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makrothumia
Member



Joined: 2005/5/19
Posts: 670
Texas

 Being Spiritually Guided by the Grammar

We believe "All scripture (πᾶσα γραφή - all graphic) is inspired (God breathed) and profitable for teaching, reproof, correction, and training in righteousness."

If we recognize that the grammar itself is Spirit infused, then there is harmony between "being led by the Spirit" and "living by every word." Being guided into all truth will never contradict the grammar we have on record - the truth is expressed by the grammar.

In other words, there is spiritual guidance in the grammar.
This is why we should be careful to study so as to rightly divide the word of truth. If we do not submit our intellects to the grammar chosen by the biblical writer, we can err and make to ourselves ideas and reasoning that the grammar of the word will not support. In effect, we may be in danger of "adding to" or "taking away from" what is written if we do not conscientiously test our own thoughts by the grammar that biblical writer intentionally chose.

I believe certain threads here on this forum have approached this danger. I do not question the sincerity of the posters, but we must test the accuracy of the posts themselves by the standard of the grammatical record our Lord has preserved for us. We are to "test all things", and the only means given to us whereby to do this is the "God breathed grammar" He has preserved for our posterity.

In this regard we must submit ourselves first and every man or woman we esteem to the same standard. There is danger in "respecting persons" if by doing so we do not hold our opinions of ourselves or our esteem of others to the same rigorous scrutiny in preserving the written word of truth.
This is the spirit and truth behind why Paul wrote - "If I myself or an angel....". Preservation of the truth must trump preference of every person, regardless of how honorable we hold them in our hearts.

If you are still reading, here is a sample, intended only to sound the alarm to the "icebergs" in the area. In the attempt to be brief, we can only mention the danger; it would require too much time and space to exhaust the subject. My hope is that in sounding a warning, all who are concerned for their safety can navigate their course with greater caution than others who perished for not taking heed.

Below is "a sample" found throughout the scriptures(γραφή). A careful study will reveal just how extensive this sample is throughout the scripture.

This sample is a grammatical tool biblical writers frequently chose to underscore personal responsibility.
It is the union of A Present Active Imperative with an Aorist Middle Subjunctive. You likely recognize that an "Imperative" is a form of command. You may also recognize that the "Active" form is an expression of "Voice" that is contrasted with a "Passive" voice.

So we have a writer, sometimes a speaker being recorded, expressing a "command to take action" in the "present tense". The present tense adds the element of "continuation", now and afterward to the command to act.

This grammatical form is joined with the Aorist, Middle, Subjunctive to complete the charge being given. The Aorist directs the reader to the "kind of action" rather than the "time", focusing the reader upon the "way" it is to be done rather than "when". Along with the "Aorist" focus on the "way" the action is to be done, the "Middle Voice" draws the readers attention to "Who" is responsible for doing the action. You might recognize that "Middle" is neither "Active" nor "Passive". Why is there a "Middle Voice"? Scholars believe that the "Middle Voice" is used when the writer intends to train the readers focus upon the subject. It is a way to intensify "who is responsible" for doing the action. When the "Middle Voice" is used, the subject of the action has a primary role in fulfilling the action of the main verb.

There are certain words that only occur in the "Middle Voice" form. "come", "receive", "pray", "work", "lay aside", "agonize", "forbear", "become", "show reverence", "dialogue" etc. The action these words describe is never accomplished without the subject's conscious volition. This became so understood that the words themselves took on the "Middle Voice" form exclusively.

If you are still with me, please allow me to attempt to bring all of this together so that you can benefit from a clear understanding of the sample.

Here is the actual grammar that contains all that I have just attempted to explain.

"Take heed to yourselves, lest at any time you do not forget the covenant of the Lord your God."

"Take heed to yourselves" is the Present Tense, Active, Imperative." Moses was saying, was recorded as saying, "Start taking heed and continue to do so."

To this he added "and do not at any time yourselves forget".
This expression adds the dimension of "never do this yourselves", in other words "make sure you never let yourself forget."

This is one example, "a sample" of the "God breathed" grammar found throughout our bibles, both in the Old and the New Testaments. The writers and their record that God has preserved for us, chose to express truths in this particular grammatical form over and over again.

Even as we are called to look to Christ to perfect His work in us, these Active, Subject Focused, expressions are a vital component of fully experiencing all the grace of God.
There are also grammatical expressions in the "Passive Voice", God and Christ are the "initiators" or "source" of the "action", but Greek scholars do not teach "unconscious" passivity. We are always intimately and consciously involved with what God is working in us.

The "iceberg" in the water is "passivity" misunderstood. There is danger zeroing in, or narrowing the focus of God's initiation and working, to the eclipse or exclusion of our own vital participation.

If I have failed in the attempt to express my concern sufficiently for you to understand this, and you are somehow drawn to continue to attempt to grasp it, please contact me and I will do all I can to help clarify what is left unclear.

mak





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Alan and Dina Martin

 2015/11/7 10:55Profile
twayneb
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Joined: 2009/4/5
Posts: 2003
Joplin, Missouri

 Re: Being Spiritually Guided by the Grammar

Quote:
This is why we should be careful to study so as to rightly divide the word of truth. If we do not submit our intellects to the grammar chosen by the biblical writer, we can err and make to ourselves ideas and reasoning that the grammar of the word will not support. In effect, we may be in danger of "adding to" or "taking away from" what is written if we do not conscientiously test our own thoughts by the grammar that biblical writer intentionally chose.



Not sure I have ever heard it put quite the way you did, but I agree. The words are written that way for a reason, and it takes careful and prayerful study to come to a right conclusion. I have noticed this in the church in general, not just on SI. I would like to add that we have to be very careful about following a particular teacher or denomination. I am not saying that it is wrong to attend a fellowship with the name Baptist, Presbyterian, Methodist, or A/G over the door, but we must be careful to be students of the word of God and to allow others to question our understanding of doctrine so that we do not allow the "party line" to override what scripture actually says. We must not be so loyal to the "brand" that we lose sight of the fact that we are to study scripture, not study the teachings of Mr. So-and-So.

I love it when I fellowship with people who are from a different flavor then I am and we find common fellowship around absolute Biblical truth. From that point we can begin to discuss scripture and come to a greater understanding of what the Word of God has to say.


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Travis

 2015/11/9 15:43Profile









 Re:

Brothers as I understand it the scriptures were written primarily to an oral people. The Old Testament stories were passed down from generation to generation. Even after the Old Testament was written. It was read orally in the synagogues to a people who were not literate. As I understand it the early Jews were an oral people and not literate.

Much of the New Testament was written the same way. It was written to be read to a people who were primarily illiterate. As a result the Gospel accounts and the letters were read to a people who were illiterate. Thus the early church was more of an oral tradition then a written tradition.

If the above is correct. Then God gave us the Bible to be heard. Because of that I don't see that grammar should guide our understanding of the Word of God. But rather what we hear through the spoken word. As revealed by His Spirit.

In missions there is an emphasis on reaching unreached people groups and who do not have a literary tradition. If anything their tradition is one of storytelling. As such a new methodology of missions is arising called storytelling or orality. The emphasis is to tell the Bible in story form to cultures with an oral tradition. Thus leading them into an understanding of the gospel. It seems that we have come full circle. As Jesus told stories called parables.

At the risk of waxing heretical. It seems the Bible was meant to be heard. Rather to be listened to orally. Rather than to be studied. That is to do an inductive study analysis of the passage. The emphasis of the Holy Spirit is to convey the message of the story or the letter. Rather than to dissect a passage. Somehow in doing an inductive analysis of Scripture. You lose the life of the word.

Jesus said His words are spirit and life. It is the Holy Spirit who brings the life of the word to our heart. It is the letter that kills. But the Spirit who gives life.

My thoughts.

 2015/11/9 17:13
InTheLight
Member



Joined: 2003/7/31
Posts: 2749
Phoenix, Arizona USA

 Re:

Quote:
The emphasis of the Holy Spirit is to convey the message of the story or the letter. Rather than to dissect a passage. Somehow in doing an inductive analysis of Scripture. You lose the life of the word.



Welcome back to the forum Bear.

I agree that it is the Holy Spirit brings the word to bear in our hearts but I have not found that inductive study causes the word to lose its life, on the contrary, I find it helpful as I experience the joy of personal discovery and a deeper relationship with God as I fall in love with the Author.

The Bible is not a collection of random sayings and stories, it is made of carefully constructed books that show structure, grammatical and literary. Particularly, I have found that reading the Bible with grammar in mind helps me to get more out of a passage. Asking questions like what is the subject of the sentence? What is the object? What is the main verb?

I guess I'm saying that you don't have to check structure at the door in order for the Spirit to breathe life into your Bible reading. Yes, there can be cold structure without the Spirit, but it doesn't have to be that way.

In Christ,


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Ron Halverson

 2015/11/9 22:03Profile
JB1968
Member



Joined: 2009/8/31
Posts: 416
Ohio USA

 Re:

Very well put makrothumia. That's why the commandments were originally written with the finger of God, and the writers were "inspired" (God-breathed, in the Greek).
I have to disagree with you Bear. The ancients were very literate (though not all of them). This is evidenced by the massive libraries unearthed in the ancient cities around the world.


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James

 2015/11/9 22:18Profile
makrothumia
Member



Joined: 2005/5/19
Posts: 670
Texas

 Re:

There is really no contradiction in what Bear has put forth. Even when the letters were read to the original audience, the grammar would dictate what was specifically heard. They would have immediately grasped the significance of the grammar, because the written ending guide the oral pronunciation.

The key here is the biblical writer chose a "specific" expression that the first audience would have recognized. We believe that the author deliberately chose what would be read or heard. If we are to grasp the understanding of what the author had written, we must recognize that he expressed it very deliberately by the grammar he had available to him. Grasping the specific of what the writer intended to be understood from what was read or heard, is to receive the understanding that writer was seeking to impart to the reader or hearer.

makrothumia


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Alan and Dina Martin

 2015/11/9 22:48Profile









 Re:

Very interesting post, thank you mak. To put it in simple terms what you are saying is, the more you understand the original language and the culture the more you understand the true meaning of a text. In other words you can't simply translate a text from one language to another and have a result which is 100% accurate. Anyone who speaks two or more languages could confirm that.

But I think it is a God given gift that you have to study in such a depth and we who are not so gifted need to be thankful for what you are sharing. The important thing is to realise why we study and share God's word. For this reason we should always add v 17 as well (2 Timothy 3 v 17) "so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work." We had some fairly heated posts recently, may we remind ourselves we should first of all equip each other for every good work - for the Glory of our Lord. But nothing will work without prayer and the HS to guide us and help us to understand. Without the guidance of the HS we might become Pharasees.

One more thing, we all know John 3:16 but may be not all of us know the deeper meaning. "whosoever believes in Him " it means, to continually put our trust in Him. In the KJV we read "whosoever believeth in him " When we see the ending "-eth" it means it is continually. Hope it make sense.

 2015/11/10 0:12
Oracio
Member



Joined: 2007/6/26
Posts: 2093
Whittier CA USA

 Re: Being Spiritually Guided by the Grammar

Quote:
This grammatical form is joined with the Aorist, Middle, Subjunctive to complete the charge being given. The Aorist directs the reader to the "kind of action" rather than the "time", focusing the reader upon the "way" it is to be done rather than "when". Along with the "Aorist" focus on the "way" the action is to be done, the "Middle Voice" draws the readers attention to "Who" is responsible for doing the action. You might recognize that "Middle" is neither "Active" nor "Passive". Why is there a "Middle Voice"? Scholars believe that the "Middle Voice" is used when the writer intends to train the readers focus upon the subject. It is a way to intensify "who is responsible" for doing the action. When the "Middle Voice" is used, the subject of the action has a primary role in fulfilling the action of the main verb.


As I used to say when I used to hang out in the ghetto, "Some huh?" Just kidding. I think I tracked with the post for the most part. Good stuff.

I think this is the main point makrothumia was seeking to convey and exhort on:
Quote:
Even as we are called to look to Christ to perfect His work in us, these Active, Subject Focused, expressions are a vital component of fully experiencing all the grace of God.
There are also grammatical expressions in the "Passive Voice", God and Christ are the "initiators" or "source" of the "action", but Greek scholars do not teach "unconscious" passivity. We are always intimately and consciously involved with what God is working in us.

The "iceberg" in the water is "passivity" misunderstood. There is danger zeroing in, or narrowing the focus of God's initiation and working, to the eclipse or exclusion of our own vital participation.


I couldn't agree more. Yes, God is mightily at work within us and we must trust Him to do in us what is needed for our Christian growth. But at the same time we are not called to be passive in our Christian walk. Paul said he labored more than all the other Apostles, yet he was careful to give God the glory, recognizing that it was the grace of God that was working with him-1Cor.15:10.


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Oracio

 2015/11/10 1:08Profile









 Re:

Brothers as I track on this thread a question arises. When we speak of grammar are we not reducing the Bible to be interpreted by an educated intellect. What I mean is this. There are many of us that are not trained in the original languages. We listen to the Bible or we read it in a contemporary translation and depend on the Holy Spirit to give us revelation.

I believe this was the issue that drew William Tyndale to give a contemporary translation of the scriptures in his day. It was said he wanted to give a translation of the Bible so that the plough boy and the milkvmaid could understand the Scriptures. Even better than the priest or the Pope of his day. If memory serves the Bible was pretty much read in the churches in Latin. And those who listened to it could not understand it.

Yes I think we in our Protestant evangelical traditions have that same mentality. Unless one understands the original languages. They are unable to read the scriptures for themselves. Let alone get revelation. If we insist that one must understand the grammar. Then are we not saying or implying that one must be educated or literate to understand the Scriptures?

I have mentioned that there are unreached people groups who do not have a literary culture. Their culture is based more on storytelling in an oral form. The old model of Wickliffe Bible translators used to be to go into such cultures. Take the oral language. Reduce it to an alphabet. Teach the people to read. Then to produce a copy of the scriptures in their own language. Such a process would generally take 30 years to get a copy of the scriptures in the heart language of the people.

Because of the urgency of the hour to reach the unreached people groups with an oral tradition. A new methodology of missions is opening up call storytelling. That is sharing the Gospel story in oral form. Storytellers are trained orally to know several dozens up stories from the Bible. Thus they can relate these stories to an oral people. And God is communicating his word. And people are being drowned of Christ.

Such a model as described above does not put the emphasis on grammar. But more the message that's being conveyed in the story. Thus faith comes froim hearng the Word of Christ.

I am legally blind. Thus I listen to an oral Bible. Or an audio Bible. I am amazed at how many times the Bible will say "Hear my word". As I listen to the word of God. The grammar does not enter into my mind. But more what is the message that God is conveying through hearing His Word.

Somehow I do not think those who were listening to the Sermon on the Mount as being taught by Jesus were focusing on the subject verb of His message. But rather his hearers were astounded at the revelatory truth that Jesus was giving. Should we ourselves not be astounded by the marvelous truth that the Holy Spirit will reveal to us. The truth He reveals whether we listen or read the scriptures. In the end should we not be astounded at the revelation of Jesus himself?

Brothers not trying to be argumentative. But just to introduce a different perspective in the discussion here. Hopefully to raise some points for reflection.

Just my thoughts from the bear cave.






 2015/11/10 7:57
makrothumia
Member



Joined: 2005/5/19
Posts: 670
Texas

 Re:

Once again I have enjoyed Bearmasters comments and see the validity of his thoughts.

So what would be the advantage of trained scholarship in the biblical language? When a question arises about an interpretation, or doctrine being set forth, precise knowledge of the language is the means by which "a test" can be made.
Few of us likely spend our days examining blood or tissue under a microscope, but when serious health concerns arise, we are very grateful that someone has been trained to do so.

Would we entrust ourselves to a doctor who only examined us with his own senses and gave us his or her opinion? Are we not reliant upon the labs that do the precise testing to give the doctor the ability to offer a thorough diagnosis and prognosis. We are greatly helped by such clinical and technical training.

The same is true of the precise grammar of our scriptures. We are very blessed by those who provide their ability to "test all things". Without the ability to know with precision, the exact meaning of any text, we are left to test opinions and doctrines with our own subjective capabilities.

So yes, not everyone needs to be a Greek scholar Himself, but thank God some men have devoted their lives to provide for us the ability to tests our own thoughts against the actual precise expression of the original author.


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Alan and Dina Martin

 2015/11/10 10:27Profile





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