Hebrews 4:8 "For if JESUS had given them rest..."
Bible correctors frequently drag out this dead fish and try to raise a stink about how the King James Bible is in error when it refers to "JESUS" bringing the children of Israel into the promised land.
These noted scholars try to place you in the position that you can never read your Bible and know for certain, "Thus saith the Lord", unless you first consult with them to find out if you have the correct text they approve of, and that the text that you have is translated properly according to what they declare to be the correct rendering. Yet none of them believe any single Bible out there is totally infallible and without error. They themselves become the Final Authority for what God REALLY said.
Daniel Wallace, who himself does not believe that any Bible in any language is the complete, inspired and 100% true words of God, is one such critic. He writes: “The name ‘Jesus’ is the Greek form of the Hebrew name Joshua. In the New Testament, there are three references to Joshua. (Note: Wallace is wrong about this too, as we shall soon see.)
On two of these occasions, the KJV translators translated the name as ‘Jesus.’ But in each instance this rendering is misleading, in the second case badly so.
Acts 7:45 in KJV: “Which also our fathers that came after brought in with Jesus into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drave out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David”
Acts 7:45 in the NET: “Our ancestors received possession of it and brought it in with Joshua when they dispossessed the nations that God drove out before our ancestors, until the time of David.”
The context is clearly about Joshua and the Hebrews going into the promised land and conquering the nations there. Why the KJV has ‘Jesus’ here is a mystery to me. Perhaps they were trying to be literal here (by transliterating the Greek word Iesous as ‘Jesus’), but if so why did they not do this in Luke 3:29, where Jesus’ genealogy is enumerated (and Iesous, an ancestor of Jesus, is rendered ‘Jose’)?
Far more troublesome is Hebrews 4:8.
KJV: “For if Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day.”
NET: “For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken afterward about another day.”
Again, the context is somewhat clear that Joshua is in view. But to the reader who is not paying careful attention to the context and who does not know that “Jesus” here is really Joshua, he could easily be misled into thinking that Jesus Christ was not able to give his people rest.”
(End of comments from Bible Agnostic “scholar” extraordinaire Daniel Wallace.) Now, to address his silly points.
There is no legitimate excuse for a renowned scholar of the magnitude and caliber of a man like Dan Wallace to write an article criticizing the King James Bible and yet be so utterly mistaken in his facts and mystified concerning the meaning of the King James Bible.
Daniel Wallace tells us: “In the New Testament, there are three references to Joshua...On two of these occasions, the KJV translators translated the name as ‘Jesus.’...why did they not do this in Luke 3:29, where Jesus’ genealogy is enumerated and Iesous, an ancestor of Jesus, is rendered ‘Jose’?”
Sorry, Daniel, but you are clearly wrong when you tell us that Luke 3:29 reads “Iesous” and is translated as Jose in the King James Bible. The simple fact is that the vast Majority of all Greek texts, as well as Alexandrinus all read just as the King James Bible has it - Jose (Ioosee). Rather it is the corrupt Vaticanus and Sinaiticus manuscripts that read Jesus (Ieesou). Had Mr. Wallace bothered to actually check something other than his UBS or Nestle Aland critical texts (which omit hundreds of manuscript references in their footnotes to anything that doesn’t agree with their theories) he could have easily found out about this information.
Even when the modern versions follow their Vaticanus-Sinaiticus readings, they don’t agree with each other. In Luke 3:39, following the Westcott-Hort texts, we find their Greek word Ieesou translated as JESUS in the Revised Version, American Standard Version, Douay-Rheims, Amplified Version, Rotherham’s Emphasized bible 1902, and the Bible in Basic English 1960; But as JOSHUA in the NASB, NIV, RSV, ESV and Holman Standard.
However the Majority of all Greek texts, Alexandrinus and the Byzantine traditional texts all read Jose as does the King James Bible and Tyndale 1325, Bishops’ Bible 1568 the Geneva Bible 1599, the NKJV, Green’s interlinear, Youngs, Darby, the Third Millenium Bible, Luther’s German bible 1545, Lamsa’s translation of the Syriac Peshitta, the French Martin 1744, French Ostervald 1996 - Jose - , the Italian Diodati 1602 and the New Diodati 1991, the Spanish Reina Valera Gomez 2005 - José - and the Modern Greek N.T. used by the Orthodox churches all over the world today.
Now to address the issue of why the King James Bible and many others correctly translated the literal Jesus as Jesus in both Acts 7:45 and Hebrews 4:8, concerning which Daniel Wallace says: “Why the KJV has ‘Jesus’ here is a mystery to me. “ -
In Hebrews 4:8 we read: "For if JESUS had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day."
Likewise in Acts 7:45 we have: "Which also our fathers that came after brought in with JESUS into the possession of the Gentiles, whom God drave out before the face of our fathers, unto the days of David."
The Greek texts all literally have the name JESUS in these two places, though the contexts refer to the man Joshua. Joshua himself is a pictorial "type" of our Lord Jesus Christ. Joshua, along with Caleb, did believe God had given them the promised land, but the rest of the people entered not in because of unbelief. Later this same Joshua ('Jesus' in Greek) led the people into the land. The promised land typifies the spiritual rest from our own works which was accomplished by the greater Jesus, the Son of God Himself.
Other Bible versions that read JESUS in Acts 7 and Hebrews 4 like the King James Bible are the Latin Vulgate, Wycliffe 1395 - "For if Jhesus hadde youun reste to hem, he schulde neuere speke of othere aftir this dai.", the Great Bible 1540, Taverner's Bible, Matthew's Bible 1549, the Bishops' Bible 1568, Douay-Rheims 1852 - "", the Geneva Bible 1599, Webster's 1833 translation, Etheridge Translation 1849, the Emphatic Diaglott 1865, Darby's translation 1890, the Julia Smith Translation 1855, The Emphatic Diaglott version of 1865, The Accurate New Testament of 2008, the Holy Scriptures English Jubilee bible of 2000 and the Urim-Thummin Version of 2001. The latest Catholic version, the 2009 Catholic Public Domain Version goes back to the Greek reading and reads: "For if Jesus had offered them rest, he would never have spoken, afterward, about another day."
The Spanish Las Sagradas Escrituras of both 1569 and 1999 also read like the KJB, as does Cipriano de Valera 1602 (in both Acts 7:45 and Hebrews 4:8) the Reina Valera Nuevo Testamento of 1858, Spanish Jubilee Bible 2000 and the 2010 Reina Valera Gomez bible, all reading: "Porque si Jesús les hubiera dado el Reposo..." The Latvian N.T. also says Jesus - "Jo ja Jēzus būtu ievedis tos mierā", and the 2009 Romanian Fidela Bible - "Isus" in both Acts 7:45 and Hebrews 4:8.
John Calvin’s Latin translation kept the name as Jesus - “Nam si Iesus requiem illis praestitisset”
The Aramaic Bible in Plain English reads: "For if Yeshua, son of Nun, had given them rest, he would not afterward have spoken of another day."
The Geneva Bible also comments regarding Hebrews 4:8 - "For if (b) Jesus had given them rest, then would he not afterward have spoken of another day." - (b) He speaks of Joshua the son of Nun: and as the land of Canaan was a figure of our true rest, so was Joshua a figure of Christ.
Joshua himself was called by four different names including Jeshuah Nehemiah 8:17; Joshua in Joshua 1:1; Jehoshuah in Numbers 13:16, and Oshea in Numbers 13:11. He is mentioned only twice in the New Testament, once in Acts 7:45 and again in Hebrews 4:8. In Greek his name translates as Insous, or Jesus in English. This is exactly the same way "Jesus" is spelled in every case.
There are also other people in the Bible whose name was Jesus. In Acts 13:6 we come across a false prophet and a sorcerer. He was "a Jew, whose name was Bar-jesus." Bar-Jesus means "son of Jesus". We also meet a fellow Christian worker in the book of Colossians 4:11 - "And Jesus, which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision."
In the genealogy of Christ, the Traditional texts, the Majority of all manuscripts including A, and the Syriac all read like the King James Bible, by mentioning "the son of Er, which was the son of JOSE..." (or Joseph). However the corrupt manuscripts of Sinaiticus and Vaticanus read: "the son of Er, the son OF JESUS", and so do the RV, ASV, RSV, Goodspeed, and the J.W. versions. The NASB, NIV have changed this to read: "the son of JOSHUA".
It is obvious that many people in the Bible were called by several names, as Peter, Cephas, Simeon, and Simon Barjona (all one man), and that there were many people with the same name. It is not too hard to figure out who is who just by reading the context.
Both Hebrews 4:8 and Acts 7:45 the literal Greek "Jesus" refers to the man Joshua, who himself believed God and is the "type" of the true Jesus, who indeed does lead us into the promised land and gives us rest from our own labours. The type and the antitype both have the same name. God Himself inspired the Bible in this way to teach a spiritual lesson.
John Gill remarks in his commentary that Joshua "was an eminent type of Jesus Christ. There is an agreement in their names, both signify a saviour, Joshua was a temporal saviour, Christ a spiritual one; and in their office they were both servants; and in their qualifications for their office, such as wisdom, courage, faithfulness, and integrity. Joshua was a type of Christ in many actions of his life; in the miracles he wrought, or were wrought for him; in the battles he fought, and the victories he obtained."
Bible commentator Matthew Poole (1852) also notes: "Joshua was a type of Jesus, who brings believers into the true rest of the heavenly Canaan as he did Israel into a literal one - Acts 7:45."
The King James Bible and all the others are not in error, as some allege. Rather it gives a literal translation of the Greek name Joshua, and reveals the "type" or divine foreshadowing of the fulfillment which was completed in the Son of God.
Another Point of View
There is also another explanation that is sometimes offered by other King James Bible believers, and that is that both Acts 7:45 and Hebrews 4:8 are speaking about the real Jesus Christ as the Angel of the Lord, the Captain of the host and the "Rock that followed them who was Christ". This view has a lot to recommend it. You can see this explanation by Dr. Larry Bednar at his King James Bible Textual Technology site here -
Is It Jesus or Joshua in Hebrews 4:8 & Acts 7:45?
More on Dan Wallace
To get a better idea of just how loopy bible correctors like Daniel Wallace really are, let’s take a look at another place where Wallace’s ever changing NET bible version has now ADDED the name JESUS twice in a place where it does not belong.
In Matthew 27:16-17 in the King James Bible and virtually every Bible in any language we read: “And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas.
Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ? “
However Daniel Wallace’s NET version reads: “At that time they had in custody a notorious prisoner named Jesus Barabbas. 27:17 So after they had assembled, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release for you, Jesus Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Christ?”
Then he adds this footnote: “Although the external evidence for the inclusion of “Jesus” before “Barabbas” (in vv. 16 and 17) is rather sparse, being restricted virtually to the Caesarean text the omission of the Lord’s name in apposition to “Barabbas” is such a strongly motivated reading that it can hardly be original. There is no good explanation for a scribe unintentionally adding ᾿Ιησοῦν (Ihsoun) before Βαραββᾶν (Barabban), especially since Barabbas is mentioned first in each verse (thus dittography is ruled out). Further, the addition of τὸν λεγόμενον Χριστόν (ton legomenon Criston, “who is called Christ”) to ᾿Ιησοῦν in v. 17 makes better sense if Barabbas is also called “Jesus” (otherwise, a mere “Jesus” would have been a sufficient appellation to distinguish the two).
In other words, even though the overwhelming textual evidence (including the bible agnostics favorites of Sinaiticus and Vaticanus) reads “Barabbas” and not “Jesus Barabbas”, Daniel thinks the traditional reading which rightly omits the two extra Jesus’s “can hardly be original”.
As for Wallace's comment about there being no good explanation for a scribe to add the word "Jesus" before the name Barabbas, I can think of a very good reason why some scribe presumed to add his own thoughts to God's words, just as Daniel Wallace frequently does. The name Barabbas means "son" (bar) of the Father (abba), and it is a highly significant "type" that the guilty "son of the father" would be released and the "Son of the Father" would take his place in the crucifixion. So it is quite possible that a scribe thought this beautiful "type" could be embellished even more by adding the word Jesus to the name Barabbas, and thus we have "Jesus the son of the Father" being released from the death penalty and "Jesus who is called Christ" taking his place. However all three other gospel writers (nor Matthew, as Wallace contends) did not add the word "Jesus" to Barabbas' name in Mark 15:11, Luke 23:18 nor in John 18:40. The very reason Wallace suggests why the added word "Jesus" would make a better reading is probably what some lone scribe also thought, and so he added the word "Jesus" to the text.
Even when Westcott and Hort came out with their new critical text they did not even mention the odd variant readings that twice added the name of Jesus to the text. Years later it still was not mentioned even in a footnote in the Nestle critical text 4th edition. Then later on they began to put this minor variant at the bottom of the page in a footnote, and NOW in the newest Nestle-Aland, UBS texts these spurious additional readings are added to the text in brackets. This is the nature of the ever changing merry-go-round they like to call the “science” of modern textual criticism.
The two additional names of “JESUS Barabbas” are NOT found in Wycliffe, Tyndale, Coverdale, Bishops’ bible, Geneva, NKJV, RV, ASV, NASB, NIV, RSV, ESV, Holman Standard or the ISV of 2010.
However the NRSV, the Message and Daniel Wallace’s NET version add the name Jesus twice to the text in Matthew 27:16-17. Notice the RSV did not add these names, then the NRSV did add them to their texts, but then the latest revision of the revision of the revision - the ESV - once again took them out! And they call this “science”.
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