Have you ever noticed that every day, when people use modern bible versions, it is very difficult to follow along, if you are using another version?
This happens to me every week. I attend a church where any bible is acceptable. Frequently the KJV is used, but if someone uses another version no one complains.
The other day one of the speakers was using a modern version and when he got to 1 Peter 4:18 it read something like this;
18 If it is hard for a man who is right with God to be saved, what will happen to the sinner? (New Life Version)
Or maybe it was the NIV;
18 And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?”
Or the CEV?
“If good people barely escape, what will happen to sinners and to others who don’t respect God?”
I am not sure which version was in use, but the sense was the same as these.
Do you see what I see? There are some serious problems with these translations!
The NLV says it is “hard for a man who is right with God, to be saved”! In other words, you might be right with God and still not be saved!
The NIV says “ it is hard for the righteous to be saved”. Again, according to the NIV translators, you might be “righteous” and still NOT SAVED!
The CEV says “good people barely escape”, as if salvation depends on being good!
The very definition of “Righteous” and “right with God” is “Saved”! As the bible says “there is none righteous, no not one”, so if God calls you “righteous” then it is because you have His righteousness! If you have His righteousness, then by the very definition, you are saved!
You see, if you are using translations like these, you are relying on the work of people who don’t understand Scripture! It seems like they are using a lexicon and randomly choosing one of the translations!
The Greek is the word μολις, mol’is
1) with difficulty, hardly
2) not easily, i.e. scarcely, very rarely
with difficulty: – hardly, scarce(ly), with much work.
Now, all of these definitions are legitimate translations of the word in question, but only one is the word intended by the Author.
Compare these translations to Jesus statements;
28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. Matthew 11:28-30
Have you ever heard someone use the word “scarcely” like this? “I was late, and I scarcely made it to the train on time!” I have! It was kind of like they got to the station as the train was already pulling out, and had to run and jump on the last car just as it left the station!
In other words, they did make it to the train, but only just barely!
Here is another one;
But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin. I John 1:7
So, what cleanses us from all sin? Is it our work? Is it something we have done? Absolutely NOT! There is nothing in all of creation that can cleanse us from all sin, from any sin, except the blood of Jesus Christ!
If any man’s work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire. I Corinthians 3:15
Of course you need to read the context of this verse, but if you do you will find that it is all about those who are “in Christ Jesus”! A saved person who’s work was done with the wrong motive, or who’s work was useless for the cause of the Gospel, will find that he/she was wasting their time, but they themselves will still be saved, like a person pulled out of a burning building with nothing but their life!
The New English Bible does a pretty good job with this verse, but I don’t recommend this bible because of other issues, nevertheless it is useful to take a look at this translation;
18 And if the righteous are barely saved, what will become of the ungodly and sinners?
This is the exact meaning I get out of the KJV, but many of the popular modern versions don’t! Many of the others make it seem like salvation is something you have to work for and still may not make it, or that you could be righteous and yet not saved! Aargh!
Here is the Gold Standard;
And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? I Peter 4:18 (KJV/AV)
Here’s an interesting idea; why don’t we look at the definition of the English word “scarcely”?
Here’s the Cambridge Dictionary definition;
uk /ˈskeəs.li/ us /ˈskers.li/
scarcely adverb (ONLY JUST)
C2 almost not:
I was scarcely able to move my arm after the accident.
I could scarcely believe it when she said she wanted to marry me.
used to say that something happened immediately after something else happened:
I had scarcely sat down/Scarcely had I sat down to eat when the phone rang.
Wow! This is the exact same as the “hardly” meaning of the Greek word “μολις”, or “mol’is”! It is no wonder the KJV used this word, “only just” is the perfect meaning, which can also be translated as “scarcely” or “barely”.
You are best off using a translation done by people who know the Lord themselves, and not one done by “professional” translators! The level of scholarship in modern graduates is seriously lacking in the graduates of the big-name universities! They cannot be trusted!
The KJV is the bible of the martyrs! 85% of this bible is the work of one man, William Tyndale, who was rewarded for his work by being burned at the stake! Frankly, I don’t know of a modern version that is worth dying for!