Using Scripture's terms and phrases

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MaxPC
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Re: Using Scripture's terms and phrases

Postby MaxPC » Fri Dec 23, 2016 3:04 pm

appleman2006 wrote:
Neto wrote:I don't exactly dislike this idea, but it is possible to spew out the "Biblically correct" terms all day long, and not know what they mean. (I right away think of stuff like 'propitiation'.)
Also, sometimes a group or a person will use a familiar term, but in their mind it means something else entirely. Like within Liberation Theology. It was fairly new in terms of its exposure in the West when I went to Bible college, and was presented in a mostly favorable light. But when you really get into it, you will realize that it is Marxism couched in Biblical terms. For them, 'sin' is social injustice, and 'salvation' is freedom from social injustice.
A co-worker once asked me if I was a "Born-Again Christian". I asked them what that was, and they proceeded to tell me that a 'born-again Christian' is someone who was born in the church, left, then came back. A Christian, by way of contrast, was a person who did not grow up in the church, but then joined the church. There was another one, but unfortunately I don't remember what it was. (This was not just a single person, but a couple of my co-workers, and they agreed on the meaning of these terms.) So sometimes it is important to use different terminology, or carefully define it. In that case, a simple yes-no question became an opportunity to explain the new birth, the Gospel, really.

[Edited to add: OhioJones posted before me while I was writing this. I agree with his comments as well.]


And I agree with both of you. You saved me a lot of time. :)

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ohio jones
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Re: Using Scripture's terms and phrases

Postby ohio jones » Fri Dec 23, 2016 3:51 pm

Bootstrap wrote:
ohio jones wrote:Maybe we should be conversing amongst ourselves in Greek and Hebrew if we want to be more rigorously scriptural (Αυτό δεν θα ήταν μια καλή ιδέα).

Not in Google Translate Greek ;=> That's modern Greek, not Koine.

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Re: Using Scripture's terms and phrases

Postby Ernie » Fri Dec 23, 2016 7:51 pm

ohio jones wrote:Any discussion on the use of specific words and phrases presumes a prior agreement on the use of a specific translation. Are we using the vocabulary of the 1769 KJV, or something more recent? Maybe we should be conversing amongst ourselves in Greek and Hebrew if we want to be more rigorously scriptural (Αυτό δεν θα ήταν μια καλή ιδέα).
I'm not trying to be that technical.

ohio jones wrote:I don't have a problem with translating theological terminology into more contemporary language if it communicates better to someone with an unchurched background. However, we do need to stay as close as possible to biblical concepts and use unambiguous words (or clearly define them when necessary).
The word episkopos literally means overseer or superintendent. If I understand correctly, in the first century bishop, overseer, presbyter, and elder were used interchangeably. Am I correct?
I would be fine with any of these words and would probably use the one that I thought would be the most meaningful to whoever I was talking to. I would not want to substitute the word priest or Imam since that has a different meaning.
Agreed?

Neto wrote:I don't exactly dislike this idea, but it is possible to spew out the "Biblically correct" terms all day long, and not know what they mean. (I right away think of stuff like 'propitiation'.)

True. But doesn't this affirm what I said in the OP?
Ernie wrote:We may mean different things but at least we will be using the same terminology/phraseology and it leaves open the possibility that we or the next generation will eventually believe the same thing.
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Re: Using Scripture's terms and phrases

Postby Neto » Fri Dec 23, 2016 9:20 pm

Ernie wrote:
Neto wrote:I don't exactly dislike this idea, but it is possible to spew out the "Biblically correct" terms all day long, and not know what they mean. (I right away think of stuff like 'propitiation'.)

True. But doesn't this affirm what I said in the OP?
Ernie wrote:We may mean different things but at least we will be using the same terminology/phraseology and it leaves open the possibility that we or the next generation will eventually believe the same thing.


Only if they eventually come to ascribe to the same definitions for the terms they use, but I'm not sure that happens. Language is a tool to convey meaning, and it seems to me that if we do not ascribe the same meanings to the words we use, then we are not really communicating. Maybe it is due to impatience on my part - I don't want to wait for the next generation to reach understanding.
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Re: Using Scripture's terms and phrases

Postby Josh » Fri Dec 23, 2016 9:23 pm

A challenge is to use language as simple and plain as possible. This is one thing I like about some modern translations, in particular the NET.
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Re: Using Scripture's terms and phrases

Postby lesterb » Fri Dec 23, 2016 10:01 pm

So how do you feel about casual language? We've got a new pastor, and he is very casual in his speech. He speaks to the guys, for instance. He refers to "we guys". I don't recall him using "gals" but the word "ladies" seems to be making a come-back, and meaning almost the same thing.

I see younger men writing or speaking about "freaking out" -- to me that is drug terminology, meaning a bad hit.

I rebuked a girl in her early 20's or so for using vulgar language in a Linked-In essay on millenials. She was astounded that this would trouble anyone. I told her that serious writing uses serious language, but she couldn't wrap her head around that. Nor could some of the other people who commented.

But I feel that God's word is serious. I think we can explain it in simple terminology without degenerating into degrading terminology. I think most people would understand what I mean if I say young men, or young fellows, just well as young guys. I can remember when gross meant a dozen dozen, not bad tasting food. :-|
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Re: Using Scripture's terms and phrases

Postby Ernie » Fri Dec 23, 2016 10:22 pm

Neto wrote:Only if they eventually come to ascribe to the same definitions for the terms they use, but I'm not sure that happens. Language is a tool to convey meaning, and it seems to me that if we do not ascribe the same meanings to the words we use, then we are not really communicating. Maybe it is due to impatience on my part - I don't want to wait for the next generation to reach understanding.

Not sure how to reply.

It seems to me that it is more likely that the church will have a united definition in the future if we use the term Godhead, vs. the term Trinity or God in Three Persons.

It seems to me that it is more likely that the church will have a united definition in the future if we talk about "meet the Lord in the air" then if we use the term "rapture".
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Re: Using Scripture's terms and phrases

Postby Wade » Fri Dec 23, 2016 10:42 pm

Neto wrote:Only if they eventually come to ascribe to the same definitions for the terms they use, but I'm not sure that happens. Language is a tool to convey meaning, and it seems to me that if we do not ascribe the same meanings to the words we use, then we are not really communicating. Maybe it is due to impatience on my part - I don't want to wait for the next generation to reach understanding.

For the unchurched I would say this attitude could really scare them off from even trying to use biblical words if they are new... Or it does that to me...

Ernie wrote:Not sure how to reply.

It seems to me that it is more likely that the church will have a united definition in the future if we use the term Godhead, vs. the term Trinity or God in Three Persons.

It seems to me that it is more likely that the church will have a united definition in the future if we talk about "meet the Lord in the air" then if we use the term "rapture".


Thank you Ernie.


Another one:
The term "kids," is troubling... Once had a co-worker that wasn't shy in using foul language and horrible gestures say he noticed that I only use the term children. He said, "Is it because God is going to separate the goats and the sheep." ;) 8-)
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Re: Using Scripture's terms and phrases

Postby Josh » Fri Dec 23, 2016 10:57 pm

Language changes with time. We don't speak Middle English or Old English anymore.

There are different ways to speak and write that are more formal and are appropriate for different settings. But we must be careful not to make everything spiritual about speaking in formal, archaic language.

At one time we had our church services in formal High German even though people spoke a more casual dialect for day to day speech. I think it's better to have our preaching be in the language we actually use every day.
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Re: Using Scripture's terms and phrases

Postby Josh » Fri Dec 23, 2016 10:59 pm

"Kids" is a completely normal term for children, and has nothing to do with sheep and goats.

The young of a chimpanzee is called a "baby". That doesn't mean that when I talk about a baby I am actually saying human babies are the same as chimps. And it wouldn't do any good if I used a more formal term like "infant" instead of "baby".
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