RE: virus: Will

carlw (
Sat, 20 Mar 1999 11:57:48 -0600

> -----Original Message-----
> From:
> []On Behalf
> Of Tim Rhodes
> Sent: Friday, March 19, 1999 9:30 PM
> To:
> Subject: RE: virus: Will
> On Fri, 19 Mar 1999, carlw wrote:
> > Certainly from the time of Eusebius Pamphilius* and
> probably prior to him,
> > it has been known that Christians have justified telling
> lies, burning books
> > and generally rewriting history in an attempt to make
> themselves look less
> > unattractive by suggesting that god likes it... Even in
> their Bible, Paul
> > says "For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my
> lie unto his
> > glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner?" (Romans 3:7)
> If this were
> > memetic, then more people would know about it and acknowledge it.

I see you don't attempt a refutation of this - I take it you are in agreement then.
> You amaze me Carl!
If it were not for the fact that my sarcasm meter is pegged in the red-zone, I might be in danger of developing a swollen head! By the way, I would refer to you as Tim (an implied invitation due to your salutation), or as Mr Rhodes, or even possibly as Prof. Tim (even though we are not on your campus, I do not know what faculty you are the head of, and I doubt that you have retired), but I do not recall inviting you to make free with my name. I forget who it was (it may have been Lord Chesterfield) that recommended a punctilious courtesy when setting out to insult somebody. I would recommend those words to your attention.

> You prejudice knows no bounds (or ethics
> either, it seems.)

Am I prejudiced. Yes. Bear in mind that prejudice need not be unjustified. I don't like religion, particularly Christianity, or what religious people have done to the world, neither do I appreciate the "stink of piety". Does my prejudice know "no bounds or ethics" I don't believe so, neither it seems, do my academic peers (including those in the various faculties of religious studies) as I have frequently been asked to debate or deliver lectures in the summer school programs. I wonder what drove you to this conclusion. I doubt that it was anything I said, I am usually more careful than that.

Tu quoque. Are you prejudiced? It seems to me as if, despite your protestations of non-alliance, that you just might be. It seems that dislike for my message is oozing (not to say spurting) from your unsubstantiated allegations. May I suggest that you attempt to maintain a civilized tone when criticizing others. Perhaps we will then be bamboozeled into believing that you are not a turgid farraginous mass of viturperation. I suspect from your reactions to these little quotations that you probably had a Christian upbringing and have not yet overcome the characteristic intellectual shabbiness which seems to lead so many Christian apologists to ad hominize anyone or anything that disagrees with the christian message. Keep practicing and you may eventually sublimate it. The messenger is not the message, not even when devilishly quoting scripture to his purpose (references not provided as these are intended as english proverbs, not citations). You didn't do very well at disguising your discomfort this time around.

> And the way you excerpt this quote is even more ironic given
> its actual
> context! I'm not here as a defender the bible or Christians,
> I am neither. But
> for the record, we should judge that quote in context. And
> then make our own
> judgements about your abuse of it.
Some people prefer brevity, I have often demonstrated that I prefer to reply in full or not at all. I will attempt to address your argument simply and terminally, but as you have assaulted my intellectual honesty due to my attempted brevity, it won't be briefly. Essentially it boils down to the choice between including everything including the kitchen sink in every message sent, or assuming that you have a literate Internet connected audience able to access anything on the general Internet if they so choose. In my opinion the latter is generally preferable. Long quotations should only be included where the material is not on the Internet or not generally available, where it would involve more than clicking a URL, or where people have proved themselves incompetent to look things up.

Correct English usage (Fowler) says that, due to the pervasiveness of the Bible, it is deemed correct usage for any biblical quotation, to provide a reference to a book followed by the chapter and verse and version used if not the King James (in parenthises). Where multiple quotations are used, the author may choose to cite only the book and version initially, and a chapter and verse reference for later citations in close proximity. Only "if the author deems it useful" should one provide the wording of the sentence or verse under analysis. Only when "differences of translation or interpretation" are relevant to the discussion at hand, or when "archaic or rare" versions are cited, is it considered good style to quote entire passages. As I was not addressing issues of translation or interpretation, and was not "citing a rare or archaic version", the quotation was (according to Fowler) correctly made. Or are you now redefining English style as well as Biblical criticism?

As I will demonstrate here, the context does not in any way affect the quotation. Paul was a liar, was frequently called a liar by his contemporaries, was sensitive to being called a liar, and either he or his supporters (I suspect these really might be Paul's words, they are weaselish enough) used this form in an attempt to deflect attention from his lying character.

To attempt to characterise my quotation as "abuse" without demonstrating that it is, is exactly the kind of gratuitous ad-hominem that has gained the field of scriptural criticism such a deservedly poor reputation as it has. Your egregious attempts to impugne my intellectual honesty are a great deal more visible than any support for your imputation that I have somehow twisted "Paul"'s words into something he did not say.

> Paul is addressing a very real schism in the early church --
> the question of
> whether the gentiles (non-Jews) needed to convert to Judaism
> before they could
> become Christians. (Christians were still considered a sect
> of Judaism at the
> time and Paul was trying to change that in order to expand
> their memetic
> potential.) Paul had just finished showing how the Jews are
> no more or less in
> need of Jesus teachings than anyone else. Now he defends the
> Jews a little, so
> as to not lose that section of his audience either.
I would suggest that this characterisation of the passage is not supported by any serious independant scholar today.

I suppose it is good that you are not "here as a defender (sic) the bible or Christians" as you would, I think, make an even worse job of it than their usual apologists, who at least usually make a pretense at research and the forms of scholarly debate.

Read the extract from "James the Brother of Jesus" below.

> He has been using a common rhetorical form throughout (he's
> writing in Greek,to
> the educated in Rome--Epistle to the Romans remember). He's
> asking himself
> questions and then answering them. In this passage he even
> acknowledges that in
> the text. Here in the passage in question he is turning his
> attention to the
> rhetorical question, "What if some Jews--God's chosen
> people--lack faith, does
> their lack of faith nullify God's faithfulness?"

Note that Romans 3:4 is quoting from Psalm 51. This is a rhetorical trick which would only work on educated Sadducee (or maybe Zealot) Jews, familiar with Psalms and speaking Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek - not Latin. At the time that this letter is purported to have been written, and undoubtedly written in Greek, the Jews were attempting to recreate their holy books which had been destroyed along with Jerusalem. No Roman would have recognised either the verse or the technique and could not have looked it up either. Which kind of destroys your argument about whose benefit this was written for.

Your version switch is offensive, but I would have worked with it without comment (I have appended a number of different versions in case anyone is interested) as it does not materially alter the argument, except that you have misquoted it - Romans 3:5 (NIV) begins "Someone might argue" not "some might argue".

Examining the arguments (using the NIV and working with the range of passages you quoted):

3:3 What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God's faithfulness?

I did not address faithfulness and do not see it's relevance to 3:7 where we deal with Paul's lying.

Here are the first questions. They are answered in the next verse.

3:4 Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar. As it is written: "So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge."

Allright, this answers the first questions. So "some not having faith" does not "nullify God's faithfulness".

"So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge." Certainly these words are a quotation from Psalm 51:4 and unlike many of the other attributions in the New Testamant actually does exist. What does this have to do with Paul's lying?

3:5 But if our unrighteousness brings out God's righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? (I am using a human argument.)

If our unrighteousness makes God's unrighteousness clear, then is God unjust in judging us?
Here is the second question. Also answered in the next verse.

3:6 Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world?

And answers the second question immediately. God is not unjust, because otherwise he could not judge (a faulty proposition but not one I intend to address today). Still this has nothing to do with Paul's lying.

3:7 Someone might argue, "If my falsehood enhances God's truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?"

You should note that he does not address the truth or falsity of the proposition that p = "my falsehood enhances God's truthfulness and so increases his glory". He does raise the question, "Why am" s = "I (am) still condemned as a sinner" if p.

If this pattern of question and answer continues to be addressed, then the question "why am I still condemned as a sinner?" should be answered in the next paragraph. In fact, it is not!

3:8 Why not say--as we are being slanderously reported as saying and as some claim that we say--"Let us do evil that good may result"? Their condemnation is deserved.

Instead of the answer which Mr. Rhodes has suggested should be found here, we find another question. And a question which is tangentially related to the first, if at all. So lets peek at the next verse where, if it was simply a slip of the rhythm that caused the answer to be missed, we should find the answer to the previous question and possible the answer to this question "Why not say... Let us do evil that good may result?"

Note that the question raised here is also unrelated to the "If my falsehood enhances God's truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?" which is the root of this discussion.

Here Paul says "Let us do evil that good may result" claiming that it is being attributed to him, and that the idea is to be condemned, but not denying the attribution.

It should be noted that while a slander attacks the good name or reputation of somebody, it need not be false and in this instance, Paul does not state that it is false.

While the Jews once recognized this as a valid argument (e.g. 1 Kings 22:19-24) by the 1st Century CE the majority of Jewish philosophers would have seen it for what it is, and what Paul acknowledges that it is, a weak pleading of utility, fully deserving of condemnation. While platonic Greeks migh also have seen the futility of this argument, the Roman's probably would have been confused. At this time Roman ethics was still dominated by utilitarian perspectives.

3:9 What shall we conclude then? Are we any better*? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin

So where are the answers? Paul is replying to yet another question "What shall we conclude then? Are we any better*?" with "Not at all!" and an expansion on it. Unless you are prepared to parenthesize the question here, in order to get it out of the way, the answer does not attempt to address the questions in 3:7 and 3:8.

Of course, if you do remove the questions here, your problems only increase. For then you are saying that he says that everyone (including himself of course) is a sinner and "No better". Which of course validates:

(s) I (am) still condemned as a sinner = (p) my falsehood enhances God's truthfulness and so increases his glory.

So s is true if p is true, and s is true. Therefore p is true.

Bill Clinton would be proud of Paul and understanding the general public's capacity to be duped, would have (maybe) expected Mr Rhodes to develop this impression of a meaning exacly opposite to what was said. I admit that I had thought better of the members of this list's ability to reason. I had made the assumption that the statement by some of them that they had decided to abandon reason and logic was unrepresentative and a rhetorical exaggeration. Silly me.

I still fail to see how Mr Rhodes imagines that adding these spurious verses around my root contention has in any way altered the meaning of my initial assertation, or justified his allegations of intellectual dishonesty and personal assaults. But then, I have not yet abandoned logic and reason.

> This is
> Romans 3:5-9 (NIV) in
> its entirety:

As I indicated above, it is not. There is at least one misquotation. I didn't bother to check for more.

> > "But if our unrighteousness brings out God's righteousness
> more clearly, what
> shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on
> us? (I am using a
> human argument.) Certainly not! If that were so. how could
> God judge the
> world? Some might argue, "If my falsehood enhances God's
> truthfulness and so
> increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?"
> Why not say--as we
> are slanderously reported as saying and some claim that we
> say--"Let us do evil
> that good may result?" Their condemnation is deserved.
> "What shall we conclude then? Are we any better? Not at
> all! We have
> already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all
> under sin."
> Setting the record straight-
> -Prof. Tim

No Prof. Tim - you have not set the record straight. You have obfuscated in a fashion worthy of Paul himself. As Eiseman asks of Paul, after asserting that he was a liar, was it "purposefully or simply out of ignorance"?

As others have frequently shown, Paul was a liar, and was simultaneously hypersenitive to accusations of being a liar (see the quotation from "James the Brother of Jesus" below). The writings attributed to him reflect his use, at every possible opportunity, to imply that he tells the truth and that his enemies tell lies. In this passage, he is claiming the argument that even if it were true that he tells lies, that this is justified because it is for the benefit of his God, an assertion which supports exactly what I was claiming. I did not think I needed to quote more, as the people I usually discuss things with are familiar with the material and have the ability to look up the quotations I use (because I always cite references). To claim as you have done that this is intellectual fraud as it is "quoting out of context" is not only facile but offensive. You have adequately proven not only that at least you had access to the entire passage and the ability to find it, but that it says what I claimed. Wrapping the simple phrase I quoted, with the entire book as you seem determined to demand that I do, will not change what is claimed by Paul by one iota. I wonder that you do not realize this.


>On Fri, 19 Mar 1999, carlw wrote:
>> Of course, even if you do believe
>> without questioning, there is always the danger "2 Thessalonians 2:11 For
>> this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe
>> lie" will get you.
>> TheHermit <grimacing>
>You're really pathetic, that isn't even _the whole sentence_ this time!
>"For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will
>the lie and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth
>have delighted in wickedness."
>-Prof. Tim,
>Who never thought he would ever look up this much scripture ever again.

I quoted more than enough for any non-numbskull to understand exactly what was being said, and the Christians inserted the verse numbers and punctuation, not I. Are you suggesting that the meaning is somehow altered by quoting "the whole sentence" as opposed to the "whole verse"? Or are you saying that although "God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie" that this somehow has its meaning changed or its ethics improved or justified by explanding it to "and so that all will be condemned who have not believed the truth but have delighted in wickedness."

The ends justify the means? You are so upset that I quoted a verse instead of a sentence that you are resorting to ad hominems? Who is being pathetic?

TheHermit <Apologising for the epithets, but hoping that you will stop pissing him off by calling him names.>

I strongly recommend that you read "James the Brother of Jesus" Robert Eisenman, subtitled "Recovering the True History of Early Christianity" on the subject. He took 1074 pages to discuss the issue of Paul vs James and the interesting fact that James' version of "Christianity" was in fact Zealot, calling for a return to strict Mosaic law and that the "schism" was in fact Paul (referred to in the Dead Sea Scrolls as "The lying spouter" or "The scoffer") hijacking their "church" for his own (ultimately memetically successful) ends. I tried to do it in 3 lines.

The issue of Paul's Lying is covered in "James the Brother of Jesus" (pp 145-148) under the sub chapter heading of "Paul's Lying" (it is also addressed in many other places). I will use /i to denote original italics. I have ommitted footnotes but will place relevant citations in-line.

Let me quote a little:

Paul's Lying

Paul's insistence in Galatians 1:16 that he did not discuss the version of the Gospel he taught or the fact of the revelation of, as he puts it, God's 'son in him' with any /i other human being /i - literally 'with flesh and blood' is interesting. As well, it accords, as we have seen, with the way he introduces himself and his Apostleship generally in Galations 1:1: Paul, Apostle, /i not from men nor through man /i, but through Jesus Christ and God the Father, who raised him from among the dead. That is, he did not receive his teaching commission from /i any man /i, as, for instance, a leader or 'Pillar' of the Jerusalem Church with the stature or authority of a James, but rather /i direct from Jesus himself/i, whom, of course, by this time Paul is referring to as 'Christ', to signal his supernatural as opposed to his natural persona. This also recalls the sense one gets from reading 2 Corinthians, confirmed, as we have seen in the Pseudoclementines, that the Apostles required /i letters of recommendation from James/i. In line with his contempt for such things, which he compares sarcastically in 2 Corinthians 3:7 to 'the service of death' and the dead letters written on the stone of the Ten Commandments, Paul insists his appointment is /i direct from Jesus Christ /i - meaning /i the Supernatural Christ/i, to whom in Heaven, he has, as it were, a direct line via 'the Holy Spirit'. This is the only certification he needs, which accords with his reasons for not discussing with anyone else the Gospel about /i Christ Jesus /i, as he taught it among the Gentiles. He didn't need to. He only had to discuss it with the Heavenly Jesus through the medium of the Holy Spirit.
He did not recognise earthly authority, not the Jerusalem Church leaders, nor the the decisions of the so-called 'Jerusalem Council' as we shall see - only the visions he was receiving. This was all very well and good for Paul, but one can imagine the kind of problems it mnight have caused him among his contemporaries. We can get an inkling of these by reading between the lines in his letters and comprehending the doctrines about him in the Pseudoclementines and materials of similar orientation. Paul was obviously being mocked by some - within the church not outside it - as 'the Man of Dreams', 'Lies', or 'Lying', or what was characterized in a parallel parlance as 'the Enemy'. This is confirmed tangentially by Paul's defensiveness with regard to such epithets, as evidenced at the end of his testimony in Galations to his all-important meeting with Peter and James in Jerusalem. (Gal 1:20 and 4:16). It is neither accidental nor incurious that exactly where he comes to speak of 'James the brother of the Lord' and in 2 Corinthians, the Hebrew 'Archapostles', that Paul feels obliged to add: 'Now before God, (in) what I write to you, I do not lie' or, again, 'I do not lie'.
This will not be the only time that Paul will via refraction refer in his defensiveness to "the Liar" epithet evidently being applied to him by some /i within /i the movement not outside it. It is, as just noted, connected to the all important 'Enemy' terminology, known to have been applied to him in later Jewish Christianity or Ebionitism. In the context of referring to Jewish observances and festivals as 'weak and beggarly elements' (Gal 4:9), his opponents - again /i within /i the movement - as 'wishing zealously to exclude' him and his communities (4:18), and the Covenant on Mount Sinai as 'born according to the flesh' of the /i Arab bondservant Hagar /i and, therefore, 'bringing forth to bondage' (4:24), Paul worries over his '/i becoming your Enemy by telling you the Truth/i ' (4:16). This remark should be viewed over and against one in James 4:4 insisting that 'whoever makes himself into a Friend of the world turns himself into an enemy of God', which plays, as we shall see, on the original biblical characterization of Abraham as "the Friend of God'.
There are some eight other indications of this 'Lying' epithet in the Pauline corpus alone. (footnote lists Rom 1:15-25, Hab 2:4, Rom 3:1-8, Rom 9:1, Gal 1:20, 2 Cor 11:31, Col 3:9, 2 Thess 2:2-12, 1 Tim 2:7, 4:2 and Titus 1:1-11) That Paul alludes to it here in the midst of this pivotal testimony to the existence of James, while at the same time explaining why he (Paul) was unknown by sight to anyone else in the Movement in Palestine, is extraordinary. It is as if Paul associated the idea of 'Lying' with something to do with his relationship with James, whose acquaintance he made during his first visit to Jerusalem after his 'revalation' of Christ as the 'son in' him, and that he knew some of James' followers were applying this kind of language to him and his activities. Why would Paul feel constrained to adjure - and this in the form almost of an oath - that 'he does not lie' with regard to the claims he is putting forth concerning this revalation and his first meeting with James?
Paul uses this 'Lying' terminology at several other crucial junctures in his letters, particularly in Romans 3:4-8 and 9:1, where he speaks about wrongful accusations concerning himself, circumcision, the Law, and how by 'telling the Truth' he has made himself 'a curse from Christ' to his opponents. He also uses it in 2 Corintians 11:31 above, to attack his 'Hebrew Archapostle' interlocutors and boast about the escape he made from Aretas' representative in Damascus in a basket. 1 Timothy, the authorship of which is disputed, also pictures Paul as averring he is 'an Apostle' and insisting he 'speaks the Truth of Christ and does not lie' (2:7). The riposte to these things is, of course, found in the letter of James at a likewise crucial juncture, following the rebuke of the 'Empty Man' (2:20) and evocation of the Lying 'Tongue', which 'cannot be tamed', 'boasts great things', and is 'a world of Unrighteousness all in itself' (3:1-8). It is succintly put:
If you have bitter jealousy and contentiousness /i in your heart/i, do not boast or /i lie against the Truth /i. This is not the Wisdom that comes down from above, but /i earthly, man-made, devilish /i [note the reversal of Paul's 'flesh and blood' aspersions and the allusion to the idea of 'devilishness']. (3:14-15)
The application of all these epithets to the situation of Paul will become clearer as we progress.

The same context is apparent in the Dead Sea Scrolls: 'Truth' is always
juxtaposed with 'Lying', 'Righteousness' with 'Evil', 'Light' with
'Darkness', a fornicating rebellious, jealous, and spouting 'Tongue' with
obedience and good conscience. These kinds of allusions are widespread at Qumran. Not only is the vocabulary almost interchangeable with these crucial parts of the Pauline or Jamesian corpus, but the same kind of imagery is in use. When one appreciates that James occupies a position in early Christianityequivalent to the one occupied by the Righteous Teacher at Qumran and the same kinds of allusions are being applied to them both and to their enemies, then the points of contact between the two draw ever closer. But there is 'Lying' going on here. Someone is not telling 'the Truth', whether purposefully or simply out of ignorance - either Paul or the authors of the Book of Acts. In the first place, nop vision on the road to Damascus takes place in Galations. It is true that twice, just after mentioning 'Damascus' in Galations 1:17 and before doing so in 2 Corinthians 11:32, Paul vigorously protests he 'does not lie', but he does not mention a vision on the way to Damascus.
What he does mention, leading up to this 'Damascus' allusion in Galatians, is that God had set him aside and called him from his 'mother's womb' (1:15), which would appear to be an exactly parallel claim to the one in early Church literature regarding the person of James. According to Hegesippus, James was considered 'consecrated from his mother's womb' or what in biblical Judaism would go by the notation of /i life-long Naziritism /i. In the Bible, a 'Nazirite' was someone like Samuel or John the Baptist, both dedicated the God from their mother's womb. The description of James will conform to these parameters. So will parallel ones in the Dead Sea Scrolls.
Paul's claim, especially since it is leading up to his introduction of James, must be seen as a rival one to this Naziritism of James, with whom he was always in such competition, a Naziritism that must be seen as common knowledge in Jerusalem of the time. In addition to it Paul, also, claims that God called him
by his grace to reveal [apocalypsai] His son in me that I might preach the Gospel about Him to the Gentiles. (Gal 1:16)

I have provided a number of translations and verses to each side of Romans 3:7. In this instance I am providing these translations:

NIV Arguably the best non literal translation, reconciles many sources, unfortunately unfamiliar to many people. RSV Revised translation of the KJV, but still single sourced, familiar to most Protestants
KJV Poetic translation, single sourced, familiar to most Anglicans and English Protestants
YLT Young's Literal Translation, extremely literal translation, attempts to preserve the tense and word usage as found in the Greek and Hebrew writings. Again has the disadvantage of (IMO) insufficient source comparison, but the virtue of reflecting the original construction.

Due to the difficulties with Greek, Aramaic and Hebrew characters in email, I won't paste them here, but if you are competent in Greek, I would recommend that you follow his argument in Greek. You can do so at: .

Romans 3:3
NIV What if some did not have faith? Will their lack of faith nullify God's faithfulness?
RSV What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God?
KJV For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?
YLT for what, if certain were faithless? shall their faithlessness the faithfulness of god make useless?

Romans 3:4
NIV Not at all! Let God be true, and every man a liar. As it is written: "So that you may be proved right when you speak and prevail when you judge." RSV By no means! Let God be true though every man be false, as it is written, "That thou mayest be justified in thy words, and prevail when thou art judged."
KJV God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.
YLT let it not be! and let God become true, and every man false, according as it hath been written, `That Thou mayest be declared righteous in Thy words, and mayest overcome in Thy being judged.'

Romans 3:5
NIV But if our unrighteousness brings out God's righteousness more clearly, what shall we say? That God is unjust in bringing his wrath on us? (I am using a human argument.)
RSV But if our wickedness serves to show the justice of God, what shall we say? That God is unjust to inflict wrath on us? (I speak in a human way.) KJV But if our unrighteousness commend the righteousness of God, what shall we say? Is God unrighteous who taketh vengeance? (I speak as a man) YLT And, if our unrighteousness God's righteousness doth establish, what shall we say? is God unrighteous who is inflicting the wrath? (after the manner of a man I speak)

Romans 3:6
NIV Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world? RSV By no means! For then how could God judge the world? KJV God forbid: for then how shall God judge the world? YLT let it not be! since how shall God judge the world?

Romans 3:7
NIV Someone might argue, "If my falsehood enhances God's truthfulness and so increases his glory, why am I still condemned as a sinner?" RSV But if through my falsehood God's truthfulness abounds to his glory, why am I still being condemned as a sinner?
KJV For if the truth of God hath more abounded through my lie unto his glory; why yet am I also judged as a sinner? YLT for if the truth of God in my falsehood did more abound to His glory, why yet am I also as a sinner judged?

Romans 3:8
NIV Why not say--as we are being slanderously reported as saying and as some claim that we say--"Let us do evil that good may result"? Their condemnation is deserved.
RSV And why not do evil that good may come? --as some people slanderously charge us with saying. Their condemnation is just. KJV And not rather, (as we be slanderously reported, and as some affirm that we say,) Let us do evil, that good may come? whose damnation is just. YLT and not, as we are evil spoken of, and as certain affirm us to say -- `We may do the evil things, that the good ones may come?' whose judgment is righteous.

Romans 3:9
NIV What shall we conclude then? Are we any better*? Not at all! We have already made the charge that Jews and Gentiles alike are all under sin RSV What then? Are we Jews any better off? No, not at all; for I have already charged that all men, both Jews and Greeks, are under the power of sin,
KJV What then? are we better than they? No, in no wise: for we have before proved both Jews and Gentiles, that they are all under sin; YLT What, then? are we better? not at all! for we did before charge both Jews and Greeks with being all under sin, *Some texts give "Are we any worse?"

2 Thessalonians 2:10
NIV and in every sort of evil that deceives those who are perishing. They perish because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. RSV and with all wicked deception for those who are to perish, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. KJV And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved. YLT and in all deceitfulness of the unrighteousness in those perishing, because the love of the truth they did not receive for their being saved,

2 Thessalonians 2:11
NIV For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie
RSV Therefore God sends upon them a strong delusion, to make them believe what is false,
KJV And for this cause God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
YLT and because of this shall God send to them a working of delusion, for their believing the lie,

2 Thessalonians 2:12
NIV We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. [1]
RSV so that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
KJV That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
YLT that they may be judged -- all who did not believe the truth, but were well pleased in the unrighteousness.

One christian bible study group comments on your class of commentary (I have shortened this by ommiting paragraphs related only to their missionary purpose. You will find the complete text on their web page at ):

Use of Greek & Hebrew

  1. WORD STUDIES For teaching preparation, words should be explored in the original languages, not in English. A single Greek or Hebrew word can be translated into a dozen or more English words, and conversely a dozen Greek or Hebrew words can all be translated into a single English word. So we go back to the original languages for consistency.
  2. PRIMPING OR TEACHING? "What this word really means is..." was fair enough when all we had was the King James Version. Now with 30 or more English translations, it may be a sign of Scripture twisting for laymen to attempt this--if none of the versions translated the text at hand with what we are asserting it "really means". More often than not, resorting to such techniques is an attempt to either 1) explain away the verse, 2) play off the ignorance of the listeners to say whatever is wanted with the verse, or 3) sound impressive.
  3. NUANCES AND COLOR As to word "colors" and double meanings, if it is not possible to find an intersection among the many published translations of what we think or have heard the word "really means", then this kind of teaching should be avoided. Launching out on obscure, esoteric, or supposed Greek meanings is not encouraged. After all, Jesus and the apostles conversed in Hebrew/Aramaic. As to the wisdom of this discipline, consider as evidence all the false teachings and silliness that has sprung from this technique.

Rather than claim that a word "really means" thus and such, we turn to translations reviewed by peers and/or published as God's Word for verification. The assumption is, if nobody has translated it thus, it is probably a fanciful or bogus interpretation, meant to sound deep without really being tested and approved.

The discipline used to combat this temptation is to look for confirmation in one or more of the various translations, and then use those translations to make the point without pontificating about Greek or Hebrew, unless it is really edifying or needful to jump into the original languages. And in some cases it is; albeit much more rarely than popular practice would warrant.

Some have become irritated at us for pointing these things out, but I will nonetheless challenge readers to consider if we should be reviled or imitated in this. Am I the only teacher who wrestles with these temptations? Am I alone in having "dropped words" in Greek to impress or show off?