The Berean Expositor
Volume 15 - Page 146 of 160
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Sin, and its relation to God.
pp. 172 175
Inspiration, and a disputed translation.
When the apostle Paul reached Rome, we are told in Acts 28: 22 that the elders of
Israel said:--
"We desire to hear of thee what thou THINKEST."
When Paul, however, had the opportunity of speaking to them he took higher ground,
for he did not tell them so much what he thought, but rather what God had SAID
(Acts 28: 23).
An appeal to a human authority, however high, is always open to challenge. It is after
all something that someone has thought to be truth. On the other hand an appeal to what
God has said places all matters beyond dispute.
An incontestible authority.
Gesenius is a great authority on Hebrew, but he is not beyond the reach and the right
of criticism. The Septuagint version of the O.T. is a great and venerable authority, but it
is not inspired. So with the A.V. and the R.V. There is, however, one fundamental
doctrine that we do not discuss in this magazine, and that is the verbal inspiration of the
Hebrew and Greek originals of the Old and New Testaments.
Whenever we enter into discussion in these pages it is taken for granted that this is
common ground, and the fact that we do feel called upon at times to discuss a point with
others must always be understood to imply that we believe that those writers who are
criticized hold the truth of inspiration as dear as we do ourselves.
There is a question before us as to the right translation of certain forms of the Hebrew
word chata and its bearing upon the vital doctrine of the sacrifice for sin. The A.V.
translates the "intensive" form of chata = "sin", by "offer for sin",  "make
reconciliation", "purify", &100: The writer we criticize denies the accuracy of these
translations, saying:--
"They are contrary to the laws of the Hebrew language."
"Instead of being the opposite of sin, as you suggest, it is sin more intensely sinful."
These are the writer's own words and italics. It is farthest from our intention to
misrepresent or misunderstand his meaning. He tells us that as a result of considering the
laws of the Hebrew language whereby the simple form of the verb is intensified when put
into the Piel form, that, "Now we have solid ground".