The NIV and Mechanical Music in Worship – Jess Whitlock

Jess Whitlock

Thus saith the Lord, stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, we will not walk therein” (Jer. 6:16). God’s prophet of old admonishes us to seek the “old paths,” but so many today cry out for change. Change has become the way of the world. It is demanded. Change has affected our nation to the point that America has slid down the slippery slope to Sodom and Gomorrah. The authority of God is being ignored and blasphemed. God is being rewritten (even in books purporting to be His Word). Changing the word of God is nothing new. God said to Adam and Eve in Genesis 2:17 concerning the tree of knowledge that “in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die” and Satan in Genesis 3:4 rewrote the word of God by saying to the woman, “ye shall not surely die…” Satan added to the word of God, thereby contradicting what God said in the beginning.

If I wanted mechanical instruments of music in worship to God (which some of my brethren seem to want), then the New International Version (NIV=Non-Inspired Version) would be the “Bible” of choice for me. Note what the Bible says: “…speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” (Eph. 5:19 ASV). Now, read it in the NIV: “Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord.”

The change of the word melody to music opens the door for generic music, i.e., vocal music, instrumental music, or even a combination. That moves the piano or organ right into the text. For centuries it could be shown the Greek word psallo gave no credence to mechanical music, since the instrument is named in the text—“your heart.” I am aware of almost a dozen congregations in Texas and Oklahoma that now have brought in the instruments of music. In at least half of those churches, the NIV text was brought into the church buildings first!

The literal Greek text of Ephesians 5:19 reads as “singing and praising with heart your to the Lord.” The instrument is the heart. It is not a mechanical instrument of music. Melody is heart-made; not brass-band produced and not piano-made or organ-manufactured.

In the parable of the prodigal son Luke used the Greek word sumphona which is translated “music” in Luke 15:25 (cf. KJV, NKJV, ASV (1901) and even in the NIV). That Greek word is not the word that Paul used in Ephesians 5:19. He used a form of the Greek word psallo. That word definitely means to sing. (Rom. 15:9; 1 Cor. 14:15; Heb. 2:12; Jam. 5:3; Acts 16:25; Eph. 5:19; Col. 3:16; Matt. 26:30; Mark 14:26).

Remember that when the NIV translators (or should we say mistranslators?) decided to change the word melody to music they did not use any italics. Of course, they do not use italics anywhere in their mistranslation. Why not? This dishonest method allows them to add words, subtract words, and change words without anybody knowing what they are doing. In this instance they wanted the generic word music so that anyone, in all good conscience, could introduce mechanical instruments of music and believe they had Bible authority to do so. “But they said, we will not walk therein” (Jer. 6:16d).

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Author: Editor

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