"But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans,
which I also hate."
"What the Greek actually says is...." How many times have you heard this? It's a phrase used by many preachers who want to impress their congregations. In many cases it is used in all sincerity. Many preachers are unaware of the destruction they cause among their congregations with this phrase.
What does God say about these 'greek' preachers?
If you turn to Revelation 2:6, you'll see what I mean. Our 'Greek nugget specialists' are mentioned here and God doesn't seem all that pleased with them.
"But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitanes, which I also hate." (Revelation 2:6)
Wow! Who are these people?
Who are these nasty Nicolaitans? Man, they must have done some pretty heavy duty stuff for God to hate them. Fancy having God hating you! Surely they must have killed someone or stolen their life savings or been involved in sexual immorality or something!
What does the word 'Nicolaitans' mean?
Quite simply, 'nico' means 'to conquer' and 'laitanes' means 'laity'. It means 'to conquer the laity'. It means to dominate the Mr and Mrs Average Church Go-er.
I still don't understand!
Other names for "What the Greek actually says..." are "Let's Find those Greek Nuggets"; "The King James Bible is such a Poor Translation"; "The Greek has so Much More to Offer than the English" and "The Greek Game" (See "The Answer Book" by Dr Samuel C Gipp)
The game goes like this:
The pastor stands up in the pulpit one Sunday morning and reads the following text upon which he will base his sermon. He says :"And now, dear flock, would you please turn to 1Timothy 1:15 and follow as I read:
This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief. "
Now, barely able to conceal what he has found in the `greek' he proceeds to enlighten his `dumb congregation'. He reveals to them a `greek gold nugget'. With all the humility he can muster, he proceeds to impress all and sundry with his gigantic knowledge of Greek. He continues:
"Now my friends, if we were all Greek experts we would see that the word 'chief' really should have been translated as `first'. Yes my friends, the word is "protos" in the Greek and the translators botched it up, err... at least stumbled badly. To be fair, let me just say the translators did the best job they could."
Now, the congregation are truly gobsmacked as they sit stunned by this `giant of the Greek' that stands before them. Can any of them match it with this 'foreign language master' who with such ease produces such a nugget? These everyday people don't have time to ponder Greek intricacies like their pastor. After all he went to college and got a degree and has studied `the Greek'!
But where does he get his vast store of Greek knowledge from?
Dear reader, your `learned' pastor won't let you know this, but up the back of Young's Concordance there is a list of all the places where 'protos' is used.
In the King James Bible it is given with several different meanings. Some are:
1. that are first Matt19:30
2. former Acts 1:1
3. first 1 Timothy 1:16
4. chiefest Mark 10:44
5. chief 1 Timothy 1:15
6. best Luke 15:22
7. before John 1:15
This is how the "See How Clever I Am and You Aren't" game works.
Now should the pastor preach on 1 Timothy 1:16 He will simply change `first' to `chief' as this is the Greek word protos as well.
In fact, if the pastor is preaching on any of the above scriptures, he just dips into any of the alternate meanings. He can then spend 10-15 minutes expounding the brilliance of his choice of word while at the same time pointing out, although the King James translators were well-intentioned, they just didn't have the Greek language skills to translate properly. (If only God could have waited to include this pastor among the King James translators!) His congregation, at this point, are more firmly convinced than ever, that it will never be possible to truly understand the Bible as well as their beloved pastor with all his Greek knowledge. Not only that, but their pastor has proved that he's worth every bit of money they give him. How fortunate they are to have this man!
So, what is a "nicolaitane"?
A nicolaitane pastor dominates his flock (conquers the layman) by showing how poor the King James Bible is. As we've seen, God just hates the 'priestly' class lording it over the 'dummy' class.
A little learning is a dangerous thing. One of the King James Bible translators, Dr Richard Kilbye, visited a church one Sunday only to hear a young preacher criticize several words in the recently published King James Bible. He gave three reasons why one word in particular should have been translated another way. After the service around the evening meal, Dr Kilbye gently explained to the young preacher that the King James Bible translators had carefully considered "the three reasons" but were aware of thirteen more weighty reasons for the word which the young Bible corrector had criticized.
Your 'Greek' pastor is full of the fear of man but not the fear of God.
He's fearful that you'll be able to read the Bible without him. He's fearful that you won't need him anymore. He's fearful that you might see through him.
Above all, he's fearful that the dollars will stop rolling in. He's going to manipulate Bible meanings, so that he can intimidate you with his knowledge of the 'Greek' and therefore dominate you into handing over your money.
Your pastor goes on:
"You see, my dear flock, it is my job to help you understand the Bible. It's impossible to read the Bible without the Greek or Hebrew!" In fact, his learning of Greek has only served to discredit the perfect English of the King James Bible.
(See our other tracts "Why God rejects the Originals" and "Why the English of the King James Bible is Superior to the Greek")
Merry-Go-Round time - Satan’s same trick, just different language Correcting the King James Bible has always been the standard operational procedure for the Roman Catholic church and unsuspecting good godly, soul winning, fundamentalist pastors. Satan, having had the Bible ripped out of the hands of his Latin scholars in Rome, has managed to get it back into the hands of the Greek scholars this time. It's called the mystery of iniquity and God hates it!
By Harley Hitchcock