other part of the Torah, even more important than an actual walk with God.

5:35 – “Why inconvenience the teacher any farther?” Farther is used for physical distances. If it is figurative, it should be further. I think it’s a stretch to call it a physical distance.

Yes, further is for abstracts, and farther is for physical distance, but in fact, if you look at it, physical distance is actually what is being talking about.  Jesus had not yet traveled all the way to him, so they are saying, why make Jesus come all the way.  Why make the Rabbi go even farther out of his way.  I do remember thinking about that a long time when I translated it. Maybe I will make a footnote about it.  BTW, people are losing that distinction these days, I have heard even news anchors use the words wrongly.

9:23 – Jesus said to him, “‘If I can’?…” First, shouldn’t the single quote mark be after the question mark? Secondly, why is it necessary, since Jesus is paraphrasing the father?

Yeah, the Greek actually says, quoting the father directly “What is this ‘If you can’ you are saying.”  I’ll have to think about what to do there. But you are right, the quotation marks are not necessary for an indirect quotation.

14:22 – “taking a loaf of bread and blessing” Should there be an it after blessing to indicate that the bread was being blessed?

Here, the Greek word for blessing is also the Greek word often used to mean “giving thanks,” or “praising.”  Jesus was actually blessing God, not the food particularly, but blessing in the sense of praising God for it.  The lesson is, you bless the food by praising God for it. I remember making it deliberately ambiguous so that people would stop and think.  Catholics would have an easier time understanding it, since they use those words more interchangeably than Protestants do.  I guess I should make a footnote explaining it.

Dad

Lying Is Arrogance

In the epistle of James, chapter 3, verse 14, he says, “But if you have bitter jealousy and rivalry in your hearts, do not make yourselves superior to the truth and lie against it.”

This is an amazingly simple but universal truth: when we lie, we are rejecting the truth, and inventing our own reality to substitute for the true reality. This means we are arrogant, because we are making ourselves superior to reality. Making ourselves superior to the truth. Lying, and liars, are a mental illness. But so is any personal reality we prop up to replace God’s reality. It is insane, and evil. Evil and mental illness go hand in hand. They are both chicken and egg simultaneously. Mental illness causes evil, and evil causes mental illness. All because we make ourselves superior to the truth.

James 3:14

Accidental Scribal Addition

An Accidental Scribal Addition in DRP translation of Revelation

I finished translating the Apocalypse of John in April, 2006.  And now in August 2016, as I am making my TR and RP editions, I discovered a scribal error on my part.  In Rev. 16:11, I wrote in English “they reviled the name of the God of heaven.”  But the Greek only says ἐβλασφήμησαν τὸν θεὸν τοῦ οὐρανοῦ, they reviled the God of heaven.  So, I made a scribal addition of the words “the name of.”  Even though my exemplar had the correct text.  Why did I accidentally do this?  Because two verses prior, the same word ἐβλασφήμησαν was followed by τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ θεοῦ, “they reviled the name of God,” and I was familiar with that phrase from just having translated that verse.  See immediately below my translation as it stood from April 2006 to August 2016.

16:9 καὶ ἐκαυματίσθησαν οἱ ἄνθρωποι καῦμα μέγα, καὶ ἐβλασφήμησαν τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ θεοῦ τοῦ ἔχοντος τὴν ἐξουσίαν ἐπὶ τὰς πληγὰς ταύτας, καὶ οὐ μετενόησαν δοῦναι αὐτῷ δόξαν.
⁹And the people were burned a very bad burn, and they reviled the name of God, the one having authority over these plagues; yet they did not repent to give him glory.

16:11 καὶ ἐβλασφήμησαν τὸν θεὸν τοῦ οὐρανοῦ ἐκ τῶν πόνων αὐτῶν καὶ ἐκ τῶν ἑλκῶν αὐτῶν, καὶ οὐ μετενόησαν ἐκ τῶν ἔργων αὐτῶν.
¹¹and they reviled the name of the God of heaven, because of their pains and because of their ulcers, yet they did not repent of their works.

I looked in Hoskier’s apparatus to find out if any ancient scribes made the same mistake which I did, and lo, two of them did indeed make the same addition.

The minuscule 1957 reads in v. 11, ἐβλασφήμησαν τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ θεοῦ, an exact duplication of the previous phrase in v. 9, even without the τοῦ οὐρανοῦ of v. 11.

The Philoxenian Syriac in v. 11 reads ἐβλασφήμησαν τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ θεοῦ τοῦ οὐρανοῦ.  My translation was an exact translation of the Philoxenian Syriac, without my knowledge or intent.

So, when you see the UBS Textual Commentary on the Greek New Testament speculate that a phrase found in the BYZ text but not found in the UBS text, and they say it was added because of scribal familiarity with that phrase a couple verses prior, I can personally attest how that can and does happen.

Textual Variant Revelation 11:10

In Revelation 11:10, the Byzantine text says people will “give gifts” to each other, whereas the TR and NA28 says they will “send gifts.”  Which turns out to be the more accurate prediction of gifting in the future?

Revelation 11:10- txt πέμψουσιν ℵ² A C ƒ052 922 1006 1841 2040 2053txt vg it-gig Tyc1,3 Prim Ps-Ambr syriac coptic-bohairic arab TR SBL NA28 {\} πεμπουσιν ℵ* P coptic-sahidic arm2,3,4 Tyc2 Beat πεμψωσιν 2329 π̣[εμψου]σιν 𝔓⁴⁷ ‖ π̣[εμψουσιν] 𝔓¹¹⁵  πεμπειν 2053com  δώσουσιν 046 1828 eth RP hiat 051 2050 2062.  Both Papyrus 47 and Papyrus 115 read words that start with π, so they are some form of the word “send.” To download my document that contains this:  http://bibletranslation.ws/trans/revwgrk.pdf

Revelation 8:7 Homoioteleuton

A case of homoioteleuton in the Textus Receptus

Will one third of the earth be burned up or not?  Revelation 8:7.  This is a variant between Bible versions based on the Textus Receptus, and all others.  The Textus Receptus and the King James Version omit the first of the three phrases below, which means, “and one third of the earth will be burned up.”

καὶ τὸ τρίτον τῆς γῆς κατεκάη
καὶ τὸ τρίτον τῶν δένδρων κατεκάη
καὶ πᾶς χόρτος χλωρὸς κατεκάη

Only three late Greek manuscripts (out of 300+-) omit the first phrase, and it is a clear case of “homoioteleuton” that happened in the Greek copying process.  That means, the lines end the same, so a copyist, having left off his work for a break, then resumed doing his work, and he remembers, “I resume, at the line ending with κατεκάη,” but he resumed with the wrong line ending with κατεκάη.  Skipped one line by accident.  Homoioteleuton.

Or, it could have been a case of “homoioarcton,” that is, all three lines BEGIN the same, with καὶ, and the scribe having left off, resumed, thinking, “I resume with the line beginning with καὶ, but he picked the wrong line beginning with καὶ.

Interestingly, the scribe of manuscript 620 wrote the phrase in question two times, which is another kind of parablepsis from homoioteleuton.

As long as I am on this verse, let’s look at a Bible version.  As you can see, the word κατεκάη is used 3 times, the exact same word and same form of the word, and it means “burned up.”

NLT:  One-third of the earth was set on fire, one-third of the trees were burned, and all the green grass was burned.

So why does the New Living Translation render one of the occurrences of κατεκάη as “set on fire”?  This is simply unacceptable.  Just one of thousands of translation errors in the NLT.  I would never recommend the NLT, or the Message.  If you want a paraphrase, the Philips NT is much better, or the NIV.  I consider the NIV a mild paraphrase.

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Longer Ending of Mark

The Longer Ending of Mark

The “Longer Ending” of the gospel of Mark was not the majority text, as late as the 5th century.  Victor of Antioch said that the majority of copies of Mark in Antioch in the 5th century lacked Mark 16:9-20. It is deceptive to indicate that the absence of the Mark Longer Ending has scant MS evidence. It would also be deceptive to state that the omission of Mark 16:9-20 is an Egyptian or Alexandrian one. Again, Severus, in Antioch, Syria, and Victor, in Antioch, Syria acknowledged that in the 5th century, the best copies, and even the majority of copies, omitted Mark 16:9-20. This is why I do not care what the number of copies made in the 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th centuries, do include it. Isn’t that reasonable? See my notes in my translation of the Gospel of Mark.

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Human Trafficking

Human Trafficking is a normal, accepted part of Islam.

Every month about 1,000 girls in Pakistan are kidnapped, raped, and made slaves, most of them Christian girls, made slaves in Muslim homes.

Major Islamic Gang Enters The Home Of A Christian Family, Grabs A Young Girl, Points A Pistol On Her Head And Kidnaps Her. They Make Her Into A Slave, She Begs Them To Release Her, And They Tell Her, “Your Family Is Dead To You,” They Then Take A Baton And Beat Her Over The Head