Mystery Babylon the Great?
I'm sure all Bible Believing Christians have read Revelation chapter 17 at least once in their life, or have heard it quoted before. And, I'm sure they remember the story about a woman riding a beast drunken with the blood of the saints of Jesus Christ. But who was this woman?
Well, according to the teachings of men like Luther, Spurgeon, Calvin, Knox, Wesley, Hislop and others, this woman is the Roman Catholic Church! And, millions of Bible Believing Christians throughout history have taught and believed this as well. But, my question is: "What's written on this woman's forehead?
First, let's look at the King James Bible. We read in verse 5:
And upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.
Secondly, let's look at the older 1909 Spanish Bible, as well as the 1865 (which reads exactly the same in this verse). They say:
Y en su frente un nombre escrito: MISTERO, BABILONIA LA GRANDE, LA MADRE DE FORNICACIONES Y DE LAS ABOMINACIONES DE LA TIERRA.
This matches the King James with the exception of the word "fornications" inserted in place of "harlots."
But, what does the "popular" 1960 version say in this verse? Let's read it. It states:
Y en su frente un nombre escrito, un misterio: BABILONIA LA GRANDE, LA MADRE DE LAS RAMERAS Y DE LAS ABOMINACIONES DE LA TIERRA.
Wait a minute! Is this woman "Mystery Babylon the Great," or is she just a mystery? Well, if you are a Bible Believer, you know that the mystery has been solved. This woman (Rome) is "Mystery Babylon the Great." But, if you are a Catholic and reject this doctrine, then you'd want it to say that this passage is only "a mystery," and no one can know who this woman is. See how it works?
Now let's go to "The Greek" (if there was such a thing), and see what Nestle's has in his text and what the Textus Receptus reads in its text.
êáé åðé ôï ìåôùðïí áõôçò ïíïìá ãåãñáììåíïí ìõóôçñéïí, Âáâèëùí ç ìåãáëç, ç ìçôçñ ôùí ðïñíùí êáé ôùí âäåëèãìáôùí ôçò ãçò (Sorry, this doesn't support Greek letters)
Now this text has the word "mystery" (ìõóôçñéïí) and the Critical Apparatus tells us that this word is in the Majority Text (Textus Receptus). But, old Nestle (or Aland. Take your pick, they are both the same) conveniently places the word with a lower case "m" ( ì in Greek). But, as you will see below in the Textus Receptus, this word has a capitalized "m." It is correctly translated in English as "Mystery, Babylon." Not "a mystery, Babylon..." as it says in the Spanish 1960.
Here's the Textus Receptus reading:
êáé åðé ôï ìåôùðïí áõôçò ïíïìá ãåãñáììåíïí, Ìõóôçñéïí, Âáâèëùí ç ìåãáëç, ç ìçôçñ ôùí ðïñíùí êáé ôùí âäåëèãìáôùí ôçò ãçò (Sorry, this doesn't support Greek letters)
Someone was very biased on the 1960 translating committee, not only to the Nestle's Greek Text, but to the Catholic Church as well. I wonder who it was? Could it be the fact that the Catholic Church worked with the United Bible Societies, of which the American Bible Society (which put out the 1960) was a member of? Hmmmm.