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I found a Bible while cleaning the other day!

October 28, 2010 Leave a comment

While going through a box, I discovered a misplaced Bible. It’s a little too big to be pocket sized but not really big enough to be medium sized, it’s a maroon New American Standard Version Bible. It’s also leather-bound and is in almost like-new condition: the page edges still have gold on them.

Not bad for a 50-cent purchase a few years ago at in Lapeer, Michigan.

Primarily, I use the NASV as a reference material. This was back in the days when I was beginning to no longer be King James Bible-only.

I look at the NASV the way I look at the NKJV and other newer versions: I’m not completely sold on them, but it’s better for my kids to read them than to let a King James Bible collect dust on the shelf. I know my sons well enough to know that the classical language of the KJB would confuse them (as it would even public school students). Heck, I’m a Pensacola Christian College graduate and a Christian of nearly 30 years, and there are times when a Bible concordance and commentary come in very handy when reading God’s Word.* And, besides, sometimes I like to compare translations.

Relax, those who are King James Bible proponents. I still have a KJB along with a few KJB New Testaments. I also have a New King James that one of my sons borrows for church. We also have The Book, which used to belong o my wife’s late grandmother; I view The Book as a paraphrased, glorified Bible storybook. Somewhere along the line, someone gave me a Gideon New King James New Testament. Another one of my sons uses The Book as his church Bible. I’m not a huge fan of it because I think it takes a little too much liberty when it comes to translating; to me, it is a glorified Bible story book.

Does this make me a betrayer of the faith? No. It makes me a parent who wants to make sure my sons are reading and understanding the Bible.

Yes, I know many insist on literal translations, but often that’s not how translating works. The German translation of “How are you?” is “Wie geht es ihnen?” Literally, “How goes it to you?” The Russians do not literally say “How old are you?”, but rather “Skol’ko vam lyet?” or, “How many to you years?” And in Chinese, they like to use odd grammar patterns (at least odd to us Occidentals): If I were to tell someone who spoke Mandarin Chinese that I was born in Louisiana, I would say, “Wo shi zai Lü Zhou sheng de.”

Literally: “I am at Lu State born of.” (Lü State is how the Chinese transliterate Louisiana)

* Many think of God as merciless and bloodthirsty, evidenced perhaps in Daniel 6 when Persian King Darius throws into the lions’ den all the godless men who tricked the king into throwing the godly prophet Daniel into the den. Not only did the men get turned into dinner for the hungry felines, but also their wives and children. Brutal? Yep, but one commentary explains that this action of destroying an entire family was a Persian custom rather than something completely unusual and unthinkable God led the king to do.

Richard Zowie is a Michigan-based writer who, though a Christian for 29 years, still has a lot to learn about God, the Bible, the world, life, etc. Post comments here or e-mail him at richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.

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Homosexuality: a Christian perspective–first observation

October 12, 2010 11 comments

I’ve been chatting online with one particular Christian friend. I knew “Sammy” back at Pensacola Christian College, and he told me about what he’s up to these days. In previous messages, he and I debated about whether homosexuals serving openly in the military was pragmatic. Sammy felt his friends should have nothing to hide.

And in a private message this past week, one where I asked him some questions about the Christian church and how it deals with gays, Sammy outed himself to me.

He told me about his life growing up, his feelings about being gay and how he has witnessed to witness to gay men (including some who are dying of AIDS) whom, I suspect, would probably never listen to a heterosexual Christian.

Sammy tells me that many Christians have forsaken him. The ironic thing is that in reading Sammy’s testimony, I see far more Christianity than I do in some Christians who can quote large chunks of the Bible.

(Feel free to disagree with me, Condescending Christian).

While I’m not as ultra-ultra-ultra conservative on the gay issue as I used to be (I’ve worked with a few open gays and found them to be far more professional and friendly than some raging heterosexuals I’ve known), I’m in no hurry to jump on the gay rights bandwagon. What I am looking to do, though, is study Scripture and ponder on some areas.

For those Christians who view gays as undesirables who should quarantined and shunned by the church, they should visit the Gospels and read about all the “undesirables” Jesus spent much of His time with (prostitutes, tax collectors and even Samaritans–whom the Jews absolutely despised). They should also re-read the Book of Jonah, which, besides the story about the giant fish swallowing Jonah and putting him back on the path to Nineveh, teaches that God wants the entire world to come to Him–not just the people who act, dress, talk and look the way we think they should.

Richard Zowie is a Michigan-based writer who, though a Christian for 29 years, still has a lot to learn about God, the Bible, the world, life, etc. Post comments here or e-mail him at richardstwoshekels@gmail.com.