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January 30, 2007

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Q/A Topics:
Should I burn the "Message"?

READER QUESTION:
A few years back when I discoverd the Message Bible I was so ecstatic about it.... I bought about 60 of the MSG bible at a go so I could give to my friends and family that were un-saved or didnt like the style of the KJV because some of them not being too literate in the english language foung the KJV difficult to understand....

I still have about 25 of the MSG bible left. I feel like burning it all because i feel really guilty of having given this out.

Am I taking this too far by burning them or should I still give it out but explain to those I give it to that the KJV is a better translation but they can just use the MSG as a modern english translation (so to say).

VW ANSWER:
Indeed.....-BURN- them!!!! so they don't 'accidentally' fall into the hands of somebody.

Have you seen: "The Message" Exposed

No....in many cases....too numerous to tabulate, it is NOT a 'translation' at all, but twists, adds and detracts so much that it doesn't say anything even remotely the same as God's Word. It would be like to go out to a farmer's barn and scoop up a shovel full of manure, and offer it to somebody as an alternative to 'food'. Certainly, it had its origins in the same place food comes from....but by the time it gets processed and eliminated, it is no longer 'food'. Yes? That's what the 'message' is!

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What to do with old perVersions?

READER QUESTION:
I would like your opinion on what I should do with my NIVs, RSV, NASB, NLT, etc versions.

VW ANSWER:
If you think it would be of benefit to have them around for 'reference' purposes when talking with people, stash them away on a book shelf. But if you think you might be tempted to 'read' them for 'benefit'....then throw them away. It pretty much depends on what they mean to you. The books, by themselves, just sitting there, are paper and ink. They cannot hurt you. But if they have 'meaning' to your heart, and if you might be tempted to feed from them... well, you must do as your heart and conscience compel you.

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NIV

READER QUESTION:
Why do they all use the NIV anyway ,

VW ANSWER:
Because all the experts and scholars told them it was the best thing since sliced bread. And if the masses are not true [C]hristians anyway (Rom9:6b), it was a perfect fit.

READER QUESTION:
I read it through once and used it with study guides , and came to not like it at all and right now have stopped reading the bible altogether

VW ANSWER:
I suspect your "discomfort" with the NIV was the Holy Spirit nagging at you, that it is not the Scriptures. I've concluded that's what my discomfort was with the NASB all those years ago. The Holy Spirit "witnesses" (Rom8:16) with our spirits. He knows -what- He directed to be written in the first place (2Pet1:21); so He also knows when a translation is a perversion, and witnesses that to the Believer's heart.

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Mercy vs Love: NIV & MSG observations

VW COMMENTS:
I have never owned an NIV, nor do I desire to spend any $$ to get one. But for what I do it is beneficial to have a copy for 'reference' purposes, and recently discovered a source where I can block/paste the text (a chapter at a time), from which to format a study 'note' set for myself for OnlineBible.

While thus-engaged, I was noticing words here and there at the heads of chapters; and somewhat 'paused' at Ps136 to get a 'breather' from the tedium and noticed how NIV says, "Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good. His love endures for ever." (Ps136:1 niv)

Anybody see anything wrong with that? It may be a generically true statement (that God's love is everlasting), which can be validated from 'other' Scripture. e.g. Jer31:3, 1Ki10:9, etc. But is that what Ps136:1 -says-?

It says, "... for His 'MERCY' is eternal"

Out of curiosity I looked it up in Darby and NASB, they both say "loving-kindness"

What is "mercy"? Is it the same as "love"?

According to the dictionary, "mercy" includes: compassion, clemency, kindness, forgiving, alleviation of distress, relief. And the lexicons behind the Hebrew word define it as: goodness, kindness, faithfulness.

Whereas "love" is defined with words such as: tender, feelings of affection, desire, endearment, attachment, etc.

If one thinks of God's "mercy" towards man, His "kindness" by which He does not "consume" (obliterate) us, it is based on His "compassions" for us. (Lam3:22) and His "love" by which He sent Jesus to die for our sin. (Jn3:16) because it was not His "purpose that any should perish" (2Pe3:9) as He pleads (seemingly emotionally) with the sinner, "Turn! Turn...for why will you die?" (Ezk33:11)

But what gives us "thanks" toward God? His "love", or His "mercy"? God's love might be OK; but we respond to His love with love, not thanks ("we love Him because He first loved us" 1Jn4:19); and without love put into action via "mercy", we would still be dead in sin. But it is His "-mercy-....because of His love" which "made us alive togther with Christ" (Eph2:1-5)

If a person says "I love you" to another, does the other respond with "thank you"? No! If the feeling is mutual, they respond back IN KIND, in word and deed. (De11:1, Jn14:15, 1Jn5:3, 2Jn6) If they responded back with "thank you", the person who first said "I love you" would be hurt, thinking: They don't love me. But when a person has been forgiven a great debt, the debtor responds with profound "thanks".

The Believer has been forgiven the debt of 'death' resulting from sin. (Ezk18:4,20, Jn5:24)

When Darby and NASB make it "lovingkindness", they have -added- "love", albeit keeping "kindness". ("kindness" would certainly be one permissible rendition, based on the lexicons) From other Scripture we -understand- God's love, which motivates His mercy. But this particular Psalm DOES NOT -SAY- "love". It -says- "mercy".

So, you see the slippery slope of the perversions. Darby and NASB changed it to "lovingkindness" some years ago...and a few years later NIV completed the migration, removed "mercy/kindness" altogether, and made it "love". Which -fits- the prevailing doctrine of the apostasy. God is a God of "luuuuuuv"! They, in their minds, can then pretend that God's justice (for which reason "mercy" is -necessary-) doesn't exist. God would never 'judge', He just loves. It's all: Love, love, love, luuuuuuuv!

And yes (later) as I got to Lam3:22, I saw that NIV says, "Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed..." Isn't that today's ???-ology! God is a "God of love", thus He doesn't pass sentence to send anyone to Hell. Hell and Love are mutually exclusive, and so, since God is love, nobody is going to Hell. God accepts us "just as we are", He hasn't consumed (obliterated) us, because He loves us.

And for those who feed on this slippery slope diet, is it any wonder they also refuse to acknowledge "repentance unto life" (Ac11:18)

Oh yes, and... I decided to look these up in the MSG online.

    "Ps136:1 Thank God! He deserves your thanks. His love never quits." (msg)

    "Lam3:22-24 God's loyal love couldn't have run out, his merciful love couldn't have dried up. They're created new every morning. How great your faithfulness! I'm sticking with God (I say it over and over). He's all I've got left." (msg)

Nothing about what we know as the "wages of sin" (Rom6:23) of being "consumed". Zilch! Removed! (Rev22:19)

And what is this??? "He's all I've got left" ??? What's the thinking? When we've exhausted all other options, God rates at the very end, the last, the 'left-overs'? As if to say, "Well, alright then... if I -must-, if there's no other choices, OK God"? (I shudder to even type such words!)

A FAR CRY from Jeremiah's heart, "Jehovah is my portion, says my soul; therefore I will hope in Him" (Lam3:24)

What is a "portion"? One's food; as he also says, "Your Words were found, and I ate them; and Your Word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; for I am called by Your name, O Jehovah the God of Hosts." (Jer15:16)


For you who balk, clutching your perversions tightly to your bosoms, is it yet sinking in 'why' we speak so much of 'translation' issues....? Why a 'correct' translation is SO IMPORTANT! And why a perversion is so eternally DEADLY!

In view of the curses in Revelation ch22 for adding or subtracting from God's Word, I looked that up also in the MSG, and couldn't help following my eyes to the closing words, which popped out at me:

    "Oh yes!"
The way the MSG 'slangs' everything to pieces throughout, I was imagining (in reading those two words) somebody 'rapping' the words from the MSG, and ending, the way Hollywood show biz does, or Paul Schaffer on Letterman, with a little forward step, extending the hands, pointing cool-ly and a snarling: "Oh yeeeaaah!" Is that who the Most High is??? It's a blasphemy worthy of the "Jesus Christ superstar" generation!!

Again: "The Message" Exposed

A proper understanding of "mercy" vs "love", vs twisting them, is the difference between Eternal Life and eternal punishment. If all you think you understand is "love", and you reject "mercy", you cannot be saved. All you have is 'death'. If you insist on "twisting" Scripture (as the perversions do), you do so to your "own destruction" (2Pet3:16)

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but doesn't the Bible say that 'love' saves?

QUESTION:
Don't passages like John 3:16, 1Jn4:12,16, Eph2:4-5, Rom5:8, Jn13:34 indicate that we are saved by "love"?

VW ANSWER:
Back in the 70s, during my college days, the big verse was:

    "A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I love you, that you also love one another. By this everyone will know that you are My disciples, if you have love mutually with one another." (Jn13:34-35)
"love" was the primary doctrine, and this is even something that New Age and the pagan Oprah teaches, that a person must have "love in your heart"
    1Jn4:12,16 says: "if we love one another, God abides in us...he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him"
What is the 'cause', and what is the 'effect'? Are these passages saying that...
    Cause: love - therefore - Effect: we abide in God?
Who was Jesus speaking to? His disciples. Those who had already been chosen and were believers. To whom is John writing? "my little children" (1Jn2:1), the "beloved" (4:1) Believers.

In other words, "love" is a -gauge- of being in Christ. Our salvation is "not -of- works" (Eph2:9), but once we are saved, we are saved "-unto- good works" (vs10) Thus, "love" is one of the "good works" that result from a person being "in Christ"; it is part of the "new creation" of all things "become new" (2Co5:17)

    So, what about Rom5:8 "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us"?

    Jn3:16 is related: "God so loved the world...that everyone believing into Him should not perish but have eternal life"

See? In those famous "salvation" passages... God's love, love, love..!

But what did God's love actually -do-? Was it love, alone? Or does/did the love motivate a resulting 'act', which was efficacious? It is that which Jesus proclaimed before He did it:

    "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends." (Jn15:13)
God's love sent Jesus to -die-. That which I left out of Jn3:16 just now, "gave His only begotten Son" unto -death-. Before Jesus was born, it was announced that He would "save His people from their sins" (Mt1:21) How? By -giving- Himself as our "once for all" sacrifice. (Mt20:28, Jn10:15, Rom6:10, Heb7:27,9:12,26,10:10, 1Pet3:18, Eph5:2)

It was Jesus' -death- and resurrection that saved us (Rom6:3-10) motivated by God's love. His mercy is "rich" -because- of His love (Eph2:4) But we are not save by love, but by being "made alive together with Christ" (vs5-6) Love was the motivation, but the effect was brought about through death, resurrection, propitiation and the -birth- "from above" through the Holy Spirit. (Jn3:3,8 Tit3:5)

In the context of "no greater love" (than death), Jesus proclaims the disciples (those who believe in Him) to be His "friends". Christendom used to sing: "What a friend we have in Jesus" (I haven't heard it sung in a long time) What does Jesus expect from His 'friends'?

    "You are My friends if you do whatever I command you." (Jn15:14) As John reviews later, "For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments." (1Jn5:3, 2Jn6)

    (Maybe that's why they don't sing it? They are not keeping His commandments; indicating that they are not His 'friends'! People usually sing about those things that are real to them)

And the "love [of] one another"? (2Jn5) Again, a 'result' of being in Christ. A gauge. "By this everyone will know" that we are His Disciples. If a person doesn't love other Believers, it's a sure sign that they are not in Christ.

But love for God, and keeping His commandments have gone hand-in-hand ever since the beginning, even in the OT (Ex20:6, De5:10,7:9,11:1,Da9:4) And it did not go away in the "age of grace". Grace (mercy) is that by which we are saved. It was called "mercy" in the OT, and "grace" in the NT; but it's the same thing. So, because we are saved by grace, does not usher away the -resulting- "fruits" of salvation. A Believer is known and discerned "from their fruits" (Mt7:16,20)

  • "-unto- good works" (Eph2:10)
  • Demonstrating one's faith "from/by [their] works" (Ja2:18,24-26)
Another way of understanding that one passage: "if we love one another (it indicates that) God (already) abides in us..." (1Jn4:12,16) or the other one: "you are (shown to be) My friends if you do whatever I command you" (Jn15:14)

Taking from the earlier thought, it is the opposite: It is...

    Cause: abiding in God - thus - Effect: love
As we've made the observation in the past: If you see entities and organizations exhorting and counseling their followers -to- 'love'; because they (presumabely) don't have love; it is a sure gauge that they are not Believers in Jesus Christ. They are not [C]hristian, by definition. We say it all the time: Dogs bark, Cats meow, Ducks quack.... and Christians love. By definition of the "new creation". If they don't have love, they don't have Jesus Christ, they are not [C]hristians... because "God is love"
    "He who does not love does not know God, for God is love." (1Jn4:8)
Love (within people) does not -create- the birth from above, but -results- from it. God loves the sinner enough to extend His mercy/grace to save with Jesus' shed blood (Rev1:5); and once saved, the person is now also characterized by God's love. "We love Him because He first loved us" (1Jn4:19)

God's love yearns for the sinner to "choose life". (De30:19) But is also a gentleman and does not force the sinner. But His love is ever "ready to forgive", if only the sinner will "call upon" Him. (Ps86:5, Rom10:13)

But sins are washed away, and thus Salvation is attained, by Jesus' blood. (1Pet1:19, Rev7:14)

Like that other song I never hear anymore:

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Other NIV omissions

VW COMMENTS:
The stuff (above) was written, and then I finally finished formatting the text file of the NIV, and ran the OLB utility to -create- the 'note' set...and it kept stumbling where verse headers were not in the proper format...as it turned out, due to the fact that a whole bunch of little passages are 'missing' out of the NIV.

In Perversions: Doctrinal Subterfuge some time back we observed the differences between Antioch and Alexandria with examples through Acts & Romans, based on the margin references in the NKJV to "NU" renderings. Now that I have Darby, NASB and NIV as 'note' sets in my OLB I was just now able to quickly verify that all three agree with that commentary. But (for you KJ-onlyists who claim that the NKJV is in that same family) the NKJV agrees with the Antioch texts such as Geneva, KJV, LITV, MKJV, VW. When one looks up the references in that commentary, and then checks a particular translation against it, it is clear to see which versions come from which texts.

Above, I mentioned how the NASB had come along and changed some things, and then a few years later the NIV came out and 'completed' the mutation. And since the NIV came out, if my observations over the years have been correct, I would guess that even some who had been using the NASB gravitated over to the NIV. Would it be safe to say that the NIV became the modern 'standard', as the KJV had been for centuries?

So, what are these passages the NIV has omitted? If we were to look it up they have already been documented by other discernment entities elsewhere. Some of the omissions have nothing to do with doctrine. But let's look at a representative handful of ones that -do- relate to doctrine, and see 'which' doctrines are being omitted, shall we:

  • Mt18:11 "For the Son of Man has come to save that which was lost."

  • Mk7:16 "If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear."

  • Mk9:44,46 "where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched."

  • Mk11:26 "But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in Heaven forgive your trespasses."

  • Mk15:28 "And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, And He was numbered with the transgressors."

  • Ac8:37 "If you believe with all your heart, it is lawful. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God."
All six of these are missing from the NIV. (The NASB left these in, albeit 'begrudgingly' with "[]" brackets. One or two of them are also omitted in Darby.)

They cover key doctrines:

  1. Jesus' -purpose- in coming to earth, to "save the lost"
  2. Listening to and heeding Jesus' teaching
  3. The realities of eternal punishment of the Lake of Fire
  4. That there are things for which God will -not- forgive
  5. That Scripture prophecy should be fulfilled
  6. The need for Faith in Jesus Christ, and that Jesus is Deity
Putting everything in this mailing together now in a little nutshell:
    If God is a "loving" God, and there is no need for "mercy", Jesus didn't need to "save" us, because 'hell' fire does not exist. There is no situation which God does not automatically forgive because of His "sheer grace" (msg) And since these perversions were written for people who have become their own 'little gods' (which we've observed in other past writings), we don't need to heed Jesus. Nor does Jesus figure into anything. And furthermore, why should we even pay attention to the Bible, if it does not prove itself through fulfilled prophecy?
All this from the NIV? Indeed!

These are -basic- 'fundamental' -core- doctrines of Biblical Christian Faith. Zilched by the NIV.

As has been said on other occasions, it -IS- 'POSSIBLE' to learn the Gospel of Salvation from both the NASB and NIV, if a person reads extensively enough. (I don't know that the same can be said of the "Message") We've also observed that it -IS- 'POSSIBLE' to find God in a catholic or mormon church, insofar as they read or proclaim the scantest bit of Scripture. (see: Is55:11 & Rom10:17)

But do you see the progression? Do you see 'which' things the NIV "twists" to the compilers'/readers' "destruction"? (2Pet3:16)

I've only presented a 'few' things, only some (there were more) of those things which caused OLB's utility to 'stop', until I went back into the text file and fixed the verse headers. If I were to actually spend some time in the NIV, reading side-by-side comparing with the Scriptures, I wonder what else I would come up with? I don't have that desire. As it was, I started out really balking at the whole concept of spending 'time' to make the OLB module...just could not get myself motivated to do it for the longest time. But there are times when people communicate with me, quoting from the NIV...so it is a 'tool' that I begrudgingly 'need' to have for 'reference' purposes.

You that still cling to the NIV, because you don't think anything is ALL -THAT- BAD with it...is anything yet sinking in? Is 'Truth' yet getting your attention?

In our local news within this past week, and again in this evening's news, was the report of some little boy that had been missing, and they found his body. Drowned in a septic tank in western Montana. What a way to die!!!

But folks...these perversions are from satan's swill pit. Drowning in a septic tank would be a 'picnic' compared to what is in store for the sinner on Judgment Day!

    "...tormented day and night forever and ever" (Rev20:15,10b) "where their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched." (Mk9:44,46)

    "And they shall go out and observe the dead corpses of the men who have rebelled against Me. For their worm does not die, nor is their fire quenched; and they shall be an abhorrence to all flesh." (Is66:24)

Pretending it doesn't exist does not change reality!

Amen!

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Bible languages and Dispensations

READER QUESTION:
The Sacred Scriptures Bible, Bethel Edition writes "The beginning of the good tidings: of Yahshua the Messiah, the Son of Yahweh." Is this the correct name for Jesus, Yahshua and for God the Father, Yahweh? The website claims so. See http://www.assembliesofyahweh.com/examples.htm .

VW ANSWER:
Mark 1:1 ?
Yes, this example is correct. Some of the other examples on that page are not quite. e.g. Their rendering of Ac11:26 (refuse) seems a bit far-fetched.

If a translation is to be geared to English-speaking 'Jews', who are also versed and/or fluent in 'Hebrew', then their rendition of Mk1:1 would make perfect sense. But the Greek did not do that when the NT was written originally in Greek. And so, to do what the assemblies of Yahweh have done is to, in a sense, "correct" the -original- Greek NT as it was written. (Same thing many KJ-onlyists claim for the KJV when it differs from the Heb/Grk) If the NT had been written originally in Hebrew, and then translated to English, what they have done would likely be a good thing. But when they have done what they did, they are essentially saying the greek was 'wrong'. But God used the prevailing language of the day, Greek, (as English is today) to write the NT. And so, to say "Jesus Christ" and "God", for English speaking people, being translated from the original Greek, is the right thing to do.


DISPENSATIONALLY APPROPRIATE:
Another thought occurred to me after answering this person; something I had never thought of before in quite this way: The fact that the NT was written originally in Greek was also -dispensationally- (Eph3:1-6) 'appropriate'. In speaking of the nature of the "gospel of Christ", Paul repeats the expression, "to the Jew first and also to the Greek" (Rom1:16, 2:9-10)

The primary OT focus was Israel (Hebrew). The primary NT focus, when Israel did not receive Messiah (Jn1:11), and hard-heartedly rejected the Holy Spirit (Ac7:51), switched "to the Gentiles" (Ac28:28) (Greek) When God's focus was on Israel, did it not make perfect sense that the Scriptures to the Jews would be in the Jewish language, Hebrew. As Israel has been temporarily cut off (Rom11) and the Church is primarily Gentile, does it not also make sense that the NT Scriptures to the Church should have been written in the primary Gentile language of the day, Greek.

Messianists can try all they like to make the Church 'Hebrew'... to "Judaize" the Gentiles (Ga2:14), but it does not change the facts that the Church is primarily Gentile, not adhering to the OT Jewish traditions (Ac15) and the NT was written in Greek. God's various names may -sound- a bit different in Greek than they do in Hebrew, but if God through the Holy Spirit wrote it that way, it must be "Okay" with God. (Not said glibbly...but stating what should be obvious)

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