If We Know the Bible Correctly

January 18, 2007

Now we don’t have the original copy of the Bible, and the copies of the Bible that we read today are the translated ones from the written copies. Furthermore, it is known that more than 5,000 written copies exist. Many Bible researchers have tried to find which one is nearer to the original, and have competitively published new translations of the Bible.Such work is meaningless because not the thoughts of a man but the thoughts of God are written in the Bible, and not the words themselves but the tenor of the words is important. It is the thoughts of God that cannot be known within the limits of a man. It is written in Exodus 34:27, “Then the LORD said to Moses, ‘Write these words, for according to the tenor of these words I have made a covenant with you and with Israel.'”

1 Corinthians 2:11 says, “For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.” And again, 2 Peter 1:21 says, “For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit.”

People could not fully discover the will of God, and so expressed it differently from one another. That’s why there are more than 5,000 written copies of the original Bible.

Reading the Bible not through spiritual wisdom but through human wisdom, Christianity has divided into many sects.

Let’s ponder upon Philippians 2:6-7 in the “Revised Korean Version of the Bible” that we read today. Before this, if you look at the first page of the Bible showing “Abbreviations for the Books of the Bible”, you can see explanatory notes saying: “A superscripted number in the text indicates that another translation as shown in a footnote is possible. Small letters are added to the text to make clear the meaning of it.”

Now let’s go to what is written in the Bible.

Philippians 2:6-7 says, “Who, being in very nature God (or in the form of God), did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant (or the form of a servant), being made in human likeness.” In the above passages we can find the traces of effort that the translator made to express in writing the will of God contained in the original text as correctly as possible. Thus, nobody can understand the correct meaning of the passages except those who received the Spirit.

How could the word “form” be substituted for the words “very nature” in the same sentence? This is the mystery of the Bible. Bible refers to Christ as the mystery of God because the Bible is the word of God that testifies about Christ.

It is written in Colossians 2:2, “My purpose is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ.”

Therefore, it is meaningless to ask which translation is better than the others. Nobody can understand the will of God without the Spirit of God, whom the Father sent. Those who have the Spirit of God can clearly understand the thoughts of God, even though they cannot read the Bible. Contrarily, for those who don’t receive the Spirit of truth and are separate from Christ, the Bible becomes a stone of stumbling.

In Romans 9:33, it is written, “See, I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall, and the one who trusts in him will never be put to shame.” And again, Peter 2:8 says “and, ‘A stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall.’ They stumble because they disobey the message–which is also what they were destined for.”

The children of God who have the Spirit of God, namely, the Spirit of truth can understand the thoughts of God regardless of the translation. It is written in Hebrews 8:11, “No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest.”

For those who have the Spirit of truth, there is freedom. Thank you, Lord.

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