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NEW VERSION OF THE N.T.
The necessity for a better translation of the New Testament and from older and more authentic MSS., has long existed and now seems about to be realized in the New Version just completed and soon to be published. [We hope the translators have been bold enough to correct not only the many mistranslations of words; but, also the interpolations without the fear of man which bringeth a snare. A number of these interpolations have been noticed in a former number of the WATCH TOWER, as lacking in all old Greek MSS. written previous to the fifth century: such as `John 21:25`. Also the words–"in heaven the Father, the Word and the Holy Ghost, and these Three are one; And there are three that bear witness in earth"–parts of `1 John 5:7,8`; and the words–"But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished" and part of `Rev. 20:5`.
From what we have heard of this work, it will be very valuable and certainly a great improvement upon the present standard version. But we venture the assertion that it will be a great lever in the hands of Infidelity, and will be used to overthrow respect for Christianity, its teachings and its standard–the Bible, in the minds of those who have no understanding of how and why the changes are right and proper. For this the church's ministers are to blame. For years they have sought to instill into people, and particularly children, an unreasoning, superstitious awe for the Bible, and thousands who attend church, have the impression that to question the correctness of one word in the King James' version, is infidelity. Ministers who know, or should have known that the word hell in our English texts is the translation of more than one Greek word and in a large majority of the cases should have been translated– the grave–or–the condition of death –have preached year after year from texts where the word should be grave and have allowed their hearers to understand it as meaning–a lake of fire –for fear, some one should get the impression that–"God is love," for fear the church could not stand, except supported by error. Many have preached right along from the interpolation of `1 John 5:7,8`, and never informed their hearers that the strange statement that–it was witnessed in
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heaven, that Jesus was really the Son of God–was not a part of the Word of God; but was introduced by Papacy during the tenth century. Who there needed such witness–did not all in heaven know it? And why did they thus keep the people in ignorance? Because they feared that if people knew this, the only text which gives even a shadow of support to the doctrine of the TRINITY, to be an interpolation to support a papal error, they might renounce the error and believe Jesus' words. (`John 5:30`; `8:28`; `10:29`; `14:28`; `Rev. 2:27`.)
Yes, in the coming and now beginning trouble upon the church (Zion's Travail). The new version of the Scriptures as well as Infidelity will play an important part, and "From the time that it, (the trouble) goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning it shall pass over, by day and by night; and it shall be a vexation only until He shall make you to understand doctrine, (truth.) For the (theological) bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself in it and the covering (doctrines) narrower than that he can wrap himself in it." For the Lord…shall do His work, His strange work; and bring to pass His act His strange act. Now, therefore; be ye not mockers lest your bands be made strong. For I have heard of the Lord God a consumption (an end –a "harvest,") even determined upon the whole earth." (`Is. 28:19-22`, margin.)
Yes in the whole world there is to be a separation between evil and good, truth and error; but in the church first comes this harvesting there will indeed be a fearful shaking, both of wheat and tares. (`Matt. 13`,) as the two classes of the church (the tares much the most numerous) are separated by the sickle of truth. There will indeed be a great and sore trial upon the church when one after another, long cherished errors are torn away–it will be a hard time for any to stand as Christians. Paul entreats us concerning this commencing evil day, "Take unto you the whole armor of God that you may be able to withstand in that evil day." Thousands who are building on the good foundation, Christ, are building with the wood, hay and stubble of human creeds and traditions instead of the gold, silver, etc., of God's Word– "The fire of that day shall try every man's work (faith structure) of what sort it is," (`1 Cor. 3:13`.)
Yes, a thousand (in the churches) shall fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand, yet it shall not come nigh you if you make God's TRUTH your shield and buckler. (`Ps. 91`.) How important, then, that we should see that our faith is founded on and supported by the word of God, "That our faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God." (`1 Cor. 2:5`.) Then we shall have that which is neither the arrow of infidelity, nor the pestilence of spiritualism, nor the purifying fire can destroy. Thus only shall we be able to stand (these evils). And it shall be a trial only until "He shall make you to understand doctrine"–the true teaching of His word. Then it will be seen that God's plan (bed) is longer and wider and higher than the creeds of men, and a man may stretch himself on it and rest, fully covered with the amplitude of God's mercy, love and grace, which is sufficient for any man to wrap himself in it. O, that Christians might get into this place of rest where they could realize a little of the length and breadth, height and depth, and know something of "the love of God which passeth knowledge!" "O, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out." (`Rom. 11:33`.)
"There's a wideness in God's mercy,
Like the wideness of the sea;
There's a kindness in His justice
Which is more than liberty.
"But we make His love too narrow
By false limits of our own;
And we magnify His strictness
With a zeal He will not own.
"If our love were but more simple,
We should take Him at His word;
And our lives would be all sunshine
In the sweetness of our Lord.
–"Search the Scriptures, search and see;
These, said Jesus, speak of me."
— April, 1881 —