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I have been reading on-line in the book of Revelation at chapter 22:6 (NIV) where it is written,

6 The angel said to me, “These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God who inspires the prophets, sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.”

I have my own NIV bible ( Anglicised edition dated 1984 ), and the same verse reads,

The angel said to me, "These words are trustworthy and true.The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets,sent his angel to show his servants the things that must soon take place.”

In the bold, the two different translations concerning the "prophets" is evident.

In the King James bible the verse reads as follows,

And he said unto me, These sayings [are] faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done.

The above verse i have extracted from here, and it can be seen that there are different translations to the verse.

I am not educated in Greek language,but from what i can understand the correct wording for the verse would be "Holy prophets' ".My understanding comes from what i can "glean" from the Greek concordance .But i still find it all a bit confusing.

What is the recognised understanding of this verse? is it ,

1 The Lord, the God who inspires the prophets.

2.The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets.

3.The Lord God of the holy prophets.

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Textus Receptus reads:

καὶ κύριος ὁ θεὸς τῶν ἁγίων προφητῶν

(and lord the god of the holy prophets)

Tischendorf:

καὶ ὁ κύριος ὁ θεὸς τῶν πνευμάτων τῶν προφητῶν

(and the lord the god of the spirits of the prophets)

Westcott-Hort:

καὶ ὁ κύριος ὁ θεὸς τῶν πνευμάτων τῶν προφητῶν

(and the lord the god of the spirits of the prophets)

Latin Vulgate:

et Dominus Deus spirituum prophetarum

(and the lord god of the spirits of the prophets)

The majority reading of the verse is 'the spirits of the prophets', and this is reflected in the Nestle-Aland 28 critical text:

καὶ ὁ κύριος ὁ θεὸς τῶν πνευμάτων τῶν προφητῶν

(and the lord the god of the spirits of the prophets).

The KJV primarily followed the Textus Receptus, with some supplemental use of the Latin Vulgate. In Revelation 22.6, the KJV simply renders the Textus Receptus.

The NIV 2011 states that the translators used the Nestle-Aland text, while paying attention to 'variant readings'. So why the change between the 1984 and 2011 versions?

The word normally translated here as 'spirit', πνεῦμα, can also mean 'wind' or 'breath', depending on the context. For example, 2 Timothy 3.16, says scriptures are θεόπνευστος, literally 'god-breathed'. This is often translated figuratively as 'inspired by God'.

The 1984 and 2011 editions each used the same text; there does not appear to be a variant that literally reads 'and the lord god who inspired the prophets'. Instead, the 1984 edition simply followed the literal wording of the text, while the 2011 edition opted for 'dynamic equivalence'. The translators apparently interpreted 'the spirits of the prophets' to mean the prophets were 'inspired' (spirit > breath > inspiration).

Assuming the majority reading is evidence in itself that the majority reading is correct, the NIV 1984 provides the most accurate word-for-word translation of the three versions provided.

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