Original Manuscript: How To Understand The Scripture (Episode 3)
Continued from the last episode:
“And Philip ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?”
The Subject Matter:
“And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.”
It is important to state that harnessing the original manuscript of the Scripture is vital in the evaluation of the writings. In the case of the verse above, the subject matter in this context is persecution and not salvation. So what Jesus was trying to say is that he who endures persecution can be saved from it. And he went ahead to tell His disciples how to endure and escape from persecution.
And that is:
“But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.”
Notice that the disciples yielded to this opine from Jesus and they were able to accomplish their ministries to greater height.
However, it is apt and important to say that words are not what they appear to be apparently in the bible. They have been studied in the light of their usage in the content and context. Permit me therefore to say that words like save, baptism, sin, righteousness, grace, faith, judgment, consuming fire, death, deliverance etc are not what they are.
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To ascertain and confirm them; they have to be studied in the light of their usage. For instance is not everywhere baptism appears in the Scripture that it denotes “Water Baptism”. Unfortunately, this has become the order of the day that; people teach the word baptism as water baptism in the churches. They teach this without the proper dissection of its usage in the chapter and verses it appears.
The Root Word and Language:
Another thing to consider is that there were many difficult expressions in the root languages of the Bible. The translators found it difficult coalescing or to come to terms with what to make of them in English language. Therefore, in order to make it understandable in the English translation, they have to add some words and these words they added intentionally are in italics. It shows that such words are not in the original manuscripts. But for them to create a meaning to what they are translating, these words ‘must’ be added. For instance, let’s see one of the verses this occurred.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ”
This statement in the verse above “heavenly places in Christ” the ‘places’ in it is in italic. It is an indication that it is not in the original manuscript. And therefore the translators used their prerogative to add it in the verse. In fact, this particular word ‘places’ altered the meaning of the sentence. Because it implies that the heavenly is in places in Christ. And if one removes the word ‘places’ from the sentence, it creates the original meaning. And by this the original thought of the writer is revealed; which is heavenly in Christ. This is very correct because the location of the believer’s blessings is in heavenly in Christ.
Original Manuscript Written in Form of Flow of Thought:
There is another important thing to take into consideration while studying the Scripture. One should understand that the Scripture is written in the form of flow of thought. And therefore, there were no verses, punctuation, paragraphs and chapters in the original manuscripts. The chapters, verses and paragraphs in the English translation have helped to create much error in the understanding of the Scripture.
Evidence has shown that flipping through the pages of the Scripture it is easy to detect that some line of thoughts from a previous chapter can be found in the next chapter. However, to lift a particular verse without the understanding of the previous verse, the tendency for committing error is unavoidable. Let’s see an example below.
“There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit.”
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To use and teach the above verse without coalescing it with the previous verse in the previous chapter will amount to error. This is because the declaration made in Romans 8:1 is because of the statement made in the previous verse. The previous verse says:
“I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.”
Studying the Functions of Individuals:
Another observation to make while studying the Scripture is that God used many individuals to communicate His thought in the scripture. However, while they were communicating these messages they equally express their mentality, disposition and educational background in it. This is so because individuals from virtually all walks of life wrote the Scripture.
As a result people somehow feel the input of their professions in their writings while trying to communicate the truth. So in studying a particular book in the Bible is advisable for one to have background knowledge of the writer. It helps to understand the tempo of his flow of thought as he writes.
Related topic: “How To Understand The Scripture Episode 1”
However, the message(s) is an inspiration from God which is released to the world through particular individuals and people. Therefore, if one is studying is better to understand the message the writer is trying to communicate. And to whom he’s communicating the message to. This can help the reader to be able to dissect or decipher properly the message. It will also help the reader to know how to apply it especially in teaching others.
The point here is that in the Scripture, there are messages to the whole world. Also there are messages to the Jews only, and there are messages to the Christians only. Any attempt to misplace these messages will definitely amount to error.
And no one can ascertain the truth in error.
To be continued…
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