Keith Giles has written a fantastic article on the Patheos blog site titled “How Evangelicals Changed The Bible To Support Their Beliefs”. In it, he gives specific examples of the ways in which conservative evangelicals have chosen to change the meaning of words in newer English translations to fit into their theological frameworks, rather than more accurately reflect the original Biblical meaning.
You can read the article in full at the Patheos website, or an extract of it below:
“It’s ironic that the same people who call me a “Progressive” and a “Heretic” have no problem with the changes made to the Bible over the centuries to make the Scriptures say what they want.
For example, I’ve posted extensively about the fact that the word “Homosexual” never appeared in any English translation of the Scriptures until 1946. Evangelicals who learn this never seem to bat an eye at this and instead argue that the word “Trinity” isn’t in the Bible either [as if adding a word that isn’t there to change the meaning of the text is the same as pulling a concept out of the text and giving it a name].
Bottom line: They don’t care that the text was changed because the changes made support their beliefs.
They also don’t care that the word “gladly” was removed from Philippians 2:10-11 which should read:
“…that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should gladly confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
That word, “gladly” suggests that everyone will eventually turn to Christ willingly and joyfully proclaim that Christ is Lord.
The reason Evangelicals don’t care that the Greek word “exomologeō” [which literally means “to acknowledge openly and joyfully“] was downgraded to simply “confess” is because it leaves them wiggle-room to suggest that those sinners who eventually confess will do so through clenched teeth and bend their knees under protest just before they get roasted in the lake of fire forever.
Bottom line: Evangelicals who claim the Scriptures are inerrant and infallible don’t care that changes like this were made because it supports their toxic theology.
Evangelicals also have no problem whatsoever using the Masoretic text of the Hebrew Old Testament scriptures in their English Bibles. Why? Because even though it was created by Jewish rabbis almost exclusively to debunk Christianity, it contains verses like this in Isaiah 53:10:
“Yet it was the Lord’s will to crush him and cause him to suffer, and though the Lord makes his life an offering for sin, he will see his offspring and prolong his days, and the will of the Lord will prosper in his hand.”
This verse [and several others in the Masoretic text] suggest that God was the one who caused Jesus to suffer on the cross. This makes Evangelicals happy because they embrace the doctrine of Penal Substitutionary Atonement Theory [PSA].
So, what’s wrong with this verse? Well, it came a few hundred years after the birth of the Christian faith and it radically re-writes the older Septuagint text which was used and quoted by Jesus himself. [That’s right.]
Want to know what Isaiah 53:10 says in the original Septuagint translation? Here ya go:
“The Lord is willing to cleanse him of the injury. If you make a sin offering, our soul will see long-lived offspring, and the Lord is willing to remove him from the difficulty of his soul.”
Wow. Look at that! The Septuagint text which pre-dates the Masoretic actually teaches us that God’s response to the crucifixion of Jesus was to “cleanse [or heal] him of the injury” and that it was not God, but “you” [or “us”] who made him “a sin offering.”
So, the next time your Evangelical Christian friends try to convince you that they only believe what the Bible teaches, or that they are the ones who care about the inerrancy and infallibility of the text, please feel free to remind them that their version of the Bible was carefully edited and altered to support the doctrines they claim are “clearly taught” by the Scriptures.
Until they actually start to care about these sorts of changes that were made specifically to obscure the true meaning of the Scriptures, I have no time to listen to them label me the “heretic” or “liberal” Christian.”