Thursday, April 14, 2011

I like what you've done here.

Some folks will fight you over Bible version choice with the vehemence of lifelong sports rivalries.

I have my own preferences as well, but I stumbled across a passage that gave me a greater appreciation for the HCSB (Holman Christian Standard Bible).

New versions are often loathe to deviate from some of the more nostalgic renderings, even those which don't accurately convey the meaning of the original Hebrew or Greek.

One such example for me is John 3:16 ... "For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life." (KJV)

Taken out of context, it's easy to understand how the verse is interpreted that God "sooooooooooo very much loved the world ... ," a comment on the degree of God's love.

However, I'd suggest to you the preceding context shows us that the verse is really a comment on the manner in which God loved the world (i.e., in the same way as the Israelites were saved by looking upon a bronze snake on a pole (Num 21:1-9), so now God's love is demonstrated to all types of people as Jew & Gentile alike are saved by looking in faith upon Him who was on a cross).

The Greek word translated "so" (οὕτως) means "in this manner" or "thus" or "in this way." The first version I've seen that clarifies that meaning in John 3:16 is the HCSB, putting an emphasis on "world."
"For God loved the world in this way: He gave His One and Only Son, so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life."

I'm no expert on the HCSB and got my copy for free, but I've seen some things I like in there and would commend it for a look see.



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