The Watering Down of God's Word in Translations

In my bible study this morning, I was reading 1 Cor. 'to be' in italics caught my attention. Let's consider 1 Cor 1:2 in the various translations:

  • (KJV) Unto the church of God which is at Corinth, to them that are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all that in every place call upon the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours:

In the KJV version, 'to be' is kept in italics form to remind readers that the words are not there in the original Greek. However, in other modern translations like ESV, GW etc, the to be are not italicised and the reader cannot tell them apart anymore.

In the NASB translation, the 'to be' is not there. See
  • (NASB) To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who have been sanctified in Christ Jesus, saints by calling, with all who in every place call on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours:
The Fuss on 'to be'
You may be wondering what is the fuss about the 'to be'. To me, 'to be' and 'are' are worlds apart. 'to be' is not yet and is the process to become, whereas, are is already there. Let's read some more translations, those without the 'to be',...
  • (ALT) To the assembly [or, church, and throughout epistle] of God, the one being in Corinth, to the ones having been sanctified [or, made holy] in Christ Jesus, called holy ones [or, saints, and throughout epistle], with all the ones calling on the name of our Lord Jesus Christ in every place, both theirs and ours:
  • (BBE) To the church of God which is in Corinth, to those who have been made holy in Christ Jesus, saints by the selection of God, with all those who in every place give honour to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, their Lord and ours:
  • (MSG) I send this letter to you in God's church at Corinth, Christians cleaned up by Jesus and set apart for a God-filled life. I include in my greeting all who call out to Jesus, wherever they live. He's their Master as well as ours!
  • (Murdock) to the church of God which is at Corinth, to the [people] called and sanctified, who are sanctified in Jesus Messiah; and to all them, in every place, who invoke the name of our Lord Jesus Messiah, their and our [Lord]:
The above cited translations show that we are, not to become, set apart, selected and sanctified and called holy ones. We already are saints and not to become saints. We live out our sainthood in this world as the testimony for the Christ within us. We are not to struggle by our own effort to become. To put in another way, we are victorious already. We are not fighting to win a war. We are already the victor proclaiming our victory and recovering the land lost. See "Be-Do-Have" of Grace Based Doctrine

This post is not to tell you which translated versions of the Bible are better. Some translations are better for certain verses. This post is to encourage us to read the Word with greater care and to use as many translations as possible to fully understand the Word.

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