Uncovering the true meaning of love, God and the coming of Christ
“Words mean things” is a simple and powerful truism that certainly applies to our study of God’s word. In our mistranslation podcast series, we have endeavored to establish how much a text of Scripture can be changed by the mistranslation or misunderstanding of a single word. Every word of inspired Scripture can and should be scrutinized for its meaning. Mistranslations occur sometimes by accident, sometimes because of preconceived belief and sometimes to deliberately deceive. Confusion is the foundation of deception. Satan likes nothing better than planting seeds of error and seeing them called truth. But by God’s grace, we are blessed with all the needed tools to examine and clarify nearly all questions of mistranslation and misunderstanding. Of course, the holy spirit works with us in our continual search for the truth.
Love, love, love
You would think that something as straight forward as the English word “love” in the Bible would not raise any mistranslation alarms. Sadly, this is not the case. It turns out that our one English word “love” is translated from several Greek words with very different meanings. These different Greek words can mean anything from a benevolent selfless love, to the fraternal affection of team members, to the love of a family. What kind of love does God have for Jesus or for the world of humanity? How about the kind of love Jesus had for those closest to him, or for us? What kind of love are we supposed to have for whom? All these questions can be easily answered when we look at the original words and their meanings. Knowing the answers to these questions dramatically changes our understanding of our Christian calling.
How about the word used for “God” in the Bible? Here again, you would think it would be easy and that the word god would mean “God in heaven,” and that would be it. Nothing is further from the truth. This word has many scriptural applications, some of which are surprising. As we begin to uncover its varied usage, our understanding of the descriptions of God can become more well-rounded. We begin to see how the Bible uses some concepts of royalty that were familiar to the people of the time to describe God himself.
This brings us to the name that God has given us by which to address Him. Even though this name appears over 6,000 times in the Bible, many translations hardly ever translate it! Why? What is there about God’s name that keeps it hidden?
Check out our February 1, 2021 podcast, “Has the Bible been Mistranslated and Misunderstood? (Part V) for more. We clearly address these several questions regarding scriptural accuracy and meaning. We also delve into another mistranslation issue that changes everything about the major prophecy of Jesus’ return. What if the Christian world's current anticipation of Jesus’ return was based on a key mistranslation? Based on the original meaning of specific Greek words, what should our expectations of his return look like? Join us to find some unexpected answers!
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