New versions of the Bible are always interesting. Just this morning I was reading Scripture – this time the book of Matthew. Having just picked up a new Bible translation, I decided to try it out. I refer to the New Covid Revised Version. In Matthew 8:1-3 we find a very interesting account about Jesus, and this is how the NCRV renders it:
When he came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. And behold, a Covid-positive man came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” And Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Why are you not wearing a mask? Why are you not social distancing? And have you been double jabbed yet, and had your booster shots? Depart from me. You are unclean.” And the man went away sad, and still diseased.
Of course it is always good to compare different versions of the Bible, as they can differ – sometimes quite a bit. Here is how the ESV renders this same passage of Scripture:
When he came down from the mountain, great crowds followed him. And behold, a leper came to him and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.” And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will; be clean.” And immediately his leprosy was cleansed.
Yeah, that’s a bit different. So I kept reading in this new translation, noticing some pretty stark contrasts between it and most other translations. I wondered how the story of Jesus feeding the five thousand might go. Here is the NCRV rendition of Matthew 14:13-21:
Now when Jesus heard this, he withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them and healed their sick. Now when it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, “This is a desolate place, and the day is now over; send the crowds away to go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” But Jesus said, “They need not go away; you give them something to eat.” They said to him, “We have only five loaves here and two fish.” And he said, “Bring them here to me.” Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and had them properly social distancing, with only three people in a group, all fully masked. Before he gave out the loaves and the fish, he inquired of everyone’s vaccination status. Those who could not show their vaccination passports and QR codes were told to leave, go into hotel quarantine for two weeks, and not return unless fully jabbed. The unclean are not to contaminate the clean.
I again compared this with the ESV. The opening verses are the same, but the closing verses say this:
Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And they all ate and were satisfied. And they took up twelve baskets full of the broken pieces left over. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.
Hmm, fairly different once again. I thought I would head over to the book of Acts to see how things check out there. In Acts 16:25-31 we read about the conversion of the Philippian jailer. Here is how the NCRV has it:
About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them, and suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken. And immediately all the doors were opened, and everyone’s bonds were unfastened. When the jailer woke and saw that the prison doors were open, he drew his sword and was about to kill himself, supposing that the prisoners had escaped. But Paul cried with a loud voice, “Do not harm yourself, for we are all here.” And the jailer called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas. Then he brought them out and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?” And they said, “Believe in Fauci and Gates and the vaxxes and the lockdowns, and you will be safe and saved, you and your household.”
The ESV has much the same, except for the closing line which says this: “And they said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”
Finally I looked at one more passage, this time from the Old Testament. Exodus 20 of course features the Ten Commandments. I see this new translation has added an Eleventh Commandment: “Thou shalt be vaxxed, that it mightest be well with thee, and thou mightest live long on the earth.” Yes, that is rather different as well.
Moral of the story
Um, this is called satire. So am I and others anti-vaxxers then? NO! That is just a pejorative word – a smear term designed to demonise those who have legitimate questions and concerns about the new Covid vaccines. The great majority of those who have this hesitancy are NOT anti-vaxxers.
We have had plenty of shots, and will likely have more in the future. But we will not be bullied and intimidated on this. We will not be forced to have things injected into our bodies without our full informed consent. That is diabolical tyranny, and goes against all of our human rights declarations and medical ethics statements.
If you want to get the vaccines and the likely never-ending booster shots, always stay at home and cower in fear, always be masked up, etc., go right ahead. We are not stopping you. We have no animosity to anyone who goes down this path, and we fully respect your choices. We simply ask that you return the favour and respect our choices, and stop demonising us.
And this fully goes for Christians. If you think all this is what you must do, fine. Go right ahead. But sadly some believers seem to have made an idol out of all this, even seeing this as a new test of orthodoxy. Some seem to see these things as their new source of safety and salvation. ‘The vaxx is my shepherd, I shall not want.’ Sorry, but we will not be a part of this new heresy.
Moreover, I am NOT implying here that Christians must choose between trusting God for all things, including their health, and availing themselves of modern medical care. We ALWAYS should fully trust Christ in all things, including how we look after our own bodies. But at the same time, we can certainly make use of modern health care, according to our own discretion and choice.
Oh, and I think I will take my NCRV and chuck it in the bin. I prefer the older versions much better to this one.