Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Prunes and Wrinkles in Translating

One of the occasional joys of devotionally translating scripture is seeing connections English can't help but hide. A real treat for us came in John 15:2-3, "...He prunes every branch that bears fruit so that it will bear more fruit. You are clean already because of the word that I have spoken to you." On the surface it seems like Jesus abruptly switched topic. He didn't, and the visual he paints is very practical.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

The Fog of Inspiration

Right now lots of people are upset with the Supreme Court for interpreting a law by its intent and context rather than its words. After all, the law's authors are still alive. As one trained in the art of translation and interpretation of the Bible, all I can say is WOW! I would gladly give my right eye if I could ask Paul or Moses what they meant at certain obscure points, especially before I proclaim it as the will of God. There are poetry words so rare in Hebrew that no scholar alive today has the slightest guess as to their meaning. Translators literally plug in 'filler' in English at these points. This illustrates a fundamental principle true through every age and culture, translations are interpretations. There's no escaping it. This reality forces me to an uncomfortable question. Is a text, the Christian Bible, really our authority?

Friday, June 26, 2015

Marriage - kicking the teeth out of Covenant

Losing the culture war over marriage is hard. But the Supreme Court did not ruin marriage today by its ruling. The American Church changed the definition of marriage centuries ago, and it is only today catching up with us. While we call marriage a covenant before God, the nearly universal ignorance of what that means precludes the possibility of marriage having any enduring significance among us or in our culture.