[Linux4christians] Conservative Bible Project?

Timothy Butler tbutler at ofb.biz
Wed Oct 7 21:50:57 EDT 2009

On Oct 7, 2009, at 9:00 PM, Pastor David wrote:

> I automatically dismiss anything a non-translator claims about a  
> private understanding (contrary to the work of true translators)  
> from the Greek or Hebrew - such is IMHO so implausible as to defy  
> confidence.

	I'd disagree slightly. I'm pretty sold on the idea that a pastor, if  
he has languages at his disposal, ought to work with the original  
language at least somewhat at the beginning of sermon preparation.  
That avoids the unfortunate (and embarrassing) sermon point that makes  
a big deal out of an English word's meaning when the actual text does  
not have the same denotation (or connotation). It's also impossible to  
critically engage with scholarly commentary when one has to take those  
commentaries -- which often disagree -- at face value.

	That said, anyone but the best skilled folks ought to stay within the  
bounds of commentators. I rarely, if ever, have argued a language  
point that I couldn't support with several good commentaries... I'm  
not skilled enough to go it alone. Actually, no good interpretation  
ought to be done outside of community. But, I know enough of the  
categories to weigh a few good commentaries and say, "hey, in Psalm  
23, we're not talking about mere 'mercy' following me, we are talking  
about God's amazing, loving kindness pursuing me."

	(Ps. 23's familiarity, I think, is a bad thing when it comes to  
translation -- the translations seem to be generally more concerned  
with following the KJV's basic arrangement than anything else. It's  
close enough for most purposes, but if I'm preaching the text, you  
could count on me noting that the text promises far more than just  

	To be sure, making too big of deal out of the original languages is a  
bad idea. But, I think to make the barrier to original language  
studies of the Scripture a lot higher than any other language studies  
-- which certainly in many cases ought to be far MORE daunting -- is  
probably unnecessary. I think it'd be great if more people decided to  
learn the languages just for their own personal devotional reading.



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