1 Corinthians 10:4
"The Rock was Christ" changed to "that rock-mass meant the Christ[NWT]"
Criticism: "The passage depicts the preincarnate Jesus exhibiting his divine nature by being present many centuries earlier. This revision tries to conceal his eternal nature with a more figurative interpretation of "the Rock." "(italics ours)
Are we then to understand that the rock that issued forth water(Numbers 20:11)was in fact the literal "pre-incarnate Jesus", that the rock "was Christ himself"- Translators New Testament ?
The Linguistic Key To The Greek New Testament:
"PETRA rock(s[ee]Matt.16:18).HN imperfect EIMI. It was not that Christ was the literal rock but that He was the spiritual rock that followed and from which Israel drank. The benefits enjoyed by the people are spiritual because they came from Christ who is the source of all blessings."(italics ours)
HN is the 3rd person singular imperfect of EIMI. This word has various uses and significances. A Manual Greek Lexicon of the New Testament says under EIMI:
"II. As copula uniting subject and predicate. ...2.Explicative, as in parable, figure, type, etc.: Mt 13:19ff; 1 Cor.9:2, 10:4, 11:25, Ga.4:24, Re.17:15, al.;..."(italics ours)
One of the examples given above with 1 Cor.10:4 is 1 Cor.11:25 which reads in the Greek:
"TOUTO TO POTHRION HO KAINH DIATHEKE ESTIN.." which literally translates as "This the cup the New Covenant is ["ESTIN" 3rd person singular present indicative of EIMI]"
Are we understand that the "cup" was actually, literally the "New Covenant"?.
Hence William Barclay's translation reads here: "This stands for the new relationship..." Obviously, the use of ESTIN, a form of EIMI, is to be understood figuratively, that is, "representing by means of a figure; not literal.."-The New Universal Dictionary (Psychology Publishing Co. Ltd, Marple, Cheshire, UK.)
Vine's Expository Dictionary of Bible Words says:
"PETRA...denotes a mass of rock, as distinct from PETROS, a detached stone or boulder, or a stone that might be thrown or easily moved. .....1 Cor.10:4(twice), figuratively, of Christ;...(italics ours)
With equal justification then with 1 Cor.11:25, 1 Corinthian 10:4 could be rendered as "and that rock stood for the Christ," or as the New World Translation puts it "that rock-mass meant the Christ." Whether Paul was asserting somehow from this scripture the existence of a "preincarnate Jesus," aswell as Jesus' "eternal nature" is certainly open to debate. But the above criticism of the New World Translation is yet another that does not inform it's readers of the legitimacy of such a rendering as the Greek allows. It is certainly not a "revision" of the Greek!
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