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
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
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
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
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
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.
The Handbook for Beginners in Concordant Scripture
Study is in the hands of the printers, and, I think, will soon be
ready for delivery. I thank all who have sent advance orders,
and trust they will wait for it patiently.
The booklet is intended primarily for class
work. Our young people are being neglected in some places.
Perhaps there are some older ones who can be interested in the truth
through this means. The booklet deals with things that should be
learned first, in beginning to study the scriptures
There are two methods of class work. A Sunday
school class may be formed, or, and perhaps this is preferable in many
places, a daily vacation scripture school should be held for, say, a
week, this summer.
And if you have not ordered a dozen copies, please
do so at once. They are ten cents a copy, or a dollar a