I have been reading, studying, and using the "Mickelson Clarified Scholar New Testament" for a little over a year. I have read it through four times and have referenced it in my studies comparing it with the KJV, Strong's Concordance, a Greek/English Lexicon, and other reference materials. The Mickelson Clarified Translation (MCT) has helped deepen my understanding of our Christian concepts. While I still use the KJV, I reference the MCT with most of my current studies. The MCT has proven to be accurate, readable, and clear in its meaning.
Questions could be raised about the need and benefit of this work. It does not alter the gospel message, so what possible use does it have? For what purpose did the translator and scholar dedicate his time and resources? Why is it important to me? When one comes to Jesus Christ, when one believes the gospel message, that is not the end of the journey...
...it is really the beginning. It should be the goal of every Christian to know Him, to know our God and Savior–better; to have a deeper and richer relationship with and knowledge of Him. To obtain this deeper and richer relationship and knowledge requires time and diligent reading and studying His word. That time and effort is rewarded with greater insight to the love of God toward us and His continual grace in our lives. That insight gives us a greater ability to share His love and commitment with others.
Can you imagine Paul telling Ananias, "Sure, I will get baptized, but that is it. I do not need to know any more. I came in contact with Jesus on my trip to Damascus. Now I am ready to go and tell about my conversion." And, he certainly could tell about his conversion, his meeting with Jesus on the road. That would be great, but what would his listeners know? When trouble came, and it certainly did, where would Paul's converts get the resolve and courage to continue believing? Early believers were admonished to be able to give a reason for their hope. Would, "Well, this man Paul saw a vision of Jesus, so I believe in Jesus also." be a reasonable response?
Paul wanted to comprehend the full impact of Jesus, the Messiah. After his conversion Paul spent some time contemplating all of those Old Testament scriptures he knew so well and how those scriptures related to and referenced the Messiah, the One he now knew as Jesus. Paul wanted those to whom he preached, standing firm in the full revelation of Jesus the Messiah. In Paul's writings we find detailed explanations of Old Testament scriptures and Old Testament events that demonstrated the gospel, that demonstrated the work of God in Jesus Christ. If Paul had stopped with his conversion, had he not desired to fully comprehend the gospel, we would not have much of the New Testament writings to study today.
Without the study, the contemplation, the diligence of Paul and the other New Testament saints to know their God and Savior, if they had stopped with just their conversion, would there be a Christian body of believers today? If they had not seen and taught the depths, richness, and full plan of God, could those believers stand when the persecution came? Those believers could stand in the face of trials because they had been taught the depths, the richness, the full plan of God. They could comprehend the gospel and all of its beauty. We can read and study the writings of these saints who wanted that deeper understanding and relationship with their God.
Today, we also have a responsibility to comprehend the magnitude and richness of the gospel message. We need that comprehension not only to enrich our relationship with God, but to be able to pass that comprehension along to others. Although we are no longer adding to the canon of scripture, we need to help others understand the message and love of our Savior so they too can stand with Him. We cannot just stop at conversion. We also need greater comprehension of and appreciation for all that God has accomplished for us.
I will give two examples of my own comparisons between the KJV and the MCT where the KJV does not show the full intent of the actual Greek text, but the MCT renders it fully.
I recently used the MCT extensively when preparing and conducting a study of the book of Hebrews. In the book of Hebrews (chapter 8) there is a comparison of the old covenant and the new. In verse 8 through verse 10 of the KJV, the key wording is:
"Behold the days come,...
will make a
new covenant with the house of Israel...
not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers...
For this is the
covenant that I
will make with the house of Israel after those days..."
The wording in the MCT is:
"Behold the days come,...
shall completely consummate a
brand-new covenant with the house of Israel...
Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers...
Because this is the
unilateral covenant that I
shall bequeath to the house of Israel..."
The difference in the wording makes it clear that God will completely (and by Himself) consummate a new covenant, and that the new covenant is unilateral– God does the work, all of it. While one can think about the verses in the KJV and with other KJV scriptures can arrive at the same conclusion, it is explicitly stated in the MCT (based on context and contextual definitions of the Greek words used and validated by Strong's).
My second example is when Jesus asked Peter if he (Peter) loved Him (Jesus) as recorded in
John chapter 21
. In the KJV, there are two different Greek words translated to the one English word, “love.” While Jesus asked if Peter loved Him with the same intensity that God loves, Peter's reply was that he liked Jesus as a friend. The last time Jesus asks the question, He asked if Peter liked Him as a friend. This exchange carries meaning and a message. Jesus brought His request to Peter's level, to where Peter could respond. It is also significant to note the change in Peter. Peter came to recognize his own failure and weakness. The KJV completely loses the significance of the exchange while the MCT demonstrates it clearly.
It is my desire to know God, to have an intimate relationship with Him. Consider that Paul wrote that he wanted to know Him and the power of His resurrection. Moses spoke with God as a man talks with his friend. Abraham was considered a friend of God. David was a man after God's own heart. Daniel was called, "greatly loved." Any aid in studying and understanding the scriptures to better know our God, such as the MCT, is welcome to me.
Author, "Does God Smile?"
Elder, Emmanuel Temple
I have finished my first reading of your Bible translation, and I love it - actually to the point I find it difficult to read any other Bible [translation]. Kudos to you Jonathan. God Bless.