THE RESURRECTION DAY OF OUR LORD
The King James translators rendered the Greek word MIA, by "one", in Matt. 20:12, where it refers to the one hour the eleventh-hour laborer worked. And in the following passages they rendered it the same way: Mark 12:42; Mark 14:37; Luke 9:33, three times; Like 15:8; John 10:16; II Peter 3:8, twice; Un. 18:10. Many other passages could be cited.
Then, in order to preserve the idea adopted by the "church" long before their day, that Christ arose on the first day of the week, they render MIA by "first," in those passages dealing with His resurrection.
The most flagrant violation of the law of language, is seen in the fact that, in order to support this same "church" decree, they render SABBATOON by both, "sabbath," and "week" in one verse. That is to say, SABBATOON occurs twice in Matt. 28:1, and, according to them, it is sabbath the first time, and week the next time.
HEMERA, the Greek word for "day," is not in that verse. But the translators used "day," putting it in italics, to show it is supplied.
So their rendering of that verse is: "In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulcher."
The correct rendering is: "Now it is the evening of the sabbaths. At the lighting up into one of the sabbaths came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to behold the sepulcher."
The fifteenth day of the month, Nisan, was the first day of Unleavened Bread, and was always a sabbath—not a weekly sabbath, but an annual one. Every few years it would occur that the weekly sabbath was the day succeeding the annual sabbath. The Jewish day commenced at sun-set. The time from midday to midnight was called evening. Every evening was in two days. When Nisan 15 was the annual sabbath and Nisan 16, the weekly sabbath, the evening which began at Midday on the 15th and ended at midnight on the 16th was the evening of the sabbaths. That is, it was the evening, half of which was in one sabbath, and half in the other sabbath. This accounts for the phrase, "the evening of the sabbaths." This states the time when the Roman soldiers sealed the tomb of Christ. He had been buried some twenty-four hours.
The phrase, "one of the sabbaths," is MIAN SABBATOON, in Greek. After rendering MIA by "one," in many passages, it was unfair to the public for the translators to render it "first," in this place. It goes to show that they were more concerned about "church" doctrine than the truth of God. "Prote" is the Greek word for "first," and the King James translators so render it in many places. It is just as easy to say "the first day of the week" in Greek, as it is to say anything else. If Matthew had intended to write this phrase, he would have put it: "he prote hemera tes hebdomados hemeron." There is no reason why he should have used the word for "one," instead of the word for "first." Nor is there any reason for using the word for sabbaths, instead of the word for "week." And if he had said one thing and meant another, how would anyone ever have known he did not mean what he said?
In Lev. 23:15, seven sabbaths, ending just before Pentecost, were set apart as a special group. The first of these came just after First Fruits. When either of these seven sabbaths is referred to in scriptures, it is called "one of the sabbaths. A review of the passages in the Greek scriptures containing this phrase, will prove it. They are Matt. 28:1; Mark 16:2; Luke 24:1; John 20:1; John 20:19; Acts 20:7; I Cor. 16:2. Read these in their contexts. "One of the sabbaths" is usually the first of the group, although in Acts 20:7, it evidently refers to a later one of the group.
Christ arose on "one of the sabbaths"—that is, one of the group of seven weekly sabbaths. That it was the first one of the group is evident from the fact that it was the day that immediately succeeded the annual sabbath and also from the fact that in Mark 16:9, it is called "the first sabbath," after being referred to in verse 2 as "one of the sabbaths."
The resurrection of Christ occurred on a weekly sabbath, which is our Saturday. This is fitting, for His resurrection demonstrates a finished work—not the beginning of a week of labor. In Him we rest.
Those who endeavor to study Greek, and have to rely on theological schools and lexicons that get their authority for translations from Pagan writers, are to be pitied. The only trustworthy source are the three oldest manuscripts, the Vaticanus, the Alexandrinus and the Sinaiticus, written in first century Greek. Why should one seek information from those who never knew God, when they can take His word and translate it according to the law of language? If a rendering will not fit every occurrence of a given Greek word, the rendering is wrong. If MIA is "first" in Matt. 28:1. it should be so rendered in all passages where it is found. If SABBATOON is "week" in that passage, it should be rendered "week" in all its occurrences.
"Scholars" want to make translation seem mysterious. It is simple. The concordant Version of the Sacred Scriptures is based on the three oldest manuscripts. The translation is based on the laws of language.
The words of the Lord are pure words, as silver tried in the fire, purified seven times. See Ps. 12:6. What an affront to Him, to undertake to translate them according to the pattern set by Pagans!
I will quote from "The Meaning of Words," a lesson found in the "The Concordant Greek Course," which is bound with the Concordant Version; "The following is a brief outline for fixing the meaning of kalos, which may be amplified by the student. The Authorized Version renders it, fair, goodly, good, better, well , honest, meet and worthy. The word good is ruled out, because agathos is its' proper equivalent. Both terms are used in Luke 8:15. We cannot translate a good and good heart. As the word honest, can be used in but few of its contexts, it does not seize the central idea. The thought is closely associated with good and welcome, (I Tim. 2:3). It is applied to a great range of subjects; fruits, seed, ground, pearls, salt, wine, acts, fighting, doctrine, conscience, etc. It seems to denote each of these in its highest perfection and development. For this, English needs a term besides good, which does not enter the moral realm. Good is opposed to bad and evil. This word is in contrast to a low standard. The nearest English word is IDEAL. This thought will fit and fill every context, though it may be some what strange at first. For fruit, etc. we may use the alternative fine, for ground fertile.
"It differs from beautiful in that the fineness is not in appearance only, but throughout. The tomb of the prophets are beautiful without, but not within, (Matt.23:17). Beautiful, from the word HOUR, brings before us that crisis in all living things when they bloom and appear most agreeable to our esthetic sense. Handsome likewise falls short of ideal, in that it suggests a more artificial or cultivated outward appearance, though this may arise from birth or breeding."
While we are not considering KALOS in this editorial, it seems well to give this extract, so the reader can see the method used in translating the Concordant Version. Is it not a safe method? Does it insult God by appealing to usage of words by Pagan writers?
The same method is used in translating MIA and SABBATOON. If "first will fit every occurrence on MIA, and if words in whose company it is found will always fit into such a rendering, then "first" is the correct translation. But it will not do this. However, "one" does fit its every occurrence, and does agree with other words in whose company it is found. So "one" is correct. The same argument can be made for SABBATOON. If "week" will not fit in every case, then "week" is not correct.
Language becomes corrupted. Before using the Greek as the language through which to express Himself in the later scriptures, God purified it. If He were going to produce a revelation in English, He would not use "dumb" to denote both a person who cannot talk, and one who is without sound judgment. He would give it the former meaning only. He would not use the word "chiseler" when He meant a cheater, although writers use it in that way. Certainly it would not honor Him if we should distort His meaning into corrupt English. Pagan writers often used words out of place, because the Greek language had become corrupted. But the translator should remember that God purified it for His use.