THE TRIBAL CALL
In The Life Of A Bible: NOTES ON THE ECCLESIA
by Capt. Peter Green (p. 5 in Issue Fourteen of The Tribal Call)
We all owe a great debt to William Tyndale. He was the first to translate the New Testament from the original Greek into the everyday English language of the common people. Few of us realize the severe opposition and bitter hatred leveled against men like Tyndale by the established religious order of their day. After rotting for sixteen months in a dark, damp dungeon, Tyndale was strangled and burnt at the stake on October 6,1536. His great crime? Daring to give the Word of God to the common people in a language which they could understand.
In discussing Tyndale's enemies and their reasons for opposing him, we will quote from the introduction to a current version of Tyndale's New Testament by David Daniell:
“The Bishop of London hunted down and burned many thousands of Tyndale’s successive New Testaments and Pentateuches with fanatical thoroughness, a ruthlessness that seems close to hysteria - only a dozen in all survive. King Henry VIII's Chancellor, Sir Thomas More, showed himself less than gentle, reasoned, saintly and urbane, in his long, and indeed violent polemics against Tyndale. He calls him in his Confutation, 'a beast', as one of the 'hell-hounds that the devil hath in his kennel', discharging a 'filthy foam of blasphemies out of his brutish beastly mouth'. Elsewhere, More calls him a deceiver, a hypocrite, 'puffed up with the poison of pride, malice and envy'. And so on. Yet the best that More, in all the great length of his tirades, can summon against Tyndale, when all is boiled down, is that he translated the Greek word for 'elder' as 'elder' (not 'priest'), and the Greek word for 'repentance' as 'repentance' (not 'do penance'), the Greek word for 'congregation' (Ecclesia) as 'congregation' (not 'church').....Even Erasmus, More's friend, had translated the Greek Ecclesia as congregation, not 'church'. Every change that Tyndale makes is more than defensible: it is correct. ""In another paragraph, Mr. Daniell explains in more detail why More hated the simple directness of Tyndale's work. This quote makes it clear that the warfare against the true Ecclesia pattern laid down in the New Testament has been long and vicious, spanning many centuries. We find it always being carried forward by the leaders of the man-made religious systems, usually with the sinister approval of the state. It is these antichrist, religious hypocrites, that have set themselves up as rulers over God's people, who have the most to lose as the ECCLESIA REVOLUTION brings down their kingdoms. We quote Mr. Daniell:
"Of the words to which Sir Thomas More took exception to bitterly, the most objectionable was 'congregation' instead of ‘church’ for the Greek Ecclesia. It is a word most common in Acts and the Epistles, referring to the communities of Christians around the Mediterranean, early in the second half of the first century. These were, of course, literally congregations or communities of people, and that Greek sense cannot be avoided. What More found heretical in the word 'congregation' was the implication that there is not one hierarchical body, as in the Catholic church with the Pope as it's head, of which all Christians are members, but rather, self-governing communities of Christians, led by the Spirit, with allegiance only to God through their experience of Christ: precisely the New Testament sense. The same point is made by Tyndale's correct translation of the last words of John 10:16 as ‘one flock and one shepherd’, which became in the Latin-based versions, including the Authorized Version, 'one fold and one shepherd'".Another very interesting fact that many people are unaware of is that the translators of the King James Authorized Version borrowed a very large percentage (many scholars estimate well over half) directly from Tyndale's work, and they never even once mention his name. So much for scholastic integrity. Nevertheless, we note that by the time the KJV was commenced, the forces of state controlled religion, which murdered Tyndale, had become so deeply entrenched that wherever the text did not conform to the ideas of the centralized religious government, it was modified to make sure that it did, and that government control over God's people was well backed up in the scriptures. Thus we have the word church used in all but two instances to translate the Greek word Ecclesia. This is a gross mistranslation, but a sweet revenge for the religious hypocrites who fawned at the feet of the king in order to keep their oppressive and profitable system of tyranny in place. The idea of autonomous congregations or communities of Christians with no king but Jesus was too dangerous and could not be allowed to live. Once again, Truth suffers at the hands of religious men. The forces that drove the Spanish Inquisition are still with us. Religious demons in human bodies will always persecute those who truly follow the Lord whithersoever He leadeth.
Did you know that the King James version, commonly known as the ‘Authorized Version’, was never even authorized by the king? It had no royal seal upon it at all. The designation of 'Authorized Version' is the first of many myths about it. For two hundred years, from the middle of the eighteenth century until after the Second World War, the KJV had an increasingly bright halo, which it did not altogether deserve. It became glorified, to the point of idolatry, until the KJV became the acme of achievable literary perfection. Even today, you will find large groups of people who literally idolize the KJV, refusing to use any other version whatsoever. They make statements like, "The KJV is the Bible that God uses”, or that "the KJV is inerrant and you will go to Hell if you don't use it". We are no advocates of the kind of Biblical criticism which seeks to undermine and destroy the Word of God; in fact, we love and use the KJV very much. Yet at the same time, we refuse to put God in a box built out of man-made doctrines. Whenever something is set up as an idol in the house of God, whether it be a certain version of His Word, a certain doctrine, or even a leader whom God may have originally appointed, the Spirit of die Living God will be offended and depart. Our God is jealous, and He will have no rival lovers. It is the Holy Spirit of God which has been sent to lead and guide us into all truth, and if He uses a version of the Bible other than the KJV then that is His business, not ours. Our business is to humbly listen to what God has to tell us and then obey. This cannot be done when an idol has usurped the throne and demands our worship and loyalty.
In our time, we see much of the extravagance lavished on the KJV waning, and because of this we can begin to see the history of Bible translation a little more clearly. If you are willing to remove the idolatry and undeserved exaltation which has grown up around the King James version, you can plainly see that in many instances, it is a 'government translation'. It is not true to the original Greek in some very crucial places, precisely for the purpose of promoting and maintaining governmental control over the people. Over the years, God has blessed us with many important revelations, taking us back to what the Spirit has called 'ancient truths' which have been buried under centuries of religious garbage. The Ecclesia pattern is one of those truths. As our knowledge and understanding of the Ecclesia continues to grow through experience. We are determined to see this glorious 'hidden treasure' brought back to God's people on a world-wide scale. The Ecclesia concept is very simple. The true followers Of Jesus Christ are meant to live together, holding all things common, under the leadership of men and women who have been appointed and anointed by God for the job. It is a wonderful way to die to yourself and begin really living the Gospel instead of just talking about it once a week at 'church'. The Ecclesia Revolution is underway, for the Spirit of God is calling men and women, boys and girls, to come out from among the unclean systems of men and consecrate themselves to His eternal purposes. Souls are perishing without the knowledge of Christ. If you would like to find out how you can get involved, just contact us. We offer a wide range of printed materials as well as audio and video tapes for the serious student. Isn't it time you did something real for Jesus? Seek God! Start an Ecclesia and watch God do miracles on your behalf. If we can do it - you can do it.
ALSO INCLUDED IN THIS PUBLICATION:
► Prayer of Thanksgiving
► “...When Men Shall Hate You”
► “Grounds For Gratitude”
► WORD OF THE LORD: “Imitators and Emulators”
► “Missions: Taking Jesus To All The World”
► “The Heart And Soul Of Islam (A Continuing Series...)
► “Voice Of The Warrior”
► “Angelic Calvary”
► “Theocracy vs. Mobocracy”
► “WHAT IS THE ECCLESIA? Is It A Church? Is It A Cult? Is It Important?
► Letters From The Field
► “Blow The Trumpet”
► SalvationWe are A Spirit Community.