“We lie down in our shame, and our confusion covereth us: for we have sinned against the LORD our God, we and our fathers, from our youth even unto this day, and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our God.” Jeremiah 3:25. This verse is speaking of God’s people “Israel”, but isn’t it amazing how it also points to God’s children, His “ekklēsia” (the assembly of the called out). That would be you and I.
In the above verse the Hebrew word translated confusion is “kelimmah” which means: disgrace, reproach, shame, dishonour, insult, ignominy. We dishonor God by misinterpreting His inerrant Word. With all the Bible translations and varying interpretations of God’s word being taught and promoted these days, are we not promoting confusion? God’s children are more and more covering themselves with shame. Is this not what Jeremiah means when he says we have not obeyed God’s voice? Is it not God speaking to us from His word?
Since there is so much confusion in regards to God’s word today, isn’t it obvious that Satan has wormed his way into the mix? Satan, along with his minions of evil, has been hard at work corrupting God’s word since its inception. Arguing and infighting over the interpretation of the same passage of scripture is a shame and a reproach; we dishonor God with our foolishness. A plethora of Bible translations has assured those who wish to draw closer to God a future of confusion. Have you ever asked yourself “Why are there so many different English Bible translations right here in America?” Don’t we all speak the same English? Certainly something is amiss.
We know that the original Hebrew and Greek were laid out according to God’s perfect will “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” 2 Timothy 3:16. As God’s word is carried around the world and translated into various languages, many times the original intent gets lost in translation. It must be understood that although the Bible should be universal in its scope, problems, errors, nuances (word distinctions) do occur when it is translated from the original language into other languages.
Man’s nature is corrupt, therefore errors were very likely to be embedded into the English translations. I’m convinced that in our English translations of God’s inerrant word we find many unreliable, even corrupt, agenda promoting translations which lead to confusion.
In many cases, as a result of the confusion from the English words in regards to God’s original inspired languages, we’ve seen the introduction of the erroneous doctrines of men. This happens time and time again when the Hebrew and the Greek “inspired” texts are ignored.
Confusion must be eliminated if we are to fully grasp God’s word. For example, when studying our Bible it is essential that we seek the whole counsel of God. We can’t simply look at a verse or two and build doctrine on them (as many have done). A good rule of thumb is with any single verse or passage we discern what it teaches by first filtering it through what we know the Bible teaches on that particular subject. Over and over again I’ve laid out for my readership scenarios that explain why we are to study our Bibles for ourselves (instead of taking another’s word for what the Bible says). I’ve also encouraged everyone to explore the Hebrew and Greek original languages for a more precise meaning of any English word they may find confusing. Nevertheless, it becomes abundantly clear that many people will believe everything they are taught, never seeking the truth for themselves. Incredibly, many simply refuse to go any further than just reading the English words, erroneous as they may be.
How can we say that all of the various English interpretations of God’s Word are correct? Or that one translation is more correct than another? The Holy Spirit doesn’t give one interpretation to one individual and then a contradicting interpretation to another. There must be a problem with the English words, and that leads to confusion. “For God is not the author of confusion…” 1 Corinthians 14:33a. When confronted with so many interpretations of God’s word, most with glaring differences, does it not make sense to seek the truth elsewhere (the original Hebrew and Greek text) rather than simply arguing with one another over the English words?
A case in point, there is a Bible teacher I know of who continually seeks clarification on specific scripture verses from four or five sources. His conclusion is that we can’t really know for sure what the verses in question are referring to. I say, God is not a God of confusion. Therefore there must be a way to clarify the many interpretations. I’ve discovered that going to the original languages does just that.
What I’m getting at, in my own long and drawn out manner, is that once the Bible is translated out of the original Hebrew or Greek, the words often lose their proper (original) intent. Therefore, the only way to be assured of accuracy when discerning the word of God is to see clarification from the original Hebrew and Greek text, and we do this by incorporating them into our study habits, and of course prayer should be essential for all students of the Bible.
Please don’t misunderstand, when I say study the original languages of the Bible I don’t mean go out and attempt to gain access to the original manuscripts of antiquities, but to study a reliable concordance for a better word interpretation. This is always a wise step in grasping God’s full intent. I can tell you this, there are portions of the Bible where the English words are sorely lacking when it comes to being clear-cut.
The inerrancy of God’s word is, of course, in the original languages. Since not everyone can read those original languages it was needful for the Bible to be translated into the common language of each society. Where the problem arises is in the work of the translators who, in many cases, seem to have their own agendas.
The seemingly endless attempt at translating the original manuscript leads one to reassess the value of the various English translations. When we see a never ending pursuit of incorporating new translations into the mix, the conclusion we must arrive at is that somewhere down the line some translators made errors. Otherwise, why is the Bible continually being retranslated? All the varying translations lead the average seeker into confusion, which is proving to be quite destructive to the “ekklēsia” (the called out).
“But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,” Ephesians 4:15-17. Another side effect from all this confusion is how we, the “ekklēsia”, are perceived to the outside world. The fact that we always seem to be at odds with one another is a horrible witness. When the world sees the “ekklēsia” continually arguing over what the Bible is actually telling us they can only come to one conclusion. That the Bible is not true and that those who believe it to be the word of God are nothing more than a bunch of foolish troglodytes. If we were united, as the verse above clearly states we should be, then the outside world would be asking how they, too, can become united with us.
I can give many examples of the English word transforming God’s inerrant truth into a more “desirable”, and “ear tickling” experience. Over the years that I’ve been writing these commentaries, I too have learned so much about the confusion that is common in our English Bibles. But it takes diligent study for anyone who wishes to grow in the knowledge of God’s word. Not everyone is interested in the deeper meaning, or even the correct meaning, behind God’s intent for supplying us with His word. Some are content in their ignorance. Many times this ignorance leads to apathy which leads to division within the “ekklēsia”. Divisiveness leads to anger, and anger is never to be a part of God’s “ekklēsia”. “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.” John 13:34, 35. This is a very difficult commandment when we are constantly bickering with each other over the correct translation of God’s word.
We’ve all heard the following statement, “God is perfectly able to keep His word from corruption”, and that is the truth. Yet we have an overabundance of Bible translations, and in those translations we have a vast amount of varying interpretations, which leads to confusion. Thus we’ve witnessed the corruption of God’s word, which can only be seen as satanic. Therefore we must rely on the discernment from God to understand His word. Along with our God given discernment, we are fully justified in researching the original languages as a buffer against such things as false doctrine, misinterpretation, and the deliberate leading the masses astray.
When associated with the misinterpretation of God’s word, confusion is a disgrace and an insult to our awesome God. God gave us His word with the intent that we read and study it to grow in our relationship with Him. Let God lead your study while you diligently seek the truth. Without hesitation “seek and ye shall find” within the original languages the inerrant truth of God’s word.
God bless you all,
All original scripture is “theopneustos” God breathed