The title of this post is borrowed from Max Lucado in a devotional about the betrayal of Jesus by Judas and why Judas kissed Jesus in the garden. (as opposed to just pointing Him out to the guards who came to arrest Him.)
I was particularly impacted by finding that erroneous translation of the word phobeo (fear)which I mentioned in my last post. I wondered how many women, having read that book, had no idea it was wrong. How many did Bible studies around the book and still not realizing it was wrong. Not everyone has a Hebrew-Greek Keyword Bible and, in fact, many don’t know it even exists.
We are used to accepting whatever is taught to us, which is a dangerous position to be in unless it is solely the Bible. And even in that, I discovered there are some serious errors in the various translations. In some cases, verses are totally gone from the NIV that appear in the KJV. Of the many verses that are gone are: Matthew 17:21, Matthew 18:11 and Acts 8:37. In some cases the translations are radically different as in Hosea 11:12. Here is the King James Version: “Ephraim compasseth me about with lies and the house of Israel with deceit but Judah yet ruleth with God and is faithful with the saints.” I made bold what I want to draw your attention to. Now in the NIV it says: “Ephraim has surrounded me with lies, the house of Israel with deceit. And Judah is unruly against God and even against the faithful Holy One.” You can see that the two verses are opposite on that one point. There are more like that. Like Gen. 27:39-40 To God this makes a difference. He doesn’t like His Word being fooled around with. You can see this for yourself. Just go to a bookstore and take the two translations off the shelf and compare. If you are at a Barnes and Noble, you can sit comfortably with a cup of coffee and a pastry and do it. I have an NIV which I had for over ten years till I found out about the errors from my pastor and also my friend, Walter. I keep the NIV just for this purpose and also because it is a Thompson Chain Reference and the reference part and archaeology part in the back are useful. Eventually, I will buy the KJV of that one.
For the first thousand years of the New Testament church history, there was severe persecution but the Word of God continued to spread and be translated into different languages. Back then it took 10 months to copy the scroll by hand. This continued on till persecution decreased a little around the 15-1600s. The copies, which had been copied again and again over the years, were all collected from around the world to be studied. Mind you, none of the translators had seen each other. After 1,000 years or five generations the copies, which were about 5,000, were compared. With the exception of some spelling differences in Biblical names, the copies were all the SAME. It was during the translation into English that we got the King James Version in 1611. Tyndale translated the Bible in 1525.
We also need to be careful of the outside books we read and what message are they sending us, as in the case in point of my last post. Another well known Christian author has a chapter in her book about how to make love to God. It seems she is caught up in the sensual. She even posted, twice, a picture of her bed and spoke about how it’s worn in the center from lovemaking with her husband. Why this is in the public eye is beyond me. (I had subscribed to her blog, unsubscribed, subscribed again to see if she changed, and then ended up unsubscribing again.) I ended up throwing her book into the garbage when I later realized what I had bought. (sorry Ann Voskamp) She keeps writing and people keep buying and she has a huge following. The devil is deceptive in his seduction. You can actually read words that should set off immediate alarm bells but don’t. Your eyes might gloss over the words, there might be slight discomfort and it won’t be till someone else or God Himself throws it back into your face to really take a look at. I know this from experience. Sometimes He has to take me by the back of the neck and shove my face into whatever offensive worded book and say, “LOOK!” (No, He didn’t really get off His throne to come down here to do that to me. I mean it figuratively.)
The devil’s seduction can be real sneaky and, of course, be quite overt and why some Christians are ensnared by pornography is beyond me. Like Christ stopped existing for that moment in time while they are busy fulfilling their lusts. If God chose to take that person right then and there, they would have a whale of a time explaining to Him why their orgasm was more important than their salvation. That goes for both sexes. I wonder how many Christian women sneaked into an early showing of “Fifty Shades of Gray” when it was released. Christians, who want to keep themselves pure till marriage, might have a bit of a hard time if their imaginations were fueled by someone else writing about how to make love to God. Satan on the sidelines stoking the flames of desire. Yes, I know about Song of Solomon but it does not say that God is having sex with His creation.
What you need to be wary of is anyone that preys on your emotions. The snake is still slithering out there and winding his way into your mind if you don’t have your guard up. Or helmet on. (Ephesians 6: 10-18) Any book that has you focusing too much on the past, when we are to look ahead to Jesus, or your emotions, which will keep you weak and ineffectual as a Christian, need to be avoided. Be strong in the Lord and the power of His might. (Eph. 6:10) Yes, many will go on about our lives being messy and, in some cases, tell us that Jesus gets in there with our mess. However, that is not really the case. He pulls us out of our mess, cleans us up and sets us on the narrow road. He does not wallow in it with us. I don’t want to stay in my mess. Do you? I want to get out of it and be holy, like God wants us to be. Be like Joseph (coat-of-many-colors) and run from sin and get as far away from it as possible. Run to Jesus who will handle this because only the power of the Holy Spirit can effect real change.
Guard your minds, guard your hearts because the devil is out there slithering and will kill with his mouth.