Sunday, May 18, 2008

Sunday Morning Meditation

In the spirit of traditional Sunday School classes, which The Wife and I do our best to scramble to get to each Sunday morning, this is a new feature at Safe As Houses.

I'm not particularly a huge fan of the King James Version, primarily because sifting through Old English isn't what I want to be doing on most occasions. But, there are some certain instances where such language presents a telling point to ponder, and such is the case with the story of the vine and the branches in John 15.

When you read the newer translations, you find that one of my favorite words has been stripped from the Gospel and, while I'm not at all suggesting that's 'wrong,' what I am saying is that it takes away a key word which helps convey a deeper meaning to the passage.

In the first seven verses, the word 'abide' is used seven times, and in the New International Version it's amended to use 'remain' ... which is hardly an objectionable word, but one that doesn't offer the same sense of fellowship or community.

Technically speaking, to abide is to conform to or acceptp without objection, and I think that speaks powerfully to the type of relationship Christ was talking about in this passage. For me, to abide means to share the heart and vision that Christ had during his ministry. It means to not merely adhere to his teachings, but to work to develop and hone your relationship with him. And, if that relationship grows, it means your worldview will change.

It means that deep and personal relationship will, in some way, grow less personal in that it will shape how you interact with your family, your neighbors and the strangers you pass on the street. Walter Shurden, the great Baptist pastor and author, wrote in his landmark word The Baptist Identity: Four Fragile Freedoms of the concept of 'Soul Freedom' and he had this to say ...

This is no effort to minimize community. It is an effort to make faith meaningful. The theme of the individual in community is a cardinal biblical theme, present in both Old and New Testaments. But salvation is not church by church, community by community, or nation by nation. It is lonely soul by lonely soul.

It's a chain reaction ... as community stems from individuals working together, and individuals can work together stemming from their abiding in relationship with God.


Blogger hillary said...

You know it's not Old English, right?

9:54 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It (KJV) is by far, though, the most poetic version of the Bible. Some of these new translations read like USA Today.


11:24 AM  
Blogger hillary said...

And Reggie and I finally agree on something. The KJV reads beautifully.

4:18 PM  

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