A most unfortunate textual variant

Discussion in 'Bible Versions/Translations' started by stilllearning, Jun 12, 2011.

  1. stilllearning

    stilllearning
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    A textual variant, is a translators choice, of a word he uses, while translating the Bible to another language.

    The Greek word.... “mayhteuw”, is found 4 times in the New Testament.

    For the last 486 years, from the time the first English New Testament was published(Tyndale’s New Testament 1525-1526), this word was translated “teach”, in Matthew 28:19......
    “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:”

    But over the last hundred years or so, men have decided to start translating this word in Matthew 28:19, to..........“make disciples”.
    ---------------------
    I call this an unfortunate textual variant, because it perpetuates a false teaching, that a “disciple”, is synonymous with being a Christian.

    In other words, that “every Christian is a disciple”!
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    First: The reason this is a false teaching, is because we are saved by grace through faith, while the Lord Jesus Christ, made it clear, that “works” are required to be a disciple.

    Also, this idea that “every Christian is a disciple”, stifles any real revival in a person.
    Being a disciple of Christ(sitting at Jesus’ feet), is the epitome of being a sold out committed Christian.

    But when people are convinced that they have already reached this point, by simply being saved, than they will fail to see, where they “should be”, in Christ.
     
  2. Amy.G

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    Strongs:
    maqhteuw matheteuo math-ayt-yoo'-o
    from 3101; intransitively, to become a pupil; transitively, to disciple, i.e. enrol as scholar:--be disciple, instruct, teach.

    Webster's 1828 Dictionary
    disciple
    DISCIPLE, n. L., to learn.

    1. A learner; a scholar; one who receives or professes to receive instruction from another; as the disciples of Plato.

    2. A follower; an adherent to the doctrines of another. Hence the constant attendants of Christ were called his disciples; and hence all Christians are called his disciples, as they profess to learn and receive his doctrines and precepts.

    DISCIPLE, v.t.

    1. To teach; to train, or bring up.

    2. To make disciples of; to convert to doctrines or principles.

    This authority he employed in sending missionaries to disciple all nations.

    3. To punish; to discipline. Not in use.


    Footnote in my Cambridge KJV:

    "Or make disciples, or Christians of all nations"



    So where is the error??
     
    #2 Amy.G, Jun 12, 2011
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 12, 2011
  3. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    That is simply a translation choice. It is not a textual variant.
     
  4. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    And beside that, 'teach' and 'make disciples' mean the exact same thing.
     
  5. stilllearning

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    "Make disciples", literally means to “Make students”.

    But.......the issue of this thread will end up, defining "a disciple”
    --------------------------------------------------
    If we are taught, that “every Christian” is a disciple, than we are rejecting Grace!
     
  6. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    The word translated 'teach' on older versions and 'make disciples' in the newer versions literally means to 'enroll as a student.' We do that, then we begin 'teaching' (v20).

    It just makes sense - we see them saved (enroll them as new disciples) then we teach them how to be a disciple.

    When someone is saved there is a real change. True believers no longer sit at the feet of the world's system - they sit at the feet of a new schoolmaster, in a new school. Freed from the law of sin and death, they learn how to follow a new Schoolmaster.

    Looks like the newer translations make a lot of sense to me.
     
    #6 NaasPreacher (C4K), Jun 12, 2011
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  7. stilllearning

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    Hi C4K

    And thank you for your thoughtful response.

    What I found most interesting in your response was this:
    You said........
    This is a dilemma, that I have faced for the last 25 years and am still struggling with it.

    If someone is a professing Christian, but doesn’t live for the Lord how should they be prayed for.
    ➀Should we pray for their salvation, or ➁should we pray for their repentance.

    Your response tells me, that you have settled this question in your mind....
    “If someone doesn’t live for the Lord, than they must be lost!”
    --------------------------------------------------
    I am not able to bring myself to this conclusion as yet;
    Thus the gist of this thread.

    If.....there are real Christians, who are not living for the Lord(backslidden), then they certainly can’t be sitting at Jesus’ feet, therefore they are not disciples.
     
  8. annsni

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    I believe the verse is speaking of making disciples because we are not just to teach but to baptize. That is making disciples.

    However, you say that it is a wrong choice in translation but if that's so, then why did the KJV translators translate the word as "disciple" in Matthew 27:57 - less than a chapter away from this verse?

    As for the issue of how to pray for someone, it's quite possible to pray for both - their salvation if they are not saved and then their growth if they are. God knows which one to apply. ;)
     
  9. jbh28

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    No, that's a translational choice. A textual variant is where you have difference in manuscripts.
    It should be. All Christians should be disciples of Christ. A disciple is a follower, and we are to be followers of Christ.
    AMEN!!!!!!
    It's not false teaching. Your entire post is based off a misunderstanding of the word. It's sad that so many Christians don't see this.
     
  10. preachinjesus

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    I looked it up in my UBS4 then even checked the TR. There is absolutely NO variant here.

    Its a translation choice...here's the verse:
    Matthew 28:19 πορευθέντες οὖν μαθητεύσατε πάντα τὰ ἔθνη βαπτίζοντες αὐτοὺς εἰς τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ υἱοῦ καὶ τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος (MGNT)

    The bolded part is identical, well the whole verse is identical, in the MT and the CT.

    Where do you come up with this stuff? If you're going to criticize the CT for being "full of incorrect variants" than at least be consistent and actually look up the Greek.

    The choice here concerns the term: μαθητεύσατε

    Kittel's Theological Dictionary of the New Testament points out that the rendering reflected as "make disciples" is the best translation of the term. That the KJV doesn't say this reflects a choice by the translators of the KJV to render the exact same verb differently.

    It isn't as you've described it.
     
  11. Greektim

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    Sill OP. This free grace, easy-believism stuff is the reason why American churches are failing.
     
  12. rsr

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    This thread may be spent by now, but it properly belongs in the translations forum.
     
  13. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Bingo! Well said.
     
  14. stilllearning

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    So your saying, that “grace”(unmerited favor), isn’t free?!?
     
  15. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    Grace cost a great deal - it cost Jesus Christ His life. That valuable a gift of grace will always produce a change in the lives of those who accept it.

    Yes, all believers are disciples. We may be at different stages of our 'education' but we are all his students if we are truly saved. Therefore the modern translation (there is not 'textual variant') is an excellent choice.
     
  16. Logos1560

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    This is not a textual variant as others already pointed out.

    You are also incorrect in asserting that only in the last hundred years or so that men have decided that this word could be or should be translated "make disciples."

    If I recall correctly, Daniel Featley, who is on the British Museum's list of the KJV translators, argued in one of his books printed in the 1600's that Matthew 28:19 should be translated "make disciples."

    The 1657 English translation of the Dutch Annotations and 1637 Dutch Bible by Theodore Haak pointed out that this word could be translated "make disciples" at Matthew 28:19.

    The 1842 revision of the KJV by Bible-believing Baptists and other believers translated Matthew 28:19 as "Go therefore and disciple all the nations, immersing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit."
     
  17. Van

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    Born again believers do not save the lost, God does. We plow the row, plant and water, but only God causes the increase in Christ's flock. So we are saved by grace through faith, but that does not make us disciples, because we have not learned "all that Christ commanded" nor how to "abide" in His teachings.

    Further, culture may add some insight into this issue. A disciple follows his teacher, his Rabbi. The idea in the ancient culture was not be get a degree, but to become like the Rabbi. Our job is to become like Christ, and part of that is to teach others about becoming like Christ.

    As far as works, pre-salvation our "works" avails us nothing, but post-salvation, our works, if they pass the test, earn rewards such that we enter heaven abundantly. Thus disciplining others and being discipled by others with the mutual goal of becoming more Christ-like seems like a work that God will reward. We are not just to make converts, but also to disciple others so they too will make converts. Both seem to me to earn "eternal rewards."
     
  18. Mexdeaf

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    I would think that if someone is going to set themselves up as a pseudo-expert on which Bible translation should be crowned "King", they should at least understand and be able to discuss basic Bible translation terminology. But I have learned to expect no better from some posters.

    These kinds of threads disappoint and quite frankly disgust me.

    Sigh... carry on...
     
  19. stilllearning

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    Clearly I made a mistake, using a theological term, that I was unfamiliar with;
    But the issue being discussed, is still the same......
    Do all Christians “want to learn”(be a disciple)?
    Or are we to force Christians to sit down and learn?

    I wish, every professing Christian I knew, “wanted to learn about Spiritual things”!
    (Who can’t seem to find the time to go to Church:)
    Or are they all lost?

    Then there is the other question:
    If being a disciple, means getting saved, than........
    --------------------
    Is salvation by grace through faith, or is it by........
    Loving the Lord more than anyone else?
    Luke 14:26 If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.
    ------------------
    Is salvation by grace through faith, or is it by........
    Taking up your cross and following the Lord?
    Luke 14:27 And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.
    ------------------
    Is salvation by grace through faith, or is it by........
    Forsaking all for the Lord?
    Luke 14:33 So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
    ------------------
    Is salvation by grace through faith, or is it by........
    Abiding in Christ and bringing forth much fruit?
    John 15:7-8
    V.7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.
    V.8 Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.

    --------------------
    In each of these cases, the Lord is the one who “allows” us to be disciples, if we decide to follow His instructions.

    Some Christians choose to sit at the Lord’s feet, while others decided not to.......
    Luke 10:39-42
    V.39 And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard his word.
    V.40 But Martha was cumbered about much serving, and came to him, and said, Lord, dost thou not care that my sister hath left me to serve alone? bid her therefore that she help me.
    V.41 And Jesus answered and said unto her, Martha, Martha, thou art careful and troubled about many things:
    V.42 But one thing is needful: and Mary hath chosen that good part, which shall not be taken away from her.
     
  20. NaasPreacher (C4K)

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    So you don't think Martha was a disciple just because she was trying to serve???
     

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