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God-Breathed (2 Timothy 3:16)

 "All Scripture is inspired by God and is profitable for teaching, for rebuking, for correcting, for training in righteousness,..."---2 Timothy 3:16

In the verse above it is stated that the scriptures are "God-Breathed" and in the Greek the term is "Theopneustos".  I personally view this as the Holy Spirit pushing or prompting individuals to write the truth down so story lines and doctrines are correct, but in their own style and wording, and with the allowance of rounded numbers and figures of speech...etc.  I do not subscribed to the view that writers of the original manuscripts were used by God as court stenographers and where exact spellings might even be dictated by the spirit.  If the "stenographer" view were correct then we could not truly possess the word of God in English as there is not an exacting correspondence of English words with either Hebrew or Greek.  A good example is the Greek word makarios, which is generally translated "blessed" in our English translations for Matthew 5 and the wonderful Beatitudes, however, "blessed" does not mean precisely the same as makarios.  Some use the word "happy" and some translations use more than one word...or they give a note about the issue.  We also have three synoptic gospels (Mark, Luke, and Matthew) that differ on lesser issues, although with no contradictions or even clear paradoxes. For example, the Gospel of Luke mentions that it was about 8 days...in chapter 9, whereas the Gospels of Matthew and Mark say 6 days (Mark 9 & Matthew 17).  It does not matter because no story or doctrine is changed...

This is my general view of this issue and I welcome other views.  I wish to hear from the brethren.

pastor zomok

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  • I think when the learned get too technical, it scares new people away from trying to read the Bible. The post I made I tried to focus on one thing. That way others get a chance to contribute. It's a discussion. I didn't see anyone talk about the figures of speech in the Bible. Or maybe I missed it. A lot of the Bible you can take literally, but the figures of speech you have to take time and consider much more. A study of the figures of speech in the Bible could take a life time. A figure of speech is not a mistake.

    And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth. (Isaiah 11:12)

    We all know the earth is not flat. It's sort of a round shape. Is this a mistake in translation? Not really. If you look at some of the other translations, they all agree. I looked at other similar verses. I concluded that no matter where and how far away Israel and Judah are, God's bringing them back together. Consider Mark 13:27. It seems to be understood we have north, south, east and west, but heaven also gets into the picture. But if you're not considering the beauty of the figure of speech, you might think there's a mistake and the earth has an end and if you go far enough you would drop off the earth.

    And he will send his angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of the heavens. (Mark 13:27 NIV)

    I like the other translations. If I'm having trouble figuring out what the KJV is saying, I will look at other translations. You have to let God speak to you. The answer may not come right away. At times I will get the answer later. I'll hear a teaching or read a discussion and aha there it is. I think God will explain it to me. I don't demand an answer, but I will ask Him to please explain I do not understand.

    Consider some of the conversations Lot and God had. God gave Lot divine secrets. Which translation is easier to understand? Perhaps NLT loses something in the translation.??? If you study the constellations, Pleiades represents God's people. Pleiades is placed over the charging bull (Taurus). It is a symbol of God's judgement. Our Saviour is coming back to pass judgment and to rule. One of the eyes of Taurus means governor. If you consider Orion, the constellation representing the river of fire proceeds from his foot. Look at Job 19:25. Our redeemer lives and in the end he will stand on the earth.

    "Can you direct the movement of the stars--binding the cluster of the Pleiades or loosening the cords of Orion? (Job 38:31 NLT)

    Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion? (Job 38:31 KJV)

    I know that my redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand on the earth. (Job 19:25 NIV)

    Consider the HCSB translation:  But I know my living Redeemer, and He will stand on the dust at last. (Job 19:25)

    You have to be willing to let the scriptures speak to you. Which translation speaks to you?

    For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword, cutting between soul and spirit, between joint and marrow. It exposes our innermost thoughts and desires. (Hebrews 4:12 NLT)

    For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. (Hebrews 4:12 KJV)

    God bless,

    Mary

    Isaiah 11:12
    He will raise a signal for the nations and will assemble the banished of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from...
    • I agree with everything you have written her Mary, as usual your logic comes through, and I am impressed with your knowledge of astronomy and the meanings in the constellations, which God uses, as He did to announce the birth of His Son.  I love figures of speech and I love to find their origins, many of which come from the scriptures and many from marine traditions.  There are many people who still believe that the Earth is flat, I have had many discussions with these people, (just check out YouTube) and many of these people continue to reference these verses in the Bible.  Likewise, many Christians look for a translation or a 'version' of the Bible to justify their false beliefs, looking for a translated verse that will fit their idea, rather than the scripture modifying their belief.  With between two and three-hundred different versions in English, there is plenty of material to search through.  A single word, slightly in error can change the meaning of a passage.

      A couple of years ago a friend of ours was preaching in church, she based her preach on one verse, the preach was very good, as most all of her preaches were.  However I had my tablet with me, as usual, and quickly looked up the verse and Hebrew and Greek key words; what I found was that three of the words in the NIV had been translated very sloppily and had changed the meaning of the verse.  The ESV and the KJV, as well as the YLT all had it correct.  After the service we chatted as usual and I gently pointed out and showed her the other translations.  Our friend was so embarrassed, and the following week, as I am sure the Spirit prompted her to do, she stood and apologised. 

      The point is that we cannot just look at one translation, as you said Mary, especially when we are preaching; we have to get it right.  OK I have come to intensely dislike the NIV, it's not bad, just shoddy, I use primarily the ESV, backed up by the YLT and a Jewish Orthodox and Hebrew Bible, but I also look at several other Bible versions including the KJV and NKJV.  What I do not use are any of the paraphrased versions, like the 'Message' or GNFMM and their like, these are just someone's opinion of what the Bible should say.

      Don't you just love the Book of Job?  There is so much in that book, and so overlooked, as a physicist I love it because it has so many proofs of God existence and that the Bible is indeed His word.  When the Book was written, before even Moses existed, God told us that the three stars in Orion's belt were loose and moving apart, and that the beautiful Pleiades were indeed bound together, how would they know that other than God telling them?  And there is so much more.

      Isaiah 11:12
      He will raise a signal for the nations and will assemble the banished of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from...
      • There are people who still believe the earth is flat, and they're on youtube? What about Psalm 103:12? If you go north on the globe, you eventually go south. However, if you go east, you never meet the west. It's infinite. God's forgiveness goes on and on. Would the earth is flat group miss the meaning of that verse?

        As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us. (NASB) 

        You know how when you're a kid and you dream and talk about what you want to do when you grow up? I wanted to live on the moon. I've always loved the night sky. My dad has stories of me saying...Look at the stars daddy, look at the stars. I had this aha moment with Ephesians when I realized getting saved and having God in my life, I have exceeded my dreams.

        But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. (Ephesians 2:4-10 KJV)

        I just want people to come to His Word and go beyond their dreams.  Above all that they could ask or think.

        Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen. (Ephesians 3:20,21 KJV)

        Consider Proverb 2:1-8 KJV. When we read the Bible do we search for hidden treasures?

        My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee; So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding; Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures; Then shalt thou understand the fear of the LORD, and find the knowledge of God. For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding. He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk uprightly. He keepeth the paths of judgment, and preserveth the way of his saints.

        Another childhood memory, the local radio station used to have a treasure hunt. It was maybe $500. The radio person would give a clue everyday. When the listeners began to figure out the location, they'd bring their lawnmowers and shovels. Even the kids got involved. They would walk around and dig for hours and turn over every rock or log. Do we search the Word of God this way? Okay maybe we don't understand a verse today, but do we ask God about it? Do we do our end of the work and look the words up in a concordance, the dictionary? Are we patient, He'll reveal the meaning to us. He always does. He's never disappointed me.

        God bless,

        Mary

        Ephesians 2:5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace yo…
        • "There are people who still believe the earth is flat, and they're on youtube?"

          Oh, yes there are many who insist the the Earth is flat, I even encountered one on a Christian site called Creation Conversations, there was nothing I or anyone else could say that would convince him otherwise.  Likewise on You Tube, I've given up now, because they are just deluded.  See below:

          Stand by to laugh your socks off. . . .

          Ephesians 2:5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace yo…
          • It is actually sad, but we see people in denial of so many things and ignoring facts.  A good example is where many biologist ignore Biogenesis, which is not only experimentally proven, but is actually self-evident that life only comes from prior life.  It is like 2 plus 2 equals 4, and not just opinion but because they are mixing materialistic philosophy with science, or even atheism with science, they keep trying to tell us that life itself can evolve by chance.  Science is theory and testing; science is not materialistic philosophy.

            With "flat Earthers" they have a cumbersome theory that is akin to those that still think life can evolve from dead matter, and they try to prop it up with statements that go nowhere. 

            Ephesians 2:5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace yo…
        • One of the greatest verses for me was this one:

          ‘Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’

          Jeremiah 33:3
          And I keep doing that.  A long time ago my employer asked me to do a degree in astronomy, I can say I was much interested in astronomy in those days, but I did it anyway, because I needed some understanding of astronomy and cosmology.  I needed to know how things reacted in space, how you got something into orbit and keep it there, how gravity worked and all sorts of things like that.  Well I got the degree and got a cosmology degree to go with it.  I wasn't a Christian then and although I looked through telescopes and saw planets stars and galaxies, they were just objects.  Years later, a long time after I gave my life to Jesus, and back in the mid-nineties I think, I was given a pair of binoculars for Christmas.  At some point over the Christmas/New Year holiday I went out-back (back-yard), it was a frosty clear night and the stars were so bright as our yard was so dark.  On a whim, I went back in a grabbed my new binoculars, lifted them to my eyes and pointed then toward heaven.  What I saw blew me away, the sky exploded with light, where once was darkness there was now a million diamonds set in a blue velvet sky.  At that moment I was hooked, i dug out my old astronomy books and bought a planisphere, very soon I built myself a telescope out of bits and pieces and I was again blown away at my first sight of Saturn, a golden broach in the sky.
          God had opened my eyes to His wonders in the sky:
          The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. [Psalm 19:1]
          The more I look at the sky at night, the more I understand of how the universe works, the more I read about distant stars, black holes, galaxies and the comets, the more I wonder at His creation, how marvelous and wonderful it is.
          Ephesians 2:5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions--it is by grace yo…
  • Very interesting topic.  And there seems to be a lot at stake here.  When I read that man does not live by bread alone but by every Word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God (Deut 8:3; Matt 4:4) I am faced with a choice.  Do I believe this thing that God has said or don't I?  If I believe it then I must needs believe that every single Word is important.  Then I read over in John's Gospel that if I continue in the Words of Christ then and only then am I His disciple (Joh 8:31-32).  A dreadful thought occurs... What if I don't have all of His Words?  How can I continue in His Words if I don't have them?  The crisis worsens when I look at the dressing down Christ gave these same Pharisees.  He told them that those who are of God hear His Words and that they heard them not because they were not of God (Joh 8:47).  Well, how can I hear them if they've been lost somewhere in history?  In fact, it turns out that there are all kinds of promises from God that can only be fulfilled in me if I have His Words and believe in them.  Without His Words I can't get a prayer answered (Joh 15:7).  Without His Words I can't know the Truth (Joh 8:32).  And how can I say that I Love God if I don't have His Words (Joh 14:23)?

    What a desperate situation I find myself in.  How can I entrust so much into the hands of Bible translators?  When there are so many contradictory translations out there I can be sure of this much - there are a lot of errors and omissions!  Lord, what will I do!

    But then I hear the voice of God gently reassuring me - - -   Fear not.  The scripture cannot be broken (Joh 10:35) For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled (Mat 5:18).  My Words are pure and I will keep them forever (Psa 12:6-7).  And he that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words, hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day (Joh 12:48). 

    I believe God.  I believe He has given us His Words by inspiration.  I believe I have all of them.  In all the years that I have been researching this subject I have never found a translation error in the King James Bible.

    I respect the Brethren.  They are God's Children and bound for Glory with Christ.  I mean no disrespect when I say that I disagree with Brother Zomok's assertion that the word "Blessed" (in the beatitudes Matt 5) is not a completely correct translation of makarios they do both mean to be fortunate, well off, in heavenly bliss.  The fact that different translations give a different English word speaks nothing about how the Greek should be translated.  It only suggests that maybe some translations have it wrong.   Furthermore, the apparent discrepancy between the gospel accounts of the events leading up to the transfiguration only point to the fact that Christ was traveling about preaching in many different places the same message.  In Luke a sermon was given 8 days prior to the transfiguration but as Christ repeated His message a couple of days later to a different group of people it was now 6 days prior to the transfiguration.  I see no grounds for starting to doubt the inerrancy of God's Words here.

    I share this, not to be contentious, but to encourage God's people to recognize the power of God and to Trust in His might hand which He has had on the course of history.  How is God's Power to preserve His Words somehow a miracle too great for God to achieve?  Didn't he part the sea for Israel?  Didn't He sustain them in the desert 40 years?  Didn't he give them victory of their enemies when they were outnumbered?  Didn't the Word precisely predict the details of the incarnation of the Messiah without one single mistake?  God is still working miracles.  The unbreakable Scripture is probably the most astonishing monument to the Power and Authority of God.  Precise, not only down to the letter, but down to the parts of the letters.

    The originals are lost.  But fortunately for us the blueprint is settled in Heaven forever (Psa 119:89). Throughout history God has called and prepared men to bring that blueprint down and manifest it in many different languages.  In 500 BC the source was in Hebrew.  In AD 100 the N.T. source was in Greek and Syriac and after that in Old Latin.  Sometime later it was in Italic.  Then the Byzantines carried it again in Greek down through the centuries until Erasmus and the Reformers ultimately brought forth the crowning achievement of the Reformation, the King James Bible.  Dr Frank Logsdon (co-founder of the NASB) said of the King James Bible that it is 100% correct and that he was in trouble with the Lord for his work in trying to produce a competing translation. 

    It's God's book.  It's God's Words.  It has stood the test of 400 years of scrutiny.  It will stand 400 more, should the Lord tarry.

    Be Blessed in Christ.

    Peter.

    • I think that I am on sound ground Peter, when I say that I do not believe that any of the two-hundred, English translation and versions, is without error.  We need to ask one question here, that is, when we judge a translation, against what do we judge it, what do we use as our standard?  There are basically three types of Bible, we have 'Literal Translations' (word for word) and we have 'Versions' (thought for thought), and finally we have a the 'Paraphrase'.  There are problems with all of these, but some translations do their best by adding alternative word translations as foot-notes or in italic.  As you say, It takes a huge amount of research to find which versions have the least number of translational errors, in my case I have found that there are two versions that I believe to be the best, the YLT and the ESV.  I know that you say that the KJV is 100% accurate, but again by what standard?  Just one error of the KJV is that it translates, 'Passover' as 'Easter', which is something I detest.

      Now we have the issue of those third and fourth century councils of church fathers who decided which texts and codex's were included in the Christian Bible, were they totally guided by the Holy Spirit, and were they inspired by God, or were they driven by cultural pressures?  Was Constantine, who history records had a foot in the Christian camp and the other foot in the pagan camp, fully guided by the Spirit, or was he more intent on sanitising the Christian faith to make it more acceptable to the pagan Romans?  What then was the inspiration behind the changing of so many things from the first two centuries AD into what we now have?

      On top of this we have the lingual issues, and we know how language can change over relatively short periods of time, in some cases over a single lifetime.  This is not such a problem with the Old Testament, because Hebrew has not changed very much since the first century, but the meanings of words do change.  When it comes to the New Testament we have real problems.  Although the international everyday language was Greek, thanks to the Roman Empire, the Greek used in first century Israel was a very strange mix.  The other language spoken at the time was Aramaic (a version of modern day Arabic), and so the Greek of the day contained Aramaic words spelled in Greek, but also included Hebrew grammar, with many Hebrew words and phraseology thrown in.  The Early transcriptions of the New Testament were mainly Greek scholars, we can take from this whatever we wish.

      I believe that ultimately the only way to understand the Bible, and in particular the New Testament, is to 1) in the light of the Old Testament, and 2) through prayer and the leading of the Holy Spirit.  We must know as much as we can about the scriptures, Spirit led research into the background of biblical characters and the roots of what Jesus says, because everything Jesus said was based in the Old Testament.

      • Read the scriptures.
      • Pray for guidance.
      • Research the word
      • Allow the Holy Spirit to guide you.
      • Test all things.

      In God's love.

      • Brother Derek,  my brief defense of Acts 12:4 in the King James Bible, for your consideration...

        Some people propose that Tyndale made a mistake here in Acts 12:4 since he translated every other NT instance of pascha as passover.  But when you consider the fact that the world’s best Bible scholars of their day worked on the translation of this verse (the KJB translators) and that they all checked each other’s work several times, the notion that such a simple ‘mistake’ could have made it into the final draft is quite absurd.  A modern equivalent would be a Professor of mathematics submitting an article for publication in a peer reviewed journal who accidentally included a statement that 2 + 2 = 5 in his paper.  But not only did he include this preposterous error but his professional peers, who were paid to scrutinize his work, also missed the error before it went to print. 

        I am quite convinced that Tyndale intended to translate pascha in Acts 12:4 differently to how he translated it in the rest of the NT.  From the very beginning believers have commemorated the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ through the observance of Pascha (the Passover).  Even to this day the celebration of the death and resurrection of the Lord is referred to as “Pascha” in parts of the world such as – Greece – “Pascha”, in France – “Paques”,–  in Ireland “Casca”, – in Spain “Pascua”, in Russia – “Pacxa”, and in Italy “Pasqua”, which all bear resemblance to the cognate Pascha.  If you don’t believe it then just use Google Translate to see how “Easter” is translated properly into other languages today.  But in other parts of the world today the word “Easter” is used to refer to this same religious celebration such as - the English speaking countries (English is the leading language of international discourse in the world) and “Ostern” in Germany.  As upsetting as this may sound, the Gk. 'Pascha' is quite accurately translated in English today as EITHER 'Passover' OR as 'Easter' depending upon context.  Do not misunderstand me here.  I personally am disgusted at the thought that history panned out this way and I don’t personally use the word “Passover” to refer to “Easter” but I don’t set the English language up nor do I write or edit the Oxford English Dictionary.  To me the Lord’s Passover is that which is spoken of in Exodus 12 and Leviticus 23  -BUT-  in the modern vernacular Pascha can and does mean either ‘Easter’ or ‘Passover’ depending upon location and context.  This is a fact which is not in dispute.

        But how did this mess come to be?  Let me explain...  Throughout the first century True believers kept the Passover (Acts 25.8; 1st Cor 5.7-8; Polycrates in Eusebius Church History Bk 5 Ch24).  During the second century a controversy arose (Quartodeciman Controversy) in which certain people in Rome departed from the True Faith and established a new date for the Passover so that they could separate themselves from the Jews who they hated.  The new date was to be later in the calendar, being held on the Sunday following the full moon after the Spring Equinox (sounds pagan doesn't it?).  Polycrates, who presided over the Churches of Asia, just as John had, confronted Bishop Victor in Rome over this apostasy but to no avail.  At this time apostate Rome continued to refer to their newly established “non-Jewish” celebration as Pascha.  Several centuries later, after most of Briton had been Catholicized, there was an invasion of Briton by the Germanic people of Saxony.  These Saxons imposed their pagan beliefs upon the Catholics of Briton and a syncretistic compromise was reached regarding certain religious institutions, such as the pagan celebration of the rebirth of Eostre the fertility goddess which fell on the same date as the Roman Catholic Pascha.  The Saxon’s won the war of words with the Catholics eventually acquiescing to the use of the term Eostre to denote the day of the Pascha.  This is the earliest instance of the use of the word Easter (Eostre) to denote the Roman Catholic apostate observance of Pascha (Passover) (See the Venerable Bede, Easter).  From about the sixth century onwards ‘Easter’ has been used in this way.  It is the pagan festival in the worship of the fertility goddess with only a hint that it also may refer to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

        When Herod stretched forth his hand to vex certain of the Church, took Peter into custody during the days of Unleavened Bread, intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people, he could not have been waiting for the Passover to come since the Passover had already come and gone several days before.  Passover begins on the 14th of Abib and is immediately followed by the Feast of Unleavened Bread which begins on the 15th of Abib (See Leviticus 23).  Herod was clearly waiting for an important pagan celebration to come to pass before he caused his planned disturbance of the people.  The day he was waiting for was the day of the celebration of the resurrection of the fertility goddess.  A day which has gone by many different names down through the centuries but which is aptly referred to in the modern vernacular as ‘Easter’, which did occur after the Feast of Unleavened Bread that year.

        There is no error here.  Herod was indeed waiting until the passing of Easter before bringing Peter before the people.

        Brother, if I am in error here I only ask that in the Spirit of Brotherly Love that you correct me with the facts.  Please carefully consider what I have written.

         

        Blessings to you in Christ.

         

        Peter.

        • I can tell that you have a vast knowledge of Bible history and there is nothing wrong with your defense of the KJV, however, I am not attacking the KJV and often use it myself.  I can only post what I have personally found over almost forty years of researching various versions, somewhere I have whole lists of errors for most of the main translations, including my beloved ESV and YLT.  I guess that I am a compulsive researcher, I guess it comes from my early training and it being driven into me with a jack-hammer, to research everything.

          My only point is that, if anyone has the time and stamina to do the research, we would find that there are no versions of the Bibles we have today that are a perfect translation of scripture.  I believe that translations that are based upon the oldest available texts, and being translated by people who have a greater knowledge of ancient languages (standing on the shoulders of previous academics) must be the most accurate.  The ESV was published in 2001 and was created by a team of more than 100 leading evangelical scholars and pastors, the ESV Bible emphasizes "word-for-word" accuracy and literary.  As the Preface to the Bible says:

          The English Standard Version (ESV) stands in the classic mainstream of English Bible translations over the past half-millennium. The fountainhead of that stream was William Tyndale’s New Testament of 1526; marking its course were the King James Version of 1611 (KJV), the English Revised Version of 1885 (RV), the American Standard Version of 1901 (ASV), and the Revised Standard Version of 1952 and 1971 (RSV).

          It also includes reference to newly discovered ancient texts of the first, second and third centuries, even fragments where the text could be checked for accuracy, in word, context and grammar.  As you can see the ESV owes a great deal to the Tyndale and KJV, but with corrections where referenced to the oldest available Hebrew, Greek and Aramaic.  I guess that's progress, older texts found + improved understanding + extra knowledge + the use of computers using a check-sum system = a more accurate Bible that is still not perfect.  I guess in the end we will not find out for certain until we meet up after glory.

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