The Berean Expositor
Volume 24 - Page 166 of 211
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departed from this consistent rendering, as for example in Matt. 5: 45: "That ye may be
sons of your Father" (R.V.); The Revisers have rightly substituted "sons" for the A.V.
rendering "children", but have failed to make the other necessary change.
The N.T. uses two distinct terms to set forth the believer's filial relationship with the
Lord--"children" and "sons". Sonship, which is prominent in the writings of Paul,
conveys the ideas of inheritance, privilege and dignity. Childship, which is characteristic
of the teaching of John, suggests the thought of tender relationship.  Sons may be
adopted; children can only be born. The two conceptions are evidently complementary:
but they must be realized separately before the full force of the whole idea which they
combine to give can be understood. It was, however, felt to be impossible to change the
phrase "the children of Israel" to "the sons of Israel". With this exception (and one
accidental omission of the mark of reference in Matt. 21: 28) we believe that the use of
the word "child" (and "children") is always marked in the Revised Version; and that
with the clearest gain to the peculiar force of the narrative (Mark 2: 5; Matt. 9: 2;
Luke 15: 31; 16: 25; Matt. 21: 28), and of the address (I Cor. 4: 14; I Tim. 1: 2-18;
Titus 1: 4, etc.), no less than to the exact definition of spiritual relations. On the other
hand, the wonderful title "sons of God" holds its true place, according to the exact usage
of the original. Where the A.V. reads "sons" in John 1: 12, the R.V. correctly reads
"children" (so also in I John 3: 1, 2). Conversely, the A.V. incorrectly reads "children"
where "sons" is the true rendering (see Luke 20: 34 and Rom. 9: 26 where the R.V.
has made the necessary correction). Again the true rendering of Matt. 5: 9 is given in
the R.V.:--
"Blessed are the peace-makers for they shall be called the sons of God."
This brings the passage into line with the correction of Matt. 5: 45, where "sons" is
again the true rendering.
The whole context of Gal. 3: 26 is concerned with adoption, the emancipation of the
full-grown "son" from the tutors and governors of his childhood (Gal. 4: 1, 2). The R.V.
makes the very necessary alteration:--
"We are no longer under a tutor. For ye are all sons of God through faith in Christ
Jesus" (Gal. 3: 26).
Much of the above is quoted from Dr. Westcott, but it is difficult to indicate the
quotations as they are so interwoven with our own remarks. Where possible we use
quotation marks in the remainder of this article.
Another example of the usefulness of the R.V. is found in its rendering of Rom. 3: 25.
The A.V. speaks of the "remission of sins that are past" with a marginal note: "or
passing over." The confusion of the two words aphesis and paresis
"has led to the complete inversion of St. Paul's meaning. The sins of former times were
neither forgiven nor punished: they were simply passed over; and for this reason there
was need of the vindication of the righteousness of God, because of the passing over of
the sins done aforetime, in the forbearance of God."