Gracefully Truthful

Bible Translations & Original Intent

What do they matter? Where do I start?!

Questions We Ask

Question

Do you have questions about Bible translations? We did too, and we discovered important truths as we explored. Here’s what we found!

Studying Scripture for its original intention is absolutely essential in order to cross the wide gap of culture and language over thousands of years and make good, right application to our modern lives.

While we recognize studying original language as important, it can feel overwhelming or daunting. Thankfully for us, we live in an age when information and study tools are within easy reach. At Gracefully Truthful, we make it a common practice in writing our studies to point our community toward solid Bible scholars who have spent their lives studying the depths of Scripture.
Our theologians spend a great deal of time scouring study resources and some of our favorites for looking up original context and the meaning of original words are Study Light, Blue Letter Bible, and Logos.

ERV (Easy Read Version)
GNB (Good News Bible)
TLB (The Living Bible)
The Message

Why Does Original Intent Matter?

Because we are called to correctly handle truth

"Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved,
a worker who has no need to be ashamed,
rightly handling the word of truth."

2 Timothy 2:15

When studying the Bible, it’s vitally important to first look at the original meaning of a text.

For Example:
Suppose I said, “Love!”

There are many different things I might have meant…
Love each other.
A reminder to be kind-hearted.
You’re in trouble….you’d better remember to love.
Maybe I was whispering.
Am I speaking to a group? One person?
Maybe I’m talking to myself at a wedding.
What if “Love” was my husband’s nickname?
What if it was my dog’s?

So many different interpretations are possible!!
But I only intended one of them.

Original Intent

When God speaks in Scripture,
He has 
one intended original purpose.
Let That Sink In. 

This means the Bible is not written directly TO us today in the 21st century. 
(See our Journey Study: Threads Of Love for more)
It also illuminates how essential it is to be diligent in finding the original intention when we study God’s Word.

We look at original culture, original context, and original language to help us discover God’s original intended purpose. 

Just because God had one original intention does not mean that He didn’t intend countless right applications. But, if we don’t start with the right intention, we can’t possible bridge to a right application.

Everyday Application

Mark 4:37-38
“A great windstorm arose, and the waves were breaking over the boat, so that the boat was already being swamped. 38 He was in the stern, sleeping on the cushion. So they woke him up and said to him, “Teacher! Don’t you care that we’re going to die?””

Incorrect Understandings
Jesus “sleeps” in my “storms”
God cannot be awake and knowing all things all the time.

Incorrect Application
I’m alone in my “storm” unless I “wake up” God.

When we bypass the work of finding correct intention, we can’t possibly find correct application.

God’s Word is not a haphazard do-it-yourself craft project.
He is orderly and His Word reflects clarity and purpose.

When we study from this perspective, we open the grand door to
knowing the Almighty through His own Word!

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