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Friday, March 16, 2007

Twisting Scipture Part 1


How often have you encountered some bizarre doctrine only to be stunned to hear a Bible verse quoted to support it? With new religious cults springing up almost daily and old ones growing rapidly, this is more and more common. How are they seemingly able to twist Scripture to mean something Christians have never believed it to mean in two thousand years?
James Sire, author of the Universe Next Door and How to Read Slowly, has isolated twenty separate kinds of reading errors which are characteristically made by cultists as they interpret the Bible. He covers the full range form simple misquotation to complex argumentation which links one slightly eccentric interpretation to another, mixes in a few orthodox readings and ends with a conclusion totally foreign to the biblical world view. Sire also handles twisted translation, over specification, virtue by association, ignoring the context and others. Scripture Twisting is a great book to pick up and read. I recommend it!

1. INACCURATE QUOTATION:

A biblical text is referred to but is either not quoted in the way the text appears in any standard translation or is wrongly attributed. Example: the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi says, "Christ said, 'Be still and know that I am God.'" This text is found only in Psalm 46:10.

2. TWISTED TRANSLATION:

The biblical test is re translated, not in accordance with sound Greek scholarship, to fit the preconceived teachings of a cult. Example: the Jehovah's Witnesses translate John 1:1 as "In [the] beginning the Word was. and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god". The correct translation is: "
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God."

3. THE BIBLICAL HOOK:

A text of Scripture is quoted primarily as a device to grasp the attention of readers or listeners then followed by teaching which is so unbiblical that it would appear far more dubious to most people has it not been preceded by a reference to Scripture. Example: Mormon missionaries quote James 1:5 which promises God's wisdom to those who ask him and follow this by explaining that when Joseph Smith did this he was given a revelation from which he concluded that God the Father has a body.
James 1:5 NKJ-"
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him."

4. IGNORING THE IMMEDIATE CONTEXT:

A text of Scripture is quoted but removed from the surrounding verse which form the immediate framework for its meaning. Example: Alan Watts quotes the first half of John 5:39; "You search the Scriptures, because you think that in them you have eternal life", and Alan claims that Jesus was challenging His listeners' overemphasis of the Old Testament, but the remainder of the immediate context reads, "and it is they that bear witness to me; yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life", which shows that Jesus was upholding the value of the Old Testament as a testimony to Himself.


5. COLLAPSING CONTEXTS:

Two or more verses which have little or nothing to do with each other are put together as if one were a commentary on the other(s). Example: the Mormons associate Jeremiah 1:5 with John 1:2&14 and thus imply that both verses talk about the premortal existence of all human beings; Jeremiah 1:5 however speaks of God's foreknowledge of Jeremiah (not his premortal existence) and John 1:2 refers to the pre-existence of the Son of God and not to human beings in general.

Jeremiah 1:5 NKJ " “ Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”

Note from Bible Truth: The Son of God (Creator/Jesus) knows who you are and your true name...you have predestined Good Works to do...however this belief that Jeremiah or you and me existed before we were physically born on earth is not biblically correct...God's foreknowledge and man's pre-mortal existence are two totally different concepts and this pre-mortal existence idea makes no biblical sense.

John 1:2 NKJ "
He was with God in the beginning."

John 1:14 NKJ "14The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth."

TO BE CONTINUED....


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5 Comments:

  • "What About John 1:1?"

    ~~~~~~~~~~~

    Today, an important part of Bible study is the comparison of translations. Regarding their comparative value, Miles Coverdale (b.1488-d.1568), who produced the first complete printed translation of the Bible into English, wrote: "one translation declareth, openeth and illustrateth another, and ... in many cases one is a plain commentary unto another."

    The King James Version translators had also appreciated the work of early translators, for even upon their cover page they explained that their own work had been, "Translated out of the Original Tongues and with the Former Translations Diligently Compared and Revised."

    For many, John 1:1 plainly declares Jesus (the Word) is God. And yet, few are aware of the number of other ways in which hundreds of Biblical Theologians, Scholars and Translators alike have, down thru the centuries, chosen to render this verse - as something other than, "and the Word was God."

    John 1:1 may be the most discussed, explained and/or debated scripture of any in the Bible. After 15 years study, there is soon to be released an Extensive Annotated Bibliography, providing the dedicated student of the Bible a sampling of what has been offered by many, well respected Bible scholars, that is, as to the many appropriate, alternative renditions of this most controversial scripture, John 1:1.

    Agape: john1one@earthlink.net

    ~~~~~~~~~~~

    Please visit: http://www.goodcompanionbooks.com
    "Good Companion Books" is dedicated to publishing well researched, informative books, on certain key Biblical subjects.

    ~~~~~~~~~~~

    By Blogger JohnOneOne, at 6:26 PM  

  • good post ;
    long over due!!!

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 12:31 AM  

  • John 1:1-

    Thanks for the comment. I will buy and read this Annotated Bibliography once it is out. What is your opinion on John 1:1 and what the Jehovah Witnesses have in their translation? I cannot through my own study see how this verse makes sense, let alone how they came up with it? Also, do you have a direct link to this Bibliography so that I purchase the right one?

    By Blogger Blogger, at 1:49 PM  

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    This website summarizes 300 United States court cases and lawsuits affecting children of Jehovah's Witnesses, including dozens of cases where the Parents refused to consent to life-saving blood transfusions:

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    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 3:02 PM  

  • Dear BibleTruthOnline,

    Perhaps the following statements from a few Trinitarin scholars might shed some light on the matter:

    "In this passage [John 1:1] the principal proof [for “the Word,” Jesus, being identified as God] does not lie in the word λόγος [Logos], nor even in the word θεός [theos, translated by him as “God”], which in a larger sense is often applied to kings and earthly rulers,…"

    Knapp, Georg[e] Christian (b.1753-d.1825), D.D., Professor of Theology in the University of Halle. Lectures on Christian Theology. Translated by Woods, Leonard (b.1807-d.1878), Jun.D.D., President of Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine. Second American Edition. Reprint from the last London Edition. (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Thomas Wardle, 1845), p. 136 (brackets ours). BT75 .K64 1845 / 35022780.

    ~~~~~

    "The Hebrew for ‘gods’ (‘elōhîm) could refer to various exalted beings besides Yahweh [or, Jehovah], without implying any challenge to monotheism,…"

    Taken from: Blomberg, Craig L. (b.?-d.?), Distinguished Professor of the New Testament, Denver Seminary, Colorado. The Historical Reliability of John’s Gospel: Issues & Commentary. (Downers Grove, Illinois: InterVarsity Press, c2002), “The feast of Dedication” ([John] 10:22-42), p. 163. BS2615.6.H55 B56 2002 / 2001051563.

    Agape, JohnOneOne.

    By Blogger JohnOneOne, at 9:01 AM  

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