Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Edited-Not Translated, Part 3

Let us start out with the observation that the Bible is a balanced document. If there are two opposite ways of going wrong, the Bible will give the appropriate warning. The Bible would warn of opposite evils such as dehydration versus drowning in prorper context, should such context occur. A prime example of the Bible's balance is Ephesians 6. In verses 1-3, it says in the NAB:

1 Children, obey your parents (in the Lord), for this is right.
2)"Honor your father and mother." This is the first commandment with a promise,
3)"that it may go well with you and that you may have a long life on earth."

which sounds like an admonition to children. Because the Bible is balanced, it is always a good idea to read the next verse:

4) Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up with the training and instruction of the Lord.

which applies to parents. The same pattern repeats itself with Employees and Employers (actually the words "Slave" and "Master" are used) for verses 5-9. With this thought of Balance in mind, let us proceed to Deuteronomy 30:15-20, which is an example of Bible Balance, which unfortunately, the EDITED 1599 Geneva Study Bible sleights. To show that verses 15, 17, 18, and 20 have been omited, edited out, or replaced with footnotes, I will actually show from verse 14 to the copyright notice at the bottom of the page, including the blank space where verse 20 would have appeared. We note that the "fingerprints" of Theodore de Beza on this document:

Observing footnotes k & l, we note that verse 15 is absent; observing footnotes m & n, we note that verses 17 & 18 are gone; and finally, observing footnote o and the copyright information, we note that verse 30 is missing. We note the gloss of footnote o is an attempt to override the meaning of verse 30. Footnote o says "That is, love and obey God; which is not in man's power, but only God's Spirit works it in his elect.", even though verse 19 says "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, [that] I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore {reference to footnote}o choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live".

When I compare Scripture with Scripture in the Old Testament, there is one Cardinal Rule I follow, which does not apply to the New Testament. I consult the Septuagint Version. The Septuagint is the product of 72 Jewish Scholars whose work was to compile the Torah. The Septuagint is the Definitive Source Bible of the Old Testament. Though occasionally there is some occasional haggling about the rarely dissenting Samaritan Septuagint, the Septuagint invariablty settles the issue. All other Old Testament Versions derrive from the Septuagint, and therefore there is no need to quote them. The Septuagint says:

15 Behold, I have set before thee this day life and death, good and evil.

16 If thou wilt hearken to the commands of the Lord thy God, which I command thee this day, to love the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to keep his ordinances, and his judgments; then ye shall live, and shall be many in number, and the Lord thy God shall bless thee in all the land into which thou goest to inherit it.

17 But if thy heart change, and thou wilt not hearken, and thou shalt go astray and worship other gods, and serve them,

18 I declare to you this day, that ye shall utterly perish, and ye shall by no means live long upon the land, into which ye go over Jordan to inherit it.

19 I call both heaven and earth to witness this day against you, I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse: choose thou life, that thou and thy seed may live;

20 to love the Lord thy God, to hearken to his voice, and cleave to him; for this is thy life, and the length of thy days, that thou shouldest dwell upon the land, which the Lord sware to thy fathers, Abraam, and Isaac, and Jacob, to give to them.

Clearly, verse 15 was edited out because God was using this language to frame a choice. Footnotes k & l are irrelevant to the issue. Verse 17, which says "If thy heart change", presupposes Free Will. Verse 18 tells of the consequences of making the wrong choice, again presuming the Children of Israel had a choice. Footnotes m & n obscure verses 17 & 18 by taking their place. Verse 20 clarifies verse 19 to mean that you should choose life so that your seed may live (from verse 19, but continuing into verse 20) to love the Lord Thy God, . . . etc. Footnote o is the most eggregious, as it is an actual attempt to override Scripture with a footnote:

(o) That is, love and obey God; which is not in man's power, but only God's Spirit works it in his elect.

De Beza had to get in that superfluous and gratuitous reference to "his elect" into his footnote.

In my earlier years, Deuteronomy 30 was a beakon to me, stating that my choices mattered and that my existence was not necessarly predetermined. Looking back, I felt that the "religious" leaders with whom I grew up under were unimportant little men who overemphasized their importance, that God was in their pocket, and there wasn't anything I could do about it. Deuteronomy 30 showed me that God was NOT in their pocket, and that my choices really mattered to God, though I a tool in God's hands be. Having actually met a Bishop, a truly Important Christain Leader and not a Self-Important one, I can say that I notice the difference. By Their Works You shall Know Them.

I wish to convey special thanks to Pizza Man for inspiring this post.


Pizza Man said...

Interesting post. I didn't realize the the Geneva Study Bible actually cut verses out!

Constantino della Brazos said...

Pizza Man:

Wait until I unload again upon Calvinism for Revelation 22:19. I scorched them for leaving it out, but not for what the verse actually said. Talk about Double Whammys, Revelation 22:19 is the gift that keeps on giving!