From "The Answer Book" ©1989 Samuel C. Gipp. Reproduced by permission
QUESTION: Shouldn't we emphasize love for Jesus Christ
rather than squabbling over Bible translations?
ANSWER: There is no better way to emphasize our love for
Jesus Christ than to jealously and zealously guard His word.
EXPLANATION: You can show your "love" for the Lord
Jesus Christ in two ways.
1. Any method that YOU deem as sincere and valid in your
own sight. (See Lev. 10: 1-3)
2. You can endeavor to keep Christ's Scriptural admonitions
as strictly as possible. (This tends to be a lifetime endeavor.)
In John 14:23 one of the identifying marks of anyone who loves
Him is that they will "keep my words."
You may say, "That just means to keep the things that He said
to do." BUT, the fact is that no "love" is required to keep these
sayings as evidenced in John 8:51 and 52. Love is required to
keep His "words."
Again an argument may be made that, "That just referred to the
original Greek." But alas, such a statement only leads you into a
deeper more deadly trap. The following Scriptural example will
In the book of Jonah, it is recorded that Jonah, while running
from God, is swallowed by "a great fish." (Jonah 1:17)
In Matthew 12:40 the "great fish" is identified by Jesus Christ as
a "whale." (We are not arguing genetics here, we are arguing the
value of Christ's "w-o-r-d-s.")
Strangely, at this very scripture, those who claim to be able to
"love" Christ and correct His Bible steal the words right out of His
Every new translation changes Jesus word "whale" to "fish."
This is done because they learned in their seventh grade Biology
class that "a whale is not a fish." Faced not only with a Bible that
has a seeming contradiction (not with itself but with their 7th grade
Biology teacher) but also with a Saviour who is so uninformed and
uneducated as to not know that "a whale is not a fish," they panic.
They rush to Matthew 12:40 and remove the word "whale" from
both the Bible (their "authority in all matters of faith and practice")
and from Jesus' lips (their "Lord" and Saviour.)
The Greek word used for "whale" in Matthew 12:40 is "ketos."
The Greek word for "fish" is "ichthus." They are NOT the same.
Jesus used the Greek word "ichthus" in several places in Scripture,
such as: Matthew 7:10 and 17:28. Certainly He could have used it
in Matthew 12:40 if He so desired.
The fundamental Bible "enhancer" overlooks two monumental
First he overlooks the fact that Jonah was swallowed by a
"great fish" that was specially "prepared" by God. It should be
noted here that Adam gave names to all living creatures but one.
God gave whales their name in Genesis 1:21 BEFORE Adam
named the rest of creation in Genesis 2:19,20. That means the
whale had a "predestination" (Gen. 1:21) and a "predestination"
(Jonah 1:17) from the foundation of the earth. NOT something
even a Bible corrector should take lightly.
The second truth ignored by God's little "helper" is that by
changing " whale " to " fish " in Jesus' statement of Matthew 12:40
he is guilty of breaking Jesus' admonition of John 14:23 to "keep
my w-o-r-d-s." ("Correcting" the Bible is like "treading"
quicksand. The harder you kick, the faster you sink.)
Thus the authors of the New American Standard Version, the
New International Version, the New King James Version and the
rest of the new translations are not only wrong in their translation
of "ketos" but in their defiance of Jesus' mandate of John 14:23.
So, when Jesus says one thing (whale) and your Pastor, parent,
or professor says another (fish) you are bound by LOVE for
Christ to reject man's opinion and embrace and defend Jesus'