Do Christians have authority to re-arrange the Bible

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by Jacob_Elliott, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. Jacob_Elliott

    Jacob_Elliott
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    Last Sunday my pastor started preaching through Ephesians. He started by handing out a paper on which he had re-arranged and re-worded Ephesians 1:1-14. He justified this by saying that he had as much authority as the men who put the bible together and that they had done it wrong in many places. I contend first that these men were under the i inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and secondly because of the time in which they lived they were all "fluent in greek and spent much more time studying then most do today.
    1. Is there any reason for a Christian to re-arrange and reword (not just minor changes) passages?
    2. Do we posses the authority that these men did?

    Ps: for those of you who have seen my past post and are wondering why I don't just change churches, i'm working on it, I have some obligations that I need to pass along before I find a new church home.
     
  2. preachinjesus

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    What do you mean by "re-arranged" and "re-worded" above?

    Translation is a delicate art, but one best done with principles in place. So, are we talking he simply re-translated within the ideas of the passage (i.e. a paraphrase) or just swapped stuff out willy-nilly? Also, does you pastor know Greek? I'm not talking about a fair amount of knowledge, but does he know Greek?

    Thanks
     
  3. OldRegular

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    I think not. Sounds like the man is arrogant !
     
    #3 OldRegular, Jan 23, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 25, 2014
  4. Jacob_Elliott

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    The wording wasn't "that" different, however all of the verses were out of order so I believe that was "willy nilly". As for greek, I'm honestly not sure. I'm sure he took a course in seminary, but it's been at least 30 years I think. He claimed he spend two days (work days I assume) translating, so if he does know greek it can't know it we'll.
    Edit: when I say out of order I mean verse six after verse 3, verse 3 by verse 8 etc.
     
    #4 Jacob_Elliott, Jan 23, 2014
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  5. Jacob_Elliott

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    I would like to pose another question.
    3. If we do make major changes to the bible are we not doubting God's ability to preserve His word?
     
  6. OldRegular

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    Yes!:thumbsup::thumbsup:
     
  7. Jacob_Elliott

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    It's frustrating really, I try to respect his position as elder but some of the things he says and teaches just astounds me!
     
    #7 Jacob_Elliott, Jan 24, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 25, 2014
  8. saturneptune

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    There are some places in the Bible that chronology is not perfect, like Moses dies at the end of Exodus, then is alive again in Numbers (cute trick huh) because the events in Numbers took place between some of the events in Exodus. I have no problem with chronological Bibles, but do not think that is the case here. It sounds like he (the elder or whatever) is trying to rearrange verses or words to suit his opinion of what he thinks they should say.

    Just based on your post, it sounds like the guy has a screw loose. I guess one has to ask why is he changing the order of the verses? Is it to clarify sound doctrine, or is it to glorify his opinion? Has he taught odd and weird ideas in the past? All situations are usually in harmony.

    As I said, I have no problem with a chronological Bible to give a better perspective of events in Scripture. However, the God that Inspired the Bible and the folks that put the canon together are a lot smarter than I am, so in general, I would be very careful about doing such things as rearranging the Bible.

    This is a poor example, but if I was going to give a talk on Inspiration of Scripture and started off with 2 Tim 3:16, but then rearranged 1 Cor 7:12 or 7:25 right after that verse, I could make the point that all Scripture is not Inspired. Why? because the verses are taken out of context and I have an agenda to destroy the message and harmony of the Bible. That is a poor example, but it does make the point. It all comes down to what is inside the teacher. Use the Holy Spirit in you to discern and use past experience with this person.
     
  9. HAMel

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    ... that he had as much authority as the men who put the bible together...

    This poor boy is a quart or two low. Someone best check the dipstick to ensure a proper level.
     
  10. Jacob_Elliott

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    It's really tempting to preacher bash :laugh: . He does say every Sunday that we are baptist that believe the bible and have no business studying theology. I think this stems from a fear of Cal/arm theology, as he has made it his mission to stamp out Calvinism. However, he doesn't understand Calvinism, he stated that total depravity meant that men cannot audibly hear God. Don't get me wrong I believe in mixed church, and that we have a right to believe whatever, but don't get up in the pulpit and bash people you don't agree with.
     
  11. Yeshua1

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    Depends on how you define/mean by 're wording", for if you look ata greek interlinear, and he was to post the literal greek sentence structuring, the verses would a times seem "out of place!"

    I assume you mean that he feels that he can freely retranslate, remake the bible text, as he has same inspiration to do that as paul/John and rest of theLord jesus merry band had, and that is HERESY!

    f that is the case, he is NOT a shepherd of jesus, and you need to leave there now!
     
  12. Jacob_Elliott

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    Also, I have always heard and all my resources indicate that Ephesians 1 is a long sentence in greek?
     
  13. Yeshua1

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    Is he saying that the english versions have cut up the sentence, that they were wrong places to start/stop the sentences?
     
  14. JohnDeereFan

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    That's when I would say, "Well, it's been good knowing you. We're going to go find a real church now".
     
  15. Salty

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    In the For-what-its-worth-dept, the Orginial writings had no chapter and verses.

    Chapters were number in the Early 1200's and verses were numbered in the mid 1500's

    (which means if Columbus brought a King James Version Bible with him on his first voyage to the New World - it would have had chapter divisions - but no verse divisions.)
     
  16. Jacob_Elliott

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    He said (paraphrase) "Many scholars believe that Paul wrote the first part of Ephesians as a long sentence in greek, well after talking to several teacher of greek I have determined that that is not the case, Paul wrote the first part of Ephesians as multiple sentences."
    I haven't studied Greek yet so I was hoping some of the more knowledgable members could help me out?
     
  17. thisnumbersdisconnected

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    Since this passage, in the original Greek, is one long sentence, I can't imagine by what authority he can claim to reorder it. That's the height of arrogance. If you change a sentence around, particularly one so progressive in describing the gifts and blessings we have in Christ, you destroy the meaning and synergy of the passage.

    Hurry up and hand off those obligations you're trying to place with others and get thee the heck out of there!
     
  18. Jacob_Elliott

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    That's what I thought, I appreciate the input!
     
  19. preachinjesus

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    Ephesians 1:3-14 is a single sentence (as best we can tell) in the original Greek. I believe it is the longest sentence in the NT.
     
  20. preachinjesus

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    Generally, if he were using the re-arrangement as a teachable example and a) not saying it was authoritative and b) noting that it is a teaching tool subservient to the biblical text I wouldn't have a problem with it.

    I've this often when showing chiastic structures (not preaching mind you, but in teaching environments) of lengthy passages. Also, in translation, it can sometimes help to re-arrange aspects of a passage to show the force of the author's thoughts.

    This isn't that big of deal imho.

    I don't believe in the dictation theory of inspiration because it doesn't work and, imho, it clearly isn't the way the biblical text was inspired.

    Anyways, this is a more troubling statement:
    I would disagree with him on this. His statement is a misunderstanding of the extent of the priesthood of believers and soul competency. Just my opinion, but the early councils had the authority to do this and, until the canon was sealed in AD 397 at the Synod of Carthage, this was an organic process. He isn't able to access the text the same way.

    But that's just my take. :)
     

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