If The Lamsa Bible was Released in 1933, Did INC Use Acts 20:28 From 1914?

One of the doctrine of the Iglesia Ni Cristo is that Jesus is a man, not an ordinary man though because he was made Lord, Savior and God commanded us to worship Him. Let us read Acts 20:28 from 1George Lamsa:

Acts 20:28, Lamsa – 28Take heed therefore to yourselves and to all the flock over which the Holy Spirit has appointed you overseers, to feed the church of Christ which he has purchased with his blood.

INC claim not only George Lamsa translated Acts 20:28 with “church of Christ” but also the Ethridge translation. I cannot find an Ethridge translation in the web but interestingly I think the church is referring to 2John W. Ethridge English Pershitta translation which apparently the same source George M. Lamsa used.

According to history the known New Testament language was in  3 Koine Greek. Most English translations are derived from the Greek language (Greek -> English). The Lamsa translation came from Greek -> Pershitta -> English.

If we look at other bible translation, Acts 20:28 is slightly different:

Acts 20:28, NIV – 28Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood.
Acts 20:28, ESV – 28Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.
Acts 20:28, NKJV – 28Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood. .

Regardless if Christ is God or man, he was the one on earth and he was the one who shed blood on the cross. So I tend to accept the Lamsa translation is correct. However, know that there are a lot of critics to Pershitta (Syriac Bible) and the George Lamsa translation.

But why do most bible translations used “church of God” or “church of the Lord”? 4Evangelicals actually argue between “God” and “Lord” because it is a question of whether the original Greek manuscript word is theou (Greek for God) or kuriou (Greek for Lord). It appear that the correct translation of the word is either “church of God” or “church of the Lord” – we are talking of translation of original word not talking whether Jesus is God or man.

The Cornelius Theory of Equivocation

If the George Lamsa bible was published in 1933,  then it is likely the INC never used Acts 20:28 from 1914 until 1933. Was the church doctrines perfected in time? Did you know that the Moffat translation was published also in 1922? Uhmm this is another topic to explore.

Notice also how the bible use noun “church” rather than a proper noun “Church”.  What is the difference?

noun vs pronoun

The word “church” in a small letter (noun) is used many times in the bible and many say it does not mean it refers to the organized Church though this is debatable. For INC, “church” is equal to “Church of Christ”.

Back to the topic, it is likely the INC used only Romans 16:16 without Acts 20:28, Lamsa version before 1933.

Romans 16:16 , NKJV – 16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. The churches of Christ greet you.

Noticed how Romans 16:16 is using “churches” as a noun and in plural form? This is another topic to explore.

 


References

1 George Lamsa

2 Peshitta New Testament

3 Problems With Peshitta Primacy

4 Is Jesus God in Acts 20:28?

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