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.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Opus 2014-313: Wonderful Counselor

Over the long holiday season I usually fall further behind on listening to Alistair Begg.  Early this year I was listening to a Christmas sermon and the subject was the prophecy in Isaiah about the child in Isaiah 9:6.  One of His titles was Wonderful Counselor.  The only problem is that we don’t read and understand that correctly.

Compare two translations:
(Isa 9:6 KJV)  For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

(Isa 9:6 NAS77)  For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.
Begg points out something that had slipped by me.  He says that in the Hebrew the “wonderful” is not an adjective.  If you look at the KJV it comes through.  If you look at the NASB it doesn’t.  I went through the collection of fifteen translations I have on my software and the pattern was consistent.  The older translations bring through the sense of the Hebrew.  The newer translations muddle it.

According to the definition “wonderful” is a noun.  That does not mean that it cannot modify counselor but it can stand alone also. 

Another familiar use of the verse is in Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus.  If you think back over the presentation, the word “wonderful” is presented in such a way that it shows Handel understood it to be a separate characteristic.  Begg calls it an “abstract.” 

So take it either way.  The coming Messiah was to be a “wonderful Counselor.”  He was also to be Wonderful.  You can have your cake and eat it too.

homo unius libri

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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.