Despising God’s Word Might Not Mean What You Think It Does

“Whoever despises the word brings destruction on himself, but he who reveres the commandment will be rewarded.” –Proverbs 13:13

Better read the rest: http://www.mikeleake.net/2018/09/despising-gods-word-might-not-mean-what-you-think-it-does.html

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What Does This Prepositional Phrase Modify? (Acts 14:1) – Mondays with Mounce 327

~ Bill Mounce

Bill is the founder and President of BiblicalTraining.org, serves on the Committee for Bible Translation (which is responsible for the NIV translation of the Bible), and has written the best-selling biblical Greek textbook, Basics of Biblical Greek, and many other Greek resources. He blogs regularly on Greek and issues of spiritual growth. Learn more about Bill’s Greek resources at BillMounce.com.

Prepositional phrases are generally adverbial, but certainly not always. Sometimes it can be difficult to tell what they modify.

Take Acts 14:1 for example. Paul and Barnabas have just been run out of Pisidian Antioch and have entered Iconium. The NIV reads, “At Iconium Paul and Barnabas went as usual (κατὰ τὸ αὐτὸ) into the Jewish synagogue. There they spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Greeks believed.”

The Greek is, ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν Ἰκονίῳ κατὰ τὸ αὐτὸ εἰσελθεῖν ⸀αὐτοὺς εἰς τὴν συναγωγὴν τῶν Ἰουδαίων. So what does κατὰ τὸ αὐτὸ modify?

I thought the NIV was pretty straightforward. “According to the same” is adverbial, the point being that it was their custom to first go to the synagogue when they came to a new town.

The NASB has, “They entered the synagogue of the Jews together” (also ESV; KJV has “both together”). BDAG B5bα gives “together” as a possible meaning, citing 1 Sam 121:11, so presumably they have some evidence of the meaning of the idiom. To me this sounds redundant and therefore less likely. Of course they went in together; Luke just said that a few words earlier.

The CSB is unfortunate. “In Iconium they entered the Jewish synagogue, as usual.” It sounds to me that it is saying Paul had a normal way of entering the building, perhaps through a back door? I know that’s not the case, but by placing “as usual” next to “synagogue” the prepositional phrase sounds adjectival to me.

The NET reading is especially odd. “The same thing happened in Iconium” (also NLT). They are connecting κατὰ τὸ αὐτὸ with the preceding Ἐγένετο δὲ ἐν Ἰκονίῳ.

Idioms can be especially difficult to translate, and Acts 14:1 is a good test case for the flexibility of prepositional phrases.

I haven’t beat this drum in a while, but so much for the myth of a literal translation, or the myth of the English translation reflecting the underlying Greek structure. Translating word for word would be nonsense, and there is no way an English reader could get from “as usual” or “together” back to a prepositional phrase.

Comment or subscribe on his page: https://zondervanacademic.com/blog/what-does-this-prepositional-phrase-modify-acts-14-mounce/

Cain and Abel: A Story of Rebellion, Judgment, and Grace

https://zondervanacademic.com/blog/cain-and-abel/

If The Creeds Aren’t Infallible, Why Use Them?

Peter noted that Paul’s letters “contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction” (2 Pt 3:16). It is not that the Bible, for its many pages, is unclear, nor that its writers are contradictory, but that it contains difficult passages, which lend themselves easily to distortion based on ignorance and instability. For nearly two millennia, creeds, confessions, and catechisms have provided the necessary constraints against ignorance and instability.

“I just believe the Bible” is no defense against cults, superstitions, apostasy, and heresy, since nearly every sect for the last two thousand years has claimed the Bible for support. The answer is not to make the church’s teachers infallible interpreters of Scripture. Nor to ignore the church’s teachers, but to have the humility to recognize that “iron sharpens iron” and that it takes the wisdom and insight of many interpreters over many centuries to help us to see our blind spots. Only a fool would ignore the accumulated wisdom of nearly twenty centuries.

Are the creeds infallible? No, but the universal confession of the whole church since its beginning, despite other divisions, is that the Bible clearly teaches that the affirmations we find in the Apostles’, Nicene, Chalcedonian, and Athanasian creeds are essential for our salvation.

More at: https://corechristianity.com/resource-library/articles/if-the-creeds-arent-infallible-why-use-them

The Double Fall

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind,” said Jesus.  And “you shall love your neighbor as yourself.  On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:37, 39-40).  Thus, the first table of the Ten Commandments has to do with loving God and the second table has to do with loving your neighbor.  

Peter Leithart, drawing on Thomas Brodie’s Genesis as Dialogue, points out that we can see this same distinction in Genesis.  In fact, we can see a double fall:   The account of Adam and Eve is about violating the love of God.  The account of Cain and Abel is about violating the love of neighbor.

“The first crime is primarily vertical, against God,” says Leithart; “the second is more horizontal, against another human being. Furthermore, these two crimes involve two of the most basic pairings in life: man-woman; and brother-brother.”

He then notes some strong parallels between the two narratives, which underscores their connection.  Here are a few (Adam & Eve first; Cain & Abel second):

http://www.patheos.com/blogs/geneveith/2018/09/the-double-fall/?utm_medium=email&utm_source=BRSS&utm_campaign=Evangelical&utm_content=247

Why Does John 1 Lack The Definite Article?

A  little Greek

Why Does John 1 Lack The Definite Article? 

Paul Takes a Hard line

Your boasting is not good. Don’t you know that a little yeast leavens the whole batch of dough? Get rid of the old yeast, so that you may be a new unleavened batch—as you really are. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. Therefore let us keep the Festival, not with the old bread leavened with malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. 1 Corinthians 5:6-8

Paul continues in this unpleasant business with a metaphor of the unleavened bread of Passover, and another mention of their boasting and arrogance from the last section. They need to have an unleavened loaf, not a loaf that is full of the sins from their past, after all, Jesus has taken sin away, so they need to be a new loaf without the malice and wickedness of the past.

I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the people of this world who are immoral, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters. In that case you would have to leave this world. But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people. (5:9-11)

Here Paul moves from the metaphorical into the practical, reminding them that in his previous letter of instruction, he had warned the Corinthians not to associate with people who are sexually immoral. Apparently, they had misunderstood his instruction, thinking that he was referring only to people outside of the church.

Read the rest and follow Don at: https://lifereference.wordpress.com/2018/03/12/paul-takes-a-hard-line/