Understanding the Language of the Bible

Discussion in 'General Discussions' started by Tsaphah, Apr 18, 2019.

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    Tsaphah

    Tsaphah Experienced Member

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    Understanding ancient Greek and Hebrew requires the knowledge that both are different from the modern Greek and Hebrew languages. The meanings of certain words have been altered over time. Four things missing in the written ancient language are, dialect, accent, inflection, and punctuation.

    The last, punctuation, is how a particle of a word is built into that word used in a sentence. Without these missing aspects in ancient languages, it is difficult to exactly understand how the meaning effects the idea of what is written. One example is the word “now”. There are 15 different Greek words that can be translated as “now”. One example: de = now, so, also, then, and, but, etc. Another similar word is dh/ = now, then, verily, in truth, really, surely, certainly, forthwith, at once. Both of these words, in English, are pronounced slightly different. de = “day”, where as dh/ = “deh”. This is why believers in the trinity can argue about John 1:1. But, if that were the correct understanding, why write verse 2? “He was in the beginning with God.” ( Joh 1:2 NKJV ) “The same was in the beginning with God.” ( Joh 1:2 KJV ) “He was with God in the beginning.” ( Joh 1:2 NIV ) This verse would be unnecessary and redundant.

    In the written word, a person would have to know the setting and circumstance, in order to know how to pronounce these words, and which to use with the correct idea intended. As Mark Twain said; “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.”

    He also said: “Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.”

    We ( U.S. Military ) used to have communication devices called Teletypes, to send and receive messages electronically between facilities. These machines would automatically print the sent and received messages. We also had to make sure that the machines were printing correctly. We typed, “The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.” This contains all the letters of the English alphabet. Plus, numbers and punctuation marks were typed into the messages.

    How important was the accuracy of this information? Lives depended on it! We had a situation where an airplane became off-course because a wrong number was entered into the navigation system. A small number was entered, it was 300 miles off-course. Thankfully, the correct information was transmitted by radio to the Navigator. They were able to correct their flight path, and were saved.

    Let’s look at a sentence presented to someone. “Now, you are not going to like this.” Does the “now” mean “at that moment”? Or, could it mean that the intended person will not like what they hear. If the message was written, would it mean “when you read this”, you are not going to like it? Or, if the message was relayed, by messenger, to the person receiving it, heard or read it, at that time.

    Dialect:
    noun
    1. Linguistics . a variety of a language that is distinguished from other varieties of the same language by features of phonology, grammar, and vocabulary, and by its use by a group of speakers who are set off from others geographically or socially.
    2. a provincial, rural, or socially distinct variety of a language that differs from the standard language, especially when considered as substandard.
    3. a special variety of a language: The literary dialect is usually taken as the standard language.
    4. a language considered as one of a group that have a common ancestor: Persian, Latin, and English are Indo-European dialects.
    5. jargon or cant.

    Accent:
    noun
    1. prominence of a syllable in terms of differential loudness, or of pitch, or length, or of a combination of these.
    2. degree of prominence of a syllable within a word and sometimes of a word within a phrase: primary accent; secondary accent.
    3. a mark indicating stress (as (·, ·), or (ˈ, ˌ), or (′, ″)), vowel quality (as French grave `, acute ´, circumflex ^), form (as French la “the” versus là “there”), or pitch.
    4. any similar mark.

    Inflection:
    noun
    1. a change in the form of a word (typically the ending) to express a grammatical function or attribute such as tense, mood, person, number, case, and gender
    2. the modulation of intonation or pitch in the voice.

    Punctuation:
    noun
    1. the marks, such as period, comma, and parentheses, used in writing to separate sentences and their elements and to clarify meaning.
    2. the practice or system of using certain conventional marks or characters in writing or printing in order to separate elements and make the meaning clear, as in ending a sentence or separating clauses.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2019
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    Tsaphah

    Tsaphah Experienced Member

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    In the koine Greek language there are six different words that can be transliterated into English or other languages, as “beginning”. They are:
    aion = beginning of time.
    anothen = from the beginning, beginning,
    arche = beginning, first, origin, the person or thing that commences, the first person or thing in a series, the leader.
    archomai = to be the first to do (anything), to begin, chief, leader, ruler.
    archo = to be chief, to lead, to rule
    proenarchomai = to make a beginning before

    Which word is the right word to use? Is it lightning or lightning bug? It all depends on the subject.
    Look these words up by using the free; “The New Testament Greek Lexicon” or “Old Testament Hebrew at; http://classic.studylight.org/lex/

    Learn to use this valuable tool!
     
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    Tsaphah

    Tsaphah Experienced Member

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    In what order should these two scriptures be? It’s Mary’s use of “fragrant oil”.

    It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.” ( John 11:2 NKJV) Notice the use of past tense: anointed, wiped, was.

    Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.” ( John 12:3 NKJV )

    It seems that the writing of the account of what Mary did should be in chapter 11:2 instead of 12:3, and 11:2 should be placed at 12:3. Does this seem confusing?

    If these are changed, it would read: “Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.” This would be on a different day and time: “It was that Mary who anointed the Lord with fragrant oil and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.”

    AH-HA; The Codex does not have “that Mary”; just “And it was Mary that anointed the Lord.” That changes the whole scene here. Or, could it be, Mary anointed Jesus twice? Here is something to think about. At this time, Lazarus “had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him. Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.” ( John 12:1-3 NKJV )

    Ah Yes! “Then, six days before the Passover, Jesus came to Bethany, where Lazarus was who had been dead, whom He had raised from the dead. There they made Him a supper; and Martha served, but Lazarus was one of those who sat at the table with Him.” ( John 12:1-2 NKJV ) Now we read verse 3: “Then Mary took a pound of very costly oil of spikenard, anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped His feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil.” This shows it was the second anointing of Jesus by Mary.
     
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    Tsaphah

    Tsaphah Experienced Member

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    Recently, I have been reading a book titled “Talking to Strangers”, by Malcolm Gladwell.
    There is an important point brought out in trying to determine whether a person is lying or being truthful. There is a test called FACS which stands for Facial Action Coding System. In FACS, every one of forty-three distinctive muscle movements in the face is assigned a number, called an “action unit”. These FACS are a part of what we call “Body Language”.

    Long story-short, Facial expressions are coded. Almost all humans have specific muscles that are “give-aways”, when responding to events, or questions. These are coded for use in determining a lie or truth. It works better than the modern “lie detector test”. That's probably where the saying; “Look them in the face” comes from. Or when it is said, Face to Face.

    My point here is to say that these expressions are missing in the written word. Fortunately, we don’t need these features when reading God’s word, in the Bible. We only need to know these FACS when speaking to other humans. When a person says, “I’m not interested”! What are they really saying? We should know how to “read” people. Learn the FACS.:eek: :)
     
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