English Bible Translations Part 09 - DE Obscures Assembly Truth

Part 9 - Deficiencies of Dynamic Equivalence - DE Obscures Assembly Truth

Assembly truth has been perpetuated and revived by teachers who respected every nuance of every word in Scripture. DE versions rob us of many of these subtle but vital truths about assembly practice.

Look at Matthew 18:20

• KJV: For where two or three are gathered together in My name, there am I in the midst of them. (ESV is similar.)
• NASB: For where two or three have gathered together in My name, there I am in their midst.
• NIV: For where two or three come together in My name, there am I with them.
• NLT: For where two or three gather together because they are Mine, I am there among them.

The verb gathered together is in the passive voice—the Holy Spirit gathers men and women to Christ’s name. Further, the verb’s tense is perfect—they have been gathered from a starting point in the past up until the present. The DE translations completely ignore these points, and even NASB misses the fact that the verb is passive.

1 Corinthians 14:16 provides another crucial example:

• KJV: Else when thou shalt bless with the spirit, how shall he that occupieth the room of the unlearned say "Amen" at thy giving of thanks, seeing he understandeth not what thou sayest?
• NKJV: … he who occupies the place of the uninformed …
• ESV: … anyone in the position of an outsider …
• NASB: … the one who fills the place of the ungifted …
• NIV: … one who finds himself among those who do not understand …
• NLT: … those who don’t understand …

1 Corinthians 14:13-16 discusses the Lord’s Supper—a meeting consisting of praying, singing, and blessing. Since believers express their doctrinal fellowship physically by sharing the "bread which we break" and "the cup of blessing which we bless," it is vital to demarcate the members who are "within" from the unlearned and unbelievers who are "without" (1 Corinthians 5:12-13) Thus the verse describes a physical place (Greek topos, as in topography). Note that it is not merely a condition, but a position—Paul does not simply say "one who is unlearned," but rather "one who occupies the location of the unlearned." The DE versions delete this vital truth.