The Translations of the Word of God
In proceeding as a workman, there is basic
information which must be kept in mind, the first of
which is that no translation or version of the Bible
may properly be called the Word of God.
The Bible from which I have been quoting is
called the King James Version. It is not the King
James translation. If I had the King James translation
in my hands, I would have a Bible that is worth
a great deal of money as a collector’s item. Once a
translation has been made from an original text, like
the Stephens Text from which the King James was
translated, the first copy is called a translation.
When scholars begin to rework the translation in
any way, it becomes a version.
Now I said that no translation, let alone a version,
may properly be called the Word of God. As
far as anybody knows, there are no original texts in
existence today. The oldest dated manuscript is
written in Estrangelo Aramaic. There is a possibility
that some of the older Estrangelo Aramaic manuscripts
will predate 464 A.D. What students or
scholars refer to as originals really date from 430
and later. These manuscripts are not originals – the
originals are those which holy men of God wrote as
they were moved by the Holy Spirit. At best we
have copies of the originals. When I refer to the
Word of God, I do not mean a copy or a translation
or a version; I mean that Word of God which was
originally given by revelation to holy men.
Since we have no originals and the oldest
manuscripts that we have date back to the fifth
century A.D., how can we get back to the authentic
prophecy which was given when holy men of God
spoke? To get the Word of God out of any translation
or out of any version, we have to compare
one word with another word and one verse with
another verse. We have to study the context of all
the verses. If it is the Word of God, then it cannot
have a contradiction for God cannot contradict
Himself. Error has to be either in the translation or
in one’s own understanding. When we get back to
that original, God-breathed Word – which I am
confident we can – then once again We will be able
to say with all the authority of the prophets of old,
“Thus saith the Lord.”
Note carefully the following about The Word:
(1) there are no original texts in existence today;
(2) there were no chapter divisions in the original
manuscripts; (3) there were no verse divisions in the
original manuscripts. Chapters were first put into
the Bible in 1250 A.D. Verses first appeared in the
Geneva Bible in 1560 and then in the 1611
translation known as the King James.
God cannot be blamed for the error in the division
of verses or chapters. Chapters and verses are good
only for quick reference. But we must keep in mind
that chapters and verses are all man-made and,
therefore, devoid of authority in rightly dividing the
Word of Truth.
Let us look at some examples of poor divisions
in chapters and verses.
And God saw every thing that he had made,
and, behold, it was very good. And the evening
and the morning were the sixth day.
Then comes chapter 2 which begins with “thus.”
That first word immediately tells me that something
is wrong because “thus” shows the result of what
has already been said. Chapter 1 closed with “And
the evening and the morning were the sixth day.”
And chapter 2 begins,
Thus the heavens and the earth were finished,
and all the host of them.
And on the seventh day God ended his work
which he had made; and he rested on the seventh
day from all his work which he had made.
And God blessed the seventh day, and
sanctified it: because that in it he had rested
from all his work which God created and made.
These are the generations of the heavens and of
the earth when they were created....
Verse 4 is an entirely new thought. The first
three verses of chapter 2 finish the thought of the
first chapter. The second chapter should begin with
verse four, “These are the generations....”
John 2 is another example of bad chaptering. One
of the reasons the story of Nicodemus has not been
understood is that we have never read the verses
preceding it as part of the context. John 2:23 should
logically be John 3:1.
Now when he [Jesus] was in Jerusalem at the
passover, in the feast day, many believed in his
name, when they saw the miracles which he
But Jesus did not commit himself unto them,
because he knew all men,
And needed not that any should testify of man:
for he knew what was in man.
Chapter 3, verse 1,
There was a man of the Pharisees, named
Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews.
Reading those three verses before beginning the
present third chapter explains the context for the
coming of Nicodemus. Jesus knew what was in
Nicodemus. With this introduction or background
to the setting of the story, Nicodemus is easily
John 7:53 is an example of a chapter that is
divided in the middle of a verse.
And every man went unto his own house.
Chapter 8, verse I begins,
Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.
It should read, “And every man went unto his
own house. Jesus went unto the mount of Olives.”
Then there should be a chapter division to begin,
“And early in the next morning he came again into
If chaptering was not in the originals, what about
chapter headings? Chapter headings are also not
part of the original God-breathed Word. Chapter
headings are found below the chapter markings and
are usually in italics. These are what man has
added. An example of an erroneous chapter heading
in some King James editions is Isaiah 29. Chapter
29 heading says, “The heavy judgment of God upon
Jerusalem.” The heading on chapter 30 says,
“God’s mercy toward His Church.” The text says in
Isaiah 1:1, “The vision of Isaiah the son of Amoz,
which he saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.”
Either the man who put “To the church” at the top
of chapter 30 is wrong or The Word in Isaiah 1:1 is
Paragraphs and center references are all man-made.
Paragraphs are interpretations of what the
translators think. They indicate when one subject is
complete and when a new paragraph should begin.
Sometimes translators fail to recognize proper subject
division. Center references, which run down a
long column in the center of each page, tell what
the editors think has some connection with that
verse. Sometimes they are right, sometimes they are
wrong. All these markings have been added and
they can confuse the average new student in the
Bible because he may think they have been given
by God Himself.
God gave the original Word. He is not at all
responsible for the errors that men have introduced
by their chapter headings or by their center references
or by their paragraph markings. Man made
all those mistakes.
Punctuation is another man-made trickery. If you
want the Bible to say something to substantiate your
theology, all you have to do is to manipulate the
punctuation. The Word of God can be made to say
something that it does not really say by just putting
in a comma. Each translator followed his own plan
or his own pattern which makes all punctuation
devoid of divine authority.
Let us observe the punctuation in the book of
And Jesus said unto him [the malefactor],
Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be
with me in paradise.
Some translations have the comma after the word
“today” so that is read, “Jesus said unto him, Verily
I say unto thee To day, thou shalt....” The King
James puts the comma before “today” while other
translations put the comma after “today.” Why?
Because one group teaches that the moment one
dies, he goes to heaven, while other groups teach
that the moment one dies, he does not necessarily
go to heaven for there is a period before going to
heaven. If there is a waiting period between death
and heaven then He could not say to that
malefactor, “Today you are going to be with me in
heaven,” for the malefactor would have had to wait
a duration. On the other hand others say man goes
to heaven immediately after death so that comma
before the word “today” fits in with their theology.
If a man is going to heaven today, heaven must
be available. Some teach that heaven is available. If
they had studied The Word, they would know that
heaven is not available. However, this verse talks
about paradise – and paradise is not heaven. Heaven
is heaven and paradise is paradise. When the Word
of God says “paradise,” it means “paradise.”
Paradise is present in Genesis chapters 1 and 2, at
the end of which paradise is no longer accessible. It
is not again available until the book of Revelation
which speaks of a new heaven and a new earth
wherein dwells righteousness.
Paradise is always a place upon earth. If we are
going to paradise, it has to be available. Was Jesus
saying to the malefactor that day, “...Verily I say
unto thee To day,” or was it “...Verily I say unto
thee, To day...”? Since paradise was nonexistent on
the day of the crucifixion, Jesus had to say to the
malefactor that sometime in the future he would be
with Him, not in heaven, but in paradise.
Let us read the sentence with the literal accuracy
of the word “paradise” in mind.
...Verily, I say to you To day, thou shalt [the
day is coming in the future when you are going
to] be with me in paradise.
This fits with the rest of the Word of God. One
little comma has caused so much error in dividing
Another example of a grave punctuation error is
in Acts 21 which, when I first saw it, I found
difficult to believe. I had been taught that the men
of God in the Bible – like Abraham, and Paul, and
John – never made mistakes. These men were on a
pedestal while we other lowly Christians stared in
awe with mouth agape at such men to whom we
thought we could never aspire. The record of the
Apostle Paul in Acts 21 gave me quite a jolt when
the error in using a comma was discovered.
And when he [Paul] would not be persuaded,
we ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be
This verse, the way it is punctuated, obviously
says that they endeavored to persuade the Apostle
Paul to change his mind and not go to Jerusalem;
but when Paul would not change his mind, they
finally said to him “All right, Paul, go out and do
the will of the Lord. Go to Jerusalem.” But this is
not what it says.
To understand the background of this situation,
let’s go back to Acts 20:22.
And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto
Jerusalem, not knowing the things that shall
befall me there.
Paul was bound in the spirit. To be “bound in the
spirit” means that one is not spiritually free. Paul
wanted to go, but something nagged his mind
saying, “Don’t go.” Paul said, “I am going to go to
Jerusalem”; but when he made this statement, he
was bound in the spirit, he felt restrained. He knew
he should not go.
Save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every
city, saying that bonds and afflictions abide me
[if I go to Jerusalem].
But none of these things move me, neither
count I my life dear unto myself, so that I
might finish my course with joy, and the
ministry, which I have received of the Lord
Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
Doesn’t that sound wonderful, sincere, devout?
But what good was Paul’s sincerity in going to
Jerusalem when the spirit had already told him not
to go there?
Now when we had discovered Cyprus, we left
it on the left hand, and sailed into Syria, and
landed at Tyre: for there the ship was to unlade
And finding disciples [there], we tarried there
seven days: who said to Paul through the Spirit,
that he should not go up to Jerusalem.
What then was the will of God? For Paul not to
go to Jerusalem. But who was determined to go?
And the next day we that were of Paul’s
company departed, and came unto Caesarea:
and we entered into the house of Philip the
evangelist, which was one of the seven; and
abode with him.
And the same man had four daughters, virgins,
which did prophesy.
Verse nine does not say what the virgins
prophesied. 1 would bet you, however, that they did
not prophesy about the price of coffee or about who
would win the next ball game. What is the context
talking about? It is about a man who wanted to go
to Jerusalem while the will of the Lord was for him
not to go. Paul persisted, however. In context we
know what the topic of the virgins’ prophecy was.
After a period of time there came another
message to Paul.
And as we tarried there many days, there came
down from Judea a certain prophet, named
Look at the pains God was taking to keep the
Apostle Paul out of a mess. First of all, He told Paul
personally not to go to Jerusalem; Paul was bound
in the spirit. Then Paul was warned by a group in
Tyre who told him by the spirit not to go. Paul
continued on his trip to Caesarea where four
Christian believers prophesied. Finally God sent a
prophet all the way from Jerusalem to Caesarea to
intercept Paul on his journey and say, “Paul, don’t
go to Jerusalem.”
And when he [Agabus] was come unto us, he
took Paul’s girdle [a strip of cloth four or five
inches wide which they tie around their loosely
flowing garments], and bound his own hands
and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost,
So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man
that owneth this girdle, and shall deliver him
into the hands of the Gentiles.
Agabus foretold that when Paul got to Jerusalem
he, Paul, would be delivered into the hands of the
And when we heard these things, both we, and
they of that place, besought him not to go up to
God had done everything to keep His man out of
a big dilemma, but Paul was determined to get in it.
God can try to tell you; but if you will not listen, He
cannot force you.
Then Paul answered, What mean ye to weep
and to break mine heart...
Paul moaned, so-to-speak, “Don’t you people
know that I am ready not to be bound only, but also
to die at Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus?”
Doesn’t that sound magnanimous and sincere! But
Paul was totally wrong. The will of the Lord was
for him not to go to Jerusalem.
After translators accurately gave The Word thus
far, they reached verse 14. The translators tried to
help Paul save face in the modern translations by
simply putting in commas.
And when he would not be persuaded, we
ceased, saying, The will of the Lord be done.
If the commas are left in, there is error upon error
for. the truth of the record is clearly obvious. Four
times the word of the Lord to Paul was not to go to
Jerusalem. If that was the Word of God, then it has
to fit with verse 14 too. What did the translators do?
They put in commas to substantiate their theology
because they could not believe that the Apostle Paul
ever made a mistake. Let me ask, did Paul go to
Jerusalem? Surely, he went to Jerusalem. Did he get
into trouble? He surely did; he almost lost his life
there. This mighty man of God, under whose
ministry all Asia Minor heard the Word of God in
two years and three months, in the following two
years won not one soul for the Lord Jesus Christ.
The only record is in Acts 26:28 when he witnessed
to Agrippa, the king who said to Paul, “...Almost
thou persuadest me to be a Christian.” If the
evangelists who use this text realized what it really
implies, they would never use it again. In the
context the quote is about the ministry of a man
who was outside the will of God. The nearest Paul
came to winning anybody for the Lord in all those
years was “almost.”
Take the commas out of Acts 21:14.
And when he [Paul] would not be persuaded,
we ceased [stopped] saying the will of the Lord
At one time his Christian friends were saying to
Paul, “Do the will of the Lord. Don’t go to
Jerusalem.” They tried their best to persuade him,
but when he would not be persuaded they
“...stopped saying ‘do the will of the Lord’ ”
because Paul was determined to do his own will.
Now your Bible fits like a hand in a glove; now we
have the Word of God.
Commas have all been added by man. In the
original Word of God there were no periods, no
commas, no semi-colons, no chapters, no verses, no
chapter headings and no center references.
All of these things have gone through periods of
change. In this study on Power for Abundant Living
in which we are interested in the accuracy and
integrity of God’s Word, we must get back to that
original Word which was given when holy men of
God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.
We must strip off the translators’ theologies which
have come about with man-made devices and once
more discover the perfect God-breathed Word.