Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

Welcome to Varied Expressions of Worship

This blog will be written from an orthodox Christian point of view. There may be some topic that is out of bounds, but at present I don't know what it will be. Politics is a part of life. Theology and philosophy are disciplines that we all participate in even if we don't think so. The Bible has a lot to say about economics. How about self defense? Is war ethical? Think of all the things that someone tells you we should not touch and let's give it a try. Everything that is a part of life should be an expression of worship.

Keep it courteous and be kind to those less blessed than you, but by all means don't worry about agreeing. We learn more when we get backed into a corner.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Opus 23, Basic Christian Beliefs: Inspiration of Scripture

I had intended to begin the discussion of Basic Christian Beliefs with the divinity of Christ but I realized that all of my points would be rooted in the Bible.  That means I had to back up one step and cover that territory.

Christians believe that the Bible is the written Word of God.  They believe that the Bible is inspired by God.  “Inspired” is a word that means breathed into, so we believe that God has breathed into the Bible. 

You will find many understandings of the word “inspired.”  Some, in their enthusiasm, will believe that the words of the King James Version are set in stone and not to be tampered with.  I was joking with one of these brothers and I jokingly said, “If the KJV was good enough for Paul, then it is good enough for me.”  He said, “Right.”  I was joking.  I am not sure he was.

Some believe that the inspiration was so strong that it was like the Holy Spirit using one hand to write while they read a book with the other.  Some believe that on some level God caused the authors to write the exact words He wanted.  Some believe that every word, letter and number is totally without any kind of error.  Others believe that it is without error in the key parts. 

There are a lot of understandings and misunderstandings but all Christians agree that the Bible is not an ordinary book and it is to be the source of our knowledge about God and His plan of salvation.

Why do we have so many translations?  The original manuscripts were written mainly in Hebrew and Greek with a little bit in Aramaic.  All of the originals are long gone.  All we have are copies, some very old, but copies none the less.  There are some variations in the copies.  None of the variations are of any major consequence in themselves.  There are no Christian beliefs that are called into question, but the most accurate translation is sometimes a challenge.

A second reason for translations is that the language changes.  The original King James Version was translated in 1611.  It is a contemporary with Shakespeare.  The language has changed a lot in that time so people try to update it with the changes. 

The third reason is that different scholars have different philosophies of translation.  Some want to be as close to word for word as possible.  Some try for parallel thought and call it dynamic equivalence.  Some just admit they are making a paraphrase.  Some try to translate using words below a certain grade level.  All of these considerations make for different translations.

A fourth reason is the motive of propaganda.  Some non-Christian sects translate the Bible so it says what they want it to say.  People with political or social agendas will translate it to push their pet issue.  These should be avoided.

There are many good translations in all price ranges.  Get one and read.

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Comments are welcome. Feel free to agree or disagree but keep it clean, courteous and short. I heard some shorthand on a podcast: TLDR, Too long, didn't read.