What's the truth of 1 John 2? Are you of Christ?

C McC Mc Posts: 3,539

What is your understand of 1 John 2. Can we read out of the passage for a change? Let's get down to business of reading and understanding 1 John 2. Many eyes may be opened for all to see themselves. Please share honestly. CM

Tagged:
«1

Comments

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 2,404

    The whole chapter 1 John 2 addresses quite a number of different topics, aspects ... which passage(s) from that chapter did you have in mind when asking others for their "understand" ?

  • C McC Mc Posts: 3,539

    CD Brethren,

    It's time for us to focus more intently in minding the Scriptures in its purity. We need to get away from exegetical quickies and "rightly divide the Word of truth". . "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Tim 2:15). Rightly dividing the Word demands that in interpreting the Scriptures, the partipabts of CD must: 

    1.     Not DEPART from the Word -- must first accept the Word wholeheartedly as the inspired, trustworthy, and solely authoritative norm for the Christian. 

    2.     Not DOUBT the Word -- the Bible is the most authoritative guide for Christian doctrine and conduct (2 Tim 3:16, 17).

    Let's keep in mind God is willing to help every reader to rightly understand and apply its truths. Due to Wrong Assumptions, Human Pride and Arrogance are why people doubt the Word. In view of a series of threads demoting Jesus to just a man, a created being or some kind of modified angel with divine privileges, we need to get back to the basics reading out of the passage for clear understanding what God has revealed through Inspired men. I am sorry Bill will not engage this thread directly, but contributes, perhaps, via, a surrogate. Regardless, the door is opened, if he decides, to participate.

    We need to do more like Jesus, start with the known and moved to the unknown, from the familiar to the unfamiliar in our approach to the Scriptures. We need to move away from letting our theology precede our exegesis. The word "exegesis" is a transliteration of a Greek word which means "description, explanation, or interpretation." The verb form is found in the New Testament and means to explain, interpret, tell, report, and describe (See John 1:18, Luke 24:35, Acts 10:8; 15:12, 14; 21:19).

    Biblical exegesis is what I want us to do with this chapter. That is follow a set of procedures for discovering the biblical author's intended meaning in a passage and the application of the meaning of chapter for today's readers. Biblical exegesis can also mean the practice of these procedures.

    Of courage there many ways of studying a passage from the Bible in order to understand its meaning and derive an application. Exegesis reveals what the Bible says and means.

    "He who shirks exegesis advertises in a loud voice that he does not really care what the Bible says but only wishes to use it insofar as it supports the clever points that he wishes to make. Such a man cannot possibly do biblical preaching, for he will not begin seriously with the Bible."

    in short, in order to understand a biblical passage, there are several factors that make skills and procedures in interpreting the Bible necessary. Do you know what they are? CM


    SOURCE:

    -- John Wright, The Authority of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1967) p. 170.

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 2,404
    edited January 15

    @C_M_ wrote

    In view of a series of threads demoting Jesus to just a man, a created being or some kind of modified angel with divine privileges, we need to get back to the basics reading out of the passage for clear understanding what God has revealed through Inspired men.

    so you are starting the study with a certain assumption concerning some posts from others in these forums in which they pointed out scripture after scripture of what the Bible says regarding the man Jesus, whom God made both Lord and Christ (cp Acts 2:36) ...

    What you state here appears to be a false assumption as I do not recall someone posting about "demoting Jesus to just a man" nor Jesus being "some kind of modified angel with divine privileges", etc.

    How do you suggest one can "get back to the basics reading out of the passages for clear understanding what God has revealed through inspired men" ?? what should be done if Bible passages do not support widely accepted church dogmas but rather show those to be lacking?

    I am of the opinion, that I have never done or tried to do anything other than reading correctly out of a passage what the passage says and means, considering properly the use of literal or figurative languages, considering the context of biblical culture and history, and recognizing overall scope and context of the Scriptures as a whole ... for proof of what I just wrote, anyone may take a look through various threads where such topic was studied.

  • C McC Mc Posts: 3,539




    Wolfgang, you asked:

    How do you suggest one can "get back to the basics reading out of the passages for clear understanding what God has revealed through inspired men" ??

    There are several things we need to step back and consider. To understand or to interpret any passage we need to note above all,

    1. First, there is the problem of a third-party perspective.
      1. We are neither the sender nor receiver of the biblical message, but the third-party. Many forget this. The inspired Writer speaks to us, but not directly. e.g. When the apostle Paul wrote 1 Corinthians, he was not writing to you or me, but to the church in Corinth at that time. Imagine discovering a piece of correspondence written by someone and addressed to someone else.
      2. In order to understand what the message is, we must try to discover the background of the correspondence:
        1. Who is the sender?
        2. Who is the receiver?
        3. What is their relationship to each other?
        4. What circumstances initiated the correspondence?

    The biblical message needs to be approached in the same way. It's here we begin the message, albeit, a third party.

    Brethren, do you see light in this, the first of several points? When it comes to 1 John 2, what are the answers to "b" questions 1-3 above? CM

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 2,404

    The biblical message needs to be approached in the same way. It's here we begin the message, albeit, a third party.

    Brethren, do you see light in this, the first of several points? When it comes to 1 John 2, what are the answers to "b" questions 1-3 above? CM

    You seem to reiterate what I have been mentioning and pointing out many times over in different threads here in these forums regarding how to read and understand correctly what the Biblical texts state ... albeit, you view it as "third party perspective. I would say such questions as you ask about sender, receiver. circumstances or times of writing, etc. are the means to arrive at and understand the first party (writer) and second party (original audience) perspective which I would regard to be the true understanding of the text.

    All too often, today's readers have their own "theological / church / denomination" glasses on when reading .... for example, they see the word "Jesus" and read/think in their mind "God, the Son" .... they see "Word" and read/think "Jesus", all of which results in incorrect understanding of what Scripture states and teaches.

  • C McC Mc Posts: 3,539

    # 2. The Bible was written in foreign languages.

    The Bible was originally written in Hebrew (OT), Aramaic (parts of Daniel/Ezra), and Greek (NT). We must either learn the language or rely on someone to translate the correspondence for us. Today, we have translations of the Bible in our own individual languages. Although we can understand the original messages through a translation, nuances or shades of meanings are lost through the process of translation. Exegesis can help to recover these nuances:

    1. Starts out with a general statement, or hypothesis.
    2. Examines the possibilities to reach a specific logical conclusion

    Exegesis seeks to understand the verbal meaning of the text by analyzing the function and meaning of the words employed, as well as the grammar and syntax. 

    Grammatical exegesis involves more than a general knowledge of vocabulary and grammar. It requires information about the various possible meanings of ambiguous terms and grammatically ambiguous constructions. Since the Bible was written in Hebrew and Greek (a few portions were in Aramaic), the minister who has no knowledge of these languages is handicapped. It is not enough simply to find the English equivalent of a Hebrew or Greek word in a lexicon. For example, the Greek equivalent to the English term world conveys a variety of meanings, all of which must be taken into consideration.

    The student or minister who lacks adequate linguistic skills can make use of such lexical aids as commentaries, concordances, and theological dictionaries. Commentaries differ in function and scope, as well as in theological posture. Some are specialized:

    1. Text-critical matters ("Bruce Metzger's Commentary on the Greek New Testament").
    2. Literary and source criticism ("The International Critical Commentary Series").
    3. Theological exegesis ("The Old Testament Library Series"; "The Anchor Bible").
    4. Homiletical exposition ("The Pulpit Commentary").

    It goes without saying even with the proper uses of lexical tools, one must still examine words in their grammatical context within the phrase, clause, sentence, paragraph, and finally the whole discourse.  

    To get to the heart of a passage, there is Biblical exegesis. It seeks to understand the grammatical meaning of the text in the light of the historical situation in which it was first written or spoken. This means that one should have a general knowledge of the literary history of the Bible, as well as an understanding of Israelite religion, society, politics, and economics. This is one good reason to expand your Logos Library or spend a lot of time in the public Library. In Israel, I am sure you will be blessed. For Germany, check with Wolfgang.

    I probably need to say more about Biblical exegesis. May be next time if anyone is interested (send a PM). CM

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 2,404
    edited January 28

    We must either learn the language or rely on someone to translate the correspondence for us. Today, we have translations of the Bible in our own individual languages. Although we can understand the original messages through a translation, nuances or shades of meanings are lost through the process of translation.

    One should note that no translation in any language is done by "God-breathed" / "God-inspired" people as was the case with the original writers of the scriptures. It is necessary therefore to read with a watchful mind to detect possible translation issues ... for example, if the translation of a particular passage seems to contradict what the text of other passages states, or if a passage appears to be "highly unusual" or "foreign" in what is expressed, etc.

    I have come to find it far more valuable to have spent time and effort to learn the biblical languages to the best I could and to learn about customs and mannerisms of the people in Bible times and Biblical lands than to read and go by commentaries and theological expositions (which for the most part only reflected the theological position of the commentator and sometimes clouded the simple meaning of the Biblical text.

    Learning language and basic non-theological tools relating to how I then myself could dig deeper into the text (instead of relying on church/group/denomination/publishing house theologies and repeating them over and over again, I benefited greatly.

    The people I learned most from were teachers who taught me "how to fish", not the teachers who presented me with "their cooked fish" 😉

    Furthermore, I now have to take full personal responsibility for what I come to know and understand and believe ... there is no hiding behind "but Prof. ABC teaches" or "Dr. XYZ has written" or "my church's articles of faith state", etc. All such excuses do not count anyways in the day when we have to give account of our walk as Christian believers.

  • C McC Mc Posts: 3,539

    Good, Wolfgang. You have made the case for Biblical exegesis which I will expand later. CM

  • MitchellMitchell Posts: 553
    edited January 28

    Greetings Wolfgang!

    This most recent post of yours is the first post on these forums in a long time that I actually agree with. I as well strongly believe that FL or L2 language acquisition is time well spent be it with modern language or with Biblical/Classical languages. And of course cross-cultural, sociological, and comparative literary studies.

    Personally I doubt the integrity of any pulpit minister/preacher who can not read the Bible in the original, who failed to study the cultural and near eastern context that the Bible was produced in. How I wonder can such an individual stand before a congregation claiming to teach authoritatively about something that he simply did not value enough to experience it directly?


    Grace and Peace

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 2,404

    @Mitchell posted

    Personally I doubt the integrity of any pulpit minister/preacher who can not read the Bible in the original, who failed to study the cultural and near eastern context that the Bible was produced in. How I wonder can such an individual stand before a congregation claiming to teach authoritatively about something that he simply did not value enough to experience it directly?

    How those preachers do that? by believing what their denominations Bible colleges have taught them ... the main theme being that "we (the profs and teachers) know and it is sufficient to only know what we know in order to preach to the sheep in our groups". Even when such colleges offer classes in biblical languages or on history of the text, it is done as an aside and the main emphasis is on the indoctrination of the student to equip him/her with "the teachings of the church".

  • C McC Mc Posts: 3,539

    Mitch,

    I agree, one should spent time studying "modern language" or "Biblical/Classical languages" and be exposed to "cross-cultural, sociological, and comparative literary studies". This is why I cited some of the basic resources above for those who may not be proficient in biblical languages. He or she should read widely and compare the various resources for variants until mastery has been achieved. One good way is to read the preface of a work or understand a religious body presuppositions . There are many biblical materials available to the student of the Word. They are to be viewed as "tools" or "aids" to assist and not become dependent upon them. There to be considered "stop-gap measures" until they full grasp languages. One doesn't have to bake every piece of bread he eats; build every house he lives in; or dig every well for water he drinks. So it is with today's preacher. Until he masters biblical languages he still can rightly divide the Word. Multiple resources out there. Therefore, Mitch, I wouldn't question the "integrity of any pulpit minister/preacher who can not read the Bible in the original". One should look beyond his faults and see his needs. Perhaps, in another thread, we can collaborate to identify some of the good resources out there to help the masses with their biblical languages deficiencies.

    Until then, Biblical exegesis can be done in light of what you mentioned above. Biblical exegesis seeks to understand the grammatical meaning of the text in the light of the historical situation in which it was first written or spoken. This means that one should have a general knowledge of the literary history of the Bible, as well as an understanding of Israelite religion, society, politics, and economics. One must be acquainted with the various literary types of material in the Bible and the specific situations addressed by such types. In the Old Testament we find examples of 

    •  Law (Ex. 20:1- 23:19)
    • Historiography (Judges)
    • Wisdom or philosophy (Proverbs)
    • Devotional writings (Psalms) 
    • Prophetic literature (Jeremiah). 

    In the narrower sense we note literary genre such as a 

    • Legal saying (Ex. 21:15) 
    • A historical narrative (2 Sam. 2:8-4:12)
    • A riddle (Judges 14:14, 18)
    • A hymn (Psalm 100)
    • A prophetic oracle (Amos 4:1-3). 

    It is not enough simply to identify literary types. The minister should recognize, most of all, the relationship between inspired literature and the sacred history of the people to whom the messages were directed. It is helpful to know whether the text that one is citing is a priestly blessing pronounced over the congregation at the close of worship (Num. 6:24-26) or a funeral dirge proclaimed by the prophet in lamentation over the fall of Jerusalem (Lam. 1:1). The more we know about the religio-political circumstances and socioeconomic conditions under which a document was written, the better able we will be to grasp the author's message and apply it accordingly. This is just a snap shot, but a way forward for all to be enriched. CM

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 2,404

    Biblical exegesis seeks to understand the grammatical meaning of the text in the light of the historical situation in which it was first written or spoken.

    What does GRAMMATICAL meaning have to do with HISTORICAL SITUATION ... ?

    Grammar normally concerns rules of language about how words are used in a sentence to form particular ways of expression (questions, commands, statements, etc.) ... but not history of a text (who, when, how a text came about originally) ....

  • C McC Mc Posts: 3,539

    In addition to GRAMMATICAL meaning, one should give attention to the "historical situation" or setting. Beyond this, did you get my overall point shared? CM

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 2,404

    In addition to GRAMMATICAL meaning, one should give attention to the "historical situation" or setting. Beyond this, did you get my overall point shared? CM

    Actually, No. I really do not get what you mean with "grammatical meaning" :... what is the grammatical meaning of a text, as compared with content meaning, contextual meaning, lexical meaning, or perhaps something else?

  • MitchellMitchell Posts: 553


    Wolfgang Seminaries/theological schools tend to use the grammar-translation method for Biblical language instruction. This particular pedagogical method is probably better suited to help student pass test about grammar than true language acquisition. Think about it how many seminary/theological school trained ministers do you know who can actually pick up volumes like the Biblia Hebraica or the Nestle Aland and sight read from them? I am making a generalization here however I think it is clear that the aforementioned schools do not care about true language acquisition. In recent years I think a number of school have simply been getting read of their language programs and those that do have a program only require a few credits of language and then those languages course are isolated from the Bible/Textual classes which do not even require the use of Biblical language! Of, course this my little rant and a generalization, I would however be pleased to see examples of the contrary but I am not going to hold my breath.

    Grace and Peace

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 2,404

    Think about it how many seminary/theological school trained ministers do you know who can actually pick up volumes like the Biblia Hebraica or the Nestle Aland and sight read from them?

    Well, I admit to not be able to read Biblia Hebraica, but at least did learn to read Greek NT 😉 The latter was also more on my own initiative to continue with further study and practice in the language, as well as being a somewhat languages interested person who not only speaks German rather well as mother tongue but who also has reached a good level of expertise in English, and after that some French as well.

    Having said that, I would nevertheless state that most often I read Bible in German translation or English translation ... having trained myself to carefully read and to rather quickly become aware of things that possibly I should take a closer look at ... sometimes, because the particular translation has a wording that seems odd or plain wrong (contradictory to other passasges), sometimes because the wording seems to not have recognized an idiomatic expression perhaps, or makes reference to something foreign to what I have come to know from my study of Biblical culture and mannerisms, etc.... Comparing the underlying Greek or Hebrew text (e.g. by means of interlinear versions) and/or other translations quite often already prove helpful to better understand a passage and/or to clear up what seemed "difficult".

  • C McC Mc Posts: 3,539

    Wolfgang,

    Let's not get lost here. What I mean is that one needs to pay close attention to words, wordings, and context of any given text. e.g. words like "love," "fear," or "hear" sometimes translate more than one Hebrew or Greek word and in some cases may have more than one meaning.

    Like in the English language, depending on the context, the word "LOVE" may express:

    -- Fondness ("I love ice cream")

    -- Preference ("I love German cars")

    -- Endearment ("I love my child, wife, husband, mother, etc.")

    -- Religious devotion ("I love Jesus")

    -- even sex ("They made love to one another")

    The grammatical principle or clues requires the Teacher to understand the meaning of words in their immediate context as well as in the larger context of the Bible. In addition, one should note conjunctions and adverbs mark the place where the author made a transition. Such as:

    -- In English: “then,” “therefore,” “wherefore,” “but,” “nevertheless,” or “meanwhile.”

    -- In Greek: attention to the words oun, de, kai, tote, or dio.

     The focus on individual words and details to uncover what the author meant to say. Once you have the original setting, explore the author’s language. The writer uses the language of his past. We can drill down later in more details. CM

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,948

    A comment from one who does NOT have original language skills about the usefulness and/or necessity of such skills in one's engagement with the Bible.

    In my view, original languages are a blessing and can add to a reader's understanding, but they are not at all necessary. Were they necessary, billions of Bible readers - people we often call "the laity," as well as countless pastors - wasted their devotional time, their personal and group Bible study time, and their time following along in their Bibles as preachers, teachers, and perhaps authors who had not employed original language skills in the preparation of their presentations offered insights into texts.

    I think original language skills add to one's understanding, but do not create that understanding. Modern translations are excellent. Not perfect! But excellent for sure. Yes, there are texts that demand attention to the original languages because translator bias often distorts the meaning of the words (e.g. the Hebrew word "almah" in Isaiah 7.14) but in the main, through the years God has inspired teams of skilled, faithful people to create accurate, accessible records of God's Word for humanity. To argue that original languages are necessary, it seems to me, inappropriately diminishes the significance of God's work through those translations.

    To put it another way: An imperfect Bible translation that a person actually reads is FAR better than an original languages Bible that a person does not read.

    I analogize this issue to photography in the following way: I am passionate about photography. I know, understand, and regularly apply photography theory to manipulate the settings on advanced cameras to create quality images. My wife, who does not know (or care about!) photography theory or camera settings, uses the camera in her cell phone to create quality images. Are my images "better" than hers? Yes, usually, when judged by the standards of photography theory. But her images are eminently useful - often creative - and justifiably bring her satisfaction. So is knowledge of photography theory necessary to take great pictures? No. (darn it!) Useful? YES! Helpful? YES! A blessing? YES! Necessary? No. I make the same form of argument when it comes to original language skills.


    [By the way, I DO use at least some of the original language tools I have in my Logos installation. I am NOT opposed to original languages skills, and in fact respect and admire people who have them. I just don't find them necessary to engage the biblical text to a productive result.]

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 2,404

    Modern translations are excellent. Not perfect! But excellent for sure.

    Hmn ... I would say that some are excellent, others are so far removed from the source text that one might call them adaptations rather than translations. Actually, looking over German translations, I would say that good ones were done already quite some time ago by rather God-fearing translators whereas others done by put together committees reflect far too much theological bias of the Bible society or publishing house

    Yes, there are texts that demand attention to the original languages because translator bias often distorts the meaning of the words (e.g. the Hebrew word "almah" in Isaiah 7.14) but in the main, through the years God has inspired teams of skilled, faithful people to create accurate, accessible records of God's Word for humanity. To argue that original languages are necessary, it seems to me, inappropriately diminishes the significance of God's work through those translations.

    I would be careful with expressions such as "God has inspired ..." when it comes to translations, as I would reserve a God-inspiration to those writers to whom God originally revealed and whom he inspired to write the texts of the Scriptures. Translators obviously make errors in translation, in part because they lack the proper understanding of the source text which they endeavor to translate ... and I don't think one could then attribute such mistakes to God having inspired them to be in the text.

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,948

    @Wolfgang posted:

    Hmn ... I would say that some are excellent, others are so far removed from the source text that one might call them adaptations rather than translations. Actually, looking over German translations, I would say that good ones were done already quite some time ago by rather God-fearing translators whereas others done by put together committees reflect far too much theological bias of the Bible society or publishing house

    Forgive my casual use of the term, but I find your use of the word "adaptations" to be inspired. A thoughtful, even provocative, choice, Wolfgang. Thanks.


    I would be careful with expressions such as "God has inspired ..." when it comes to translations, as I would reserve a God-inspiration to those writers to whom God originally revealed and whom he inspired to write the texts of the Scriptures. Translators obviously make errors in translation, in part because they lack the proper understanding of the source text which they endeavor to translate ... and I don't think one could then attribute such mistakes to God having inspired them to be in the text.

    Here you and I probably disagree. I don't view God "inspired" writings as necessarily error-free because of the human agency responsible for those writings. I believe all Scripture is inspired - God breathed - but I don't believe it is error-free. (e.g. the sequence of temptations in Matthew's and Luke's accounts of that scene, for example)

  • MitchellMitchell Posts: 553
    edited January 29

    Greetings

    I like your in my opinion great attitude Wolfgang! If you do not mind sharing what factors or reason lead you to your plan of action I would be more than interested to hear them.

    Bill my point wasn't directed at laity but rather at the seminaries the professionals whose job it is to teach the Bible. Just as one would not take Doctor seriously who had not studied anatomy, biology, or medicine I have my doubts about Bible teachers who can not access/engage with the Biblical text for themselves but rely on 2nd hand and third hand informants. If a couple hired professional photographer for their wedding and showed up with only a disposable point and shoot film camera do you think it would go over well? (Not dissing film here! I loved medium format and full format reversal films even the small 35 millimeter film with the right lenses can get the job done in the right hands).

    However, I do find you answer interesting. I have not done any statistic on this but from anecdotal experience (which might be misleading) it seems to me that Anglophones in general tend not to value foreign language acquisition enough to actually put forth the effort at it. (this is no criticism only my observation and I accept that I could be wrong in fact I hope I am). In other-words it seem to me that attitude that foreign language it's necessary is one that anglophones would tend to hold to.

    During almost two decades in Japan I have met a lot of anglophones who at some level cognitively accept that learning Japanese might be important but very few who have actually put forth the time and effort need to acquire the language. The majority of individuals I have met who have actually made progress are those from areas of the world outside the anglosphere. At the current company I work for I always do my best to encourage any of new staff from aboard to learn Japanese language and culture if they have not already done so. I can count on one hand the number of anglophones who have taken up the challenge, the rest who did where from places like Italy, Germany, Russia, or the Philippines.

    Is it necessary to learn Japanese language and culture to live in Japan? (or for that matter to learn the language of whatever country you happen to be living in?) No of course not, that does not negate the usefulness of doing so. In my opinion doing so will better one's quality of life, interpersonal relationships, and employment opportunities.

    Back to the topic of Biblical language I want to share the following:

    BROTHERS, BITZER WAS A BANKER https://www.uu.edu/centers/biblical/documents/piper/bitzer.pdf

    The Minister and His Greek Testament (Machen) https://www.opc.org/machen/MachenGreek.html

    The Minister’s Use of His Greek New Testament ( A. T. Robertson) http://ntresources.com/blog/?page_id=2497


    Grace and Peace

    Post edited by Mitchell on
  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 2,404

    @Mitchell posted

    I like your in my opinion great attitude Wolfgang! If you do not mind sharing what factors or reason lead you to your plan of action I would be more than interested to hear them.

    I would say that several factors were involved in my plan and efforts to learn biblical languages to the degree I then did. During time at Bible college (which I attended for 3 years) I was most interested in classes which appeared to be concerned with teaching students certain general tools in order to equip them better for their own study ... thus biblical language courses were at the forefront, classes about historical background of Bible times, about customs and manners of the people at Bible times, etc. were next in line ... whereas I treated "theological" or "dogmatic" classes with a lot less interest.

    Since I was adapt with languages from high school on (learning English and French as foreign languages), I had the aim and drive to not just learn three words or sentences, but to become fluent in those languages with vocabulary and grammar, etc., this field of study was certainly more of interest than maths and physics. I lived in the USA in the late 70ies for three years, after returning to Germany have worked as a translator (English<>German), and on the side have kept up my interest and study of the Scriptures with believers of various theological backgrounds having been theologically independent of groups or churches since mid 1980ies and taking full responsibility for what I believe and what I share with others when studying together or sharing views and understanding etc. Not being affiliated with a denominational church or group usually shows in that my posts point pretty much straight forward to Biblical text, language and terms used, searching for true understanding from text, context and scope of Scripture and basically never relying on theologically or dogmatically influenced commentaries.

    Hope this helps

  • C McC Mc Posts: 3,539

    # 3. Third, Scripture contains a diversity of types of literature. The Bible is written in not just one kind of literature, but it contains a wide variety:

    • Apocalypses
    • Biographical sketches
    • Chronicles
    • Drama
    • Genealogies
    • Laws
    • Letters
    • Narrative history
    • Parables
    • Prophetic oracles
    • Proverbs
    • Riddles
    • Sermons 

    In order to understand a passage of the Bible, it is helpful to know the type of literature it is. Coming back to the illustration, it does make a difference to know the type of correspondence we have discovered.

    • Is it an official letter (from the government, a lawyer, an employer, an employee, etc.)?
    • Is it a personal letter (from or to a spouse, family member, friend, penpal)?
    • Is it a telegram, postcard, greeting card (Christmas, anniversary, birthday, get well), invitation card?
    • Is it a suicide note, a will, an invoice, a memo?

    Understanding the type of correspondence and its characteristics can help us to understand better the intended message. Similarly, knowing what type of literature a biblical passage is, can help us to more fully understand the message. Ever rightly dividing the Word. CM

  • C McC Mc Posts: 3,539

    @Bill_Coley said:

    "... I believe all Scripture is inspired - God breathed - but I don't believe it is error-free. (e.g. the sequence of temptations in Matthew's and Luke's accounts of that scene, for example)".

    Wow, an Almighty God superintended "inspired", "error"?

    Mr. Bill (or surrogate),

    Which of the fives theories of inspiration, do you speak of? Is not inspiration guarantees the accuracy of that which is revealed? How does the human authors' words become God's word? CM

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 2,404

    Understanding the type of correspondence and its characteristics can help us to understand better the intended message. Similarly, knowing what type of literature a biblical passage is, can help us to more fully understand the message. Ever rightly dividing the Word. CM

    I would not put that much emphasis on the outward literary form of a text passage, because it is NOT the outward form (poem, narrative, sermon, etc.) which determines the content, rather the content is independent and the same content could be expressed in different litereary formats.

    Reading the content of the passage and carefully examining what the text actually says are key issues.

  • C McC Mc Posts: 3,539

    Nice articles, Mitch.

    There is a Greek Testament in Logos that can be read devotionally. I speak of:

    This text helps students (and professors) keep their study of Greek a deeply Spiritual experience. The book includes fifty-two short devotions drawn from select passages throughout the Greek New Testament. A diverse group of authors, all experts in the area of New Testament Greek exegesis, offer a varied collection of devotions. Some insights focus on particular words and their role in the passage, while others highlight background studies or provide a theological reading of the passage. Some contributions diagram the passage, others trace important literary patterns such as chiasms, and still others draw attention to the connections between the Old and New Testaments. Each devotion draws students into translating a short passage and understanding why this or that insight matters greatly for our life and ministry.

    I heard of a professor who read a benediction in Greek after a service and many of the Greek/non-Greek students said he was showing off. Sad. Most readers of text, on computers, read only the letter of Greek and not the words. Even in the above source. Is there a software, text or reader that will read the words of a Greek or Hebrew text? CM

    SOURCE:

    Duvall, J. S., & Verbrugge, V. D. (Eds.). (2012). Devotions on the Greek New Testament: 52 Reflections to Inspire & Instruct (p. 11). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

  • C McC Mc Posts: 3,539

    @Mitchell said:

    " I doubt the integrity of any pulpit minister/preacher who can not read the Bible in the original . . . How I wonder can such an individual stand before a congregation claiming to teach authoritatively..."

    Mitch, could it be that one does so at the direction and the command of Jesus? The Spirit gives gifts as He wills. Whom God calls and endows a man is his business. At the same this doesn't keep a man from learning more. It seems to be the we ore to obey God's directions (thought healing/preaching) bring disciples to Christ and he teaches or wait until Christ teach the disciples. Mitch consider the text below:

    They are to heal people of “every disease and sickness,” as did Jesus, and they are to “preach” the good news (10:7, their message being the same as John’s and Jesus’; cf. 3:2; 4:17). The fundamental download for us today is to see that “our” ministries are not ours. They are none other than Jesus’ ministry, and our calling is to extend Jesus and Jesus’ ministry into the world.

    But why is “teaching” missing from chapter 10? Surely Matthew, as careful a writer as he was, did not forget that Jesus also taught (4:23; 9:35). Most likely the omission is a result of Jesus’  p 20 knowing that the disciples were not yet sufficiently informed to be teachers. So they must be prepared. Though Jesus does indicate that someday his disciples will teach (cf. 13:51–52), it is not until his full teaching has been explained, his Passion has been endured, his resurrection has been experienced, and his ascension is about to occur that he finally tells his disciples they are to be teachers—teaching what Jesus commanded (28:16–20).

    The unlearned disciples of Jesus were to "heal people of “every disease and sickness,” as did Jesus, and they are to “preach” the good news (10:7, their message being the same as John’s and Jesus’; cf. 3:2; 4:17). They were to teach later those things Jesus "commanded" (28:16–20). Read the full text for yourself. If you don't have it, I'll send it to you. Thanks. CM

     Duvall, J. S., & Verbrugge, V. D. (Eds.). (2012). Extending Jesus (Matthew 4:23; 9:35; 10:1,. In Devotions on the Greek New Testament: 52 Reflections to Inspire & Instruct (pp. 19–20). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 2,404
    edited January 31

    I heard of a professor who read a benediction in Greek after a service and many of the Greek/non-Greek students said he was showing off. Sad.

    What was the purpose of him reading out loud the Greek text benediction? If the students did not understand what he was actually saying, there was no profit to doing so .... If his purpose announced beforehand was simply to give the students and opportunity to hear part of a Greek text (even if it is foreign to them), that might be a different story.

    Is there a software, text or reader that will read the words of a Greek or Hebrew text? CM

    You could try either of the following .... I just found the links via a search, but I have not visited those websites

    Free Greek Audio Bible – Christ the Truth

    KoineGreek.com: Audio and video materials - Koine Greek, New ...


  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 1,948

    @Mitchell posted:

    Bill my point wasn't directed at laity but rather at the seminaries the professionals whose job it is to teach the Bible. Just as one would not take Doctor seriously who had not studied anatomy, biology, or medicine I have my doubts about Bible teachers who can not access/engage with the Biblical text for themselves but rely on 2nd hand and third hand informants. If a couple hired professional photographer for their wedding and showed up with only a disposable point and shoot film camera do you think it would go over well? (Not dissing film here! I loved medium format and full format reversal films even the small 35 millimeter film with the right lenses can get the job done in the right hands).

    In my view, you may not have directed your previous posts at laypeople, but the impact of the sledge hammer critique they offered of pastors who don't engage the biblical text in its original form (e.g. you "doubt the integrity of any pulpit minister/preacher who can not read the Bible in the original, who failed to study the cultural and near eastern context that the Bible was produced in") surely affects laypeople. If pastors who teach/preach without original language skills can't be trusted to present the Word, how can laypeople - most who lack whatever Bible college or seminary training those pastors have - have ANY hope of discerning the Word in their devotional reading or personal/group studies? Why should those lay folks even try?

    I've led countless Bible studies over my 37 years in ministry, studies in which one of my principal objectives was to equip people to read, process, and interpret Scripture for themselves. The Sunday group I'm currently leading through an exhaustive study of the biblical witness as to who Jesus was has developed wonderful skills of observation and identification in the first seven months of our journey. They have figured out which words and phrases are germane to the issues we're pursuing, and they're learning how to catalog those identifications along side, and sometimes in tension with, those gleaned from previous texts. ALL of that maturation of their biblical facility has happened without original language skills.

    By NO MEANS do I reject or criticize original language skills!! But I dissent strongly from your view that the integrity of preachers and teachers without them can't be trusted.


    Is it necessary to learn Japanese language and culture to live in Japan? (or for that matter to learn the language of whatever country you happen to be living in?) No of course not, that does not negate the usefulness of doing so. In my opinion doing so will better one's quality of life, interpersonal relationships, and employment opportunities.

    I concur completely with your view of the value of knowing the language of where you live, but I don't think the analogy fits well to the question of original languages in Scripture. In my view, a more accurate analogy is living in a land where you don't speak the native language, but you have a phone app which through your bluetooth ear buds feeds you a very good translation of every spoken and written word around you. NOT perfect! Not imbued with all the nuance and character the original language. But very accurate, and more than sufficient for you to function in and contribute to the community in which you reside. I propose such is the facility today's English language translations offer laypeople and those who serve as their pastors and teachers.

Sign In or Register to comment.