Jots and tittles


I generally preach from the King James Version of the Bible. I find that it is more widely accepted than any other version. Most of the scripture I have memorized is from the King James Version; and as an English literature major I think the language of the Shakespearean or Elizabethan era is beautiful.

However, I am not a King James-only kind of guy. There are other translations that make the Bible more readable for some people and more easily understood for others. However, those who translate the Bible from its original sources to modern-day languages may very well have the most serious and weighty responsibility on earth.

Interestingly, there are some who contend that cultural influences are inevitable and believe that translations should be presented in the language most relevant to whichever culture it seeks to address.

In the past two decades we have had gender-neutral Bibles, called egalitarian translations, that attempt to eliminate all male references in the Bible. These translations were written presumably to reduce the feelings of some females of being discriminated against, but the publishers of those translations did nothing more than conform to the political correctness of a radical feminist agenda

In 2012 the “Queen James Bible”, a gay-friendly translation of holy scripture, was published. The editors admitted, “We edited the Bible to prevent homophobic interpretations.”

Subsequent to the publishing of the “Queen James Bible” several major colleges and universities are offering “Queer Theologies” and “Queer Religions” according to World News Daily.

According to WND, Harvard Divinity School, Swathmore College in Pennsylvania, and the University of Pennsylvania are providing courses that “will destabilize long held assumptions about what the Bible and religion says about gender and sexuality.” Once again this is an attempt to accommodate the Bible to the morality of the culture; and in the process the integrity of the Word of God has been compromised.

In Galatians 1:6-9 the Apostle Paul offers a stern warning to those who would attempt to pervert or change the Gospel of Christ or the Word of God.

In Revelations 22:18-19 there is another somber warning about altering the Word of God. John declares, “For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: and if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book.”

In the Sermon on the Mount Jesus said, “For verily I say unto you, till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled” (Matthew 5:18).

A “jot” is the tenth and smallest letter in the Hebrew alphabet. It was written above the line and looks very much like an apostrophe.

A “tittle” is even smaller than a jot. A tittle is a letter extension, a pen stroke that can differentiate one Hebrew letter from another.

So, it is unwise, even dangerous, to tamper with or change the Word of God. But altering the Bible is nothing new. Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States, was a deist and believed that God was the supreme being who created the world, but no longer intervened directly in daily life.

Jefferson was a product of the Age of Enlightenment and was devoted to the teachings of Jesus Christ, but didn’t always agree with how they were interpreted by biblical sources, so he created his own Bible by taking a sharp instrument and cutting out of the Bible those passages with which he disagreed and pasted together those passages he embraced and formulated his own Bible.

In the 1800 presidential election he was often labeled a “howling atheist” by his opponents. And as much as we revere Jefferson as one of our founding fathers, their designation of him may have been well-founded.

In Psalm 138:2 God says that he has placed or magnified his Word above His name. Matthew 4:4 tells us that we are to live by “every word” that proceeds out of His mouth.

Geoffrey Grider, a minister who oversees a street preaching ministry and tract ministry, asks, “What are the chances that the Bible is a book that is ‘evolving to suit our lifestyle choices?” He answers his own question. “Right around absolute zero. Maybe less.”

We must not accommodate the Bible to suit our philosophy of life or level of morality, but we must accommodate our lifestyle and our belief system to conform to the Word of God. Those who fail to do that will incur God’s judgment.

However, the Good News is that everyone who heeds God’s Word, repents of their sins, and trusts His Son for their salvation will have eternal life.

So, what are the chances of murderers, thieves, gossips, fornicators, gays, lesbians, and unbelievers receiving God’s forgiveness and having eternal life? Right around absolute 100 percent – maybe more if they will heed God’s Word, repent of their sins, and trust His Son as their Savior.

Bible, culture, history, Scripture