Traditional Misreading? #3: Luke 23:43

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Traditional Misreading? #3: Luke 23:43

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Post by Checkpoint »

This verse has been discussed and debated about for centuries.

On the surface, the dispute has been about where to put a speech mark - a comma - . Should it be before the word "today", or after the word "today"?

But it's not as simple as to merely make that choice. For several reasons.

Firstly, no speech marks (such as commas) are in the original languages used by Bible writers. Likewise, verses, paragraphs, and chapters, were absent from the original writings.
These were all added to the text in later times.

Secondly, our choice will be, or should be, made after giving due consideration to, not only this verse but to the entire conversation before our disputation verse, 43.

Here is the verse, plus the verse in its conversation context:


Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you today you will be with me in Paradise."
Luke 23: 39-43
39 One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him,d saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!”

40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?
41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.”

42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you today you will be with me in paradise.”
(Note: I have taken out the contested comma. Not because there should not be one(there should), but to encourage readers to consider/reconsider just where it is most appropriate, and make their choice accordingly)


1. Why, do you think, Jesus added the word "today" to his usual "Truly, I say to you"?

2. When, do you think, Jesus had in mind by using the word "Paradise" as the equivalent of "when you come into your kingdom"?

3. Where do you place the comma, and why have you made that your choice?






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Re: Traditional Misreading? #3: Luke 23:43

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Post by Miles »

Checkpoint wrote: Sat Oct 30, 2021 1:40 am

1. Why, do you think, Jesus added the word "today" to his usual "Truly, I say to you"?
Because he was letting one of the evil-doers know that he would be with him in Paradise that very day, April 3, AD 33

2. When, do you think, Jesus had in mind by using the word "Paradise" as the equivalent of "when you come into your kingdom"?
Well, the omniscient side of his triune identity knew he would be using it before he created the universe. So it was quite a long time before he was hanging on the cross.

3. Where do you place the comma, and why have you made that your choice?
Don't use a comma.

Luke 23:43 (CEV)
"Jesus replied, “I promise that today you will be with me in paradise.

Although on days when I feel especially expressive I'll sometimes use a colon.

Luke 23:43 (DRA)
"Jesus said to him, “Amen I tell you: Today you will be with me in paradise.

.
Last edited by Miles on Thu Jan 06, 2022 2:29 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Traditional Misreading? #3: Luke 23:43

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Post by Veridican »

Very interesting. Thank you for this post because it matters. It's of high-level understanding, so of course, you have gotten very few responses.
But, now, in something like this, I have to rely on what the Bible version God has told me to use for the Veridican Church says. After all, like you said, there are no commas in the original language.

God has told me, via the Holy Spirit, that for the Veridican Church, we must use as a final authority on scripture the NIV 1984 ed. So, it reads:

Jesus answered him, "I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise."

So, I put the comma after "truth." And I get it. I know there is a difference in meaning depending on whether you place the comma or not. In the way the 1984 NIV puts it, it means that Jesus has the power to save whomever he wants in whatever manner he wants. He is our final judge.
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Re: Traditional Misreading? #3: Luke 23:43

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Post by Miles »

Veridican wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 1:30 am God has told me, via the Holy Spirit, that for the Veridican Church, we must use as a final authority on scripture the NIV 1984 ed. So, it reads:
Any idea why god chose the NIV 1984 as the final authority and not the 1973, 1978, or 2011 versions?
So, I put the comma after "truth." And I get it. I know there is a difference in meaning depending on whether you place the comma or not. In the way the 1984 NIV puts it, it means that Jesus has the power to save whomever he wants in whatever manner he wants. He is our final judge.
As do the vast majority of Bible versions. And where the comma, colon, or em dash is left out it most likely uses "that," as in:

CEB
Jesus replied, “I assure you that today you will be with me in paradise."


.

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Re: Traditional Misreading? #3: Luke 23:43

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Post by Veridican »

Miles wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 2:06 am Any idea why god chose the NIV 1984 as the final authority and not the 1973, 1978, or 2011 versions?
I actually didn't know it was the 1984 ed. Until after the instruction to use it. I just thought it was the NIV. But the book he told me to use, when I looked at the copyright was 1984, and it is different than later versions of the NIV. Later versions, I must say, are pretty corrupted by modern societal requirements on things like gender. Also, just to keep legally publishing the thing as a new edition, they have to change a certain number of words. So, they have changed words just for the sake of publishing concerns. I call that corruption. What I did find out is that previous versions are essentially the same, but they cleaned up grammatical problems and editing issues with the 1984 ed. One thing is certain, it is the version of the Bible I read in 1993 that gave me my unique revelation of Christ and Veridicanism. So, it has that going for it.


CEB
Jesus replied, “I assure you that today you will be with me in paradise."
.
Good points.
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Re: Traditional Misreading? #3: Luke 23:43

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Post by Difflugia »

Veridican wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 1:30 amGod has told me, via the Holy Spirit, that for the Veridican Church, we must use as a final authority on scripture the NIV 1984 ed.
With all due respect to the Holy Spirit, that seems like an odd choice for a "final authority." The NIV sacrifices accuracy to the original text for readability in a number of cases that amount to paraphrase. It's not as freely paraphrased as, say, The Living Bible or The Message, but unless you exactly agree doctrinally with the translator, it's unlikely that every minor paraphrase will match your understanding. That also means that certain kinds of Bible Study are more difficult with the NIV, particularly forms of exegesis that hinge on exact word meanings or turns of phrase (like in this thread, for example).

That's usually fine in a liturgical setting, where non-experts are helped by difficult or ambiguous phrases being smoothed out by the translator, but then you're trusting the translator to interpret the passages for you. Unless you either fully agree with the translator's doctrinal positions or declare that the translation itself is inspired of God, there are better choices for "scriptural authority" even if the NIV is still used as a liturgical Bible.
Veridican wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 10:56 am
Miles wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 2:06 am Any idea why god chose the NIV 1984 as the final authority and not the 1973, 1978, or 2011 versions?
I actually didn't know it was the 1984 ed. Until after the instruction to use it. I just thought it was the NIV. But the book he told me to use, when I looked at the copyright was 1984, and it is different than later versions of the NIV. Later versions, I must say, are pretty corrupted by modern societal requirements on things like gender.
Liturgically, the 2011 is generally better and in most cases, the gender-neutral language more reflects even conservative readings. When Paul refers to the members of the Roman church as "brothers" in Romans 1:13, for example, most interpreters think Paul was referring to Roman Christians in general, including women. When the 2011 NIV, then, has Paul specking to the "brothers and sisters," I take that as a clarification in Paul's meaning, rather than a corruption. A much broader paraphrase in the NIV 1984 is apparent in 1 Corinthians 7:39. When Paul is speaking of widows and marriage, he says that if a woman is widowed, she may marry anyone she chooses, "only in the Lord" (μόνον ἐν κυρίῳ). What "only in the Lord" refers to here is ambiguous. The NIV treats it as referring to her new partner and paraphrases "only in the Lord" as "but he must belong to the Lord." That's a reasonable reading and presumably the one that the NIV's predominantly Calvinist and Evangelical audience would agree with, but it's not the only reasonable reading. Is she being enjoined from marrying if she herself would have to convert, for example? Does a Christian ceremony satisfy being married "only in the Lord?" Again, I wouldn't call this a corruption, but at the same time, it's no less of a corruption than "brothers and sisters."

Overall, if I wanted to read the closest literal meaning in English, I would choose a more consistently literal translation like the NASB or ESV over the "formal equivalence" of the NIV.
Veridican wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 10:56 amAlso, just to keep legally publishing the thing as a new edition, they have to change a certain number of words. So, they have changed words just for the sake of publishing concerns.
There's no legal standard for what constitutes a "new edition." Even if the goal is a new copyright date, the legal standard is that the change "transforms" the work in some way and the gender-neutral language alone would be enough to do that. Whether you agree with them or not, the changes made between the 1984 and 2011 editions are there because the publisher thought they belonged there, not simply for the sake of being different. Someone more cynical might suggest that the changes were to simply sell more Bibles, but if that were the case, I'd expect that Zondervan would continue selling both editions. Instead, Zondervan refuses to print or issue new licenses to the 1984 NIV text (or even to the TNIV, published between the 1984 and 2011 NIV editions). Any NIV 1984 Bibles for sale are old stock and if you don't already have an electronic NIV 1984, it's at least difficult and maybe impossible to get one legally. The last legal ebook edition I knew of that included the 1984 text was the NIV Archaeological Study Bible, but I don't even see that one for sale anymore. If you already have a license for the 1984 edition in your Bible software, you can keep using it, but if you're starting now, you have to settle for the 2011 NIV.
My preferred pronouns are he, him, and his.

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Re: Traditional Misreading? #3: Luke 23:43

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Post by Miles »

Veridican wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 10:56 am
Miles wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 2:06 am Any idea why god chose the NIV 1984 as the final authority and not the 1973, 1978, or 2011 versions?
I actually didn't know it was the 1984 ed. Until after the instruction to use it. I just thought it was the NIV. But the book he told me to use, when I looked at the copyright was 1984, and it is different than later versions of the NIV. Later versions, I must say, are pretty corrupted by modern societal requirements on things like gender. Also, just to keep legally publishing the thing as a new edition, they have to change a certain number of words. So, they have changed words just for the sake of publishing concerns. I call that corruption.
If that is truly the reason, then I'd call it a marketing ploy. However, unless it changed a significant element of the message I would hesitate in calling it corruption.


.
Last edited by Miles on Fri Jan 07, 2022 1:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Traditional Misreading? #3: Luke 23:43

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Post by Veridican »

Difflugia wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 2:56 pm
With all due respect to the Holy Spirit, that seems like an odd choice for a "final authority." The NIV sacrifices accuracy to the original text for readability in a number of cases that amount to paraphrase. It's not as freely paraphrased as, say, The Living Bible or The Message, but unless you exactly agree doctrinally with the translator, it's unlikely that every minor paraphrase will match your understanding. That also means that certain kinds of Bible Study are more difficult with the NIV, particularly forms of exegesis that hinge on exact word meanings or turns of phrase (like in this thread, for example).
First off, to be quite honest, it's not my first choice, but it is what I believe the Holy Spirit told me. It was a choice between the KJV, the NASB, and the NIV--and I received the word that it was to be the NIV. As a minister, I have many translations of the Bible. When I need to, I will research in depth an Ancient Greek word in order to translate it for myself using all the tools at my disposal. The thing is, and this is true, I have never undertaken such an investigation that didn't end up concluding the same way the NIV does (again, I stipulate, the 1984 ed.)
That's usually fine in a liturgical setting, where non-experts are helped by difficult or ambiguous phrases being smoothed out by the translator, but then you're trusting the translator to interpret the passages for you. Unless you either fully agree with the translator's doctrinal positions or declare that the translation itself is inspired of God, there are better choices for "scriptural authority" even if the NIV is still used as a liturgical Bible.
I'm sure you know the history of the Bible, so I know you know that what you just said could be said of the King James, the New American Standard Bible, and every other translation. In every translation, there is no direct word-for-word, so someone is always interpreting, especially when it comes to Ancient Greek. You know, it's not even necessarily like Modern Greek. When it comes down to it, someone has to decide what the Ancient Greek word is going to mean in English. And I know you know; we do not have any original documents. We have no idea, for instance, if Revelation from the Codex Sinaiticus is the same as the original scroll it was written on. Or even the fragments that come from an earlier time. We are always having to trust translations.
Liturgically, the 2011 is generally better and in most cases, the gender-neutral language more reflects even conservative readings. When Paul refers to the members of the Roman church as "brothers" in Romans 1:13, for example, most interpreters think Paul was referring to Roman Christians in general, including women. When the 2011 NIV, then, has Paul specking to the "brothers and sisters," I take that as a clarification in Paul's meaning, rather than a corruption. A much broader paraphrase in the NIV 1984 is apparent in 1 Corinthians 7:39. When Paul is speaking of widows and marriage, he says that if a woman is widowed, she may marry anyone she chooses, "only in the Lord" (μόνον ἐν κυρίῳ). What "only in the Lord" refers to here is ambiguous. The NIV treats it as referring to her new partner and paraphrases "only in the Lord" as "but he must belong to the Lord." That's a reasonable reading and presumably the one that the NIV's predominantly Calvinist and Evangelical audience would agree with, but it's not the only reasonable reading. Is she being enjoined from marrying if she herself would have to convert, for example? Does a Christian ceremony satisfy being married "only in the Lord?" Again, I wouldn't call this a corruption, but at the same time, it's no less of a corruption than "brothers and sisters."

Overall, if I wanted to read the closest literal meaning in English, I would choose a more consistently literal translation like the NASB or ESV over the "formal equivalence" of the NIV.
That's very interesting. And, personally, I agree with you. I prefer the NASB. But that's not what God told me to use. I don't know all His reasons. I can defend it to a certain degree, but whether I do or not, I have to just obey in the end.
Veridican wrote: Thu Jan 06, 2022 10:56 am There's no legal standard for what constitutes a "new edition." Even if the goal is a new copyright date, the legal standard is that the change "transforms" the work in some way and the gender-neutral language alone would be enough to do that. Whether you agree with them or not, the changes made between the 1984 and 2011 editions are there because the publisher thought they belonged there, not simply for the sake of being different. Someone more cynical might suggest that the changes were to simply sell more Bibles, but if that were the case, I'd expect that Zondervan would continue selling both editions. Instead, Zondervan refuses to print or issue new licenses to the 1984 NIV text (or even to the TNIV, published between the 1984 and 2011 NIV editions). Any NIV 1984 Bibles for sale are old stock and if you don't already have an electronic NIV 1984, it's at least difficult and maybe impossible to get one legally. The last legal ebook edition I knew of that included the 1984 text was the NIV Archaeological Study Bible, but I don't even see that one for sale anymore. If you already have a license for the 1984 edition in your Bible software, you can keep using it, but if you're starting now, you have to settle for the 2011 NIV.
I have bought several copies off e-bay, and I have a .pdf of it. Unfortunately, I have to run, but I found your comments very interesting and informed. :approve:
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