By David Watson

Benchley, January 17, 2018

  • Figures of speech, continued
    • When should we take a word or phrase figuratively? (continued)
      • When a literal understanding contradicts known facts or common sense
        • John 3:3
        • John 10:9 – Jesus obviously was not a physical door
        • Matthew 8:22; Luke 13:22
    • When should we NOT take a word or phrase figuratively?
      • When a literal understanding simply contradicts our beliefs
        • This is dishonest. We can’t say something is figurative simply because we don’t want to believe it.
    • Which is more accurate?
      • The Bible means what is says.
      • The Bible means what it means.
    • Simile
      • Psalms 1:3
      • I Peter 5:8
    • Metaphor
      • Matthew 7:15
      • Matthew 26:26, 28
      • Luke 13:32
      • John 2:19
      • John 3:3
      • John 6:35
      • John 8:12
      • John 10:7, 9, 11, 14
      • John 11:11
      • John 15:5
      • Ephesians 6:17
    • Anthropomorphisms
      • Genesis 8:21
      • Genesis 9:15
      • Exodus 31:18
      • Deuteronomy 11:12
      • Job 40:9
      • Psalms 130:2
      • Jeremiah 7:13
      • Hebrews 4:13
      • Genesis 6:5-7
    • Not-but (a Hebrew method of comparison, emphasizing one thing but not necessarily condemning the other)
      • Mark 2:17
      • Mark 9:37
      • John 6:27
      • I Corinthians 1:17
      • Philippians 2:4
      • I Timothy 1:9
      • I Timothy 2:12
      • II Timothy 1:9
      • Titus 3:5
      • James 5:12
      • I Peter 3:3-4
      • I John 3:18
    • Hyperbole
      • Deuteronomy 1:28
      • Mark 10:25
      • John 3:26
      • John 4:29
    • Parable
      • Matthew 13:3-8
      • Luke 15:3-7
      • Luke 15:8-10
      • Luke 15:11-32
    • Metonymy (refers to something indirectly by using a related noun)
      • Genesis 6:11
      • Matthew 3:5-6
      • Matthew 10:34
      • John 1:29
      • John 3:16
      • Romans 5:9
      • I Corinthians 7:1
      • I Corinthians 11:26
      • Galatians 6:12

By David Watson

Benchley, January 10, 2018

  • Context and harmony, continued:
    • Hebrews 13:4 – “Marriage is a holy institution. Any marriage is acceptable to God.”
      • Context – Hebrews 13:1-7 – The context itself forbids fornication and adultery.
      • Harmony – Matthew 19:5-9; Luke 16:18
      • Conclusion – It is possible for a marriage to not be approved by God. Adultery in particular is repeatedly denounced as sin. Marriage is always described as one man and one woman.
  • Figures of speech
    • What Jesus said (John 2:19-21) vs. what they heard (Mark 14:58; 15:29-30)
    • Exodus 5:22-23
    • Matthew 10:26 – “Take eat. This is my body.” Jesus was standing there with them, so it could not have been His actual body. Also, drinking blood was prohibited by the Law of Moses, so Jesus would have been encouraging them to break the law.
    • Dangers of figurative language
      • Taking figurative language literally.
      • Taking literal language figuratively.
    • Matthew 16:5-12
    • John 16:25
    • Psalms 23:4 – hyperbole
    • Mark 10:25
    • Understand a passage literally unless there is a good reason not to.
    • II Peter 2:22
    • When should we take a word or phrase figuratively?
      • When it is said to be figurative
        • Galatians 4:24
        • John 2:18-22
        • Revelation 1:20; 5:8
        • Acts 2:16-21; Matthew 4:12-17 – Old Testament figurative prophecy is often explained in the New Testament.
      • When a literal understanding contradicts another passage
        • Remember to harmonize!
        • Mark 1:5; Luke 7:29-30 – The lawyers and Pharisees had not been baptized by John, so we know that “all” in Mark 1:5 didn’t literally mean all, but “a lot” or “most.”
        • Luke 14:26; Ephesians 5:25; Matthew 5:44
      • When it matches a pattern of figurative language in other passages.
        • I Peter 3:33 – “not-but” passage
        • Genesis 17:1 – “walk” is figurative
        • Isaiah 9:2 – “light” is figurative

By David Watson

Benchley, January 3, 2018

  • Context and harmony, continued:
    • Practice using context and harmony together, continued:
      • John 14:26; 16:13 – Does the Holy Spirit miraculously guide people?
        • Context: Jesus and the apostles
        • Harmony: John 13:1; Luke 22:13-14; Matthew 26:19-21; Mark 14:16-18; Acts 8:14
        • Conclusion: Jesus was speaking directly to the apostles and specifically to them. This does not mean the Holy Spirit miraculously guides us today.
      • I Corinthians 1:17 – Is baptism necessary for salvation? Paul said Christ did not send him to baptize!
        • Context: Paul was discussing division that was coming from people being baptized by different people.
        • Harmony: I Corinthians 12:13; Acts 2:38; Romans 6:3-4; I Peter 3:21
        • Conclusion: Baptism is essential for salvation. Here, Paul was addressing a controversy that was springing up and causing division with people dividing over who baptized them. I Corinthians 10:17 is a not-but passage emphasizing preaching over baptism.
      • Ephesians 4:31 – Is all anger sinful?
        • Context: Ephesians 4:25-31 – All anger is not condemned.
        • Harmony: Mark 3:5; Psalms 97:10
        • Conclusion: No, all anger is not sinful. Jesus Himself expressed anger.
      • Luke 14:26 – Are we really supposed to hate our families?
        • Context: Luke 14:23-33 – Jesus is trying to get people to understand the depth of commitment required to follow Him.
        • Harmony: Matthew 22:39; 10:37
        • Conclusion: We are to love Christ the most. We should love Him so much that all other relationships look like hate in comparison.

How to Use Your Bible, Part 9

Posted by mark under Classes

By David Watson

Benchley, December 24, 2017

  • The need for reading
    • Exodus 24:3, 7; Joshua 1:8; 8:30-35
    • Judges 2:7-10, 20-21; II Kings 17:13-14
    • II Kings 22:8, 10-11
    • II Kings 25
    • Ezra 7:6, 10; Nehemiah 8:1-8, 18; 9:3; Luke 4:16; I Timothy 4:13
    • Across history, when people fell away from God, it was because they were not reading.
  • I have several plans for getting through the hard parts.
    • Just read, don’t study.
    • Use the Bible Reading Companion.
    • Use a different translation.
    • Send me a request.
    • Read with a partner.
    • Use an audio Bible.
    • If you get behind, skip that section.
  • I have a strategy for keeping my interest level high: using what I read!

How to Use Your Bible, Part 8

Posted by mark under Classes

By David Watson

Benchley, December 20, 2017

  • Context and harmony, continued:
    • Galatians 6:10 – “Let us do good to all people” here is referring to helping those caught in sin. The context does not mention benevolence. This is about individuals helping each other in spiritual work and helping to bear their load when they are struggling with sin.
    • Acts 2:4 – Who was filled with the Holy Spirit? If you follow the pronouns back to Acts 1:26, you can see it is referring to the apostles. Acts 2:14, 37, and 42-43 show that the people were responding to what the apostles were preaching. Acts 1:6, 8 shows that Jesus told them this exact thing would happen.
    • Jeremiah 29:11 – The context of this verse is a letter written to Jews in Babylonian captivity (Jeremiah 29:1-3). Verses 8-10 are a warning to not listen to all the false prophets. Verse 11 then encourages the people, saying that God had a plan for them for good (so don’t be drawn away by false prophets).
    • Philippians 4:13 – What are “all things”? The context is about Paul being content no matter his circumstances. Paul could be content in any circumstances through God’s strength.

How to Use Your Bible, Part 7

Posted by mark under Classes

By David Watson

Benchley, December 13, 2017

  • Translation philosophy, continued:
    • Dynamic (thought-for-thought, functional equivalence), continued:
      • Attempts to retain the meaning of the text, including idioms
        • Amos 4:6 – “cleanness of teeth” (NASB)
        • Luke 15:20 – “fell on his neck” (KVJ, ASV, NKJV)
        • I Corinthians 9:16 – “necessity is laid upon me” (ASV, ESV, NKJV, KJV)
        • Luke 1:33 – “into the age” à “forever”
        • Psalms 17:8 – “pupil of your eye” (CSB)
        • I Timothy 5:22 – “laying on of hands” (NASB) vs “appointing a church leader” (NLT, CSB)
      • Language tends to be more readable and flow more naturally
        • Matthew 5:2
        • Hebrews 1:3
    • The best strategy is to compare several translations.
      • Top recommendations: NASB, ASV, ESV, NKJV, KJV
  • Context and harmony
    • Exodus 32:19 (ESV) – Moses “broke” all ten commandments at once! What does “broke” mean? Context means reading the surrounding verses to help you understand what a word or phrase means.
    • “Logos” in the NASB is translated ten or more different ways.
    • Galatians 6:10 – “let us do good to all people” – What kind of good is being talked about?

How to Use Your Bible, Part 6

Posted by mark under Classes

By David Watson

Benchley, December 6, 2017

  • Translation philosophy, continued:
    • Paraphrases such as The Living Bible or The Message are dangerous to use for Bible study.
      • Compare I Timothy 3:4 and Titus 1:6.
    • Literal (word-for-word, formal equivalence)
      • Provides a window to original words chosen by the Holy Spirit
      • Communicates doctrinal points that may be based on single words
        • Matthew 22:42-46 (Psalm 110:1)
        • Galatians 3:16
        • Romans 13:4; Proverbs 13:24
        • I Timothy 2:12
      • Retains nuances and richness of meaning inherent in the original words
        • II Corinthians 5:7; Galatians 5:16
        • John 13:21
        • I Kings 2:10
        • Luke 22:31-35 (KVJ) – “thee” and “thou” are singular, “you” and “your” are plural
      • Aids study with more consistent translation of words
        • (Sophos, wise, in I Corinthians 1:19ff and 3:10ff)
      • Avoids modern gender-neutral trend
        • Sometimes the original words just mean person (Matthew 16:24).
        • Other times, the meaning is changed by removing the gender (Psalm 34:20).
        • Luke 17:3
        • Nahum 3:13
    • Dynamic (thought-for-thought, functional equivalence)
      • Attempts to retain the meaning of the text, including idioms
        • II Samuel 18:25
        • Amos 4:6

How to Use Your Bible, Part 5

Posted by mark under Classes

By David Watson

Benchley, November 29, 2017

  • Inspiration and translation, continued:
    • Acts 22:16
    • What is the original meaning of the text?
      • II Peter 3:14-18 – If God wants each of us to just come up with his own interpretation, there would be no such thing as distorting God’s word, which Paul warns against here.
    • There is an ongoing need for translations.
      • Matthew 14:15 (KJV): “victuals”
      • II Corinthians 12:1
      • I Thessalonians 4:15
      • English changes over time.
        • Matthew 6:9-10 – original KVJ vs current KJV and ESV
  • Translation philosophy
    • No translation is inspired or perfect.
    • The pros and cons of different translation philosophies.
      • Word-for-word (formal equivalence or literal)
      • Thought-for-thought (functional equivalence, dynamic equivalence, or idiomatic)

How to Use Your Bible, Part 4

Posted by mark under Classes

By David Watson

Benchley, November 15, 2017

  • Jeremiah 36:20-24
  • Digital Bibles
  • Inspiration and translation
    • Inspiration is verbal and plenary.
    • Verbal: God inspired the words themselves, taking into account the personality of the writer.
    • Plenary: The Bible is fully Every part of it is inspired.
      • II Samuel 23:2
      • Matthew 10:17-20
      • I Corinthians 2:10-13
      • I Thessalonians 2:13
      • II Timothy 3:14-17
      • I Peter 1:10-12
      • II Peter 1:20-21
      • Acts 2:39 – Peter didn’t fully understand the phrase “far off” here to mean Gentiles, even though he spoke the words. He wouldn’t totally understand this until Acts 10.
    • The Holy Spirit did His work with a personal touch.
    • There is a connection between inspiration and translation.
    • Specific wording is important in two places – inspiration and translation.