Filled To Overflowing
April 24, 2024
Just A Thought
April 26, 2024
Filled To Overflowing
April 24, 2024
Just A Thought
April 26, 2024

Words Convey Meanings

The other week we traveled 525 miles to Cocoa Beach, Florida. The trip there was terrific. Remember Perry Como’s song “There is no place like home for the holidays?” In it the writer says the traffic is terrific. “From Atlantic to Pacific, gee the traffic is terrific.” He was probably just using a word to rhyme with Pacific. Terrific is a word which can have opposite meanings. The dictionary says it can mean “of great size, amount, or intensity,” like a terrific bang. Or it can mean “extremely good; excellent,” such as having a terrific day. Or it can mean “causing terror,” such as, it was a terrific crash. The origin of the word was “to frighten.”

Goggle responders had all kinds of thoughts from one extreme to the other. The trip to Cocoa Beach was terrific, but the return trip was terrific. What do I mean? Well, the trip to Cocoa Beach was great, but the trip back home was terrible. We sat in terrific traffic for more than three extra hours. What does any of this mean?

The Bible uses words to convey a meaning. These words can have different meanings. In fact, they can have opposite meanings. The older texts such as King James will have old definitions of words. Newer texts will have more modern words. How do we “rightly divide the word of truth” (2 Tim. 2:15)?

I’m sorry to you King James only people, but every version of the Bible is a translation. Someone translated the text from the original language to English. Someone decided on what meaning of a word to use. Every translation uses different words for the original meanings. For example, King James uses the old word “charity” and modern translations use “love.”

Some people like the poetic sound of King James. Pastors like King James because it gives them lots to explain. Others like the multiple meanings revealed in translations like the Amplified Bible. Others like parallel translations and see several versions at the same time. Some even go into the Greek or Hebrew and see what some of the meanings were when various authors originally wrote each word.

Which one is correct? They all have their uses. They expand our knowledge of the Word. Use the version you like the best. Try other versions. There are lots of them online. God is a God of infinite variety as well as wisdom. Don’t let translations be a source of conflict. Don’t be locked into a version tradition. Be open to growing in your vision of Jesus and as you do you will be transformed into his likeness. And everything will be terrific…good.