It is customary to blame secular science and anti-religious philosophy for the eclipse of religion in modern society. It would be more honest to blame religion for its own defeats. Religion declined not because it was refuted, but because it became irrelevant, dull, oppressive, insipid. When faith is completely replaced by creed, worship by discipline, love by habit; when the crisis of today is ignored because of the splendor of the past; when faith becomes an heirloom rather than a living fountain; when religion speaks only in the name of authority rather than with the voice of compassion — its message becomes meaningless.
Abraham Heschel, God in Search of Man
Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.
Genesis 11:9 (KJV)
Language – According to Lera Boroditsky, a cognitive scientist, she states there are over 7,000 languages spoken worldwide. Why is this important? Language is a driving factor in how you think. Without speaking the same language as those who authored the Bible, we’re likely not going to think the same way they did. Lera explains this disconnect based on how different cultures use language. Continue reading “Language Influences Your Thought”
When interpreting Scripture, these are the 6 factors that I endeavor to keep in focus at all times. Unlike personal, private, spiritual enlightening which can only truly effect the person who experienced such an event, this method is obtainable by everyone. It is a guideline that can be shared by all which ultimately leads to the same result — an historically accurate, culturally dependent, true interpretation. Continue reading “6 Factors for Interpreting Scripture”
When asked what he as a Hindu admired most in Christianity, he responded, “Jesus.” When asked what disturbed him most in Christianity, Gandhi responded, “Christians.” He continued, “But negatively I can tell you that much of what passes as Christianity is a negation of the Sermon on the Mount.”
Louis Fischer, Gandhi: His Life and Message for the World, p. 131
That is a viewpoint of a non-Christian about Christianity. Interesting isn’t it? Gandhi’s observation suggests that Christians don’t live out the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5-7). Christians don’t act as followers of Christ. They don’t mimic Yeshua’s example in the world. Continue reading “Gandhi’s Viewpoint”
While learning Hebrew, I thought to share more notes that I found interesting about the language. Continue reading “Learning Hebrew – Part 2”
For then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one consent.
Zephaniah 3:9 (KJV)
Language – I believe the pure language that is being referenced here is Hebrew. I believe it was the language God spoke when He created everything in Genesis. We know it’s the language spoken during the 1st century when referencing religious things (Acts 21:40), and it was the language Yeshua spoke to Apostle Paul on the road to Damascus (Acts 26:14). So maybe it’s about time I learn it more fluently myself. Continue reading “Learning Hebrew – Part 1”
Let’s look at the word “heart” in five different verses from the King James Bible. Continue reading “When Translations Get Out of Control”
There’s an interesting parallel I’d like to draw attention to in Genesis. They involve two different digressions that happen within the two major stories of Genesis. Continue reading “A Tale of Two Digressions”
In the book, Rediscovering Japan, Reintroducing Christiandom; Two Thousand Years of Christian History in Japan, Samuel Lee makes some interesting comparisons. Continue reading “Interesting Comparisons”
This is a great perspective on how to approach Scripture by Skip Moen. I recommend this consideration for us all when reading the text.
The biblical text is paradigm dependent. By that I mean that just like all human language, the meanings of the words are derived from the way the words were used by the author at the time he wrote in his culture.