Chapter 12 – A New Look at Old Texts

Author: Kevin George

This book is a work in progress. Posts on this blog are to enable readers to examine the manuscript and make commentary. These blog posts are NOT the final version!

Most Bible translations have been translated by committees which are committed to the Penal Substitution Atonement doctrine, and other translators seem to be at least partially committed to this view. Therefore, when they translate, they naturally choose words which seem to best fit their view. This process of translation is called “dynamic equivalence”, and to some degree all translations require this method.

In an effort to reveal a more accurate underlying textual claim, most of the atonement passages must be reexamined and retranslated while considering the Old Testament grammatical and historical contexts, common logic, and the revealed character of God, which is primarily relational, not legal. As the following chapters will show, other equivalent words could have been chosen that would have yielded an entirely different understanding and which would have been more consistent and more sensible while still faithful to the underlying Greek text.

Since PSA has become the default thinking of most of Christianity, and virtually all of Protestantism, whenever the PSA advocates utilize their dynamic equivalence or paraphrases, they see no problem in the text because their choice of words matches their assumed doctrine. Therefore, any claim to expose the erroneous PSA translations will naturally be considered suspect, a tampering of the translation to import a new (in their view) doctrine. The question which the reader must ask is which translation is faithful to not only the immediate text, but also avoids contradictions with the entirety of Scripture and the character of God. Only after wrestling with these texts and their doctrinal implications can we determine the original intent and the truth which the texts are intending to convey.

With this in mind, the chapters which follow will seek to reveal alternative translations of key PSA passages, yet keep each passage within the acceptable range of Greek translation words and their textual context.