Do Not Kill Or Do Not Murder?


Prager_University_Do-Not-Murder_xlg_170
Pastor Zac Nazarian (Hope Chapel) threw a curve ball at us yesterday. Everybody knows the 10 Commandments, right? Or at least some of them, maybe even several of them. Well, he threw in the one that Jesus quoted first after the Beatitudes (Matthew 5:21): “You shall not murder.” That’s right, Jesus said “Murder” and not “Kill.” The text in the original (Exodus 20:13 as well) in the King James is WRONG! It says there: “Thou shalt not kill.” But that is clearly wrong, if you go and check out the Hebrew, the word is definitely “Murder.”

http://www.scripture4all.org/OnlineInterlinear/OTpdf/exo20.pdf

The link to the Online Interlinear will help clear that up for you. That mis-translation has been corrected in more modern translations of the Bible. If you look, e.g., at the English Standard Version translation, you will find it correctly translated now as “You shall not murder” (in both Ex. 20:13, and Mat. 5:21, and corroborated by the text of Num 35:16 where the same root word for murder is used) which agrees completely with what Jesus said. The implications of this are HUGE!
As Pastor Zac said yesterday, it means that Christians actually aren’t exempted from just wars, nor are they to be against Capital Punishment, when it’s just anyhow. We are only to be against MURDER – or the _unjust_ taking of one human life by another human. Dang! That throws a curve ball on a lot of Christians – including Quakers, and many others – who think that ANY killing is prohibited because of that wrong translation in the original King James 1611! That just blew my mind!This is one of the best reasons not to be a “King James” only reader, and in reality, not to rely on any one particular translation of the Bible, but rather to STUDY and look deep, to ponder and to work to decipher what the original authors meant to tell us, what God Himself is telling us.
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2 thoughts on “Do Not Kill Or Do Not Murder?

  1. Thanks Scott, very well put. I’ve always understood it to be, “You shall not murder,” and I could never understand why so many people use the word “kill”. I didn’t realize that came from the King James. I always thought it was just a misquote used by people to oppose war and the death penalty. You make a great point that it’s important to study the different translations and work to decipher the original text; there’s no perfect translation, even if we have a favorite we like to use.

  2. I’ve been using that Online Interlinear a lot lately. I found it last year when I went looking for the Hebrew word for “Rock.” The Psalms are filled with descriptions of God as “Our rock” and so on. The metaphor is used in much of the rest of the Bible as well, and it’s carried into the New Testament where Jesus becomes the rock on which we should build our houses. He is also described as “A stone of stumbling, a rock of offense.” It was just one of those word studies that started me off on this quest to “Take it to the next level.” For me, there will be no end to my learning and studying what the Bible has to teach, of that I am certain!

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