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John Calvin puts forward a very simple reason why love is the greatest gift: “Because faith and hope are our own: love is diffused among others.” In other words, faith and hope benefit the possessor, but love always benefits another. In John 13:34–35 Jesus says, “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Love always requires an “other” as an object; love cannot remain within itself, and that is part of what makes love the greatest gift.
Origen

Translation of Gen. 1:1

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We are all aware of the traditional translation of Gen. 1:1 (i.e. "in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth").  By far that wording is used\followed by the majority of translations.

 

However there is another possibility.

 

"In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth" (NRSV)

 "In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth—" (NAB)

"When God began to create heaven and earth—" (JPS)

 

Calvin states: "Moses simply intends to assert that the world was not perfected at its very commencement, in the manner in which it is now seen, but that it was created an empty chaos of heaven and earth. His language therefore may be thus explained. When God in the beginning created the heaven and the earth, the earth was empty and waste."  I post this quote only to show such a translation is not new or strange.

 

My question has nothing to do with which translation is correct.  It is a FACT either is possible according to the Hebrew.  My question is does it matter in this case?

 

 

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5 minutes ago, Origen said:

We are all aware of the traditional translation of Gen. 1:1 (i.e. "in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth").  By far that wording is used\followed by the majority of translations.

 

However there is another possibility.

 

"In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth" (NRSV)

 "In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth—" (NAB)

"When God began to create heaven and earth—" (JPS)

 

Calvin states: "Moses simply intends to assert that the world was not perfected at its very commencement, in the manner in which it is now seen, but that it was created an empty chaos of heaven and earth. His language therefore may be thus explained. When God in the beginning created the heaven and the earth, the earth was empty and waste."  I post this quote only to show such a translation is not new or strange.

 

My question has nothing to do with which translation is correct.  It is a FACT either is possible according to the Hebrew.  My question is does it matter in this case?

 

 

Just a point that I think needs clarification. When reading the clipped part from Calvin's commentary it appears that the argument for preexisting matter and God only framing which "was" may be plausible.

 

Calvin continues, "When God in the beginning created the heaven and the earth, the earth was empty and waste. (35) He moreover teaches by the word “created,” that what before did not exist was now made; for he has not used the term יצר, (yatsar,) which signifies to frame or forms but ברא, (bara,) which signifies to create."

 

As far as the timing of which the Creator began I think Calvin beautifully brings out that Creation began "when" or at the moment God the Creator decided whether or not to bring or Cause to exists.

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On 3/9/2019 at 5:02 PM, Origen said:

We are all aware of the traditional translation of Gen. 1:1 (i.e. "in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth").  By far that wording is used\followed by the majority of translations.

 

However there is another possibility.

 

"In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth" (NRSV)

 "In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth—" (NAB)

"When God began to create heaven and earth—" (JPS)

 

Calvin states: "Moses simply intends to assert that the world was not perfected at its very commencement, in the manner in which it is now seen, but that it was created an empty chaos of heaven and earth. His language therefore may be thus explained. When God in the beginning created the heaven and the earth, the earth was empty and waste."  I post this quote only to show such a translation is not new or strange.

 

My question has nothing to do with which translation is correct.  It is a FACT either is possible according to the Hebrew.  My question is does it matter in this case?

 

 

' In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was 
(or became) without form, and void;

and darkness was upon the face of the deep.

And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.'
(Genesis 1:1-2)

 

Hello @Origen,

 

I have just responded to a thread you created concerning the figure of speech called 'idiom'; and here in these two verses there is another figure of speech.  It is called, 'anadiplosis or 'like sentence endings and beginnings': the repetition of the same Word or Words at the end of one sentence and at the beginning of another.  The words repeated are thereby emphasised as being the most important words in the sentence, which we should consider when interpreting.

 

In this case our attention is called to the fact that two things are referred to, 'the Heaven and the Earth', but that the following statement speaks only of one of them, leaving the other without consideration.  Both were created 'in the beginning', but the earth at some time, and by some means, became 'empty and waste' (tohoo & bohoo).  In Isaiah 45:18, it is stated clearly that the earth was not created so, 'He created it not tohoo'. So, what follows in Genesis one is a restoration.

 

 'For thus saith the LORD that created the heavens;

God himself that formed the earth and made it;

He hath established it,

He created it not in vain, (tohoo)

He formed it to be inhabited:

I am the LORD;

and there is none else.'

(Isaiah 45:18) 

 

In Christ Jesus

Chris

 

 

 

 

 

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23 hours ago, C.Jord said:

Hello @Origen,

 

I have just responded to a thread you created concerning the figure of speech called 'idiom'; and here in these two verses there is another figure of speech.  It is called, 'anadiplosis or 'like sentence endings and beginnings': the repetition of the same Word or Words at the end of one sentence and at the beginning of another.  The words repeated are thereby emphasised as being the most important words in the sentence, which we should consider when interpreting.


In this case our attention is called to the fact that two things are referred to, 'the Heaven and the Earth', but that the following statement speaks only of one of them, leaving the other without consideration.  Both were created 'in the beginning', but the earth at some time, and by some means, became 'empty and waste' (tohoo & bohoo).  In Isaiah 45:18, it is stated clearly that the earth was not created so, 'He created it not tohoo'. So, what follows in Genesis one is a restoration.

 

I take the phrase "the heavens and the earth" also to be a figure of speech.  It is a merism (or merismus).

 

As for the Hebrew, while it is not impossible for the verb היה to be rendered "become" I see no grammatical reason why such would be necessary.

 

I see the overall context of Gen. 1 as God "giving order" to His creation.   The function[ing] of the created order (i.e. the animals and objects and how it all fits together) help provide the structure of the chapter.

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44 minutes ago, Origen said:

I take the phrase "the heavens and the earth" also to be a figure of speech.  It is a merism.

And what does "the heaven and the earth" the phrase, figure of speech, or merism mean to you?

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21 hours ago, William said:

And what does "the heaven and the earth" the phrase, figure of speech, or merism mean to you?

 A merism (or merismus) is a figure of speech which uses a pair of contrasting words or phrases to express totality or completeness.

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On 3/9/2019 at 9:02 AM, Origen said:

 My question is does it matter in this case?

Yes.

 

Just a single letter, placed in the very first verse of the Bible, can throw off One's understanding of Genesis and the entire Bible itself.

 

Placing a seemingly innocent 's' at the end of Heaven, has caused a great many Christian to become lost as to what is really being told.

 

The KJV has it correct. Heaven is singular, not plural. Why is this a big deal?

 

Because there are *three* Heavens. God only created *one* of them in Genesis 1:1.

 

There are also three Earths, but that's another topic.

 

Thus, it should be understood as...

 

"In the beginning God created only one of the three heavens and the earth"

 

Now the verses that follow make perfect sense.

 

Earth was without form and void. Of course. Since only one of the Three Heavens were created at that point, Earth existed in a state without form... LITERALLY.

 

In other words, Earth as well as the entire Universe, existed only as a two dimensional construct. A plane.

 

The Third Dimension comes later...

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1 minute ago, Mikey said:

In other words, Earth as well as the entire Universe, existed only as a two dimensional construct. A plane.

In the world of Physics, this is called a 'Membrane' or 'Brane' for short.

 

A similar concept may be found in this verse...

 

Revelation 6:14

"And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places"

 

A Scroll is representative of something that is flat, yet contains a Universe within it.

 

Thus, in Genesis 1:2, this Two Dimensional Membrane is referred to as 'Face of the Deep' and 'Waters'...

 

Genesis 1:2

"And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters"

 

Think of Angels standing upon a Sea of Glass. It is a similar concept. The type of Waters Genesis 1:2 is speaking of, in this case, is the Abyss.

 

Not a round 'Globe Earth'... not even a Universe... but rather the Flatland Underworld of Chaos... before the Third Dimension came to be.

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1 minute ago, Mikey said:

Think of Angels standing upon a Sea of Glass. It is a similar concept. The type of Waters Genesis 1:2 is speaking of, in this case, is the Abyss.

The Angels standing on the Sea of Glass are in the Fourth Dimension looking down into the Third Dimension (our Universe).

 

The fire inside are the Stars and Galaxies.

 

To them, it is similar to how we stare into our computer monitors. The world inside the screen is 3D, but the face is flat.

 

Here is the moment God created the Third Dimension...

 

mhp-0831.jpg.811fdc3aa20eb62dd2aac82965f6bd5b.jpg

 

The Firmament is simply Outer Space.

 

God split the Waters. In other words, God took a Two Dimensional Plane and added a Third Dimension to it.

 

This whole business of the Firmament being Earth's Atmosphere is a bogus teaching. Nowhere in the Bible does it teach that Earth's Atmosphere and Outer Space are separate.

 

We are taught that they are two of the Three Heavens. This is incorrect.

 

Earth's Atmosphere and Outer Space are *one and the same* and only account for ONE of the Three Heavens.

 

God dwells in another.

 

That leaves the Third Heaven as a mystery to every Christian on the planet that hasn't done their homework.

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7 hours ago, Mikey said:

Just a single letter, placed in the very first verse of the Bible, can throw off One's understanding of Genesis and the entire Bible itself.

As I point out in the OP it is a fact either translation is possible according to the Hebrew.

 

7 hours ago, Mikey said:

The KJV has it correct. Heaven is singular, not plural. Why is this a big deal?

The KJV is wrong.  The Hebrew noun שָׁמַיִם (šāmayim - heavens) is plural (specifically a dual form).  The singular form never occurs in the O.T.

 

7 hours ago, Mikey said:

A Scroll is representative of something that is flat, yet contains a Universe within it.

Nothing more than the normal symbolic language found apocalyptic texts.

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On 3/9/2019 at 9:02 AM, Origen said:

We are all aware of the traditional translation of Gen. 1:1 (i.e. "in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth").  By far that wording is used\followed by the majority of translations.

 

However there is another possibility.

 

"In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth" (NRSV)

 "In the beginning, when God created the heavens and the earth—" (NAB)

"When God began to create heaven and earth—" (JPS)

 

Calvin states: "Moses simply intends to assert that the world was not perfected at its very commencement, in the manner in which it is now seen, but that it was created an empty chaos of heaven and earth. His language therefore may be thus explained. When God in the beginning created the heaven and the earth, the earth was empty and waste."  I post this quote only to show such a translation is not new or strange.

 

My question has nothing to do with which translation is correct.  It is a FACT either is possible according to the Hebrew.  My question is does it matter in this case?

 

 

I'm thinking all 4 of the given translations are redundant.The KJV seems a bit less redundant. Of course 'in the beginning' was 'when'.

I think the pivotal word is 'beginning'. Since in eternity In which God dwells, a 'beginning' implies Time...a departure from the eternal.

Gen 1.1 could mark the only 'beginning' there ever was or will be of the natural order.

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Good grief

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3 hours ago, Becky said:

Good grief

That's really why I'd rather stick to the clear and the basics of our faith. LOL

Edited by Solas

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17 hours ago, Origen said:

The KJV is wrong.  The Hebrew noun שָׁמַיִם (šāmayim - heavens) is plural (specifically a dual form).  The singular form never occurs in the O.T.

There are countless websites out there demonstrating why the singular Heaven is the superior translation.

 

Sounds like your mind is already made up, so I won't bother debating this with you.

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1 hour ago, Mikey said:

Sounds like your mind is already made up, so I won't bother debating this with you.

 A good plan.

I have found in my personal experience that debating Hebrew grammar with someone that is fluent in Hebrew, when I do not read Hebrew, has never ended well for me.

 

The fact that you reference “numerous websites” suggests that you are like myself in your linguistic limitations concerning the original languages.  Greek and Hebrew Scholars do not cite websites as proof, armchair theologians like myself rely on websites and commentaries.

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On 3/10/2019 at 2:02 AM, Origen said:

We are all aware of the traditional translation of Gen. 1:1 (i.e. "in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth").  By far that wording is used\followed by the majority of translations.

 

Here are a few other popular ways of understanding Gen 1:1

 

Gen. 1:1  At the beginning of God’s creating of the heavens and the earth, (Schocken Bible: The Five Books of Moses. Everett Fox, 1995)

Gen. 1:1  When God was about to create heaven and earth, (The Torah a Modern. W Gunther Plaut)

Gen  1:1  In the beginning of God's creating the heavens and the earth, (The Stone Chumash )

Gen  1:1  When God began to create heaven and earth, (JPS Tanakh 1985)

 

On 3/10/2019 at 2:02 AM, Origen said:

 

My question has nothing to do with which translation is correct.  It is a FACT either is possible according to the Hebrew.  My question is does it matter in this case?

 

It is my personal opinion that it is matters that people are made aware of the various possible ways of understanding the text and are reminded that the translations they hold in their hands are interpretations of Holy Scripture.

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An interesting bit about Calvin in regards to his interpretation of Genesis 1:1

Quote

 

most disagreements with Calvin in these references have nothing to do with linguistics but rather with issues of interpretation.
Much of Calvin’s Hebrew work in Genesis 1–11 was lexical (i.e., word studies) rather than grammatical. For instance, he commented on Genesis 1:1 in regard to the word ‘created’:

  He (i.e., the author of Genesis) moreover teaches by the word ‘created,’ that what before did not exist was now made; for he has not used the term יַצר, (y-ts-r) which signifies to frame or form, but בֶרא, (b-r-ʿ) which signifies to create. Therefore his meaning is, that the world was made out of nothing.

Although some commentators would disagree with Calvin’s conclusion that ברא (b-r-ʿ) inherently signifies ex nihilo creation, he was certainly correct in distinguishing between the sense of the two words יצר and ברא (y-ts-r and b-r-ʿ). I state elsewhere:

  In ancient Hebrew a variety of words expressed the idea of ‘making’ or ‘forming’. These words may have either God or mankind as the subject (e.g., 3:21; Exod. 38:1–3). The subject of the verb baraʾ, however, is only and always God; the word is never used of an action of mankind (in the active Qal stem, as it appears here).

Calvin’s linguistic comments on Genesis 1–11 were not completely devoid of grammatical insights, however. One example appears in a brief comment he made on Genesis 6:4. Regarding the appearance of an unexpected Hebrew particle in the text, he said, ‘In the context, the particle וגם, (w-g-m) which is interposed, is emphatical.’ Calvin was correct here, for, indeed, that particle often has an emphatical force in biblical Hebrew.8 Another example emerges from Calvin’s discussion of Genesis 9:5 when he commented on the first word of the verse. He said,‘I therefore think that Jerome, in rendering the particle אך, for, (ʾ-k) has done better than they who read it as an adversative disjunctive; “otherwise your blood will I require;” yet literally it may best be thus translated, “And truly your blood.” ’ His work here has demonstrated a proper understanding of the grammatical usage of this Hebrew adverb: it is often used in an adversative sense to demonstrate contrast, but, also, in an asseverative sense that emphasizes the expression of a truth.10


 


Currid, John D. Calvin and the Biblical Languages. Fearn, Ross-shire, UK: Christian Focus Publications, 2006.

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3 hours ago, Ben Asher said:

 

Here are a few other popular ways of understanding Gen 1:1

 

Gen. 1:1  At the beginning of God’s creating of the heavens and the earth, (Schocken Bible: The Five Books of Moses. Everett Fox, 1995)

Gen. 1:1  When God was about to create heaven and earth, (The Torah a Modern. W Gunther Plaut)

Gen  1:1  In the beginning of God's creating the heavens and the earth, (The Stone Chumash )

Gen  1:1  When God began to create heaven and earth, (JPS Tanakh 1985)

 

 

It is my personal opinion that it is matters that people are made aware of the various possible ways of understanding the text and are reminded that the translations they hold in their hands are interpretations of Holy Scripture.

Just noting the sources you provided are quite a bit after Calvin. I also think it interesting or worthwhile to learn which school of thought supports which interpretation or commentary to understand any theological implications. For example, liberal theologians believe example A, which reject B and come to C in theological conclusion. At least for me, I tend to reject certain camps, namely those which reject the Son of God Jesus Christ or those [Liberal scholars] which promote an old earth in order to harmonize with an unbiblical authority such as science or to appeal to Darwinian evolutionist or Evolutionary thiest. My point being and a furthering example, how many can exegete John 1:1 from Genesis if they reject the NT?

 

I tend to think miners dig for what they are looking for. 😉

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1 hour ago, William said:

My point being and a furthering example, how many can exegete John 1:1 from Genesis if they reject the NT? 

I find the above statement to be a bit ironic for a young man I once knew who rejected the NT actually did just that! He happened to be being to follow the practice Shnayim mikra ve-echad targum (Hebrew: שנים מקרא ואחד תרגום, trans. "Read Scripture (Hebrew Bible) twice and read the translation once (the Aramaic Targum)"  and while reading the Targum alongside Genesis 3:8 He noticed the following reading:

 

"And they heard the voice/sound of the Memra (Word) of the LORD GOD walking in the garden in the evening of the day and Adam and his wife hid in the trees of the garden away from the LORD GOD." (Targum Onkelos)

 

My 'friend' decided that it might be best to check out other Targums just in an attempt the memra/word (concept) into something that sounded less strange or to just through it out. He went for what he thought to be a much older Aramaic translation (Targum) called Neofiti and began reading from Genesis chapter 1 till he got to verse 2:3 and was surprised that it read:

 

"On day seven the Word(Memra) of the LORD completed his work..." (actually Memra/word appears earlier in Targum Neofiti)

 

My friend then began to seek out all the theophanies in both the Targums and in the standard text of the Hebrew Bible and he came to believe that no one can approach God but God can approach man through the person of the Memra (Word of the Lord/Targums) or through the Messanger of the Lord(Malach Adonai/Hebrew Bible). Shortly after he was given a copy of the Trinitarian Bible Societies Hebrew New Testament translation and upon reading the Gospel of John his conclusions were confirmed.

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9 hours ago, William said:

I tend to think miners dig for what they are looking for. 😉

 

I agree William I think the above statement of yours often proves to be true.

 

At the same time, that does rule out the possibility of the opposite of being true sometimes as well.

"Isaiah boldly, states, ‘I was found by those not searching for Me; I became manifest to those not inquiring about Me;" (Romans 10:20)

 

So William while I agree that God has opened eyes of many through the listening to and hearing of the Gosple of John and other parts of the NT, I think we must not forget that before the Christians had a completed NT the Bible the early Christians was the OT.  And, through the OT people came to hear the message Christ as is shown in texts like Luke 24:27/32, Acts 17:11, and 2 Timothy 3:15 . Even today people such as myself sometimes come to faith in the Messiah through the OT.

 

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2 hours ago, Ben Asher said:

I agree William I think the above statement of yours often proves to be true.

 

At the same time, that does rule out the possibility of the opposite of being true sometimes as well.

"Isaiah boldly, states, ‘I was found by those not searching for Me; I became manifest to those not inquiring about Me;" (Romans 10:20)

 

So William while I agree that God has opened eyes of many through the listening to and hearing of the Gosple of John and other parts of the NT, I think we must not forget that before the Christians had a completed NT the Bible the early Christians was the OT.  And, through the OT people came to hear the message Christ as is shown in texts like Luke 24:27/32, Acts 17:11, and 2 Timothy 3:15 . Even today people such as myself sometimes come to faith in the Messiah through the OT.

 

G'evening Ben,

 

I whole heartedly agree. I was merely pointing to some scholars which reject Christ Jesus, the commentary they produce misses Christology. If Jesus taught the OT Scriptures pointed to Him and they reject Him why would they allow themselves to exegete Jesus from the verses? Perhaps they may but then I don't know what they themselves give for the reason of unbelief? Do they say I believe the Scriputes but that they don't point to Him? Or do they say I do not believe the Scriptures at all and tackle them as a cultural literary work relative only for a time? 

 

I figure I'm missing a couple of possibilities, but I think you allude to an interesting point. Concerning not only progressive revelation but also the notion a person isn't so condemned by ignorance but by truth they willfully reject when it is revealed [Scripture] or illuminated. 

 

I'd like to elaborate more but stuck on mobile until Monday evening. 

 

God bless Ben, and have a wonderful evening.

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18 hours ago, Ben Asher said:

It is my personal opinion that it is matters that people are made aware of the various possible ways of understanding the text and are reminded that the translations they hold in their hands are interpretations of Holy Scripture.

This sounds plausible on the surface, seeing many of us are at the mercy of the grammarians, lexicons, translation committees etc., but it also leaves me wondering'where is the objective (absolute) standard In the puddles of interpretation? 

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5 hours ago, William said:

I was merely pointing to some scholars which reject Christ Jesus, the commentary they produce misses Christology.

Okay, I think I get your point now. 

 

5 hours ago, William said:

. If Jesus taught the OT Scriptures pointed to Him and they reject Him why would they allow themselves to exegete Jesus from the verses?

1

As a child my friend thought Jesus had something to do with Zeus. His name sounded Greek and the clothing he was often pictured as wearing looked the part too.

 

When welling meaning Christians came to my friend to share the Gospel (Usually John 3:16) they never spent any time explaining to him who they were asking him to believe in. In other words, they didn't tell my friend that the "the God who so loved the world" was YHWH nor did they mention that his son's title 'Christ' wasn't a name but rather was a title meaning Messiah (Mashiach) Nor for that matter did they say anything about Jesus(Yeshua) fulfilling the prophecies concerning the Messiah found in the OT namely the so called Messiah Ben Yosef texts rather than the Messiah ben David texts. My friend didn't actually recject the NT he reject what he thought the NT was a book about Greeco-Roman gods.

 

I think a lot of Christians are unaware of the fact that the Gospel was painstakingly translated and contextualized in a way that they could have a chance to hear and study it.

5 hours ago, William said:

Do they say I believe the Scriputes but that they don't point to Him? Or do they say I do not believe the Scriptures at all and tackle them as a cultural literary work relative only for a time?  

1

I believe the above are both true of some of time.

5 hours ago, William said:

 

I'd like to elaborate more but stuck on mobile until Monday evening.

 

I look forward to hearing more...

 

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10 minutes ago, Solas said:

but it also leaves me wondering'where is the objective (absolute) standard In the puddles of interpretation? 

  The numerous differences between the ever-increasing multitude of English translations, theologies, denominations should cause more to ask the same question.

In my opinion following the principles of the historical-grammatical method, philology, and textual analysis is the answer to your question in regards to Biblical literature.

 

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2 minutes ago, Ben Asher said:

  The numerous differences between the ever-increasing multitude of English translations, theologies, denominations should cause more to ask the same question.

In my opinion following the principles of the historical-grammatical method, philology, and textual analysis is the answer to your question in regards to Biblical literature.

 

As well as seeking Him for wisdom 🙂

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