Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Arc de Triumph

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for Nov 13, Mt 28, Mk 16

Today's readings are Mt 28, Mk 16. Tomorrow's are Lk 24, Jn 20-21.

The ending verses of Mk 16:9-20, are notated in most Bibles as "not included in the earliest manuscripts". If read carefully, there is a significant change in language and expression. Many scholars believe these verses were added sometime between the 4th and 9th centuries to soften the end of Mark's gospel, which otherwise comes to an abrupt end with the women afraid and trembling.

Some folks get agitated over this issue, claiming it brings into doubt the veracity of the Bible. However, we should approach this carefully and thoughtfully. Rather than bringing into question the authenticity of the Bible, finding out these verses don't belong here should actually reinforce the Bible's authenticity. 

The book of Deuteronomy tells us the word of God cannot be added to or subtracted from (Dt 4:2). So does Revelation (Rev 22:18). We are blessed with scholars and linguists that have devoted their lives to the study of the Bible and where it came from. They have, through painstakingly faithful efforts, been able to determine that someone, nearly fifteen hundred years ago, tried to add to it. Praise God for the work of these people.

Sometimes it is easy to forget that we are reading translations. They are reliable and faithful to the original text, but are nonetheless translations. While faithfully reproduced, they are not inspired. Subtle changes can occur as our knowledge of the original languages improves. 

Here's an example. If you read John 3:16-17 in the original Old English of the 1611 King James Version of the bible, it looks like this:
¶ For God so loued รพe world, that he gaue his only begotten Sonne: that whosoeuer beleeueth in him, should not perish, but haue euerlasting life.17For God sent not his Sonne into the world to condemne the world: but that the world through him might be saued.
Here's a photo of the actual page:

The Standard Text version, written in 1769 reads like this:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.17For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
The changes that were made in 1769, made the text easier to read thus easier for people who read it to understand God's truth. This is the philosophy behind a translation. No significant changes occur to doctrine or theology. But, the language of a translation is meant to open God's word up to a broader audience.

Now that we know that these verses in Mark were added nearly five hundred years after the original text was written, we know that none of them should be used to form any doctrine or belief. We have our faithful translators to thank for preserving God's truth. 

No comments:

Post a Comment