Thoughts on Scripture — Luke 1

Finding a “church-home” is never easy. Our search in NC has been harder than most other states we have lived in. Not because there is a lack of churches, on the contrary, they seem to be on every corner. But there is a lack of what I would call vibrant churches in our “grouping” – three to five hundred range. They are either very small or very large. I say that only because, as we look, I’ve been doing some snooping on the internet at different church web sites.

As with any good web site, many churches will list normal information about their facility. In addition, many include their doctrinal statements. In those doctrinal statements, most have a declaration about scripture. How the Bible is the inspired word of God with out any “mixture of error” or something to that effect. Each time I read that I wonder if people really believe that and subscribe to that, at the pew level. After all, it is a rather substantial statement. And, it carries some serious ramifications.

The reason I bring that up springs from this first chapter of Luke, even the book as a whole. Here is a man who apparently does not have first hand knowledge of the life and ministry of Jesus, yet writes with such detail. Plus, he includes parables that the other gospel writers do not. These are things that I am finding fascinating. There are others, for example:

* When Zechariah has his little encounter with an angel and is struck speechless because of his “unbelief”, Luke records that little gem “he kept motioning to them…” That conjures up a picture in my mind that frankly is pretty funny. It’s an unnecessary phrase, but it adds “life” to the event he is describing.

* He indicates that John the Baptist will be “filled with the Holy Spirit” before his birth; Zechariah was “filled with the Holy Spirit”, and Elizabeth was “filled with the Holy Spirit”. A phrase somewhat unique to his writing in Acts, but used here strangely enough in events that precede Pentecost.

Every day I find new things in scripture that I did not see before or did not know were there. It’s rather exciting. Not only that, it propels me to read more – more of the Bible and more outside the Bible. That too is exciting.

There is a phrase that I use to drag out quite often it goes like this, “you’re either green and growin’ or ripe and rottin’”. I’m back in the “green and growin’” phase and I like that a heck of a lot better than the other.

Father, I get excited about your word and what it says about me and to me. I am amazed at its power and its forever-relevance. May I tuck it away in my heart and keep it as a light unto my path, that I may not sin against you. Father, thank you for the victory today– in Jesus name. May it be.

Note: When reading and writing this entry. For some reason, I began to think about the KJV of the Bible. We saw a church sign yesterday that ballyhooed their pastor’s anniversary and the fact that they used the KJV. I’ve not been a big fan of that version primarily because of the “thee, thou, hath, etc”. Nevertheless, it got me looking at the “New” KJV.

The amount of trash talk on the internet against the New KJV is significant. Of course, diehard KJV folks do not like any “modern” translation, but apparently, they especially do not like that one. Now I will admit, a few of their reasons for supporting ONLY the authorized version of the KJ Bible are a bit suspect and weak. However, the one that has significant merit is the italicized entries. Entries denoting words or phrases the translators added that were not a part of the original text, but added to enhance meaning. Most modern translations don’t do that except, on occasion, in footnotes if it’s a significant departure from the original text. At least that’s my understanding of it. The symbol used on the first printings of the NEW KJV – well let me tell you that really got some press. But overall, it was some fun reading.

Myself, I use the NRSV. Have for years. Had been a huge fan of the NASB for many years, then switched around 1989. My wife uses the NLT. I guess when you net it out; it may not make a difference which version you use, as long as you use it. If it’s just collecting dust or holding the weekly bills in place, then pick a burgundy cover, it goes with most anything.

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