I checked out your site, 'Well done! It brings to mind a comment you made some time ago when you said. 'keep it simple.' And I see that that is your aim. But as you can see by the replies you have received so far that, that's easier said than done. A simple invitation to check out your site has turned into a discussion about Bible translations.
Why is that?
The letters to one of the 7 congregations answer that question. In his letter to the congregation in Pergamon Jesus says: "These are the things that he says who has the two-edged sword
, (Rev 2:12).
Who is that one that has that two-edged sword and what does it signify?
At Rev 19:11-16, John sees one who is called Faithful and True, who judges and carries on war in righteousness. This one has a two-edged sword protruding from his mouth with which he strikes the nations as he treads the winepress of mighty God's anger. This one is Jesus who earlier in Jhn 12:47-50 said that he didn't speak of his own impulse but all he said was exactly what the Father had told him to say, and that his sayings are what would judge people in the last day. So the two-edged sword represents the sayings of God
with which people are judged at the time when Jesus, as the king of kings
returns, Heb 4:12).
So the letter to the congregation at Pergamon, Rev 3:12-17 is addressed to copyists and those responsible for translating God's word. The Spirit tells them: I know where you are dwelling that that is where the throne of Satan is
, (Rev 2:13), which indicates that Satan interferes with the accurate transmission of God's word. The Sopherim/copyist altered God's word around 450 BC. An emendation is an "alteration intended to improve." The Sopherim, in a misguided zeal for Elohim and the Scriptures, took it upon themselves to make some changes to the manuscripts which were handed down to them.
Jesus then commends the congregation, saying: And yet you are holding fast to my name, and you did not deny your faith in me
. His name Yehoshua means Jehovah saves.
Amongst other things, the Sopherim also removed God's name in the OT. The Sopherim did what they did under the pretext of saying that God’s name is too sacred to be used. Pronouncing it was prohibited. Even when written in scripture, Jews think it shouldn’t be pronounced, and will substitute another name, such as “Adonai” or “The Name” for the tetragrammaton (YHWH)
, The 134 Emendations of the Sopherim
At Rev 2:13 Jesus adds: even in the days of Antipas, my witness, the faithful one, who was killed by your side where Satan is dwelling
. It is quite possible that Antipas, not denying his faith in Jesus, but heeding what he said at Jhn 17:6,26, used God's name, Jehovah, which the Sopherim had forbidden.
The Spirit then tells them about some things that they must change, otherwise, like Balak, they would become a stumbling block. He had been offered a reward to curse Israel and had opted for the reward. And they also had some holding fast to the teaching of Nicolaos
. The 1st-century congregation at Pergamon would have known exactly to what he referred, (cf Acts 6:5;11:26).
He then says: Therefore repent. If you do not, I am coming quickly, and I will war with them, with the long sword of my mouth
, (Rev 2:14-16).
We are now in that time and as has happened here we debate in favour of this or that translation. None of the modern language translations we have today is an accurate rendition of the original. The NWT, instead of relying on late Greek and Latin manuscripts used the Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek manuscripts, but in places, they also geared their translation to fit their religious narrative.
The letter, however, ends on a positive note: Let the one who has an ear hear what the Spirit says to the congregation: To him, that conquers, I will give some of the hidden manna
, (Rev 2:17). This hidden manna is the sacred secret in the little scroll that is revealed just prior to the blowing of the 7th trumpet, (Rev 2:17; cf. Rev 10:4,7).
Since the advent of modern language translations literally thousands of pieces of early manuscripts have been found and are being studied and compared. And in this way, it has been possible to establish the original version of God's words. This information is now available online and one doesn't need academic qualifications to use these online lexicons and bible study tools. The one who made sure that these tools are available Is the Faithful and True
one, who judges and carries on war in righteousness
, out of whose mouth protrudes the sharp two-edged sword
So as much as we might like it to be straightforward and simple, It isn't, at least not for those who have been called or invited to whom these letters are addressed - 'invited ones' is what the word congregation/ecclesia
means. Those invited need to hear and heed what the Spirit says and put on a suitable marriage garment, (Mt 22:1-13). And those of the ecclesia at Pergamon, who do so are given a white pebble upon which is written a new name which no one knows but the one receiving it
, (Rev 2:17).