PDA

View Full Version : The inner war



Nateskate
11-29-2006, 06:07 PM
This is a reply to another post on another thread concerning Christians and sexual behaviors. Since it is so long, I put it on this new thread.

Jesus actually gave a standard so high and impossible- in that it goes against our nature. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus addressed our "thoughts" and not simply actions. Sin starts as a thought, and seeks to find expression in actions, but it is still sin even if never expressed in actions. The point of saying this was not to make us feel horrible, but so that we would realize part of our nature is hostile to God and his purposes. Unless Jesus said this, we would assume "hey...we all feel these feelings...they must be natural...then it's okay..."

Jesus said that the Spirit would convict us (convince us) of sin. In other words, we do not start out in life being convinced that certain things are wrong. They are so a part of our nature- natural to do- we don't have any feelings contrary to doing it- at least by the time we reach puberty. Telling lies is quite natural to us. Coveting is quite natural. Lust and anger are not hard to muster. They are hard to master.

The world at large may think that if it feels natural- do it, but this is not what is expressed from one end to the other of the Old Testament to the end of the New Testament.

Concerning "What did Jesus say about sexual behaviors". Well, some things were spelled out directly, but others were said in rather sweeping statements. Jesus specifically said he did not come to abolish the law, but to fulfill the laws. And when he said this, he was clarifying that God didn't expect less from us, but more from us. Those who taught otherwise would be called least in the kingdom of heaven.

What Laws did Jesus fulfill - all laws pertaining to righteousness or right standing before God- this included the sacrificial laws- the final sacrifice...the atonement for sins. So Christians do not offer perpetual sin offerings. This does not mean no other Law was spared, and now anything goes.

"Thou shall not commit adultery" was not abolished by Christianity. As seen with Mary, the woman caught in adultery, Jesus offered mercy to her, but he did not speak against the Law. In a sense, he was saying, "Since all are convicted of breaking the Law, we need to be more merciful- wanting to see people restored instead of condemned." When he said, "Go and sin no more..." he added, "lest something far worse befall you..." Jesus implied that sin itself had a sting, and that wanton disregard for sinful behavior carried a penalty. Paul said in Galatians that whatever a man sows, that shall he also reap. That is Old Testament. Behaviors bring outcomes in this life, and some in the life to come.

Jesus clarified the interpretation of Laws and their purpose (to convict us of what was in our hearts)- but insofar as moral codes, Jesus did not lighten them, he made them harder to follow. It's far easier not to touch than it is to think about touching. It is far easier not to murder than it is not to hate or have contempt for others.

We tend to want to base rules of behavior according to the standards of what seem reasonable to us- not taking into account that our filters are broken- the way we see the world and justice. James implied that our natures are hostile to God. The Apostle John said the same thing, that the lust of the eye, the lust of the flesh, and the pride of life (the primary motivations of most human actions) rob us of love of God. If these are our primary motivations, then the love of God is not in us. Not "God's love for us", but if those are our primary motivations, we are not loving God.

We all have contrary desires. A part of us is forever rebellious towards God's purposes- but in choosing, we operate by a higher principle- Thy kingdom come and Thy will be done." God's will is often against our nature. Jesus said, "Unless you take up your own cross and deny yourself...you cannot be my disciple..." (Paraphrased) This meant, if you want to really follow Jesus and learn from him, you will be forced into situations of doing what you don't want to do (taking up your cross) and into situations where you don't do what you feel like doing (deny yourself). It isn't rocket science, but it's hard to actually do.

Nowhere in the New Testament are we told that "what is natural is good", rather we are told that our nature is at war with God. Jesus told the disciples, "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak...pray therefore that you do not enter into temptation..."

In other words, we all have two sides. The important side of our nature is called the "will". This is that place in our hearts that prioritises what is most important to us. The spirit is WILLING- means that some of us really want to do what God wants us to do, when our hearts decide to put God's purpose above what our flesh wants to do. The flesh doesn't want to get up to pray, or go to prison to visit, or go to visit that person in the mental hospital. It wants to sleep in and eat cake all day, when we are not entertaining ourselves to death.

The flesh never stops wanting/desiring. Paul said in Galatians that the Spirit (God's Spirit in us) WARS against the FLESH. One part of all humans wants to do evil, always, as long as we are alive and breathing. This is natural, but only insofar as our nature is a fallen nature. Paul declared that sin was ALWAYS close at hand. He had to wrestle with that side. (See Romans chapter seven).

The difference between that wish to do God's will and carnal minds (which also exist in the church) that do not want to do God's will, is not the nature we share. Whether we want to do God's will or avoid it, it still exists.

What separates the two is only this, where our WILL lines up. Thy will or MY will? Do we want to please God and overcome desires to act foolishly or selfishly, whatever may be our inclinations? Or do we see life as a merry-go-round where winning is having all the metaphorical cake and pie we can grab? Jesus was more than a Savior (as we see him) he was also an example. The Bible said though he was God, he emptied himself, and not only became a human, but came in the form of a servant (slave) He surrendered his "will" to the Father's will. In Hebrews chapter 12 it implies that he had no joy in thoughts of going to the cross, and in fact despised the shame. But he did it for the sake of his Father- and the world (our belief)

Still, in Hebrews 12 it tells us that we have to make an act of the will to make straight paths, and that there is a sin that clings to us- meaning it is really easy for us to mess up and fall. But it also tells us that God chastens us- as children- for our good.

God's call is not easy. He aspires for us to return to "His Image and His Likeness", what we had in the beginning, but fell from as a species. This means our wills is not to give in to that nature that clings to us. (If we want to grow spiritually and emotionally).

BruceJ
11-29-2006, 09:52 PM
Again, well put, Nate. Not much to add to this. The underlying question now is "who has ears to hear." Christian maturity dictates the plane at which we respond to our faith because it's the plane at which we understand it. Were that we were all operating at least on the plane where your post is.

Keep writing...and teaching.

Nateskate
11-30-2006, 03:51 AM
Again, well put, Nate. Not much to add to this. The underlying question now is "who has ears to hear." Christian maturity dictates the plane at which we respond to our faith because it's the plane at which we understand it. Were that we were all operating at least on the plane where your post is.

Keep writing...and teaching.

I can only worry about my own hearing- laughs- and spelling!

Bruce, there is something to be said for maturity and experience. But Jesus marveled how his Father in Heaven revealed things to babes that the wise and learned couldn't comprehend.

When God revealed himself to me, it was outside the realm of churches and doctrines and dogmas. I couldn't even put into words what I knew at once. God was real and he loved me. I knew at once God was not only good, but merciful and that he liked me.

Most people don't have powerful religious experiences, and still they know the same things. If Jesus did not tell Peter, "Flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father in heaven..." I doubt Peter would have figured that out on his own.

There is something people need to know, those who question the perfection of translations, and the need to break down words into the origional and such. I like to do that because that's my nature, having a teacher's bent- I'm curious about things that bore others. Paul said our "wisdom is imperfect" and "our knowledge is imperfect". We cannot communicate perfect thoughts in perfect words because there is no such thing as a perfect word.

We misunderstand perfectly clear words all the time. Every married person knows this. You can say, "I love you.." and your wife might say, "What do you mean by that!!!"

God is still God. His Holy Spirit is still active. Study is a virtue, as depicted in Proverbs chapters 1-3, and that is mostly how we learn. Still, the Holy Spirit can help us to understand the hardest scriptures. I've seen God reveal truth to people through the shoddiest interpretations, and even without Bibles. Obviously I'm not discounting the value of a good translation, but stressing to people who get bent out of shape (perhaps some will read over our shoulders) over this issue, the more important issue is the state of our heart, not the perfection of translations. Some of the blindest men in history could read and write Aramaic and Greek in their sleep.

BruceJ
11-30-2006, 04:43 PM
I can only worry about my own hearing- laughs- and spelling!

Bruce, there is something to be said for maturity and experience. But Jesus marveled how his Father in Heaven revealed things to babes that the wise and learned couldn't comprehend.

When God revealed himself to me, it was outside the realm of churches and doctrines and dogmas. I couldn't even put into words what I knew at once. God was real and he loved me. I knew at once God was not only good, but merciful and that he liked me.

Most people don't have powerful religious experiences, and still they know the same things. If Jesus did not tell Peter, "Flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but my Father in heaven..." I doubt Peter would have figured that out on his own.

There is something people need to know, those who question the perfection of translations, and the need to break down words into the origional and such. I like to do that because that's my nature, having a teacher's bent- I'm curious about things that bore others. Paul said our "wisdom is imperfect" and "our knowledge is imperfect". We cannot communicate perfect thoughts in perfect words because there is no such thing as a perfect word.

We misunderstand perfectly clear words all the time. Every married person knows this. You can say, "I love you.." and your wife might say, "What do you mean by that!!!"

God is still God. His Holy Spirit is still active. Study is a virtue, as depicted in Proverbs chapters 1-3, and that is mostly how we learn. Still, the Holy Spirit can help us to understand the hardest scriptures. I've seen God reveal truth to people through the shoddiest interpretations, and even without Bibles. Obviously I'm not discounting the value of a good translation, but stressing to people who get bent out of shape (perhaps some will read over our shoulders) over this issue, the more important issue is the state of our heart, not the perfection of translations. Some of the blindest men in history could read and write Aramaic and Greek in their sleep.

I agree wholeheartedly, but will elaborate on two points.

Not sure if the reflection on your condition when God first got your attention relates to my comment on spiritual maturity, but if so, I feel the need to clarify two things: (1) if it came across as an elitist comment, it certainly was not meant as such. Scripture makes clear reference to those still requiring milk and those who should be at the meat stage. Your depth of analysis and philosophical probing shows you've spent a lot of time in Scripture and in prayer, and (2) I'd affirm that we're all at the baby stage in our Christianity when we're 'born anew', although everyone's experience is different and the discipleship/maturation rate after that conversion likewise varies by individual. And very true, few, I believe, have the 'Road to Damascus' experience. I certainly did not.

Regarding the application of linguistics to hermeneutics, I absolutely love the discipline. I worked as a Russian interpreter/translator for 12 years, lived in Greece and Germany and have self-taught Biblical Hebrew and Koine Greek. My Arland-Nestle Greek or my BHS goes with me to church right along with my NASB, depending upon what the study is on, because I so enjoy and value the contemporaneous languages of both Testaments. None of that is meant to be self-congratulatory or boasting in any way, but just a quick note on my background and love for languages. My emphasis on the discipline, though, is that it needs to be applied holistically and consistently. Pope's "a little learning is a dangerous thing" is quite applicable here and I've seen--and been guilty myself of--well intentioned misapplication of the art in hermeneutics. So often linguistic analysis stops with someone pulling their Thayer's off the shelf and looking up a single word in a passage, and then--again, in a well intentioned effort to delve into the Word--essentially derail the study by laying out all the possible translations of the word irrespective of cotext, context, word order, literary rhetorical devices, etc. etc. etc. that all combine to give a passage its intended meaning. Hugging my Thayer's or Vine's is a good start, but only a start. Hence my comments to the posting in the other thread. (Although, reading back through it, I probably came across too pedantically or lecturing. A pitfall of the spritual gift of a teacher. Perhaps I owe the other member an apology.)

Finally, (okay, three points of elaboration...:) ), your reference to the work of the Spirit in any attempt to discern spiritual matters is spot on (1 Cor. 2:12ff) and to study is essential (2 Tim. 2:15). It's equally important to do it well, realize and respect our limitations, and approach the Scriptures with integrity (i.e., without our own agenda, seeking only God's). To do so points to the state of the heart, as you say. The ultimate translation is the Spirit, without whom none of the above is really even possible to any degree of efficacy.

This make sense?

Nateskate
11-30-2006, 05:27 PM
I agree wholeheartedly, but will elaborate on two points.

This make sense?

Morning Bruce. I'm glad you brought this up. I will tend to overstate a point, and you brought it back into balance. Solomon said we should seek insight, knowledge, wisdom and understanding as if searching for treasure. To not do so will lead to calamaty and foolish choice and hurt.

People that rely wholey on spiritual experience to define spiritual truth are most open to spiritual deception. Spiritual experiences (lightbulb experiences) fade. They also can come from more than one source. Scripture admonishes us to test them, no matter how real they seem.

In my own experience, immature people that have had true spiritual experiences, even miracles happen in their lives, are often stunted in growth because they mistakenly thought that was the end of the journey, when it was only the beginning.

Subjective truth must bow to objective truth. Scripture warns that every issue must be established by the mouths of 2-3 witnesses. And so, if God has said, or is saying something, he will confirm it by many sources. One person should not determine their experience trumps all other revealed truth. That leads to far out flakes and cults.

The most dangerous people are those who don't understand this principle and think they are the lightening rod of God's voice- thus saith the lord...They get puffed up with pride, and never doubt their discernment. Danger, danger, Will Robinson!

The wisdom of God is peaceable. And Hebrews tells us that there are many witnesses. Moses, Elijah, Jeremiah. That's why we have multiple Gospels- they are witnesses. John wrote what he saw and heard, and had been privvy to knowledge the others didn't have, because he became Mary's caretaker at the foot of the cross. So he includes the wedding of Cannan account in his Gospel. Jesus constantly quoted O.T scriptures to validate a point. "It was said..."

Concerning study: For the record, I've taken whole paragraphs and not only broken down words, but I looked at the words that these words came from. The name Jerusalem is a fascinating study, because it metaphorically means so many things. But I did that when studying roots of bitterness in Hebrews. I read Josephus-fascinating. Haley's Bible Handbook- fascinating commentary on archaeology. I read books that bore people. Perhaps I say some things that bore people. But it interests some.

So, my point is not that we should cast off study for a life of seeking spiritual revelation through experiences. Those kinds of people almost always end up out of balance. God made us to be a body- and he speaks through many for a balanced voice.

The Bible is a two-edged sword, in that there is a wounding side and a healing side. Balance is recognizing that if God does not open our eyes, spiritual study can be an exercise in pride- and pride blinds. The more God shows us, the more humble we need to become, or we become accidents waiting to happen.

God gives grace to the humble. God resists the proud (See James 4). God chose the foolish things of this world to confound the wise- (See 1 Corinthians). Our faith is through Grace (Ephesians). But God gives grace to the Humble.

Humble= greater likelihood of receiving spiritual insight- increased faith.
Pride in knowledge puffs up according to Paul- so those who are at most risk for spiritual blind-sides are actually the wisest. They are so smart they harden themselves to listening- "I can figure this out myself in the strength of my own mind."

Well, we who seek truth are in a catch 22. We need to pray for wisdom as clearly stated in James 1. We should seek after wisdom like gold (Proverbs 1-3) Search, seek, listen, submit to it.

And yet, when we get it (Wisdom), we are at most risk of becoming a fool- because without humility- pride sets blindness in motion. Solomon became wise, but wound up doing foolish things that lead to hurt for him and the nation.

The solution? To some degree it isn't us. We may not be able to help our pride. And so you wind up with those Apostle Paul types. He was the Jew of Jews, the Roman of Romans, the Cheif of Sinners. He was the best at being the best and the best at being the worst. He had an innate pride problem.

The solution described in scripture was that God gave Paul a lifetime of great trials and suffering to offset his pride caused by the abundance of revelations given to him.

From the start of Paul's ministry, Jesus said, "I will show him what things he must suffer for my name's sake..." That isn't something any of us would ask for.

BruceJ
11-30-2006, 06:03 PM
Your points are so good, I'd like to respond to each one.

Morning Bruce. I'm glad you brought this up. I will tend to overstate a point, and you brought it back into balance. Solomon said we should seek insight, knowledge, wisdom and understanding as if searching for treasure. To not do so will lead to calamaty and foolish choice and hurt.

Amen! Thus saith Qoheleth! :)

People that rely wholey on spiritual experience to define spiritual truth are most open to spiritual deception. Spiritual experiences (lightbulb experiences) fade. They also can come from more than one source. Scripture admonishes us to test them, no matter how real they seem.

Thrice say I "Amen"! Experience is validated by Scripture, never the other way around. The "burning in our hearts (Luke 24)" could be remnants of last night's pepperoni pizza. That's not to obviate the emotional response to our faith, but you're absolutely right--it must be evaluated in light of Scripture.

In my own experience, immature people that have had true spiritual experiences, even miracles happen in their lives, are often stunted in growth because they mistakenly thought that was the end of the journey, when it was only the beginning.

Our whole society starves for sensationalism. The National Enquirer disappears from grocery store stands at a very disconcerting rate--unless everyone's using it to wrap fish, but I don't think so. Supernatural experiences do happen and I respect them mightily, but my observation of human nature has taught me a measure of skepticism until all the precincts have reported on the event.

Subjective truth must bow to objective truth. Scripture warns that every issue must be established by the mouths of 2-3 witnesses. And so, if God has said, or is saying something, he will confirm it by many sources. One person should not determine their experience trumps all other revealed truth. That leads to far out flakes and cults.

If all Christians took Acts 17:11 to heart, there would likely never have been a Jonestown or a Waco.

The most dangerous people are those who don't understand this principle and think they are the lightening rod of God's voice- thus saith the lord...They get puffed up with pride, and never doubt their discernment. Danger, danger, Will Robinson!

One of Satan's most valuable tools to discredit the Gospel. The benefit of a doubt has me assuming that many of them are unwitting tools, but probably not all.

The wisdom of God is peaceable. And Hebrews tells us that there are many witnesses. Moses, Elijah, Jeremiah. That's why we have multiple Gospels- they are witnesses. John wrote what he saw and heard, and had been privvy to knowledge the others didn't have, because he became Mary's caretaker at the foot of the cross. So he includes the wedding of Cannan account in his Gospel. Jesus constantly quoted O.T scriptures to validate a point. "It was said..."

1 Cor. 14:33. And the "cloud of witnesses" should give us pause to examine what we're doing--accountability.

Concerning study: For the record, I've taken whole paragraphs and not only broken down words, but I looked at the words that these words came from. The name Jerusalem is a fascinating study, because it metaphorically means so many things. But I did that when studying roots of bitterness in Hebrews. I read Josephus-fascinating. Haley's Bible Handbook- fascinating commentary on archaeology. I read books that bore people. Perhaps I say some things that bore people. But it interests some.

There's an excellent book out called Linguistics and Biblical Interpretation. I need to get the author, ISBN etc. for you (it's at home), but if you can get ahold of the book, I think you'd devour it. It does caution against relying too much on etymology--just like it does word studies and standalone lexical semantics--but it doesn't devalue the exercise. Diachronic vs. synchronic approach is pretty important. I don't find your comments boring--or your choice of reading material (witness my book recommendation above ;) ).

So, my point is not that we should cast off study for a life of seeking spiritual revelation through experiences. Those kinds of people almost always end up out of balance. God made us to be a body- and he speaks through many for a balanced voice.

Very definitive qualifications to spiritual gifting as listed in Rom 12, 1 Cor 12 (esp this one) and Eph. 4.

The Bible is a two-edged sword, in that there is a wounding side and a healing side. Balance is recognizing that if God does not open our eyes, spiritual study can be an exercise in pride- and pride blinds. The more God shows us, the more humble we need to become, or we become accidents waiting to happen.

I saw a great poster in a Christian counselor's office once. It was a picture of a Raggedy Ann doll squeezed halfway through the ringers of an old-fashioned ringer washing machine. The caption read, "The truth will set you free--but it will make you miserable first."

God gives grace to the humble. God resists the proud (See James 4). God chose the foolish things of this world to confound the wise- (See 1 Corinthians). Our faith is through Grace (Ephesians). But God gives grace to the Humble.

And I'm so grateful for my wonderful humility. Oh, wait... :D

Humble= greater likelihood of receiving spiritual insight- increased faith.
Pride in knowledge puffs up according to Paul- so those who are at most risk for spiritual blind-sides are actually the wisest. They are so smart they harden themselves to listening- "I can figure this out myself in the strength of my own mind."

This is true. An unfortunate side effect/misapplication of this truth is that many in the evangelical church today scoff at intellectual pursuits in matters of faith. There is a balance between the heart and the mind.

Well, we who seek truth are in a catch 22. We need to pray for wisdom as clearly stated in James 1. We should seek after wisdom like gold (Proverbs 1-3) Search, seek, listen, submit to it.

And yet, when we get it (Wisdom), we are at most risk of becoming a fool- because without humility- pride sets blindness in motion. Solomon became wise, but wound up doing foolish things that lead to hurt for him and the nation.

Perhaps true wisdom carries a kernel of humility, no? I'd love to do a thread on wisdom. Briefly, I view it as not synoymous with learning, but rather the application of learning. Flipping the switch to make potential energy kinetic is the point, in my estimation, where wisdom enters the scene. There have been very learned people who applied their learning in very unwise ways.

The solution? To some degree it isn't us. We may not be able to help our pride. And so you wind up with those Apostle Paul types. He was the Jew of Jews, the Roman of Romans, the Cheif of Sinners. He was the best at being the best and the best at being the worst. He had an innate pride problem.

The difference, and paradoxically, being that he recognized and admitted it. I don't really view the passage out of Thessalonians (I believe it is--don't have my Bible with me) where he lists these attributes as being prideful. I think the cotext and point he's trying to make inject irony into the laundry list of credentials he lays out. But I think you're right: you can't accomplish the things Paul did, say the things he says, etc. without a healthy dose of self-confidence.

The solution described in scripture was that God gave Paul a lifetime of great trials and suffering to offset his pride caused by the abundance of revelations given to him.

From the start of Paul's ministry, Jesus said, "I will show him what things he must suffer for my name's sake..." That isn't something any of us would ask for.

True. You know the old adage about praying for patience...

Thanks for the post, Nate. I really enjoyed it.

BruceJ
11-30-2006, 06:19 PM
I don't really view the passage out of Thessalonians (I believe it is--don't have my Bible with me) where he lists these attributes..

Sorry. Philippians 3. I knew that.... :e2thud:

Nateskate
12-01-2006, 12:23 AM
Wisdom might say "Get humility", but wisdom and character are two different things. That was Solomon's problem. His wisdom was greater than his character and he wound up doing foolish things. Taking on 700 wives and 300 concubines was an accident waiting to happen, and was also against the Mosaic Law. He broke quite a few Mosaic Laws before he pulled the grand sins of building temples to the pagan god of War and the goddess of sex/fertility.

Jesus said, "The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak..." Paul said the flesh wars against the Spirit and the Spirit wars against the flesh, and that he buffetted his own flesh lest it master him.

So, Wisdom without character is still an accident waiting to happen. Wisdom has the ability to see the end of a matter before heading down that road, but being like an addict who can't stop himself from self-destructing, Solomon built these temples because slowly his love of foreign women mastered his good senses. He had to know he was sticking his fork in the toaster and still he did it.

Wisdom without character is shrewdness and cunning- it is weighing the odds of getting away with a poor gamble, because it forgets the laws of sowing and reaping don't allow for getting away with murder.

As Paul said, "If I have all wisdom...but have not love...I am nothing..." Wisdom is a tool. But in the hierarchy of things, "Faith, hope and love abide...the greatest of these is love."

BruceJ
12-01-2006, 08:33 PM
Agreed, wisdom and character are two different beings--first cousins, perhaps, though. It's almost a chicken-or-the-egg debate on which has the most influence on which.

I read of a survey conducted on college campuses several years ago. The question went something like, "If you knew you had AIDS, would you lie to have sex anyway?" Over 60% of the male respondents said yes; over 40% of the females did, too. Knowledge about AIDS is clearly not lacking (and apparently none of the repondents asked, "What's AIDS?"), nor are the ramifications of engaging in sex when you're HIV-positive. So, do we focus on the wisdom--or lack thereof--the 60/40 displayed, and if so, how do we tie that into their characters? They each would have different character, although they may share character traits, like this one. Is poor judgment (i.e., lack of wisdom) an aspect of poor character, or a failing of good--or at least not-so-bad--character?

This is fun. :)

Roger J Carlson
12-01-2006, 10:06 PM
There is something people need to know, those who question the perfection of translations, and the need to break down words into the origional and such. I like to do that because that's my nature, having a teacher's bent- I'm curious about things that bore others. Paul said our "wisdom is imperfect" and "our knowledge is imperfect". We cannot communicate perfect thoughts in perfect words because there is no such thing as a perfect word. Quite true.

And I further contend that if God can inspire the original writers of the scriptures, he can also inspire the translators. God retains control of his Scriptures whether in Hebrew, Greek, German, or English. I believe that there is just as much value in studying the Bible in the vernacular as there is in studying the original texts (which are mostly transcriptions of earlier texts anyway). There would be little use to God's Word if it could only be understood in a language that the majority of the planet cannot read.

That's why I believe that while studying the Scriptures in the original language can be helpful, it is not necessary to discovering God's Truth.

BruceJ
12-01-2006, 10:16 PM
God retains control of his Scriptures whether in Hebrew, Greek, German, or English.
Absolutely. What He creates (or inspires), He sustains (Phil. 1:6, Heb. 1:3, Rev. 1:12-19). His Word would be no different--especially how man has shown what he can do with words.


That's why I believe that while studying the Scriptures in the original language can be helpful, it is not necessary to discovering God's Truth.
Agreed, too, although idiosyncratically I enjoy delving into the ancient languages. But is it necessary? No.

BTW, welcome to the dialog!...er, trilog! :)

Nateskate
12-01-2006, 10:50 PM
Peter and Paul both made emphatic claims regarding inspiration. Still, the same scripture says that the "letter" kills, but the Spirit gives life. It's not our seeing words that makes a difference, it's what our eyes are opened up to see that makes a difference.

Jesus quoted authoritatively from both the Law and Prophets. (At that time these Jewish books were not yet in one big book, but separate scrolls)- you would know, but others might not.

Yet, when it came to application of Law, people knowing and Prophets very well, could still paint themselves into a box. The Saducees brought Jesus one of those brain twister questions about "whose wife will she be in the resurrection..."

These people didn't believe in the resurrection, didn't want to believe in the resurrection and in their minds this question was simply to prove how rediculous the whole life after death thing sounded. They were certain they used the Law to effectively stump Jesus or show him up in front of the onlookers. Jesus answer was that they neither understood the Scripture or the power of God. In heaven there would be no marrying or giving in marraige. 1) In heaven we will be married to Christ/God 2) In heaven we would be in fact genderless like the angels.

So, having a perfect translation, which the many different religious factions had, they added them up wrong, missing the point. The New Testament church has often done the same many times throughout history.

My point wasn't about respect for scripture, but rather the importance of approach to it. What is our heart's attitude??? Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall SEE ...

I took a bit of theology, enough to be aware of higher criticism/skeptics 101, which approaches scripture with a cynical mind bent that no doubt comes up with cynical conclussions. If I don't believe it can happen or did happen, that in fact is my filter for looking at scripture.

But I don't speak against questioning scripture to know where it comes from, because we all have to start wherever we are at. In fact when I approached the Bible I had more than cynicism. My brother brought it home and I was going to tell him off by finding all the contradictions- he was hanging out with some girls in the Jesus movement in the early to mid seventies at that time. Well, it's odd that I'm a Christian and he's not. I didn't believe in inspiration at that time, or know what I believed exactly, but I knew without a doubt, Jesus was more than just another man.

I'd looked "everywhere but Christianity" and became jaded, more atheistic, seeing people who claimed to be a god, who were clearly manipulative, mad or simply misled.

My point is that if we have an earnest desire to know truth- Jesus said that the Spirit would lead us into all truth.


Quite true.

And I further contend that if God can inspire the original writers of the scriptures, he can also inspire the translators. God retains control of his Scriptures whether in Hebrew, Greek, German, or English. I believe that there is just as much value in studying the Bible in the vernacular as there is in studying the original texts (which are mostly transcriptions of earlier texts anyway). There would be little use to God's Word if it could only be understood in a language that the majority of the planet cannot read.

That's why I believe that while studying the Scriptures in the original language can be helpful, it is not necessary to discovering God's Truth.

kdnxdr
02-18-2007, 07:33 PM
I was blessed reading through ya'lls thread.

I thought ya'll might be interested in a couple of books I came across:

How To Read The Bible For All Its Worth
Gordon D. Fee & Douglas Stuart
0-310-24604-0

Discipleship of the Mind
James W. Sire
0-87784-985-4

The Political Meaning of Christianity : The Prophetic Stance
An Interpretation - Glenn Tinder
0-006-250893-8

blessings!

kid

HOUSE ON A ROCK
02-24-2007, 12:31 PM
Good posts...keep with the Word of God. "for the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but shall heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears..."

We live in a day when people are very willing to turn from the Word of God...as in Matt 13...they receive the word, anon with joy, but when tribuation arises and it becomes inconvenient to believe, they fall away.

Now is the time, more than ever before, to hold fast!

God Bless,
The Preacher

Anonymous Traveler
02-25-2007, 02:58 AM
We live in a day when people are very willing to turn from the Word of God...as in Matt 13...they receive the word, anon with joy, but when tribulation arises and it becomes inconvenient to believe, they fall away.

Sadly it has been that way since day six.

I may be headed towards Anglican Ministry and not all goals are attainable but they are approachable. The path He set for me is never ending and there is always something out of reach but worth the effort of trying.