Words Intercalation: How To Understand The Scripture Episode 6

Words Intercalation:

Words Intercalation

Words intercalation is something a careful scripture student notices while studying the scripture. Though, one cannot say for sure the reason for words intercalation in these verses in the scripture.  However, one can suggest that the words intercalation is to augment for the messages in the verses and chapters they are used. So while translating the books of the bible, the translators used their prerogatives to induce or fix words intercalation in the verses or chapters. 

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These words intercalation is in order to create a better understanding of the messages in a particular chapter. There is an indication that Words intercalation in the scripture seems to have the approval of the authorities in the era of the translation. This is because, the job of translation was the brainchild of the authorities in power then. Notice that most of the words intercalation are in italics font because they are not in the original manuscripts. Though, in some cases, many of the verses and words intercalation are not in italic font, therefore, this warrants a serious study in order to identify them.

However, the italic font has helped students of the scripture to know when words intercalation has taken place in a verse.

Let’s see one of the examples of these verses;

“And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart,thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.”

Acts 8:37

Words Intercalation Examples:

The verse above is one of the examples of words intercalation in the scripture. This shows that in the original manuscript verse 37 do not exist. One can assume that this word intercalation is because of the notion that someone has to believe before baptism. Well, the reality here is that Philip never said those words. The words were intercalated and better still one can leap over it and still make sense out of the narration.

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However, to reason along with the lines, in verse 36 the man willingly declared his readiness to be baptized.  This gesture is an indication that he believed in what Philip has said to him. And in verse 38 the baptism takes place and he went his way rejoicing.  The benefits of unveiling these words intercalation in the scripture are enormous. It clears the doubts one may have if one lays hand on the original manuscript and they are not there.

Another thing to take into account while studying the Scripture is that the Scripture is written in human developed languages. And in the construction or development of the languages there are language structures that make-up the languages. These structures and make-ups help standardize its formation. These structures sometimes are figures of speech. If one is writing in a particular language sometime is very expedient one writes with figures of speech. This helps him to drive home his points in a factual and riveting manner. So we find some writers of the books in the Scripture using metaphors and other language expressions in their writings.

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Words Have Apparent Meaning:

Words Intercalation

And it is important to understand that expressions in metaphors for instance are not what they appear on the surface. Therefore, the need for interpretation of the lines for proper digestion is very vital.

Also worthy to note is that many of the prophecies and teachings in the Scripture are rendered in parables.  And many more in idiomatic and metaphoric expressions and the writers put them straight the way it was expressed. This is particular of the teachings of our Lord Jesus, they were mainly in parables.  And if they are in parables it means that there is a need to unlock their meanings to a lay man’s understanding.  If not unlocked, such teachings pose some difficulties in understanding. Example can be found in the book of Matthew chapter 13, popularly known as the parable of the sower.

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As rightly pointed out in the earlier episodes, the Scriptures were written in human languages. These languages are subject to development as time goes on. It is clear that the languages used in translating the Scriptures have advanced to certain levels. And because of man’s increase in knowledge the advancement is still ongoing. As a result of this, there has been an increase or expansion of the vocabularies of these languages. Therefore, this has rendered expressions and words used in them inactive; if not useless in this present day interpretation.

How To Avert Some Obscured Words:

Notice that some words in the old English language do not mean the same in the present day English language. For instance let’s see one of the verses these words appear.

“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light”

(Colossians 1:12).

The word meet that appeared in the verse above in the present day English language literally mean to come across or to encounter with. However, in the present day translation that verse the words intercalation should be something like this:

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“Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us “qualified” to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light”.

 Therefore, while studying the scripture is important to avert or overcome these kinds of issues in the scripture. One of the ways is to equip oneself with different and latest translations in the English language.

Another thing to keenly observe while studying the Scripture is the issues of some syntax errors that occur in several verses. One should understand that the translations were done by humans.  And of course human factors should not be exonerated in its totality. However, we should be grateful to God that the quickening of translation was made possible. The individuals that pioneered and allowed such important gesture to take place should be applauded.  As human beings, the translators have their different levels of understanding of the lines. As a result they placed the punctuation in the lines at some places that are not really correct.

Wrong Understanding Equals Wrong Application:

The result is that, many verses have turn out to mean something they are not supposed to mean. However, emphasis is being place on this because of the kind of meaning a verse may inculcate. For instance, if a verse happens to mean what it is not, this will definitely affect its application. And the application is very important to the reader. Hence, the doctrine obtainable from such a verse may not be absolutely correct and sound. And of course it will affect the reasoning and mentality that will be developed from it by the reader. Let’s see one of the verses these occurred;

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“If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

(Galatians 5:25).

Here, the word ‘if’ suggests a conditional statement, but doctrinally, for Christians, it should not be an ‘if’. This is because Christians are meant to live in the Spirit. Notice for a believer it is a normal thing to live in the Spirit because that is his place of being always. So the words intercalation and translation should be:

“Since we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit.”

Now, this creates a better understanding for a believer that he or she is always in the Spirit.  And of course a believer should always walk like someone who is in the Spirit

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