DID JESUS CHRIST TELL A LIE?
All scriptural references are from verious Bible versions as noted

There exists an unfortunate rumor that Jesus Christ actually told a lie -- an untruth, a falsehood. The basis of this rumor is the passage at John 7:8-10 :

John 7:8-10

(8) Go ye up unto the feast: I go not up unto this feast; because my time is not yet fulfilled. (9) And having said these things unto them, he abode still in Galilee. (10) But when his brethren were gone up unto the feast, then went he also up, not publicly, but as it were in secret. (American Standard Version)

This passage from the ASV is clearly stating that Jesus Christ said that He wasn't attending a feast, though as soon as His friend left he really did attend the feast, although in secret. This would mean that Jesus Christ told a lie, which contradicts another Bible passage:

1 Peter 2:21-22

(21)For hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, that ye should follow his steps: (22) who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth (ASV)

This contradictory pair of passages is found in other Bible versions as well, such as Contemporary English Version, Darby Translation, New International Version and the New American Standard Bible, among others.

OPPOSING VARIATIONS

What's interesting though, is that in other Bible versions, this very same passage at John 7:8-10 says something a little different:

John 7:8-10

(8) Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast: for my time is not yet full come. (9) When he had said these words unto them, he abode still in Galilee. (10) But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret. (King James Version )

Note that the single word, “yet”, makes all the difference in the meaning of the passage. The word “yet” reveals that Jesus was indeed planning to go to the feast, but just not at that very moment. Ergo, Jesus really did not lie.

Other Bible versions which host this difference in wording include the Amplified Bible, Holman Christian Standard Bible, New Century Version, New King James Version, and the Wycliffe Bible, among others.

WHICH ONE IS MORE ACCURATE?

As in all cases of contradiction this leaves the reader with a big question: Since both versions of this passage have contradicting meanings how can it be determined which one is actually correct?

The most accurate way to figure this out is by using an interlinear Greek New Testament text to see how the original wording of the Scripture was written. A Greek interlinear New Testament Bible is one which gives the original Greek wording of the Scripture along with the literal word-for-word translation of the text. For my own personal research I used “The Interlinear Bible, Greek English, Vol. IV, translated and edited by Jay P. Green Sr.*, which is based on the Greek text translation of F.H.A. Scrivener.

* Jay P. Green Sr. (1918 - 2008) was an ordained minister and Bible translator who held degrees from Washington University in St. Louis, the Toronto Baptist Seminary and the Covenant Theological Seminary.

According to this publication the original rendering of this passage included the Greek word “oupo”, which, according to Strong's Greek Lexicon is defined as follows:

Word #3768 oupo oo'-po from 3756 and 4452; not yet:--hitherto not, (no...) as yet, not yet.

In other words, the original Greek rendering did include the word for “yet” in the Scriptural passage; and thus the word “yet” does belong in the passage. Bible publishers who omit this small -- but very important -- word give the dangerous impression that Jesus spoke a lie; an impression that has stumbled many from the true faith over the years.

CLOSING COMMENTS

It is cases such as this which show the importance of using more than one Bible version when investigating Biblical topics. It is equally important to also have an Interlinear Bible at hand, as well as other reliable Bible study references, so that you can resolve these kinds of contradictions. Please don't allow incomplete information to stumble you from the Christian faith.



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