Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Infant Baptism

On another blog, I've been following (and involved in) a discussion on infant baptism. Someone named Jim made the following perceptive comment:
I often find myself highly suspicious of “doctrines” that require lengthy and convoluted explanations. What should be a simple “look at this verse” becomes a diatribe that emphasizes minutia. 

1. Question: What does the Bible say about Jesus? Answer: Look at this verse…

2. Question: How does the Bible define the Gospel? Answer: Look at this verse…

3. Question: What does the Bible say about being a godly husband? Answer: Look at this verse… 

4. Question: What does the Bible say about infant baptism? Answer: “Let me give you a long lecture about why all Christians must follow a practice that is never mentioned a single time in Scripture, and I’ll do it by appealing to an Old Testament custom that we were clearly and directly commanded to NOT practice as Gentile Christians.”
With that said, we do love our (erroneous) padeobaptist brothers and sisters. I can see the splinter in their eye, though I do hope this side heaven the Lord helps me see whatever beams may be blocking my vision.

Monday, March 7, 2011

ESV rendering of 2 Timothy 2:15---What in the World???

Can someone at Crossway Publishing (since I know they and all the other movers-n-shakers in the Evangelical world read this blog) explain to me their translation of 2 Timothy 2:15.
"Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth."
Really?  "Do your best"?  This is how you translate the Greek word spoudazo?  While it can (it a certain sense) mean that from a technical point of view, did you ever stop to consider how in our present modern context this mis-communicates more than it communicates Paul's intent?  Why not translate it as "spare no effort", "be zealous", or even "hasten"?  OK, maybe the last option sounds a little too William Shakespeare. But did you really think following the NIV {update: they followed the RSV} at this point was the best possible solution? As least the NASB captures the intensity of this word with their rendering "be diligent".

Guys, I love the ESV, but you've forced me to publicly slap your hand whenever I read/preach from this verse. Maybe I can hand out xerox'd copies of the NASB or even the KJV.  The KJV may be a off target with "study", but that's a lot easier to clarify with the congregation than "do your best".

With that said, I really do love you guys and praise God for the work your doing.  I've put myself on record as stating the ESV is the most accurate translation of God's Word in English (I even promote the ESV in the sidebar of this blog).

Keep up the good work (and please, please, please, correct this one instance of 'not-so-good work').

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Tyndale on interpreting scripture literally

I love this quote from William Tyndale:

“The Scripture hath but one sense which is the literal sense...the Scripture useth proverbs, similitudes, riddles, or allegories, as all other speeches do; but that which the proverb, similitude, riddle, or allegory  signifieth, is ever the literal sense, which thou must seek out diligently.”
In other words, don't get so lost in literalism that you fail to see Scripture's symbolism, metaphors, and literary devices; but also don't get so lost in the figurative that you fail to see the literal point that is being made.