Words or Message??

Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by presbuteros, Oct 28, 2002.

  1. presbuteros

    presbuteros
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2002
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    What do you think is primary in the Word of God: the words or the message? I realize both are important, and both inspired, but which is primary - which serves the other?

    I propose that the message is primary, and that the words are the medium. The same message can be delivered with different words. The KJV's dynamic equivalent "God forbid" and a more literal rendering "may it never be" are both the word of God, since they both convey the same emphatic negative.

    How can the words be primary, since they would exist apart from a message? I can know what I want to say, and then select words to convey it. But I cannot select words first without a message to deliver - at least not in a meaningful way.

    If the message is primary, is a translation superior if it renders the words more literally, or the message more clearly? Is a literal rendering that obscures the message better than an equivalent rendering that makes the message clear?

    Just some thoughts...
     
  2. Johnv

    Johnv
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    21,321
    Likes Received:
    0
    The message. Hands down. We too often think of God's word as the letters on the page, instead of the message between the letters.
     
  3. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2002
    Messages:
    6,659
    Likes Received:
    189
    The message is the Word of God. It doesn't matter what language, whether written or spoken, what era, or what Bible translation. The truth of God sets people free and calls them to discipleship.

    Fixating on the exact words or a translation is something akin to a magical frame of reference -- that is, the words or a translation has the power of God, not God Himself.
     
  4. Bible-belted

    Bible-belted
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2002
    Messages:
    1,110
    Likes Received:
    0
    How can a Canadian possibly propose this???

    Don't you remember that great Canadian Marshall MacLuhan??

    The medium IS the messsage! [​IMG]
     
  5. jimslade

    jimslade
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    AMEN Brothers.
     
  6. LauraB

    LauraB
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 1, 2002
    Messages:
    473
    Likes Received:
    0
    One goes with the other. The King James Bible is taken from the original texts. When they were translated into english, the english word was used for the hebrew match. I use to use the New American Standard but have since discovered that, to me, there are holes and the new international version omits quite a few verses. [​IMG]
     
  7. garpier

    garpier
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2000
    Messages:
    186
    Likes Received:
    0
    Genesis 15:1 After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.
    Exodus 9:21 And he that regarded not the word of the LORD left his servants and his cattle in the field.
    Numbers 22:38 And Balaam said unto Balak, Lo, I am come unto thee: have I now any power at all to say any thing? the word that God putteth in my mouth, that shall I speak.
    Deuteronomy 8:3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.
    Joshua 19:50 According to the word of the LORD they gave him the city which he asked, even Timnathserah in mount Ephraim: and he built the city, and dwelt therein.
    1 Samuel 1:23 And Elkanah her husband said unto her, Do what seemeth thee good; tarry until thou have weaned him; only the LORD establish his word .
    2 Samuel 23:2 The Spirit of the LORD spake by me, and his word was in my tongue.
    1 Kings 2:27 So Solomon thrust out Abiathar from being priest unto the LORD; that he might fulfil the word of the LORD, which he spake concerning the house of Eli in Shiloh.
    2 Kings 7:1 Then Elisha said, Hear ye the word of the LORD; Thus saith the LORD, To morrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, in the gate of Samaria.
    1 Chronicles 10:13 So Saul died for his transgression which he committed against the LORD, even against the word of the LORD, which he kept not, and also for asking counsel of one that had a familiar spirit, to enquire of it;
    2 Chronicles 10:15 So the king hearkened not unto the people: for the cause was of God, that the LORD might perform his word , which he spake by the hand of Ahijah the Shilonite to Jeroboam the son of Nebat.
    Ezra 1:1 Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, that the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah might be fulfilled, the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, that he made a proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and put it also in writing, saying,
    Nehemiah 1:8 Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations:
    Psalms 33:6 By the word of the LORD were the heavens made; and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.
    Proverbs 30:5 Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.
    Isaiah 28:14 Wherefore hear the worc of the LORD, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem.
    Jeremiah 1:4 Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
    Lamentations 2:17 The LORD hath done that which he had devised; he hath fulfilled his word that he had commanded in the days of old: he hath thrown down, and hath not pitied: and he hath caused thine enemy to rejoice over thee, he hath set up the horn of thine adversaries.

    Ezekiel 6:1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,

    Daniel 9:2 In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem.

    Hosea 1:1 The word of the LORD that came unto Hosea, the son of Beeri, in the days of Uzziah, Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, and in the days of Jeroboam the son of Joash, king of Israel

    Joel 1:1 The word of the LORD that came to Joel the son of Pethuel.

    Amos 3:1 Hear this word that the LORD hath spoken against you, O children of Israel, against the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt, saying,

    Jonah 3:1 And the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the second time, saying,

    Micah 1:1 The word of the LORD that came to Micah the Morasthite in the days of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, kings of Judah, which he saw concerning Samaria and Jerusalem.

    Habakkuk 3:9 Thy bow was made quite naked, according to the oaths of the tribes, even thy word . Selah. Thou didst cleave the earth with rivers.

    Zephaniah 1:1 The word of the LORD which came unto Zephaniah the son of Cushi, the son of Gedaliah, the son of Amariah, the son of Hizkiah, in the days of Josiah the son of Amon, king of Judah.

    Haggai 1:3 Then came the word of the LORD by Haggai the prophet, saying,

    Zechariah 1:1 In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the LORD unto Zechariah, the son of Berechiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying,

    Malachi 1:1 The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi.

    Matthew 26:75 And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.

    Mark 7:13 Making the word of God of none effect through your tradition, which ye have delivered: and many such like things do ye.

    Luke 8:21 And he answered and said unto them, My mother and my brethren are these which hear the word of God, and do it.

    John 12:48 He that rejecteth me, and receiveth not my words , hath one that judgeth him: the word that I have spoken, the same shall judge him in the last day.

    Acts 2:41 Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.

    Romans 10:17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

    1 Corinthians 14:36 What? came the word of God out from you? or came it unto you only?

    2 Corinthians 4:2 But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.

    1 Timothy 6:3 If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words , even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;

    The list of verses could go on for a long while. God spoke in words, not ideas, not thoughts , not poorly chosen phrases, but in pure exact words.
     
  8. BrianT

    BrianT
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2002
    Messages:
    3,516
    Likes Received:
    0
    Words are how ideas and thoughts are conveyed. Notice that most of the verses you posted say "the word of the LORD", where "word" is singular. And yet there is 12 "words" spoken in the verse in the KJV (there are 7 in the Hebrew), yet the whole phrase is called the "word" (singular) of the Lord. Thus, this "word" *is* an idea/thought/phrase. If it is "exact words", why is only one "word" mentioned, and why does the KJV add 5 extra? ;)
     
  9. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2002
    Messages:
    6,659
    Likes Received:
    189
    Nope. Taken from copies of copies of the originals and other sources.

    Often there is no one-to-one match between Hebrew and English (or any language to another for that matter). There is always interpretation -- even in the King James.

    Use the version you like best, but please stick to the facts.
     
  10. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2002
    Messages:
    6,659
    Likes Received:
    189
    Words by themselves mean little. Words put together in relation to other words provides meaning. Meaning transfers ideas and thoughts.

    Your desire to say God speaks to us with words but not thoughts or ideas makes no sense.
     
  11. garpier

    garpier
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2000
    Messages:
    186
    Likes Received:
    0
  12. Scott J

    Scott J
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2001
    Messages:
    8,462
    Likes Received:
    0
    The Lord was referring to His sayings. If He was only referring to His actual words then how are we to know them? They were probably spoken in Aramaic and first recorded in Greek. Few if any of us could understand the words if we heard them.
     
  13. jimslade

    jimslade
    Expand Collapse
    Guest

    Why did you skip John 1;1 "In the begining was the WORD and the WORD was with GOD and the WORD was GOD" The same greek word logos is used in all cases. Don't try to prove your point without lookin at all scripture.
     
  14. Baptist Believer

    Baptist Believer
    Expand Collapse
    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2002
    Messages:
    6,659
    Likes Received:
    189
    Who are you talking to and what does Jesus being the "logos" of God have do to support whatever point you are trying to make regarding the question of words or message?
     
  15. Johnv

    Johnv
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2001
    Messages:
    21,321
    Likes Received:
    0
    I'll reiterate my original point, as well as what others have said: words are meaningless unless they comprise a meaning:

    If I say "ass" in a crowded room, people will look to me in disgust.

    If I say "Mary rode to Bethlehem on an ass, accompanied by Joseph", you'll see a biblical picture.

    If I say "Mary rode Joseph's ass all the way to Bethlehem", you'd think I had stumbled upon the first case of PMS in the bible.

    Words are poor at conveying meaning. Messages are vital.
     
  16. presbuteros

    presbuteros
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2002
    Messages:
    38
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hello All,

    Thanks for your input so far. It looks like most agree that the message is primary, and the words are the medium to communicate it.

    Any thoughts on translation philosophy that would flow out of this? Should a translation strive for word for word accuracy, or for a rendering that accurately reflects the meaning? I realize that a literal translation will often be an accurate reflection of the meaning, but when it is obscure, should an equiavalent be used to bring out the message more clearly?

    Also, does the primacy of the message have any bearing upon our understanding of inspiration? When we say that every word is inspired, do we mean that God chose that specific word in question as opposed to another? Or does it mean that the words speak the message God wanted spoken, and so we call them inspired in that sense? Does the fact that different authors reflect their own peculiar vocabulary have any bearing upon this question?
     
  17. garpier

    garpier
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2000
    Messages:
    186
    Likes Received:
    0
    As the author of all language, God certainly knows the meanings of all words. When He gave His Word to the human authors of the Bible, he also gave the exact words He wanted recorded. Yes the message is important, but there is no way to convey a written message without words. Have you ever had a thought that wasn't in words? I don't think I ever have. But then that is because I am just to simple minded. God's pure words are the very words He wanted to convey. To answer the question on John 12:48, I believe Jesus was referring to His canonical words, or the words that are recorded for us in Scripture. He certainly said much more that is not recorded, but we will be judged only by the Words that are recorded. But then again, maybe I'm too simple minded to see it any other way. [​IMG]
     
  18. Bible-belted

    Bible-belted
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2002
    Messages:
    1,110
    Likes Received:
    0
    "Any thoughts on translation philosophy that would flow out of this? Should a translation strive for word for word accuracy, or for a rendering that accurately reflects the meaning? I realize that a literal translation will often be an accurate reflection of the meaning, but when it is obscure, should an equiavalent be used to bring out the message more clearly?"

    I don't think it can be reduced to an either/or.

    Sometimes a literal is more accurate than an idea. For instance the NIV translates "sarx" as "sinful nature" at points, and it leads to some bad understandings.

    Granted that a more dynamic form would be helpful in expressing idiom, it is also true that to ignore a word for word in the idiom can lead to one forgetting that ther IS an idiom at work. Whether an idea is expresed idiomaticaly or not has an impact on how we understand a text, its writer, its recipients...

    And it is not always clear as to when a more dynamic appproach does or does not in fact cpmpromise communication of the iddea.

    For instance there is the passage in Hebrews (12:7) where God is said to be like Fahter disciplining his children. Some suggest that a dynamic translation should be gender neutral. But if the author of Hebrews is in fact making a direct paralle, where God is the Father, and is not merely speaking of fathers generically, then that dynamic translation actually compromises one of the ideas being conveyed, that of the father hood of God. One might argue that the idea is not absent from Scripture, but that is nto the point. The point is that dynamic translations are supposed to preserve the idea being conveyed in a given text. If that is true then whether another text conveys the idea is irrelevant; the idea is, in that text, still being compromised.
     
  19. Daniel Dunivan

    Daniel Dunivan
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2002
    Messages:
    374
    Likes Received:
    0
    How could an infinite God be conveyed through words? Because words are symbols not the thing (or in God's case, Being) in itself. We should be careful that we don't mistake the words of a humanly conditioned scripture for the formally unconditioned God and His true words, found in the interaction of His message found within scripture and in the continuing acts of the church, with the lives of His children through the guidance of the Spirit.
     
  20. suzanne

    suzanne
    Expand Collapse
    New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2002
    Messages:
    262
    Likes Received:
    0
    The list of verses could go on for a long while. God spoke in words, not ideas, not thoughts , not poorly chosen phrases, but in pure exact words. From the Greek manuscripts the following verses could be rendered:

    Luke 8:21
    ...my mothers and brothers are those who hear God's MESSAGE and act on it.

    I Tim. 6:3
    If anyone teaches differently and does not agree to the SOUND PRECEPTS of our Lord Jesus Christ...

    Joshua 19:50
    according to the Lords ORDER they gave him the city...

    II Cor. 4:2
    ...distorting God's MESSAGE

    In John 12:50 it says I know that his command is eternal life. So what I say is simply what the father has told me to say.

    If I give one of my children directions and they tell someone else what I said, they may not use the exact words, although the message I gave will be intact.

    suzanne
     

Share This Page

Loading...