Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Context is king!

I know we are not to rely on the Greek but I did find it interesting that the word translated in 1 Corinthians 14:2 as "understandeth" is translated 132 other times as "hear." 

1 Corinthians 14:2
For he that speaketh in an unknown tongue speaketh not unto men, but unto God: for no man understandeth him; howbeit in the spirit he speaketh mysteries.

Obviously if you can't hear someone you can't understand them but I'm wondering why the translators chose to use understandeth? If it were the word "hear" then this "private prayer language" would be inaudible as is the Spirit praying for us in Romans 8, another passage also used to "prove" a private prayer language. 

The way that I see it, as far as why the translators translated the Greek word as "understandeth" instead of "hearing," is because understanding that language which was spoken is the issue in chapter 14. Not just hearing the voice, but actually, truly understanding what is being said!

Notice that when Paul was saved on the road to Damascus, the men with him heard the Lord, but they did not really hear, that is, understand what the Lord was saying to Paul.

Acts 9:7
And the men which journeyed with him stood speechless, hearing a voice, but seeing no man.

Acts 22:9
And they that were with me saw indeed the light, and were afraid; but they heard [understood] not the voice of him that spake to me.

So why did those translators translate that word the way that they did? It is because they were more knowledgeable as a group of men in Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic than any other group of men that ever sought to translate the bible.

Plus, they were believers who believed and understood God's promise to preserve His Word and to get it in every language of the nations, and so they did it with that in mind (unlike other translators of other versions who have a ‘politically correct’ variety of people, including lost people)!

Plus, they did it under a believing king (King James) who commissioned them and protected them and gave them the security and resources to do it.

Ecclesiastes 8:4
Where the word of a king is, there is power: and who may say unto him, What doest thou?

Therefore, I believe that God, through his divine providence helped those men with the KJB translation!

They used the majority text, and not the ones with errors, the minority text! They knew why translating that word there as ‘understandeth,’ instead of simply ‘hearing,’ was right, even though they translated it ‘hearing’ everywhere else! They knew the doctrine, that which God was trying to teach!

The issue, in context, is not just hearing, but understanding.  So that is why I believe God in his providence had them translate it that way.

What saith the scriptures…

Psalm 12:6-7
The words of the LORD are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Thou shalt keep them, O LORD, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever.

Hopefully this helps!

Do you have a question for Pastor Ron?

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