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#4.18 CHECK THE ORIGINAL LANGUAGE FOR WORD MEANING AND USAGE

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Introduction 4.18

There are numerous places in the bible where the whole meaning of a passage may depend on how the translator translates a certain word. Translators have to make choices, as the meaning of a word often depends on the context in which it is in. Sometimes translators were very lax in the way they translated a particular word. Here is one example from the King James Version:

NATHAN, 'to give,' is rendered (in the Kal conjugation) by such words as: to add, apply, appoint, ascribe, assign, bestow, bring, bring forth, cast, cause, charge, come, commit, consider, count, deliver, deliver up, direct, distribute, fasten, frame, give, give forth, give over, give up, grant, hang, hang up, lay, lay to charge, lay up, leave, lend, let, let out, lift up, make, O that, occupy, offer, ordain, pay, perform, place, pour, print, put, put forth, recompense, render, requite, restore, send, send out, set, set forth, shew, shoot forth, shoot up, strike, suffer, thrust, trade, turn, utter, would God, yield; besides seventeen varieties in idiomatic renderings=84! There are a lot more examples!

Therefore, it is often wise to spend some time examining words and how they are used elsewhere before we draw any conclusion about what a particular passage in scripture means. This bible study gives 4 examples to show how to check the original language for word meaning and usage.

#4.181 Example 1: Did it rain on the earth before Noah's ark?

GENESIS 2:4-6
4 These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that Yahweh God made the earth and the heavens,
5 And every plant of the field before it was in the earth, and every herb of the field before it grew: for Yahweh God had not caused it to rain upon the earth, and there was not a man to till the ground.
6 But there went up a mist1 from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground.

JOB 36:26-28 (Elihu)
26 Behold, God is great, and we do not know him, neither can the number of his years be searched out.
27 For he makes small the drops of water: they pour down rain according to its vapour1:
28 Which the clouds drop and distil upon man abundantly.

Note: Some people take the scripture Genesis 2:4-6, together with the fact that the word "rain" does not appear in scripture (apart from Genesis 2:5) until Noah's ark (Genesis 7:4, 12), and interpret it to mean that it did not rain upon the earth until Noah's ark was finished. This means that man would have lived on the earth at least 1656 years (Genesis 5:1-32) without any rain, the ground being watered by a "mist" (Genesis 2:6). Knowing that no scripture can be interpreted on its own (2 Peter 1:20; See #5.02), and "In the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established." (2 Corinthians 13:1; Numbers 35:30; Deuteronomy 17:6; 19:15; Matthew 18:16; John 8:17; See #4.06), it makes sense to find other scriptures to put with Genesis 2:6 before making an interpretive judgment. In this case the word translated mist1 (Hb. אֵד , Htr. ‘ēd) is only found one other time in the whole bible (Job 36:27 KJV), where it is translated "vapor" (NKJV translates 'mist'), and as these are the only two occurrences of the word, it seems obvious that these two scriptures should be considered together. When this is done most will discern that Genesis 2:6 is referring to rain. Even the scoffers of the last days shall know that "all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation." (2 Peter 3:4), and while we must not necessarily take their view as valid (See #4.16), we may note that Peter did not contradict this, but rather compared this that they knew with "this they willingly are ignorant of," (2 Peter 2:5). The truth of theses scriptures would be far more obvious if the translators had been more consistent and used the word "vapor" (Genesis 2:6), as they should have done, instead of the word "mist". Looking at the contexts:

(1) The time when "the Lord God had not caused it to rain upon the earth," (Genesis 2:5), was before plants were in the earth, before herbs grew, and before man was created (Genesis 2:5-7). There was no need for rain before this.

(2) When God told Noah, "I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights;" (Genesis 7:4), he was not telling him about the first time that it would rain, but was rather informing him of exactly how long the rain would continue for. The danger of taking an isolated scripture and interpreting it by itself, without other scriptures with it, is clearly illustrated here.

#4.182 Example 2: What is "the Lord's day?"

REVELATION 1:9-10
9 I John, who also am your brother, and companion in tribulation, and in the kingdom and patience of Jesus Christ, was in the aisle that is called Patmos, for the word of God, and for the testimony of Jesus Christ.
10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day1, and heard behind me the great voice, as of a trumpet,

Note: There are some who believe that "the Lord's day," (Revelation 1:10) refers to the day that Jesus (supposedly) rose from the dead, translated as "the first day of the week" (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2; 16:9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1), and thus taken to be Sunday. There are others who believe that it refers to the Sabbath, and they can use scripture to support their case. God himself instituted the Sabbath by sanctifying the seventh day for his own rest after creation (Genesis 2:2-3). After that God sometimes calls the Sabbath, "the Sabbath of Yahweh" (Leviticus 23:3, 38), "the Sabbath of Yahweh your God" (Exodus 20:10; Deuteronomy 5:14), "the holy Sabbath" (Exodus 16:23), "my holy day" (Isaiah 58:13), and "my Sabbaths" (Exodus 31:13; Leviticus 19:3; 19:30; 26:2; Isaiah 56:4; Ezekiel 20:12; 20:13; 20:16; 20:20; 20:21; 20:24; 22:8; 22:26; 23:38; 44:24), thus making it his day. Jesus declared himself to be "Lord of the Sabbath" (Matthew 12:8; Mark 2:28; Luke 6:5), so making this his day. Yet others believe that "the Lord's day" refers to the day of the second coming of Christ, John seeing into the future in his vision, to the day when Jesus returns. While all of these may seem to be plausible interpretations at first sight, according to the English translation, none of them has real credibility according to the original Greek text. That translated "on the Lord's day," is in the Greek ἐν τῇ κυριακῇ ἡμέρᾳ (Gtr. en tē kuriakē hēmera), and the whole meaning depends on the translation of the one word "kuriakē", which has been translated "Lord's".

(1) To be correctly translated "Lord's" or "of the Lord" the Greek word(s) should be in the genitive case, which is the possessive case, showing to whom it belongs. In almost every other case where the word "Lord's" appears in the New Testament, it is correctly put in the genitive case, most referring to Jesus or God.
κυρίου (Gtr. kuriou) (Matthew 21:42; Mark 12:11; Luke 2:26; 1 Corinthians 7:22; 10:21).
τοῦ κυρίου (Gtr. tou kuriou) (Romans 14:8 - 1 Corinthians 10:26; 10:28; 11:26; 11:29; Galatians 1:19).
There are three referring to people (Matthew 25:18; Luke 12:47; 6:5).
Apart from these there are three others, two in the accusative case (1 Peter 2:13; 1 Corinthians 11:20), and one dative case (Revelation 1:10). That translated "the Lord's sake" (1 Peter 2:13) is διὰ τὸν κύριον (Gtr. dia ton kurion). It is the accusative case and literally means "because of the Lord". This use of the word "Lord's" is brought about by a rephrasing of the actual translation, and is therefore not worth considering here. What we are left with are two others (1 Corinthians 11:20; Revelation 1:10), neither of which should be translated "Lord's" because they are not in the genitive case.

(2) Now examine the word "kuriakē" (Revelation 1:10). If this referred to Jesus it would have to be masculine gender, as it is in every other case where it refers to him, because Jesus ἰησοῦς (Gr. Yēsous) is masculine. However, here it is not only dative case instead of genitive, but also feminine gender instead of masculine! This should destroy any notion that "Kuriakē" refers to Jesus.

(3) Lastly we need to look at the construction of the Greek sentence, as the order of the words is significant. If this meant "the Lord's day", even referring to a female Lord, it would usually be in the order τῇ ἡμέρᾳ τοῦ κυρίου (Gtr. tē hēmera tou kuriou) "the day of the Lord" (1 Corinthians 5:5; 2 Corinthians 1:14); but it isn't. Instead "Kuriakē" is inserted between the noun "hēmera" and its article "tē", thus exactly following the correct grammatical construction for an adjective in the "Attributive Intermediate Position" (HPVN p60, JWW p50, WP p85), showing that in this case "Kuriakē" is an adjective rather than a noun. This being so it should agree with it's noun "hēmera" in both case and gender, and it does. Both are dative case, and both are feminine, confirming that this is simply an adjective describing the day, and is nothing at all to do with Jesus. John was in the Spirit on a lordly day. Just as a Lord is a man above other men, John saw this as a day above other days. The same reasoning applies to κυριακὸν δεῖπνον (Gtr. kuriakon deipnon), translated "the Lord's supper" (1 Corinthians 11:20), where "kuriakon" is also an adjective. It is in the accusative case, neuter in gender, and following the rules of Greek grammar for an adjective, it completely agrees with it's noun "deipnon". Together they mean "a lordly supper", and "kuriakon" is the wrong case and wrong gender to be correctly rendered "Lord's".

#4.183 Example 3: What are the "2300 days" of Daniel 8:14?

DANIEL 8:14 (KJV)
14 And he said to me, To two thousand and three hundred days: then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.

Note: Here is an example where a major doctrine of the Seventh Day Adventist Church, called "The Investigative Judgment", has been established on this one scripture alone, and especially on the words translated "days". No scripture can be properly understood from faulty translations, and as no known perfect translations are available (2015) a good working knowledge of Greek and Hebrew is essential. Just looking in an interlinear (JPG p2016) we can see that the words translated "days" (Daniel 8:14 KJV) are the Hebrew words עֶרֶב בֹּקֶר (Htr. ‘erev bōqer, Strong's 6153 and 1242). They translate in the interlinear as "evenings and mornings", but literally as "evening-morning", as they are both singular. Nowhere in the rest of the Old Testament is the word " ‘erev" ever used to refer to days. There are a few places where "bōqer" is translated "days":

(Judges 19:26) literally, "the dawning of the morning" is translated "the dawning of the day" (KJV), and
(2 Samuel 13:4) Where בַּבֹּקֶר בַּבֹּקֶר (Htr. babōqer babōqer) literally "morning by morning" is translated "day to day" (KJV).

We can see from this that there is no real case to translate ‘erev bōqer as days in Daniel 8:14. Besides this, there is a perfectly good word for "day" in Hebrew, which is יוֹם (Htr. yôm, Strong's 3117). It occurs 2274 times in the Old Testament, and is translated "day" or "days" over 2000 times. So if God wanted to say "days" (Daniel 8:14), he could easily have used this word without causing the present confusion. In an attempt to justify the mistranslation there is a reference made to Genesis chapter 1 in the KJV.

(Genesis 1:5) "And the evening and the morning were the first day."
(Genesis 1:8) "And the evening and the morning were the second day."
(Genesis 1:13) "And the evening and the morning were the third day."
(Genesis 1:19) "And the evening and the morning were the fourth day." Etc.

Some say that it appears from these translations as if the evening and the morning could refer to a whole day, and taking it to be so then enables "evening morning" to refer to a day (Daniel 8:14). But again we need to look at the Hebrew words וַיְהִי-עֶרֶב וַיְהִי-בֹקֶר (Htr. vayehî ‘erev vayehî bōqer) translated, "And the evening and the morning were" (Genesis 1:5 etc). In other versions they translate like this:

(JPG) "And there was evening, and there was morning the first day."
(NASB) "And there was evening and there was morning, one day."
(NIV) "And there was evening, and there was morning - the first day."
(RSV) "And there was evening and there was morning, one day."
(YLT) "and there is an evening, and there is a morning - day one."

In this instance, these other translations are much better than the King James Version. They are saying that there was an evening and there was a morning on the first day, but they are not saying that evening and morning makes up a day. Obviously it doesn't anyway, as there is also afternoon and night to account for. The "evening" and "morning" (Daniel 8:14) then refer to the times that the two daily burnt offerings were made (Exodus 29:38-42; Numbers 28:3-4; 2 Kings 16:15; 1 Chronicles 16:40; 2 Chronicles 2:4; 13:11; 31:3; Ezra 3:3), and not to literal days. In each of these scriptures the same two words (Htr. ‘erev and bōqer) are used together for the times of the burnt offerings, so why would they refer to days here (Daniel 8:14) and the times of burnt offerings everywhere else? God is not the author of confusion. Look at this scripture:

(Daniel 8:26) "And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: therefore shut up the vision, for it is for many days from now."

Now let us ask the question, "What is this vision of the evening and the morning mentioned here?" Obviously it is the one that was just told. So if the Hebrew words ‘erev and bōqer refer to evenings and mornings here, then why not in verse 14? If the vision in verse 14 was truly days, then this should say days also. The answer is obvious, that the words ‘erev and bōqer refer to the evening and morning sacrifices that were made, and not days in either verse 26 or verse 14.
The 2300 burnt offerings, evening - morning, would come to 1150 days, one fulfillment of which would be the interval between the desecration of the temple, and its rededication by Judas Maccabeus on 25th. Chislev 165 B.C. Antiochus set up a pagan altar on 25th. Chislev 168 BC, which is just 3 years before, but the Lord's altar was removed some time before that, so the 1150 days may be counted from the time of its removal. Unless the words "evening - morning" are understood as "days", the Investigative Judgment teaching fails completely. This study shows how important it is to check the original language before you try to establish any doctrine.

#4.184 Who or what is "Taken out of the Way" (2 Thessalonians 2:7)?

2 THESSALONIANS 2:7 (KJV)
7 For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way.

2 THESSALONIANS 2:7 (RPT)
7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already working: only there is he who now restrains, until he comes into being out of the midst.

Note 1: This scripture has caused much controversy concerning the last days. The King James translation is really very poor in this verse. The word translated "iniquity" (KJV), and "lawlessness" (RPT) (Gr. ἀνομία, Gtr. anomia) is made up from two parts, "a" which is a negative, and νόμος (Gtr. nomos) which means "law". It literally means "not law", "no law", or "lawlessness", and refers to things done which are contrary to the law of God, namely, a transgression or a breaking of the law. The word translated "letteth" (KJV) and "restrains" (RPT) is a present participle of the Greek verb κατέχω (Gtr. katecho) "to hold down", "to hinder", or "to restrain". The KJV "letteth" seems to mean the opposite to this. Most people seem to recognize these errors, and the New King James version translates as follows:

(2 Thessalonians 2:7) "For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work, only He who now restrains will do so until He is taken out of the way."

However, it is the last part of this verse which causes the problem, because as we can see the New King James agrees with the Old King James, with the translation, "until he is taken out of the way." There are some who say that the restrainer is the Holy Spirit working through the church, and that this scripture proves a rapture of the church before the Antichrist is revealed.

(Gerald B. Stanton KEPT FROM THE HOUR p102) "Even so, just prior to the Tribulation judgment, the restraining hand of the Holy Spirit shall be removed from the earth. Then shall the wrath of God be poured out and the Man of Sin be revealed."
(GBS p106) "He who now restrains and will be taken away before the manifestation of the Man of Sin is undoubtedly the Holy Spirit."
(GBS p107) "When the Spirit is removed, then the church must also be snatched away."
(GBS p107) "The removal of the Spirit takes place before the Wicked One shall be revealed, and this removal sets the time for the rapture of the church."

This is one of the strongest arguments by the pre-tribulation teachers, but it contradicts the words of Jesus.

(Matthew 28:20) "And lo, I am with you all the days until the completion of the age."
(John 14:16) "And I will ask the father, and he will give you another helper, that he may remain with you for the age. The spirit of truth ..."

Jesus said that neither he nor the Holy Spirit would leave us until the end of the age, but this age does not end until Jesus comes back for Armageddon and the Antichrist is removed from power. (Revelation 19:11-21). This denies that the Holy Spirit can be removed from the earth as has been stated, as long as there are Christians here.

Now let us examine the scripture, which literally reads like this:

ἕως   ἐκ    μέσου γένηται
until out of midst  he comes into being

The Greek word μέσου is the Genitive of μέσος (Gtr. mesos) which occurs 61 times in the New Testament, and is variously translated "midst" (41x), "among" (6x), "from among + ἐκ" (5x), "midnight + νύξ = night" (2x) etc. Only in this one scripture is it translated "way". If Paul had meant "way" here he had a perfectly good Greek word for it, which is ὁδός (Gtr. hodos). This word means "a way", "a road", "a path", and occurs 102 times in the New Testament. It is variously translated "way" (83x), "way side" (8x), "journey" (6x), "highway" (3x), etc. The fact is that "hodos" means "way", and "mesos" means "midst", and there is no need to confuse these words as some translators have done. As we can see there is no word for "taken" in the Greek text, and the idea that something is "taken" away here has been inserted by the translators, and has no basis in the original Greek.

Note 2: The Greek word translated "he be taken" (KJV) and "he comes into being" (RPT) is the word γένηται (Gtr. genetai). It is a second aorist, middle, deponent, subjunctive, of the Greek word γίνομαι (Gtr. ginomai) which has the basic meaning of "to come into existence", "to be created", "to be born", or "to be produced". It occurs 678 times in the New Testament, and is used with great latitude in the KJV. Translations include "be" (255x), "come to pass" (82x), "be made" (69x), "be done" (63x), "come" (52x), "become" (47x), "God forbid + μὴ" (15x) lit. "may it not come to be", "arise" (13x), "have" (5x), "be fulfilled" (3x) etc. It is mistranslated "being ended" (John 13:2), where a literal translation would be "having come into being", but nowhere does it have the sense of anything being "taken" away. It is translated in the sense of "arise" in the following scriptures:

(Matthew 8:24) "there arose a great tempest in the sea."
(Matthew 13:21) "when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word,"
(Mark 4:17) "when affliction or persecution arises for the word's sake,"
(Mark 4:37) "And there arose a great storm of wind,"
(Luke 6:48) "and when the flood arose,"
(Luke 15:14) "there arose a mighty famine in that land;"
(John 3:25) "Then there arose a question between some of John's disciples and the Jews"
(Acts 6:1) "there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews,"
(Acts 11:19) "the persecution that arose about Stephen"
(Acts 19:23) "there arose no small stir about that way."
(Acts 23:7) "there arose a dissention between the Pharisees and the Sadducees;"
(Acts 23:9) "And there arose a great cry;"
(Acts 23:10) "And when there arose a great dissention,"

In every one of these cases the word "arose" could be replaced by "came into being" or "came to pass" without and change of meaning. The word "arises" could be replaced by "comes into being" or "comes to pass" without any change of meaning. There is no thought of anything being "taken away" in any of these scriptures, and the word "ginomai" should never be translated with any idea or though of anything being "taken" away, unless it is clearly specified by other words, which in this case it is not.

Note 3: What then does this scripture (2 Thessalonians 2:7) mean? Look at the context from verse 3. "Who" and "he" (v4), "he" (v6), "he" (v7) except for "he who restrains", "whom" (v8), "whose" (v9); all these pronouns refer to the "man of sin" (v3), also called "that Wicked" (v8). This is none other than the Antichrist. It is technically possible to translate "it comes into being" (v7), which could refer to a state of complete lawlessness, but the context really indicates that "he" is correct, and refers to the Antichrist. Therefore sin and lawlessness are being restrained at present, and will continue to be restrained until "transgressors have come to the full" (Daniel 8:23), then the Antichrist will be revealed. God will then send the world a "strong delusion" (2 Thessalonians 2:11) and the unsaved Gentile world will be cut off from salvation.
We have made no plea for any special translation here, but only that which is obvious from the meaning of the words, so we cannot be accused of twisting the scripture to support our own beliefs. There is absolutely nothing in verse 7 to indicate that either the Holy Spirit or the church will be taken away before the Antichrist appears. The idea that this verse refers to a pre-tribulation rapture of the church has been thoroughly refuted.

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