Mirror Reading in Proverbs 9

If “beauty is in the eyes of the beholder” it is too bad that so many scholars, Bible commentators and students behold so little Scriptural beauty! This state of affairs perhaps exists because they spend minimal time in the biblical languages and much if not most of their time investigating what others say about the…… Continue reading Mirror Reading in Proverbs 9

Togetherness, A Biblical Mandate!

Psalm 133 is an ascent psalm to be sung while going to Jerusalem at the three required yearly festivals designated in the Mosaic Covenant (Deuteronomy 16:16-17). Refusal to make the pilgrimage invited national curses; obedience resulted in national blessings. Verse 1 is vital to a correct interpretation of this Psalm. “How good and pleasant it is when…… Continue reading Togetherness, A Biblical Mandate!

Clarifying an Image

Imagery represents a universal staple in poetry and Hebrew poetry is no exception. To consciously or unconsciously remove or change the images of a poem diminishes it. When translating Hebrew poetry errors of this sort sometimes occur because of the overwhelming desire to clarify God’s word, an admirable goal but sometimes leads to a misreading…… Continue reading Clarifying an Image

Hope for the Future

Jeremiah 29:11—“I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an end and expectation” (King James Version). The marginal reading of the italicized portion says, “to give you an expected end.” The Revised Standard Version renders the phrase “to give you hope in your…… Continue reading Hope for the Future

The Heart of Worship

A present-day expression among evangelical Christians invokes both excitement and exasperation—7/11 songs, 7 words repeated 11 times! The younger generation, for the most part, loves the “7/11’s” for the rhythm of the music and the repetition of the worshipful phrases. The older generation longs for the familiarity of the old hymns and the spiritual depth…… Continue reading The Heart of Worship

How God Helps His People

According to the superscription of Psalm 54 (verses 1-2 in the Hebrew text), David was hiding in the wilderness of Ziph located southeast of Hebron in southern Judah. While being pursued by King Saul some Ziphites betrayed his location. David complains to God about this situation and responds to events outside of his control. As…… Continue reading How God Helps His People

“Do You Understand What You Are Reading?”

Biblical Hebrew is a delightful language! However, western-oriented students generally get frustrated by some of its characteristics: triconsonantal roots, right-to-left reading, fluctuations of vowels, expansive of word meanings, syntax, ancient idioms, the strangely fluid nature of verbal time (past, present, future), etc. These and other matters may be difficult for the student but they also…… Continue reading “Do You Understand What You Are Reading?”

Tied Up in “Nots”

Comprehensive, accurate interpretation must precede Bible translation. This rings true because every translation conveys an interpretation. The translator’s procedures for analysis, therefore, must be thorough. The Principle of Correspondence to validate an interpretation is one of those necessary procedures. Correspondence means that the interpreter must account for all data relating to the text to establish a valid…… Continue reading Tied Up in “Nots”

The Case of the Missing “Nun” (נ)

Not all variations in Bible translations invite theological debate. Using different synonyms for certain words, for instance, are certainly acceptable providing the English usages adequately reflect legitimate meanings inherent in the original words. Other translation differences, however, are more striking and demand explanations even if the theology poses no difficulties. Psalm 145 illustrates this type…… Continue reading The Case of the Missing “Nun” (נ)

A Hebrew Ambiguity and A Translator’s Interpretation

Different understandings of passages in English Bibles are often based on different interpretations of the grammar of the Hebrew or Greek text. Consider the underlined words from Deuteronomy 30:20 . . . “. . . by loving the LORD your God, by obeying His voice, and by holding fast to Him; for this is your life .…… Continue reading A Hebrew Ambiguity and A Translator’s Interpretation