Moment in the Word
Wed, 12/22/2021 - 2:20pm admin
Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; behold, a virgin shall conceive in the womb, and shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Emmanuel (ancient Septuagint/Brenton's 1851 English Translation).
In this third discussion of the Early Church's original Bible, we should note that prior to the amazing Christmas promise of Isaiah 7:14, the prophet instructed King Ahaz to seek a sign from God, "Ask for thyself a sign of the Lord thy God, in the depth or in the height (Isaiah 7:11, Old Testament Septuagint)." By any possible means, God determined to reveal Himself to humanity.
However, the stubborn monarch refused, "I will not ask, neither will I tempt the Lord!"
Thankfully, seeking insight from God is not the same as tempting the Lord, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. 6But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering... (James 1:5-6, KJV)."
Consequently, Isaiah rebuked Ahaz for refusing what God freely offered, "Hear ye now, O house of David; is it a little thing for you to contend with men? and how do ye contend against the Lord (Isaiah 7:13, Old Testament Septuagint)?"
In this blessed season of Advent in 2021, let us avoid the same belligerent crime of the hardhearted king. Instead, we should consider the implication of the promise for the chaste Virgin being divinely impregnated by the Holy Ghost without any natural contribution from man. This was exclusively Heaven's doing, and by that miraculous birth, the Incarnation of God the Son entered this world and became known as Emmanuel – God With Us.
In spite of the bright assurance that, "God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life... For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved (John 3:16-17, KJV), " many still prefer gloomy ignorance rather than enlightenment. Why? Well, according to St. John, "...this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved (John 3:19-20, KJV)."
As with old King Ahaz, so it was with many early compilers of sacred Scripture – God's written revelation of His Only Begotten Son to the world. In the ancient Old Testament Septuagint - translated nearly three hundred years before Jesus was born, the Christmas promise of Isaiah 7:14 boldly declared that a "'parthenos' shall conceive in the womb, and shall bring forth a son." The Greek word "parthenos" meant "virgo or virgin" and was translated from the ancient Hebrew prior to any anti-Christian bias since Jesus and His Church had not yet been born. However, after Christ's Incarnation, His Crucifixion, His Resurrection and the spread of Christianity, Rabbinic Judaism began editing/revising their ancient scrolls to eliminate Jesus from Scripture. The censorship of the Old Testament continued for the next thousand years until the Masoretic Text was finished, despite the protests of many Early Church Fathers (https://www.rivalnations.org/censored-bible/).
"But I am far from putting reliance in your teachers (rabbis), who refuse to admit that the interpretation made by the seventy elders who were with Ptolemy of the Egyptians is a correct one; and they attempt to frame another. And I wish you to observe, that they have altogether taken away many Scriptures from the translations effected by those seventy elders (the translators of the Septuagint)... For you assent to those which I have brought before your attention, except that you contradict the statement, 'Behold, the virgin shall conceive,' and say it ought to be read, 'Behold, the young woman shall conceive.' And I promised to prove that the prophecy referred, not, as you were taught, to Hezekiah, but to this Christ of mine: and now I shall go to the proof." Justin Martyr AD160
"God, then, was made man, and the Lord did Himself save us, giving us the token of the Virgin. But not as some allege, among those now presuming to expound the Scripture, thus: "Behold, a young woman shall conceive, and bring forth a son," as Theodotion the Ephesian has interpreted, and Aquila of Pontus, both Jewish proselytes. ...But the Septuagint was interpreted into Greek by the Jews themselves, much before the period of our Lord's coming... the Jews did put this interpretation upon these words [that is, translating it "virgin"]. They indeed, had they been cognizant of our future existence, and that we should use these proofs from the Scriptures, would themselves never have hesitated to burn their own Scriptures [that is, copies of the Septuagint]." Irenaeus AD180
Although the controversy of revisionism raged within the Early Church until the time of St. Jerome – 405 AD, the revisionists finally won the debate and Christ's Incarnation, Crucifixion, and Resurrection were gradually removed from Old Testament prophesies due to the abandonment of the ancient Greek Septuagint - the Bible of Jesus, Peter, Paul, the Gospel writers, and early Christians. Just as the Vulgate and King James Version succumbed long ago to the distortions of the Jewish Masoretic Text (e.g., "a body thou has prepared for me" Hebrews 10:5 versus "my ears hast thou opened" Psalms 40:6), other modern versions have also deferred to the same malicious censoring (e.g., "a virgin shall conceive" Isaiah 7:14 - Orthodox Bible/Septuagint versus "a young woman who is pregnant " Good News Translation or "the young woman is about to conceive" New English Translation).
Armed with a better knowledge of Church history regarding the blessed hope of Christmas, we are now admonished by God to "Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths of the Lord; and see what is the good way, and walk in it, and ye shall find purification for your souls... (Jeremiah 6:16, the Septuagint/Brenton English Translation - 1851)." But tragically, if King Ahaz' reaction to Isaiah's offer for the sign of Christ's Incarnation is any indication, most people will probably answer like Israel when presented with the old paths of divine Scripture, "We will NOT walk in them (Jeremiah 6:16, the Septuagint/Brenton English Translation – 1851)!"