What a verse! As I read this verse a few months ago, I saw some interesting things concerning the authority and translation of God’s Word and His desire to proclaim His word to all the world.
1) Authority Comes From The Author:
The “authority” of the inscription is NOT from the language used, but from the author ( in this case Pilate). Another example of this “authority” principle in the Bible is found in the book of Esther.
Note that when King Ahasuerus sent his letter out in Esther 8 “unto every people after their language,” all the letters carried the same authority regardless of language. This is also the case in Acts 2 when the Holy Spirit chose to translate the preaching of the Apostle Peter into the languages of the people present. In other words, the LANGUAGE is not the important thing, it is the author!
I believe the King James Bible has authority because God, the original writer, “authorized and backs up” the work. Pilate and Ahasuerus both used translators to send forth their messages in different languages. The fact they used translators does not mean the letters were any less authoritative than the ORIGINAL words they spoke or wrote. You need to get that.
The King James Bible sitting on your table is just as authoritative as the “originals”. In other words, if earthly kings can use translators to translate their words, so too can the “King of Kings”.
2) Greek, Latin, and Hebrew Would Be Used To Destroy The Word of God:
John 1:1 says: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Jesus is the Word of God. So, it looks like, according to Luke 23:38, that those that would want to “crucify” the “Word of God” will use Greek, Latin, and Hebrew to do it. The modern day Jehudi (Jeremiah 36), who takes great pleasure in slicing and dicing the “Word of God” and destroying it usually does it by going to the “original” or “original language.”
History tells us that it was the Roman Catholic Church that was “stuck” on Latin during the Dark Ages. Now, as we approach the Tribulation, it is the “high priests” of protestant and fundamental seminaries and Bible colleges that are “stuck” on Hebrew and Greek as they attack the King James Bible and other translations produced during the Reformation period.
3) God’s Written Word Is Finished-Leave It Alone:
In John 19:22, John tells us that an interesting exchange occurred when the “chief priests of the Jews” came to Pilate and asked for a “change” to the “words” in the supercription! They requested, “Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said I am the King of the Jews.” Just a little change to “make it more…ACCURATE”.
Pilate’s answer should send a chill up the spine to all those that like to “change” God’s word. Pilate said, “What I have written I have written.”
Pilate did not take kindly to ANY changes to what he had written, even when the proposed changes came from the “scholars.” I think God takes the same view when it comes to HIS written word.
No doubt in my mind that when the final edition of the King James Bible was produced in 1769, that the English translation of God’s WRITTEN word was “finished.” What God has written God has written. Take it or leave it.
4) God Does Translation Work:
Pilate wanted his message to be read and understood by as many people as possible. That’s why he had the inscription written in three languages common to folks in his domain at the time. So too the Lord wants His word to “get out” to all of His domain. How do we know He does? Take a look at the evidence.
First, he tells the disciples to go into all the world before His ascension. Next, we see the translation of Peter’s message in Acts 2, and the giving of the gift of tongues and interpretation in the first century church (and subsequently there is the production of many first century Bible translations).
Finally, we see the rebirth again of “translations” during the Reformation. For example, Martin Luther produced his German translation while at the Wittenberg castle hiding from Roman Catholic authorities. William Tyndale was burned at the stake by the King of England for printing an English New Testament in 1525. Spanish, Dutch, French, Italian and other Bible translations were also produced during this time.
So it is obvious (to me at least) that God wants folks to have His written words translated so that all can have them, regardless of language.
Wow! Alot from one verse! I think however, that it was worth my time to show you how God used scripture to teach me something. In this case about the authority and translation of His word(s).
I have more information on how the Bible was written, preserved, and translated on our website:
There you can find both my video presentations as well has my handouts on this subject.