THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH: DISTORTED AND DEFORMED
"But we received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is from God; that we might know the things that were freely given to us of God; which things also we speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches, but which the Spirit teaches; combining spiritual things with spiritual words." 1 Corinthians 2:12-13
What would you say is the number one responsibility of Bible translators, or any translator for that matter? Would you agree in saying that the main function of translators is to convert written material from one language into another language, making certain that the translated version projects the meaning of the original text as precisely as possible?
When God told Adam and Eve, "Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it..." (Gen. 1:28), you can be certain that He chose His words carefully to keep from being misunderstood. When He commanded them not to eat of "the tree of knowledge of good and evil," the record indicates that they fully understood the order and its dire consequences (Gen. 2:16-17; 3:1-3).
All throughout time, God spoke His will to the people, sometimes directly and sometimes in a dream or vision. In these last days, He has spoken to us by His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things (Hebrews 1:2).
As our opening verse demonstrates, the Apostle Paul would say that it is impossible to know the mind of God without the help and aid of the Spirit.
The Holy Spirit has always been present to help the inspired man of God select the right words that are relative to revealing the word of God. God did not leave anything to chance. We must stay with words "which the Spirit teaches" (1 Cor. 2:13) and be careful, when we attempt to explain an idea expressed by these Spirit-given words, not to stray from their original meaning.
That is why translators are given a great responsibility in making sure they get it right, especially key words. The changing of one word can literally change the world. Do they get it right, or do they have something to protect?
The word “c-h-u-r-c-h” is one of those words that has impacted the world and has subverted the purpose for which it was intended. Because the translators substituted the word “church,” meaning a building, instead of the Holy Spirits word, ecclesia, a word reflecting a functioning body or a community, it has affected our whole approach to the meaning of the body of Christ. We have been given a word from the translators that has nothing to do with the original Greek word ecclesia.
This may come as a surprise to some people but there is no such thing as a CHURCH (institution) in all of Scripture! Oh yes indeed, the word CHURCH is found therein about 100 times; but the English word CHURCH should NOT be there at all. That word is not a TRANSLATION of the Greek word ecclesia; but it is substituted for a translation of the Greek word ecclesia in every place it appears in the NT Scriptures with the exception of three instances; all three found in Acts 19:32, 39, and 41 (more about this later).
When Jesus said, “Upon this rock I will build my ecclesia,” (Mat 16:18) the translators purposely used a word identifying a building rather than the people. What He said was that upon the great truth confessed by Peter, that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of the Living God, Jesus would build His assembly, His gathering, or His community of redeemed people. Jesus did NOT say that He would build a church and He did not do such a thing! The ecclesia of Christ is NOT a church! All churches are the works and creations of men. Jesus did not set up a religious institution of any kind. The ecclesia (ek, "out of or from," and kaleo, "a calling or to call") is His called out, obedient people, wherever they are! The ecclesia (or e-k-k-l-e-s-i-a) is NOT an organization or institution.
Now dear reader, at this point, you have a choice: either believe what the translators had to say or go to the original language and read what Jesus and the apostles had to say. You will surely find no word coming from Jesus that He called the translators to represent His authority.
Doesn't it stir your mind and heart enough to move you to really examine why this is true and consider all the error it has brought upon the world? Most people in the church are not aware that some Scriptures have been mistranslated, and then misapplied by human leaders. Everybody can check these things out for themselves. Today, we have bible programs that show every Greek word, its meaning, and what part of speech it is. We have bible dictionaries, lexicons, the internet and resources without end. And of course, we have the ever-present help and aid of the Spirit Himself who will "guide us into all Truth." We are indeed, "without excuse!"