Bible Versions Questions and discussion about the Bible version issue.

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Old 07-18-2008, 05:59 AM
Steven Avery Steven Avery is offline
Join Date: Apr 2008
Posts: 462

Hi Folks,

Matthew 28:19-20
Go ye therefore,
and teach all nations,
baptizing them in the name
of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:
and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world.

One of the nice aspects of dealing with cornfuseniks who have no pure Bible and really, really would prefer that others did not have a pure Bible as well (due to the authority represented in the Holy Bible, the King James Bible) is that they bring up issues that help us to see the purity and perfection of our Bible. And to understand more excellently the word of God. Before this little conversation I had never studied 'make disciples' as a concept and looking at the modern version mistranslation of Matthew 28:19 versus the proper Bible text has been interesting.

Originally Posted by againstheresies
no real answer yet…I guess I found one that stumped you.
Hmmm.. you simply ignored what I wrote above, so I could not take your approach too seriously. Others may have found your approach questionable on this forum as well, especially based on the earlier threads. However I am happy to stay on this topic a bit.

Originally Posted by Brother Tim
"Make disciples" is not only nonexistent in the text, but it distorts our duty.
A very crucial point. There is a type of translational tampering in all the modern versions.

First, there is in fact one scripture that talks of disciples being made, by Jesus and by John the Baptist, and as would be expected it uses two distinct words, a noun and a verb, for that purpose.

John 4:1
When therefore the Lord knew how the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John,

This English does reflect the Greek, since it has two distinct words. 'Make disciples' in Matthew 28:19 takes a dubious translational license by radically changing the Greek, which is a command to 'ye' to teach (some say 'disciple', some 'instruct', some 'convert' - we may get to that later) all nations, Jesus did not give a command about the people who would be taught (or made into students, disciples or anything else) which is the man-centered nose-counting approach. The real focus is on what Jesus calls us to do, to teach.

As one writer, not particularly sympathetic to the King James Bible yet with some savvy on this quetion, says:
To Disciple, Or Make Disciples…That is the Question

the modern translations at this verse seem to support the man-centered evangelism techniques that we see so prominent in the church today. Instead of going and instructing and teaching and discipling…we have Christians who go and try to make disciples….to make conversions.

Thus the literal versions, Young and Rotherdam, accurately follow the King James Bible in only using a verbal form in Matthew 28:19. The same correct understanding of simply a verbal form is in all the earlier English Bibles, I checked Coverdale, Tyndale, Geneva and Bishops. And the early translations to Latin and Aramaic simply reflected a verbal form, showing that this was the historic understanding of Matthew 28:19 in the first centuries, when Biblical Greek was a more natural language. And thus the English Latin-based (e.g Wycliffe and Rheims) and Aramaic versions do so as well, simply a verbal form. Also, even after the King James Bible, in the 1700's and 1800's Mace (1729) and Wesley (1790) and Webster (1833), despite a Bible-correction approach, did not make the error of improperly adding a noun. (Even the translations of Ignatius, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Cyprian, Diatessoran and other church writers generally reflect simply the verb.) The modernist error of "make disciples" in Matthew 28:19 appears to have come into the English understanding around the time of the decrepit Revision (1881) as well as Darby (1890 English edition) and is only in line with the later modernist retinkering of historic and clear grammatical understandings.

Originally Posted by againstheresies
No my friends the meaning of this passage is clearly to make disciples by Going, Baptizing, and Teaching.
Error begets error. This interpretation, that this is what is called a 'grouped clause with modal participles' -- the later parts all elements, perhaps sequential, of the initial -- seems to be relatively recent (especially A. T. Robertson) and is hotly contested even in the Greek-ish circles. The English grammar clearly does not indicate this, nor is it required and indicated in the Greek (this is discussed in depth on those biblical greek forums). And one basic mistake that makes this view difficult is the one covered above, the fact that there is not any command to 'make disciples' whatosever.

As a sidenote, the strongest defenders historically of the modal approach, with its implied sequential component, to interpreting Matthew 28:19 is by the proponents of infant baptism, since if you group baptism as the first action after a command to "make disciples" and the baptism is before the teaching, then, you can baptize infants.

Notice how 'against' has to contradict himself, by adding elements and changing around sequence, in his self-proclaimed 'good exegesis'.

Originally Posted by againstheresies
... So go about making disciples of Jesus Christ by taking the initiative to go to them, upon their confession of faith Baptize them into the Church, and continue to teach them the all the truth of God’s Word.
Yet by his own expressed exegesis no confession of faith or teaching precedes baptism, baptism would be the first step.

I had a few more notes, however time is short and a few important issues I have tried to clarify a bit. The issues I discuss here are far more fundamental than 'teach, disciple, instruct' or another word, like the most dubious 'convert' on Matthew 28:19, although that would be interesting as well. It was fun looking into the truth of the matter, to learn about the mistranslation 'make disciples' in Matthew 28:19 in the modern versions (I would like to know more definitely the first proponent of the "make disciples" error, any help on that appreciated).

Originally Posted by Biblestudent
I don't know if there is anyone in this modern apostate times who can translate better a word that was translated by 47 best brains in 1611. I can assume that many (if not all) modern bible translators learned the original languages in seminary, while the KJV translators were all familiar of the languages even from childhood.
Amen. When you read the modern scholars, you can sense their difficulties, they are fractionist and fragmented and ultra-conjectural and unsure and they don't have the sense and heart and clarity of mind of the strong and dynamic scholars of earlier days, the King James Bible translators being the finest company ever assembled.

Note, as I often indicate, I personally claim no Greek expertise. I simply find that the modern correctors write on such a low level that it is not difficult to research their fallacious claims, such as the modal approach of 'against' above being simply declared by fiat against lots of solid argumentation and writing and interpretation. Or checking the historic understanding and usage of a simple linguistic connection of the Greek to the English (verb == verb). And I read carefully the various explanations given by modernists for going around the simplicity of the languages, ie. a straight and simple and direct translation, and generally they have no oomph, no power, no pizazz. And often, on issues like this one, they look to be little more than excuses for the errant alexandrian-based Westcott-Hort text or the errant modern translations. Or they assume a validity that is neither historical nor warranted.


Last edited by Steven Avery; 07-18-2008 at 06:28 AM.

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