Posted tagged ‘Contemporary Bible’

Changing Words and Theological Adjustments

July 18, 2018

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The word “nice” used to mean silly. The word “awful” conveyed full of awe. In Old English, the word “wench” meant a child.

Centuries ago “clue” was a ball of yarn and “naughty” meant poor or possessing nothing. “Sly” expressed knowing and wise in the 13th century. A “hussy” was a housewife while a “cheater” looked after the King’s land holdings after his death. In our lifetime, we’ve seen the word “gay” change its meaning while “bad” can mean really good.

When studying the Bible, it’s important to understand that words change. The word “hell” meant a place of protection or to cover as recently as the 1600’s. In Proto-Indo-European “hel” was the root for helmet, hill, and hall. A “hellure” placed potatoes under cover, into the ground to grow. In the 7th century sheol and hades were replaced with “hell,” which had a hopeful or positive sense at the time. Sheol and hades simply meant a place of rest or waiting for resurrection.

Other words have tremendously differing meanings than when they first entered English bible translations, such as justice, judgment, eternal and wrath. A careful re-evaluation of the true meanings of these words will drastically change our understanding of modern theology.

Mike Owens
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None Know Enough

June 25, 2017

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None of us know enough to be dogmatic. All that we wisest can say is, “At the present time, such and such appears to be true”; if we be wise, we add, “But fuller knowledge may make a change of opinion necessary.”

Miles Hanson
Post Office Mission #4 (1925)
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Understanding Scripture

July 28, 2016

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It shall greatly help thee to understand scripture, if thou mark not only what is spoken or written, but of whom, and unto whom, with what words, at what time, where, to what intent, with what circumstance, considering what goeth before, and what followeth after.

Miles CoverdaleMiles Coverdale (1488-1568)
Coverdale Bible (Prologue to the Reader, 1535)
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Tyndale’s Task

September 19, 2015

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Among the memorable words of William Tyndale, to whom the English speaking people owe more than any other man for their versions of the Scriptures, the following are characteristic.

In his first preface he imposes this task upon his readers:

… that if they perceived in any place that the version has not attained unto the very sense of the tongue or the very meaning of Scripture, or have not given the right English word, that they should put to their hands and amend it, remembering that so it is their duly to do.

Though he was the first English scholar to translate directly from the Hebrew and Greek, he himself eagerly embraced opportunities of revising his own work. This is the spirit which actuated his successors, whose learning never led them into the pitfall of infallibility.

KnochA.E. Knoch (1874-1965)
Unsearchable Riches, Vol. 5, page 41

The Fixed Ideas of Religious Notions

September 14, 2015

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Old notions of every kind, and most of all religious notions, are hard to dislodge from the mind. It does not matter how unscriptural they may be, or illogical, or even absurd, if only they have been believed for generations, if only they have been entertained by good and learned men, if only they have found a way into the current versions of the Bible, they are reverently received, and become “fixed” ideas.

The original Scriptures were divinely inspired, and therefore all of their statements on a given subject are in full accord one with another; but the translations of the Scriptures, like the ecclesiastical systems which produced them, were not inspired, and the peculiar reverence frequently given to their opinions is not grounded in reasons, and would often be amusing if it were not sad. Traditions of good men and current versions (even though “authorized”) are broken reeds to lean upon, and those relying thereon are certain to experience disappointment.

Vladimir GelesnoffVladimir Gelesnoff (1877-1921)
Unsearchable Riches, Vol. 5, page 241

Chapter and Verse Divisions

May 5, 2015

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Our Bible’s chapter and verse divisions allow us to locate and reference a particular portion of Scripture quickly; but we must always keep in mind as we read and study the Bible that these divisions are in fact man-made.

The first English edition to use chapter numbers was Wycliffe’s version of 1382. Verse divisions in the Greek New Testament were introduced by Robert Stephanus of Paris in 1551. The Latin Vulgate edition of 1555 was the first entire Bible to use chapter and verse numbers; the first English New Testament to contain them was the Geneva Bible of 1560. (Eugene H. Glassman, The Translation Debate, 1981, page 37)

C2Pilkington-4Clyde L. Pilkington, Jr.

Honest Questions

April 25, 2015

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In considering any subject, because of traditions and prejudices, we must exercise great care if we are to be honest in dealing with them. We should examine our beliefs by some questions such as these:

Are my beliefs and practices based upon the revelation God has given?

Do my beliefs and practices come from the Word, or have I read them into it?

Are my beliefs and practices the fruit of considering all the truth, or are they based upon consideration of only part of it?

Have I gone to the Word to secure the truth, or did I go to it to find support for opinions and practices already determined upon?

If upon turning to the Word to consider all that is revealed there I should be granted the truth as a result, would I receive it, walk in it and be willing to accept all the consequences that come from following such a course? Or, would I put it aside because it clashed with my established views and practices?

Otis Q SellersOtis Q. Sellers
The Word of Truth, Vol. 8, No. 3, 1945

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