Epistles of Thomas

September 1, 2009

NIV and TNIV to be replaced by Tom’s NIV

Filed under: Translation — Thomas @ 10:35
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Tomorrow’s NIV (Tom’s NIV) has been announced and will be published in 2011. I like the title, assuming that they stick with that abbreviation ;-). It is designed to replaced the ever popular NIV while avoiding the controversy which plagued the TNIV and has prevented it from selling. It will be interesting to see how things develop and what the repercussions are of discontinuing the NIV. I like the irony of the title of their press release: “Biblica Announces First Update in Quarter Century of the World’s Most Popular Bible.” I wonder what the TNIV was then, especially given that Tom’s NIV is mean to replace both. Of course, if the TNIV had been well received we would never have seen a Tom’s NIV.


November 5, 2008

1 Corinthians 7-9

Filed under: New Testament — Thomas @ 16:42
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Sorry for the delay in posting these chapters. I was away at our district new workers retreat. It was a great time at Stillwood Conference Centre in Chilliwack. My wife and I got to meet the district staff and lots of other new-to-the-district pastors.

Chapter seven is the (in)famous passage about marriage and sex within marriage. I was interested to see that the TNIV adds a word that was not in the NIV. Can you spot it? “Do not deprive each other except perhaps by mutual consent and for a time, so that you may devote yourselves to prayer” (7:5). To my mind it makes Paul’s statement even more of an option (concession) rather than an expectation or a command. Paul makes it clear that living in the expectation of the Kingdom is more important than living according to the societal norms of being born, marrying, giving birth, dying. Everything should be done in expectation of God’s working in time and history. During our retreat, Dr. Paul Spilsbury lectured on being a luminal people living between the times. The Kingdom of God has been inaugurated but not fulfilled. We thus live as sojourners in this period, as travellers passing through on our way. That is the background to Paul’s concern.

Chapter eight deals with food sacrificed to idols, not something that most of us deal with today. However, his concern should be ours: “Therefore, if what I eat causes my brother or sister to fall into sin, I will never eat meat again, so that I will not cause them to fall.” May I live with as much love for my fellow Christians!

In the next chapter he makes his famous statement about being all thing to all people that he might win as many as possible (9:19). He makes two caveats that we should remember. First, “I myself am not under the law” and secondly, “though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law.” He is neither under the law nor free from all law. That is a very profound distinction and I think one that the emergent/postmodern church needs to consider well.

October 8, 2008

Most “interesting” verse in the TNIV?

Filed under: Greek,Hebrew,Old Testament,Septuagint,Translation — Thomas @ 10:43
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Ezekiel 21:7 gets my vote for most “interesting” verse in the TNIV, although 7:17 comes a close second.

“And when they ask you, ‘Why are you groaning?’ you shall say, ‘Because of the news that is coming. Every heart will melt and every hand go limp; every spirit will become faint and every knee be wet with urine.’ It is coming! It will surely take place, declares the Sovereign Lord.”

The only other translations, that I know of, to go with “urine” instead of “water” are the NET and NEB. The Hebrew is literally, “their knees will run with water” and the LXX took this to be urine (ὑγρᾰσία because where else would that water come from?). Ezekiel certainly has a way with words, I will say that!

HT New Epistles.

September 16, 2008

Matthew 1-3

Filed under: New Testament — Thomas @ 15:39
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Matthew begins with a genealogy of Jesus. Most of us skip over these names but they are important in tying Jesus back to the Old Testament, particularly Abraham. I wonder why there is significance in fourteen generations. This emphasis on the OT continues with several references to fulfilled prophecy from Hosea, Exodus, Isaiah, Jeremiah, etc. It has quickly become apparent that you should read the entire OT before contemplating the literary context of Matthew!

John the Baptist first appears in Matthew as a stern figure opposing the brood of vipers; the Pharisees and Sadducees.  Jesus’ first words are in response to John: “Let it be so now; it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness” (3:15). I wonder if the author thought about the significance of Jesus’ first words. Is he making a theological point with them? After Jesus’ baptism the chapter closes with God the Father’s approval of all that has thus taken place.

Reading the New Testament in three months

Filed under: New Testament — Thomas @ 15:24
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Did you know that at three chapters per day the NT can be read in only three months? My Sunday school class has discovered this little known fact and began reading on Sunday. This semester we are learning to study the Bible using the book How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart. Each day the students will be reading three chapters of the NT and we will be using those chapters to illustrate our reading of this book.

I will also be joining them in reading through the NT. I have chosen the TNIV translation as the publishers provided me with a free copy last year at seminary but I haven’t gotten around to reading it through yet. I still plan to finish reading The Message this Fall so I will be reading six chapters per day. That’s one of the greatest joys of being a pastor – getting paid to read and study the Bible 🙂 I will try and blog each day on what I have read while keeping it under 200 words so that you will be willing to read my thoughts!

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