There really is no substitute for having some knowledge of the original languages when it comes to studying the Bible. Don’t get me wrong. I have great appreciation for the labors of many of those who have translated the Bible into English. However, when you are able to look at the Greek and see the nuances that don’t come across in the English text it can give great insight into the Spirit-inspired word of God.
Take 2 Timothy 1:7 for example. I’ve been attempting to memorize the book of 2 Timothy this year. I started off strong, then fell off a bit, but now am coming back with vengeance. Anyway, this is how it reads in a few English translations:
- NASB: For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline.
- KJV: For God hath not given us a spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.
- HCSB: For God has not given us a spirit of fearfulness, but one of power, love, and sound judgment.
- ESV: For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
- NET: For God did not give us a Spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control.
I’m preaching through the Gospel of Mark on Sunday mornings and yesterday the text was the account of Jesus calming the storm on the Sea of Galilee. My original sermon title was “Faith > Fear: The Son of God and the Storm.” Here is Mark 4:35-41:
On that day, when evening came, He said to them, “Let us go over to the other side.” Leaving the crowd, they took Him along with them in the boat, just as He was; and other boats were with Him. And there arose a fierce gale of wind, and the waves were breaking over the boat so much that the boat was already filling up. Jesus Himself was in the stern, asleep on the cushion; and they woke Him and said to Him, “Teacher, do You not care that we are perishing?” And He got up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Hush, be still.” And the wind died down and it became perfectly calm. And He said to them, “Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?” They became very much afraid and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?”
I’ve heard it said that in this world you are either in a storm, you are coming out of a storm, or you are about to be in a storm. Life in a world where the god is the devil is going to necessarily be filled with storms. It’s been that way since Genesis 3 and it will be that way until the latter part of Revelation. Proximity to Jesus Christ, that is to say, being a Christian, is no guarantee that storms will not come. In fact, it could be said that the frequency of the storms increase because our faith increases our awareness of them.
This account in Mark occurs at the end of a long day in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. He’s taught the masses in parables and given those following Him the explanations (Mark 4:1-34), and earlier that same day (Matt 13:1) His own friends sought to take custody of Him, probably to protect Him, saying He’d lost His senses. Jesus was accused of being the devil’s tag team partner. Then, His own family tried to interfere with His ministry (Mark 3:31-35). They did not yet believe in Him to the point of following, and Jesus changed the paradigm of human relationships for the believer when He said it is the one who does the will of God that is His brother and sister and mother. So it was one long and productive day of ministry. Continue reading