Recovery Version Example

The Recovery Version is widely (but not exclusively) used by members of the local churches. The following examples are not intended to demonstrate the superiority of the Recovery Version over and against other widely-used translations. They are intended only to help convey that serious study and consideration has gone into ensuring that the Recovery Version is as faithful to the original Greek as possible so that the divine revelation in the Bible is expressed in the English language with the greatest accuracy. As demonstrated below, the Recovery Version’s rendering is similar to other major translations in the main. Often, differences in rendering are subtle, yet very significant in relation to our apprehension of certain divine truths.

John 3:16

New International Version

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

New American Standard Bible

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

King James Bible

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

Recovery Version

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that every one who believes into Him would not perish, but would have eternal life.

The Greek word here, εἰς, literally means to or into. We not only believe in Christ, we believe into Him. That is, by our believing, we are brought into a union with Christ (John 15:5, 14:20) whereby we receive Him as our very life. In this organic union, we are in Christ and He is in us. The footnote in the Recovery Version for this verse says:

Believing into the Lord is not the same as believing Him (6:30). To believe Him is to believe that He is true and real, but to believe into Him is to receive Him and be united with Him as one. The former is to acknowledge a fact objectively; the latter is to receive a life subjectively.

John 14:2

New International Version

My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you?

New American Standard Bible

In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.

King James Bible

In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

Recovery Version

In My Father’s house are many abodes; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you.

The Greek word here is μοναὶ, the plural form of μονή, a noun derived from the verb μένω that means to abide or to remain. John uses this verb many times in chapters 14 through 17 to emphasize the believers’ abiding in God and God abiding in the believers. Therefore, our understanding of 14:2 is not that Christ is going to prepare a physical mansion or room in heaven for the believers, but that He is preparing a mutual abode of God and His people who, as the church, are His spiritual house, His temple (Eph. 2:19-22, 1 Tim. 3:15).   The footnote in the Recovery Version for this verse says:

The many abodes are the many members of the Body of Christ (Rom. 12:5), which is God’s temple (1 Cor. 3:16-17). This is adequately proven by [John 14:23], which says that the Lord and the Father will make an abode with the one who loves Him.

For more information, see “Glossa: Heavenly Mansions or Abodes?”

Romans 8:15

New International Version

The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

New American Standard Bible

For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”

King James Bible

For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

Recovery Version

For you have not received a spirit of slavery bringing you into fear again, but you have received a spirit of sonship in which we cry, Abba, Father!

The Greek word here, υἱοθεσία is a compound word that literally means to set someone as a son or to put someone in the place of a son.  Whereas adoption implies that those who are not sons become so through a judicial procedure, an adoption, the New Testament reveals that our relationship with the Father is a relationship in life.  By our regeneration, we are born of God to be His genuine sons (John 1:13; 1 John 5:1) who have His life in us (John 3:16; 1 John 5:12-13).  Thus, our relationship with God is in life, not merely by adoption.  He really is our Father, and has begotten us to be His genuine children, the many brothers of the Firstborn Son of God (John 1:12, 20:17).

For more information, see “Glossa: Sonship or Adoption as Sons?”

To Learn More

Who are Witness Lee and Watchman Nee?

The local churches have benefited greatly from the ministry of Watchman Nee and Witness Lee. Who were they and what did they contribute to the Body or Christ?

Watchman Nee was born in China in 1903 to Christian parents. He received the Lord in high school and gave his life for the Lord’s service. Watchman Nee was quickly manifested as a unique gift to the Body of Christ. His ministry emphasized the believers’ experience of and growth in the divine life of God for the building up of the Body of Christ. After ministering for thirty years and establishing over seven hundred local churches throughout China, Watchman Nee was imprisoned in 1952 for the sake of the gospel. He died in prison on May 30, 1972. Under his pillow was found the following note:

“Christ is the Son of God who died for the redemption of sinners and resurrected after three days. This is the greatest truth in the universe. I die because of my belief in Christ. Watchman Nee.”

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Our Teaching Examined

Many respected Christian scholars and ministry leaders have closely examined both our teaching and practice. The following quotes are a small sampling of what they had to say. You can read their full published statements at

Fuller Theological Seminary

One of the largest multidenominational seminaries in the world.

“In regard to their teaching and testimony concerning God, the Trinity, the person and work of Christ, the Bible, salvation, and the oneness and unity of the Church, the Body of Christ, we found them to be unequivocally orthodox.”

J. Gordon Melton

Distinguished Professor of American Religious History with the Institute for Studies of Religion at Baylor University and the Director of the Institute for the Study of American Religion.

“I personally have been unable to find a single point upon which it [the teaching in the local churches] deviates on any essential doctrine of the Christian faith…”

Elliot Miller

Editor-in-Chief of the Christian Research Journal and a principal participant in several research projects involving the local churches beginning in the 1970s.

“I find it [the statement of faith on this site] to be thoroughly consistent with historic, orthodox Christian theology in all of its affirmations.”

Paul Copan

Former president of the Evangelical Philosophical Society and a well-known apologist.

“I …urge all true Christians to embrace our brothers and sisters in the Local Church, who share the same faith in our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Peter Kerridge

CEO of Premier Media Group, the largest Christian broadcaster in the United Kingdom.

“This ministry is entirely orthodox and to suggest otherwise is to willfully misrepresent them and impede the church’s mission.”

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Our Faith

The faith affirmed by the local churches is the faith common to all believers, namely that:

  • The Bible is the Word of God, written under His inspiration word by word (2 Tim. 3:16), and is the complete and only written divine revelation of God to man (Deut. 4:2; 12:32; Prov. 30:5-6; Rev. 22:18-19);
  • There is one God (Deut. 6:4; 1 Cor. 8:4b; Isa. 45:5a), who is triune—the Father, the Son, and the Spirit (Matt. 28:19), co-existing (Matt. 3:16-17; 2 Cor. 13:14) and coinhering (John 14:10-11) in three persons, or hypostases, distinct but never separate, from eternity to eternity;
  • Christ, the only begotten Son of God (John 1:18; 3:16), even God Himself (John 1:1), became a genuine man through incarnation (John 1:14), having both the divine and human natures (Rom. 9:5; 1 Tim. 2:5), the two natures being combined in one person and being preserved distinctly without confusion or change and without forming a third nature; Continue reading