Friday, July 10, 2009

Going Deeper (Week 4)

Going Deeper (Week 4 Day 2)
The word ‘confession’ today normally means ‘telling someone you did something you shouldn’t have’. It means ‘owning up’. But the early Christians gave the word a wider meaning: ‘telling people what’s really true about your belief’. This means ‘owning up’, not to having done something wrong, but to believing in the Christian message and to belonging to the Christian movement. In the light of the historical context of the first century, how would you paraphrase or explain verse 1 to a young person?

So, my dear Christian friends, companions in following this call to the heights, take a good hard look at Jesus. He’s the centerpiece of everything we believe, faithful in everything God gave him to do. (Eugene Peterson, The Message)

Yo, my dearest buddies in Christ, together in this highest calling in following Jesus. Lock in your vision and thoughts on Jesus; for He is the Sent One and also the Representative of what we believe and whom we belong. (Abel Translation)

Going Deeper (Week 4 Day 3)
Verse 3 and 4 are highly structural in arguing the point that ‘God is the builder of everything’. The author employs parallelism in verse 3 and then leads his readers to his point by using important conjunctions in verse 4. Can you show how the parallelism is being used in verse 3 and how the conjunctions are being used in verse 4?

In verse 3, “He” (Jesus) is paralleled as “the builder of the house”; “more glory” in parallel with “more honor”; and “Moses” is paralleled and considered as part of the “house”. Commentator, George H. Guthrie, says that:

To look at a beautiful, artfully crafted building may inspire appreciation or wonder, but praise belongs to the craftsman rather than the craft. In this case the author of Hebrews considers Moses as part of the house that Jesus built. The inference to which the analogy points is that Jesus, as God, has made Moses, a member of the people of Israel, and as Creator is worthy of more honor and glory than one of his creatures. Thus, the author continues to point to Jesus as God.

In verse 4, the author does not want us to lose sight of this fact. So he points out that the existence of a house is an argument for a builder. Houses do not build themselves. "But" (the adversative de) introduces something different. There is, of course, similarity. A house argues for a builder, and all that is argues for God. There is also a difference, because God is not to be put on a level with any builder of a house.

Going Deeper (Week 4 Day 4)
NIV translates the if clause as ‘we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast’. But the NAS translation is closer to the original Greek sentence structure: ‘we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.’ Discuss what the differences between the 2 translations used and the relationship between the words “confidence”, “boast” and “hope”?

I think the NIV equivalent of “confidence” will be the word “courage”.
For NIV, we are told we can “boast” because we hold on to our “confidence” and “hope”; whereas, in NAS, we are told to hold on to our “confidence” and “boast” of our “hope”. But as I look into the original Greek text, the relationship between these words is as follow:

“Hold on” to “our hope” which we can have “confidence” and “boast” about.

Therefore, verse 6 as a conditional statement informs us that we are His house, “if” we hold on and persevere in “our hope”. Though it is of the future, but we can still have “confidence” and “boasting” in the present as our evident of this “hope”.

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