Tentmaker Bible Matters #12

Strong’s Concordance Error

“But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day; for then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world TO THIS TIME, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved; but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.” (Matt. 24:20-22, KJV)

The New International Version and the New American Standard has “until now” where the KJV or “Authorized Version” has “to this time.”

Personally, I believe this passage of Scripture refers to the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D. I believe the “Great Tribulation” has already occurred. That makes this verse extra-special to me. As God’s people we can look at the worst time in history as having already occurred. We can read about its fulfillment in “War of the Jews” by Josephus, the Jewish priest and historian, and see Jesus’ prophetic words perfectly fulfilled. It’s tragic and sad to me that much of the modern church has been totally deceived by the dispensational teachings.

Part of the reason for this kind of deception is the teaching a typical Christian gets regarding the trustworthiness of their Bible translation. Folks, there are mistakes in EVERY translation - period. And Christians should take that into consideration when reading their Bible or drumming up theology. Furthermore, even the best of reference works may contain errors. For example, let’s look at the phrase “to this time” in the King James Version. If we look to the Greek text behind that phrase we find “tou nun.” “Tou” here means “until” and according to Strong’s Concordance #3568 “nun” means “now, as adverb of date, a transition or emphasis, also as noun or adj. present or immediate.” The word for time in the Greek is usually “kairos.” Technically, I suppose one could stretch “tou nun,” to read “to this time,” but “until now” works much better. But the Strong’s Concordance under “time” says that “kairos” #2540 is in Matt. 24:21. It most certainly is not. The “Stronger Strong’s Concordance,” a new and supposedly better version of the original Strong’s Concordance also says that the Greek word “kairos” is in Matt. 24:21. Apparently, it just copied the first Strong’s mistake.

A word of advice regarding Bible study. Experts are sometimes wrong. Sometimes the “traditions of men,” especially of those men who have a theological tower to protect wreak havoc with the Hebrew and Greek. And sometimes (as in this case) they just make little blunders. (Strong’s Concordance, by the way, is wrong much more than one might expect from a reference work that has become so popular.) It is a sad commentary on the typical Christian, but many feel that if they know how to use Strong’s Concordance and have a Vine’s Dictionary that they have “arrived” in the field of Bible study, which is far from true. I’m amazed how many Christians do not realize that the “Strong’s Concordance” only works for the King James Bible. It does not work for any other translation. The Young’s Analytical Concordance to the Bible” is another concordance for the King James Bible. Personally, between Young’s and Strong’s, I believe Young’s is a better concordance for the King James Bible. Each English Bible translation requires its own concordance. For example, the NIV requires “The NIV Exhaustive Concordance” by Zondervan.

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