Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Sufficiency of Scripture Conference - Summary of Sessions 6 & 7 (12/11)

Session 6 - The Sufficiency of Scripture - English Bible Translations - Bill Einwechter
 In this session William Einwechter spoke on English Bible translations and issues relating to them.  Mr. Einwechter spoke on the languages used for the Old  and New Testaments and how they are the final place we go as a church when there are questions in English translations.

He then spoke of the doctrines of Verbal Plenary Inspiration of Scripture and the doctrine of the Providential Verbal Preservation of the Scriptures as they apply to seeking a faithful translation.  This is key to finding the best English translation to use.

The next topic concerned to principles and philosophies of translation as this is important when seeking to find an English translation that is the closet to the original languages. The two main philosophies are the formal equivalent philosophy and the dynamic equivalent approach.  The formal equivalent seeks to be as word for word accurate as possible to the original languages while the dynamic equivalent is focused on relating the meaning of a text rather than dealing with the individual words.  Examples of formal equivalent translations are the KJV, NKJV, NASB and ESV.  While an example of the dynamic equivalent are the NIV, Message among others. 

As time was running out Mr. Einwechter only spoke briefly on textual criticism as it relates to the original Greek texts used in English translations.  Mr. Einwechter shared that he did not hold to the KJV as being inspired but did feel the Textus Receptus was a more accurate text than the Majority Text used for the newer translations and thus makes the KJV the best English translation.  It was unfortunate that he was not able to finish as this was to me a critical point as a translation can be an excellent English translation but if it is from a less than excellent original text it will still be flawed.  So this is an area I need to spend more time in.  One resource shared was a book by Mr. Einwechter called: English Bible Translations: By What Standard

Session 7 - The Sufficiency of Scripture and the Law of Nations - Doug Philips 
Doug Philips spoke on the law of God and how it relates to all of life and even to nations.  He spoke on how one of the greatest gifts we can give our children is a love for the law of God.  This love for the law is not about legalism but about seeking God for His direction and not ourselves.  The alternative to God’s law is chaos.

Mr. Phillips also shared what he calls the Law Pyramid:
  1. At the top is the Greatest Commandment which is he defining law from which all laws proceed.
  2. The next level down is the Ten Commandments which are basic law declarations which proceed from the greatest Commandment.
  3. At the bottom of the pyramid is the Case Law which are illustrations of the basic principles in terms of specific cases.
He then gave an example as to how the case laws which are so easily dismissed by many actually do have application today and are included in many of the laws we rely on daily.

Mr., Philips also showed how even the Ten Commandments can be seen in the garden:
- We are to worship and obey God alone
- Do not establish physical things as God
- Do not conspire with those who vainly use the name of God
- They rested on the Sabbath
- They were to honor the heavenly father
- So not do that which leads to the killing of humanity
- Marriage is sacred
- Do not testify falsely
- Neither steal nor covet that which is not yours

Mr. Philips also related that we need to realize that every legal system reflects the religion of that place.  As an example of the law of God being the law of a country Massachusetts took much of Deuteronomy and in many ways inserted it into its law books.  Blackstone adamantly tied God’s law to man’s law and that it is not to be any other way.  Since man due to sin is corrupt we can only rely on God and His Law-Word. 

While objections are put forth for not using the law of God as the law of nations there is no viable substitution given.  We are called to disciple/teach all nations all things including God’s law and this cannot be done if we feel God’s law does not apply.

This is often a controversial subject so it was good to hear this spoken of so openly since how we as believers view God’s law says much about how we view God.  Our choices are God’s law or autonomy and unfortunately many today in the professing church choose the later.

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