From the Wittenberg Door archives...
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops have been hard at work on a new translation of the Bible. From what I’ve read much of the changes are innocuous, like changing the word “booty” to “spoils of war” and “cereal” to “grain.” One alteration, however, is quite consequential:
One change may set off alarms with traditionalists, in a passage many Christians believe foreshadows the coming of Christ and his birth to a virgin. The 1970 version of Isaiah 7:14 says "the virgin shall be with child, and bear a son, and shall name him Immanuel."
The 2011 text refers to "the young woman" instead. It elaborates that the original Hebrew word, almah, may, or may not, signify a virgin.
Here are the verses impacted by the change as translated in the NASB:
"Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son, and she will call His name Immanuel.
21) "She will bear a Son; and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins."
22) Now all this took place to fulfill what was spoken by the Lord through the prophet:
23) "BEHOLD, THE VIRGIN SHALL BE WITH CHILD AND SHALL BEAR A SON, AND THEY SHALL CALL HIS NAME IMMANUEL," which translated means, "GOD WITH US."
Matt 1:21 – 23
According to Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon, almah can refer to “damsel, maid, virgin.” The Greek word is partheos, which Strong’s Greek Lexicon renders, “a maiden; by implication, an unmarried daughter:--virgin.” As you can see, the Greek word used by Matthew clearly means virgin.
Of course, common sense also dictates that that the prophecy is about a virgin. If you’re a prophet in search of a job and the star accomplishment on your resume is that you predicted a young women would have a child, then you had better get used to food stamps. And can you imagine Matthew arguing for Jesus’ messiahship down at the local pub, “Guys, I’m tell’n ya, it’s really him! His mother was a young women. A YOUNG WOMEN! What else could it mean?”
Not only is Rome pulling the Scriptural rug out from beneath the doctrine of the virgin conception, they’re also challenging the Bible’s authority.
God doesn’t err
The Bible is God’s book
Therefore, the Bible doesn’t err
For Rome to be right, then Matthew must be wrong, for clearly the book of Matthew affirms that the prophecy is about a virgin. But of course, this is just a new chapter in an old story—Rome versus the Bible. And as always, God’s Word is subordinated to her councils, magisterium, traditions, and pontiffs.
Labels: Doctrine of Salvation