Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Cutting Up The Word of God

Not long ago I stumbled across an article that mentioned dividing the word of God. It talked about knowing what part of the bible was applicable to you. Do we divide the word whenever we emphasize one scripture over another? If so, what do we do with the rest? 

However this wasn't what I was looking for, so I pressed on looking for something else, but the concept hung with me and drew me back. But when I did go back looking for dividing scripture up I couldn't find that quote in the bible, which was because I read the NASB or the NIV, neither of which tells us to divide the word of God. That quote is found in the KJV in 2 Timothy 2:15
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
In the NASB 2 Timothy 2:15 is different
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.
Knowing which parts of the bible that are most applicable to you is important, otherwise we wouldn't know if we were under the Edenic Covenant, the Adamic Covenant, the Noahic Covenant, the Abrahamic Covenant, the Mosaic Covenant, the Palestinian Covenant, the Davidic Covenant, the New Covenant, or any combination of the Covenants. But should we divide the scripture? The same epistle tells us 

16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
It clearly says "All Scripture", Paul did not say "In a few years Mark, Luke, and John are going to write some stuff that will knock your socks off". Nor did he say anything like "The Old Testament applies only to Jews, what is being written now only applies to Gentiles, and both only applies to Messianic Jews." When Paul wrote these words there was no New Testament, only what we call the Old Testament, and this is what the Apostles preached from. So how could Scripture be divided? The Torah and the Talmud? 

If we look at the original Greek, the word that is translated into "rightly divide" in the KJV in 2 Timothy 2:15 is ὀρθοτομέω or orthotomeō but that word means "to cut straight" or "to make straight and smooth" or "to handle aright." It's only used once in the entire bible, and it's used by Paul. To cut straight or to make straight and smooth doesn't make sense if you're only talking about dealing with scripture, but Paul wasn't talking merely about scripture.

In both verses, 2 Timothy 2:15 and 2 Timothy 3:16-17 Paul was talking about scripture and about work. In 2:15 he was talking about being a good workman, and in 3:17 he was talking about every good work. Paul was a straight up kind of guy, in his letters he talked about things like sports and Cretians, and now he's talking about work. Let's look at 2 Timothy 2:15 if ὀρθοτομέω was translated directly from the Greek:
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, cutting straight the word of truth.
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, making straight and smooth the word of truth.
That doesn't make much sense until you keep in mind Paul's skill set, Acts tells us what Paul did when he traveled to Corinth
2 And he found a Jew named Aquila, a native of Pontus, having recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla, because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to leave Rome. He came to them, 3 and because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and they were working, for by trade they were tent-makers. (Acts 18:2-3)
Now, when you keep in mind that Paul's trade was tent making, "to cut straight" or "to make straight and smooth" the word of truth makes perfect sense. He wasn't talking about cutting up the bible or dividing the scripture depending on your disposition, he was talking about using scripture properly, with skill, like a tradesman would work with the tools and products of his trade. 

There's been millions of words written on this, and I'm sure that the vast, vast majority of it comes much closer to what Paul was saying than my feeble efforts, there's nothing wrong with saying 'rightly divided' other than the fact that I don't like that translation very much. I may be way off on my theory, and would like to hear from any readers why I am. The Holy Spirit sometimes reveals the truth slightly different to each of God's adopted children depending on how they best understand things. Charles Spurgeon has his own take on handling the word of truth:
What is the right way, then, to handle the Word of truth? It is like a sword and it was not meant to be played with. That is not rightly to handle the gospel. It must be used in earnest and pushed home. Are you converted, my friends? Do you believe in Jesus Christ? Are you saved, or not? Swords are meant to cut and hack, wound and kill—and the Word of God is for pricking men in the heart and killing their sins. The Word of God is not committed to God’s ministers to amuse men with its glitter, nor to charm them with the jewels in its hilt, but to conquer their souls for Jesus! - Charles Spurgeon, 12/26/1875

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