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Featured Using Study Tools

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by Van, Apr 27, 2024.

  1. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    2 Timothy 2:15-18 (NASB)
    Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a worker who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. But avoid worldly and empty chatter, for it will lead to further ungodliness, and their talk will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, who have gone astray from the truth,
    Here we see we are to be "diligent" to accurately handle the "word of truth." Do we need to hold a man-made degree in Greek to study and share the results of our study? Or do we need to possess "Gnostic knowledge" bestowed in accredited schools? Do we believe in the "priesthood of believers" or in the "priesthood" of Greek speakers or Latin speakers or Hebrew speakers?

    Do we need a degree in Greek to use a "Lexicon" written in English, or use an "Exhaustive Concordance" written in English or a "Reverse Interlinear" written in English? Or could we simply use our discipleship training on how to study God's word?

    When we see claims by those who apparently do not study that you need a degree to study and share, beware such views are the antithesis of Christ's teachings.

    To be "diligent" refers to us being earnest or zealous toward the accomplishment of something. In 2 Timothy 2:15, the idea is to study God's word zealously, and not simply accept unverified views of scripture.

    Luke 8:15 (NASB)
    “But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word with a good and virtuous heart, and hold it firmly, and produce fruit with perseverance.

    Are we open to the message of God's word, and can we "hold it firmly" without careful study so we are not blown about by every wind of doctrine?

    How are we to "make disciples" teaching them "all Christ commanded" if we have not learned what those commands are? Do we thirst for the pure word of God, or are we happy to walk in the furrows of other people?
     
  2. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Kinda both (depends on how dogmatic one wants to get).

    I would think it necessary to have some education in Greek, for example, to use Greek language tools.

    Commentaries are different, but while helpful one has to understand that they are reading another person's (hopefully somebody with a good education in the field) understanding.

    It is not difficult to find disagreements among scholars, even in the same "camp".

    Having been on this board for over 20 years I have observed, unfortunately, that many study commentaries in place of Scripture.


    But you are right about study.
     
  3. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    In 1968 my primary study tools were the KJV and Strong's Exhaustive Concordance. I have obtained other tools since.
     
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  4. Baptizo

    Baptizo Member

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    The fact is that we rely heavily on Greek scholars to translate our Bibles into English. I don't think I'm smart enough or have the patience to learn the original languages myself. That being said, it is always best to use English translations that are done by a committee rather than a handful of folks who might all share the same theological biases. It is also best to use a translation that seeks to be as accurate to the original languages as possible. For example, The Living Bible and The Message are interpretations rather than translations. My primary Bible is the NKJV but I will utilize the ESV on tough passages and the KJV where singular and plural pronouns are clear. I write my own commentary in a notebook as the Holy Spirit guides me.
     
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  5. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    More than 60 published translations already exist.
    There is no reason for many bible students to learn Hebrew of Greek, when understanding can be obtained from existing translations and study tools.

    Nothing wrong with using the NKJV as your primary study bible. Other good comparison bibles are the WEB (World English Bible) and the NET (New English Translation).

    I agree we should put our understanding of the textual message in our own words. For example, here is my interpretative translation of John 3:16.
    God loved humanity in this way, He gave His uniquely divine Son so that everyone believing into Him, will not perish but have everlasting life. ​

    My primary study bible is the NASB, but the first two scrubs I perform is to remove any italicized words and insert the more literal footnoted choices.

    For example in your NKJV, if you look at James 2:5, if you remove the italicized "to be" from the text the whole message is changed, from being rich in faith when chosen, to not being rich in faith when chosen.
     
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  6. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    @Baptizo,
    With Bible versions there are two translation issues.
    The choices of the underlying Hebrew/Aramaic or Greek texts. And choices of how the texts are to be translated. There are specific examples that can be made.
     
    #6 37818, Apr 27, 2024
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2024
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  7. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    @Baptizo,
    Two unique examples,
    Translation, Modern Literal Version.

    Exodus 12:40, Now the time that the sons of Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt and the land of Canaan was four hundred and thirty years.

    Romans 9:11, yet born, nor had practiced anything good or evil, in-order-that the purpose of God according-to his choice might abide, not from works, but from the one who is calling.

    Do a transaction comparison.
     
  8. 37818

    37818 Well-Known Member

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    @Baptizo

    NKJV, Luke 2:2, This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria.

    Correctly translated the verb.
     
  9. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    One of the best study tools is an Exhaustive Concordance for your primary study bible.

    Starting with an English word found in your NKJV, you can find where that same English word also appears in other verses, and in each case, the number of the Hebrew or Greek word translated. So say you look up Easter, and you see it does not appear in the NKJV, but the same Greek word meaning Passover appears in several other verses. Thus a little study using just this one tool will give you the opportunity to conclude the Jewish Passover and not the KJV's Easter is in view in Acts 12:4
     
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  10. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    1) Please provide an example referencing a verse and state what is hidden unless a person has taken at least a semester of Greek.

    2) A "good education in the field" is no protection from a commentary spewing falsehood.

    3) We agree, well educated "scholars" often hold significantly different views, thus views passed down from others provides no certainty of truth.

    4) We agree, if we rely on the views of others, and do not discern for ourselves what scripture says (or at least what we think scripture says based on our study) we are not relying on "best evidence."
     
  11. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Yes!! Translations that change verbs into nouns (administering versus governor) alter the text. A Greek participle is used as a verbal adjective in this verse, thus "while Quinirius was administering Syria" is to be preferred. Correctly translating the participle allows for the census to have taken place before Quinirius became governor, assuming he acted in an administrative position beforehand.
     
    #11 Van, Apr 28, 2024
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2024
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  12. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    1. I'm not talking about not getting the word. I'm talking about people using Greek language tools to dig down and get the meaning of words.

    Several on this forum have done this. But language is more fluid and dependent on usage.

    An English example is the word "nice". If I call you nice, and somebody not familiar with English digs down with language tools he will find that "nice" comes from the Latin root nescius, which means "ignorant". But ignorant is not what I mean by "nice".

    Is calling somebody "nimrod" a complement or an insult? Before Buggs Bunny it would have been a complement. Afterwards, it's an insult.

    My point is that translation does not depend solely on a dictionary.

    2. I agree. But a lack of an education often results in error.
     
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  13. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Thanks but I did not see any "definition" of "some education in Greek" thus nothing wrong with our "how to study the bible" classes as part of our leadership mentoring outreach in our local churches.

    Often, it is not a lack of "education" but a lack of "due diligence" that results in error. We are to study to show ourselves approved.
     
  14. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    I am not saying we shouldn't use Greek language tools. Often this is the first step to come up with the meaning. But it is not the final step.

    Translating a language is not as simple as exchanging words.

    What I mean by knowing enough to use language tools is twofold:

    1. Know how the language works.
    2. Know the extent of your abilities.

    I have studied Greek at the graduate level. That is how I know my lack of proficiency even with a Greek dictionary, and why I defer to those like @John of Japan (or people like Gordon Fee, Bill Mounce) to get possible meanings of the words in a specific context.


    Same with theology. I would not rely on a linguist to teach me theology. I'd rely on somebody who has studied theologies.

    We have people who have dedicated decades to learning specific subjects (Hermenutics, Theology, Pauline epistles, John's writings, etc.).
     
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  15. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    Those in whom the Greek word lives only while they are hunting for it in the lexicon, and who then substitute the English word for it, are not reading Greek at all; they are only solving a puzzle.
    C.S. Lewis, Surprised by Joy.
     
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  16. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    @Van

    As JonC has stated, you don’t need a degree in biblical Greek or Hebrew to use a lexicon. You don’t even need a formal degree to be a biblical language expert (though that would be rare)

    However, when a novice in the biblical languages makes statements about how a verse “could be translated” ( always in favor of their bias), ignoring the objections of the real scholarship of those that have dedicated their lives to understand the biblical languages…. well, that is a problem.

    As I have told you before, if you think your interpretation of a verse that differs wildly from the established understanding is correct, then submit that paper for peer review of those that have expertise in the field.

    It is a waste of time to come on BB and claim (over and over) your interpretation is just as good as the experts, while acknowledging you really don’t understand the syntax or proper word usage in the context used.

    And when it is pointed out that you really don’t understand the use of words in the biblical languages, you claim victim status and pretend folks are attacking you personally.

    And then you repeatedly start threads about how someone doesn’t need a degree to study a lexicon, which has never been the issue at all.

    Peace to you
     
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  17. canadyjd

    canadyjd Well-Known Member

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    This is a great example of how words can be misunderstood.

    Another example… suppose I write a letter to my mother saying I took the kids to the zoo, had a flat tire and had to get the spare out of the trunk.

    In 2000 years, someone looks in an English lexicon of the period and discovered the word “trunk” could mean the trunk of an elephant. Since they really like elephants, and I was at a zoo, they claim the letter could be understood to mean the spare tire was in the trunk of an elephant.

    I know that sounds silly, but I suspect the folks that study the biblical languages for their entire lives look at the supposed “could be translated” statements and just shake their heads thinking it is simply silly to think such a translation is possible

    peace to you
     
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  18. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    Folks, this person makes one negative statement after another, all false and none quoting me.

    No "real scholar" has objected to my "interpretive translations" which reflect my understanding of the meaning of the verse.

    No one else is required to have their posts "peer reviewed" before sharing. The suggestion is utter nonsense.

    Did I ever claim my views were as good as "the experts?" No quote will be forthcoming. I do state that experts disagree and therefore in those cases either one of them or both of them are wrong. This is not rocket science.

    Many times the claim is made by Calvinists that I do not understand something. But that "ad homenim" is the standard method used to undercut all those who disagree.

    I do repeatedly state bible students do not need degrees to study the bible, but they need training in how to study the bible. How to use a "reverse interlinear" or an "exhaustive concordance" or "lexicons." English dictionaries, bible dictionaries and books presenting the cultural of the times are also needed.

    And in summary I say those who only use and adopt views from the dark ages usually do not even know how to study the bible. Often they cannot even do a word search!!
     
  19. Van

    Van Well-Known Member
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    You mean like substituting a verb for a noun? Or changing "apo" to "pro" ( since to before). Training in bible study does not say to replace the actual meaning with one you like.
     
  20. JonC

    JonC Moderator
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    No. I mean not understanding how words are actually used in a culture (how dictionary meaning do not always equate to usage).

    I guess had I not taken Greek in grad school I'd be more inclined to rely on language tools. But having studied the language at that level, I came to know it takes years of study (more than I am willing to invest).

    And don't get me wrong, I am in no way suggesting these things are bad. I'm just saying that they are far from a replacement of scholars in the field.
     
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