Yes, is that so? How many of you out there take this illegitimate translation literally or, to put it another way, take it as read? How many of you have been spiritually abused by the use of this Holy Scripture by ravening wolves in pulpits, who will blasphemously tell you that you must live in TREMBLING FEAR of God or else!? I tell you, of all the translation errors, in English translations of the New Testament, this has to be one of the worst there is and, to date, after 35 years of Bible study, I have found no exception to this statement.
First off, I will copy the King James Version of this Scripture, here below, followed by the original Greek MSS Transliteral Version. By doing this, I will reveal all the errors in the King James Version and I will also reveal an error in the translation of the Greek MSS as well.
Phil 2:12 (KJV) Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. (Emphasis mine)
From The Greek MSS Transliteral:
Phil 2:12 (Greek Transliteral) As-besides beloved of-me according-as always ye-obey (hupakouo) no as, as in the beside-being of-me only but now much rather in the from-being of me with fear (phobos) and trembling the of-selves saving be-ye-down-acting.
You will notice that I have included the Greek words ‘hupakouo’ and ‘phobos’ in the Greek transliteral rendition and I will explain the reason for this later. Furthermore, you will also notice the words ‘work out’ are not in the Greek original rendering. These words were added by the Freemason and Cainite-Judeo-Christian Religious agenda driven translators of the KJV to support their Graceless ‘salvation by works’ teaching agenda and in keeping with their Judaisers non-gospel.
First things first, though, as I wish to encapsulate the environment or the backdrop of the times in which early Christians lived, including those in Philippi. First century Christians didn’t have it cushty and easy-peasy like we do today in our molly coddled 21st century western world, although that is going to change soon, and how!!?? So you had better watch out! You have been warned in love here on my blog, so be on your guard and learn to be as wise as serpents but as harmless as doves. Just as Yashua Messiah instructed us in Matt 10:16:
Matthew 10:16 (KJV) Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. (Emphasis mine)
(No offence to those of you who are already going through severe trials.)
Moreover, unlike many of us today, first century Christians had to deal with real persecution, they were society’s scapegoats of the day. If anything went wrong, in Roman Hellenised heathen society, a society that was riddled with pagan superstitious mumbo jumbo and paranoia, then Christian ‘troublemakers’ were the first port of call for the provoked local rent-a-mob and/or The Roman authorities. These angry mobs were frequently egged on and encouraged by the local Pharisees and/or Canaanite Jew religious leaders of the Synagogue of Satan.
Make no mistake, these were extreme times and very frightening times for Christians, especially for those new to the Faith. Paul’s visits, therefore, were always warmly welcomed because he was such a tower of Spiritual strength, support and encouragement to these brothers and sisters in Yashua Messiah, and this is the reality of the situation at Philippi as recorded in Phil 2:12. Now notice, carefully, these Holy Scriptures also from Philippians in Chapter 1:
Phil 1:28-29 (KJV) And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God. 29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for His sake. (Emphasis mine)
Here, in the preceding verses, we can see Paul encouraging them not to be terrified of their adversaries. OK, so what is the point I am making here? The point I am making is the blasphemous way in which Philippians 2:12 is miss-used by ravening wolves in pulpits to put the fear of God into their fellowships. This is a fear that should not exist and yet does exist because of the erroneous teaching of aforementioned ravening wolves regarding this verse. So what is wrong with the translation of this verse? Pretty well everything is the answer to that?
First of all we have the word ‘obeyed’, translated from the Greek word ‘hupakouo’ and I will copy here Strong’s comments on this word:
Obeyed – G5219 – hupakouō – hoop-ak-oo’-o – From G5259 and G191; to hear under (as a subordinate), that is, to listen attentively; by implication to heed or conform to a command or authority: – hearken, be obedient to, obey.
In nearly every case, when the words ‘obey’, ‘obedient’ and ‘obedience’ are used in The New Testament they are a mistranslation and the above use in Philippians 2:12 is no exception. We must understand that followers of Yashua Messiah do so willingly, they follow Him willingly and voluntarily so no obedience is required. Followers of Yashua Messiah also ‘hearken or listen attentively’ which is the real meaning of ‘hupakouo’. Why do they listen or hearken attentively, is it because they have to or they are ordered to or because they want to!!??
Luke 10:39 (KJV) And she had a sister called Mary, which also sat at Jesus’ feet, and heard His Word (voluntary attentive listening). (Brackets mine)
Now here is a critical question: Was Mary at Jesus’ feet because He told her to sit there or because she willingly and voluntarily wanted to sit there? Was there an inner Spiritual desire to listen to Yashua Messiah or did the local Pharisee come round and order her to do it? Can you now see the blasphemy of the use of the word ‘obey’? I hope so ‘cos that’s just what it is.
As a final point, as I want to move on, you will notice that Strong puts in ‘as a subordinate’ in brackets which means he thinks this is a ‘Yes Sir’ – ‘No sir – three bags full sir’ military style arrangement. This is just an erroneous personal interpretation on his part and the brackets are wholly his. He also states: “by implication to heed or conform to a command or authority: – hearken, be obedient to, obey.” In fairness he does say it is implied, but on what grounds? Unfortunately on Pharisaical Judaising grounds – his implied meaning is Graceless error and nonsense and it is pure Old Covenant legalism. We serve Yashua Messiah because we want to serve Him, not because we have to serve Him. If we think we ‘have to’, we have a serious problem and Nasa won’t be able to help you out of it either, for only outer-darkness awaits you unless you repent.
OK, let’s get back to the verse in question: Work out your own Salvation with fear and trembling. If, as Christians, we don’t live in a world of persecution what are we supposed to tremble with fear about? Many so called ministers of God teach we should work out our own salvation and be in fear of God and tremble with fear of God, no less, at the same time. No messing about with these Bible bashing fundies eh? They know what’s what and they let you have it, smack between the eyes. Not literally of course, but it might as well be.
Then we have the other wretched variety of ‘minister’, you know, those more progressive liberal ‘sensitive types’ who will attempt to explain this verse away so as not to frighten you. They do that by saying: “Oh, to fear God means to revere and respect Him; be in awe of Him in a fearful way” Utter bunkum and humbug in this case! This is why I quoted the Greek word ‘phobos’ next to fear in the Greek MSS rendering. From ‘phobos’ we get the English word ‘phobia’ which means a fear of something. Then we get trembling with the word fear, so Paul is not being ambiguous here in what he is saying in this verse. He is definitely speaking about being very frightened indeed – terrified no less!! But frightened of what though? Well we know don’t we, I have already explained why these Christians were trembling with fear – persecution, possible torture and death. These were evil times in which these faithful people lived.
Now let’s analyse this verse properly. Paul is emphasising something else here in this verse that is easily missed. If we keep our minds fixed on the backdrop of persecution and read these words again, “not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence.” With persection as the backdrop we can now begin to see the emphasis shifting onto the correct subject matter. Paul was beseeching them to not loose faith in these very difficult fearful times, especially in his absence or without him being there to strengthen and encourage them.
He then adds, and I will switch to the Greek MSS for this part once more: “with fear (phobos) and trembling the of-selves saving be-ye-down-acting.” The term ‘be-ye-down-acting’ means to keep going, accomplish or finish what they and YOU have started, so Paul here is confirming what I have already stated. This verse is about not giving up under immense life threatening pressure and fear. It’s an exhortation to be brave and bear up whilst going through a period of severe trials or suffering. This verse has nothing to do with being in fear of God. It also has nothing to do with our working out our own Salvation for Salvation is a free God given gift and was ‘worked out’ for us at the cross. Our works have nothing to do with it:
Ephesians 2:8-9 (KJV) For by Grace are ye saved through Faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast.
Brother Charles, a messenger of Yashua Messiah.