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When we do read the Bible we may never forget that we do have to do with an old culture. In the Old times they had a totally different way to express themselves. We should keep that in our mind when we go through those 66 old books which form all together the Holy Scripturesor Bible like we de have it today.

English: Hebrew Bible, Jer. 27

English: Hebrew Bible, Jer. 27 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the years, several translations tried to bring the Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek writings back into contemporary language. But because language is a living thing, also that translation became older and had other words and ways of saying than in later years.

This was long thought to be the only portrait ...

This was long thought to be the only portrait of William Shakespeare that had any claim to have been painted from life, until another possible life portrait, the Cobbe portrait, was revealed in 2009. The portrait is known as the ‘Chandos portrait’ after a previous owner, James Brydges, 1st Duke of Chandos. It was the first portrait to be acquired by the National Portrait Gallery in 1856. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In Shakespeare’s time (16-17th Century) when they used the word “bully” they did not mean some one who acted like or was like a bull, but they meant a  “homosexual”. When we speak of a bully today we do think about something else.
When you would read an older text and presume that the man spoken of is a cruel oppressor of the weak, you probably have the opposite impression than the soft man who wants to share his love with an other man. So people should think about all different things than a ruffian hired to beat or intimidate anyone.

In Dutch we also can find the word ‘gijzelaar’, which was until the previous century the person who “gijzelde”. The suffix “-aar” confirms the action wich is mentioned before (in this case ‘gijzel’) ‘Gijzelen’ means taking hostage or to kidnap. A second meaning is also to imprison for contempt or to commit to prison for contempt. Hold hostage. The “aar” means that it is a person who holds hostage.

The last few years words like gijzelhouder and ‘gijzelnemer” were introduced. The “gijzelhouder” being also the kidnapper, hijacker, skyjacker.

In the 21st century several television stations were using “gijzelnemer”, literally translated “hostage taker” for the person who was taking somebody hostage. But for the one taken hostage they started using “gijzelaar”. Reading a newspaper in the 1960ies would use “gegijzelde” for the one taken hostage by the “gijzelaar” (hostagetaker). Today it means for many younger people just the opposite of what the older Dutch speaking generation understands by it.

In the English language you also shall be able to find such changes. If someone today was to read about a building being described as “awesome” in older English they might not understand that the building is being described as terrible.

Sometimes imposing a later meaning on the same word used earlier can result in a distortion of the actual meaning. The same change in a word’s meaning happens in the Bible too (it was written over the course of thousands of years).

Next time when you read a Bible and encounter ways of saying remember also the ways of thinking of the people of that time.

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Dutch more elaborate version: Oude spreekwijzen kennen om de Bijbel te begrijpen

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  1. Another way looking at a language #1 New Year, Books and Words
  2. Another way looking at a language #2 Meanings
  3. Another way looking at a language #4 Ancient times
  4. Another way looking at a language #5 Aramic, Hebrew and Greek
  5. The Importance Of Scripture

    Lots of  people do laugh at those who enjoy reading the old Books of Books, the Bible. Of all those books the last series bring the world Glad Tidings.

  6. The importance of Reading the Scriptures
    We can find many letters on papers or on the screen, but the words shall have to get meaning. There have been many writers, but those who were in the hands of God and wrote down the Words of God, can bring us the most important words to go through life in the best way.

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  • Bible Translation – The Necessity of Translation (mindrenewers.com)
    People speak different languages, so translation is necessary.  That’s entirely logical.  But since this series is on Bibliology, a theology of Scripture, we start with what God Himself has said.  Then, we can apply logic as appropriate.
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    It is the Word of God, not human logic, skilled oratory, or clever presentations, that penetrates the heart and turns a soul to the Saviour, as we see in Hebrews
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    The Great Commission doesn’t mention the need to teach Biblical languages to the lost as a precursor to giving the Gospel.  The Philippian jailer wasn’t told to learn Hebrew when he asked how to be saved.  Knowledge of Greek and Hebrew is not a prerequisite for salvation.  The Holy Spirit didn’t give all believers the gift of tongues (as we saw above), nor was evangelism the primary purpose for which the gift was given, anyway (I Corinthians 14:21-22).
  • Lutherans Latest to Reject New NIV Bible Over Gender Language (frstephensmuts.wordpress.com)
    The updated NIV Bible has gained another critic: the Lutheran  Church-Missouri Synod. In a recent report, a panel of Lutherans cautioned  against use of the new NIV over gender-related issues.

    “The use of inclusive language in NIV 2011 creates the potential for  minimizing the particularity of biblical revelation and, more seriously, at  times undermines the saving revelation of Christ as the promised Savior of  humankind,” the Commission on Theology and Church Relations Executive Staff  stated in an August report.

  • Notable Sayings About the Bible by Great Leaders. What Has Happened? (promisebook.net)
    What has happened to the teachings of godly, Bible-based principles that were once taught to the children, and present in the family?
  • Using the Bible to Meet with God (paulburkhart.wordpress.com)
    When it comes to the Bible, we should start thinking more in verbs, not nouns. The Bible is “simply” a meeting place for God and his people, where he might meet them as he desires, by His Spirit.
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    Let the text inside of you and just ruminate in your heart. Try to “translate” the text into images, rather than words. Reflect on the text; maybe even journal your thoughts. Put yourself in the story in your mind–imagine how all five of your sense would be engaging in this moment. Spread your focus as equally as you can on the mind, emotions, and will.
  • The Hebrew Bible as Background to the Gospels (gaudetetheology.wordpress.com)
    The primary “background” for the Gospels is the Hebrew Bible. Anyone who approaches the Gospels without a knowledge of the history and culture of the Hebrew Bible will not appreciate fully the claims made by the Gospels.
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    Background to the Gospels.
    in order to understand the gospels, it is also important to place it in a biblical context. Christians reading the Gospels tend to bracket out world history, imagining the stories something like an epic Hollywood production from the 1950s.
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    The Jewish backgrounds of the New Testament have been historically downplayed by Christian scholars until very recently.

  • Before the KJB: The Coverdale Bible (manifoldgreatness.wordpress.com)
    The Coverdale Bible is much rarer than the first printing of the 1611 King James Bible and is known to be 3 or 4 times rarer than the First Folio of Shakespeare. University of Dayton Libraries is excited to present this rare and magnificent book.
  • Reading Scripture Publicly (gentlereformation.org)
    One of the most underestimated and neglected portions of Christian worship services is the reading of God’s Word.  In many places it has simply been set aside, replaced with other activities such as music and drama.  Where the reading of Scripture is still practiced, people struggle devoting attention to it on both sides of the pulpit.
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