As believers, should we just read the Bible as it is translated for us?


As believers, should we just read the Bible as it is translated for us?

We have in our own minds the definition of many of the sins listed in the Bible like fornication; anger, drunkenness; slander; wickedness; and hate, to name a few. I’m sure as you read these, you thought you knew what they meant. But did you know in the New Testament there are several meanings for many of those? Let’s take a look and put off some “old truths” we may have assumed we knew were truth. Before I go on, if you want to know more about these words and where they appear in the Bible, go to: http://www.studylight.org/lex/grk/ and type in the Greek word or go to http://strongsnumbers.com/ and type in the number. All the numbers referenced are from Strongs Hebrew and Greek Dictionaries.

Fornication what do you think that means? Is it having sex outside of marriage? That is the definition given most often. I think people do realize there is more to it but it is the easiest definition to give. Although the word fornication appears several times in most of the Bible translations we read, it is not always the same word in the original Greek. We can also see fornication translated as sexual immorality. Let’s take a look at some of the scriptures talking about fornication and see what we find:

  • porneia G4202 – harlotry, incest; figuratively practice idolatry, indulge unlawful lust. This word is sometimes translated as: fornication; fornications; immoralities; immorality; sexual immorality; unchastity

  • pornos G4205 – (male) prostitute (as venal [the fact or state of being for sale, especially with reference to bribes or corruption]), that is, (by analogy) a debauchee (libertine), whoremonger. This word is sometimes translated as: fornicators; immoral; immoral men; immoral people; immoral person; immoral persons

  • koitē G2845 – Couch; cohabitation; by implication the male sperm, this is sometimes translated as bed; conceived; sexual promiscuity. In the NIV this is sometimes translated as sexual immorality.

So as you can see we really may not know what it means when we read it in most of our Bible translations. It could mean anything from being open to bribery to incest.

Drunkenness we all know what this means, don’t we? Someone who is drunk – intoxicated, right? But in Greek, it can mean anything from excited by a chemical substance to intoxication.

  • methē (G3178) – intoxication, stupefied or excited by a chemical substance

  • methusos (3183) – tipsy (slightly intoxicated), a sot (a chronic drinker)

  • oinophlugia (3632) – an overflow (or surplus) of wine

Anger, of course this one is even difficult for us in the regular English language. It can mean anything from upset to raging. But what meanings can it hold in the Bible?

  • thumos (G2372) – passion (as if breathing hard): – fierceness, indignation, passion, angry, heat, anger forthwith boiling up and soon subsiding again. Sometimes translated as: angry tempers; fierce; indignation; outbursts of anger; passion; rage; wrath

  • orgē (G3709) – violent passion (ire, or [justifiable] abhorrence (hate coupled with disgust ); by implication punishment: – indignation, vengeance, wrath (belligerence aroused by a real or supposed wrong). Sometimes translated as: anger; wrath

Slander or Gossip – Everyone has their own definition of this one, but let’s see what is in the Bible.

  • blasphēmia (G988) – evil speaking, railing, especially against God, harmful and often untrue; tending to discredit or malign against man, lacking reverence or respect for God. Sometimes translated as: abusive language; blasphemies; blasphemous; blasphemy; railing; slander; slanders;

  • blasphēmos (G989) – harmful and often untrue; tending to discredit or malign against man, lacking reverence or respect for God

  • diabolos (G1228) – a traducer (one who attacks the reputation of another by slander or libel); specifically Satan. Sometimes translated as: devil; malicious gossips.

  • katalalia (G2636) – defamation – a false accusation of an offense or a malicious misrepresentation of someone’s words or actions. Sometimes translated as: backbiting, slander; slanders.

  • katalalos (G2637) – talkative against, to talk, that is, utter words: – preach, say, speak (after), talk, tell, utter someone

  • loidoros (G3060) – abusive, railer, reviler (Whilst oral communication is the most common form of verbal abuse, it includes abusive words in written form), Verbal abuse involving the use of language. It is a form of profanity in that it can occur with or without the use of expletives (a word or phrase conveying no independent meaning but added to fill out a sentence)

  • psithurismos (G5587) – secret detraction (the act of discrediting or detracting from someone’s reputation)

  • psithuristēs (G5588) – a secret calumniator (charge falsely or with malicious intent; attack the good name and reputation of someone, To make hurtful untrue comments about someone

Interesting huh? The one that is most interesting to me is the loidoros (G3060). Strong’s definition is: from loidos (mischief); abusive, i.e. a blackguard:–railer, reviler. So I looked up railer and reviler. When you do this you find it is verbal abuse, but it can also mean what we call “cursing.”  All those little words we add in for no apparent reason other than to say them. But here is the thing that got me, you know where that word appears? In 1 Corinthians 5:9-11 where Paul talks about things “brother’s in Christ” should not do and if they do these things, we should not even EAT with them. Wow! The other place is in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 where it is listed as preventing the entrance to the Kingdom of God!

Ok, so on we go …

Hate – of course we all know what this one is, or do we? Do you hate anyone? Do you have any hatefulness in you? Most of us would probably like to answer no, but let’s see what the Bible says.

  • theostugēs (G2319) – impious, lacking reverence or respect for God

  • stugnētos (G4767) – odious ((detestably: in an offensive and hateful manner; causing dislike, displeasure), offensiveness: the quality of being offensive

  • miseō (G3404) – to detest (especially to persecute); by extension to love less

  • echthra (G2189) – hostility; by implication a reason for opposition: – enmity (a state of deep-seated ill-will)

So I ask you again, do you hate anyone? Do you have any hatefulness in you?

Are you wicked? You heard me right, I am asking you if you are a wicked person? I’m sure by now you are almost afraid to answer the question based on what has come before, huh? Let’s see what the Bible says:

  • adikia (G93) – mindless (not marked by the use of reason, Showing a lack of forethought or sense),  stupid (dazed: in a state of mental numbness), ignorant (uneducated in general; lacking knowledge or sophistication, unaware because of a lack of relevant information); a deed violating law and justice, act of unrighteousness. Sometimes translated in the Bible as: doing wrong; evildoers; iniquities; iniquity; injustice, unrighteous; unrighteousness; wickedness; wrong;

  • anosios (G462) – wicked, not properly right

  • kakia (G2549) – badness, depravity, malignity, trouble, evil, naughtiness, worthless, depraved, injurious, bad, evil, harm, ill, noisome, wicked; wickedness that is not ashamed to break laws. Sometimes translated as: evil; malice; trouble; wickedness

  • ponēria (G4189) – corruption: moral perversion, impairment of virtue and moral principles, malice, feeling a need to see others suffer

  • pseudēs (G5571) – untrue, that is, erroneous, deceitful, wicked, false. Sometimes translated as false; liars

  • kakos (G2556) – worthless, depraved, injurious, bad, evil, harm, ill, noisome, wicked; This can also be in your thoughts, not just in your actions. Sometimes translated as: bad; bad things; evil; evil men; evil things; evildoer; harm; loathsome; wretches; wrong;

I will just let that one set with you as is.

Here are a few others we may want to learn more about:

  • kakoētheia (G2550) – bad character, that is, (specifically) mischievousness (reckless or malicious behavior that causes discomfort or annoyance in others ), malignity (wishing evil to others)

  • aischrotēs (G151) – shamefulness (an offensive or indecent word or phrase)

  • eutrapelia (G2160) – witticism, pleasantry, humour, facetiousness (playful humor), that is, (in a vulgar sense) ribaldry (Joking or humorous language done in a vulgar or lewd fashion);

  • kleptēs (G2812) – Someone who steals, take without the owner’s consent

  • kleptō (G2813) – take without the owner’s consent

  • kraugē (G2906) – an outcry (in notification, tumult or grief, shout louder than, the act of making a noisy disturbance)

  • mōrologia (G3473) – silly talk, that is, buffoonery (A jester, joker, jokester, fool, wit-cracker)

  • pikria (G4088) – acridity – the quality of being sharply disagreeable in language or tone

  • potos (G4224) – a drinking bout, drinking parties.

  • hubristēs (G5197) – an insulter, maltreater, injurious, insulting in manner or words; rude, inclined to take liberties, bold behavior or attitude, to think or feel or do just as one pleases

Wow! I know I’ve seen some of them in my own life. You know what the scary part is, the words I have listed here are sins listed in the New Testament. Among them are sins from the heart that defiles, sins which bring judgment from God, prevent entrance to the Kingdom of Heaven, things believers should put off, turn away from, and must not exist among believers, bring forth the wrath of God, and condemns to the lake of fire. And the most surprising is there are those listed here that believers are told: not to associate with anyone who bears the name of [Christian] brother if he is known to be guilty of … you must not so much as eat with such a person.” That tells you how serious some of these can be even though we don’t look at them as serious in our everyday life.

I think these are things we should take time to learn about so we can get rid of them. If you want to know what scriptures these come from, and other’s I did not list, you can check out my web page Some Sins from the New Testament.

Ring out the false, we shouldn’t just read the Bible as it is translated for us. At some point we need to move from the milk to the meat of the Bible. Let’s start the New Year by really looking at what the Bible says. Ring in the truth that as a believer, it is important to look back at the original Greek words because many words have taken on new meanings in our day, as well as lost their meanings. We have many preconceived ideas of what words mean which are in error. And we can not count on most of the translations of the Bible we commonly use to convey the originally intended meanings.

Ring out the old, Ring in the new
Ring out the false, Ring in the true
Ring out sorrow, pain and care
Ring in happiness everywhere.

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3 thoughts on “As believers, should we just read the Bible as it is translated for us?

  1. hey, good stuff. it is true we must not associate with “those who call themselves brothers”, and are in active sin with no repentance. That is something hard to do, especially if they are your family or friends, or spouse for that matter…………………………

    Also, the hate thing goes along with murder as Jesus said if you hate in your heart it’s just like commiting murder, same goes for lust and adultery.

    the other thing or means God uses is His Holy Spirit, for those who don’t have time or the know how to study so deeply, He teaches us all things…

    God Bless Marcie, thanks for being a blessing

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