About Tim

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6 Responses to About Tim

  1. dover1952 says:

    Hi Tim. Please feel welcome to visit my WordPress blog at the following safe link:

    https://faith17983.wordpress.com/

    Have a nice day!!!

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    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Thanks Dover for sharing you blog with me. I just finished checking out a number of your posts. We need more voices exposing the dangers of Christian fundamentalism and conservative evangelicalism. Thanks for making you voice heard.

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  2. Jessa says:

    Hi Tim,
    I first want to tell you how much I appreciate this blog. I’ve been a Christian my whole life, but only recently have I started to attempt to think critically about elements of the Bible and Christian tradition that just haven’t made much sense to me. This blog gives me much to think about!!! I believe it’s of the upmost importance to research Bible texts as close to their original translations as possible to have an accurate understanding of what is truly being communicated. So I was wondering, in your opinion, what is the best translation to study from? My apologies if this is a topic you’ve covered in your blog already.

    Liked by 1 person

    • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

      Jessa, I am afraid I don’t have a good answer for you. I was raised on the King James Version (in fact we believed the KJV was the ONLY legitimate version). When the NIV came out in the 1970s I switched to NIV; it is a good translation and very readable, though it is influenced a bit in some places by a conservative bent.

      Since then, there have been many new translations and revisions but I still use the NIV because it is adequate for my needs and I am too old to start over with a new one. I do know from a number of credible sources that there are certain translations that are particularly accurate, but I have not paid attention to what they are–and I don’t recall who made the recommendations.

      I can say that most translations are reasonably accurate, though there are a few I would NOT recommend. The KJV and NKJV are not based on the best Greek manuscripts, so I would avoid those. The Amplified Version is interesting in that it gives a range of meanings for the original words, but this can be misleading in that not all these meanings apply in a particular context. If using the Amplified, I suggest using something else as your primary translation.

      There are also some translation that are paraphrases. These might provide some possible insights, but they are not true translations. The most popular of these are the Living Bible, the Message, and the Good News. I do not recommend them as one’s primary translation.

      Other than that, I think almost any other translation should be adequate though some include a few very ‘iffy’ translations such as the word ‘homosexual’ in Paul’s two lists of improper behaviors.

      I wish I could be of better help, but perhaps this helps a little bit. What translation are you using now?

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      • Jessa says:

        I usually use the NIV but I’m concerned about those instances of “iffy” uses of certain translations of words you mentioned. A lot of significant church doctrine seems to hinge on some of those instances. What has me started down this rabbit hole is trying to figure out what the original texts truly teach about hell. I believe that you must test scripture against scripture until there are no contradictions to understand it correctly and the widely accepted concepts of hell don’t seem to pass that test. Although neither does Universalism. Just trying to figure it all out! Thank you for your thoughtful response!

        Liked by 1 person

        • jesuswithoutbaggage says:

          Jessa, I think the NIV is fine, though it sometimes leans a little theologically conservative in places. As far as the ‘iffy’ translations go, some of them cannot be avoided. For example, the two terms Paul uses in his lists that are sometimes translated ‘homosexual’ are going to be iffy no matter how they are translated because we don’t know exactly what they mean; there are not enough uses in Greek literature for us to determine that.

          Another point is that an accurate translation is only the beginning of the tools we need to understand the Bible better.Understanding the context is very important, and for that we need other tools–like a good Bible Dictionary (which is not similar to an English dictionary but more like a one-volume encyclopedia. You should be able to find them at a bookstore. Compare them to see which formats seem to work best for you.

          If you are able to get good commentaries, that is even better. I know this sounds complicated but you are doing well just by using a good translation like the NIV.

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