An Excellent Resource
The NET Bible is an excellent resource for the believer looking to gain a deeper understanding of the Bible. Here is why I think this is one of the finest resources for studying the Bible. Here is a link to an endorsements page for your reference. They have done a tremendous work and I highly recommend it to everyone. Here is additional information on their ABOUT page. The people responsible for this translation, in my opinion, are Evangelical cessationists. That is they think the gifts of the Holy Spirit in 1 Corinthians 12 ended with the last Apostles, and as such an unconscious bias may be present such that some word meanings they use could use a different word that would lend more credibility to those of other denominations.
An example that shows the rapture of the Church
Here’s an example of what I am talking about. If you look at the translation of Revelation 12:5 you see the woman giving birth.
So the woman gave birth to a son, a male child, who is going to rule over all the nations with an iron rod. Her child was suddenly caught up to God as to his throne. –Revelation 12:5 NET
If you want to follow along using the Classic version click on the link above. Now take a look at the KJV which is the 9th translation from the top. And she brought forth a man child… The word child here is huios, #5207, which means son. Now look at the rest of this verse, and her child was caught up to God… The word child here is teknon, #5043, with a more frequent translation of offspring or children. It can also be translated child, but when looking at the other instances this word is used int he New Testament, children seems to be the prevailing usage. Click here for a list of verses where teknon is used.
The NET and the KJV use the word child for both references in Revelation 12:5. The point being made here is that the verse should probably read:
And she brought forth a son, a male child, who is to rule all the nations with an iron rod and her children were suddenly caught up to God and His throne. –Revelation 12:5 (GFS)
When you read Revelation 12:1-6 in context you see that John is speaking about the woman, Israel and her relationship to the Church. The really interesting part is that if you use the correct definition for child, as children, in the second part of verse you get the phrase, her children were suddenly caught up to God and his throne… This is a picture of the rapture. Coincidentally, the words caught up here in verse 5, harpazo, #726, to seize, carry off by force, are the same words used by the Apostle Paul in 1 Thessalonians 4:17.
The we who are alive and remain shall be caught up (harpazo, #726) together with them the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so shall we always be with the Lord.
Is this an oversight by the NET interpreters. I doubt it. These are all brilliant people. I can’t imagine that this one slipped past them. I’m not criticizing them either. That is just their interpretive viewpoint. Which stands in quiet opposition to denominations outside the commonly understood Evangelical mainstream. Denominations like Charismatics, Pentecostals, Full Gospel, Word of Faith and the like. I know there is a blurred line of distinction nowadays as to who is actually an Evangelical and who is not, but for reference sake I like to think of Evangelicals as not being Charismatics, Pentecostals, Full Gospel, Word of Faith or the like.
Words in the Greek New Testament often have many definitions
Their work is tremendous. I, however, do like to look up the meanings of words and often find that the NET and more often the KJV could have chosen better words to use for definitions. I’m not saying that they should just make up a better word. When you look at word definitions in the Greek New Testament you will find that often there are many definitions for one word. And when research how those words were used in other passages you will find that perhaps another of the many definitions to that word could have been better used.
Some of the other Bible translations in print today use some of those other definitions instead of the more commonly used definitions of words. For example, the Amplified Bible, which uses a lot of the definitions of the words. But when you read about how New Testament Greek scholars, throughout history, actually interpreted passages of scripture and you read comments by them to the effect of, “we just don’t what they (the authors of the text they are reading) are saying here because the words can’t be translated into English,” you just have to wonder about the potential for bias (conscious or unconscious). Or you read works by some of these scholars that have said they just had to take an educated guess because the meaning of the word or passage was just unclear.
The NET translation is a fantastic work, and I highly recommend it. But I would also highly recommend that you look up the definitions of some potentially debatable words. The notes in the NET version are also incredible. These folks probably know every manuscript or partial manuscript in existence, and there are thousands. They are comparing everything written in other languages as well as the Greek and the writings of the Early Church Fathers.
With all the New Testament manuscripts that exist, multiple thousands, the accuracy rate of the New Testament is about 97%
Even with all of the translations that exist today, New Testament scholars say the error rate in translations is just a few percent. That means that in light of the thousands of translations in existence today, there is still about a 97% accuracy rate. Some of the same scholars today state that even if we didn’t have any copies, or copies of copies, or copies of copies of copies of the original manuscripts written in Greek, the writings of the Early Church Fathers were so voluminous that we they could still construct the New Testament with an equivalent accuracy rate.
Looking at the translation
If you go to the NET version website you have two choices. The regular version and the Classic version. The link on this page is to the Classic version, Revelation 11. What you see when you go to this version thru the link below is chapter 11 of the book of Revelation. If you click on any on the blue verses you are taken to a page that shows about 13 different Bible versions. The NET version at the top of the page is extremely helpful with regard to both its translation and its Bible notes. You can click on the words in KJV translation which will take you to a word definition page. If you click on the blue number at the top next to the world you are looking up, it will take you to a page listing all the verses where that word was used.
This is one of the best FREE Bible research tools available. Enjoy!