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  • ginjapaul 7:01 am on March 31, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    John 5 v 4 

    Some stuff I read this morning:

    “I always thought the fact that the NIV has 49 blank verses just made it easier to win a memory verse competition by saying, “Matthew 23:14″ then pausing, “Mark 7:16″ then pausing, until you have quoted 49 memory verses without having to say a word. Go figure. On a serious note, there have been accusations that the NIV has deleted verses in the New Testament. The insinuation is that the NIV committee did not have a proper respect for the text and that earlier versions of the English Bible are more accurate and faithful to God’s word because they contain these verses. The first thing that we have to understand when coming to this issue is that translation is a difficult job. There are over 3000 Greek manuscripts and fragments of the New Testament of varying age. Each one was hand copied, which leaves room for mistakes and even practical decisions of what to do with what the previous copyist has done. John 5:4 is one of the verses in contention. Here it is in the NIV and KJV.


    John 5:3-5 (NIV)

    “3Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. 5One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years.”


    John 5:3-5 (KJV)

    “In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. 4For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. 5And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.” (italics mine).


    What happened to verse 4? The KJV decided to include it because it was in the manuscripts they had at their disposal. The NIV decided to omit it because in the 400 years since the KJV was translated much older manuscripts had surfaced that did not have that verse. Remember, the KJV was translated largely from the Textus Receptus which was a compilation of manuscripts that did not even date prior to 1100 AD. The NIV translation committee had access to manuscripts dating back within 150 years of the original documents of the New Testament.


    What happened in the 800 years between the texts the NIV is based on and the texts the KJV is based on? Copying, copying, and more copying. Often a copyist would write an explanation in the margin and some times that explanation would end up in the text. Bruce Metzger (Text of the New Testament, 194) thinks that is exactly what happened in the case of John 5:4. Why? For several reasons (listed in Metzger’s textual commentary 3rd ed, 209):


    1 – Because the earliest manuscripts don’t contain it. Why not? Did they omit this verse just like the NIV? Of course not. They don’t contain the verse because the manuscripts they were copied from didn’t have it and the ones before them didn’t have it because the original didn’t have it. It doesn’t start appearing in manuscripts for at least 500 years When no manuscript before 500 AD has a verse you can be fairly certain that it was added in from a marginal note, from a copying error, or due to the copyist remembering that verse in another gospel and accidentally harmonizing them in his head and copying it wrong (such is the case of a few other “missing verses”). But once it is added it then gets copied over and over and from that point on may appear original to the next copyist


    2 – Multiple Greek manuscripts copied after 900 AD have a mark showing that they thought the verse was questionable but they included it because it was in the manuscript they were copying from.


    3 – This verse has multiple words that John doesn’t use anywhere else = out of character


    4 – This verse has a larger number of textual variants = there are many versions of this text in many different Greek manuscripts which points to it being very questionable as to what was original if it even was original.


    With all that weight against it the NIV decided not to include that verse in its translation. Did the NIV delete the verse from the inspired word of God? They didn’t delete it if it wasn’t there to begin with. It may seem like a verse was removed because previous English versions like the KJV included it because it was in the manuscripts they used to translate from. People read it for 400 years in English and became accustomed to it. So when they spot it missing from the NIV eyebrows go up and accusations begin to fly. So it probably wasn’t so much that the NIV deleted something or that the KJV added something. The problem was the texts the KJV was translated from were simply not ideal.”


    “This is the basic question of the Greek text, and the technical name for it is “text criticism.” (I am going to stick with the Greek Testament, not the Hebrew.) Here is the basic reconstruction.


    1. The writers wrote their gospels and epistles and sent them to their churches.


    2. These documents were copied so they could be shared. In the process of copying, changes were introduced. (By the way, this is not academic conjecture; we have these different manuscripts and can see the differences for themselves.)


    Some changes were accidental but others appeared to be intentional, but not always for nefarious reasons. It is often to add an explanation, or substitute an easier word to understand, or to harmonize the gospels, etc.


    In John 5:4, most believe that a scribe (the person doing the copying) thought it was puzzling why the man would lie there for 38 years. Perhaps he knew a tradition that said the angel periodically came down to stir up the waters and the first person in was healed, and so he added in the verse. (Others would argue that for some reason the verse was dropped off.)


    3. As time progressed (and as we can tell from archaeology), biblical manuscripts were collected in five different geographical areas. Since the center of the church was in Rome, this area had the greatest number of copies.


    4. Erasmus (1500s) created a Greek text based on two manuscripts from the 12th century (Matthew through Jude) and another 12th century manuscript for all but the last 6 verses of Revelation. He went from the Latin back into Greek to get those last 6. His work became the basis of the King James translation.


    5. 150 years ago we started digging up new manuscripts that were in fact must older (by centuries). They came from a different geographical area than the majority of the texts we currently had, and they were different in places. For example, they did not have John 5:4.


    And so the science of textual criticism was born, which is the science of determining which of the different “readings” is most likely original.


    The general preference is to see scribes as adding verses, not removing them. For that reason, and others, most feel that John 5:4 was added after the fact; there is no good reason why it would have been omitted.”

  • ginjapaul 8:07 am on March 29, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Look at me blogging! 

    Below is another section of the book that challenged me.

    I had an epiphany one Wednesday evening in the middle of our small group meeting. People were sharing prayer requests, but it was the same old list of situational, self-protective prayer requests masquerading as openness and self-disclosure. I found myself thinking, Why did we all feel the need to clean up our prayer requests before giving them? Why were we all so skilled at editing ourselves out of our prayer requests? Why were we so good at sharing the difficult circumstances we faced, yet so afraid of talking about our struggles in the middle of them? Did we really care more about what people thought than we did about getting help? Did we really think that God would be repulsed by our sins and weakness? I wondered who we thought we were fooling. It was as if we had all agreed upon an unspoken set of rules, a conspiracy of silence.


    I looked around the room. These were people I thought I knew well. I did know what many of them were facing, yet I knew little of the wars going on inside them.


    I brought my thoughts back to the discussion, determined to break the silence. I didn’t think I was better than the others. I had been a willing part of the conspiracy too, but I was determined to be so no longer. That night I prayed that God would break down the walls of fear that kept us from sharing our hearts with one another and bringing to God the things that were really going on. I asked God to give us the hope, faith, and courage to put our struggles into words that would reach his ears, the ultimate source of compassion, forgiveness, wisdom, and power. To my surprise, others followed with similar prayers, confessing their fears, doubts, and struggles. God began to change our group that night.


    Psalm 88 is an invitation to that kind of honesty. It calls us to an open and authentic faith in the face of chronic sickness, the burden of wealth, the rejection of friends, trauma and abuse, the loss of a job, the temptations of success, a child’s rebellion, a loved one’s death, a church split, perverted justice the cloud of depression, and a host of other things that are part of life. In Psalm 88, God welcomes us to come out of the shadows, to honestly express our struggles. When we do, we will find that God already knows and understands!

  • hglives 6:03 pm on March 23, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Ruth: Just trying to  work this whole cr… 


    Just trying to  work this whole crazy technological world out! Hope this works.

    • ginjapaul 12:37 pm on March 25, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      It confused me but then I am old!

  • ginjapaul 5:17 pm on March 23, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Prayer of Paulo 

    The book I am reading at the moment has been talking about the fact that we are created for relationships. Now this is nothing new to me as I have heard talks where the speaker has said stuff about us being created to have a relationship with god, and a few where I have been told that we are created to have relationships with each other, in community, gods church etc.

    This book pointed out that if we are created for relationship then the times that we want to be by our self, want space, want to have close friends but don’t want to open up, get fed up of people, think that we are ok by ourselves or that we can make it by our self and that we don’t need anyone else, these things the book says, are products of the fall. It says that when adam and eve chose to do wrong for the first time that one of the consequences was broken relationships.

    The book says…

    Consider the following list and ask yourself if any apply to you:


    • The busyness of life, keeping relationships distant and casual.
    • A total immersion in friendships that are activity and happiness-based conscious avoidance of close relationships as too scary or messy.
    • A formal commitment to church activities, with no real connection to people.
    • One-way, ministry-driven friendships in which you always minister to others, but never allow others to minister to you.
    • Self-centred, “meet my felt needs” relationships that keep you always receiving, but seldom giving.
    • A private, independent, “just me and God” approach to the Christian life.
    • Theology as a replacement for relationship. Knowing God as a life of study, rather than the pursuit of God and his people.


    Do any of these apply? Think about your closest relationships: your spouse, parents, children, or small group. What needs to change so that you can form more meaningful relationships with the people who are already in your life? American culture may idolize the Lone Ranger and Superman as heroes who right wrongs and ride out of town alone, but that solitary approach to life and change is utterly foreign to Scripture. In fact, the Bible sees it as weakness rather than strength! The person of character, according to Scripture, will have genuine friendships and be a genuine friend. After all, isn’t that the essence of the second great commandment to “love your neighbour”? When we are adopted into God’s family, we have many new brothers and sisters to love! Yet this is not simple. Being involved with people is time consuming, messy, and complicated. From our point of view it is inefficient, but from God’s point of view it is the best way to encourage growth in grace. Our value system collides with God’s, but his means for bringing about change in us is best. That means we will have to make time for these kinds of friendships to emerge and grow. We will have to be realistic too. Close relationships make it more likely that you will sin against someone or that someone will sin against you. There will need to be times of confession and forgiveness. There will be times when you will need to serve someone, even though you feel you lack the resources. There will also be times when you will be served! That may not sound like a challenge, but if you are proud, it is the last thing you want! These are the very reasons why community is such a big part of God’s plan to transform us into the image of Christ. Living in community pushes us to die to ourselves. There will be times when loving others and allowing others to serve and love us will feel like death, but this is the pathway to real life in Christ. The more we understand our own hearts, the more we see that it takes a work of God’s grace to transform self-absorbed individuals into a community of love. Being in redemptive relationships shows us our need for change and helps bring it about!


    I hadn’t really thought about it in this way. I can see myself in some of the list above. I had thought it was just the way I am wired but may be it has its root in selfishness and the fall?

    What do you think?

  • hglives 10:05 am on March 17, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Hello world! 


    Okay, testing this site…

    Basically, we all have to same username (hglives) so everytime you want to write something here, just remember to put your name at the start.

    Also, if you want to reply to someone’s post, then it’s better to use the ‘comment’ function at the bottom, rather than start a whole new post.

    That’s about it!

    Any Qs, just ask 🙂

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