Monday Musings – Feb. 13, 2023 Edition

In doing my Bible reading this morning I came across a passage that I am SURE would mean different things to different people – and not all of these meanings would be correct, in context. And of course all of us who delve deeper into God’s Word as we seek to grow ever-closer to Him are aware of the fact that context is everything! Not only the words surrounding a passage, but through the entire message of Scripture. When there is something like what I came across this morning seems confusing, then it is time to dig in and figure it out!

We know that God’s Word is inerrant and timeless. As time goes on we have confirmation through the discovery of earlier and earlier manuscripts (such as the dead sea scrolls) that confirm our current best translations. Translators have access to these discoveries that weren’t available before. On the other hand, modern phrasing that can lend itself to meanings that seem to stray from the original, depending on the experience and mindset of the reader. YET, we have God’s own promises that Scripture can be trusted (2 Timothy 3:16–17; John 17:17).

And THIS is why study is important – especially when we come across a passage that doesn’t seem to jive with the rest of the Bible. First, I need to pray for wisdom, clarity, guidance, and knowledge through the working of the Spirit – most important! I then go through various respected translations to get a wider perspective; maybe one of them will provide an AHA! moment. Then – even if I’ve had that AHA! moment – I look up that passage (not only the verse) on multiple commentaries. These provide a lot of background on original words used and their meanings and, it seems like 99% of the time, I find that the meaning of a word used in the passage may be only one of the meanings of the original word. In any case, I have never found that what seems like a “contrary” text to the rest of Scripture, or that doesn’t seem to fit within the context of the surrounding verses, is as I first thought. There is always an explanation when we can see “the whole picture”.

It is a blessing that the Spirit is with us as we read and study the Bible. It is He who brings such things to our attention and points us in the direction of further study. I’m convinced that there are many things we will always remember and have in our hearts and minds as a result of these deeper investigations that we may not have otherwise.

2 thoughts on “Monday Musings – Feb. 13, 2023 Edition

  1. Not exactly what you are talking about… One of the problems we experience with Scripture comes from the nature of language…it is constantly changing.

    “Minute” used to be defined as a 60 second increment, now it can mean “later” with no time limit.

    A writer about 200 years ago wrote “When visiting the sick, be not nice.” Sounds awful. In modern terms he was saying, “don’t be ignorant.” Ah! Better.

    So, imagine translating a passage written 2000 years ago in a different language (which was also going through changes in meanings). KJV of John 1:12 is a good example: “But as many as received him, to them gave he POWER to become the children of God…” The Greek word for POWER has a double meaning, but it would sound strange to include both meanings in English. So, some translations use the word RIGHT, and some POWER. It literally means both at the same time. Christ gives his believers both the right and power to become the children of God.

    Fortunately, we do not have to be historical linguists to understand God’s Word. God is gracious and has given us the Holy Spirit who communicates God’s will when we read God’s Word. The closer we align with the will of God, the more accurate will be our understanding. The opposite is also true, those who want nothing to do with God seldom understand Him.


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