Boo… Theologically Manipulated Translation. Boo…

Ok, class. Get out your black highlighters and your pencils! We’re going to play, “Correct your sanitized translation!”

We’ll start by all turning to the same passage: Galatians 5:6. Is everyone there? Great!

What does your translation say that faith does? “In Christ Jesus, neither does circumcision avail nor uncircumcision but faith ______ through love.” What’s in the blank?

(Sarcasm alert!) Now a casual reader of the Greek might think that because ἐνεργουμένη means “working” or “being at work” that we should translate this “faith working through love”. But since we know that we’re saved by faith and not by works, that can’t possibly be what it means! So let’s try “faith expressing itself through love”! Perfect! (/Sarcasm alert!)

Seriously, people. The thing says “faith working through love.” If your bible says “expressing itself”: get out the black highlighter, highlight that bad boy, and write in “working” in its place.

What sort of faith does Paul hope to see? “The obedience of faith” (Romans 1); “work of faith” (1 Thessalonians 1); and, yes, “faith working through love” (Galatians 5).

Faith and works go together. Don’t let your translation hoodwinkle [sic.] you.

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