When Words Get Added

For if that first covenant had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.

Hebrews 8:7 (KJV)

Covenant – Does the word “covenant” show up in your Bible for this verse? Is it italicized, or noted somehow? You should know it’s been added by the translators and doesn’t appear in any of the Greek texts.

Maybe the translators are just trying to get us to understand the message more clearly here. That’s all, right? Not really. Certainly, they’re trying to clarify their own paradigm and interpretation of this verse, but unfortunately, it’s not what was intended by the author. Try taking out the word “covenant” from this verse which doesn’t belong there anyways, and read through it again.

For if that first had been faultless, then should no place have been sought for the second.

The first what? What’s the author speaking about? Surely it’s the covenant, and that’s why the translator added the word there, right? Wrong! You have to take into account the previous verses… remember there aren’t chapters in the actual Greek texts. So jump back to 7:11.

If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?

Hebrews 7:11

The author is talking about the Levitical priesthood along with the High Priest. He’s making the claim that we have a new priesthood now after the order of Melchisedec along with a new High Priest – Yeshua. The covenant isn’t what had the problem – it was the priesthood that were faulty. Look at the very next verse in chapter eight.

For finding fault with them, he saith, Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah:

Hebrews 8:8

It was the people who were the problem, not the covenant. But because the translators interpreted the actual text with their own paradigm, and then inserted words to help persuade people to their thinking, we’re entrenched in misinterpreted teachings.

Pay attention to the italicized words in your Bible – they’ve been added and are not originally there. When you come across them, take them out and reread the text. Try to figure it out without the aide of the translator’s opinions. You might find something interesting.

2 thoughts on “When Words Get Added”

  1. Wow. Context certainly does help here. We don’t have to go hunting around several chapters to find an antecedent. Its there for us. The “first” certainly refers to covenant.

    But as it is, Christ has obtained a ministry that is as much more excellent than the old as the covenant he mediates is better, since it is enacted on better promises. For if that first [covenant] had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second.
    For he finds fault with them when he says:
    “ Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord,
    when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel
    and with the house of Judah,
    not like the covenant that I made with their fathers
    on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt.
    For they did not continue in my covenant,
    and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord.
    For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel
    after those days, declares the Lord:
    I will put my laws into their minds,
    and write them on their hearts,
    and I will be their God,
    and they shall be my people.

    1. If the “first” refers to the “covenant”, then why does the very next verse say “finding fault with THEM”? The word “them” is pluralized… covenant is not. It’s with the people that he found fault. Yes, context is important, and remember the Greek didn’t have chapters… so we’re not searching other chapters per say… we’re searching the meaning of the letter to the Hebrews which is primarily focused on establishing Yeshua as the High Priest… which then also requires a new priesthood because Yeshua wasn’t from the tribe of Levi. Have you compared the second covenant with the first? The very words you quoted are the exact words of the first covenant on Mt. Sinai from Exodus 6. The laws were always meant to be written on the hearts, the offer has always been that God will be our God and we will be His people, and finally the covenant has always been established with Israel (house of Judah AND house of Israel). These three things you quoted were the same as the first covenant.

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