"As early as the Apostle [Paul], the scaling down process begins, and the natural man gets off a little easier in becoming a Christian." (Kierkegaard Journals 1855)


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Only Jesus (great song by Big Daddy)

What Did Jesus Say? (2012) - 7 topics 

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Mistranslations to Help Paul or Paulinism

True translations often damage Paul or Pauline doctrine, if given proper consideration.

John 1:11-12

This should read:

For all that received Him, He gave them the RIGHT (exousian) to become sons of God -- to the ones OBEYING UNTO (pisteuosin eis) His name.  

This would precisely parallel Revelation 22:14 written by the same human hand as wrote John 1:12: 

Happy [are] the ones doing His commandments, so that their right (exousia) will be to the tree of life, and they shall enter by the gates into the city. (Rev 22:14)(ALT)

This Revelation passage uses a synonym for obedience -- "doing his commandments," and then links those so characterized as enjoying their "right" to the tree of life. Salvation. This exactly parallels what John 1:12 properly translated as to PISTEUOSIN EIS would read.

This also allows Revelation 22:14 to help prove the correct verb meaning of PISTEOUSIN EIS. For Revelation 22:14 clearly says "doing his commandments" and then links "exousia" to salvation, and thus one can see even more strongly why "obey unto" is the correct translation in John 1:12. You can have a "right" to salvation based upon obedience in Revelation 22:14 as well as John 1:12. 


Instead, this typically is rendered so a believer has a right to become a son of God by mere belief, with no other conditions necessary. See ASV, NASB, NIV, and God’s Word Bibles.

However, pisteuosin eis truly means obey unto, not the shallower concept of "believe in." 

In brief, EIS means unto in Greek. When it follows the verb pisteuo it means Obey or Comply to that person. It does not mean "believe" in facts about that person, or to simply have a "confidence" / faith in that person. See this link on John 3:16 in which these same two words appear, and are similarly mistranslated.

In fact, the famous evangelical specialist in Greek, Marvin Vincent wrote about John 1:12 in particular: 

“‘believe on’ (pisteuosin eis) is more than mere acceptance of a statement. It is so to accept them practically....Hence, to believe on the Lord Jesus is not merely to believe the facts of His historic life or His saving energy as facts, but to accept Him as Savior, Teacher, Sympathizer, Judge; to rest the soul upon Him for present and future salvation; and to accept and adopt His precepts and example and binding upon the life.” (Marvin R. Vincent, Word Studies in the New Testament (C. Scribner’s: 1905) Vol. 2 at 49-50.)

Vincent is beating about the bush. He says pisteuosin eis does not mean "belief in facts" about someone, but rather to "accept and adopt His precepts and example" as "binding upon life." Vincent, had he not feared the establishment, could have said piseuosin eis means OBEY, not FAITH ALONE. This then would support exousin means RIGHT.

But if instead we look at John 1:11,12 and used the shallower "believe" as the translation (incorrectly) to render pisteuosin, then exousin would have to mean power in this context, rather than "right."  This is because we know from Jesus that faith alone is no guarantee of a right to salvation once disobedience creeps into a believer's life, e.g, Mark 9:42-47 ("believer in me..ensnared...[has 2 choices] heaven maimed [or] hell whole").

Thus, that alternative based upon "believe" (remember an error according to Vincent) would be POWER, not right: 

For all that received Him, He gave them the POWER (exousian) to become sons of God -- to the ones who believe on (pisteuosin eis) His name.  

Thus, with that in mind, the Bromiley International Bible Encylopedia (Eerdman's 1979) Vol. 1 at 365  explains "exousia" derives from "exestin," a noun which in one of its senses means "power." It says an alternative is "authority."   

Other usages of exousia in the NT support that power in John 1:12 is an alternative to "right" in John 1:12. For example, in Matt 10:1, Jesus gave the disciples "power" (exousia) over demons to defeat them. Both Moffatt & Godspeed concur it is "power" in 10:1.  See link.

Hence, "power" in John 1:12 would necessarily be the right translation if pisteuosin eis truly meant BELIEVE IN, because Jesus in Mark 9:42-47 gives a "believer in me" no automatic "right" to salvation if caught in sin: instead, Jesus says the believer must resolve the choice between "heaven maimed" or "hell whole" by choosing to cut off the body parts ensnaring him or her in sin, and thus go to "heaven maimed" rather than hell whole.

Thus, one can see John 1:12 is mistranslated in two different ways to help Paul's doctrine, and not to match Jesus' doctrine.

For if faith alone were the correct meaning in John 1:12, then this could not possibly give one the "right" to become sons of God alone because Jesus said the Prodigal son was "alive again" when he repented of sin, and turned around, heading to the Father, and not at a moment of 'faith.' (See Luke 15.) Faith might give you the "power" to obey, but not the right of salvation. For Jesus said faith alone does not save the sinning Christian who had not cut off the sources tempting them in sin, as He three distinct times taught in his "heaven maimed" or "hell whole" lesson. (Mark 9:42-47; Matt 5; Matt 18.)  

But more fundamentally, the verse actually means in its fullest most accurate sense, as Vincent pointed out long ago, obedience is what grants the right to become sons -- exactly as Revelation 22:14 reads. This was wholly adverse to Paul. Despite scholarship proving the meaning, the translators will not budge. Due to clear scholarly support, this is simply a continuing mistranslation to protect Paul.

Romans 3:7 - Does Paul Admit He is A Liar, But Claims An Excuse? Or Is Paul Quoting Someone Else's Argument?

Paul in Romans 3:7 with one primary exception is always quoted as speaking about "my lie." And because it was to advance the gospel, Paul asks: "then why I am still regarded as a sinner?" Paul clearly says that his lying for the gospel was excused by the end achieved - the advancing of the gospel. Is it debatable whether any gospel built on lies is any gospel at all? I hope not. But I digress.

Rather than accept the verse as it exists in Greek the NIV changes this and unjustifiably ADDS "some might argue" without any Greek manuscript variant to support the idea. The NIV reads: 

Someone might argue, “If my falsehood enhances God’s truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner? (Romans 3:7 NIV.)

As evangelical Christian Ray Stedman says in Reason to Rejoice: Love, Grace, and Forgiveness in Paul's Letter to the Romans (Discovery House, 2016) at thislink:

"Translators of the New International Version erred by adding the phrase that is not in the original Greek text "Someone might argue...." The New King James renders it more accurately:

For if the truth of God has increased through my lie unto his glory; why am I also judged as a sinner?"

You can verify for yourself that the NIV is improper by looking at the Bible.hub "Greek" tab, and you will see there is no such language "Someone might argue.''


What is ironic is that the NIV's justification for adding deceptively to the text can only be to protect Paul. Obviously the NIV thinks protecting Paul's reputation advances the gospel. Thus, the NIV believes lying that advances the gospel as it understands the gospel is no sin. Hence, the very deceptive action of the NIV can only be defended by the way the verse actually reads. This proves the NIV knows what Romans 3:7 actually says, and relies upon that principle to justify deceiving us. This is the only way the NIVcan defend altering the verse to disarm detractors from the "gospel" who cite Romans 3:7 to discredit Paul. The NIV must think that its deceptive addition to Romans 3:7 to advance the gospel (insulate Paul from a criticism) is justified and not condemnable. No doubt the NIV knows what Paul says; is relying upon it; and changes the verse so we don't think we have the same liberty to deceive for Christ that the NIV chose to perform on the text.

The NIV is wrong that we are ever free to add to the text this radically. The Bible is clear, unless you are a valid prophet who is not guilty of apostasy (Deut 13:1-5), you cannot "add" or "subtract" from God's Holy Word. (Deut 4:2.) If the NIV truly thought Paul was inspired, they cannot add to Paul's words. By making this change, the NIV gained an advantage for why its volume correctly includes Paul. It need not explain why Paul is in the Bible when he defends lying to advance the Bible, saying it is no sin at all.

But the Christian community have a right to know the true verse. We have a right to weigh whether Paul's admission into canon was right or wrong. What we see in Romans 3:7 is evidence we all made a mistake somewhere back in time adding Paul.

John 13:16 - An Apostle Is Not Greater than His Master

There is nothing remarkable about the correct translation of this verse. Jesus first says in John 13:16 by saying a "servant is not greater than his master," and then adds "an apostle is not greater than the one who sent him."

The word "apostle" is unavoidable as the Greek word is "apostolos." Why is it omitted except in the Young's Literal, Aramaic NT and Doay-Rheims? Could it be a self-aware shame that we have made Paul not only an apostle of Jesus but also made him greater than Jesus? Is it because we are aware we are investing far more time in sermons on Paul's words than Jesus' words? By my count over a 5 year period, no matter what the denomination, the quotes of Paul are 13 for Paul to every 1 quote for Jesus.  

You can verify the Greek "apostolos" in John 13:16 by going to the Bible.hub link.

Now consider, if we all knew this verse said "an apostle is not greater than the one who sent him," wouldn't we all be a bit more circumspect in our focus upon Paul's teachings over those of Jesus? Of course.

Thus, the obvious purpose of the mistranslation is to help Paul.

But some would say it is an accidental assistance to Paul. However, that could be true only if the substitute translation for "apostle" is plausible. However, the common substitute is not plausible by any reasonable technique of translation. For you will never find anywhere in Greek to English translation that a noun like "apostolos" would be translated solely by a verb clause. But that is what we find in John 13:16. In the KJV, NAS and ASV it has instead of "apostle" this: "one that is sent" (KJV, NAS, ASV). See Biblehub.com. It omits any mention of the word "apostle" or a plausible noun translation as "messenger."

If it said "one that is sent as a messenger" or "as apostle," you could not assert bias is involved. But omitting any noun -- whether "apostle" or "messenger" shows an intent to conceal the noun. Had the KJV said "messenger," those literate in classical Greek (as myself) would know "apostolos" is the underlying word. We could then assess whether Jesus meant he was greater than any "apostle" or did Jesus mean any "messenger," including an apostle.

But translating it as "he that is sent" with no mention of "apostle" or "messenger" clearly and deliberately obscures any presence of a noun. It cuts off any guessing by educated readers what lies underneath the translation. The result is everyone continues to have their guard down that Jesus would be displeased by our quoting Paul so much more frequently than Jesus.

Hence, the biased intention in translating this verse is transparent when you peak under the covers.

2 Peter 1:10 Good Works Make Sure One's Salvation

The Beza versions -- two of them -- of the Textus Receptus have 2 Peter 1:10 say that "good works" make sure your salvation. Only one translation preserves this original Textus Receptus. 

Wherefore, brethren, labour the more, that by good works you may make sure your calling and election. For doing these things, you shall not sin at any time. (Douay-Rheims.)  

The Sinaiticus -- the oldest extent New Testament  discovered in the 1880s -- has "good works." But in our modern editions, we only see "these things." The Latin Vulgate also has "good works," but silence everywhere else other than the Douay-Rheims. Can doctrine dictate this?

Why else does the King James have "these things" although the KJV is based upon the Beza Textus Receptus editions which both say "good works"?

Why is the Sinaiticus discovery not enough to fix this?

Oh yes, doctrine would be impinged. It is best to keep this secret. At least it is hard to understand why this error is uncorrected. Perhaps this article will cause reconsideration. For more in depth discussion, see Misleading Assurance of Salvation.


Acts 20:22, Paul's Spirit or the Holy Spirit Bound Paul?

For example, as I point out elsewhere, faithful Christian scholars concur that Paul disobeyed the messages given to a Prophet and to others by the Holy Spirit that Paul should not go to Jerusalem but Paul went anyway. On that trip, Paul's traveling companion entered the temple in an uncircumcised state, thereby defiling the Temple in violation of Ezekiel 44. See our link.

But one mistranslation creates conflict so that if you wish you will ignore that Paul did not follow prophetic and Holy Spirit messages that Luke says took place. 

One of the supporters of the Jesus' Words Only principle sent me an email explaining how the Amplified Bible translates the passages at issue 180 degrees opposite of all standard translations. This Amplified version just happens to thereby make it appear Paul was not disobedient to the Holy Spirit's message to a prophet and other believers. Here is what Rod explains:

Wanna see how they even modify the Scriptures to save Paul from being exposed as disobedient???

Check this from the Amplified Bible:

And now, you see, I am going to Jerusalem, bound by the [Holy] Spirit and obligated and compelled by the [convictions of my own] spirit, not knowing what will befall me there. (Acts 20:22).

Most versions simply say "bound by the Spirit." One other version says "bound by my spirit." See Biblos on Acts 20:22: "And now I am on my way to Jerusalem, bound in my spirit, not knowing what I will encounter there." (Holman),

They added "Holy" to justify his trip as an act of obedience to the Holy Spirit.- But now check THIS:

And having looked up the disciples there, we remained with them for seven days. Prompted by the [Holy] Spirit, they kept telling Paul not to set foot in Jerusalem. (Acts 21:4.)

-How could THE SAME HOLY SPIRIT bind Paul TO GO and at the same time tell Paul NOT TO SET FOOT THERE through the disciples??? Doesn´t fit, does it???

Thus, be wary of efforts to protect Paul by mistranslation.

John 10:27-28 - Does Listening & Following One Single Moment Secure Salvation? or Continuing to Do So?

Paul is construed to teach eternal security, and any other view is an heretical works salvation. However, the correct translation of John 10:27-28 reflects the continuous tense used for "listening" and "following." But you cannot find that suggested in any mainstream Bible; it only appears in literal translations. See Misleading Asssurance of Salvation in John 10:27-28.

Mistranslations of Original Testament Passages

You cannot find faith-alone doctrine in the Law or Prophets unless you use mistranslation, and often wilfully so.

One verse that contradicts faith alone is Isaiah 26:2, saying the "faithful" (obedient) enter the New Jerusalem. The Jewish Publication Society's Tanakh 1917 has the right translation of a passage on those entitled to enter the New Jerusalem:

26:2 Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation that keepeth faithfulness may enter in.

The key Hebrew word is emunah. It means obedient, faithful or trustworthy. There is nothing about "faith" in the sense of belief implied in emunah. There is nothing about "truth." So as Strong's Concordance at this link shows, this word is properly translated by the KJV in Proverbs 13:17, 14:5, and 20:26 as "faithful" (a synonymn for obedient). 

Now watch how this is translated differently by the same KJV when it is used in a verse like Isaiah 26:2 where those who have the right to salvation are discussed. Here is the KJV of Isaiah 26:2

Open ye the gates, that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in.

Due to such liberty being taken, the NIV follows suit, and similarly mistranslates Isaiah 26:2 as:

Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the nation that keeps faith.

This is how the Bible is re-translated to have a Paul-endorsing stamp when otherwise Paul would be contradicting Holy Scripture.

One can see how this switch is exploited to confirm Paul in Gill's Commentary:

that the righteous nation which keepeth the truth may enter in; not all the world, for there is none righteous, not one of them naturally, or of themselves; nor the Jewish nation, for though they sought after righteousness, did not attain it, unless when they will be converted in the latter day, and then they, and all the Lord's people, will be righteous, and appear to be a holy nation, and a peculiar people,Isaiah 60:21 and being made righteous by the righteousness of Christ imputed to them, and sanctified by the Spirit, will be fit persons to be admitted through the gates into the city

So instead of a nation being deemed righteous by "faithfulness" (obedience), they are deemed righteous supposedly by "keepeth the truth" -- who know a truth about Jesus as being our Savior who died for sin, etc. But in the original, it says this is not about merely knowing a truth, but about faithfulness -- a synonymn for loyal obedience.

Study Note: Septuagint Mistranslation of Isaiah 26:2

As is typical, the Septuagint mistranslated Isaiah 26:1 & 2 but in doing so, it preserved the concept that salvation was contingent on doing righteousness. Verse 2 speaks of a people who are allowed to enter because it "keeps righteousness, truth, and peace." See Wilson de Angelo Cunha, LXX Isaiah 24: 1-26:6 as Interpretation and Translation: A Methodological Discussion (Society of Biblical Literature, 2014) at page 186.

Werner's translation of the Septuagint is shorter: "Open the gates. Let enter a people keeping righteousness and keeping truth." See link.

It is significant that Cunha recognizes regardless that in full context even with the word "truth" used in the Septuagint, it was distinct from keeping "righteousness," and hence that remained a requirement as well. This was evident from other contrasting and parallel verses even in the Septuagint. So he comments:

This passage refers to the way of the godly which is to be taken sapientially as an indication of a people that morally keeps the "law." The people in Isaiah 26:2-3 contrasts with the "ungodly" who do not learn "righteousness," or practice the "truth" (Isaiah 26:10.) They further stand in opposition to the "breakers of the law." (Isaiah 24:14.) ...[O]nly godly people can enter the city of Jerusalem / Zion, while the "breakers of the law" need to be kept out.... (Cunha, LXX Isaiah (2014) at 186-187.)

Werner too recognizes that in context in the Septuagint that righteousness is not imputed by simply knowing the truth -  a Pauline explanation. But rather, the saving righteousness is true actual loyal obedience of a righteous people (distinct from just keeping the truth) that allows entry into the New Jerusalem:

The gates were not to be opened to just anyone, the imperative to open them being for the purpose of granting a righteous nation or people to enter the city. These righteous ones would be living in harmony with God’s law. Their keeping “faithfulness” would mean remaining loyal to YHWH, not deviating from attachment to him and his requirements for those whom he approves. The Septuagint rendering indicates that they would keep, guard, or cherish righteousness or uprightness, and truth, trustworthiness, or faithfulness. They would demonstrate themselves to be upright and faithful in the life they lived. The Targum of Isaiah speaks of them as a righteous people who keep the “law with a complete heart.” Idem.

This excursion lets one recreate why the KJV took the liberty it did. Often when it wanted a verse to mean something else, if it could borrow from a Septuagint error, it could defend that it was a possible alternative meaning of the Hebrew word. But one can see,  there was no meaning of 'truth' in the original Hebrew word, proven by the contrasting and parallel verses in the same context. Hence, the KJV translators took an unjustified liberty to use an obvious partial mistranslation in the Septuagint of emunah as "truth" in place of the well-known meaning of emunah. The KJV at the same time left out the correcting feature of the Septuagint that kept the total meaning of emunah by translating it also as "keeping righteousness," and not merely as "keeping truth."

Why do you think the KJV did not borrow the Septuagint rendering of the first part -- "keeps righteousness"?  Because obviously the "keeping the truth" matched Pauline doctrine, but "keeps righteousness" did not. Thus, the KJV borrowed only the meaning in the Septuagint that it liked, and rejected the equally present and more accurate meaning of "keeping righteousness." For clearly, in the Septuagint rendering of emunah in 26:1, it includes "keeps righteousness" as a distinct additional quality of these people entitled to enter the New Jerusalem. It was not simply based upon "keeping truth." Salvation in the New Jerusalem is based upon actual activity of mind and heart, and not just a belief.

So the KJV kept the error in the Septuagint - using 'truth' for emunah's meaning - and not faithfulness, but did not use the accurate "keeps righteousness" to aid in the meaning lost by just using "truth." Hence, the KJV version was wholly an unjustified lifting of "truth" out of the Septuagint of Isaiah 26:2 and implanting it into the KJV Bible to give a Pauline spin to the sentence.

Forgeries in Roman Catholicism to Help Paul

Paul was a support to Roman Catholicism's effort to abolish Sabbath, and move our day of worship to Sun-Day. To help accomplish this, Acts 15:24 was deliberately altered slightly in the late 300s and then full-blown modified radically in the 10th Century, each time at total odds with the original early version of Acts 15:24. Each time it promoted Paul's view that the Law no longer applied to Christians. See Deliberate Fabrication in Acts 15:24.