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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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Posted (edited)
8 minutes ago, Solas said:

As well as seeking Him for wisdom 🙂

    Amen, this is in accordance with Psalm 119:18 and James 1:5.

Edited by Ben Asher
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On 5/10/2019 at 11:44 PM, Mikey said:

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

It really does not matter what countless websites claim if they don't know Hebrew.   There are two questions that matter in this case:

 

(1) what is their level of expertise in Hebrew?  If those countless websites are telling you that the Hebrew noun שָׁמַיִם (šāmayim - heavens) is NOT plural, or NOT specifically a dual form, or that the singular form does occurs in the O.T, then are wrong, and they are lying, stupid, or both.

 

Which brings me to the second point:

 

(2) what is the evidence?   I have Hebrew scholars, lexicons, grammars.

430291249_PhotoMay1265552AM.jpg.927bfd58a259fe75a77af0e729c28795.jpg

The Dictionary of Classical Hebrew, vol. 8, p. 438

 

385419101_PhotoMay1265400AM.jpg.509adb4df81c69de8fc2665c2c301630.jpg

New International Dictionary of Old Testament Theology and Exegesis, vol. 4, p. 160

 

147575331_PhotoMay1265914AM.jpg.b989cce7b965643e0f49e27f4b0d5d1a.jpg

The Brown-Driver-Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon p. 1029

 

679439243_PhotoMay1265730AM.jpg.9e3e07b3b4147042171624560428dff7.jpg

The Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon to the Old Testament vol 4, p. 1560

 

1122671299_PhotoMay1271830AM.jpg.ac7c7888a7db7bce09590d49f8858d0c.jpg

Gesenius' Hebrew Grammar § 88d

 

95238298_PhotoMay1272241AM.jpg.6bc8188593f3d1fcd07aa8e78413ca26.jpg

A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew (Subsidia Biblica) vol. 1, § 91f

 

These are photos from grammars and lexicons from my own personal library.  Theses scholarly sources establish beyond all doubt what I said is true, namely:

 

(1) The noun is plural.

(2) It is a dual form.

(3) The singular form of the noun never occues in the O.T.

 

Both your claim and your countless websites are wrong.

 

This bring me to my last point.  I know that you are aware of Strongs.  You have used and cited this source else where on this forum.

 

Note the entry in Strongs

Quote

שָׁמַיִם shâmayim, shaw-mah'-yim; dual of an unused singular

Strongs supports what I said.

 

Now why one someone who obviously has used and cited Strongs not check that source?  I submit since Strong did not fit your erroneous interpretations you just ignored it for that reason.  Consequently you are not really interested in understanding the Scriptures in context but pushing your own personal and clearly spurious interpretations.

 

Quote

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

Sound like to me that when you run into someone who knows the languages you realize your asinine claims are in for BIG problem.

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2Ti_4:3  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 
 

I am so very thankful to have @Origen in this community.  He shares, sound Godly knowledge of of the old languages as benefit to everyone. 

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8 hours ago, Solas said:

This sounds plausible on the surface, seeing many of us are at the mercy of the grammarians, lexicons, translation committees etc.

That is so true.

 

8 hours ago, Solas said:

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

I agree with @Ben Asher: "the principles of the historical-grammatical method, philology, and textual analysis is the [BEST] answer to your question in regards to Biblical literature."  Note I added the word "best."  However even that cannot always guarantee 100% certainty 100% of time.  The fact is all we really can do is pray and study as hard as we can.  Each one of us has to weight the evidence and make the best choice as we understand it  (some don't even to do that).   The sad fact is we won't all come to the same conclusions in spite of our best efforts.

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Posted (edited)

 

A few more resources that support Origen's post two posts above this one:

Quote

  שָׁמַיִם heaven, sky, used in the plural form only.

 

Mansoor, Menahem. Biblical Hebrew Step by Step: Reading from the Book of Genesis. Vol. 2. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1984. Print.

 

Quote

Plural of extension: שָׁמַ֫יִם sky, heavens; מְרַאֲשׁוֹת bed-head (parts where the head is laid); מרַגְּלְוֹת place of the feet; אֲחוֹרִים hinder parts Ex 26.12 etc.; פָּנִים face (in Ez 1.6 the form is used as ordinary pl., faces); צַוָּארִים neck.

1

Joüon, Paul, and Takamitsu Muraoka. A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew. Vol. 2. Pontificio Istituto Biblico, 2003.

 

 

Quote

שָׁמַיִם const. שְׁמֵי pl. m. heaven (from the unused sing. שָׁמַי, Arab. سَمَاءُ, Æth. ሰማይ፡, from the root שָׁמָה) i.e. firmament (רָקִיעַ which see) which seems to be spread out like a vault over the globe, as supported on foundations and columns (2 Sam. 22:8; Job 26:11), whence the rain is let down as through doors or flood-gates (Psa. 78:23; compare Gen. 28:17, and אֲרֻבּוֹת) and above which the abode of God and the angels was supposed to be, Ps. 2:4; Gen. 28:17; Deut. 33:26. With ה local, הַשָּׁמַיְמָה towards heaven, Gen. 15:5; 28:12; in which sense it is also put in acc. שָׁמַיִם, הַשָּׁמַיִם 1 Sam. 5:12; Psa. 139:8; and עַל הַשָּׁמַיִם Exodus 9:23; תַּחַת הַשָּׁמַיִם on earth, Eccles. 1:13; 2:3; 3:1; compare (תַּחַת כָּל־הַשָּׁמַיִם in the whole earth) Job 28:24; 37:3; 41:3; שָׁמַיִם וּשְׁמֵי שָׁמַיִם heaven and the heaven of heavens, i.e. all the spaces of heaven, however vast and infinite, Deu. 10:14; 1 Ki. 8:27; הַשָּׁמַיִם וְהָאָרֶץ heaven and earth, i.e. mundus universus, Gen. 1:1; 2:1; 14:19, 22. In the later books of the Old Test. Jehovah is often called אֱלֹהֵי הַשָּׁמַיִם the God of heaven (see Chald.) 2 Chr. 36:23; Ezr. 1:2; Neh. 1:4, 5; 2:4, 20; Ps. 136:26; Jon. 1:9; compare יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי הַשָּׁמַיִם Gen. 24:7.

4


Gesenius, Wilhelm, and Samuel Prideaux Tregelles. Gesenius’ Hebrew and Chaldee lexicon to the Old Testament Scriptures 2003 : 834.

 

Quote

שָׁמַיִם(šāmayim); Aram. שְׁמַיִן (šĕmayin). n. masc. pl. sky, heavens. The realm in which celestial bodies are located.
This Hebrew word for sky is only used in the plural in the Bible. It is the whole region above the earth. This includes the area where meteorological phenomena occur and from which rain falls to the earth (Gen 7:11); it also includes the area in which the celestial bodies are to be found (Gen 1:17). Isaiah (Isa 47:13) condemns those who attempt to determine the future by using astrology to study the sky (šāmayim). In accordance with its association with heights, astronomical phenomena, and meteorological events, šāmayim came to be known as the place where God was enthroned (Psa 2:4), though God could not be contained even in the heavens (šāmayim; 1 Kgs 8:27). The equivalent Aramaic word šĕmayin has the same meaning (e.g., Ezra 5:11; Jer 10:11; Dan 7:13).

 


Lookadoo, Jonathon. “Celestial Bodies.” Ed. Douglas Mangum et al. Lexham Theological Wordbook 2014 : n. pag. Print. Lexham Bible Reference Series.

 

Quote

 

שָׁמַיִם šāmayim heaven
S 8064; BDB 1029b; HAL 4:1442b; ThWAT 8:204–39; TWOT 2407a; NIDOTTE 9028

1. The subst. *šamāy- “heaven” is common Sem. (Berg., Intro. 214f.; P. Fronzaroli, AANLR 8/20 [1965]: 136, 144, 149). In contrast to SSem. (Arab. samāʾ,

 Wehr 432b; Eth. samāy, Dillmann 341), it appears in NWSem. (WUS no. 2627; UT no. 2427; Gröndahl 194f.; DISO 308; E. Vogt, Lexicon linguae Aramaicae Veteris Testamenti [1971], 170f.) and in ESem. (GAG §61h: šamû < šamāʾū; Old Bab. also sg. šamûm in the meaning “rain”; the meaning “canopy” is derived) as a plurale tantum (invariable pl.; for an explanation cf. GVG 1:479; Fronzaroli, op. cit. 149). The apparent dual in Hebr. is actually an unusual pl. form (GKC §88d; Joüon §91f; Meyer 2:83). The derivation from the homonymous mayim “water” is given serious consideration by BL 621 (*ša = relative pron. + *māyu “water,” thus “place of the water”) and suggested by KBL 986b; at most, however, it probably involves a popular etymology that takes advantage of the assonance (cf. Fronzaroli, op. cit. 136) and equates “heaven” with the “firmament” (raqîaʿ) that retains the cosmic waters.

 

1


Jenni, Ernst, and Claus Westermann. Theological lexicon of the Old Testament 1997 : 1369.

 

Quote

For complex historical reasons, a few nouns have dual morphology, but behave in no way as duals. The two most common are plurals: מַ֫יִם ‘water’ and שָׁמַ֫יִם ‘heavens’; both words have final-weak roots (מי, שׁמי), and their plural shapes fall together with the usual dual.

1

Waltke, Bruce K., and Michael Patrick O’Connor. An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1990.
 

Quote

 

שָׁמַיִם (420 ×): שָׁמָֽיִם, cs. שְׁמֵי, sf. שָׁמֶיךָ, שָׁמָיו, שְׁמֵיכֶם; loc. הַשָּׁמַ֫יְמָה, (oft. w. pl. adj. or vb.): heaven(s), sky:—1. = firmament Gn 1:8; windows of heaven 7:11; rain fm. heaven 8:2, fire fm. heaven 19:24; stars in heaven 22:17;—2. = upper atmosphere (below the ‘firmament’), air, sky: birds of, Gn 1:26;—3. associated w. God as his dwelling 1 K 8:23, but heavens cannot contain God 8:27.

 

3


Holladay, William Lee, and Ludwig Köhler. A concise Hebrew and Aramaic lexicon of the Old Testament 2000 : 375.

 

 

 

Edited by Ben Asher
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17 minutes ago, Ben Asher said:

 

A few more resources that support Origen's post two posts above this one:

 

Mansoor, Menahem. Biblical Hebrew Step by Step: Reading from the Book of Genesis. Vol. 2. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker, 1984. Print.

 

Joüon, Paul, and Takamitsu Muraoka. A Grammar of Biblical Hebrew. Vol. 2. Pontificio Istituto Biblico, 2003.


Gesenius, Wilhelm, and Samuel Prideaux Tregelles. Gesenius’ Hebrew and Chaldee lexicon to the Old Testament Scriptures 2003 : 834.


Lookadoo, Jonathon. “Celestial Bodies.” Ed. Douglas Mangum et al. Lexham Theological Wordbook 2014 : n. pag. Print. Lexham Bible Reference Series.

Jenni, Ernst, and Claus Westermann. Theological lexicon of the Old Testament 1997 : 1369.

 

Waltke, Bruce K., and Michael Patrick O’Connor. An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax. Winona Lake, IN: Eisenbrauns, 1990.
 

Holladay, William Lee, and Ludwig Köhler. A concise Hebrew and Aramaic lexicon of the Old Testament 2000 : 375.

 

Thank you BA.  Your help is greatly appreciated.

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10 hours ago, Ben Asher said:

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.

Oh, you touch upon a subject I've only recently become aware after speaking with ex-Cultist. They've not actually rejected the true Gospel but only a distortion of it according to JWs or Mormonism etc. I've seen quite a bit of them stumble in their atheism when they are approached in agreeing that what they reject is not true. Unfortunately their knowledge of Jesus Christ needs some peeling away. Just because they reject the Devil's doctrine doesn't necessarily mean they've rejected Jesus but only a false Christ. I find myself praying for these people and empathizing with them for the victimization Cults have done to them. In a lot of ways such people need to be met with compassion and patience as they are reprogrammed or deindoctrinated.

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Genesis 1 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Parashah 1: B’resheet (In the beginning) 1:1–6:8

1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was unformed and void, darkness was on the face of the deep, and the Spirit of God hovered over the surface of the water. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. 4 God saw that the light was good, and God divided the light from the darkness. 5 God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. So there was evening, and there was morning, one day.

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26 minutes ago, Laughing Beaver said:

The earth was unformed and void,

Your point?

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2 hours ago, Origen said:

That is so true.

 

I agree with @Ben Asher: "the principles of the historical-grammatical method, philology, and textual analysis is the [BEST] answer to your question in regards to Biblical literature."  Note I added the word "best."  However even that cannot always guarantee 100% certainty 100% of time.  The fact is all we really can do is pray and study as hard as we can.  Each one of us has to weight the evidence and make the best choice as we understand it  (some don't even to do that).   The sad fact is we won't all come to the same conclusions in spite of our best efforts.

I agree, but speaking in practical terms, as a once full time truck driver, I did not have the Scholastic training or wherewithal to do all the necessary seminary training and study, so in that sense I (and others in similar circumstances) are left at the mercy of the 'expert' translation committees, lexicons, philologists etc., as well as we are all gifted differently in His body. (1Cor 12:12-27) 

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6 minutes ago, Origen said:

Your point?

Yes, that was it. Also linked to the full Genesis 1 chapter in the Jewish Bible. 

This then helps to understand there is no what if. There is no, Moses likely meant to say.... 

The earth was unformed and void in the beginning of God's forming of it further. Its shape and its surface. 

 

 

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Just now, Laughing Beaver said:

Yes, that was it. Also linked to the full Genesis 1 chapter in the Jewish Bible. 

This then helps to understand there is no what if. There is no, Moses likely meant to say.... 

The earth was unformed and void in the beginning of God's forming of it further. Its shape and its surface. 

All right, got it.  Thank you.

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22 minutes ago, Solas said:

I agree, but speaking in practical terms, as a once full time truck driver, I did not have the Scholastic training or wherewithal to do all the necessary seminary training and study, so in that sense I (and others in similar circumstances) are left at the mercy of the 'expert' translation committees, lexicons, philologists etc., as well as we are all gifted differently in His body. (1Cor 12:12-27

I know, I know.  It is difficult and who has the time.  You can only do what you can do.

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1 minute ago, Origen said:

I know, I know.  It is difficult and who has the time.  You can only do what you can do.

This is the family's effort. @Solas I agree in that we each have a role, talent, or gift. I think it pretty important for us all to have a basic level of education when approaching the Scriptures, and a shared responsibility in bringing newest members up to the minimum level which benefits everyone. 

 

God bless,

William

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30 minutes ago, Solas said:

I agree, but speaking in practical terms, as a once full time truck driver, I did not have the Scholastic training or wherewithal to do all the necessary seminary training and study, so in that sense I (and others in similar circumstances) are left at the mercy of the 'expert' translation committees, lexicons, philologists etc., as well as we are all gifted differently in His body. (1Cor 12:12-27

I agree.  Proper English is hard for me... Over the years what i have figured out is if a cherry picked verse or passage is presented looking/reading a bit off compare the passage/context to the whole of Scripture.  Then , if still wondering , send a PM to some one you trust. 

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58 minutes ago, Becky said:

I agree.  Proper English is hard for me... Over the years what i have figured out is if a cherry picked verse or passage is presented looking/reading a bit off compare the passage/context to the whole of Scripture.  Then , if still wondering , send a PM to some one you trust. 

Yes, context is a first major step in accurate interpretation. 

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Posted (edited)
On 5/11/2019 at 11:01 PM, William said:

I also think it interesting or worthwhile to learn which school of thought supports which interpretation or commentary to understand any theological implications.

Outside of the polarized western Christian Conservative vs Christian liberal battles. The "When God began to create" translation/interpretation often has nothing to do with one's belief about how old the earth is nor for that matter is they are a progressive theologian. For example, Orthodox branches of Judaism believe in the so-called Old earth theology (even though they don't call it that), take the days of creation at face value believing firmly in the nihilo creation still accept the "When God began to create"  type reading based on the grammatical(actually morphological) principle that the first word in Masoretic text reads B'resheeth and not Baresheeth. In other words, rather than the qamatz vowel point marking, the first letter (bet) of the first word the Masoretic text has the Sh’va marking the Bet. Had the qamatz accent been present this would alert the reader that the meaning of definite article 'Ha' was to be understood. However, as our received text stands the qamatz is absent. This interpretation is supported by Ibn Ezra who lived from 1089 to 1167 and Rashi who lived from 1040 to 1150. Because of that Conservative Judaism (actually they are moderates) to Orthodox (very conservative) and Ultra-Orthodox branches of Judaism support this line of reasoning and Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks(orthodox) who was the chief Rabbi of the United Hebrew Congregations of the Commonwealth from 1991 -2013 now he is a member of  the House of Lords in the UK . However, they do not support the translations as scripture (and neither do I). 

 

In my limited experience liberal\progressive Christians do not even take their translations very seriously, much less would they in my opinion put in the time/effort needed to learn classical Hebrew in order to read something they claim to be a myth or a bunch of allegories. On the hand the laymen Christians I have met who have acquired fluency either in Classical Hebrew, Syriac,. or Koine Greek all seem to be conservative or something to the right of conservative. I still have as of yet to meet a liberal lay Christian who has a reading, comprehension of classical Hebrew. As for the scholars, I would assume that all OT/Hebrew Bible scholars*Be they liberal, moderate, or conservative( have at least a high working knowledge of Hebrew.

 

 

12 hours ago, William said:

I think it pretty important for us all to have a basic level of education when approaching the Scriptures, and a shared responsibility in bringing newest members up to the minimum level which benefits everyone. 

Amen, Amen, and Amen!

Edited by Ben Asher

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18 hours ago, Solas said:

I agree, but speaking in practical terms, as a once full time truck driver, I did not have the Scholastic training or wherewithal to do all the necessary seminary training and study, so in that sense I (and others in similar circumstances) are left at the mercy of the 'expert' translation committees, lexicons, philologists etc., as well as we are all gifted differently in His body. (1Cor 12:12-27)  

2

Sola If you want an MDiv or preparation of ordination then Seminary is probably a good idea.

 

LOOK elsewhere if:

(a) If you simply want to concentrate on acquiring fluency in a Language be that Biblical or modern (and you do not need/desire seminary or college credit for it) 

(b) If you want to acquire better reading and analytical skills.

(c) If you simply want to learn about theology (and do not need/desire seminary or college credit for it).

 

You can learn just about anything without ever having to go to college, university, or seminary.

This I believe has always been true, but in today's world, this is even more so because we have a vast multitude of more options.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, Ben Asher said:

Sola If you want an MDiv or preparation of ordination then Seminary is probably a good idea.

 

LOOK elsewhere if:

(a) If you simply want to concentrate on acquiring fluency in a Language be that Biblical or modern (and you do not need/desire seminary or college credit for it) 

(b) If you want to acquire better reading and analytical skills.

(c) If you simply want to learn about theology (and do not need/desire seminary or college credit for it).

 

You can learn just about anything without ever having to go to college, university, or seminary.

This I believe has always been true, but in today's world, this is even more so because we have a vast multitude of more options.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks Asher for the good advice, but I guess my main point was found in the passage I noted at the end..1Cor 12:12-27

We are crafted differently for different functions to edify the body of believers.

Edited by Solas

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9 hours ago, Solas said:

We are crafted differently for different functions to edify the body of believers.

 

This is true if we are talking about Church service or theology.

 

On the other hand, if we are talking about language acquisition this is a very different story. All people are by nature gifted and designed to learn a language. As a toddler or adolescent you were able to pick up your first language (which I assume to be English). You and basically every else did so through what is know as Comprehensible Input. You probably have heard of Language immersion in some form or another.

 

Anyway, you do not have to learn or acquire anything you do not want or feel the need for. However, my non-theological point is to encourage you to never give up on what you want to learn or know more about.

 

FYI: I am a layman just like you (or just like I assume you are) I am not a Minister, Preacher, Missionary, Bible translator, or a teacher/professor of theology. All of the jobs I have held have been secular ones. What is my role or function in the body of believers? I do not know.

Edited by Ben Asher
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52 minutes ago, Ben Asher said:

 

This is true if we are talking about Church service or theology.

 

On the other hand, if we are talking about language acquisition this is a very different story. All people are by nature gifted and designed to learn a language. As a toddler or adolescent you were able to pick up your first language (which I assume to be English). You and basically every else did so through what is know as Comprehensible Input. You probably have heard of Language immersion in some form or another.

 

Anyway, you do not have to learn or acquire anything you do not want or feel the need for. However, my non-theological point is to encourage you to never give up on what you want to learn or know more about.

 

FYI: I am a layman just like you (or just like I assume you are) I am not a Minister, Preacher, Missionary, Bible translator, or a teacher/professor of theology. All of the jobs I have held have been secular ones. What is my role or function in the body of believers? I do not know.

Yes Church service is what I had in mind and I believe Paul did also in !Cor 12 which I cited.

 

I'm not too fond about the term 'layman' as it carries a hierarchical connotation both in function and status, which I don't believe exists in His Body the Church**, unless you mean something along these lines...

 

Matthew 23:11 (KJV) But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. (διάκονος).

 

** (Possibly true Prophets and Apostles excepted..which I believe no longer exist).

 

Edited by Solas

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1 hour ago, Solas said:

I'm not too fond about the term 'layman' as it carries a hierarchical connotation both in function and status, which I don't believe exists in His Body the Church, unless you mean something along these lines...

The word "layman" as used by @Ben Asher means non-expert.  A "layperson" is someone "without professional or specialized knowledge in a particular subject."

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3 hours ago, Ben Asher said:

FYI: I am a layman just like you (or just like I assume you are) I am not a Minister, Preacher, Missionary, Bible translator, or a teacher/professor of theology. All of the jobs I have held have been secular ones. What is my role or function in the body of believers? I do not know.

This amuses me. 

 

I know a man who was ‘saved’ as an adult.  He felt like God wanted him to go and be a missionary.  So he just quit his construction job and headed to South America to work with the Native Tribes living in the Amazon Rainforests.  Just your basic sell everything, fly to South America, take a ‘bus’ (generous term) until the road ends, then two days by canoe places you in the village that turned out to be his home for the next 15 years.  The cluster of Christian villages are now sending out native missionaries to tell the headhunters that live on the other side of the river deeper in the jungle about Jesus so they will not need to live in fear of accidentally angering a spirit and having it kill one of their children.  So much for the myth of needing a seminary degree to be a missionary.  

 

On a far less dramatic, but more personal note.  There was a Sunday School teacher (for the adult Sunday school) that everyone described as “intimidating”.  Hank had PhDs in Mathematics and Economics and a MDiv from Moody.  I enjoyed his class and was never able to understand why people were so intimidated by him.  Heck, I have shot people and set people on fire and God himself chose to lay claim to my violent self whether I wanted it or not.  When you have fallen to your knees before the great I AM, what is there left to be afraid of.  So I challenged Hank if I thought he said something different than Scripture (ask @William about how stubborn I am) and I had no problem stopping Hank to ask him to explain what an Arminian is before he could just go on. 

 

Your PURPOSE in the body is a lot less mysterious than most people think.  Imagine God is standing there rolling his eyes in exasperation, then he says “Listen, I promise that I will bless whatever you do, just figure out what makes you feel useful and do it, but the important part is WOULD YOU PLEASE DO SOMETHING!  Anything is better than nothing.”

 

Everyone seems to fear that they will do the wrong thing, so the 80% do nothing (but want to do something) and the 20% are exhausted. 😉

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1 hour ago, Origen said:

The word "layman" as used by @Ben Asher means non-expert.  A "layperson" is someone "without professional or specialized knowledge in a particular subject."

That's fine but the normal ecclesiastical use is clergy/layman.

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