NKJV Whopper no. 6.
“To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs…”
Acts 1:3 NKJV
“…to whom He also presented Himself alive after His suffering by many infallible proofs…”
One of the sad evidences of our modern spiritual decline is the disappearance of passion from our pulpits and prayer-meetings.
Perhaps it should come as no surprise, seeing it is being removed from modern bibles, as in the verse above.
The NIV uses the word ‘passion’ seven times in the Old and New Testaments. (1) Every instance has a negative connotation as, for example, Romans 7:5 and Titus 2:12.
Every reference I discovered to passion in the NKJV is also negative.
For example, Colossians 3:5,
“Therefore put to death your members which are upon the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry.”
Or Romans 1:26,
“For this reason God gave them up to vile passions.”
The Authorised Version only uses the word ‘passion’ three times.
In Acts 1:3, Acts 14:15 and James 5:17.
Acts 14 and James 5 are clearly used non-judgmentally in the A.V.
The A.V. uses the word ‘compassion’ 21 times in the New Testament and the NKJV also translates twenty of the same references as ‘compassion’. Compassion is always a positive sentiment, a good thing in its New Testament use. Is it not a little strange then that the NKJV always translates ‘passion’ negatively, like the NIV?
It seems that modern translators can only think of passion in the seedy sense of the X-rated sex movie.
This is the consequence of imbibing too much of the mentality of the world.
Dirty minds beget dirty bibles.
In Acts 1:3 the NKJV changes the ‘passion’ of the Lord Jesus upon the cross into his ‘suffering’.
This destroys, along with the shallow NIV, NASV and ESV, the precious truth that the Lord Jesus embraced the cross. ‘Suffering’ is negative, ‘passion’ is positive.
Isaiah prophesied of Jesus’ resolve to go to Calvary:
“The Lord GOD hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. For the Lord GOD will help me; therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed.” Isa. 50:5-7.
Hallelujah! What a Saviour. Doctrinally, the NKJV might not be telling such a great whopper here, but what a miserable downgrade of Jesus’ love.
(1) E.W. Goodrick & J.R. Kohlenberger III, The NIV Complete Concordance (Hodder and Stoughton, 1981) p.798.