One way of studying the bible is to compare various versions. This can be helpful even though you have access to resources about words used in the Greek original text. For most of us it is true to say that our grasp of this ancient language is limited in spite of dictionaries and perhaps some knowledge of Greek grammar. Therefore it can be helpful and inspiring to see what scholars, who have translated the bible, have made of a phrase or a verse of scripture.
For my considerations here on this blog concerning 1 Corinthians 13:5 I have consulted a website that does list very many English versions. If you are interested, why not check out www.biblegateway.com?
From this site I have printed out for myself all the renderings of this verse in the versions listed. I realised that many have used the word ‘rude’ as the NIV has it. Some have kept close to the King James Version too. However, I also discovered that some translations have used other words than these.
Actually the rendering of the Tree of Life Version published in 2015 by the Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society has inspired my today’s post. This translation has: Love “does not behave inappropriately”.
This is certainly a correct and possible translation of the Greek. But at times when we hear the same truth in other words our understanding is being enlarged.
The question I want to ask today is: What behaviour is appropriate or inappropriate at church? Or let me put it simply: How to interact with other believers?
I have already mentioned that there are cultural factors of the surrounding societies involved too. These may be different in various countries. People from other walks of life may have unlike feelings about various aspects of behaviour too.
Some may feel this means you cannot really say anything about what to do or not to do at church. People’s opinions will be at variance anyway.
Today I would like to refer you back to the overall goal of the community of Christian believers. We are to help each other to follow Jesus. We are to strengthen and encourage each other to trust Jesus. We are to back up one another so we can put into practice what we learn from Jesus.
Anything that would weaken another’s stand for Christ might be inappropriate. We had better avoid whatever would discourage or prevent other believers from doing that which is right.
It is advisable that we should be very thoughtful and considerate about how we talk to other believers as well as what we say about them. Generally it is better to avoid harsh criticism and judgmental attitudes.
If you want to enlarge on this, reading the following scripture passages may be helpful and enlightening: Romans 14 and 15, 1 Corinthians 8 and Matthew 7:1-5! May God bless you as you read and study the bible!