Wednesday, March 24, 2010

application: doers of the word

We finished our TXT MSG series this last Sunday, but the discovery of God's incredible Word continues. Our focus, from James 1:22ff, was to "be doers of the Word." That is, we must work to apply the Scriptures to our life for them to have any effect. Like a mirror which exposes a person's imperfections, the Bible reveals our spiritual shortcoming. But it is powerless to bring about change unless we surrender to the Spirit's leading into a life of obedience.

One of the points of personal discipline that I mentioned was the importance of studying the Bible. James commends the person who "looks intently into God's Law" [v. 1:25]. To help you develop study habits with your Bible, I remind you of several previous posts related to personal Bible Study:

Step 1: Preparation
Step 2: Observation [part 1]
Step 2: Observation [part 2]
Step 3: Interpretation [part 1]
Step 3: Interpretation [part 2]
Step 3: Interpretation [part 3]
Step 4: Application

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

translation: word of life

As we continue with series on the Bible --TXT MSG: What We Believe About the Bible--I invited two guests from The Seed Company to join me on the platform at Pantego Bible Church. Greg Morris, Director of Executive Partner Relations, and Randall Lemley, Vice President of Information Technology, shared a compelling perspective on the importance of Bible translation around the world.

Paul explains that calling requires believing; believing requires hearing; hearing requires preaching and preaching requires sending [Romans 10:14ff]. Indeed, "faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ" [v. 17]. But, what of a people group who do not have the Scriptures in their native tongue? If God does not speak their language, how could He possibly be for them? If Scripture possesses the power to change lives, then it is imperative for Scripture to be accessible to people everywhere.

The first translation work took place in 200-300 BC when a group of 70 Jewish scholars recognized the need to translate the Hebrew Scriptures into Greek to accommodate the dispersion of Jews throughout the world. The Septuagint [from Latin "seventy] enabled God's Word to continue transforming lives. Likewise, John Wycliffe saw the need for the Bible to be translated from the clerical Latin to the common English of his day. In 1382, the Wycliffe translation made the Scriptures approachable by everyone.

Some 350 million people still do not have the Bible in their language [see statistics on the Wycliffe Bible Translators website]. This represents 2000 languages in the world. In the spirit of Jesus, the living Word, who spoke in ways that all who had ears could understand, it is important that we continue to support the work of Bible translation today. Check out current projects with The Seed Company and see where you might be led to participate. Let's work to make the Word accessible--until all the world hears.

word design

I found this interesting article about how the design of the Bible affects our reading and interpretation of it. It's a good, short read---probably not of the genre that you have read lately. Enjoy it here.