The NIV and 1 Corinthians 5:5

I was reading in 1 Corinthians in the NIV, (I know, I know) and came across 1 Corinthians 5:5, which the NIV has as, “hand this man over to Satan, so that the sinful nature may be destroyed and his spirit saved on the day of the Lord.”

I just about jumped out of my chair, and would have if I weren’t so stinking cold in my basement and hadn’a had a blanket wrapped around me. What a butchery to the text on that one! Here is the KJV rendering of the verse.

“To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.”

The NIV interprets the word “flesh” for us, one of many reasons I detest the NIV. Using your doctrinal ideas to interpret words rather than translate them is dangerous, fairly close to adding things to the Bible.

More than that, it doesn’t even make sense. How is Satan, and why would Satan, destroy the sin nature? Your sin nature is his biggest buddy. The verse seems to be saying that if this sinner keeps sinning their body, their flesh, is going to get hurt and hopefully this will lead them to salvation.

To me that makes sense. However, this does not mean that I would translate the word flesh as “the physical body.” It’s safest to let it sit as the simple word itself.

Anyway, carry on. Burn your NIV.

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