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.

Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Opus 2023-304: Click Bait: Bait and Switch

I recently was enticed by some clickbait about mistranslations of the 10 Commandments.

The host did not identify his spiritual affiliations.  I don’t know if he was speaking from conviction or from a distaste for people who read their Bibles.

Like many influencers he used bait and switch.

Some of what he said I knew to be true such as “Thou shall not kill” really being “Thou shalt not murder.”  He also showed the Biblical text when he pointed out that the passage that contains the 10 Commandments really starts with a statement about who God is, not a commandment.  One of the conventions for deceiving people is to establish a few true points so your audience begins to trust you.  Then you throw in the stuff that sounds the same but is not necessarily true.  The unwary keep trusting what you say without thinking about it.  

After establishing his bona fides he started to come up with the idea of “traditions” and synonyms.  This is where the distortion creeps in.  It is why I don’t like to read what commentators have to say or trust the words of “scholars”.  Tradition is not the same as truth.  Some traditions are harmless and may even give some insights into the culture of the writing.  Many traditions are total rewrites of the text.

He says that “Thou shalt not steal” is translated “Thou shalt not kidnap” in traditional Judaism.  Then he goes on to expand on that thought claiming that the prohibition was about personhood not property.  This is where tradition tries to trump text.  What struck me was that the denial of personal property is a mark of the liberals in society and is one of the prime targets of the Communist Manifesto.

You can do your own homework or take my word for it, but the word means “steal” not “kidnap”.  Get out your Bible study tools, you do have Bible study tools, don’t you?  Do a little study.  Find out the Strong’s number for “steal”.  Okay, I will give it to you (1589).  Look at the many times it is used in the Old Testament.  Sometimes a minor application is included in the Major meaning.  The KJV never uses the word kidnap that I can find.  The word is translated that way three times in the NASB.  Each time involves taking people to sell them into slavery.  Kidnaping a person fits into the larger meaning of stealing.  Stealing is a much broader scope than kidnaping.  

Give the man the benefit of the doubt.  Maybe there is a “tradition” in some branches of Judiasm that says the word means kidnaping.  When you look at the way the word is actually used that “tradition” becomes just another one of the long list of interpretations of “scholars” that totally ignore the teaching of the Bible.

Read your own Bible and do your own thinking.  Test all new ideas.  Some may help you grow.  Some may weaken you.  By engaging them you can sharpen your mind and strengthen your faith.

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.