Miguel has posted a great topic which I felt needed to be shared even more. Be sure to read all of the comments too, when you go to his blog, since the conversation gets fantastic. 🙂 I hope you will follow the post, I know I will!
In our Discipleship Group this evening, we had what I would consider a MAJOR breakthrough, a liberation of sorts. Here’s what happened. We were going through the Ephesians 4 giftings, and trying to discover collectively what the predominant characteristics of an Apostle, Prophet, Evangelist, and Pastor-Teacher. The evening unfolded many “eye-opening” concepts for the group, but one in particular literally shocked me.
In the midst of our exploration of the scriptures, one raised the issue that we were “to obey our Pastors in all things.” My first thought was “where’s that in the bible?” I challenged the person to show me where the scriptures said that. He came back to me with Hebrews 13:17 – “Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.”
You see in Spanish, in all versions save one it says, “Obey your Pastors and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.” Upon further investigation, I found out that this verse was used to enslave the congregation. It was used to exercise control over a local body. It was, in fact, completely effective, because they believed that this was “biblical,” and they had to do whatever their pastor told them. They believed it so strongly that at first they thought I might be incorrect and contradicting God’s word. As we pushed further on this, eyes began to open, hearts were set free, and sound doctrine alleviated much false guilt. it was as if a tremendous weight was lifted from them.
I am going to try to find out why many of the translating committees for the Spanish versions of the Bible inserted the word “pastor” here. To me, this example demonstrates clearly how a mistranslation can snare the people of God. I always tell people that “truth always sets free and error always binds,” but in this particular case, I saw the chains fall off.I thank the Lord for this blessing, for this gift of freedom, and for this opportunity to play a part in it. I am curious to know of others who may have had similar experiences with bad translations. I would much appreciate a short comment if you have.
I also included a link to the booklet by Frank Viola ‘Straight Talk to Pastors‘ which I believe all pastors need to read. It is a free e-book which you can download and read at your convenience.