It’s ironic that the same people who call me a “Progressive” and a “Heretic” have no problem with the changes made to the Bible over the centuries to make the Scriptures say what they want.
For example, I’ve posted extensively about the fact that the word “Homosexual” never appeared in any English translation of the Scriptures until 1946. Evangelicals who learn this never seem to bat an eye at this and instead argue that the word “Trinity” isn’t in the Bible either [as if adding a word that isn’t there to change the meaning of the text is the same as pulling a concept out of the text and giving it a name].
Bottom line: They don’t care that the text was changed because the changes made support their beliefs.
They also don’t care that the word “gladly” was removed from Philippians 2:10-11 which should read:
“…that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should gladly confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
That word, “gladly” suggests that everyone will eventually turn to Christ willingly and joyfully proclaim that Christ is Lord.
The reason Evangelicals don’t care that the Greek word “exomologeō” [which literally means “to acknowledge openly and joyfully“] was downgraded to simply “confess” is because it leaves them wiggle-room to suggest that those sinners who eventually confess will do so through clenched teeth and bend their knees under protest just before they get roasted in the lake of fire forever.
Bottom line: Evangelicals who claim the Scriptures are inerrant and infallible don’t care that changes like this were made because it supports their toxic theology.
Evangelicals also do not care that the word “What!?” was removed from 1 Cor. 14:36 immediately after the verses Paul appears to say that “women should be silent in the church” and that “women should not be allowed to speak as the Law says” and worse yet, that “it is disgraceful for a woman to speak in the church.”
The problem with this is that it totally contradicts everything that Paul has already said in this very same letter about how women should prophesy and how everyone should participate together in the Body of Christ.
Plus, Paul [who was a Pharisee of Pharisees and studied under the High Priest Gamaliel] understood that “the Law” said no such thing about women not being allowed to speak. However, the Talumd does say this explicitly.
Go to the Greek for 1 Cor. 14:36 and you’ll see the word “What?” is there, even though it has been omitted from most modern English translations. Why? Because without that exclamation of shock it supports the notion that Paul was the one who said this and undermines the idea that Paul was actually quoting back to them from the letter they sent to him [see 1 Cor. 7:1] and then responding with “What?!” and then saying: “Did the word of God originate with you? Or are you the only people it has reached? If anybody thinks he is a prophet or spiritually gifted, let him acknowledge that what I am writing to you is the Lord’s command. If he ignores this, he himself will be ignored.”
And what was it that Paul was writing to them that was “the Lord’s command”? Every single thing that comes before 1 Cor. 14 [see 1 Cor. Chapter 1 through Chapter 13] where Paul gives instructions for how EVERYONE can prophesy and pray and share their gifts in the assembly. [Not just the men].
Evangelicals also have no problem whatsoever using the Masoretic text of the Hebrew Old Testament scriptures in their English Bibles. Why? Because even though it was created by Jewish rabbis almost exclusively to debunk Christianity, it contains verses like this in Isaiah 53:10:
“Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.”
This verse [and several others in the Masoretic text] suggest that God was the one who caused Jesus to suffer on the cross. This makes Evangelicals happy because they embrace the doctrine of Penal Substitutionary Atonement Theory [PSA].
So, what’s wrong with this verse? Well, it came a few hundred years after the birth of the Christian faith and it radically re-writes the older Septuagint text which was used and quoted by Jesus himself. [That’s right.]
Want to know what Isaiah 53:10 says in the original Septuagint translation? Here ya go:
“The Lord is willing to cleanse him of the injury. If you make a sin offering, our soul will see long-lived offspring, and the Lord is willing to remove him from the difficulty of his soul.”
Wow. Look at that! The Septuagint text which pre-dates the Masoretic actually teaches us that God’s response to the crucifixion of Jesus was to “cleanse [or heal] him of the injury” and that it was not God, but “you” [or “us”] who made him “a sin offering.”
For more on these sorts of changes made to the Old Testament text in the Masoretic text read THIS.
So, the next time your Evangelical Christian friends try to convince you that they only believe what the Bible teaches, or that they are the ones who care about the inerrancy and infallibility of the text, please feel free to remind them that their version of the Bible was carefully edited and altered to support the doctrines they claim are “clearly taught” by the Scriptures.
Until they actually start to care about these sorts of changes that were made specifically to obscure the true meaning of the Scriptures, I have no time to listen to them label me the “heretic” or “liberal” Christian.
The Bible never points us to the Bible. It always points us to Christ.
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Keith Giles and his wife, Wendy, work with Peace Catalyst International to help build relationships between Christians and Muslims in El Paso, TX. Keith was formerly a licensed and ordained minister who walked away from organized church over a decade ago to start a home fellowship that gave away 100% of the offering to the poor in the community. Today he is the author of the best-selling “Jesus Un” series of books, including “Jesus Unexpected: Ending The End Times To Become The Second Coming” which is available now on Amazon.