- Old Talkshoe Programs
The first two parts of this series of essays exhibited many plain errors in the translation of the King James Version of the Bible, which clearly contradict the often-heard claims that the famous Authorized Version, as it is also called, is indeed the inspired Word of God in English. Unless one wants to purport that the God of the Bible is the author of error, then the King James Version cannot be deemed infallible. It has even been demonstrated, by the very words of the Westminster Confession formulated in the year 1643, that those very men who first elected the King James Version as their official version of the Bible fully understood and professed that the original languages must be appealed to whenever there is a question of doctrine. A sufficient number of these questions have already been raised here from the King James translations of the letters of Paul and certain statements in the writings of John and in the other epistles. While it has been demonstrated that there are many plain errors in translation in the King James Version, if there is one only, then can we imagine the book to be infallible? Of course we cannot, and we must examine the scripture from sources as original as possible – for it is our Christian duty.
Here we shall present many more passages in the writings of Luke where the renderings of the King James Version must be confronted, because the translators have watered down the clear racial message of the Scriptures and therefore of the word of the fulfillment of the covenants of God which were made only with the children of Israel – which is the Gospel. Once certain passages in Luke (in both his Gospel and in the Acts) are properly translated, the everlasting and harmonious message of those Covenants and the promises to Abraham and his posterity is perfectly consistent throughout the Bible. With the current King James Version, the words of Scripture conflict in many places, and require a specially-trained so-called “priest” to decipher them for the people, whereas the original Word had no such requirement. It will hopefully become evident here, that these priests have indeed attempted to ruin the Word of God, and pollute His covenants!
Before we begin examining some of the mistranslation in the writings of Luke, which include both his Gospel and the Acts, let us have some preliminary information. It was accepted by the early Christian writers, and it is evident from the fact that Luke was a long-time companion of Paul's, that wherever Paul had mentioned the Gospel in his epistles, he was referring to that version which consisted of the accounts collected and recorded by Luke. It is also apparent that of all the Gospels, Luke's certainly pays the most attention to historic details and the historical setting of the events in comparison to what is going on in the wider Roman world. Luke also pays a great amount of attention to the covenant relationship between the “lost” Israelites and Yahweh their God, and this is very likely because of the role he had with Paul in searching out those long-lost Israelites. This is why, we believe, he felt it so important to record the words of Zachariah, the father of John the Baptist, words which set the tone for an understanding of Luke's entire body of writing. Here we shall repeat them:
Luke 1:67-80: “67 Then Zacharias his father was filled with the Holy Spirit and prophesied, saying: 68 “Blessed is Yahweh the God of Israel, that He has visited and brought about redemption for His people, 69 and has raised a horn of salvation for us in the house of David His servant, 70 just as He spoke through the mouths of His holy prophets from of old: 71 preservation from our enemies and from the hand of all those who hate us! 72 To bring about mercy with our fathers and to call into remembrance His holy covenant, 73 the oath which He swore to Abraham our father, which is given to us: 74 being delivered fearlessly from the hands of our enemies to serve Him 75 in piety and in righteousness before Him for all of our days. 76 And now you, child, shall be called a prophet of the Highest: for you shall go on before the face of Yahweh to prepare His path. 77 For which to give knowledge of salvation to His people by the dismissal of their errors, 78 through the affectionate mercies of our God, by whom dawn visits us from the heights 79 to shine upon those sitting in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet in the way of peace.” 80 And the child grew and was strengthened in spirit, and was in the wilderness until the day of his manifestation to Israel.”
We should stress the fact that Luke must have known that the coming of Christ was certainly a fulfillment of the promises of Yahweh to Israel, and that those promises – as found in the Law and the Prophets, were made only to Israel, and were exclusive of all others. This is evident throughout Luke's writings, however the distinction is blurred by bad translations and misused words such as gentile. Here we shall proceed to expose this more fully.
Luke 2:25-32: 25 And behold, there was a man in Jerusalem whose name was Sumeon and this man was righteous and devout, expecting the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it was forewarned to him by the Holy Spirit, not to see death before he should see the Anointed Prince. 27 And he came in the Spirit into the temple, and in there being introduced to the parents of the child Yahshua, upon their doing that which is according to the custom of the law concerning Him, 28 then he took Him into his arms and praised Yahweh, and said: 29 “Now release Your servant, Master, in peace according to Your word: 30 Because my eyes have seen Your Salvation, 31 which You have prepared in front of all the people: 32 a light for the revelation of the Nations and honor of Your people Israel!”
The phrase φῶς εἰς ἀποκάλυψιν ἐθνῶν here is “a light for the revelation of the Nations”, and it may have been rendered “a light for a revelation of the Nations”. The word ἀποκάλυψις (602) is a noun, meaning an uncovering, a revelation (Liddell & Scott), and it is the same word which supplies the alternate name for the Book of Revelation in our Bible, the Apocalypse. The A.V. rendering, “A light to lighten the Gentiles”, uses the noun ἀποκάλυψις as a verb, which is both impossible and inexcusable. Furthermore, the A.V. rendering would require that the noun for nations be in the accusative case, to be a direct object of the [non-existent verb], which it is not. Paul defines the faith which Abraham had as being the belief in the promise of Yahweh, that his offspring would become many nations, in Romans Chapter 4. Here we see that it is the light of the Gospel which would make those nations manifest, and certainly it did once the people of Europe became known collectively as Christendom. This wonderful truth of the Christian Israel fulfillment of Scripture is therefore hidden in this mistranslation in the King James Bible.
Let us read verse 32 once more: “a light for the revelation of the Nations and honor of Your people Israel!”Although it is not properly a hendiadys, which is a grammatical construction that employs a definite article and different nouns which refer to the same entity, the Nations and the honor here certainly both belonging to “Your people Israel”, meaning the Israel of Yahweh. The Israelites were prophesied to leave Palestine at an early time (II Sam. 7:10; I Chr. 17:9; Gen. 28:14) and to become many nations (Gen. 35:11; Acts 9:15 et al.). These things certainly happened, as it is revealed by a study of ancient history that many of the Greeks, Romans, Trojans, Phoenicians, etc. descended from Israelites migrating out of Palestine before the Assyrian deportations, and that the Parthians, Scythians, Kimmerians (Kelts), and others all descended from the Israelites of the Assyrian deportations. Along with certain Japhethite tribes (i.e. the Ionians at Athens, whom Paul addresses at Acts 17:22-31), these Israelites make up the population of Europe, and are the White Europeans (as opposed to the later Arab and Turkic invaders) of today. To them did the Apostles bear the light of the gospel, and in them is found Christendom, fulfilling the Old Testament prophesies which concerned the true Israelites, not the jews.
Luke 11:45-52: 45 Then replying one of the lawyers said to Him “Teacher, saying these things You also insult us!” 46 So He said “And to you lawyers, woe! Because you load men with burdens hard to bear, and these burdens you touch with not one of your fingers! 47 Woe to you! Because you build the monuments of the prophets, and your fathers killed them! 48 Therefore you are witnesses and you consent to the works of your fathers, because they killed them, and you build. 49 For this reason also the wisdom of Yahweh says: ‘I shall send to them prophets and ambassadors, and some of them they shall kill and they shall persecute’, 50 in order that the blood of all the prophets spilled from the foundation of the cosmos should be required from this race, 51 from the blood of Abel unto the blood of Zacharias who was killed between the altar and the house. Yeah, I say to you, it shall be required from this race! 52 Woe to you lawyers! Because you have taken the key of knowledge, you do not enter in yourselves, and you prohibit those who are entering in!”
The Greek word γενεὰ (1074) is “race, stock, family...also a tribe, nation...2. a race, generation...” (Liddell & Scott) and so in the King James Version it is more often than not rendered generation, as it also is here, in defiance of the context and most basic meaning of the word. In this context, where we have sons and fathers both near and remote, which we see in vv. 47-48, and where both the remote past and the recent past are in focus, in reference to Abel and Zacharias, in v. 51, the word must be rendered race, for it cannot be referring to merely a single generation, or as we may define the term, a mere portion of a race which exists at any particular time.
Here I would like to discuss Luke 9:41, which many people have brought up in reference to Luke 11:45-52 which we just discussed. This passage has Yahshua exclaiming “O faithless and perverted race!” in reference to people in Jerusalem who evidently had little true faith in God. The word διαστρέφω (1294), is here perverted, and may be read distorted. The word γενεὰ (1074), is race, and it may be read generation, yet similar language is used at 11:47-51 and speaking of fathers and sons, both recent and long past, where only race can be meant, and not simply a group of contemporaries. With this passage, I would purport that alien elements may indeed pervert a race as a whole, both genetically and also by undue influence, without each and every member being genetically corrupted, but rather only a portion of those members. Cf. I Sam. 21:7, 22:9-22; Mal. 1:1-4; Josephus’ Antiquities 13.9.1 (13:254-258); Rom. 9:1-13 et al.
While we are here in Luke, it may be fitting to point out something in Luke 6:34 and 15:27:
Luke 6:34: And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? for sinners also lend to sinners, to receive as much again.
Luke 15:25-27: 25 Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard musick and dancing. 26 And he called one of the servants, and asked what these things meant. 27 And he said unto him, Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.
The verb ἀπολαμβάνω (618) is to recover in my own translations in both of these places, and we see that in each case, where the subject of the discourse receiving back something they once possessed, recover is certainly more appropriate. The verb is rendered in the King James as to “receive … again” in Luke 6:34, where the NAS version if someone should check it would say “receive back”. This difference is rather innocuous in Luke 15:27, but there are other places where it is much more important, such as at Gal. 4:5. The renderings of “receive back” or “receive again” help to show those who do not read Greek the true meaning of the word. The verb λαμβάνω (2983) by itself, without the prefix, is sufficient to say simply “to receive”; ἀπολαμβάνω is “to take or receive from another, to receive what is one’s due...II. to take back, get back, regain, recover...” (Liddell & Scott). If we read Galatians 4:5 with this in mind, the importance of translating this verb correctly in the context of the covenant messages to the children of Israel becomes absolutely clear. The King James has it “To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” Yet we would read the Greek: “in order that he would redeem those subject to law, that we would recover the position of sons. ” So we see that the King James translators, in their blindness to their own identity as children of Israel, diluted the importance of the covenant message in their translations of Scripture.
Luke 16:1-9: The parable of the unrighteous steward is very poorly understood, because it is very poorly translated. That might sound pretentious, but it is a simple fact. If you listen to most commentators on the matter, they will go so far as to claim that Yahweh justifies stealing, in order to maintain the veracity of the King James Version and other translations of this passage!
1 Then He also said to the students: “There was a certain wealthy man who had a steward, and he had suspected him of squandering his possessions. 2 And calling him he said to him ‘What is this I hear about you? Give me an account of your stewardship, for you are no longer able to be steward.’ 3 And the steward said to himself ‘What shall I do, that my master has taken the stewardship from me? I am not able to dig, and I am ashamed to beg. 4 I know what I shall do, in order that when I have been removed from the stewardship they shall receive me into their houses!’ 5 And calling on each one of those indebted to his master, he said to the first ‘How much do you owe my master?’ 6 And he said ‘A hundred baths of olive oil.’ So he said to him ‘Take your records, and quickly sitting down write fifty.’ 7 Next he said to another ‘And how much do you owe?’ And he said ‘A hundred kors of grain.’ He says to him ‘Take your records and write eighty.’ 8 And the master praised the unrighteous steward because he did wisely, because the sons of this age are wiser than the sons of light are towards their own race. 9 And I say to you, shall you make for yourselves friends from the riches of unrighteousness, that when you should fail they may receive you into eternal dwellings?
The verses in question here are verses 8 and 9, and an examination of them shall reveal a very different meaning in this parable from what most Bible studies and commentaries suggest. Therefore they shall be discussed here at length.
Concerning the text of Luke 16:8, as we have said several times already, γενεά (1074), “race, stock, family” (L&S), is “race” here and not, as it may be in some contexts, “I...2. a race, generation” or “II...2. age, time of life” or as we say: “generation”. This is evident without resorting to any other Biblical references, but from the full statement here alone, which I shall endeavor to elucidate. The full clause, ὅτι οἱ υἱοὶ τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου φρονιμώτεροι ὑπὲρ τοὺς υἱοὺς τοῦ φωτὸς εἰς τὴν γενεὰν τὴν ἑαυτῶν εἰσιν, or “Because the sons of this age are wiser than the sons of light are towards their own race”, shall be examined here, inspecting each Greek word or phrase in the order which it appears in the sentence.
ὅτι (“because”) οἱ υἱοὶ (“the sons”, in the Nominative case and therefore the subject of the clause).
τοῦ αἰῶνος τούτου (“of this age”, the pronoun referring to what precedes). αἰῶνος is the Genitive singular of αἰών (165), age here. The word is “a period of existence...an age, generation...a long space of time, an age...a definite space of time, an era, epoch, age, period...” (Liddell & Scott). It is the source of our English word eon, and usually in the N.T. infers a long period of time, and so it may be presumed to be equivalent to the span of many “generations”, as we use that term today. If αἰών indeed infers such a long space of time here, then γενεά must be rendered “race”, since many generations would be required to fill “this age”. Yet if αἰών infers a shorter duration, a single “generation” or era, γενεά still must be rendered “race”, lest the use of the word is redundant and it becomes meaningless. The A.V. translators must have realized this predicament, and here (as they did elsewhere) they rendered αἰών as “world”, a meaning that the word certainly does not have! αἰών can only refer to a period of time, not of space.
φρονιμώτεροι ὑπὲρ (“are wiser beyond”). The word are comes from the last word of the clause, the third person plural form of εἰμί (1510), εἰσιν or they are. This is common in Greek, which orders its words quite differently than English. ὑπὲρ is a preposition which is properly over or beyond (what follows) but here is not rendered as such, the comparative form of φρόνιμος (5429), wiser, and the conjunction than, and so are wiser than, being sufficient to express the meaning in English.
τοὺς υἱοὺς (“the sons”) here in the Accusative case, which distinguishes the noun as the object of a verb or of certain prepositions, here the preposition ὑπὲρ or beyond, than in the text.
τοῦ φωτὸς (“of light”), the Genitive singular of φῶς (5457), the Genitive is a case that expresses possession, source, or measurement, and here the sons, the preceding noun, belongs to it, so the sons of light.
εἰς (1519) is a preposition used only with the Accusative case (as τὴν γενεὰν is which follows), and is properly “into, and then to” and also among other things “...at...with...to or towards...in regard to...for” (L&S), and in certain contexts it may sometimes be rendered in, but is not commonly in. Liddell & Scott give one example, where in English we would say “to look in the face”, rather than the literal at or towards the face. The in where it says “in their generation” that the A.V. has here would be properly expressed with ἐν (1722) and the Dative case, and not with εἰς and the Accusative, as it is found here.
τὴν γενεὰν τὴν ἑαυτῶν (“their own race”), or literally “the race that is of themselves”, the Articles (τὴν) and γενεὰν are all in the Accusative case, and so are the object of the preposition εἰς. While the Article τὴν is the Accusative singular, the pronoun ἑαυτῶν (“of themselves”, or “their own” here) is Genitive plural (ἑαυτοῦ, 1438) and “reflects back to the subject” (MacDonald, Greek Enchiridion, p. 104), and so here τὴν γενεὰν belongs to one party only, the “sons of this age”, who are the subject of the clause, and so the word γενεὰν must again be rendered race, and not generation, since the sons of both “this age” and “light” are obviously contemporaneous and so they share the same period of time. While such number and case mismatches are rare, the Article τὴν is Accusative singular while its noun ἑαυτῶν Genitive plural. Yet this is done expressly in order to avoid confusion, to show the relationship between ἑαυτῶν and τὴν γενεὰν here. The result is that there is no question that τὴν γενεὰν (“the race”) belongs to ἑαυτῶν (“of themselves”), referring to the subject of the clause: “the sons of this age”.
εἰσιν the final word here, is the 3rd person plural of the verb to be, εἰμί (1510), and so is they are, or are here. It may be protested that the word are appears twice in the English version here, and that is true. “As in classical Greek, so also in the N.T. εἰμί is very often omitted” (Thayer’s Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, εἰμί, VI., p. 180 col. B), and so it must be supplied in English as often as it is found wanting, yet admittedly this supplying can be quite subjective.
Luke 16:8: “And the master praised the unrighteous steward because he did wisely, because the sons of this age are wiser than the sons of light are towards their own race. ” Here it should now be manifest, that this verse is describing the “sons of this age” and the “sons of light” as two separate races, which have vied with each other throughout the age, just as Gen. 3:15 forebode that they would. Once we translate this passage correctly, we realize that it is indeed a parable about the two seeds of Genesis 3:15, and that it is not a parable about Yahweh our God approving of the breaking of His Own commandment: “Thou shalt not steal”.
Now to turn our attention to the text of Luke 16:9, “And I say to you, shall you make for yourselves friends from the riches of unrighteousness, that when you should fail they may receive you into eternal dwellings?”. This verse is very naturally read as a question, which neither the King James Version nor the NA27 nor any other of the versions which I’ve seen do. In fact, if one checks the websites where they present all of the popular translations in parallel, none of them do (http://bible.cc/luke/16-9.htm). Rather, many commentators use this verse as a statement, to justify the wicked methods of the dishonest steward, which amount to stealing! So much drivel has been written concerning this verse, because its being a rhetorical question has been overlooked by so many! The construction of the verbs here very naturally makes a rhetorical question, where a verb of the Indicative mood is followed by a verb of the Subjunctive mood. ποιήσατε, the Future Indicative of ποιέω (4160), is “shall you make...?” Later the verb ἐκλίπῃ, Aorist Subjunctive of ἐκλείπω (1587) is “when you should fail” preceded by ὅταν (“when”), and it may be written “when you might fail”. The verb δέξωνται is the Aorist Subjunctive of δέχομαι (1209), here followed by ὑμᾶς (“you”) and being in the 3rd person plural, “they may receive you”, or “they might receive you” (it may have been translated as accept in either case). A similar pattern is found at Gal. 6:5, which I also read as a rhetorical question, and comment upon at length in my edition of Paul’s epistles. The Indicative Mood, as ποιήσατε is here, is often used in interrogation (MacDonald, Greek Enchiridion, p. 43), and even without an interrogatory particle. This is also often done by Luke (and recognized by both the King James Version and the NA27), at 4:34; 7:19 and 20; 9:54; 12:51; 13:2, 4, and 15; 14:3; 20:4; 22:48; and 23:3; and at Acts 5:28; 16:37; 21:37; 23:3 and 4; 25:9; and 26:27.
Biblical evidence that in context this interpretation is the correct one is quite plain. First, the commandment states that “Thou shalt not steal”, and Christ is certainly not endorsing embezzlement here. Second, it is certain that the friends of the unrighteous steward cannot receive him into any “eternal dwelling”, for only Yahweh himself can do that! Third, the subsequent verse at 16:13 plainly states that one cannot serve both Yahweh and riches simultaneously. So the obvious answer to the question asked here in verse 9 is a resounding “No!” The real lesson here is that the unrighteous steward, evidently one of the “sons of this age” (v. 8), acted as those of his race are expected to act: craftily, because they have no reward hereafter. The sons of light, the true Adamic Israelites, should not do as the others (note Matt. 7:16-20). The Israelite’s eternal dwelling is with Yahweh, and there is none other. He should store his treasure there (Matt. 6:19-21; Mark 10:21; Luke 12:16-21 and 31-34), since worldly riches, mammon, mean nothing (i.e. Heb. 11:26).
Luke 17:11-19: 11 And it came to pass, while traveling to Jerusalem, that He had passed through the center of Samaria and Galilaia, 12 and upon His coming into a certain town they encountered ten leprous men who had stood afar off. 13 And they raised their voices saying “Yahshua, Master, have mercy on us!” 14 And seeing them He said to them “Going, show yourselves to the priests!” And it happened that with their going off they were cleansed. 15 Then one of them, seeing that he was healed, returned with a great voice extolling Yahweh, 16 and fell upon his face by His feet thanking Him, and he was a Samaritan. 17 And replying Yahshua said “Were not ten cleansed? Then where are the nine? 18 Are there none found returning to give honor to Yahweh, except he who is of another race?” 19 And He said to him, “Arising go, your faith has preserved you.”
The word ἀλλογενὴς (241) is “of another race, a stranger” (Liddell & Scott), and it appears only here in the N.T. While the word certainly may be used to signify a non-Adamite, that interpretation is not compulsory, for it may only signify that the man is merely a non-Judaean, or a non-Israelite. Today we are used to the idea that there are multiple nations created from one race, so we look at the word differently. The Greek view of race was much narrower than our own. From their perspective, a race could specify a tribe or other subdivision within a nation – even though we today would perceive all the members of that nation to be of the same race. The man, being a Samaritan, most probably was an Adamite, since at least most of the peoples that the Assyrians had brought into Samaria were from other parts of the same Adamic world which they had conquered. However more importantly, with this we see that by Luke's use of the word ἔθνος, most often translated gentile in the King James Version, he cannot mean to describe people of other races – or he would have used this word ἀλλογενὴς instead! Most of the references by Luke and Paul to the gentiles, or properly nations, are references to the dispersed nations of Israel. Yet this leads us to discuss Luke 18:32.
Luke 18:32: For He shall be handed over to the heathens, and mocked and abused and spat upon 33 and being scourged they shall slay Him, and in the third day He shall be resurrected.”
The phrase τοῖς ἔθνεσιν (ἔθνος, 1484), in the Dative Plural here is “to the heathens”. The word ἔθνος is usually, and properly, nation, yet it may in certain contexts be translated people, for which see the discussion below at Acts 13:46. This is especially true when the people being described consist of more than one nationality, where λαὸς (2992), which is properly people, is inappropriate (again, cf. Acts 13:46 below), and examples are found at Mark 11:17; Acts 8:9 and 18:6 and elsewhere. The scriptural as well as the historical records are clear, that the Edomites in Judaea were primarily responsible for the Crucifixion, having gained the political and ecclesiastical leadership of the nation, although both the Romans and those true Israelites in Judaea were unwitting accomplices. The scriptural record also attests that both Judaeans and Romans spat on and abused Yahshua Christ, as evident comparing Matt. 26:67, Mark 14:65 and Matt. 27:30, Mark 15:19, and so in this context ἔθνος may properly be translated heathen. The word ἔθνος is properly “a number of people accustomed to live together, a company, body of men … after Homer, a nation, people … a special class of men, a caste, tribe ...” (Liddell & Scott) and it is in that last sense, a special class of men, that we may read the word in these instances.
Luke 21:25: And there shall be signs in the sun and moon and stars, and upon the earth an affliction by the heathens, the sea and the waves roaring in difficulty...
The phrase above which reads “by the heathens” is by itself literally “of nations”, as it is rendered in the King James Version, the phrase coming from the Genitive Plural form of ἔθνος (1484). We have already had a brief discussion of ἔθνος as nation, heathen, or people above in a discussion of Luke 18:32, and we will again below at Acts 13:46. Translating this verse I must let the context stand on its own. The implication is that the affliction is “by the heathens”, or more literally “from heathens”, and it is plain in the Greek. The King James Version's rendering “of nations”, while a literally correct rendering of the word, in context is in error. The heathens (or nations, whichever one may prefer) here are not those who are being afflicted, where the Accusative case would be expected. Rather, the heathens are the source of the affliction, for the Genitive case is used to express either possession or source. An exactly similar grammatical construction which the A.V. handled appropriately is found at Acts 14:5, where the phrase ὁρμὴ τῶν ἐθνῶν τε καὶ ἰουδαίων is “an attack of both the people and the Judaeans”, where we see clearly in the King James Version that “people” (from the phrase τῶν ἐθνῶν), along with Judaeans, are the source of the attack. So here συνοχὴ ἐθνῶν is an affliction (συνοχὴ) coming from people, or heathens (ἐθνῶν, Genitive plural of ἔθνος), the absence of the Article not being a grammatical issue in this instance. It is apparent that Yahshua's discourse is a dual prophecy, both of the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, and of the time of His return. Understanding that distress is caused “by the heathens”, as I believe the phrase in this verse at Luke 21:25 should be read, is perfectly clear in light of the circumstances both now and back in 70 AD when Jerusalem was destroyed.
Luke 21:24 and 32: At verse 24 the King James Version reads, discussing those who rejected Christ, “And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” Yet I would read the Greek of the latter half of this verse “and Jerusalem shall be tread upon by the heathens until the times of the heathens should be fulfilled.” The word which the King James rendered gentiles, which I translated as heathens, may also be read as either nations or peoples, yet I shall let the context speak for itself. Many believe that this verse should be read to mean “until the times of the [Israel] nations should be fulfilled”, yet such an interpretation cannot possibly be correct. Since Israel has been promised in so many places an eternal preservation, and to always be a nation (i.e. Jer. 31:31-36; Dan. 2:44 and 7:27), their time shall never be fulfilled, from a Greek word which also means completed. One must not confuse Luke 21:24 here with the prophesied period of Israel’s punishment, a separate topic, which would necessitate reading ideas into the text which are not expressed. Israel’s enemies, and so the heathen, have indeed trampled Jerusalem under foot since the time of Christ, but we, the children of Israel, are Jerusalem – wherever our seats of government are located. This prophecy does not describe that forever broken desolation in Palestine (Jeremiah 19, Luke 13:35). Pray for Yahshua that their time shall be fulfilled shortly.
Having this in mind, I would read verse 32 thus: “Truly I say to you that by no means should this race escape until all things come to be.” The word γενεὰ (1074) is rendered by its primary definition here, race and not, as the King James Version has it, generation. First, it must be realized that there were nearly forty years between this discourse by Christ and the destruction of Jerusalem. The generation of the Exodus spent a like amount of time in the desert so that those who left Egypt, excepting a few, would not see Palestine (cf. Heb. 3:5-19). Secondly, statements at vv. 24-28 had not come to be fulfilled by 70 A.D., nor for many centuries later, so γενεὰ must mean race and not generation. Thirdly, reading race here is in context with use of the word elsewhere, such as at 9:41, 16:8, and the related word γένος, for examples of which see Luke 11:50. Note the parable of the wheat and the tares, Matthew 13:36-42.
Acts 1:20: For it is written in the Book of Psalms: ‘His home must be desolate, and there must not be one dwelling in it’ and ‘Another must take his office’.
Where we see “office” here, the King James Version has “bishoprick”. An ἐπισκοπή (1984) is “a watching over, visitation...II. the office of ἐπισκοπῆς…generally an office” (Liddell & Scott), and it is bishopric in the A.V. ἐπίσκοπος (1985), the root word, came into English through the late ecclesiastical Latin word ebiscopus, to be our English word bishop. Properly it is “one who watches over, an overseer, guardian...a public officer, intendant” (Liddell & Scott) and is usually bishop in the King James Version. The word ἐπισκοπή appears both here and in Luke 19:44. The word ἐπίσκοπος appears in Luke's writing only at Acts 20:28, where in the Christogenea New Testament the word is overseer although it is supervisor wherever it appears in that edition of Paul’s letters, at Phil. 1:1; I Tim. 3:2; and Tit. 1:7. It is clear in the historical record, that when the King James Version of the Bible was translated, those who worked on it had a definite order and intent to render certain words in order to give the appearance of legitimacy to the then-young Anglican Church. For this reason we see that it employs terms such as church, where the more accurate word congregation appeared in earlier English versions, and also terms such as deacon and minister and bishop. While even I have used the word minister in translation, as someone who performs a deed or service for the assembly, the words church, deacon and bishop are contrivances of organized religion and of those who seek to maintain religious control over the people – a precept found in the New Testament only among the Pharisees and Sadducees!
Acts 2:37-41 37 Now hearing they had pierced their hearts, and said to Petros and the rest of the ambassadors “Men, brothers, what should we do?” 38 And Petros to them: “Repent, it says, and each of you must be immersed in the Name of Yahshua Christ for remission of your errors and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39 For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all those in the distance, as many as the Prince our God should call.” 40 And with many other words he affirmed and exhorted them saying “You must be saved from this crooked race!” 41 So then those accepting his account were immersed and they added in that day about three thousand souls.
The word γενεὰ (1074) is race here. We have already seen at Luke 19:45-52 that in those passages the word γενεὰ must translated as race, or it makes no sense whatsoever. That is also the case here. If one is born in the same period of time that one's peers are, and one needs to be saved from one's peers, then being part of the same generation – as we use the term today – how could one be saved from one's own generation? And what if one's enemies were born much sooner – or much later – than oneself? As we are about to see from subsequent passages in Acts, race is certainly the proper term here.
Acts 4:5-7: 5 And there was on the next day a gathering of them, the leaders and the elders and the scribes in Jerusalem, 6 and Hannas the high priest and Kaïaphas and Iohannes and Alexandros and as many as were of the race of the high priest, 7 and standing them in the midst they inquired, “By what power or by what name have you done this?”
The King James Version has “kindred of the high priest”, yet this is that same word, γένος, that they translated as generation almost everywhere else it appears. The phrase ἐκ γένους ἀρχιερατικοῦ, “of the race of the high priest”, fits both the Biblical and historical context here, especially since we see in verse 23 that an opposing phrase, “their own countrymen” (τοὺς ἰδίους), is employed. If all of these people were jews, as the popular perception imagines, we would not see such phrases employed at all.
Acts 4:23: And being released they went to their own countrymen and reported as much as the high priests and the elders said to them.
The King James Version has “their own company”. The phrase τοὺς ἰδίους (the Accusative plural) is here “their own countrymen”, as Thayer has at ἴδιος (2398) for the Nominative plural οἱ ἴδιοι one’s own people...one’s fellow-countrymen, associates...one’s household, persons belonging to the house, family, or company...”, and the 9th edition of the Liddell & Scott Greek-English Lexicon agrees, having at the same phrase under ἴδιος “member of one’s family, relatives”. Here it must be ascertained that the word is opposed to the phrase above at Acts 4:6 which reads “and as many as were of the race of the high priest”, knowing from both Josephus and Paul (i.e. II Thessalonians chapter 2 and Romans chapter 9) that many of the leaders and high priests of the time were Edomites, but the followers of Christ were surely true Israelites. This distinction is lost where these passages are translated in the King James Version, yet Acts Chapter 4 shows that the apostles were not of the same race as the high priests.
Acts 7:19: 19 He dealing craftily with our race mistreated the fathers, causing their infants to be exposed for which not to be produced alive.
The King James Version has kindred where we see race here. This further demonstrates that the word γένος should have been rendered race in many other places where the context demands it.
Acts 9:15: But the Prince said to him “Go! For he is a vessel chosen by Me who is to bear My Name before both the Nations and kings of the sons of Israel.
The phrase τῶν ἐθνῶν τε καὶ βασιλέων υἱῶν τε ἰσραήλ: is here “both the Nations and kings of the sons of Israel”; the NA27, following the codices Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus and the Majority Text, wants the first definite article, τῶν or the, while the codices Vaticanus and Ephraemi Syri have the article. With the article, the phrase is a form of hendiatrisin (also called a hendiatris, which is a grammatical term meaning one by means of three), a longer hendiadys (one by means of two), where the items joined by the conjunctions coalesce, or represent the same entity (for which see MacDonald, Greek Enchiridion, p. 117). But even without the article, the grammar displays an intrinsic connection between the nouns here. While the Greek particle τε may be written simply “and”, followed by καί it is “both...and” for which see either Liddell & Scott or Thayer (τε, 5037). Thayer gives examples for τε...καί and τε καί: “not only...but also”, “as well...as”, and “both...and”. The final τε is not rendered here, and it certainly shouldn’t be “and” because “of the sons of Israel” is not an addition, but is the same entity as “the Nations and kings”, all three items being of one and the same entity. Thayer states that τε differs from the particle καί, where καί is conjunctive, but τε is adjunctive and that “καί introduces something new under the same aspect yet as an external addition, whereas τε marks it as having an inner connection with what precedes” (Thayer, τε, p. 616, column B.). So the phrase may well have been rendered “both the Nations and kings both of the sons of Israel”, and therefore while it is not exactly literal, it would not do any damage to the meaning of the phrase to interpret it thus: “both the Nations of the sons of Israel, and the kings of the sons of Israel”, for which see the promises to the Israelite patriarchs recorded at Gen. 17:4-6 and 35:11 and elsewhere.
Acts 11:1: And the ambassadors and the brethren who were throughout Judaea heard that the nations also accepted the Word of Yahweh.
The King James Version has received where we see accepted here. The verb δέχομαι (1209) is to accept and not, as the A.V. has it, simply to receive which is usually λαμβάνω (2983). The verb δέχομαι is “to take, accept, receive what is offered...to accept or approve...” (Liddell & Scott). It was a matter of prophecy that “lost” Israel would hear and accept the gospel that those in Judaea had rejected, for which see examples at Isaiah chapters 53 and 54; Ezekiel chapter 34; and Hosea chapters 2 and 14. For this very reason Paul wrote “for me to be a minister of Yahshua Christ to the Nations, performing the service of the good message of Yahweh, in order that it be a presentation acceptable of the Nations, having been sanctified by the Holy Spirit”, Romans 15:16.
Acts 12:1-5: 1 Now throughout that time Herodas the king applied his hands to mistreat some of those from the assembly. 2 And he slew Iakobos the brother of Iohannes with a sword. 3 Then seeing that it is pleasing to the Judaeans, he proceeded to seize Petros also (and it was the days of unleavened bread), 4 whom he then laying hold of put into prison, committing him to the four squads of four soldiers to watch him, planning after the Passover to lead him to the people. 5 So then Petros was being kept in the prison, but prayer was fervently being made to Yahweh by the assembly concerning him.
But at Acts 12:4 the King James Version has Easter, and that might be one of the most ridiculous renderings those translators have committed to the text. The word seen here as Passover is πάσχω (3957), and this is the word used to describe the Passover feast throughout the Septuagint and the N.T. The substitution of the pagan fertility holiday of Easter by the “church” is a crime, and so is the A.V. use of Easter here. Christians should keep the Passover, as Paul advised at I Corinthians.5:8.
Acts 13:46 Then Paul and Barnabas speaking openly said: “To you it was necessary to speak the Word of Yahweh first. Since you have rejected Him and judge yourselves not worthy of eternal life, behold, we turn to the people!
The King James Version has “the gentiles” here at Acts 13:46. The phrase is τὰ ἔθνη, the Accusative plural of ἔθνος (1484), and with the Article here it is “the people”. There are several other places in the N.T. where context dictates that ἔθνος be rendered people and not nation or even heathen, among them are Mark 11:17, Acts 8:9 and 18:6, and I Cor. 12:2. The King James Version does have people for ἔθνος at Acts 8:9, and note also the A.V. at Isa. 56:7 which is quoted at Mark 11:17. In the LXX, Brenton has “people” for ἔθνος at Lev. 20:2, and I haven’t checked elsewhere in that volume.
It is an absolute fallacy committed by many theologians that here Paul invents a new religion, rejecting the Judaeans and bringing Christianity instead to some “gentiles”, but this is the usual interpretation. In fact, we see Paul at other Judaean synagogues in the subsequent chapters, immediately after this incident at Acts 14:1, and in Acts chapters 17, 18 and 19. Many Bible editions cross-reference Matthew 21:43 to Acts 13:46 to somehow support this fallacy. Instead, Matthew 21:43, where Christ says to the Pharisees that “The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof”, should be cross-referenced to Dan. 2:44 and Mic. 4:7-8, which both prophecy of the everlasting kingdom of the Israelite people of Yahweh.
In the context of Acts 13:46 here, Paul is addressing the assembly hall leaders and he is rejecting them – those opposing him in this one local assembly hall – and turning to the people themselves who make up the assembly, which consisted of both Judaeans and Greeks, and probably also of Kelts, Romans, and maybe even Phrygians, all Adamites, and most of whom descended from the Israelites. So the mixed group cannot properly be termed in Greek a λαός (2992), which is the general word for people in Greek. A λαός is a people as a collective unit, but the group which consists of various ethnic backgrounds is not properly considered as such, and so it is termed τὰ ἔθνη, the nations of people in a place. The word λαός is “the people, both in singular and plural” (Liddell & Scott), although Brenton writes “peoples” for the plural at Psalm 116 (117):1. Thayer makes no definite comment but “the plural...seems to be used of the tribes of the people”, giving Gen. 49:10, Deut. 32:8, Isa. 3:13, and Acts 4:27 as examples.
Acts 14:21-23: 21 And announcing the good message in that city and many becoming students, they returned to Lustra and to Ikonion and to Antiocheia 22 reinforcing the spirits of the students, encouraging them to abide in the faith and that it is necessary through many tribulations for us to enter into the Kingdom of Yahweh. 23 And elders being elected by them in each assembly, praying with fasting they presented them in whom they had confidence with the authority.
The phrase “with the authority” here is from the phrase τῷ κυρίῳ. The King James Version renders the verb πιστεύω as to believe, and supposes that τῷ κυρίῳ, the Dative case of ὁ κύριος, which is usually the Lord, is what is referred to by the pronoun whom. If that were the case, I would expect the pronoun to also be in the Dative case, and not in the Accusative which fully indicates that it refers to the earlier pronoun them which is also in the Accusative case here. While there is a number mismatch, that is frequently the case when a group is referred to as a collective unit. In context, if the assembly did not first believe in Christ, they wouldn’t have been bothering to elect elders at all. They would not even be gathered as an assembly addressed by the apostles! Rather, the intent here is to show that the assembly must have confidence in a man before he is elected to a post of authority.
Furthermore, the King James Version rendering of Acts 14:23, “And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed”, contains another serious mistranslation. The verb χειροτονέω is rendered ordained. The word is “to stretch out the hand for the purpose of voting … to vote for, elect, properly by show of hands … to vote” (Liddell & Scott). This word could never mean ordain, as the King James Version has it, except that, as we have previously stated, the primary mission of the translators of that version was to uphold the authority of the Anglican Church – an institution created by man. The elders in a true Christian assembly were voted into office by the common people, and were exclusively responsible to the common people. I will read this verse again, adding clarifying emphasis “And elders [to lead the people] being elected [voted for by the people] by them [the people of the assembly] in each assembly, praying with fasting they [the people of the assembly] presented them [the newly elected elders] in whom they had confidence [in whom they trusted and therefore voted for] with the authority [over the assembly who elected them].”
Acts 22:9: The King James Version of this passage reads: “And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard not the voice of him that spake to me.” Yet I must read the Greek here: “And they who were with me surely beheld the light, but for the voice they did not understand that being spoken to me.” The following is adapted from my paper, William Finck vs. The Paul-bashers:
Paul gives three accounts of the “Road to Damascus” event, the last given many years after the first. Can we expect them to be the same, word for word? Of course not! Over the years, different aspects of an event are more lasting in the memory, while other details fade into oblivion. And each time Paul relates the event, it is someone else (here it is either Luke or someone Luke obtained the record from) who is recording his words! Is the recorder really reporting everything which Paul said on each of the three occasions? Or is it more likely that, as was customary at the time, only a synopsis was given in each of the three records? Of course each record is only a synopsis, and we should not force a higher standard upon Paul than we would upon any other ancient writer, and the same goes for Luke. Luke, the typically exacting historian (which for example see Luke 3:1), certainly saw no conflict in the three accounts, and may well have rectified them if he did, having had every opportunity to do so since he wrote them!
Yet comparing the King James A.V. or the R.S.V. translations of Acts 9:7 and 22:9, I can see where there would be a cause for concern regarding the validity of Paul's account, for there does seem to be an irreconcilable discrepancy: in English. Did those with Paul hear the voice, or did they not? It is commonly professed by most people in various factions of what we term “Israel Identity”, that there are many errant translations found in the A.V. and other versions of the Bible. While certain of Paul's detractors have cited the R.S.V. here, referring to Acts 9:7 and 22:9, it is because that version does virtually no better than the A.V. in many respects, and Acts 22:9 is poorly translated in both versions. Investigating other versions of Acts 22:9, such as the New Living Translation, they are worse still! It can be demonstrated time and again that theologians have written what they think the Greek says, and just as often what they think that the Greek should say, and claim to be offering fair translations! Because all of our Bible versions are so polluted, to one extent or another, one shouldn’t dare to judge any Bible passage critically unless one can, as Paul attests, “prove all things”, making trial of them for one’s self!
The first half of Acts 22:9, which I have translated “And they who were with me surely beheld the light”, is not an issue here. The second half, which I have translated “but for the voice they did not understand that being spoken to me”, is in the NA27 Greek: τὴν δὲ φωνὴν οὐκ ἤκουσαν τοῦ λαλοῦντός μοι, and is consistent among all ancient mss. Here we shall examine each word of this clause.
δὲ, “but”, marks the beginning of a new clause here, being a conjunctive Particle with adversative force. It is always placed as the second word in a clause, and so it follows the Article τήν here.
τὴν φωνὴν, “the voice”, is in the Accusative Case which marks it as the direct object of the verb here. I have supplied for, just as with the Genitive Case of or from often must be supplied, or to or with for the Dative Case. φωνή (phonê, 5456) may have been written sound, which is evident since it was translated as such in the King James Version at Matt. 24:31; John 3:8; 1 Cor. 14:7, 8; Rev. 1:15; 9:9 (twice) and 18:22.
οὐκ is the negative Particle, “not” here. It precedes that which it negates.
ἤκουσαν is a 3rd person plural form of ἀκούω, “to hear ... to hearken ... to listen to, give ear to ... to obey ... to hear and understand” (Liddell & Scott), and this last sense is used often in the N.T. For instance, where Christ is attributed as saying at Matt. 13:9 “Who hath ears to hear, let him hear”, the verb is ἀκούω both times it says hear. Yet it is clear from the context that everyone who was present heard His words physically, and certainly they all had physical ears, yet there were certainly also many present who did not understand what He said. The same verb is repeated twice again in Matt. 13:13, accompanied with another word which does literally mean understand, and so the physical acts of hearing, and hearing with understanding, may be both represented by the same word, lest how could one “hearing ... hear not”?
Now if Luke wanted to write, or if Paul wanted to say, that the men present with him physically “heard not the voice”, he may well have stopped right here, for he has already written enough! By continuing, Paul explicitly reveals his intended meaning, but all of the translators missed it.
The next phrase in the clause, τοῦ λαλοῦντός, is a Participle form, Imperfect tense, of the verb λαλέω, “to speak” or “to talk.” With the Article it is a Substantive, a group of words used as a noun. The form of both the Participle and the Article here is either Masculine or Neuter, yet there is no personal pronoun present, where we nevertheless see “him” in the A.V. or “the one who” in the R.S.V., and the writer or speaker may easily have included such a pronoun if he wanted to explicitly state as much. Rather, the phrase may just as properly, and perhaps more so for want of the personal pronoun, be written “that being spoken.” The last word of the clause, μοι, is “to me”.
And so the way in which I have rendered this verse is quite proper, and there is no conflict with Paul’s earlier statement at Acts 9:7. Indeed the men with him heard the voice, or the sound (φωνή), but they did not hear with understanding what it was that the sound had said!
This concludes this three-part exposition entitled Errors Inspired by Who? When this project was begun, its purpose was to show that there are clear errors in the King James Version of the Bible. The intent was not to create a mere ad hominem attack on the translation – although it is clear in some cases that the motives of the translators did indeed purposefully affect the translation. Rather it was intended to show that, if the King James Version of the Bible contains any plain error in translation, then it can by no means be considered the Word of God in English – and that it is our Christian duty to investigate both the sources of the manuscripts employed, from the better and more original manuscripts when we can find them, and the meanings of the words they employ in their original languages. By the grace of Yahweh our God, we pray that this is now fully evident.