Tag Archives: Old Testament

Chopped Bible Salad #6: The Message

chopped salad 
There are few more harrowing words that have been uttered from America’s pulpits than these: “according to the Message translation of the Bible.”     

Be clear about this: the Message is not and never was intended to be a translation of the Bible.  As the story goes, the author of this “version,” Eugene Peterson, wanted to bring the passion that he felt for the text to those whom he was teaching.  He saw with frustration people sitting and listlessly stirring their coffee with total apathy for the Scripture.  Beginning with the book of Galations, Peterson began to phrase by phrase put the meaning he read into the Bible to help its hearers understand his own passion.       

Seriously, the book should have a disclaimer printed on the front: “read at your own risk.”  While Peterson actually did base his writing on the original Greek, he undoubtly did so in a very isegesical (“to read into”) way rather than a scholarly, exegetical (“to read out of“) way.  What this means is rather than getting the original intention of the original authors of the biblical text, we have what Peterson thinks was intended.      

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Chopped Bible Salad #4: The Inspirational Study Bible

chopped salad

Well-known author and speaker, Max Lucado, took on the arduous task of writing what has been titled The Inspirational Study Bible. It may come as a shock to people who have happily ingested their sedatives and floated for the past several years in la-la land, but the Bible is anything but cheery and pleasant.  Even from the first actions of the very first people, the whole earth is said to have changed and been cursed by the eating of fruit!  On and on there are tales of carnage, blood, human sacrifice, and sex crimes.  To make the Bible meet the audacious standards of the word “inspirational,” it would have to go under the knife.

When I hear the word “inspirational” many things come to mind: lilies floating on the surface of a pond, salty ocean breezes, soft clouds drifting in an azure sky.  Ah! What calm and peaceful images.  However, these are not at all words or phrases that I would use to describe the contents of the Bible.  Even if we look past the carnage and drama in its pages, Hebrews 4:12 says that “the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow.”

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Flat Earth Society: A Cautionary Tale

United Nations UN Flag

For so many it is a given that the world is round.  We know that the earth rotates on its axis which causes the sun to appear to rise and set.  We know that the moon moves around the earth and that during a lunar eclipse it is the shadow of the earth on the moon that makes it seemingly disappear.  We know that we can take a cruise literally around the world and not fear falling off the edge.

Once upon a time that was not such a firm belief for some.  Stepping outside your front door in the desert with its intense lack of vegetation, it may be easy to assume that the distance you can see could bring about a belief that the world is indeed flat.  Relying on personal observation, however, is widely accepted with limited value because there are far more “worlds” beyond our ability to see or touch.

Believe it or not, as recently as the past 60 years people were still convinced that the world was flat.  It was in 1956 that the Flat Earth Society was founded by Charles K. Johnson on this very idea. Johnson claims that he shared this belief in the “truth” along with an extensive list of people throughout history who were “flat-earthers.”

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