Beware of newer translations!

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ajrock2000

Puritan Board Freshman
Here is an interesting link I found (actually found a while ago) that I wanted to share with you guys. You may have seen it already.

http://www.letgodbetrue.com/bible/scripture/new-king-james-version.htm

This shows lots of examples of the changes the NKJV makes from the KJV. Some of them are pretty substantial. (especially Galatians 2:16) Most of the changes that are made for the NKJV are also made for the ESV, NASB, and most of the newer translations.

Just something to watch out for brothers!
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Without getting into a detailed discussion on textual criticism, what you've shared is not new. The ESV, NASB and NKJV are all good and faithful English translations. Someone please post past links on these discussions. I know they are out there.


Now, if you'll excuse me I have to study from my NASB....the one that says "Ryrie" on the side and with the red letters.
 

ajrock2000

Puritan Board Freshman
I know it was probably posted before. It is just for people who are not informed of it, thats all.

I am not condemning other versions, before I get jumped on lol.

I use the NASB and ESV primarily too. I just think its good for people to know some of these things.
 

satz

Puritan Board Senior
I'll have to confess I find the article, as well as others on that site pretty convincing. I copied, with some editting, the very first example on the list, (and yes, I do think it is one of the best, so the others would not be quite as convincing) and would be interested in any comments.

Paul taught the promises to Abraham and his seed were to a singular seed, which meant Jesus, not the Jews. But the NKJV changed the Old Testament to “descendants,” contradicting Paul’s argument, making salvation by race rather than grace, and declaring its own Old Testament is not Scripture. The promises to Abraham and his seed are in Gen 12:7; 13:15-16; 15:5,13,18; 17:8-10,19; 21:12; 22:17-18; and 24:7.

KJV of 1611

Galatians 3:16
Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.

Genesis 22:17
That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;

NKJV of 1982

Galatians 3:16
Now to Abraham and his Seed were the promises made. He does not say, "And to seeds," as of many, but as of one, "And to your Seed," who is Christ.

Genesis 22:17
Blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore; and your descendants shall possess the gate of their enemies.

You may not agree with their conclusion that this makes the NKJV a false version, but don't they at least have a point?
 
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Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
I'll have to confess I find the article, as well as others on that site pretty convincing. I copied the very first example on the list, (and yes, I do think it is one of the best, so the others would not be quite as convincing) and would be interested in any comments.

You may not agree with their conclusion that this makes the NKJV a false version, but don't they at least have a point?

This is actually an issue I ran into when I was studying Covenant Theology and comparing Genesis 17 and Galatians 3 in my ESV bible. It almost seemed like Paul was arguing incorrectly based on the way that word in Genesis had been translated.
 

ajrock2000

Puritan Board Freshman
That site is though.

Be very careful, brother.

Yeah the site is a little extravagant with FRAUD all over the place. The only thing that I wanted to show was table of verse comparisons, which speaks for itself, and has many good points and things to watch out for.
 

blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
I'll have to confess I find the article, as well as others on that site pretty convincing. I copied the very first example on the list, (and yes, I do think it is one of the best, so the others would not be quite as convincing) and would be interested in any comments.

You may not agree with their conclusion that this makes the NKJV a false version, but don't they at least have a point?
Its interesting this was first on the list, as it was something I was wondering about. I use the KJV and recently when I was doing my daily Bible reading, I noticed that it seems like every time the word seed was mentioned in Genesis, particularly around those promises, that the note in the margin said "or descendants". When I use to attend a church that used the NKJV, it seemed most times the notes in my margin were the way the text was translated in the NKJV.

I don't own the NKJV, and I don't want to pay the $15 or whatever to get it for E-sword now, but I was wondering if it translates seed as descendants in all places, or just some?
 

ajrock2000

Puritan Board Freshman
Its interesting this was first on the list, as it was something I was wondering about. I use the KJV and recently when I was doing my daily Bible reading, I noticed that it seems like every time the word seed was mentioned in Genesis, particularly around those promises, that the note in the margin said "or descendants". When I use to attend a church that used the NKJV, it seemed most times the notes in my margin were the way the text was translated in the NKJV.

I don't own the NKJV, and I don't want to pay the $15 or whatever to get it for E-sword now, but I was wondering if it translates seed as descendants in all places, or just some?

Use http://www.biblegateway.com/keyword/
 

VaughanRSmith

Puritan Board Sophomore
The ESV translates it as follows:

I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies,
(Genesis 22:17)

Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, "And to offsprings," referring to many, but referring to one, "And to your offspring," who is Christ.
(Galatians 3:16)

:cheers:
 

bowhunter1961

Puritan Board Freshman
babtist in crisis,
i too have the ryrie 40 lb. red letter , new king jimmy.......so, i guess im doomed at the most, shunned at the least.
 

Davidius

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
The ESV translates it as follows:

I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies,
(Genesis 22:17)

Now the promises were made to Abraham and to his offspring. It does not say, "And to offsprings," referring to many, but referring to one, "And to your offspring," who is Christ.
(Galatians 3:16)

:cheers:

Yeah but who says "offsprings" anyway? I mean, I guess nobody really uses the plural of "seed" in this context either. :lol:
 

blhowes

Puritan Board Professor
Thanks.

I started to do a little comparison between the KJV's and the NKJV's use of the words seed and descendants in Genesis, but I'm at work now so I couldn't spend much time on it. When I searched for the word seed in the NKJV in the beginning part of Genesis, the following verses came up. Its interesting, especially in those verses that have both seed and descendants in them, that the translators (from a language-challenged layman's perspective) seemed to do a good job translating the word 'seed' as 'descendants' when it made sense, and keeping the word 'seed' when its seems to obviously be speaking of the promise made to Christ as the seed.

Genesis 21:12
But God said to Abraham, “Do not let it be displeasing in your sight because of the lad or because of your bondwoman. Whatever Sarah has said to you, listen to her voice; for in Isaac your seed shall be called.

Genesis 21:13
Yet I will also make a nation of the son of the bondwoman, because he is your seed.”

Genesis 22:18
In your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed, because you have obeyed My voice.”

Genesis 26:4
And I will make your descendants multiply as the stars of heaven; I will give to your descendants all these lands; and in your seed all the nations of the earth shall be blessed;

Genesis 28:14
Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed.
 
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bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
I'll have to confess I find the article, as well as others on that site pretty convincing. I copied, with some editting, the very first example on the list, (and yes, I do think it is one of the best, so the others would not be quite as convincing) and would be interested in any comments.



You may not agree with their conclusion that this makes the NKJV a false version, but don't they at least have a point?

No, they don't have a point. "Seed" is used in two different senses in the two passages. In one passage, the reference is to the promised Seed, Jesus Christ. In the other passage, God is telling Abraham that he will "multiply" his seed - that is, He's promising him many descendants (and this can be taken both physically and spiritually). The multiplying of "seed", when referring to Christ, doesn't make sense, since there is only one Seed, when the word is used of Christ. And this distinction is made in both of the translations given!
 
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satz

Puritan Board Senior
Perhaps I could explain a little more. I do not want to get into the whole which bible is acceptable thing here. I just wanted to point out what I thought was an interesting point.

The word ‘seed’ can be used to refer to multiple descendants, as in Esther 10:3. In fact, in Galatians 3 itself Paul says that the singular ‘seed’ he refers to in 3:16 actually refers to multiple subjects – Jesus Christ and his elect.

3:16Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.
.
.
3:29And if ye be Christ's, then are ye Abraham's seed, and heirs according to the promise.

So it would not be inconsistent for the promises to Abraham in Genesis to be worded as given to his ‘seeds’ as even in a spiritual application, there are multiple recipients of the promise.

The problem is, Paul in Galatians 3:16 says that promises to Abraham were phrased a certain way. They were made to a singular noun (pronoun? Sorry, my grammar is failing me) and not to a plural noun. “Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds as of many, but as of one…”. Hence while it would not be theological wrong for the promises to Abraham to be given to a plural noun, it would create an inconsistency with the New Testament because Paul explicitly states they were given to a singular noun and not a plural.
 

Calvibaptist

Dallas Cowboys' #1 Fan
I think the problem is more with the English language than which translation is true. The Greek and Hebrew are heavily inflected and show person (singular or plural) with changes in the word. The English doesn't always do this the same way.

In the particular case of the word "seed" vs "seeds", in English we can use seed as both singular and plural (like the word sheep). The NKJV apparently chose to use "descendents" in Genesis (although I don't know why) and "seed/seeds" in Galatians, thus making sense of the Genesis passage while not losing Paul's argument in the Galatians passage.

I think their mistake was inconsistency in cross-referencing when they edited their translation. Thy might have avoided this discrepancy.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
A major problem in the interpretation is that Gen. 22:18 (not 13:15 or 17:8) is the text of which Paul most likely is thinking. In that verse, "seed" is singular (although in v.17 "seed" is collective), whereas in the other passages, the reference is collective. Those passages also refer ultimately to Christ, but the typology is once removed in those passages. But the whole problem with so many modern interpreters is that they cannot get a handle on typology at all. No thanks to both the Dispensationalists and the liberals.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
babtist in crisis,
i too have the ryrie 40 lb. red letter , new king jimmy.......so, i guess im doomed at the most, shunned at the least.

Nelson, join the crowd! There's always room for one more. I honestly enjoy getting under the skin of KJV only advocates or those who claim any English translation after 1881 is not accurate. If they lived up to the bible they have then they may have room to talk. Until then, I just smirk and go about my business.
 

Barnpreacher

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by Baptist in Crisis
I honestly enjoy getting under the skin of KJV only advocates or those who claim any English translation after 1881 is not accurate. If they lived up to the bible they have then they may have room to talk. Until then, I just smirk and go about my business.

Brother, I'm not sure that kind of attitude is any more Christ like than the attitude of a lot of the KJV only advocates.

Sounds like there needs to be some Holy Spirit taught grace from both sides of the issue.

:2cents:
 

ajrock2000

Puritan Board Freshman
Brother, I'm not sure that kind of attitude is any more Christ like than the attitude of a lot of the KJV only advocates.

Sounds like there needs to be some Holy Spirit taught grace from both sides of the issue.

:2cents:

Yeah.

I'm not really sure who he is talking about or what his deal is, but as I said before, my point was not to emphasize "KJV only advocation" (in fact I use the reformation study bible for most of my studying) but to bring to the attention some of the verses whos meanings have been distorted. I wish people would look and see instead of voicing their little preconceptions so quick.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Brother, I'm not sure that kind of attitude is any more Christ like than the attitude of a lot of the KJV only advocates.

Sounds like there needs to be some Holy Spirit taught grace from both sides of the issue.

:2cents:

Ryan - I am convinced, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the "KJV only" argument is one of the most devisive within the church. I have personally been on the receiving end of it. It is so devoid of Christian charity that to take these people seriously is beyond my comprehension. I apoloize for my sarcastic tone. It is weak spot of mine and I should check it. I should be careful and state that I am sure there are some KJV only supporters who are charitable, but I believe they are in the minority. Their camp approaches the issue with an evangelistic zeal.

There is a church that I pass by that is on the side of the road on my way to the Annapolis Mall. It has a large sign that reads, "We only use the 1611authorized version." Wow. How incredibly arrogant. Don't announce that you worship Christ. Don't announce that the gospel is proclaimed. That's right, just stand on your soapbox and shout that you will only recognize the 1611 version as the only true bible. Ryan, it frosts me! :banghead:

As far as my comment about their living up to the bible they have? I reinforce that comment without the sarcasm. The KJV only camp holds in their hands one of the most faithful English translations of scripture every produced . Within the pages of that translation is a call to Christian charity and a warning against arrogance and pride. Many (not all) of them don't live up to it.

Ryan - blessings.
 

Herald

Administrator
Staff member
Yeah.

I'm not really sure who he is talking about or what his deal is, but as I said before, my point was not to emphasize "KJV only advocation" (in fact I use the reformation study bible for most of my studying) but to bring to the attention some of the verses whos meanings have been distorted. I wish people would look and see instead of voicing their little preconceptions so quick.

Asa - whether you hold to "KJV only" or not is irrelevant. You posted a website that is KJV only and you brought the subject into play. Don't take the conversation personal. It is not leveled against you. You also said:

Just something to watch out for brothers!

Trust me, many in here consider textual criticism very important. You introduced the discussion and ended your first post with a warning that we should "watch out." I believe the discussion is valid. It's not personal.
 

Barnpreacher

Puritan Board Junior
Originally posted by BaptistinCrisis
I am convinced, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the "KJV only" argument is one of the most devisive within the church. I have personally been on the receiving end of it. It is so devoid of Christian charity that to take these people seriously is beyond my comprehension. I apoloize for my sarcastic tone. It is weak spot of mine and I should check it. I should be careful and state that I am sure there are some KJV only supporters who are charitable, but I believe they are in the minority. Their camp approaches the issue with an evangelistic zeal.

There is a church that I pass by that is on the side of the road on my way to the Annapolis Mall. It has a large sign that reads, "We only use the 1611authorized version." Wow. How incredibly arrogant. Don't announce that you worship Christ. Don't announce that the gospel is proclaimed. That's right, just stand on your soapbox and shout that you will only recognize the 1611 version as the only true bible. Ryan, it frosts me!

As far as my comment about their living up to the bible they have? I reinforce that comment without the sarcasm. The KJV only camp holds in their hands one of the most faithful English translations of scripture every produced . Within the pages of that translation is a call to Christian charity and a warning against arrogance and pride. Many (not all) of them don't live up to it.

Hi Bill,

I agree with what you said above. :up: :handshake:

I have seen the unChristlike attitude from many of the AV only advocates firsthand. But like you said, there are a few that are in the minority that don't carry that attitude with them.

Blessings!
 

Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Bill and friends,

I think perhaps the doctrines of grace may be the most divisive argument in the church, and after that baptism, and after that the charismatic gifts. We all accept the maxim that truth often divides.

I appreciate your making the caveat that not all KJVO advocates are uncharitable. Some who are "uncharitable" may be on the defensive, seeing that which they consider the foundation of their faith attacked and said to be erroneous (false) and held only by the ignorant. That which is most holy to them is trampled underfoot. They may not have the scholarly bent or the resources to make a cogent defense in the face of a wide assault, so they get angry and abusive, demonizing those who oppose them. This "demonization" is not appropriate, for many of those they attack are godly people, as they themselves generally are. However, there are textual critics who are unbelievers, and who have played a large part in the development of the texts that oppose the AV and TR, a fact which is often overlooked.

For myself, as one who must teach and nurture the Lord's people, it is both a pastoral matter and a scholarly one. (Although I am but a ruling elder, here in this mission church I serve I function as a teaching elder or pastor -- much like a battlefield commission.) Even my co-elder uses the NASB, and the pew Bibles are NKJV. It behooves me to take whatever stance I do on anything in a godly fashion, that I not dishonor either the Lord and His gospel, as well as my ministry.

But it is, the textual issue, a scholarly matter to me, and I seek to hold it in an irenic spirit. So let us be clear, it is not the "KJVO argument" that is devoid of charity, but some people who propound it. The argument itself is but a truth-issue as are the other doctrines I mentioned above.

And please, I would ask you non-KJVO folks to have a heart for your brothers and sisters who use the AV and are under the condemnation of much of the church today for that use. They see what is holy to them denigrated -- often by people as unscholarly as they are -- and don't repond well.

Would we all were more gracious, myself included!

Steve
 
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Jerusalem Blade

Puritan Board Post-Graduate
Mark (satz) asked me to comment on the matter above concerning the NKJV’s rendering of Genesis 22:17, which was severely denounced by the website calling the NKJV “a fraud”.

I think Richard and Bruce are essentially correct in what they said. In the remarks by commentators I have given below, it is brought out that the Hebrew word for seed is a collective noun, and can be used in either the singular or the plural, and actually is so used in various of the Genesis verses that have the word.

Vaughan brought out how the ESV used the word “offspring” (I don’t think “offsprings” is a legitimate word), which may also be used either singular or plural: “this girl here is my offspring” and “these boys are my offspring”.

I do not think – as regards this verse (Gen 22:17) – the NKJV is too bad in its rendering. In the beginning of the verse the plural is appropriate: “blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply your descendants as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore” as this clearly indicates the plurality of descendants. It is the second part of the verse that, in using the words “descendants” and “their” that the translators made the progeny plural, referring either to natural Jews or, primarily, the spiritual descendants of Abraham, instead of the spiritual Descendant, Christ. However, a) as Richard and Bruce brought out, it was most likely other verses than this Paul was referring to in Galatians (which the NKJV translates as referring to Seed singular), and b) there is a legitimate usage (i.e., a double usage) of descendants plural in this latter clause, which both Calvin and Gill (see below) note in their respective commentaries.

When the singular seed is used, it is understood that we are in Him, and when the plural seed is used it is understood that we are a people in Him. For example, in Psalm 89, the psalmist is recounting God’s utterance of the Davidic covenant to David; in v. 29 He speaks of the seed (Christ) and His throne enduring forever, then in v. 30 He says, “If His children forsake My law…” Yet in the original of this utterance in 2 Samuel 7:13, God is saying He will establish the throne of the seed [singular] forever, then in verses 14 and 15 we have the puzzling “I will be his father, and he shall be my son. If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men: But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.” One can see how the verses 30-33 in Psalm 89 parallel this perfectly. It appears it is we who are included in the Seed are those who “commit iniquity” and yet receive mercy, for it is not the Seed Himself! Yet we are counted in Him, identified with Him, “for we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones” (Eph 5:30 AV). (This verse in 2 Samuel one could also use to counter those who say Solomon lost his salvation!)

To sum: The use of “descendants” in the NJKV in Gen 22:17 I do not think constitutes it being a “false version”, though I much prefer the rendering of the AV. But even “descendants” and “their” are warranted in the meaning, according to Calvin and Gill.

I realize, with respect to the other verses the website offered as bad translations, that there are a few serious flaws in the NKJV; yet, I consider it next in line, along with (or perhaps a wee bit after) the Modern King James Version, as alternatives to the AV. As I have written in another thread here, the planting church of the new plant I am working in at first was going to give us ESV pew Bibles, but I fought that and accepted NKJV’s instead, as a compromise, knowing I would not get AVs. MKJVs are pretty expensive, although I like them.

Bottom line: I can work with the NKJV. And gently correct its few errors.

I will be going to Africa next month to fill in 2 or 3 weeks in a gap between two teachers who are, respectively, taking the 5-month training of Sudanese and other African pastors, elders, teachers, evangelists, etc (the class is often 40+), and I understand they have been given ESV Bibles along with their native versions (perhaps 3 or 4 language groups will be represented). So I am seeking to scratch up 10 or so AV NTs with Psalms & Proverbs to at least give to the pastors, so they will have a standard for discerning the text of the NT.

Here are the comments by Hendriksen (who is my favorite NT commentator, despite his embracing the CT!), Calvin, and Gill:

William Hendriksen:

Galatians 3:16. Now to Abraham were the promises spoken, and to his seed. He
does not say, “And to the seeds,” as (referring) to many, but as (referring) to one,
“And to your seed,” which is Christ.
Is this argument a bit of rabbinical casuistry,
ingenious perhaps but unconvincing? Does not Paul know that even in Hebrew the
word seed is a collective noun, so that no plural is needed to indicate more than one?
See Gen. 15:5; 16:10; 22:17; 46:6; II Kings 11:1; II Chron. 20:7; Mal. 2:15; etc. *

And as to the Greek word for seed, namely, sperma, does the apostle not realize that
this word also is a collective noun (Matt. 22:24; Rom. 4:18; Acts 7:6; II Cor. 11:22),
so that spermata (seeds) would have been unnecessary in any case? Shall we say then
that in arguing against rabbinical adversaries Paul was using rabbinical methods that
belonged to the exegesis of that happily bygone day and age? How can Paul say that
the singular seed indicates one person, namely, Christ, when in Gal. 3:29 he himself
uses that very word in the singular as a collective noun which refers to all believers?
Besides, did he not realize that the seed promised to Abraham would be “as the stars
in multitude” (Gen. 15:5; 22:17)?

As I see it, the answer is as follows:

(1) It is not true that the Hebrew word for seed always refers to more than one
person. In Gen. 4:25 it refers to Seth, to him alone; in 21:13 to Ishmael; in I Sam.
1:11 to Samuel; in II Sam. 7:12 to Solomon as a type of Christ; so also in I Chron.
17:11. And obviously—see the context in each case—the Greek equivalent sperma
has a singular reference not only here in Gal. 3:16 but also in 3:19; Acts 3:25; Rom.
9:7, 8; and Heb. 11:18.

(2) It should be readily admitted that Paul knew that both the Hebrew and the
Greek word for seed (singular) often refer to more than one person. He knew that
Abraham’s seed would be as the stars in multitude. However, in keeping with the
point which he is driving home, namely, that God promised salvation not to
Abraham’s physical descendants but to true believers, to them all (whether Jew or
Gentile) and to them alone, he is saying that this great blessing is concentrated in one
person, namely, Christ. It is in him, in him alone, that all these multitudes of believing
Jews and Gentiles are blessed. It is in this sense that seed is singular, definitely not
plural. It is true that the physical descendants of Abraham inherited the physical land
of Canaan, according to God’s promise (Gen. 12:7; 13:15; 15:18; 17:8; 24:7), but
even Abraham already knew that there was more to this promise than appeared on the
surface. The promised country on earth was the type of “the better country,” the
heavenly, reserved for believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, for them all and for them
alone, as is beautifully stated in Heb. 11:8–16. Now the one and only heir of that
“country” is Christ, for he is the Son by nature. It is by his grace that believers, as
children by adoption, are joint-heirs with him (Rom. 8:17). And as for the basic
promise, expressed from the beginning in spiritual terms, the promise according to
which God assures Abraham that he will be his God and that in Abraham’s seed all
the nations of the earth will be blessed (17:7; 22:18), is it not very obvious that this
promise also, in its fulfilment, was centered exclusively in one person, namely,
Christ? The many are blessed in the One!

(3) In promising these rich spiritual blessings God had from the very beginning
turned Abraham’s attention away from the plural to the singular, from seeds to seed:
“As for Ishmael, I have heard you … but I will establish my covenant with Isaac.… In
Isaac shall your seed be called” (Gen. 17:20, 21; 21:12; cf. Rom. 9:7). Similarly, at a
later time God made it very clear to Isaac and Rebekah that not in the line of Esau but
in that of Jacob the promise would be continued (Gen. 25:23; cf. 27:27–29).
Accordingly, Paul’s distinction here in Gal. 3:16 between seeds and seed is based on
the words which God himself addressed to the patriarchs.

(4) It appears to be clearly implied in such passages as John 8:56; Heb. 11:13, 17–
19 that Abraham understood that Isaac would not himself be the Hope of mankind. He
knew that Isaac’s birth would pave the way for the coming of the real Messiah, the
genuine seed, the One through whom God would bless all the nations. He was aware
of the fact that the promised blessings would be concentrated in this one great person.
At the time of Christ’s birth even the highest court in Israel, the Sanhedrin, interpreted
the prophecy of Micah 5:2 personally, that is, as referring to the birth of one definite
person, Christ (Matt. 2:4–6). Is not the personal interpretation of Isa. 53—“Surely he
has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.… He was wounded for our
transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities,” etc.—better by far than the
exclusively nationalistic? Were not Isaiah and Micah contemporaries? And can we
not go back beyond these two prophets, and their Messianic utterances, to II Sam.
7:12, 13? Does a reference to Solomon exhaust the meaning of the words, “I will
establish the throne of his kingdom forever”? Does not also that promise refer to one
exalted person, one greater by far than Solomon? Does not the same thing apply to
Gen. 49:10? And does not this series of promises, everyone of which refers ultimately
to one definite person, a person who had not yet arrived but was eagerly awaited,
finally point back to Gen. 3:15, which concerns the seed of the woman, the very
culmination of God’s promise not only to Adam but also to Abraham?

The words which, according to Gen. 3:15, God addressed to the serpent—that is,
to Satan—were as follows: “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and
between your seed and her seed; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his
heel.” Is it not probable that Abraham knew this prophecy? It refers to the woman’s
seed, and here, too, the primary reference would appear to be to one person, though a
further collective reference is not thereby ruled out. Dr. G. Ch. Aalders makes the
following comment (my translation from the Dutch): “There is more here than merely
this, that man will gain the victory over the serpent.… In that serpent a definite
personality is being addressed.… And if the enemy whose discomfiture is here
announced must be a definite personality, then would it even be possible that the One
who conquers him could be other than also a definite personality? Even the contrast
head and heel suggests that the struggle will finally be fought between two
contestants. Also the Hebrew demonstrative pronoun [that one or he] strongly
suggests that the conqueror is to be regarded as one person.” Having pointed out that
this protevangelium does not exclude the reference to a collective interpretation of the
concepts “your seed” and “her seed,” Aalders continues: “But in the end the figure of
the Mediator stands in the foreground, and this so much so that in the words in which
the final struggle is described there is definite mention of only one person, who is
indicated by this seed of the woman. The real struggle is won by no one else than by
our Lord Jesus Christ” (Korte Verklaring, Genesis, Vol. I, pp. 136–138).

As mentioned earlier, Abraham probably knew this prophecy. But more important
is the fact that the Holy Spirit, who inspired Galatians as well as Genesis, knew what
content he was pouring into Gen. 3:15; 13:15; 17:7, 8; 22:18; 24:7, as well as into
Gal. 3:16. And is it not significant that in the echo of Gen. 3:15 which we have in
Rev. 12:1–6 the struggle is again primarily between the two personal antagonists:
Christ and Satan? To be sure, from this struggle “the woman” is not excluded (verses
6. 13) yet the central figure, the One who really conquers, is Christ.

Accordingly, Paul’s intention in writing, “He does not say. ‘And to the seeds,’ as
(referring) to many, but as (referring) to one, ‘And to your seed,’ which is Christ,” is
to show a. that God’s promise to Abraham, in its richest, spiritual meaning, was to be
fulfilled in connection with one—and not more than one—definite person, Christ, the
true seed; b. that all those—and only those—who are “in him” are saved; c. that had
the case been otherwise, that is, had the promised blessings been dispersed
indiscriminately among an indefinite aggregate of individuals, such plurality would
have been definitely indicated; and d. that being thus concentrated unchangeably in
the one seed, Christ, nothing, not even the law, is able to nullify this promise…
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Footnote:

* Biblical Hebrew does not use the plural of zera‘ (see I Sam. 8:15) in referring to
one’s descendants; and even the Greek ????µ??? though occurring in classical literature, is elsewhere not plentiful (LXX Dan. 11:31; IV Macc. 18:1).

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And here is Calvin on Genesis 22:17 http://www.ccel.org/c/calvin/comment3/comm_vol01/htm/xxviii.htm:

17. Thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies. He means that the offspring of Abraham should be victorious over their enemies; for in the gates were their bulwarks, and in them they administered judgment. Now, although God often suffered the enemies of the Jews tyrannically to rule over them; yet he so moderated their revenge, that this promise always prevailed in the end. Moreover, we must remember what has before been stated from Paul, concerning the unity of the seed; for we hence infer, that the victory is promised, not to the sons of Abraham promiscuously, but to Christ, and to his members, so far as they adhere together under one Head. For unless we retain some mark which may distinguish between the legitimate and the degenerate sons of Abraham, this promise will indiscriminately comprehend, as well the Ishmaelites and Idumeans, as the people of Israel: but the unity of a people depends on its head. Therefore the prophets, whenever they wish to confirm this promise of God, assume the principle, that they who have hitherto been divided, shall be united, under David, in one body. What further pertains to this subject may be found in the twelfth chapter Genesis 12:1.

And Gill on the same verse http://www.freegrace.net/gill/:

Ver. 17. That in blessing I will bless thee,.... With temporal and spiritual blessings; with the Spirit and all his graces; with Christ and redemption, justification, and salvation by him; and with eternal life, as the gift of God, through him: and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which [is] upon the sea shore: both his natural seed, descending from him in the line of Isaac, and his spiritual seed, both among Jews and Gentiles, that tread in his steps; [see Gen 13:15]: and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies: "gate" for "gates", where courts of judicature were held, and which are the security of cities and put for them, and which also include the whole country round about: so that this phrase is expressive of an entire jurisdiction and dominion over them; and was literally fulfilled in the times of Joshua, David, and Solomon; and spiritually in Christ, Abraham's principal seed, when he destroyed Satan and his principalities and powers; overcame the world; made an end of sin and abolished death; and delivered his people out the hands of all their enemies; and in all Abraham's spiritual seed, who are made more than conquerors over them, through Christ that has loved them.
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Steve
 
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