Category Archives: Lessons

The Gospel of John: Part 11 The Bride

John 3:22–36 (ESV) — 22 After this Jesus and his disciples went into the Judean countryside, and he remained there with them and was baptizing. 23 John also was baptizing at Aenon near Salim, because water was plentiful there, and people were coming and being baptized 24 (for John had not yet been put in prison). 25 Now a discussion arose between some of John’s disciples and a Jew over purification. 26 And they came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, he who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you bore witness—look, he is baptizing, and all are going to him.” 27 John answered, “A person cannot receive even one thing unless it is given him from heaven. 28 You yourselves bear me witness, that I said, ‘I am not the Christ, but I have been sent before him.’ 29 The one who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is now complete. 30 He must increase, but I must decrease.” 31 He who comes from above is above all. He who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks in an earthly way. He who comes from heaven is above all. 32 He bears witness to what he has seen and heard, yet no one receives his testimony. 33 Whoever receives his testimony sets his seal to this, that God is true. 34 For he whom God has sent utters the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. 35 The Father loves the Son and has given all things into his hand. 36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever does not obey the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God remains on him.

 

This is one of those sections that when I first look at it I have to ask myself, how am I going to teach that? It first seems like there isn’t much to say, but as I prayerfully read it themes start jumping out at me. As I study it I start to see that there is a lot more here than originally meets the eye. The bible tells us that Jesus talked in parables so that some would not understand. The bible does that also, when we look at a piece like this or a genealogy and forget that it is the inspired word of God, then we do not realize that God is talking to us through the scripture.

So the first thing happening here is Jesus’ disciples are baptizing followers and so is John. I know that it says Jesus was baptizing, but John makes sure we understand that it was not Jesus but His disciples in Chapter 4.

 (although Jesus himself did not baptize, but only his disciples),John 4:2 (ESV)

 The Scene  

So let’s picture what is going on.  John is baptizing at Aenon near Salim. More than likely we are talking about some springs (Aenon means springs) near the city of Salim. While it is disputed exactly where this is if you look at a map you can see the the two areas Aenon and Salim listed next too each other a little east of the Jordan river a little past the halfway point between the Dead Sea and the Seas of Gaillee.

We see a disciple of John talking to some Jews who have recently been listening to Jesus preach. They brag about his preaching and talk about His baptism. They argue over the differences in John’s baptism and the Jewish purification rites. The Jews had regulations on what made a person unclean and therefore needing purification by washing.

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The Gospel of John Part 10: The Believers

John 3:10-20 (ESV) —
Last time we studied a nighttime meeting of Jesus and Nicodemus, Today we will finish the dialogue that was started then. We discussed what it means to be born again and Nicky was having a hard time understanding it. Let’s move on and see what Jesus has to say.
“Are you the teacher of Israel and yet you do not understand these things? 11 Truly, truly, I say to you, we speak of what we know, and bear witness to what we have seen, but you do not receive our testimony. 12 If I have told you earthly things and you do not believe, how can you believe if I tell you heavenly things? 13 No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man.
The first thing that jumps out is that Jesus is speaking in the plural. We speak, we know, we have seen, our testimony. This is because Jesus is showing the Trinity; The father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. All three persons of the Godhead are part of the New Birth. The last example Jesus gave was how the Holy Spirit works like the wind. You can’t see it, but you see its effects. Nick does not understand this earthly example so how can he understand the things of Heaven.

The Son of Man
Now Jesus is going to try and make it even simpler for Nicodemus. No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. That clears it right up. Right?In Chapter 7 of the book of Daniel, he is having vision at night and he sees the end of times. He sees Satan cast into the lake of fire and the books opened up.
Then behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And to him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all peoples, nations, and languages should serve him; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom one that shall not be destroyed. (Daniel 7:13-14)
He sees God on his throne and suddenly on the clouds appears one that appears to be an ordinary man, yet God gives him all authority and glory. No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. With this verse Jesus just said I have been sent from heaven, because I am the one that God the Father is giving all glory to. I am the Son of Man Daniel prophesied about. Nicky would have caught and understood this reference.

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The Gospel of John: Part 8 The Clearing

John 2:13–22 (ESV) — 13 The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. 15 And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. 16 And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” 17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” 18 So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” 19 Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” 20 The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” 21 But he was speaking about the temple of his body. 22 When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.

2 Temple Clearings
Today we are in the second chapter of John verses 13-22 and we are going to cover the clearing of the temple by Jesus. Now here is where we come to the first controversy between the synoptics and John’s gospel. The problem is simple; John is recording this happening at the start of Jesus’ ministry. Matthew 21:12-17, Mark 11:15-19, and Luke 19:45-48 record it happening at the end. The simple solution and the one I believe, along with many others[1] is that there are 2 temple clearings one at the beginning and one at the end of Jesus’ ministry. I will mention some of the reasons some scholars speak out so strongly[2] against two temple clearings, but I am going to mainly focus on the fact that there are 2.
If you want some reading on this E. Randolph Richards has an article from the Trinity Journal of Theology [3] that goes into 25 pages of more depth than I’m going to cover. I will use some of his argument without going into too much depth.

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  1. [1] Luther, Macarthur, Ironside, Morris, Carson, Lightfoot and others
  2. [2] Gerald Borchert calls the idea of two temple clearings “a historiographic monstrosity”( Gerald L. Borchert, vol. 25A, John 1-11, electronic ed., Logos Library System; The New American Commentary (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2001), 160)
  3. [3] http://www.tiu.edu/files/divinity/connect/trinityjournal/TJ_pgs_19-43_Spring_2008.pdf

The Gospel of John: Part 7 The Wedding

This lesson is similar to a sermon I did at Mifflin Baptist Church. I changed some of the references for a younger crowd and added the section on alcohol since I figured I would receive questions afterwards about alcohol and the bible.

John 2:1–12 (ESV) — 1 On the third day there was a wedding at Cana in Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Jesus also was invited to the wedding with his disciples. 3 When the wine ran out, the mother of Jesus said to him, “They have no wine.” 4 And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” 6 Now there were six stone water jars there for the Jewish rites of purification, each holding twenty or thirty gallons. 7 Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water.” And they filled them up to the brim. 8 And he said to them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the feast.” So they took it. 9 When the master of the feast tasted the water now become wine, and did not know where it came from (though the servants who had drawn the water knew), the master of the feast called the bridegroom 10 and said to him, “Everyone serves the good wine first, and when people have drunk freely, then the poor wine. But you have kept the good wine until now.” 11 This, the first of his signs, Jesus did at Cana in Galilee, and manifested his glory. And his disciples believed in him. 12 After this he went down to Capernaum, with his mother and his brothers and his disciples, and they stayed there for a few days.

 

Context

We have finally made to the second chapter of John. We will be looking at the first 12 verses. This is the beginning of Jesus’ ministry.

John starts off Jesus’ ministry with a wedding. Theologically this is symbolizing the new covenant and how the church is the bride of Christ. We could spend hours just looking at the symbolization of the wine and blood of Christ and the wedding and the church. I will touch a little on the symbolization but I’m going to concentrate on the text and what is happening here.

In chapter 1 of John we learned that Jesus has been baptized and John the Baptist has prophesied that Jesus is the Messiah and will take away the sins of the world. Jesus has started gathering his disciples and according to John at the time of this wedding, he has John, Andrew, Peter, Phillip, and Nathanael.  Chapter 1 ends with Jesus in Bethsaida on the banks of the Jordan River and he is heading to Galilee and specifically Cana which is about 22 miles away. So let us now go to John 2

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The Gospel of John: Part 6 The Calling

John 1:40–51 (ESV) — 40 One of the two who heard John speak and followed Jesus was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his own brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which means Christ). 42 He brought him to Jesus. Jesus looked at him and said, “So you are Simon the son of John? You shall be called Cephas” (which means Peter). 43 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” 44 Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. 45 Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him of whom Moses in the Law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus of Nazareth, the son of Joseph.” 46 Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.” 47 Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him and said of him, “Behold, an Israelite indeed, in whom there is no deceit!” 48 Nathanael said to him, “How do you know me?” Jesus answered him, “Before Philip called you, when you were under the fig tree, I saw you.” 49 Nathanael answered him, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!” 50 Jesus answered him, “Because I said to you, ‘I saw you under the fig tree,’ do you believe? You will see greater things than these.” 51 And he said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened, and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”

 

We will be covering two encounters with Jesus and 4 people today. Last time we studied John and Andrew spending the day with Jesus. They had told Him they wanted to be his disciples, but He has not yet gathered them together to follow Him. So Andrew spends the day with Jesus and He tells Him you have to come meet my brother Peter. He is a great guy. He runs the family fishing business. He is the coolest big brother of all. So Andrew tells Jesus, “Stay here I’m going to go get him and bring him back.”

Christ

Andrew finds his brother Peter and he is like, “dude come on you got to meet this guy he is the Messiah, you know the Christ.”

So let’s talk about those two words now; Messiah and Christ. How many think that Jesus’ last name is Christ? It isn’t. People did not have last names at this time like we do. You would be referred to by your father’s name or where you lived[ref]Surnames as we know them did not come into being until much later in most countries.[/ref]. For example Dustin would be called Dustin son of Scott or Dustin of Jacks Creek. The bible often refers to son of as Bar which is Aramaic for son of, So it would say Dustin Barscott. Jesus would be referred to as the son of Joseph. An example of this would be in Matthew 16:17[1]. Jesus calls Peter, Simon Bar-Jonah or Simon son of John.

Christ is the Greek word for the Hebrew word Messiah. It is a title. When we say Jesus Christ we are saying Jesus the Messiah. And Messiah means one who is anointed. The one God sent.

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  1. [1] Unless your translation translates it “Son of” for you

The Gospel of John: Part 5 The Lamb

 

John 1:29–39 (ESV) — 29 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks before me, because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him, but for this purpose I came baptizing with water, that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32 And John bore witness: “I saw the Spirit descend from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33 I myself did not know him, but he who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain, this is he who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’ 34 And I have seen and have borne witness that this is the Son of God.” 35 The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples, 36 and he looked at Jesus as he walked by and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. 38 Jesus turned and saw them following and said to them, “What are you seeking?” And they said to him, “Rabbi” (which means Teacher), “where are you staying?” 39 He said to them, “Come and you will see.” So they came and saw where he was staying, and they stayed with him that day, for it was about the tenth hour.

Today we will be in John 1:29-39. We will refer back to the Old Testament books of the law several times to make sure we have the same imagery in our head that the original hearers would. The two things we will focus on the most today will be the phrases; “Lamb of God” and “What are you seeking?”

This section of scripture starts out with the author saying the next day. If you were here for the last lesson you already know that the day before this the Pharisees or Jewish religious leaders, which we compared to the ones who try to control the church, sent the priest to find out what John the Baptizer was doing. He informed them that the King or Messiah was coming and they should prepare as he was doing. If you weren’t here you can quickly read verses 19-28 and see the conversation.

We can assume John the author was there that day since he gives us so much information on what was said. So this is the next day, John and Andrew[1] are listening to their teacher the baptizer when he looks up sees Jesus and says, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world! He goes on to remind them that this is the man he was referring to the day before. The one that he said he was not even worthy to be a servant for.

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  1. [1] See verse 40 to see where it tells us this is Andrew. The other is assumed to be the author since he knew the details and did not feel it was important to tell us who the other disciple was.

The Gospel of John: Part 4 The Baptizer

John 1:19-27

And this is the testimony of John, when the Jews sent priests and Levites from Jerusalem to ask him, “Who are you?” He confessed, and did not deny, but confessed, “I am not the Christ.” And they asked him, “What then? Are you Elijah?” He said, “I am not.” “Are you the Prophet?” And he answered, “No.” So they said to him, “Who are you? We need to give an answer to those who sent us. What do you say about yourself?”
He said, “I am the voice of one crying out in the wilderness, ‘Make straight the way of the Lord,’ as the prophet Isaiah said.”
(Now they had been sent from the Pharisees.) 25 They asked him, “Then why are you baptizing, if you are neither the Christ, nor Elijah, nor the Prophet?”
John answered them, “I baptize with water, but among you stands one you do not know, even he who comes after me, the strap of whose sandal I am not worthy to untie.”
These things took place in Bethany across the Jordan, where John was baptizing.

 

We are now to the testimony of John the Baptizer. Before we get started I want to help you get an image of John in your head. We have to look into the other Gospel accounts to get that picture because John the author doesn’t give us details about John the Baptizer, because he expects the readers to already have encountered John in the other gospels and also he doesn’t want to overemphasize the Baptizer because he is just a messenger.

John comes from Godly parents. His father was a priest named Zechariah. His mother was a godly woman named Elizabeth. She also was from the priestly line being able to trace her family back to Aaron. (The brother of Moses.)[1] Elizabeth also happens to be related to Mary the mother of Jesus. While the bible doesn’t tell us their age it does tell us that they were elderly and Elizabeth was barren. So for what ever medical reason Elizabeth was unable to bare children, plus she was at an age were it was impossible.

One day dad Zechariah went to the temple to burn incense. This was a special privilege that rotated around. This is where you would go into the Holy of Holies and burn incense. Only a priest properly purified could enter. If the priest did something wrong then he would die and have to be drug out of the temple by ropes, since no one else could enter to retrieve him. As Zechariah is doing his duties an angel appeared.

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The Gospel of John: Part 3 The Light

John 1:6-18 (ESV)

6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light.

9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.
15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’”)
16 And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.

I started to group these verses with 19-34 since they are very similar and at first look I felt I would be giving the same message twice. Upon further thought I decided that there is too much that need to be broken down here to group it with the message on John the Baptizer. This is still part of the prologue and it deals more with Jesus than John. Try to keep with me since we will be talking about two John’s today. John the Baptizer and John the author of the gospel we are studying.

As I stated last time, in this opening prologue John is trying to counter heresies that are creeping into the church and some of John the Baptizers followers are more concerned with him than Jesus. John is trying to point out that the Baptizers role was just to introduce Christ and people should not get hung up on who he is or was.

It’s kind of interesting how this still happens today. Some mega preachers have become like rock stars and people get so excited to hear them.

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The Gospel of John: Part 2 The Word

John 1:1–18 (ESV)

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God. 3 All things were made through him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. 4 In him was life, and the life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. 6 There was a man sent from God, whose name was John. 7 He came as a witness, to bear witness about the light, that all might believe through him. 8 He was not the light, but came to bear witness about the light. 9 The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world. 10 He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. 11 He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. 12 But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, 13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God. 14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. 15 (John bore witness about him, and cried out, “This was he of whom I said, ‘He who comes after me ranks before me, because he was before me.’ ”) 16 And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. 17 For the law was given through Moses; grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. 18 No one has ever seen God; the only God, who is at the Father’s side, he has made him known.

This is the beginning of John’s Gospel. It is usually referred to as the prologue. If this was a paper being written for a college class this would be called the thesis statement. John is telling us in a simple summed up way exactly what he is going to write in the rest of his gospel. To me this introduction is some of the most beautiful verses in the bible. It tells us that God came and dwelt with us so that we could have life. These verses tell us who Jesus was and what exactly He did for us.

Many believe that this was a hymn that was written by John and added here. Songs were often used to teach, since the catchy rhythms will get stuck in your head. Either way this is the beginning of John’s gospel and contains in a few verses the truth of Jesus.

As I prepared this it is kind of hard to figure out exactly how much I want to discuss here. So much information is given that it could be broken down in so many ways. James Montgomery Boice spends 15 chapters in his commentary on John breaking these verses down. When John Piper preached a series on John in 2008 it took 5 sermons to get through the prologue. John Macarthur spent 3 Sundays trying to get through the beginning of John. So there is a lot that is covered in a few verses here. If you try to outline these verses you come up with 7 points. So I want to try and move swiftly through this but I want you to realize there is a lot here for you to prayerfully study.

So let’s dive in. In the beginning was the Word. We are going to start with the word Word. In Greek it is Logos. John writes in a very deep and theological way, where the more you study and understand the words used the more meaning you will find. We need to also notice that in verse 14 John helps us see that “the Word” is referring to Jesus. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, [1]

The Greek

To the Greek reader the word was an impersonal creative force and source of wisdom and reasoning.[2] Heraclitus came up with this philosophy. He was A Greek philosopher whom lived between 535 B.C. and 475 B.C.[3] He established this term Logos and also made the famous statement you cannot step into the same river twice. Plato, another Greek philosopher that you probably have heard of often quoted Heraclitus and also expounded on this idea behind Logos being the source of reasoning and creator of the universe. Plato went on to say that maybe someday God would send forth a word, Logos that would explain everything clearly.[4],[5] When a Greek reads these opening verses talking about the word, to them this is screaming out, “Yes, God sent Jesus to make everything clear!”

The Jew

To the Jewish reader The Word was very significant. To them the word would be the very voice of God. It could be spoken through a prophet or it could be in scripture. To understand how significant John’s use of the word to describe Jesus was we have to look at the Aramic Targums and Jewish tradition. In the Hebrew scriptures the proper name of God is the tetragrammaton YHVH. We pronounce it Yahweh, sometimes it is said Jehovah as in the English translation of the American Standard Version. If you ever notice as you read through your English translation sometimes LORD is in all capitals. If you were reading your bible in Hebrew the word there would be Yahweh, where if it was Just the L capitalized it would be Adonai. Adonai would also be the word used in Hebrew scripture readings. Rabbonic law allowed only the high priest to use the word Yahweh during certain services.

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The Gospel Of John: Part 1 The Man

I did my first bible study on the Gospel of John last night. I’m including the manuscript I used to study here. I’ll also post a PDF of it on the resources page. If you were there then you will quickly notice its not word for word. That is because I just use it for studying and do not look at it while teaching.

We are going to go through the book of John. Each week we will go through the verses that seem to stay with the same subject. But before we get started looking at the scripture I think it’s very important that we understand who exactly wrote the book, when it was written, what was going on at the time, and why did the author feel he needed to write the book. Without understanding some of this it is hard to accurately interpret the text.

All that being said we are going to cover the specifics of who, what, when, where and why but more importantly we are going to look into the heart of the man that the bible calls the beloved disciple. We are going to look at a zealous young man following God and an elderly preacher pleading with his congregation not to abandon the faith to false teachers.

The bible contains 4 books referred to as gospels. They are Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. Matthew, Mark, and Luke are referred to as the synoptic gospels because they are very similar. They look at Jesus’ life in a similar way. John leaves out many of the things that the others record for example: John does not tell us about Jesus’ birth or baptism, he does not give us any of the parables, there is no ascension mentioned. Plus there are many things such as Peter walking on water that John does not go into as much detail about. While he tells us about Jesus coming to the boat he doesn’t tell us about Jesus telling Peter to come out on the water.

On top of this John adds a lot of stuff, such as the changing of water to wine[1], meeting with Nicodemus[2], the Samaritan woman[3], the raising of Lazarus[4], and several discourses not included elsewhere[5]. So why is this gospel so different?

John

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Bears Love Mean Kids

Any discussion of 2 Kings 2:23-24 needs to have the Clear Vision Drama video with it! I never get tired of this video.

I have actually seen these verses used on a pro abortion website in an effort to show that God does not value the life of children. They did this because the KJV says little children. Many translations do this the same way giving the idea that these are little children that do not know any better than making fun of an old man. These are actually more as the NIV says and youth. נַעַר na`ar can be translated as young as it is in 1 Chronicles22:5 referring to Solomon or young men as it is referring to Abraham’s Servants in Genesis 22:5 (The NIV translates it as servants here). It also is translated boy in the same verse referring to Issac whom I have discussed before is big and strong enough to carry the wood to build an altar by himself.

Some may say קָטָן  Qatan requires the distinction that these are small boys, but it can also be translated lesser (see Genesis 1:16) or of less importance. Regardless it is safe to assume that these boys knew what they were saying which was Go up Baldy. עָלָה `alah should be translated as go up or ascend not go away as some translations incorrectly do.

All this to make the point that these boys were not mauled for making fun of Elisha but because they were mocking God. They did not believe that God had really taken Elijah up in a whirlwind and that is what they are stating here. God punished them for doubting him.

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The History of the English Bible: Bibliography

I’m going to include a list of resources I used and felt were helpful in doing this series.

The book The journey from Texts to Translations: The Orgin and Development of the Bible was most helpful and where most of the information for this series came from.

The Journey from Texts to Translations: The Orgin and Development of the Bible/ Paul D. Wegner/Baker/2004/ISBN: 0801027993

Some information also came from:

The King James Controversy: Can You Trust Modern translations/James R. White/ Bethany House/2009/ISBN:0764206052

I also relied on notes from my Hermeneutics class at Boyce College

To see the accusations against modern translations got to AV1611.com’s KJV Controversy page. I just ask that you research the things that they claim

Bible page pictures came from newtestamentchurch.org

openscriptures.org has the manuscript comparator
which allows you to see the differences in the New Testament manuscripts.

bible-researcher.com has many articles on scripture and very detailed descriptions of modern bible translations click on the 20th and 21st century versions to read opinions on the modern translations.

Bible Gateway and Bible study tools have bibles online to read and compare.

Links for:

RSV and NRSV
RSV preface
NRSV preface
National Council of Churches
NRSV website
NRSV online bible browser
RSV online bible browser

NASB
Lockman Foundation

The Living Bible
The Living Bible at Google books

NIV, NIRV, TNIV
BiblicaNKJV
Thomas Nelson publishers of the NKJV

NCV
World Bible Translation Center

NLT
Tyndale House publishers of the NLT
NLT website

The Message
Nav Press publishers of the Message

HCSB
Broadman and Holman publishers of the HCSB
HCSB websit

NET
bible.org
NET bible page

Koinonia is a blog hosted by Zondervan Academics and hasmany posts written by translators about translating passages.
Better Bibles blog is a blog contributed to by several translators and it agan discusses ways things were and are translated.

The journey from Texts to Translations: The Orgin and Development of the Bible
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The History of the English Bible Part 27: NET (2005)

The New English Translation came about because of a copyright problem ran into by the ministry organization bible.org. They started in 1993  with the mission of making free bible study resources. In 1995 they realized that eventually if they continued making their resources available on one website they would violate the copyright of the bible versions they were using. So what do you do? They commissioned their own bible translation. A team of more than 25 scholars worked on the translation. They used the best available Hebrew, Greek, And Aramic texts. The thing that makes me mention them though is their translator notes. They have 60,932 translation notes in their bible. These notes show you the textual basis and why they used certain words.

This bible went through a nine year review that they called beta testing. As it was being worked on, it was available online for review and suggestions.

The first Beta edition was available in 1998 and a second edition became available in 2003. In 2005 the first edition of the NET was released. This bible is available online at www.bible.org plus a much larger description is available their also.

John 3:16 NET

For this is the way God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

The Lord’s Prayer from the NET Bible (Matthew 6:9-13)

So pray this way:

Our Father in heaven,may your name be honored, may your kingdom come,
may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we ourselves have forgiven our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.

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The History of the English Bible Part 26: HCSB (2004)

In 1998 the people at Broadman and Holman publishers were seeking to buy the copyright of an already existing conservative translation for use in their publishing projects. Broadman and Holman is the trade books division of Lifeway Christian Resources of the Southern Baptist Convention. After problems getting the copyrights they needed, they contacted Arthur Farstad, a professor at Dallas Theological Seminary and former general edition for the NKJV. They asked him to do a fresh translation based on the Nestle-Aland text. Farstad passed away five months after beginning the project. They asked Edwin Blum, another professor at Dallas Theological Seminary to take over general editorship.

The HCSB is a literal translation that calls itself “Optimal Equivalence”. Basically they translated as literal as possible except where that would have affected clarity. When understanding would be afeected they translated for clarity and placed the literal translation in a footnote. On gender related Issues they went with the Colorado springs guidelines for gender related language. Traditional theology terms have been retained (justification, sanctification, etc.). Nouns and pronouns refering to divinity are capitalized. They used brackets to indicate words added for English understanding.

John 3:16 HCSB

“For God loved  the world in this way: He gave His One and Only  Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.

The Lord’s Prayer from the HCSB (Matthew 6:9-13)

“Therefore, you should pray like this:

Our Father in heaven,

Your name be honored as holy.

Your kingdom come.

Your will be done

on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us today our daily bread.

And forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.

And do not bring us into temptation,

but deliver us from the evil one.

[For Yours is the kingdom and the power

and the glory forever. Amen.]

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The History of the English Bible Part 25: The Message (2002)

Eugene Peterson as a scholar and pastor often found himself translating the scripture into common and easy to understand language for his congregation. He decide a paraphrase needed to be done based on the original Greek and Hebrew. In 1993 he published the Message New Testament and in 1997 the Old Testament wisdom books were available.

The Message like The Living Bible is a paraphrase and therefore good for devotional reading but not for serious study. After Peterson finished working from the Greek and Hebrew he had several scholars critique his work. The message tries to bring the bible to a new and vivid life.

The Message

“This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.

The Lord’s Prayer from the Message ()

“The world is full of so-called prayer warriors who are prayer-ignorant. They’re full of formulas and programs and advice, peddling techniques for getting what you want from God. Don’t fall for that nonsense. This is your Father you are dealing with, and he knows better than you what you need. With a God like this loving you, you can pray very simply. Like this:

Our Father in heaven,
Reveal who you are.
Set the world right;
Do what’s best— as above, so below.
Keep us alive with three square meals.
Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.
Keep us safe from ourselves and the Devil.
You’re in charge!
You can do anything you want!
You’re ablaze in beauty!
Yes. Yes. Yes.

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History of the English Bible Part 24: NLT (1996)

In 1989 the publisher’s of The Living Bible decided a new and fresh revision of The Living Bible was needed. The result of this was the 1996 publication of the New Living Translation. While this is a revision of The Living Bible, the translators took a completely different approach to the process. Instead of paraphrasing they started with the Original languages and did a dynamic equivalence translation.  That is they did a thought for thought translation and while it is a lot freer than some translations it is not a paraphrase.  There were 90 scholars working over a 7 year period on translating and reviewing this bible.

John 3:16 NLT

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.

The Lord’s Prayer from the NLT (Matthew 6:9-13)

Pray like this: Our Father in heaven,
may your name be kept holy.
May your Kingdom come soon.
May your will be done on earth,
as it is in heaven.
Give us today the food we need,
and forgive us our sins,
as we have forgiven those who sin against us.
And don’t let us yield to temptation,
but rescue us from the evil one.

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The History of the English Bible Part 23: NCV (1987)

The New Century Version is a dynamic equivalence translation that began in 1973. It was translated by the World Bible Translation Center, which was formed by people associated with the Churches of Christ. Originally the New Testament was published in 1978 as the (EVD) English Version for the Deaf using a 3rd grade vocabulary. In 1980 it was published as the (ERV) Easy to Read Version. In 1983 it was revised and issued as the (IRV) International Children’s Version New Testament. Finally in 1984 it was released as the (NCV) The Word: New Century Version. The complete bible was published under the NCV name in 1987 and revised to its current version in 1991.

NCV

“God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but have eternal life.

The Lord’s Prayer from the NCV (Matthew 6:9-13)

So when you pray, you should pray like this:
‘Our Father in heaven,
may your name always be kept holy.
10 May your kingdom come
and what you want be done,
here on earth as it is in heaven.
11 Give us the food we need for each day.
12 Forgive us for our sins,
just as we have forgiven those who sinned against us.
13 And do not cause us to be tempted,
but save us from the Evil One.’ [The kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours forever. Amen.][a]

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The History of the English Bible Part 22: NKJV (1982)

Sam Moore president of Thomas Nelson Corporation believed that most Americans preferred the KJV. So he proposed a revision of it with the goal of modernizing the language without compromising the text or translation principles. The publishers claim it as the fifth major revision of the KJV. They get this number by counting the revisions of 1629, 1638, 1762, 1769 and ignoring the RV,ASV, RSV, NASB, and KJII.

More than 130 scholars worked on this translation. Publishers say the entire text of the original KJV is included. That being said the apocrypha is not available in this version as it was in the KJV 1611.

Words not in original languages but required in English are set off with italics. Each verse is a separate paragraph and pronouns referring to divinity are capitalzed. They used newer text critical manuscripts especially in the New testament for this translation. Any verses different from the KJV are noted in footnotes.

While the purpose of this bible was to use modern language there are still several outdated words used such as; hew down trees (Jeremiah 6:6), winebibber (Matthew 11:19, Luke 7:34, Proverbs 23:20), eventide (Isaiah 17:14), Matrix of my mother (Isaiah 49:1), dandled (Isaiah 66:12), offscouring (Lamentations 3:45, 1 Corinthians 4:13) paramours (Ezekiel 23:20) pinions (Job 39:13).

John 3:16 NKJV

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

The Lord’s Prayer from the NKJV (Matthew 6:9-13)

In this manner, therefore, pray:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.

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The History of the English Bible Part 21: NIV (1978)

Due to dissatisfaction with existing bible translations a committee on bible translation met in 1965. This committee consisted of 15 scholars from different denominations. They met to decide on making a new modern speech translation. In 1967 the International Bible Society (now called the Biblica) agreed to financially sponsor the translation, which would be called (NIV) the New International Version.

This version had 110 evangelical scholars from several English speaking countries working on the translation. The reason for this was to make sure the English used would be modern and internationally recognized. There were 20 teams of translators each team consisted of at least a translator, a cotranslator, 2 consultants, and an English stylist. Once the teams finished their work it was submitted to an editorial committee. Once they finished their work it went to a general committee of critics who would evaluate it. Next a 15 member editorial committee reviewed and revised it before it went to literary consultants. In 1973 the New Testament was published and in 1978 the entire bible was published.
There is very little denominational bias in this translation because 34 denominations were involved in translating. Some of them included; Anglican, Assemblies of God, Baptist, Brethren, Christian Reformed, Church of Christ, Episcopalian, Evangelical Free Church, Lutheran, Mennonite, Methodist, Nazarene, Presbyterian, and Wesleyan Methodist.
This translation was middle ground of word for word and thought for thought. It does lean toward thought for thought in many spots for clarity. Hebrew Idioms were changed for easier understanding, such as “To lift up the voice and weep” was changed to weep aloud.
There are more than 3,350 footnotes indicating textual variances, other translations, parallel scripture quotes and explanatory notes.

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History of the English Bible Part 20: The Living Bible (1971)

Kenneth Taylor would read to his ten children from the KJV and they would not be able to understand him. He started paraphrasing into his own words and decided others would benefit if there was a bible written as a paraphrase. In 1956 he used the time in his daily commute on a train to start paraphrasing the ASV.

In 1962 he published The Living Letters. In 1965 he published The Living Prophecies and in 1966 he published The Living Gospels. By 1967 He had the entire New Testament and Psalms published. In 1968 he published The Living Lessons of Life and Love. In 1971 the entire Bible was published as The Living Bible.

Remember that this is a paraphrase and therefore it is good for devotional reading but not serious study as in its very nature it is the paraphraser’s words and not the original author’s words. Taylor stated that his goal was to make the bible easier to understand. The early editions of The Living Bible, while being aimed at children had some very strong and profane language in places. This was taken out in later editions. This bible led to the NLT which I will talk about later.

John 3:16 The Living Bible

For god loved the world so much that he gave his only Son so that anyone who believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

The Lord’s Prayer from The Living Bible (Matthew 6:9-13)

“Pray along these lines: ‘Our Father in heaven, we honor your holy name. We ask that your kingdom will come now. May your will be done here on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us our food again today, as usual, and forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us. Don’t bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the Evil One. Amen.’

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The Life You’ve Always Wanted Part 6

Session 6 is called Going the Distance with Well-Ordered Heart. It comes from chapters 12 and 13 in the book. The Key points this week are:

  1. Many of us desire a perfectly balanced manageable life, but God wants us to pursue a much higher goal.
  2. A well ordered heart is a transformed heart.
  3. A well ordered heart is perfected by faithful endurance through suffering.

Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life. Proverb 4:23

John tells us that we should devote our lives to attaing a well ordered heart. He qoutes Augustine to show what a well ordered heart is: A well ordered heart is to love…

  • The right thing
  • To the right degree
  • in the right way
  • With the right kind of love

When the heart is well ordered we are not only increasingly free from sin, but also free from the deire to sin.

The game plan

First we have a list of questions we must ask ourselves.

  1. How and when will I pray?
  2. How will I handle money in a way that allows me to be closer to God?
  3. How will I approach work in a way that will help Christ be formed in me?
  4. How am I involved in Christian community?
  5. How can I fulfill my daily task with a sense of the presence of God?
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The History of the English Bible Part 19: NASB (1971) revised 1995

In 1959 the Lockman Foundation decided to do a revision of the ASV of 1901. They proposed to use advances in textual criticism and modern English to make an up to date revision. They had 58 translators from several denominations participate. Some of the denominations included were Presbyterian, Methodist, Southern Baptist, Church of Christ, Nazarene, American Baptist, Fundamentalist, Conservative Baptist, Free Methodist, Congregational, Disciples of Christ, Evangelical Free, Independent Baptist, Independent Mennonite, Assembly of God, North American Baptist.

Their stated purpose was to adhere as close to the original languages and scripture while making a translation as readable as possible and current with English standards. Some of the standards they set were to use you instead of thou except when addressing divinity as in prayers. This decision was reversed during the 1995 revision of the NASB. They placed words that were needed for understanding and grammar purposes, but not in the Greek or Hebrew text in italics. Each verse was its own paragraph and verses that started a new paragraph had a bold verse number next to them. The NASB starts verses lowercase unless they start a sentence. To distinguish chapters, the first word of all chapters was in all capital letters. They also capitalized pronouns that were referring to divinity. It used quotation marks and Old Testament quotes in the New Testament were distinguished by a smaller font in all capital letters. The Lockman Foundation also decided to use the newer critical text for their translation instead of the text used for the ASV.

To keep from offending their conservative readers, controversial translation were avoided (such as “maiden” for “virgin” in Isaiah 7:14, and “only begotten” when referring to Jesus). One criticism thrown as this bible upon its publication was its translation shows a premillenial preference in several verses. (Isaiah 2:2, Galatians 6:16, Mark 13:29, Mark 13:30, Luke 21:32, Micah 4:1, Revelation 5:10, Revelation 20:4)

John 3:16 NASB 1971

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

John3:16 NASB 1995

“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.

The Lord’s Prayer from the NASB 1971 (Matthew 6:9-13)

“Pray, then, in this way:
‘Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
‘Thy kingdom come
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
‘Give us this day our daily bread.
‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.]’

The Lord’s Prayer from the NASB 1995 (Matthew 6:9-13)

Pray, then, in this way:
‘Our Father who is in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come
Your will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
‘And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.
‘And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from evil. [For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen.]’

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The History of the English Bible Part 18: NWT (1961)

I do not recommend this bible. This is the only bible I intend to state an opinion so strongly, but I wanted to make sure that my writing on this bible is not seen as an endorsement. I will be leaving out several translations as this series would go on forever if I wrote on all of them. I mention this only because someone may show up at your doorstep wanting you to read this bible.

The New World Translation is the bible translated and endorsed by the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The New Testament was published in 1950 and the rest of the bible was published in 1961 by the Watchtower Bible and Tract Society. This cult was founded by Charles t. Russell in 1918 and became known as Jehovah’s Witnesses in 1931. It has approximately 2 million followers today.

The NWT was written to reflect the doctrine of The Jehovah Witnesses. They do not believe that Jesus is truly God John 1:1 demonstrates this

In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god. [emphasis mine]

Titus 2:13 (while we wait for the happy hope and glorious manifestation of the great God and of [the] Savior of us, Christ Jesus), gives the appearance of 2 people

Colossians 1:16-17 (because by means of him all [other] things were created in the heavens and upon the earth, the things visible and the things invisible, no matter whether they are thrones or lordships or governments or authorities. All [other] things have been created through him and for him.) adds other in brackets.

John 3:16 from the NWT

“For God loved the world so much that he gave his only-begotten Son, in order that everyone exercising faith in him might not be destroyed but have everlasting life.

The Lord’s Prayer from the NWT (Matthew 6:9-13)

“YOU must pray, then, this way:

“‘Our Father in the heavens, let your name be sanctified.  Let your kingdom come. Let your will take place, as in heaven, also upon earth. Give us today our bread for this day;  and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.  And do not bring us into temptation, but deliver us from the wicked one.’

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The History of the English Bible Part 17: RSV (1952) NRSV (1989)

I’m going to group the Revised Standard Version and the New Revised Standard Version together since they are both revisions of the ASV done by the same organization. The International Council of Religious Education acquired the copyright of the ASV in 1928. This organization represented 45 denominations and they set up a committee to see if a revision should be done and if it was possible.

While the committee did feel the need for a revision, the Great Depression kept that from happening. In 1937 Money finally became available and 32 scholars led by Luther Weigel of Yale Divinity School were selected. These men are said to have worked free of charge.

The New Testament was published in 1946 and the entire bible in 1952. In 1957 the Apocrypha was added for the Roman Catholic Church. In 1971 a second edition was published that reinserted passages that had been left out of the first edition. The longer ending of Mark (Mark 16:9-20) and the woman caught in adultery from John 7:35-8:11

The main change from the ASV to the RSV was the modern language usage. For example speaketh was replaced by speaks and seeth replaced by sees. Plus the translators were not restricted to one English word for one given Greek or Hebrew word. They used you for Jesus’ Earthly life and Thou after the resurrection. Critics complained that this denied Jesus’ divinity on Earth.

The translators also took bible language such as “and it came to pass” out. Quotation marks were introduced and poetic passages were printed in a way that highlighted their structure. This translation is a literal translation that tries to stay with a word for word philosophy.

Besides for being criticized on the use of you and thou, this bible was accused of denying the virgin birth in Isaiah 7:14. (The more accurate translation here is young maiden) As I stated in an earlier post if they were trying to deny the virgin birth they would have to have taken it out of Luke 1:27? also. Another criticism thrown at it was in John 3:16 they translated “only Son” instead of “only Begotten Son”.

In 1974 the National Council of Churches proposed that a complete revision be done. A committee of 30 men and women from Protestant, Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Jewish groups was formed for the purpose of revising. This committee is still in existence today all though some members have been replaced due to deaths and resignations. The New Revised Standard Version was published in 1989 with the RSV staying in print until 1995. That being said the RSV is still in print.

The policy of the revisers was to be “as literal as possible and as free as necessary”. They also decided to go with a gender neutral language. What this means is that God and Christ were still referred to with masculine pronouns, but words such as “mankind” would be changed to “all people” (John 12:32) Thees and thous were not used when addressing God. They decided to use brackets instead of footnotes to show alternative readings. (the RSV used footnotes.) The Comma Johanneum was given a footnote in this version while it was not even mentioned in the RSV. Lastly, some words (such as sluggard to lazybones) were changed to give them a more modern sound.

John 3:16 from RSV

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

The Lord’s Prayer from the RSV (Matthew 6:9-13)

Pray then like this: Our Father who art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come.
Thy will be done,
On earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread;
And forgive us our debts,
As we also have forgiven our debtors;
And lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil.

John 3:16 from the NRSV

‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

The Lord’s Prayer from the RSV (Matthew 6:9-13)

‘Pray then in this way:
Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
And do not bring us to the time of trial,
but rescue us from the evil one.

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The History of the English Bible Part 16: Translation Types

Before we move on to modern versions of the bible, let’s look at the types of translations and the different translation philosophies. You can have a translation, a revision, or a paraphrase. I’m going to include a definition of each with a list of some of the bibles that fall into each category.

Translation = A translation uses the original Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic texts as the basis for rendering the languages into English. Some examples of this would be NIV, NET, HCSB.

Revision = A revision takes a previous translation and updates the rendering to reflect contemporary language and scholarly research. (A revision may also look at original languages, but it compares it with a previous version.) Examples are the KJV, ASV, RSV, ESV,TNIV.

Paraphrase = A paraphrase takes the text and adapts the wording to contemporary jargon and interpretation of what the scripture says. Examples are The Living Bible and The Message.

There are pros and cons to each of these. A translation, not looking at previous version may state the text in a way that is unfamiliar to the reader. A revision may change words that some feel hold a special reverence. An example of this would be thine and thy. A paraphrase is the translator taking the text and putting it in his own words. There is always the danger of the translator giving an interpretation that goes with his opinions, but does not show that the verse could be interpreted in other ways.

On the flip end of these negatives, a fresh translation in contemporary language may help a verse that is hard to understand due to Hebrew Idioms easier for the modern reader to grasp. (An idiom is basically a figure of speech such as…”It’s raining cat’s and dogs.) A revision allows a favorite version to be updated in language that is more common today. A paraphrase makes reading really easy, as the text will read like a modern day story with hard to understand text stated in a way that makes it easy to understand.

There are basically two types of translation philosophies with most translations falling somewhere in the middle.

Formal Equivalence = renders text word – for – word (also called literal)

Dynamic Equivalence = renders text thought – for – thought

The good thing about formal equivalence is that it uses one English word for each word in another language. It also uses the same English word each time the same Greek word comes up. It will put the verse as it is without interpreting it. This makes this type of translation great for word studies. The negative is it often creates stilted language, with odd sentence structure to what we normally use.

Dynamic Equivalence makes the text really easy to understand and easy to read. The negative to this is that for serious study some words may not be used the same everywhere and some times thought for thought can lead to interpretation instead of translation.

While many bibles claim to be literal, it is impossible for a translation to be 100% literal word for word. 

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