My Translation of Micah 5:1-3

The prophet Micah wrote a wonderful prophesy about Jesus Christ, the One who would come forth for God to be the ruler par excellence in Israel. I’ve spent some time translating the passage from the Septuagint; the Greek translation of the Hebrew Scriptures which Jesus and the early Christian used. I plan to write a bit about this passage soon. For now, I’ll just leave you with the translation.

There are some differences from the English translation in your Bibles, because they’re translated from Hebrew, not Greek. The verse numbers from the Septuagint are also different, sometimes. This is one of those times. In your English Bibles, this passage will be Micah 5:2-4. Here, it’s Micah 5:1-3:

Micah 5(1-3)You can find more of my pitiful translations from the New Testament, the Septuagint and an ancient creed or two here.

Is Inerrancy a Necessary Doctrine?

inerrancyIn the book, Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy, Kevin Vanhoozer (responding to Michael Bird’s essay), wrote:

Why should the rest of the world care about North American evangelicalism’s doctrinal obsession with inerrancy? First, it may be only a matter of time, given globalization and patterns of higher education, until the rest of the world is faced with similar challenges to biblical authority posed by biblical criticism, naturalistic scientism, and skeptical historicism. If you can find McDonald’s or Starbucks in Taiwan and Timbuktu, can Richard Dawkins or Bart Ehrman be far behind?

Indeed!

James Merrick and Stephen Garrett (ed.), Five Views on Biblical Inerrancy (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2013; Kindle ed.), KL 3189-3192).

Ehud is . . . Jason Bourne

bourneThe people are downtrodden and oppressed. An evil, pagan king rules over them with an iron fist. Year by year, he demands tribute from his vassals. The people cry out, desperate for somebody to rescue them. There was only one man for the job. A man so cunning, he makes Ethan Hunt look like a child. A man so dangerous, he makes 007 look like a pitiful kitten. A man so deadly, nobody can stop him. That man is . . . Ehud, the original Jason Bourne.

And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done what was evil in the sight of the LORD. He gathered to himself the Ammonites and the Amalekites, and went and defeated Israel; and they took possession of the city of palms. And the people of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.

But when the people of Israel cried to the LORD, the LORD raised up for them a deliverer, Ehud, the son of Gera, the Benjaminite, a left-handed man. The people of Israel sent tribute by him to Eglon the king of Moab.

And Ehud made for himself a sword with two edges, a cubit in length; and he girded it on his right thigh under his clothes. And he presented the tribute to Eglon king of Moab. Now Eglon was a very fat man. And when Ehud had finished presenting the tribute, he sent away the people that carried the tribute.

But he himself turned back at the sculptured stones near Gilgal, and said, “I have a secret message for you, O king.”

And he commanded, “Silence.” And all his attendants went out from his presence.

And Ehud came to him, as he was sitting alone in his cool roof chamber. And Ehud said, “I have a message from God for you.”

And he arose from his seat. And Ehud reached with his left hand, took the sword from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly; and the hilt also went in after the blade, and the fat closed over the blade, for he did not draw the sword out of his belly; and the dirt came out. Then Ehud went out into the vestibule, and closed the doors of the roof chamber upon him, and locked them.

When he had gone, the servants came; and when they saw that the doors of the roof chamber were locked, they thought, “He is only relieving himself in the closet of the cool chamber.” And they waited till they were utterly at a loss; but when he still did not open the doors of the roof chamber, they took the key and opened them; and there lay their lord dead on the floor.

Ehud escaped while they delayed, and passed beyond the sculptured stones, and escaped to Se-irah. When he arrived, he sounded the trumpet in the hill country of Ephraim; and the people of Israel went down with him from the hill country, having him at their head. And he said to them, “Follow after me; for the LORD has given your enemies the Moabites into your hand.” So they went down after him, and seized the fords of the Jordan against the Moabites, and allowed not a man to pass over. And they killed at that time about ten thousand of the Moabites, all strong, able-bodied men; not a man escaped.

So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. And the land had rest for eighty years.

Judges 3:12-30

 

 

Delighting in God’s Law

33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes;
    and I will keep it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, that I may keep thy law
    and observe it with my whole heart.
35 Lead me in the path of thy commandments,
    for I delight in it.
36 Incline my heart to thy testimonies,
    and not to gain!
37 Turn my eyes from looking at vanities;
    and give me life in thy ways.
38 Confirm to thy servant thy promise,
    which is for those who fear thee.
39 Turn away the reproach which I dread;
    for thy ordinances are good.
40 Behold, I long for thy precepts;
    in thy righteousness give me life!

Psalm 119:33-40 (RSV)

Good Book

bookIf you’ve traveled in Baptist fundamentalist circles, then you’ve likely encountered various flavors of King James Only-ism. This is a movement which, to a greater or lesser extent, promotes the King James Bible as the only English translation of the Scriptures for Christians to use.

I do not agree with this movement. I cannot support any movement which elevates a translation above the original Greek and Hebrew text.

If you prefer the Textus Receptus for the New Testament, that is lovely. Good men, like Kent Brandenburg, have written helpful books promoting this printed Greek text, which underlies the KJV, NKJV and the newer Modern English Version. If you prefer the Byzantine Text, fine. If you prefer the eclectic text, such as the UBS-5 or the NA-28, even better!

I wanted to recommend a good book about the preservation of Scripture to folks who may want some resources on this issue. What makes this volume unique is that is was written by fundamentalists for people in fundamentalist churches. Here is a synopsis:

The solid facts of the process by which the Bible has come to its present form are explained in detail. The book includes textual criticism of the existing manuscripts and autographs, including the Textus Receptus, the Majority, Eclectic, and Minority texts, and the Masoretic Text. It also provides needed answers to the arguments of those who adhere to extreme or exclusive positions. This book is excellent for pastors, teachers, and laypersons alike. It will prove that all conservative versions are, without a doubt, translations of the plenary verbally inspired Word of God.

The book is entitled God’s Word in Our Hands: The Bible Preserved for Us, and it costs 99 entire cents on Kindle. It’s written in an easy-going, conversational style. You can understand it. Buy it. Read it. Understand it. Use multiple English Bible versions to compare during your devotional reading. Grow in the Lord. 

Goodbye.                                                                   

Are You Blessed?

How blessed is the one whose rebellious acts are forgiven, whose sin is pardoned!

How blessed is the one whose wrongdoing the Lord does not punish, in whose spirit there is no deceit.

When I refused to confess my sin, my whole body wasted away, while I groaned in pain all day long. For day and night you tormented me; you tried to destroy me in the intense heat of summer.

Then I confessed my sin; I no longer covered up my wrongdoing. I said, “I will confess my rebellious acts to the Lord.” And then you forgave my sins.

For this reason every one of your faithful followers should pray to you while there is a window of opportunity. Certainly when the surging water rises, it will not reach them.

You are my hiding place; you protect me from distress. You surround me with shouts of joy from those celebrating deliverance.

I will instruct and teach you about how you should live. I will advise you as I look you in the eye. Do not be like an unintelligent horse or mule, which will not obey you unless they are controlled by a bridle and bit.

An evil person suffers much pain, but the Lord’s faithfulness overwhelms the one who trusts in him.

Rejoice in the Lord and be happy, you who are godly! Shout for joy, all you who are morally upright!

  • Psalm 32 (NET)

Help from the Lord!

mountain

I look up toward the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, the Creator of heaven and earth! May he not allow your foot to slip! May your protector not sleep! Look! Israel’s protector does not sleep or slumber! The LORD is your protector; the LORD is the shade at your right hand. The sun will not harm you by day, or the moon by night. The LORD will protect you from all harm; he will protect your life. The LORD will protect you in all you do, now and forevermore.

  • Psalm 121 (NET)