A Voice in the
Wilderness

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October 9, 2001

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Q/A Topics:
As Moses Lifted up the Serpent

READER QUESTION:
Just a quick question that I would like your insight on...... I hear very often how "Moses lifting up the serpent " is comparible to Jesus being lifted up on the cross. I have never felt comfortable comparing a serpent with Jesus. What am I missing? I do not see the connection, other than the lifted up part.

VW ANSWER:
This comes from Jesus' own words, "And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up.." (Jn3:14) The figure is not the "serpent", as much as it is that the bronze serpent was "hung" up on the pole. (Num21:8-9) A form of a "serpent" was made because it was serpent bites from which the people were dying. But the concept was that, if a person had been bit, they were then to 'look' to the bronze serpent Moses erected (a type of Christ being hung on the cross in the 'future'), and they would not die. In the same way, humanity is dying of sin. But when they 'look' to Jesus' death on the cross, "But as many as received Him, to them He gave the authority to become children of God, to those believing into His name.." (Jn1:12)

It happened to be the serpent. But if that incident had been some other animal by which they had been dying, the object of the incident was that it was raised up on the pole... signifying the salvation Jesus would provide when He would come 1500 years later and be hung on the cross. The people were dying of the serpents, thus, a serpent was hung up. Humanity is dying of "sin"; thus, when Jesus died on the cross He "bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live unto righteousness; by whose stripes you were healed." (Pt2:24)

In the wilderness the people did not 'do' anything for salvation to be healed of the serpent bites... they merely 'looked'... putting their faith/repentance into a response. In the same way, salvation from sin is not any "work" (Eph2:9), but putting faith/repentance into a response and receiving Christ. Like the old song says, "Look to the Lamb of God, Look to the Lamb of God, For He alone is able to save you, Look to the Lamb of God"

"knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your vain way of life received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot." (1Pt1:18-19)

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Salvation vs Regeneration? (October Article on John ch3)

READER QUESTION:
Are you saying that regeneration proceds (sic) salvation?

VW ANSWER:
Here's the verse again. Perhaps you missed it the first time around? The article ended with it....

Tit 3:5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He SAVED us, through the washing of REGENERATION and renewing of the Holy Spirit,

What -is- "Salvation" if not "regeneration". Thus, this is what we continually observe... many people think that they were "saved" by one (or many) of several formulae, but they do not understand regeneration and have never been born from above. Thus, they are not truly saved. Jesus said you CANNOT GET TO HEAVEN without it.

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VW-Edition: Bible names, philosophy, printing? (Oct9,2001)

READER QUESTIONS:
AS I CONTINUE TO EXAMINE SOME OF THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THIS EDITION AND THE NKJV BIBLE IT HAPPENS TO BE THAT SO FAR YOUR EDITION SEEMS TO BE MORE ACCURATE. I'M NOT A SCHOLAR OR A THEOLOGIAN BUT AS A LOVER OF TRUTH WE ARE TO CONTINUE TO PROVE ALL THINGS. I HAVE NOTICED THE NT NAME CHANGES, SUCH AS JUDE TO JUDAS WHICH I FULLY AGREE. YOU CHANGED JAMES TO JACOB WHICH I'M NOT 100 PERCENT SURE. IT SEEMS THAT IT'S SLIGHT DIFFERENT FROM THE HEBREW WORD FOR JACOB. I HEARD IT''S BETTER RENDERED JACOBUS INSTEAD OF JACOB OR JAMES. I HEARD MARY IS REALLY MIRIAM AND JESUS IS JOSHUA SO WHY WEREN'T THESE CHANGES DONE IN YOUR EDITION? ALSO BY USING JACOBUS INSTEAD OF JACOB AVOIDS CONFUSION BETWEEN OT JACOB AND NT JACOBUS WHAT'S YOUR OPINION?

VW ANSWER:

Jacob:
In Hebrew it is "Ya`aqob", in Greek "Iakobos". We must understand the nature of languages; and of course, I am no expert in these things. But in the Romance languages there tend to be more definite declensions and conjugations than what English has evolved into. If you think of the name "Sergius Paulus" (Ac13:7), today we don't say "Paulus" but "Paul", which is how it also appears in the rest of the N.T. for the apostle. In Latin, the "u-s" ending makes the word masculine singular. That's why the name "Paul" when it is given to a girl is "Paula", because the "a" ending is feminine. My name "Paul", if I had been born in ancient Roman times, would have been "Paulus". Other words, e.g. "port", in Latin would be declined, Porto, Portare, Portatus, etc.etc. A person goes through a "portal". When explorers take their canoes out of the water and carry them, that's a "portage". If something is small and easy to carry, it is called "portable". This base word "port" has all these different endings which modify its meaning. But the base meaning is to move/transport something from point A to point B. The base/root word is "port". Same with "Jacob". If we go with Jacobos, then we should also always go with Paulus, Lukus, etc. But the VW-Edition is being compiled for "today", not back during the Roman Empire, etc. "Yacobos" is a Greek equivalent of a Hebrew name, for Jewish men. So, since "Yacob" is the root, and it was "Jacob" in the O.T., I really see no problem with using Jacob in the N.T., too.

Judas:
If Jesus chose two men by the name of "Judas" to be disciples and "Judas" Iscariot betrayed Him (Lk6:16), if Jesus had a brother named "Judas" (Mt13:55), then the book which comes just ahead of Revelation is also "Judas". If that book is "Jude", then these others should also be "Jude". They are all the same name, "Ioudas". Apparently the N.T. Greek equivalent of the O.T. "Judah".

Mary:
In Hebrew is "Miriam", in Greek is "Maria". The N.T. was written in Greek. Perhaps the VW-Edition should say "Maria"? But, everybody is used to "Mary". Mary is the English equivalent for the Romance Maria or Hebrew Miriam. Just like we are using the English "Jehovah" rather than the more Hebrew-roots oriented Yahweh or YHWH. And this is not an issue where accuracy is in question, like the matter of Jacob vs "James" is. [Where did they come up with "James", anyway? Out of thin air? The only thing that comes to mind is that the KJV was commissioned by the most high and lofty "Prince JAMES"] But Mary is an accepted understood variation of Maria. The VW-Edition is not making changes where they are not necessary, but trying to stick with the essential "flow" of what people are used to with the KJV/NKJV/MKJV.

What you are seeing as "differences" are no different than what exists today between various languages. Since I happen to be acquainted with Japanese since I was born and grew up there as a child, let me illustrate again. In recent years a Japanese item, the "futon". has gained acceptance and is sold in American furniture stores. Americans butcher its pronunciation by calling it a [foo'-tahn], when in actuality, in Japanese it is pronounced [F-tone']. But then, Japanese butcher "McDonalds" by saying [mah-koo-dah-no-~roo-do]. In whatever way these things are pronounced, each ethnicity is talking about the same thing. A similar thing is going on with these Biblical names. For instance, to carry the above observations of Paul/Paulus into Japanese, "Paul" is pronounced [poh'-~ru]. John is [yo-hah'-ne]. In both languages, even though said differently, they are still refering to Paul and John. However, it was necessary to correct/fix the matter of "James", because that name simply doesn't exist in the Scriptures. As for Jude/Judas? Well, in that case it was a matter of consistency. And again, one wonders why, if it was "Judas" every place else, why did they render it "Jude" for just one place? (A certain Catholic "saint" comes to mind..??)

Jesus:
In Hebrew is "Y@howshuwa", in Greek is "Iesous". The N.T. was written in Greek. "Jesus", the English equivalent, is certainly similar enough to not confuse people, don't you think.

Not to keep beating a dead horse here, but, back to "James" for a minute. I heard one of the present-day "famous" people once ask the audience to turn to "James ?:??" and then went on to pontificate his own knowledge of the Greek with something like, "You know, this is REALLY 'EEEEOWWKOBOSS', it is REALLY Jacob". And I've heard from a couple of subscribers that they have heard various people say similar things. We have also noted on other occasions how many preachers/teachers, some of them who militantly stick with '???-only' as being "without error", in their speaking will expound upon the Hebrew/Greek and say things like, "Our text (which they otherwise label as being 'without error') says 'this', but in the originals it REALLY MEANS 'that'... the Heb/Grk word is -ACTUALLY- 'blah, blah, or blah'. In my mind I always have wondered, if the originals "really say" something different, why did the translating scholars not render it that way in our English texts to begin with? -THAT- is what the VW-Edition is all about. Fixing "James" into "Jacob" is merely one of -many- such things. Most things are less-blatant than "James". But all four KJV, NKJV, LITV, MKJV have issues here and there. Some are rather doozies. I'm not documenting them all; if I did, I will never get the Edition finished, and at the present rate, it's yet a year off to completion. But people who are reading it occasionally send in comments... they are noticed. And I know we are going in the right direction with this.

People occasionally ask about "printing" it. It needs to get finished, first... if we are still here long enough for that to happen.

Return to VW-Editon "FAQ"

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