Listening to the Voice – Sin

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Part of the historical Christian concern with new translations is the ability to retain the sins lists – I haven’t seen the same worry applied to the virtue lists. Both lists are found throughout the New Testament, as would be excepted:

Virtue Lists Sin Lists
Galatians 5:22-23
Ephesians 4:32
Ephesians 6:14-20
Philippians 4:8
Colossians 3:12
1 Thessalonians 5:12-22
1 Timothy 3:2-13
Titus 1:6-9
Hebrews 7:26
James 3:17
Mark 7:21-22
Romans 12:9-21
Romans 13:8-14
Galatians 5:19-21
1 Corinthians 5:9-11
1 Corinthians 6:9-10
Ephesians 4:25-31
Ephesians 5:3-5
Colossians 3:5-9
2 Timothy 3:1-5
Revelation 9:20-21
Revelation 21:8
Revelation 21:27

Because of the length, I have chosen only to examine a few of the ‘sin lists’ and in doing so, found the necessity to examine them along side other translations. I have chosen three – the New American Standard Bible (1995), the God’s Word to the Nations, and the New Living Translation. For the ‘sin lists’ I have chosen 1st Corinthians 6.(8)9-11, 1st Timothy 1.10-11 and Colossians 3.5-9:

New American Standard God’s Word New Living Translation The Voice
Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. Don’t you know that wicked people won’t inherit the kingdom of God? Stop deceiving yourselves! People who continue to commit sexual sins, who worship false gods, those who commit adultery, homosexuals, or thieves, those who are greedy or drunk, who use abusive language, or who rob people will not inherit the kingdom of God. That’s what some of you were! But you have been washed and made holy, and you have received God’s approval in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God. Don’t you realize that those who do wrong will not inherit the Kingdom of God? Don’t fool yourselves. Those who indulge in sexual sin, or who worship idols, or commit adultery, or are male prostitutes, or practice homosexuality, or are thieves, or greedy people, or drunkards, or are abusive, or cheat people– none of these will inherit the Kingdom of God. Some of you were once like that. But you were cleansed; you were made holy; you were made right with God by calling on the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God. Do you need reminding that the unjust have no share in the blessings of the kingdom of God? Do not be misled. A lot of people stand to inherit nothing of God’s coming kingdom, including those who lives are defined by sexual immorality, idolatry, adultery, sexual deviancy, theft, greed, drunkenness, slander, and swindling. People who continue on like this have no chance of inheriting the kingdom. Some of you used to live in these ways, but you are different now; you have been washed clean, set apart, restored, and set on the right path in the name of Jesus, the Liberating King, by the Spirit of our Living God.
But we know that the Law is good, if one uses it lawfully, realizing the fact that law is not made for a righteous person, but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and immoral men and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound teaching, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted. For example, a person must realize that laws are not intended for people who have God’s approval. Laws are intended for lawbreakers and rebels, for ungodly people and sinners, for those who think nothing is holy or sacred, for those who kill their fathers, their mothers, or other people. Laws are intended for people involved in sexual sins, for homosexuals, for kidnappers, for liars, for those who lie when they take an oath, and for whatever else is against accurate teachings. Moses’ Teachings were intended to be used in agreement with the Good News that contains the glory of the blessed God. I was entrusted with that Good News. For the law was not intended for people who do what is right. It is for people who are lawless and rebellious, who are ungodly and sinful, who consider nothing sacred and defile what is holy, who kill their father or mother or commit other murders. The law is for people who are sexually immoral, or who practice homosexuality, or are slave traders, liars, promise breakers, or who do anything else that contradicts the wholesome teaching that comes from the glorious Good News entrusted to me by our blessed God. You and I know the law is good (if used in the right way), and we also know the law was not designed for law-abiding people but for lawbreakers and criminals, the ungodly and sin-filled, the unholy and worldly, the father killers and mother killers, the murderers, the sexually immoral and homosexuals, slave dealers, liars, perjurers, and anyone else who acts against sound doctrine laid out in the glorious, holy, and pure good news of the blessed God that has been entrusted to me.
Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them. But now you also, put them all aside: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, Therefore, put to death whatever is worldly in you: your sexual sin, perversion, passion, lust, and greed (which is the same thing as worshiping wealth). It is because of these sins that God’s anger comes on those who refuse to obey him. You used to live that kind of sinful life. Also get rid of your anger, hot tempers, hatred, cursing, obscene language, and all similar sins. Don’t lie to each other. You’ve gotten rid of the person you used to be and the life you used to live, So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual immorality, impurity, lust, and evil desires. Don’t be greedy, for a greedy person is an idolater, worshiping the things of this world. Because of these sins, the anger of God is coming. You used to do these things when your life was still part of this world. But now is the time to get rid of anger, rage, malicious behavior, slander, and dirty language. Don’t lie to each other, for you have stripped off your old sinful nature and all its wicked deeds. So kill your earthly impulses: loose sex, impure actions, unbridled sensuality, wicked thoughts, and greed (which is essentially idolatry). It’s because of these that God’s wrath is coming [upon the sons and daughters of disobedience]* so avoid them at all costs. These are the same things you once pursued, and together you spawned a life of evil. But now make sure you shed such things: anger, rage, spite, slander, and abusive language. And don’t go lying to each other since you have sloughed away your old skin along with its evil practices.

*3.6 Some early manuscripts omit this portion

Thoughts? Does The Voice soften anything? Does it add to anything?

Post By Joel Watts (10,046 Posts)

Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

Website: → Unsettled Christianity

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5 thoughts on Listening to the Voice – Sin

  1. Thanks for posting this.

    My initial reaction comes from the first verse you compare, 1 Corinthians 6:9. I don’t think that The Voice‘s “do you need reminding…” for ouk oidate (“don’t you know…”) works, particularly when you juxtapose it with 1 Timothy 1:8, where the same verb is correctly translated “know.”

    For me, “do you need reminding…” introduces remembering and forgetting, two concepts that may or may not be part of “knowing.”

    This strikes me as the sort of change that frequently creeps into a lot of modern versions. They seem to start with the text, and modify it a little, sometimes making it easier to read or making the English flow better, but often in the process moving further away from the original intent.

    -Joel

    • Don’t get me wrong, the Voice has good parts, but I am not finding it to my liking. I have a few more in this series to post.

      I don’t think that ‘reminding’ which does include forgetting is parallel to ‘Don’t you know’ which seems to include more of a conviction.

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