Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Paying Attention to Details When Reading the Bible

I don't like to criticize a translator, but in John 8, I do think Wuest missed something of importance. This is the famous "Woman Taken in Adultery" passage, which I was studying in my Bible time this morning. 

Wuest renders verse 5 as follows:

Now, in the law Moses commanded us that such persons should be stoned.

Now, what's the problem here? What Wuest is overlooking is a little thing called gender. The Greek pronoun he translates "such persons" is actually in the feminine gender. 

Hence the ISV's, "Now in the Law, Moses commanded us to stone such women to death." Compare the NIV, NLT, ESV, CSB, GNT, and NRSV. This is yet another reason why the study of grammar (Greek and otherwise) is vital. If you are committed to understanding the Bible, exegesis isn't complicated. It may be difficult, but it's not complicated. The Lord has given us an opportunity to grow in faith by paying attention to the details in the text. So ... just do it! 

P.S. When I was looking up John 8:5 on the Bible Gateway website, I couldn't find this verse. It's not there! That's because John 7:53-8:11 is a major textual problem in New Testament studies. I want to express my profound appreciation to all those scholars who have devoted their life to the field of textual criticism. This includes the contributors to this book

A healthy church must be continually committed to the word of God -- the Bible. And when there are variant readings, we need not shy away from these problems. I'll have a lot more to say about this at the apologetics conference at Clearview Church in Henderson this fall.