Words with Heathen Origins in the Scriptures
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Are you aware that there are numerous words that we use in our churches and read in the Scriptures that have their origin in pagan religions, especially in sun worship? This series of essays is an etymological study of a few of these words and a comparative study to show which versions have included them.

The etymology of several words comes from Come Out of Her My People, researched and written by C. J. Koster and published by the Institute for Scriptural Research in Northriding, Republic of South Africa. (The edition which I am using was published in 1998.) I thank the Board of ISR for granting me permission to quote extensively from this book. I have quoted only a little from each of the words listed below. There are several other words which are not included here.

Following is a list of the versions compared and a table indicating which ones made changes with respect to words in question. Each word is presented separately with a detailed etymological history and its use in the various versions. References to other books within each section of this series are documented in the book Come Out of Her My People. A general conclusion follows this.


Versions Compared

 

AAT An American Translation (Beck)
AB Amplified Bible
AIV An Inclusive Version
ANT The Authentic New Testament
BNT Barclay New Testament
CENT Common English New Testament
CEV Contemporary English Version
CJB Complete Jewish Bible
CLNT Concordant Literal New Testament
CNT Cassirer New Testament
CTNT Centenary Translation of the New Testament
DHB Darby Holy Bible
DRB Douay-Rheims Bible
EBR The Emphasized Bible
EDW The Emphatic Diaglott
EVD English Version for the Deaf
GW God's Word
HBME The Holy Bible in Modern English
HBRV Holy Bible, Revised Version
HSH Holy Scriptures (Harkavy)
IB Interlinear Bible
IV Inspired Version
JBK Jerusalem Bible (Koren)
JWNT John Wesley New Testament
KJV King James Version
KLNT Kleist-Lilly New Testament
KTC Knox Translation
LB Living Bible
LBP Lamsa Bible
LXX The Septuagint
MCT McCord's New Testament Translation
MNT Moffatt New Translation
MRB Modern Reader's Bible
MSNT The Modern Speech New Testament
NAB New American Bible
NAS New American Standard Version
NBV New Berkeley Version
NCV New Century Version
NEB New English Bible
NET New Evangelical Translation
NIV New International Version
NJB New Jerusalem Bible
NJPS New JPS Version
NKJ New King James Version
NLT New Living Translation
NLV New Life Version
NNT Noli New Testament
NRS New Revised Standard Version
NSNT Norlie's Simplified New Testament
NTJ A New Translation (Jewish)
NWT New World Translation
ONT The Original New Testament
PRS Phillips Revised Student Edition
REB Revised English Bible
RNT Riverside New Testament
RSV Revised Standard Version
SARV Standard American Edition, Revised Version
SGAT An American Translation (Smith-Goodspeed)
SISR The Scriptures (ISR)
SNB Restoration of Original Sacred Name Bible
SSBE The Sacred Scriptures, Bethel Edition
SV The Scholars Version
TCNT The Twentieth Century New Testament
TEV Today's English Version
TJB The Jerusalem Bible
TM The Message
WAS Worrell New Testament
WET Wuest Expanded Translation
WNT Williams New Testament
WTNT William Tindale Newe Testament
YLR Young's Literal Translation, Revised Edition


Heathen Words

This table shows which versions have used words different from the list of words along the top, the ones having heathen origins. That is, an 'X' signifies any deviation from the pagan word heading the column. Click on each word for more details.

Bible Testament God Lord Holy Amen Glory Jesus Christ Church Cross
AAT
AB X
AIV X X
ANT X X X X
BNT X X
CENT
CEV X
CJB X X X X X
CLNT X
CNT X X X X X
CTNT
DHB X X
DRB X
EBR X
EDW X X
Bible Testament God Lord Holy Amen Glory Jesus Christ Church Cross
EVD X
GW X X
HBME X X X X
HBRV
HSH X
IB
IV X
JBK X
JWNT X
KJV
KLNT X X
KTC X
LB X X
LBP X
LXX X X
Bible Testament God Lord Holy Amen Glory Jesus Christ Church Cross
MCT X X
MNT X
MRB
MSNT
NAB X
NAS
NBV X
NCV
NEB X X
NET
NIV X
NJB X
NJPS X X
NKJ
NLT X
Bible Testament God Lord Holy Amen Glory Jesus Christ Church Cross
NLV X X X
NNT X
NRS X
NSNT
NTJ X
NWT X X X X X
ONT X X X X
PRS X
REB X X
RNT
RSV
SARV
SGAT X X X
SISR X X X X X X X X X X X
SNB X X X X X X
Bible Testament God Lord Holy Amen Glory Jesus Christ Church Cross
SSBE X X X X X X X X
SV X X X
TCNT X
TEV X X X
TJB X
TM X X X X X
WAS X
WET X
WNT X X
WTNT X X
YLR X


Commentary

 

If the research of C. J. Koster in his book Come Out of Her My People can be used as a standard, the use of words having a pagan origin, and Sun-worship in particular, is very prevalent in the various versions. Whether or not the reader agrees with his findings, some decisions have to be made.

If these findings are valid, it will be necessary to decide whether to accept them or not. If they are accepted, the True Believer (commonly known as 'Christian') has to decide what he will do. He/She can try to eliminate the words from his/her vocabulary. This will take time to accomplish. Since no version is perfect, he/she should choose which is the best version for him/her in this regard. If they are not accepted, he/she will see no need for change. Such a person must be aware of the statement of Yahshua that not everyone who calls, "Lord, Lord," will enter the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 8: 21).

Another problem comes for those who claim that the "Bible" is inerrant or that "God" dictated the contents to the writers. If the "Bible" was inspired by "God" and has no errors, which one version is it? If "God" dictated to the writers the exact words, why would He have inserted words whose origins can be traced back to pagan religions, and especially to the Sun-deity? Yahweh told the children of Israel not to make mention the name of other gods or let it be heard out of their mouths (Exodus 23: 13).

It is now up to the reader. If you are a True Believer of Yahshua, you will not give honor, consciously or unconsciously, to a pagan idol. If you cannot, or will not, avoid giving such honour, are you any better than the Emperor Constantine who claimed to have had a vision and became a "Christian" while still honouring the pagan Sun-deity?

If you would like to know more about heathenism, read the articles on Mithra and Crishna and their contributions to Christianity.


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