By Scott Jones
Copyright © Scott Jones 1998
(This paper may be reproduced or used in any manner for the glory of God as long as no fees are charged and proper accreditation is given)
Wherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. Matt. 12:31
There is one sin for which there is no forgiveness. Jesus defined it as the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. Modern bibles promote it.
Specifically, there is one verse in both the NIV and the NASV which categorically advocates the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. I will thoroughly demonstrate and diagram this subtle but very substantial atrocity in the exegesis that follows.
Let it be stated at the outset, I am not suggesting that those who own an NIV or an NASV have committed the unpardonable sin. Nor am I suggesting that those involved in the translation of these corrupt bibles purposely set out to commit this sin, or that they have unknowingly blasphemed the Holy Ghost. I am suggesting that "the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience" is the author of this verse in modern bibles, and furthermore, that he is the mastermind behind modern bibles themselves.
This verse exposes the foundation of Satan's assault on the Word of God in this final generation. Soon the Lord Jesus Christ will return to claim all that he purchased by himself with his own blood on Calvary two thousand years ago. Until then the battle rages, for Satan knows that his time is short. Accordingly, let no man think that the dragon has abdicated his position as "the god of this world." Come heaven, come hellthe accuser of our brethren still intends to "exalt his throne above the stars of God," and he will damn as many souls as he possibly can in the process.
Thus, while it is a well known catechism that the spirit of antichrist, "that old serpent," is the great deceiver, and that he is "transformed into an angel of light," how few believers actually recognize his de facto wiles in their own generation. As someone once remarked, "When Satan dresses to kill, he dresses well." Not surprisingly, the devil's crowning achievement in this era is the craftiness with which he has been able to alter the Word of God until it is no longer fit for the souls of men. The real marvel is how successful he has been, especially in our day. With all of the warnings made available to this generation, it seems almost axiomatic that we would be ready to meet this deception head-on. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth.
Although our pulpits should be thundering with men of discernment, we find that discernment has all but vanished in modern Christendom, including fundamental circles. Sadly, the faithful witness is virtually nowhere to be found within organized Christianity, or if he is, his voice is so seldom heard that we consider him an outcast or a has-been. On the other hand, hirelingsprofessionals every oneclog the ramparts like lemmings on a teetering ledge, never dreaming that the ledge will one day crumble. How tragic.
Still, the hidden souls are preciousthose whose lives "are hid with Christ in God," for God has yet preserved a remnant of faithful men and women who have not bowed the knee to the Baal of apostate biblical scholarship. This study is for themthe elect of God, drawn to Jesus Christ by the Father, sealed by the Spirit, and "kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time."
How serious is this subject? Well, John Bunyan made this sobering remark concerning the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost: "Beware, barren professor! Thou mayest do that in half a quarter of an hour, from the evil of which thou mayest not be delivered for ever and ever." A most chilling prospect, indeed. Let every reader tremble.
In the New Testament we are given several illustrations depicting the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, as well as several definitions of exactly what this sin is. In a moment we will explore these items briefly and then make our application. However, let us first take a look at the verse in modern bibles which propagates this abomination.
Philippians 2:6, referring to "Christ Jesus," delivers a most majestic revelation with regard to the divinity of our Lord. In fact, this verse is one of the most royal statements in all of scripture, as it deals explicitly with the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ in his incarnation, thus testifying truly that "Jesus Christ is come in the flesh." No wonder, then, that the serpent sought to inject his poison into these words by corrupting this phrase in modern bibles.
As always, the Authorized Version has translated the passage correctly: "Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God."
Conversely, both the NIV and the NASV go out of their way to employ two egregious solecisms in order to completely alter the sentence structure, by which the meaning of the verse is actually reversed, thus badly mistranslating the entire phrase and in the process advocating the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. Here are their respective translations
NIV "Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped."
NASV "who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped."
The difference between this verse in the AV and modern bibles is subtle to be sure, but careful scrutiny reveals modern bibles say the exact opposite of what the AV says.
Perhaps an illustration is in order. For example, tell a "modern" woman that she shouldn't consider it "robbery to be equal with man," and she will more than likely agree with you. On the other hand, tell that same cosmopolitan young lady that she shouldn't "consider equality with man a thing to be grasped" or that "equality with man is not something a woman can grasp," and see what happens! If such a remark could be so insulting to a woman, how much more to the Lord of Glory!
As we said, the contrast is subtle, but striking.
In context, therefore, the AV tells us that Jesus Christ, in his incarnation, did not think it presumptuous to be equal with God. In other words, as God clothed in human form, he had no misgivings whatsoever about who he was. He was "God manifest in the flesh," and he wasn't the least bit timid about confessing it"He that hath seen me hath seen the Father."
Matthew Henry stated it essentially the same way: "He thought it no robbery to be equal with God; did not think himself guilty of any invasion of what did not belong to him, or assuming another's right. He said, I and my Father are one."
Modern bibles tell us just the opposite. They tells us that Jesus somehow couldn't bring himself to realize his "equality" with God. It just wasn't within his "grasp." He was apparently struggling with his identity, as these perversions clearly imply. Perhaps a "Christian psychologist"an oxymoron if ever there was onecould have helped out. Equality with God? Can't quite get there? Just can't grasp it? It's just out of reach? "Well, then," the psychologist might say, "perhaps you should just try to visualize equality with God. After all, every man has the potential to become like God. We are all his offspring and hence emanate from his very nature! In fact, you might say that we are in very nature God, though most of us can't quite grasp it yet." Eve once heard a similar tale.
Let the reader bewareall heresies begin with the denigration of the person of Jesus Christ. By diminishing the intrinsic deity of the man Christ Jesus, the self-sufficiency of human nature in general is elevated by default. This is axiomatic. By diluting the deity of Jesus in his humanity, the sin of Edena profane notion that man has godlike potential in and of himselfis unavoidably exalted. Consequently, the product of such wickedness is the engineering of a veiled but deadly attempt by that wicked one to bridge the gap between truth and falsehood and completely blur the demarcation between the essence of a holy Jesus and the essence of sinful man so that the two are no longer distinguishable. This is exactly what this verse and many others in modern bibles engender.
Witness a short demonstration: If modern bibles bore a shred of truth in this passage, one must immediately wonder why Jesus accepted worship. Indeed, how could he allow himself to be worshipped since he "did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped?" According to scripture, the only person who deserves worship is God. If Jesus somehow couldn't "grasp equality with God," how could he possibly "grasp" the concept of someone worshipping him?
Or had the standard for worship suddenly been lowered? Ah! Apparently so. Apparently the standard for worship had been lowered, at least according to modern bibles. You see, the NIV and the NASV proclaim that one can be incapable of "grasping equality with God" and yet still receive worship.
Viola! The gap has been bridged, the demarcation has been blurred. Advantage Satan, courtesy of the NIV and NASV.
Thus, it becomes quickly evident that modern bibles have flung the barn door wide open at this point and every animal has escaped. As we can see, this modern translation plays squarely into the hands of antichrist. The corrupt theological permutations in this short passage are infinite. In fact, this perversion in modern bibles also propagates "Spirit Christology" and several other early forms of Gnosticism. A very wise apostle once said, "A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump." Alas, how few Christians these days actually believe that.
The focus of this study is singular, so we shall not explore all of the heresies incumbent in this verse in modern bibles. Instead, we will concentrate on a demonstration of how this verse in the NIV and the NASV not only promotes the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, but also how it denies that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. Before proceeding to our objective, however, we must look briefly at the hoops contemporary scholarship had to jump through in order to arrive at this corrupt translation. As we shall see, the Greek doesn't support these modern renditions by any stretch of the imagination. Furthermore, it should be noted that there is no manuscript disputation here. The Greek reads the same in all cases, as follows
o]j evn morfh/| Qeou/ u`pa,rcwn( ouvc a`rpagmo.n h`gh,sato to. ei=nai i;sa Qew/|(
The first blunder made by modern translators was in the deliberate alteration of the adverb, isos, which means equal. Instead of retaining the Greek grammatical form here, modern translators changed the adverb for equal into the noun equality. Simply put, there is no justification whatsoever for doing so. But this is not all that modern translators have wrested in this passage.
The second blunder concerns the noun, arpagma, or robbery. As before, modern translators were not content to leave the grammar alone. Instead, they changed the noun for robbery into the verb to be grasped. Again, there is absolutely no justification whatsoever for having done so. In fact, it is a flagrant gaffe, for the Greek is not at all difficult here. Unlike some passages in scripture, this particular passage is very straightforward and requires no "translational finesse" at all.
Of course, the Lord told us that "wisdom is justified of her children." Thus, it stands to reason that some erudite scholar will come along and attempt to counter this edict. However, allow me to execute a preemptive strike in anticipation of such an ignoble feat If there is a question as to which translation is correct, all the reader must do is examine the underlying doctrine! You see, no matter how exhaustive the protests by modern scholars and exegetes, the one area that is completely unassailable in our proof is the doctrine. "If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself." The doctrine, fortified by scores of other verses, bears witness to the AV's translation and simultaneously repudiates the modern translations. In other words, the AV presents us with true doctrine while the modern bibles present us with false doctrine. Unless, of course, one chooses foolishly to believe that Jesus really couldn't "grasp equality with God." Case closed.
The next line of defense by modern scholars will no doubt be an appeal to dynamic equivalency. Much to their chagrin, however, such an appeal is doomed from the start. Why? Because as we saw earlier, the meaning of the text has been altered! In other words, even if one applauds the dynamic equivalency methodology, which I don't (again, that is not the focus of this study) one still must operate within the contextual meaning of the original language. Modern translations, as demonstrated above, clearly fail this most basic of tests.
In other words, modern translations render a phrase with a meaning that is not at all like the original Greek! In fact, this phrase in modern bibles gives us the polar opposite of the Greek! Moreover, as just demonstrated, it was necessary to dramatically alter the grammatical structure of the sentence in order to do so. This point cannot be emphasized strongly enough. That is, the change was premeditated. Observe
Several deliberate, very calculating steps were required in order to alter the meaning of the text and achieve this abominable translation in modern bibles! It could not have happened accidentally. To wit, an adverb had to be deliberately changed into a noun, and a noun had to be deliberately changed into a verb. In no other way could this sentence have been sculpted into its present form. This is the only way the meaning of this sentence could have been so subtly and yet so drastically altered.
The bottom line is frightening, for it turns out that modern translators have done much more than simply change an adverb into a noun and a noun into a verb: they have "changed the truth of God into a lie." The result, as we shall now see, is a phrase which denigrates the Son of God and advocates the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost.
Once again for the record: I am not suggesting that the translators of this modern perversion set out to purposely denigrate the Son of God or blaspheme the Holy Ghost. I am suggesting that the translators of this modern perversion were manipulated by Satan and have thus given us a verse which does denigrate the Son of God and does advocate the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. As it is written, "Your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." Consequently, there is no middle ground here. A choice must be made.
The Holy Ghost by the mouth of Paul stated, "But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed." As if once wasn't enough, he then follows it up in the very next verse with an additional solemn warning, "As we said before, so say I now again, If any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." This is not a normal warning; this is a double warning. The Holy Spirit declares in no uncertain terms that the promotion of another gospel curses the messenger.
Modern bibles promote another gospel, as demonstrated in Philippians 2:6, not to mention the literally thousands of other verses where the text has been corrupted. Therefore, those who were involved in translating this passage and those who have continued to defend modern bibles have been in cahootswittingly or unwittinglywith a spirit who from the beginning has sought to promote another gospel. Ergo, such men have only one sound course of actionthey must repent.
No man can straddle a chasm. He must choose one side or the other. As for those who refuse to hear, and those who continue to defend modern bibles, "as we said before, so say I now again, if any man preach any other gospel unto you than that ye have received, let him be accursed." Perhaps someone will forsake his pride and come to grips with the plain truth. Unfortunately, most won't. "And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not." For those who refuse to repent, know most assuredly that you are promoting another gospel.
The first time we hear the term "blasphemy against the Holy Ghost" is when Jesus in Matthew 12:31 confronts the Pharisees for their wickedness. The circumstances were these: The Lord had just freed, as was his wont, a precious human soul bound by Satanin this case one possessed with a devil, both blind and dumb. The Pharisees, of course, instead of praising God for grace and mercy bestowed, forthwith accused Jesus of receiving his power from Beelzebub, the prince of devils. To be clear, we must understand that these eminent scholars, skilled in all the letters of the law, were "speaking behind the Lord's back." That is, they did not at this point accuse him openly. Unfortunately for them, the scriptures tell us that "Jesus knew their thoughts."
From this certifiably arcane episode issued one of the most scathing denouncements ever uttered by human lips. Here, the Lord not only saddles these Pharisees with many undesirable approbations while reproaching them for being a "generation of vipers," but likewise charges them point-blank with blaspheming the Holy Ghost. To drive home his point and let them know that they were now shackled with unforgiveness for all eternity, the Lord closes his discourse with these words, "But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned."
What had these Pharisees done to deserve such a lashing? To put it simply, they had in the dark recesses of their hearts "trodden under foot the Son of God, and hath counted the blood of the covenant, wherewith he was sanctified, an unholy thing, and hath done despite unto the Spirit of grace." For those who can't seem to get comfortable in their doctrinal shoes without nice, neat little formulas, this is a thumbnail definition of the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. However, there is yet one imperative that must be addressed in order to complete the theology. That is, the most important point to be emphasized in all of the above is this
The blasphemy against the Holy Ghost cannot occur apart from a deliberate, calculated, premeditated denigration of the person of Jesus Christ!
Want proof? Well, for one thing, grace itself cannot operate apart from the person of Jesus Christ, so doing "despite unto the Spirit of grace" is likewise impossible apart from the person of Jesus Christ. "For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." For another thing, the Spirit of grace will not operate apart from the person of Jesus Christ. " for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me..." In short, all grace, all truth, all goodness, all righteousness, and anything else that is true and honorable and pureall is found in the person of Jesus Christ, and apart from him there is no true virtue! None whatsoever. "And he is before all things, and by him all things consist."
Thus, it is one thing to speak a word against the Son of Man; it is another thing entirely to despise him and count his blood an unholy thing. It is one thing to take the Lord aside and rebuke him over a theological issue or deny him in the face of trial, as Peter did; it is another thing entirely to behold infinite righteousness, infinite holiness, and infinite lightwhich can be perceived in Jesus Christ and Jesus Christ aloneand then to despise it, to disparage it, to call pure righteousness evil, to see pure holiness as profane, to exchange pure light for darkness that is, for pride's sake to embrace the very soul of wickedness itself, as did Judas Iscariot. This is treading under foot the Son of God; this is counting his blood an unholy thing; this is doing despite unto the Spirit of gracein short, this is the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost, and it cannot occur apart from the willful denigration of the person of Jesus Christ.
Philippians 2:6 in modern bibles arrogantly enters this domain and there transgresses. Here's how
In the 10th chapter of the gospel of John, we find the Lord Jesus once again surrounded by a pack of rabid Pharisees. Completely unsatisfied with all the Lord has done thus farhe has healed lepers, given sight to the blind, strength to the lame, hearing to the deaf, voice to the dumb, life to the dead, and much more besidesthese religious wolves now decree that such evidence is not enough. No! They want more! "If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly."
Jesus answers them, "I told you, and ye believed not: the works that I do in my Father's name, they bear witness of me " After expounding a bit, the Lord then closes his exposition in verse 30 by announcing, "I and my Father are one."
This was too much for the Pharisees. They took up stones. Jesus said, "Many good works have I showed you from my Father; for which of those works do ye stone me?" The Pharisees responded by saying, "For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself equal with God."
Ah! At last we come to the heart of the matter. The real burr under the Pharisees' saddle was the man himself! They had no problem with his works. It was himself that they hated. It wasn't so much his teaching, but him. And now, on top of it all, he had the audacity to make himselfright there in front of them, right before their very eyesequal with God! HeJesus himselfmade himself equal with God. What boldness! What confidence! He had no problem "grasping" equality with God. The problem was with the religious crowd. Jesus had no problem with his divinity whatsoever. Au contraireJesus asserted his "equality with God" most boldly! As the AV renders it"he did not think it robbery to be equal with God."
For this, the gnashing Pharisees charged him with blasphemy, for they had long ago crossed the line. Their darkened hearts had long ago exchanged darkness for light, and light for darkness. Their accusations against the Lord of Glory were simply the manifestation of what they already were. And what was their great concern? What was the number one indictment issued here against the Lord of Lords and King of Kings? What was the pronouncement of Israel's August body of scholars?
It was blasphemy, for Jesus Christ had boldly, confidently, and without apology asserted his equality with God. There was no mistaking it, as his accusers reminded him"thou, being a man, makest thyself equal with God"and they hated him for it. Why?
Because the Pharisees did not believe that equality with God was something that Jesus could grasp!
Just like the NIV and the NASV"he did not regard equality with God as something to be grasped." The very thoughts of the Pharisees themselves! The very thoughts of the same men who had blasphemed the Holy Ghost. In other words, modern bibles and the Pharisees of old unite in the exact same opinion of the Lord Jesus Christ! Could anything possibly be clearer? Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear!
Take heed, reader. As despicable as this verse is in modern bibles, it is only one verse out of thousands in modern bibles where truth has been corrupted, where light has been exchanged for darkness.
In closing, therefore, I have one question for you, the reader. Your answer to this question will speak volumes. The question is plain
Do you believe that Jesus could grasp equality with God? It's that simple Do you believe that Jesus could grasp equality with God? Your answer will determine many things for your life, including which Bible you read.
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Maranatha.
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ple? While some redefine the doctrine of inspiration and apply it to the KJV, most KJV advocates revere it as the word of God for the English speaking people without any proven error. Those who dispute this view will eagerly show some verse they perceive as mistranslated or contradictory. The truth is all such verses or places have Biblical and scholarly support to show they have been translated correctly.
To "prove" his case,