Transcript: Episode 0047

This transcript:
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Welcome to the Stone Choir podcast. I am Corey J. Moeller, and I'm still woe. On today's

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Stone Choir, we're going to be doing another episode on listener feedback. We did one of

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those a couple months ago, and we wanted to get back into it because we have a few more good

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questions. And because we've both been busy last week. In the show notes, we will give a link

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to the Myth of the 20th Century podcast with Adam and Hans. Corey and I both joined them last

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week, and that aired this past Monday. So there's actually some extra Stone Choir content out there

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for you. You'll just have to go somewhere else to listen to it. On the subject of listening to

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Stone Choir, just as a little bit of housekeeping, Spotify has delisted one of our episodes. Probably

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won't be the last time. Eventually, probably somewhere all the podcast listings will delist us

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entirely. We are immune from that. As broadcasters, as podcasters, you are not immune from that as

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listeners unless you take some affirmative steps. So the website will always be there. As

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long as we can keep the lights on, that will be a place where you can always find us, which means

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that worst case, you can always stream the episodes on a web browser. That's not a great

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experience. If you are an iOS user, you should be using Overcast from You can find

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it on the App Store. If you're an Android user, you should also be using a podcast player. I've been

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told the podcast addict is supposed to be pretty good. So if you're an Android poor, you should be

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using one of those. Or your favorite one. But the reason that I specifically want to say use one of

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these or a similar podcast player is for this specific reason. Podcast is based on RSS. It's

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a standard that lets content be distributed without using the web, basically. There's complexity

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behind the scenes. It's a protocol on the website. At the very top of it,

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you can find the RSS feed for stone-choir. The reason that is relevant is that you can paste

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that RSS feed into Overcast or podcast addict or a similar high-quality podcast player,

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and you'll automatically get all the new episodes without doing anything.

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And that will be done in such a way that it cannot be censored. So it won't matter if somebody comes

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along and de-list or cancels us or any of that crap. You will always be able to find our episodes

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on your device automatically without having to think about it. And that's the whole point,

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like this should be easy for you as listeners. As more and more of the services try to come

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after us and shut us down as happens to pretty much every decent podcast in the dissident,

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right? We'll just start vanishing. So if you want to keep listening and you don't want it

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interrupted, I would highly recommend you take a few minutes today, use one of those podcast

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players and get the RSS feed from the website and then just add it manually as a source.

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And then stone-choir will just always be there for you and you'll have to think about it.

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So thank you to everyone who's been leaving reviews on Apple podcasts and elsewhere. Obviously,

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it helps to spread the word and help keep spreading what you all are finding valuable and what we do.

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A special thanks again to Andrew and the other folks. Sorry, to Adam, as I was thinking Andrew

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Torb as well, who's been a big booster of the show. We really appreciate it. Without you

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sharing the show with others, no one's yours about it. And if everyone stops caring, that's fine.

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This is a hassle. I mean, we had to fight audio gremlins for an hour just to get us to recording

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today. This is like punching ourselves in the face sometimes. We do it because it's important.

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Today, we're going to be discussing a grab bag of issues and so it won't be a real overarching

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theme, but we wanted to get some questions people had. The first one will address a specific question

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and we're going to go into a more general question about how to read the Bible in general and which

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Bible to read. Which Bible should I buy if you don't have a Bible or if maybe you're thinking

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you should have a different Bible. We'll give you some ideas. Spoiler alert, we are not supremacists

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for any particular translation. We'll talk about translations a little bit and why they do and don't

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matter and what to do with it. I think a lot of today's episode will be just about how to read

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the Bible and which Bible to be reading. It's not going to be specifics. We will have some links

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in the show notes to a couple of Bibles that we have had friends recommend as very good reader

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Bibles. Another one that will be specifically a good Bible for a study Bible. We'll talk about

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the differences because there are different ways of reading the Bible. Do you read out loud?

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Do you read to yourself? Do you're reading to others? Are you doing a systematic study of a

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word or a subject versus just reading pages and pages? Those are all fundamentally different

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tasks and when we don't treat them as discrete tasks, it can make it not as obvious whether

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we're using the right tool for the job. Ultimately, you should probably have at least two or three

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different Bibles. You don't have to. It's not a rule. It's just that there are different benefits

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to different styles of Bibles. When we start with that question, we deal with the translation

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specifics and then get in some of those generalities. When it comes down to it, we have the good fortune

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of living at a time when there are a lot of options for reading Scripture. Our ancestors would be

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incredibly envious of the wealth of materials to which we have access. Now that being said,

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one of my primary and first recommendations for reading Scripture is pick a version,

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one that you can actually read and understand and stick with it. Part of the reason for that

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is that that's how you memorize things is repetition. And if you're constantly switching

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versions, you're going to have a harder time memorizing Scripture. And it's important to

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memorize some of Scripture as you go through it. This is one of the big things that Luther actually

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comments on when he is speaking to teachers, pastors, and others in the church. He specifically says,

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pick a version of your teaching and repeat it every year word for word. And that's why we have

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people, for instance, memorize the small catechism. That's why we have children memorize one version.

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We don't hand them a different version every week because then you're going to have

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unending trouble actually recalling specifically what it is you were reading. And so if you pick

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the ESV, stick with the ESV. If you pick the New King James, stick with the New King James.

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I and Woe will both tell you, do not use the KJV. It's not because we think the KJV is a bad

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translation. The KJV is a very good translation. However, the KJV was written in English that

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was deliberately archaic when it was published centuries ago. English is a language that has

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changed significantly in the past handful of centuries. If you think that you can just pick

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up anything that's written in English in quotes here, perhaps, and read it, go try to read Chaucer

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in the original English. It's in English still. It's a different English from our modern English.

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But that's the point. The King James is also a different English from the one we are speaking

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here. You can understand me because I'm speaking modern English and you know modern English.

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If I were speaking Middle English, there'd be a language barrier. And so don't use a translation

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just because someone told you all this is the perfect and the old and the exact. If you want

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to make that argument, just go learn Greek and read the Greek. But on the note of the Greek,

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God made a very important point very early on with regard to translation. He caused the Old

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Testament to be translated into Greek. The best version of the Old Testament we have is the Septuagint.

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It is less removed from the originals. It is closer to the originals. And we aren't missing

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intermediate steps as we are with the Masoretic. God caused that to happen. So he's telling us

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very clearly, translations are fine. It is fine to use a translation of his word. Translations are

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still God's word. And so use an English translation or if your first language is another language,

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use one in your first language. There's no reason you should necessarily use one in a foreign language

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even if you know it fairly well. Unless you're using Scripture to practice the foreign language,

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which is historically one of the ways that our ancestors learned a foreign language.

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But pick a translation that you can read and stick with it and read it. And as I said,

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they're excellent options. I have an ESV reader set that I like quite a lot. It's sitting over

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on a shelf in this room. Bibliotheca is another one that we'll link to. It's more expensive.

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It's a very nice version. If you have the money to spend on it by all means, grab one. It's an

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excellent set. But if not, there are great cheap options. So there's a wide range. You can spend

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$20 on a Bible. You can spend $500 on a Bible set. And they're very good options for reading

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Scripture. So we'll link a number of those in the show notes. But the overarching point is pick a

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translation and stick with that translation. And part of that is going to mean probably using

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the same translation that your congregation uses. So if everyone in your congregation is using ESV

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or NKJV or whatever, and you have a different one, that's going to be a hassle. Because you're

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going to be able to follow along mostly. But if you take turns reading and it's your turn to read,

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you're going to be reading slightly different words than they have. And you're going to be

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following along and not exactly tracking. So just for the sake of consistency, as Corey said,

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it is important to be on the same page. Because one of the key elements of just

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using and engaging with Scripture is being able to have conversations with other people about it.

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Now, an important thing to note there is that if you have ever said, or if you're ever inclined to

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say, well, my Bible says this, please don't. Don't do that. That's bad theology. Because what you're

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doing is you're pitting one translation against another and just assuming that yours is right,

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which is nonsense. Maybe it is a better translation. But for you to just say, well,

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my Bible says it's just stupid because you haven't done any of the legwork to see if that's true.

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So if there are circumstances where your translation, the one you have in hand, says one thing,

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and then someone else's says something else, that's an interesting question. What's going on?

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Don't assume one is corrupted. Don't assume that one is full of errors and that someone was up to

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no good. Don't assume that either one of them are exactly correct. Maybe they're both right.

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That's a property of translation. Is it a word that has a nuance in one language can

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split in a couple of different ways when moved into a different language? So as we've said in

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the past, one of the links in the show notes will be to One of the very valuable

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things about this website is you can punch in any verse and it will show you 30 odd translations

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of that verse in all the major common Bible translations. So you can see here is how everyone

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else has translated this verse. And whatever verse you pick, they're virtually all going to read

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very similarly. See, when we have these very strongly held opinions about this Bible version

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is good. And this one's really bad. When you pick a verse, not a random, but just the verse you're

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actually interested in, and you look at a bunch of different ones, the translations that have any

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sort of decent reputation, there's some there's some crappy ones. But most of the common ones are

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pretty okay, even if they're more liberal, even if they're places where they've messed with some

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things in ways that are undesirable, if not intolerable. Most of the verses are still going

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to read pretty similarly to the rest. The other valuable thing there is you can click on the

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inner linear, and that will show you the Greek or the Hebrew text for the verse that you're

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actually looking at. So you can see the original word order, you can see the original parts of

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speech, and you can start to get a sense of what the translators were doing when they made those

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various choices on the other page. So this is, we've said this before, but it's worth reiterating

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when you're reading your Bible. Pick whatever translation you want, just use it. We'll have

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a list of some that we like, it's not exhaustive. And I think an important thing when you're talking

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about translations is to acknowledge that they're all in error somewhere. Human beings translated

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every one of them. Every person has a certain bias that they bring to what they're translating.

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They're going to make editorial choices. That's not editing God in the sense of adding or removing

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things, but when you translate from one language to another, you're necessarily doing some editing.

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You're saying, which direction, which nuance am I going to pick with this word or this phrase?

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That is always going to impart your own biases, whatever they are. You know, as Lutherans,

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if we are translating something and there's a sacramental aspect to a passage, we will make

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sure that our translation is A, faithful to the original words, but B, it's going to make sure

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not to miss out on any nuance that's sacramental. If someone has a completely opposite view of the

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sacraments, you're going to want to avoid that. So that's part of where some of these translations

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diverge, is that the men who are trying to do their best as they're translating the words,

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you know, they're making decisions as they go and they're trying to be faithful. And obviously,

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these are then doctrinal disagreements that flow subtly into the text that you have in front of

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you. And so that should never be a source of you having your faith undermined and thinking,

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oh no, I don't even have the real Word of God here. Yes, you do.

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That doesn't necessarily mean that every single exact word captures all the nuance of the original

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language. And you don't have to go learn Greek or Hebrew, just be aware that when there are

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variations, there's something going on and that's interesting. Another thing to keep in mind is that

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particularly now, like any translations or even newly published Bibles with new footnotes

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in like the last 10 years, one of the big changes is entirely predictable. It's moving to gender

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neutral language, where even the Trinity, even the verses that refer to the Father and to the Son,

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some of the newest translations are messing with that stuff to try to make it gender neutral.

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That's blasphemous. Those Bibles should be burned. And that's a Christian thing to say. Incidentally,

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they're absolutely Bibles that should be burned if they have absolute blasphemy in them. I think

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I mentioned this before, but one of the classic examples from history is the so-called wicked

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Bible. This is a printing that inadvertently removed a knot from one of the Ten Commandments.

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So the commandment on adultery said, Thou shalt commit adultery. It was no mission.

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Ostensibly, it was a mistake. Almost every copy was hunted down and destroyed because

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it was treated as a very serious blasphemous error. A few copies remain. I've actually held

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one in my hands and seen it with my own eyes. It's called the Wicked Bible precisely because

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it's an inversion. Most translation errors aren't like that, but that approach, that knowledge of

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this is a corruption of God's word severely. This shouldn't exist. That's a holy thing. That's a

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good thing because it is ultimately God's. And if someone's going in and changing fundamental

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things and saying that, well, God didn't really say that, it's no longer the Bible. Even if it's

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99.99%, if you go in and you start messing with things that are removing key doctrine,

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you've created something wicked. Most of the time the errors in translation are obvious stuff.

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Like I said, the general neutral language is extremely popular. I think the NIV,

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2011 and later has adopted a lot of that. ESV, even some of the earlier versions,

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they are really weak on slave. We've complained about that before. The nice thing about you having

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just a random translation in front of you and working through it is that you already know,

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just sitting there before you even open the Bible, you know anything about it.

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You know what the weak spots, if there are any, are likely to be. You know that they're going

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to be messing with sex. They're going to be messing with things like power dynamics, David

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and Bathsheba. Places where today modern controversies get stirred up. What happens?

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There's a tendency for men to want to go back into the text and subtly change it

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so that they can reinforce the modern point that they want to make. This is something that

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false prophets are continuously doing. So slavery, race, sex, all the obvious stuff,

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all the stuff that we talk about a lot in other contexts, the newer translations are going in

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and messing with those things. As I said, ESV in particular, which is the Bible that I use almost

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all the time, gets slavery wrong in a number of places. It doesn't undermine my faith. It doesn't

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cause me to doubt the Bible that I'm reading because when I see Bond Servant, I just automatically

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flip it to slave and I'm going to be wrong about that translation choice a lot less often than

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I'm going to be right. I'm almost always going to be right with ESV because most of the time when

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it says Bond Servant, it means slave. So it's okay to use a Bible that has some of these errors

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as long as you know that they're in there. Like I said, you don't need to know the specifics of

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the translation committee because you know the things that they're going to want to mess with.

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So use the one that you have and just read it faithfully. Another aspect of Bible selection

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has to do with how it's physically formatted. We'll link to at least one or two websites that

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review the Bible so you can see some specific examples of different styles. This is kind of

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fiddly typographical stuff that most people don't think about at all, but it has a huge impact on

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how your brain processes the written word. So one of the most common Bible types that you've

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probably seen many times, you probably own at least one of them. You have two columns. You have

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the headings with the chapters and the verses and their footnotes. So there are letters

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and numbers appended in the text, and a lot of times the sides of the pages or the centers of the

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pages will be filled up with notes about what's in the text itself. Those are typically called

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study Bibles. It certainly has the extra notes and stuff. Those are study Bibles. There's a lot

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of value in a study Bible and then it helps you who is just getting into the Bible. You don't have

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a perfect knowledge of the thing, but nobody does. The study notes help you to say, oh, well,

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this verse here is a reference back to this thing from 38 books ago. You probably wouldn't

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remember that yourself at least the first time through. So it's very nice to have someone who

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has the expertise and this knowledge has been built up over many, many centuries of men,

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faithful men, paying attention to this stuff. I mean, thousands of years correlating one verse

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to another verse. So it's nice to have that stuff. On the other hand, those visual distractions

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really rob your ability to actually comprehend what's on the page. It doesn't seem like it when

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you're reading through it, but all that visual noise, it's basically graffiti. Because as Corey

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said in the past episode, when you're reading, you're not looking at the letters. You're looking

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at the shapes of the words and then the shapes of the words build up to a sentence and your,

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so your brain is processing chunks. It's processing chunks of text on the page,

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not the individual characters. What that means is that when these additions include numerals

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and subscript and superscript letters with footnotes, all those things disrupt your ability

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of your brain completely apart from your comprehension. The ability of your brain to

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completely comprehend what it is you're reading without constantly tripping over, oh, well,

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that's different. There's something else going on. So there's a ton of distraction there,

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and there's no way to be immune from it. It's like, oh, well, if I'm really smart, I can handle it.

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I can't handle it. I need to go to a Bible that doesn't have that stuff to be able to actually

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concentrate on the text. And if you think that that's not the case, you just haven't realized it.

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So we'll give a couple of examples in the show notes of something that's called a reader's Bible.

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As Corey mentioned, the Bibliotheca is a fantastic one. Readers' Bibles omit

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all the appendages, so there won't be any footnotes. There won't be any of those indentations

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with where they are inserting extra facts. They also will generally omit the verse numbers.

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We'll link to a New King James that puts every fifth verse number in the side of the page

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just to kind of help you, because on one hand, there's a tremendous value in a reader's Bible

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of being able to just read. You start to sit down and start reading the book of Isaiah.

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Without the demarcations of chapters and verses, you'll just read five or 10 pages

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the way it was meant to be read without realizing how much you've gone through,

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because your brain's not being distracted. It's a fundamentally different experience.

23:34.200 --> 23:39.720
On the other hand, if you want to look at a particular verse on the page that you've read

23:39.800 --> 23:45.240
and said, I wonder about this, there is additional burden for you to go find that and something

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else. The nice thing about a reader's Bible that has at least a few of the verse numbers off in

23:49.640 --> 23:55.000
the side is that it helps you be able to context switch to another Bible or to another website

23:55.000 --> 23:59.880
or something where you can see the specific verse that you're talking about and figure out

23:59.880 --> 24:06.920
whatever question came to mind. That's one of the differences. If you're trying to study a subject,

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a reader's Bible is probably going to be more helpful. If you just want to read,

24:11.720 --> 24:17.320
having fewer of those visual distractions is crucial. One of the nice things is because

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reader's Bibles are specifically focused on readability, they tend to have nicer font choices,

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which again, the font forms the shape of the words. Personally, I really love typography.

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It's a big deal to me. Even if you know absolutely nothing about typography,

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when you're using something that has a really nice serif font where the characters flow really

24:41.720 --> 24:47.720
nicely and every word has a distinct shape, it's easier to read. It's easier for your brain to

24:47.720 --> 24:52.600
process and therefore to understand. These small details that you don't think about normally,

24:52.600 --> 24:56.600
you just pick up a book and you read it, you don't care. Type setting, typography, whatever,

24:56.600 --> 25:01.480
that crap is not interesting to most people. But when it's done really well, it makes it easier

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for you to understand. When it's done poorly, it can actually detract from your comprehension,

25:06.200 --> 25:09.800
not simply your enjoyment. I'm not talking about the aesthetics of the thing,

25:09.800 --> 25:14.040
although the aesthetics are also better. But when you completely lose yourself in the word,

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if things like those little niceties are done better, your brain is going to have an easier job

25:21.320 --> 25:25.880
processing and absorbing the word of God, which was the whole reason you were reading in the first

25:25.960 --> 25:33.640
place. To specifically address the question that got us on this particular subject,

25:34.920 --> 25:42.280
the question was over some of the changes as it were in more modern versions of certain translations

25:43.240 --> 25:46.120
where essentially they mess with the word that is translated as Jews.

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And to directly address that, the problem with translating it as Jews, as we've mentioned in

25:54.280 --> 26:01.880
previous episodes, Eudios, the word being translated here from the Greek, is that Jews didn't exist

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at the time. That is a modern term that has a modern connotation when used by modern English

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speakers. And so to translate it as Jews is misleading. It should be Judeans. And also,

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it is worth noting they were Judeans because remember, as we have discussed in previous episodes,

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Israel had been destroyed, which is to say the Northern Kingdom was gone. So the only

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Israelites left were in fact Judeans. And so that is the term, that is what is meant,

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that is what is referenced by the Greek term. And so that's how it should be translated.

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We have the same issue as we've mentioned elsewhere, and as Woe just mentioned, with

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do-loss the word for slave. Bonservant is more of a nebulous term. It's not really a term that we

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use in modern English, which is why they used it, of course, because then the reader can impart his

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own meaning into it. But slave is a better translation, because everyone immediately knows

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what slave means. So yes, some translations play these little games, but as long as you understand

27:17.240 --> 27:23.080
what is being said in the text, or if you need to, you can go back to the Greek and look at it.

27:23.080 --> 27:28.040
You don't have to know Greek. You can go to Bible Hub, you can look at the inner linear,

27:28.040 --> 27:33.080
you can see which word was there in the Greek, how it was translated in the English,

27:33.080 --> 27:37.880
and then you can pull up Strong's or some other concordance and look at exactly what that Greek

27:37.880 --> 27:43.400
term means. And you don't have to know any Greek. All you have to be able to do is identify the

27:43.400 --> 27:49.640
Greek letters and be able to click a link, which anyone listening to this show can certainly do.

27:51.640 --> 27:58.200
And to comment additionally on the issue of Eudios, some modern exegetes will call them

27:58.200 --> 28:03.640
attempt to argue that it means the Jewish leaders, and not the Judean people.

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That's false. It meant the Judean people, generally speaking. Yes, there were those who

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followed Christ, but most of them didn't. And part of the reason that we know this is that we

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have a contrast between the leaders and the general people using the word Eudios in Mark 7,

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where it says for the Pharisees, those would be the leaders of the Jewish people,

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and all the Jews in the wording of the ESV do not eat unless they wash their hands properly. Well,

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we have both terms right there. And in the Greek that is the term for Pharisee and the term for

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Judean. Similarly, when we have modern translations that try to play games with gender-neutral so-called

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language, well, we know that's false because we have from the very mouth of Christ in Matthew 12

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both the word brother and sister, Adolfos Kai Adolfei, brother and sister. We have that

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from Christ. And so if Scripture wanted to use

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gender-neutral language as it were, the option is there in Greek, you can use both brother and

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sister. And so when they attempt to insert that in various other places, they're playing games

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with the text that are not warranted. It is 100% due to their modern priors. And so avoid those

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translations. If you see one that starts translating every instance as brother and sister, if that's

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not there in the Greek, it shouldn't be there in the English. And that is something that,

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like I said, that's pretty much only in the last 10, maybe 15 years that that started to really

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happen. Personally, I don't think there should be more than one new translation in a language every

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200 years. It's nonsense to have such a proliferation. I understand the reason for it. For one thing,

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books have gotten much cheaper to publish. And as these doctrinal disagreements have occurred in

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the past, churches who are trying to faithfully hold to their own doctrine are going to make sure,

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want to make sure that the Bibles are using, aren't corrupting what they're worried about. So

30:26.200 --> 30:30.200
if their priors are good, then their translation is going to be good. But if their priors are bad,

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their translation could easily go off into the weeds. It's less of an issue with the ones that

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existed prior to the 21st century. As it stands today, I think you can pretty safely avoid most

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new translations, certainly anything from here on out, like anything after. If you paid any attention

30:47.320 --> 30:54.280
to the decay of Hollywood, I mean, Hollywood was always toxic. And yet still in the last 10 years,

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you know, 8 to 10 years, movies have gotten significantly worse. The same is true of Bible

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translations, like it's everything. So just keep that in mind. We will link to a CSB Bible that

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is a reader's edition that doesn't even have any verses. A number of my friends use a CSB.

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One of the things that they really like about it is another aspect of reading the Bible that we

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haven't discussed yet, which is reading it versus reading it out loud. Because it's very, very rare

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for a man's voice to work equally well in the written word and the spoken word. And this will

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come into play in translations. Some translations, like for example, the ESV, is more of a literal

31:40.760 --> 31:47.960
translation, meaning that it tries to stick closer to both the words and the sentence structure and

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the word order of the underlying language that it's being translated from. So if you're just

31:54.360 --> 32:00.360
reading it, and you're studying it, it's going to tend in most cases to give you a better sense of

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what the Greek was trying to do. On the other hand, that also means it tends to be a little

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weirder and a little more wooden to read in some places. ESV is harder to read out loud.

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This matters if you have a family, if you're a father and you're reading to your wife,

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you're reading to your kids, if you're doing daily devotions. Having a Bible that's easier to read

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out loud and therefore to understand when heard does matter. So it goes back to the

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standardization question. I don't think it's a great idea to have three or four different

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translations in the mix as part of your daily life. On the other hand, in the show notes,

32:39.560 --> 32:44.120
we're going to give three or four different translations as different examples of different

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types of Bibles. So like I said, the CSB will be a reader's Bible. It's really nice. It's like $35

32:49.640 --> 32:55.560
hardbound. It has really nice typography and no visual decorations at all. It's just a straight

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Bible in a faithful translation that reads really well out loud. We'll link to a New King James that

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has some verse numbers in the sidebar. So that's easier if you're cross-referencing when you want

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to do additional study. And I think we'll link to the Concordia Study Bible from CPH. It's a really

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good study Bible. Most of the notes are faithful. It's certainly useful. It's also really expensive.

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One recommendation, one thing to consider when you're looking at Bibles is the print size.

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If at all possible, when you're looking online, try to see if they have

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an example that will show you the actual size on the page. The reason I'm mentioning this is that

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for the Concordia Lutheran Study Bible, the footnotes are tiny. Even if you have good eyesight,

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they constrain it. As your eyesight starts to fade a little bit as you get older, they'll be

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really hard to read. I recommend for absolutely anyone, no matter how young and cool you are,

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get the large print version of the Study Bible because it's not that much larger.

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When we say large print, we're not talking about 14 or 16 files. It's a little bit bigger. So it's

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definitely easier to read, especially in those footnotes and the endnotes and stuff. But it'll

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make a difference today. It'll make a big difference 20 years from now because your eyes will eventually

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get worse. It'll still be nice to use the same Bible. So you have to consider, as you're looking

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at your Bible shopping, if you can only have one Bible, you have to decide what's the most

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important to you. And I can't tell you. I don't. Personally, I would tend to want to avoid a Study

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Bible, first my Soul Bible, I think, simply because all those distractions make it seem

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like the Bible is a lot more complicated than it is. Same with the King James. As Corey was saying,

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I also like the King James is beautiful. I would never, ever, ever recommend anyone read it,

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not as their first Bible. And if someone has told you to read it and you've tried and you're

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struggling with it, that's why. It's because there's not a magic Bible language. It makes me

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so frustrated when guys are like, okay, I want to get into this Christianity stuff. I just want

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to find out what it's about. And someone hands on the King James and then they're fumbling around,

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they don't know what's going on on the page. That sort of confusion is the exact opposite

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of what God wants. And so the visual confusion of a Study Bible is similar in that it detracts from

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your ability to just consume the raw word. If your brain is doing any sort of additional

35:31.800 --> 35:36.840
processing, whether it's ignoring extra characters and numbers and letters, whether it's traveling

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to translate or cake language, you've probably never heard some of it before in your life,

35:41.880 --> 35:47.720
trying to figure out what does that even mean. That's wasted mental energy that should be spent

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on consuming the very text that you're there to learn about in the first place. So

35:53.000 --> 35:59.800
personally, I generally recommend that someone get some sort of more basic Reader's Bible to just

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to start reading, because the most important thing you can do is to read the thing, to read the Bible,

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to read it regularly, to study it and to consume it. If you get more into it, yes, you do probably

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want some sort of Study Bible or other resources, and there are a ton of those online, and lots of

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places you can find them. The Bible industry, I'm sure it's a multi-billion-dollar industry.

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Frankly, that's part of the problem. That's part of why there are so many Bibles, is that

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everybody has this demand for, well, I want something new. I want the woman's Bible. I want

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the little kid's Bible. I want the single men's Bible study under 25 who weight lifts Bible.

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Like, what? Just read the thing. What's all this extra stuff about? But worst case, you buy a Bible

36:44.680 --> 36:49.880
you don't want, or it's mismatched versionally with one of your others. Give it to a friend.

36:49.880 --> 36:53.960
Give it to a stranger. Give it to someone else. There's no such thing as a wasted Bible in your

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house unless you're not reading it. So be budget sensitive, and that's why there's no one size

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fits all. There are some incredibly nice Bibles. You can get some that are $200 that are wrapped

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in goat skin and calf skin and have just absolutely impeccable printing and paper and

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everything, and they're truly heirlooms that you would want to pass on to your grandchildren.

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That's very nice, but you certainly don't need that for your first Bible. And frankly,

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I'd be very cautious about beginning in a place that's fancy, because whatever Bible you get is

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going to be in a translation. And so say you get a New King James, and then you read it for a while,

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and actually, I'd prefer the ESVs. That's why I use most of the time. When I get a $200 Bible,

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it's in the wrong translation relative to what you want. And again, it's not a wasted Bible.

37:44.120 --> 37:49.080
You can sell it or give it to someone. But if you're going to be looking at investment in

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something that's truly special like that, make sure you like the version of it first. And as Corey

37:55.800 --> 38:00.760
said, then stick with the rest of your life, and it will pay dividends. I've said before,

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most of the verses that I know by heart are King James. The reason for that is that growing up

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the hymnal that we used in the Lutheran church used to be based on the King James. I believe my

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catechesis was also based on the King James. So I do not disparage. I do not dislike it. There's

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some incredibly beautiful language. I 23rd Psalm should only ever be spoken in the King James English.

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I completely reject any other version because it's not necessary because the problem we're talking

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about would not be able to understand. Everyone understands that because it's such foundational

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English that it has shaped the rest of our knowledge of our own language. So again, it's not

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that it's bad or it's terrible. It's just that it will impart confusion where a modern translation

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would not impart confusion. And that concerns me as someone trying to introduce someone to Scripture

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much more than the textual variants that are involved in the translation decisions.

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It's fine to get into those fiddly things later on if you want to be invested. But

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as we said earlier, if you want to get down into the words themselves, the individual

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words you're looking at, you're going to be looking at least in a concordance, looking at

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an inner linear to see what was the underlying language. And what you'll learn when you do that,

39:18.200 --> 39:22.440
again, we're not saying like, oh, you're going to be a junior Greek scholar. No, that's not the

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point. When you start looking at all the other applications, you realize there's a lot going

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on here. There's a lot of nuance, there's a lot of history, one of the nice things on Bible Hub when

39:31.400 --> 39:35.560
you go to the inner linear, and then look at all the other examples of where the same word is used

39:35.560 --> 39:43.080
elsewhere in Scripture. As you get a lot of nuance, you get a lot of texture around, okay, well,

39:43.080 --> 39:47.240
here's all the other ways that word's been used. And sometimes you'll make very interesting

39:47.240 --> 39:52.040
connections just in terms of questions. I'm not saying be a junior splunker where you're going to

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discover some secret Bible mystery. Guy's been doing that for thousands of years. You don't need

39:56.920 --> 40:03.080
to worry about finding anything new, but it is very enjoyable to go discover stuff and then to

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learn more about those discussions because, as we said on the myth of 20th century recording this

40:08.040 --> 40:15.160
past week, the entire Bible is interconnected in ways that can only possibly be inspired by God.

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No human being could have ever created the number of correlations

40:20.120 --> 40:24.600
from all the different books to each other. Only the mind of God could have done that,

40:25.240 --> 40:30.280
because of all the different physical authors, the different men who were recording with their

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own hands and their own voices, in many cases, those books. Only God could have kept it all

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together. There would have been disagreement, there would have been, like it's an example I made

40:42.120 --> 40:46.440
there, and I'll make it again here. If Cory and I were to write 100-page book about the stuff that

40:46.440 --> 40:51.160
we know really well and we hash out and we're in complete agreement, it would not be as internally

40:51.160 --> 40:56.520
consistent as what the Bible man just to do across thousands of years with dozens of human

40:56.520 --> 41:03.240
authors. That's because the ultimate author is God. It's a treasure to be able to delve into

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Scripture and to find those interconnections. Really, it's one of the most enjoyable parts of

41:08.920 --> 41:16.040
studying the Bible. You're down in it. It's not just an advice column. It's not just

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it's wisdom, but there's a lot more to it than that, because it's part of a much greater whole,

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and the more you learn about that whole, the more you realize how

41:25.000 --> 41:28.840
infinite the whole is, that the whole is greater than the universe, because it's God.

41:30.120 --> 41:36.120
On the subject of delving deeper into the text, I will also include a link to two applications,

41:37.000 --> 41:43.480
at least two, maybe a couple others, but two applications for studying God's Word. One that

41:43.480 --> 41:51.240
is excellent for just reading God's Word. The first one is the literal Word app. It is free.

41:51.240 --> 41:57.640
It has currently four translations of Scripture, and all the one is the King James, so probably stick

41:57.640 --> 42:08.520
to the other three, which would be the NS95, the LSB, and the ESV. This one is a very nice

42:08.520 --> 42:13.400
application to use just for reading Scripture. It has a clean interface. It's just the text.

42:13.400 --> 42:21.160
I believe it has a reading mode, and you can also hit a button in the app, and then it will

42:21.160 --> 42:25.800
underline the words that you can click on and see the underlying Greek in the New Testament,

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which is great. Unfortunately, it doesn't yet have the Septuagint, I don't believe,

42:30.760 --> 42:37.000
for the Old Testament, but it's a great app just for reading Scripture, and the other is Logos.

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Now, the drawback of Logos, and I will be completely upfront and blunt, it's expensive. The app is

42:44.280 --> 42:51.560
not, the app is free, and there are some free resources in Logos, but Logos is an expensive

42:51.560 --> 42:57.320
proposition once you start getting into actually purchasing the resources. So this is something,

42:58.680 --> 43:04.440
if you're going to be teaching classes at your church, consider grabbing Logos. If you're just

43:04.440 --> 43:08.760
going to research the word for yourself to some degree, go ahead and grab it and use the free

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resources, maybe spend $10 here or there on something. Don't invest into the big study packages,

43:15.640 --> 43:20.440
you'll probably never use most of it, and they're expensive, hundreds or thousands of dollars for

43:20.440 --> 43:27.000
some of these. So I'm just going to include that because that way you sort of have a range of options.

43:27.000 --> 43:32.600
You have the free option and the potentially very expensive one. The same as Scripture will include

43:32.600 --> 43:38.760
some options in the show notes that are very budget-friendly, and then, as Woe was mentioning,

43:38.760 --> 43:43.400
some of the nicer Bibles I'll link to Schuyler as well, which is one of the options for the

43:43.400 --> 43:50.040
$200 Goat Skin or Calf Skin Bible. Don't feel that you need to jump in in the deep end.

43:51.000 --> 43:56.520
That's totally unnecessary. Start out with the free resources. That is how this is supposed to be.

43:56.840 --> 44:01.560
The Word of God is not supposed to cost you money to have access to it,

44:02.200 --> 44:07.160
which is perhaps hearkening back to our earlier episode on copyright and

44:08.680 --> 44:15.960
paywalling God, the title of that episode. So the next question that we're going to address in

44:15.960 --> 44:22.120
this episode is a question about the Sabbath, and whether or not Christians are supposed to keep

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the Sabbath or a Sabbath, what are the rules for us in the New Testament with regard

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to the Third Commandment as we number it as Lutherans?

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And I want to start off with two bits of Scripture. One was included in the question,

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so I will give credit to the question, or even though we're not reading the question itself,

44:45.400 --> 44:51.080
but that is Colossians 2.16. Therefore, let no one pass judgment on you in questions of food and

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drink or with regard to a festival or a new moon or a Sabbath. And the other one, there are a few

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other verses that are important to, but the other one of the two that I want to use for this answer

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is Romans from Romans 14. One person esteems one day as better than another,

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while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.

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The one who observes the day observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats,

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eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains,

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abstains in honor of the Lord, and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives to himself,

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and none of us dies to himself. For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the

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Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lords.

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These two verses and some others as well that you can cross reference certainly.

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A little bit of homework for the show. These give the general answer for the Christian observance

45:54.920 --> 46:01.960
of the Sabbath, for Christian compliance with the Third Commandment. I would also draw out,

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I won't necessarily read the verse or quote it here, but we are instructed in many places not

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to forsake the gathering together of the saints. So this forms the framework within which we as

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Christians keep the Sabbath. We are supposed to gather together, but we are not commanded to

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esteem any day as better or more important than any other. And so we do not get to tell people,

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oh well you went to church on Saturday so you're a sinner. No that's fine. If you go to church on

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Saturday because your church meets on Saturday, so be it. Now if you're doing it because of a

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Judaizing reason you believe that Saturday is the Sabbath, that can be a problem.

46:51.720 --> 46:57.000
Now if you're totally convinced in your own conscience that what you're doing

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is what Scripture commands you to do, then it's a more complicated matter. Because on the one hand,

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Scripture is very clear, each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.

47:11.080 --> 47:17.480
But on the other hand, if you are fully convinced of false doctrine, so if you think that it is

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absolutely necessary for Christians to maintain the Saturday observance of the Sabbath, you should

47:23.720 --> 47:29.240
be rebuked with regard to that because that's false. We are no longer required to do that. That was for

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the Israelites, that was not for Christians generally. And so the reason that we meet together

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on Sunday, and meeting together on Sunday is of course fine. The reason we do it, there are

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a number of reasons. One, it's so we all know when to meet because that's just what we do. You

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have to actually have a day when you meet so that everyone can show up. Two, it's the day that we

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have off. It's, modernly it's the weekend, historically Sunday you had off so that you

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could go to church. That was a big part of the reason that Europeans closed everything down on

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Sundays, because all you did on Sunday was you went to church and then you went home,

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or you went out for a beer with friends, depending on where you lived.

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Because it is still the day of rest. It is important to have periods of rest, and that is

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something that a godly government has a duty to oversee, to institute, to maintain. So the old

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blue laws and things like that were in fact godly forms of governance. They should have been

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maintained, and where they are it's a good thing. So essentially it boils down to the real reason

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why we observe the Sabbath on Sunday, why we've made the Sunday our Sabbath, is order. It's good

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order in the church, because there are things that you must do and there are things that you may do.

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You must hear the word of God. You must gather together with other Christians.

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You may do that on Sunday. You may do that on Saturday. If we had decided to do so, it could

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have been Wednesday. But Sunday has a symbolic aspect to it that is part of it, that we should

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really teach more explicitly in the church to let people know we meet on Sunday because of the

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symbolism. And the symbolism of that is the resurrection. And in addition to the resurrection,

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the Sabbath is metaphorically and symbolically in scripture. That seventh day, it is the day of

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rest. And so we meet together on the seventh day because we are looking forward to that

49:39.720 --> 49:47.560
ultimate rest that is in paradise in Christ. And so for the sake of symbolism and order,

49:47.560 --> 49:52.200
meeting together on Sunday is what we have done historically. And there's really no reason to

49:52.200 --> 49:57.720
change that. Now, I don't say that we shouldn't have, say, a Saturday service for some people

49:57.720 --> 50:02.440
who cannot make it on Sunday. That's understandable. There are people who have to work on Sundays.

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If you are working in an emergency room, or you're a police officer, or a firefighter,

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or any of a number of these occupations where you can't really have a day off,

50:13.800 --> 50:19.560
someone at least has to be working every week on that day, then it's understandable to have

50:19.560 --> 50:24.920
another time when those people can meet together. That's entirely fine. Because again, it is not

50:24.920 --> 50:32.440
required that we meet together on Sunday. It is required that we meet together. Sunday is part

50:32.440 --> 50:38.920
of symbolism and good order in the church. And I think one of the important

50:39.320 --> 50:46.440
distinctions that comes into some of these arguments today, and in current year, when guys are saying,

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well, I read something online and I heard this guy who said that you didn't have to do this,

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and it's okay to do this other thing. One of the questions is the traditional stone-quare

50:58.760 --> 51:05.240
question, what problem are you trying to solve? But there's also the important question that

51:05.240 --> 51:11.720
every Christian has to have, which we also bring up frequently. Why are you breaking with tradition?

51:12.680 --> 51:16.360
In other words, if Christians have always done this, which is the case,

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Christians have always gathered on Sunday for 2,000 years with exceptions, but they were exceptional.

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Why do you in current year think that you have Christian liberty just to do whatever you want

51:30.680 --> 51:38.200
in the face of what everyone else is doing? And so the question is not, are Christians imposing

51:38.200 --> 51:44.680
a law on each other by saying you must gather on Sunday? The question is why someone would rebel

51:44.680 --> 51:50.360
against this. Corey said, just order. Like, here's where it is. Churches on Sunday morning.

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Yes, there are reasons why you might have a Wednesday night or Saturday night or Saturday

51:56.280 --> 52:01.880
morning or whatever. That's good. Having more church is good. It used to be that church occurred

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every day. When Corey says they went to church on Sunday, they didn't go for an hour. It was

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a most of the day affair. They were there for hours. Sermons were long. It was a very much

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more involved process. So that was their world. It wasn't like you check in for an hour in the

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morning and you still get home in time for the NFL kickoff, which is frankly one of the major

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pressure points on pastors today to keep their sermon short and to make sure the church doesn't

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go too long. Because when it's football season, you better not have a service that runs over.

52:39.080 --> 52:44.360
That's not the right Christian approach to anything. That's not the way we should be

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ordering our lives. Worrying about things that are not only less important, but actively evil.

52:50.120 --> 52:54.920
The NFL games last Sunday and the end zone, it said end racism.

52:56.040 --> 52:59.560
Well, that's neat. There are probably a lot of pastors who preach the same sermon

52:59.560 --> 53:05.880
as the NFL. You know what? Yeah, in that case, if your church is preaching NFL sermons, I would

53:05.880 --> 53:09.560
say, yeah, go to the game. You're going to have more fun at the game than you are a church and

53:09.560 --> 53:15.080
you're practicing the same religion either way. It's not Christianity. If you want Christianity,

53:15.720 --> 53:19.720
you go to church with other believers and you hear what God says

53:19.720 --> 53:25.960
and not what the NFL and MSNBC and the World Economic Forum and all these other places say,

53:25.960 --> 53:29.320
because those are the two competing religions, as we always say.

53:30.520 --> 53:35.560
The other aspect of the Sabbath, and Cory touched on it, but I want to point to something. I don't

53:35.560 --> 53:41.480
have a lot to say to flesh out the details, but it's something that was definitely lost between

53:41.480 --> 53:47.080
the old and the New Testament. It's something that, as we were talking before recording,

53:47.720 --> 53:53.560
Luther doesn't do a great job addressing in some of what he says about the Sabbath. As Cory said,

53:54.120 --> 54:00.440
one of the important things of the observance of God's day of rest is gathering together with a

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faithful to make sure that there's one day a week where you're devoting some time to the study of

54:06.040 --> 54:13.080
the Word of God together corporately with other Christians. There is also the pattern of rest.

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Day of rest is not the same as day of going to church when God rested on the seventh day,

54:21.720 --> 54:27.720
which the Sabbath is patterned after, when God ordered that there be Sabbath years and that

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there be Jubilee years where the animals, the livestock, the fields were given days and years

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of rest. That is much more fundamental to creation than Bible study and sermons. It's a different

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thing. I think one of the things that we have lost sight of as Christians, again, this is not

54:50.280 --> 54:55.240
I'm not trying to be proscriptive in saying you are forbidden, just as the Pharisees did.

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This occurred in Jesus' ministry where he performed a miracle and they got mad at him,

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and he said, if your ox fell into a ditch on the Sabbath, would you not pull it out? If someone

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fell into a well on the Sabbath, would you not pull them out? So their argument though, well,

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you can't do work, you did work, was their misdefinition of work as certain types of activity

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that weren't worship related. That is not at all what I am advocating. On the other hand,

55:22.760 --> 55:28.760
when God rests and does nothing on the seventh day of creation and when he commands that animals

55:29.080 --> 55:35.480
be given a day of the week off, and man, and that fields be given every seventh year,

55:35.480 --> 55:40.920
and then the Jubilee was a rest of incidentally for debt, as well as the land, as well as the people,

55:42.280 --> 55:48.920
that has significance even outside of sin, because it hearkens back to creation, the six

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days, the seventh day of creation, before sin entered the world. So the idea of resting in

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opposition to working, not only is it commanded by God, but it has no bearing on salvation.

56:04.120 --> 56:08.600
In other words, the fact that you are saved, the fact that you are a Christian, doesn't free you

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from the obligation of needing rest. Now, when I say obligation of needing rest, I'm not making a

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law of it, you have to sleep. You have to sleep every day or you will go insane and you will die.

56:21.240 --> 56:28.120
You can kill someone with sleep deprivation. Working someone to death is a very real thing too.

56:28.120 --> 56:33.320
This was a common case in certain kinds of horrific slavery around the world, where

56:34.280 --> 56:39.400
the African slaves that were taken into Arabia, they're no black people there now,

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because A, they were castrated and B, they were worked to death. They only lasted a couple of

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years and then they died, because they were used not as humans who were to be treated properly,

56:50.520 --> 56:54.360
they were just used as machines and they were chewed up and spit out and replaced.

56:55.400 --> 57:00.920
You can kill someone with work and God is specifically forbidding us from doing that to

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ourselves. And there are a lot of people today, one of the misnomers of the Protestant work ethic,

57:07.320 --> 57:13.080
where somehow you have to be constantly go, go, go all the time. I just came up in Stonequire chat

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last week where someone expressed guilt or confusion, what do I do on Sunday? I feel

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like I should be doing something. I think that there's something really twisted about our culture

57:24.760 --> 57:30.200
that a man who's idle for an hour feels like he's sinning, like I've got to be doing something.

57:31.400 --> 57:37.160
At some point that becomes neuroticism. I'm not advocating for laziness, but when God takes a

57:37.160 --> 57:43.000
whole day off, you can do the same. Again, it's not to say you can't do anything. If you want to go

57:43.000 --> 57:47.160
do some woodworking in the garage because it's soothing if there are chores around the house,

57:48.040 --> 57:54.200
we're not being proscriptive around saying you must sit perfectly still in a certain place and

57:54.200 --> 57:58.600
you can't lift your arm above this height and your food has to all be prepared before sundown the

57:58.600 --> 58:04.600
night before. None of that. Just give your body a break. Give your mind a break. God actually

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designed us that way. Another part of the observance of the Sabbath that was lost in

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and certainly the modern version of what we view is the notion that resting is salutary,

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and it is. When a man feels like he's doing something bad by being idle for a time,

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he should spend some time thinking about that and maybe studying some of what the Scripture says

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because that's not healthy. You should be able to sit still and sit quietly and sip some coffee

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and pet your dog and look out at the sunset and not feel like you're betraying yourself as a man

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or your creator or your family or anything. God created us to rest too. Six days of work,

58:49.880 --> 58:56.360
one day of rest. There's a ratio there. I think that's important. Again, we're not giving like,

58:56.360 --> 59:01.720
here's your iCal reminder to rest or hear the days and the hours to do this and that.

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Christian freedom is not prescriptive in that sense, but we're creatures and creatures need

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rest. Don't let your observance of the Sabbath end with, okay, I went to church. I'm done. Now I

59:14.280 --> 59:20.360
got to go to work. I got to do eight hours of work and go to sleep exhausted tonight. If that's

59:20.360 --> 59:25.800
your life at seven days a week, you're hurting yourself and I think that you should be concerned

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that you're doing something God doesn't want you to do. Part of what plays into the lack of

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commentary on rest in the small catechism, the large catechism does a better job, which notably,

59:37.560 --> 59:44.840
the small catechism was designed for children and those who are incapable of learning more than

59:44.840 --> 59:51.400
the small catechism contains. It is sufficient for salvation because it contains the core of the

59:51.400 --> 59:57.720
Christian faith. If you knew only the content of the small catechism, you would be a Christian if

59:57.720 --> 01:00:04.440
you believed it. However, the large catechism is for fathers and teachers and others to then

01:00:04.440 --> 01:00:10.120
instruct those who are themselves learning from the small catechism. But the issue is twofold.

01:00:10.120 --> 01:00:18.280
That's the first aspect. The second aspect, Luther lived in a culture where observing a day of rest

01:00:18.360 --> 01:00:25.720
was simply part of the culture and it was not optional. If you opened your business on Sunday in

01:00:27.480 --> 01:00:32.360
historically Christian Germany or the German principalities as existed at the time, the

01:00:32.360 --> 01:00:36.520
Holy Roman Empire, they would have come and shut down your business because you were not permitted

01:00:36.520 --> 01:00:42.680
to do that. The day of rest was mandatory. Now, you could go ahead and go work on your farm if you

01:00:42.680 --> 01:00:47.240
were so inclined. They weren't going to stop you from doing that. You should rest. God commands

01:00:47.320 --> 01:00:54.120
you to rest. Resting is part of what Christians are supposed to do. But the society itself was

01:00:54.120 --> 01:01:00.200
structured in such a way that it was incomprehensible that you would engage in commerce, that you would

01:01:00.200 --> 01:01:06.840
engage in business and work on the Sabbath. And so Luther didn't have to address it because this

01:01:06.840 --> 01:01:11.160
was something that was so out of the ordinary. It just was something that did not happen. Now,

01:01:11.160 --> 01:01:15.720
he addresses some of this elsewhere in his writings, but addressing it as a core matter

01:01:16.360 --> 01:01:21.560
for instructing Christians was not something he needed to do. And we have to bear that in mind

01:01:21.560 --> 01:01:27.800
when we are reading older authors, be it Luther or someone else. Some of the problems we have today

01:01:28.600 --> 01:01:34.600
are not problems that they had in their day. In fact, some of the problems we have today

01:01:34.600 --> 01:01:41.560
are so outside the norm, so outside Christian experience, that these older authors never

01:01:41.560 --> 01:01:46.600
even thought about them. They didn't think they were a possible issue that could arise.

01:01:47.160 --> 01:01:51.640
Now, Luther comments on the abuse of the Sabbath in some places. And so he did

01:01:51.640 --> 01:01:55.160
raise that issue because obviously you had the Pharisees and others who were creating

01:01:55.160 --> 01:02:00.120
specific rules and abusing the Sabbath. That's addressed specifically, explicitly in Scripture.

01:02:01.240 --> 01:02:06.520
But he would have never addressed the idea of men proclaiming to be women or women proclaiming to

01:02:06.520 --> 01:02:12.600
be men or someone saying that he's actually a dog in a human body. That's just something that they

01:02:12.600 --> 01:02:18.120
wouldn't have addressed. And so just because a matter is not addressed in the ancient authors

01:02:18.760 --> 01:02:21.960
does not mean it is something about which Christians have nothing to say.

01:02:23.080 --> 01:02:28.920
And we get that today sometimes, where the left, the Marxists will try to argue, well,

01:02:28.920 --> 01:02:32.680
this isn't addressed in any of the ancient Christian authors. Well, of course it isn't,

01:02:33.400 --> 01:02:39.720
because it's so inconceivable that this would ever be permitted to happen in a culture. It's so

01:02:39.720 --> 01:02:44.760
inconceivable that anyone would even have these thoughts that there was no need to address it.

01:02:45.560 --> 01:02:49.640
Because those men back then, the thought would have never even crossed their minds,

01:02:50.280 --> 01:02:55.800
because it was so outside the norm, so outside their experience, it was literally unthinkable.

01:02:56.760 --> 01:03:01.000
And so just because a thing has not been addressed by the ancient authors

01:03:01.560 --> 01:03:07.320
does not mean it is not a matter about which Christians should speak, about which Christians

01:03:07.320 --> 01:03:13.000
should have an opinion, and on which we should have policies. And so that includes the issue

01:03:13.000 --> 01:03:20.920
of the Sabbath. We should want to live in a society which enforces these days of rest,

01:03:20.920 --> 01:03:26.920
which enforces periods of rest for workers. And Luther does rightly comment that this is primarily

01:03:27.000 --> 01:03:34.600
a matter for laborers, because those who are in the upper echelons of society will typically

01:03:34.600 --> 01:03:40.040
have more opportunity to rest. Now, that doesn't mean they'll take it. We have plenty of workaholics

01:03:40.040 --> 01:03:46.760
in our society today who make vast sums of money, who are members of at least the upper middle class,

01:03:46.760 --> 01:03:52.680
if not the upper class, and still work themselves to death. You can work yourself to death as an

01:03:52.680 --> 01:03:58.360
executive in a Fortune 500 company just as easily as you can work yourself to death digging ditches.

01:03:59.560 --> 01:04:06.200
It's part of it as a mindset. But primarily, and historically, the reason we have had these

01:04:06.200 --> 01:04:12.200
legally mandated periods of rest is for the protection of workers. Because ultimately,

01:04:12.200 --> 01:04:17.240
the executive, if he's high enough up in the bureaucracy anyway, is beholden to himself

01:04:17.240 --> 01:04:23.160
for how many hours he works. That's on him. For the worker, it is the duty of the godly prince

01:04:23.160 --> 01:04:28.840
to protect that worker from being exploited. And part of that is periods of rest. And this

01:04:28.840 --> 01:04:33.960
is a concern that we have in Scripture, because God is concerned about how we treat our workers,

01:04:33.960 --> 01:04:37.880
how we treat our animals, how we treat our children, how we treat our slaves.

01:04:38.760 --> 01:04:43.960
All of those entrusted to our care, we are required to treat appropriately,

01:04:43.960 --> 01:04:47.080
and that does mean giving them periods of rest, not exploiting them.

01:04:48.200 --> 01:04:52.920
And I will amplify what Corey said. When I speak of not wanting to bind individuals'

01:04:52.920 --> 01:04:59.160
consciences about this, it does not go to policy at all. I would absolutely support any policy that

01:04:59.160 --> 01:05:05.640
said that if you open your business on Sunday, that business is taken and sold to someone else,

01:05:05.640 --> 01:05:12.120
and you don't get a dime for it. Businesses should be closed. The only people who should even

01:05:12.200 --> 01:05:20.040
contemplate working on Sunday would be emergency workers. If you're a line worker and there's

01:05:20.040 --> 01:05:25.960
a storm, if you're a police officer or fire, if you're in a hospital, obviously those things

01:05:25.960 --> 01:05:31.640
which are needed to sustain life, just as Jesus said, there's stuff that happens on Sundays too.

01:05:31.640 --> 01:05:38.200
It is entirely permissible morally for men to deal with those things on Sundays. However,

01:05:38.200 --> 01:05:43.400
commerce, travel, I would include, I don't think should be happening. I think it's entirely

01:05:43.400 --> 01:05:48.840
permissible for Godly Prince to shut that down. And there was a discussion on Twitter this week.

01:05:49.800 --> 01:05:55.880
My inclination is to say to imprison the owner. I think beatings and seizure of assets is much

01:05:55.880 --> 01:06:00.520
more appropriate because prisons shouldn't exist. Historically, prisons only existed for pre-trial

01:06:00.520 --> 01:06:05.560
detainment and for torture. And once you were sentenced, you're either sentenced to lashes,

01:06:05.560 --> 01:06:11.240
to fines, or to execution. I think we should go back to that model for that. That's probably an

01:06:11.240 --> 01:06:16.520
episode for another day. But when I'm specifically talking about the Sabbath being kind of up in

01:06:16.520 --> 01:06:22.120
the air, it's so as not to bind consciences where scripture does not. However, this stuff

01:06:22.120 --> 01:06:27.160
shouldn't be happening because the day of rest should be enforced at the state level. As Corey

01:06:27.160 --> 01:06:33.240
said, to protect men who do not have power over their own lives. If you're an employee, you don't

01:06:33.240 --> 01:06:38.360
have the sort of power that an employer has. That's not Marxist to say that. That's a basic fact.

01:06:39.400 --> 01:06:44.920
You don't need to worry about power dynamics to understand that the guy who pays the bills

01:06:44.920 --> 01:06:49.640
and can leave you homeless can make you do things that you don't want to do, or even things that

01:06:49.640 --> 01:06:55.880
you don't think are appropriate to do. Our next question is about something that we find in the

01:06:55.880 --> 01:07:03.640
pages of scripture, but we don't find today. And so it ties into one of our earliest episodes,

01:07:03.640 --> 01:07:11.480
Neglected Matters. And the question is about footwashing. And we see in scripture, the washing

01:07:11.480 --> 01:07:19.240
of others' feet by Christians, in fact, by Christ. But we don't do that today other than some

01:07:19.240 --> 01:07:27.080
performative versions of it done perhaps by the Pope with... We can leave that aside for now, but

01:07:28.760 --> 01:07:36.360
why don't we do footwashing today and how should Christians view this? To take those in reverse

01:07:36.360 --> 01:07:42.680
order, this ties directly back into what I said earlier about the difference between

01:07:43.160 --> 01:07:49.160
must and may, the difference between a command and something that is permissible,

01:07:49.800 --> 01:07:55.640
or perhaps even recommended in some cases, but not required. Footwashing falls into that.

01:07:57.320 --> 01:08:04.120
Is it permissible for Christian denominations, for Christian traditions, to have a footwashing

01:08:04.120 --> 01:08:11.240
ceremony? Sure. Should it be accompanied with right teaching to explain why it is being done?

01:08:11.880 --> 01:08:18.600
Absolutely. Is it something that is required, something that we absolutely must bring back

01:08:18.600 --> 01:08:25.640
into church practice? And the answer is no. Now, part of this is purely practical. Think about the

01:08:25.640 --> 01:08:32.200
state of basically everyone's feet back in those days. And notably, it did not matter

01:08:32.920 --> 01:08:39.960
if you were extremely wealthy or very poor, unless you were perhaps a Roman official and you were

01:08:39.960 --> 01:08:45.800
being carted around everywhere, in which case your feet never touched the ground except inside

01:08:45.800 --> 01:08:53.320
buildings, then your feet were perhaps clean, at least cleaner. But back in the day, and this is

01:08:53.320 --> 01:09:00.600
even until fairly recently, your feet were filthy. This was more so the case in the context in which

01:09:00.600 --> 01:09:07.560
scripture took place because almost everyone was wearing sandals or barefoot. If you wear sandals

01:09:07.560 --> 01:09:12.680
everywhere or your barefoot, and all the roads are dirt, and everyone uses animals to transport

01:09:12.680 --> 01:09:21.080
everything, your feet are unbelievably filthy and not just dirt. So you need to wash your feet

01:09:21.080 --> 01:09:25.480
when you enter a building that you want to keep clean. You need to wash your feet

01:09:25.480 --> 01:09:29.640
when you come home or else you're going to track unmentionable things into your home.

01:09:31.000 --> 01:09:37.320
So just as a practical matter, footwashing was a big part of that culture because it was necessary.

01:09:38.280 --> 01:09:44.120
Footwashing in the modern western world is just something you do in the shower,

01:09:45.080 --> 01:09:50.760
or if you take baths in the bath, it's not something that is really particularly necessary

01:09:51.400 --> 01:09:56.760
just when we enter our homes. Now, if you are so inclined, perhaps you take off your shoes when

01:09:56.760 --> 01:10:00.600
you're in your home, I happen to do that because I don't want to track things onto my carpet,

01:10:00.600 --> 01:10:08.120
it just helps with cleaning. But the state of your feet is significantly better than the state

01:10:08.120 --> 01:10:14.200
of the feet that were present in the New Testament scriptures because you aren't walking everywhere

01:10:14.200 --> 01:10:20.840
in sandals or barefoot, most likely. And even if you are, our general environment today

01:10:20.840 --> 01:10:26.200
is significantly cleaner than their environment was back then. We don't have horses and,

01:10:26.920 --> 01:10:34.040
depending where you are, donkeys everywhere. That's something that was a problem in that era.

01:10:34.040 --> 01:10:37.640
That was something that was an issue, a live issue in the western world,

01:10:38.280 --> 01:10:41.960
really until the advent of the automobile, because then we didn't need horses to cart

01:10:41.960 --> 01:10:47.400
everything around. And of course paved roads also help and sidewalks and concrete and all these things.

01:10:48.600 --> 01:10:54.600
So the practical matter is a big part of this. But aside from the practical matter,

01:10:54.680 --> 01:11:01.960
there's another practical matter of we don't have the setup to do this in the modern church.

01:11:01.960 --> 01:11:07.720
This is something where you really have to plan to have this as a ceremony. You're probably not

01:11:07.720 --> 01:11:13.400
just going to cart a rubber made full of water up onto whatever elevated platform you have in your

01:11:13.400 --> 01:11:18.120
church and start washing feet. Now, of course, there are some churches that do that, and I'm not

01:11:18.120 --> 01:11:25.720
saying you can't do that. But you have to explain why. This is because you're taking on that role

01:11:25.720 --> 01:11:32.200
of a servant for your brothers and sisters in Christ. This is a matter of humility. It is a matter of

01:11:33.960 --> 01:11:39.480
a right view of oneself with regard to the body of Christ. Because regardless of what you are

01:11:39.480 --> 01:11:46.360
in the body of Christ, if you're a pinky toe or you're the right hand, whatever you happen to be,

01:11:46.360 --> 01:11:51.880
you are a servant of the whole. And that's Christ's point when he speaks in these parabolic terms,

01:11:51.880 --> 01:11:57.960
when he's speaking in parables to the people. And when other writers of Scripture are teaching us

01:11:57.960 --> 01:12:03.400
about the body of Christ, all of the parts of the body are important. They must work together.

01:12:04.920 --> 01:12:10.840
And if you are washing someone else's feet, it's hard to feel haughty about your position,

01:12:11.480 --> 01:12:17.880
even if you are in every way, shape and form, superior to that person. And you may be. You

01:12:17.880 --> 01:12:22.440
may be more intelligent. You may be more physically fit. You may have greater wealth. The list could

01:12:22.440 --> 01:12:29.800
go on and on. But in the body of Christ, every Christian is a servant of every other Christian.

01:12:31.320 --> 01:12:36.440
And this helps to reinforce that. And so this can be used sort of as an object lesson,

01:12:37.080 --> 01:12:41.640
instructing Christians in how they are to behave within the body of Christ,

01:12:41.640 --> 01:12:47.640
how they are to view themselves and others. And so could it be useful in the modern context? Of

01:12:47.640 --> 01:12:54.680
course. But it's not necessary. It's not something we have to do. It is something that is permissible.

01:12:55.480 --> 01:12:59.960
And so that's the right way to think about this. Think of it as not required.

01:13:00.680 --> 01:13:03.640
So it's a may, not a must.

01:13:05.640 --> 01:13:10.280
And just to reinforce, it was an immediate need. You know, when you're talking about

01:13:10.280 --> 01:13:16.760
walking in sandals, half a dozen miles through animal excrement, and then you come into someone's

01:13:16.760 --> 01:13:23.000
home, the first thing you need to do is have your feet washed. And in order to do it well,

01:13:23.000 --> 01:13:29.000
you can't necessarily do it yourself. And so as Corey is saying, it's usually slaves or servants

01:13:29.080 --> 01:13:34.200
who are doing that sort of thing. And so the command within the early church, where it had to

01:13:34.200 --> 01:13:41.240
be done anyway, to say, you will wash your brother's feet. Frankly, in addition to solving the

01:13:42.680 --> 01:13:50.040
practical problem, I guess what Corey was saying at the end, if you have an issue with someone else

01:13:50.040 --> 01:13:56.280
in your congregation, if you've been harboring some grudge against some guy, and you feel like

01:13:57.240 --> 01:14:03.720
there's something, you wouldn't even talk to the guy. And then you are forced to wash his feet.

01:14:03.720 --> 01:14:09.240
It's going to naturally bring all the rest of that to a head. Because the physical act of

01:14:09.240 --> 01:14:14.120
submission and being down on your knees in front of someone else, doing something that's gross and

01:14:14.120 --> 01:14:23.560
degrading, your heart's going to stir up and you're not going to do it. And so this was one of the

01:14:23.640 --> 01:14:30.840
wise things that God instituted in that place to prevent those sort of things from percolating,

01:14:30.840 --> 01:14:34.680
because you couldn't harbor a grudge against someone if you're going to be washing his feet

01:14:34.680 --> 01:14:40.120
once a week. It's not going to last. And it's not that there's anything special about foot washing,

01:14:40.120 --> 01:14:46.760
it's just in that context, we all know that people aren't going to be able to bite their tongues,

01:14:46.760 --> 01:14:53.400
they're going to stand up and stomp out. That's in all of us. I would feel very uncomfortable

01:14:53.560 --> 01:14:57.960
to be in a place where this sort of thing were being brought back specifically because it is,

01:14:58.680 --> 01:15:04.360
I'm happy to be convinced otherwise, theologically. I didn't do a ton of reading on this. We know

01:15:04.360 --> 01:15:09.240
from church history that for the most part this more or less went away, like it's been preserved

01:15:09.240 --> 01:15:17.240
to some extent symbolically, but I think for us to bring this back doesn't make sense as head

01:15:17.240 --> 01:15:22.120
coverings do, because that was something, again, that like we lost head coverings in the 60s and

01:15:22.120 --> 01:15:30.840
70s. And it has an eternal purpose. This does not have an eternal purpose, because as Corey said,

01:15:30.840 --> 01:15:36.680
there's no longer a purpose for washing feet. Unless I hike or you're riding a horse for hours,

01:15:37.400 --> 01:15:44.120
my dogs aren't going to be barking. My feet are not going to be gross. So it's completely symbolic

01:15:44.120 --> 01:15:50.280
and loses all of the inherent nature that it originally had. And so to Corey's point is a

01:15:50.280 --> 01:15:53.720
teaching moment. Yeah, there are things you can teach. I think there are other things that could

01:15:53.720 --> 01:16:00.520
potentially be done in congregations that would teach the same things without reproducing this,

01:16:00.520 --> 01:16:06.600
because it's not a law. It's an example of the church coexisting, as Corey laid out very well.

01:16:08.200 --> 01:16:15.080
The next one we want to just do briefly. Someone asked about the conspiracy theory episode where

01:16:15.080 --> 01:16:21.400
we talked about the shape of the planet and the moon landing and that stuff. And he challenged us

01:16:21.400 --> 01:16:29.800
for not using scripture to justify that the earth is round. And we did that very deliberately.

01:16:29.800 --> 01:16:33.960
You know, one of the things we talked about earlier was the King James version,

01:16:33.960 --> 01:16:41.000
which uses the word firmament. No one knows what firmament means. I'm not trying to be cheeky.

01:16:41.000 --> 01:16:48.360
If someone says firmament in the context of flat earth, there are men who will swear up and down

01:16:48.360 --> 01:16:57.080
that firmament can only possibly mean a frisbee shaped disk. And so that word necessarily implies

01:16:57.080 --> 01:17:02.680
the shape of the earth, which is just it's complete nonsense. It's one of the biggest problems I have

01:17:02.680 --> 01:17:09.320
with the King James is that guys will hear a word. They don't know what it means. They're going to

01:17:09.400 --> 01:17:15.720
impart all of this other baggage to assume, well, it has to necessarily be in this. And therefore,

01:17:15.720 --> 01:17:22.520
I'm going to conclude things about reality from a mistranslation of scripture in such a way that

01:17:22.520 --> 01:17:27.160
are at odds with reality. So we ignore the Bible because the Bible doesn't say anything

01:17:27.800 --> 01:17:32.120
that dictates what the shape of the earth is. I don't need the Bible to tell me the shape of

01:17:32.120 --> 01:17:36.840
the earth. That's not what the Bible is there for. And part of the reason we ignored it was very

01:17:36.840 --> 01:17:45.560
explicitly to deny the efficacy of scripture for delineating the shape of the globe or anything

01:17:45.560 --> 01:17:52.520
else. Where scripture is silent, our reason is what God has given us scripturally to ascertain

01:17:52.520 --> 01:18:00.200
things. If I tell you dogs tend to chase cats, it's retarded for you to respond with, well,

01:18:00.200 --> 01:18:04.600
where is that in scripture? That's not what the Bible is for. If you think that's what the Bible

01:18:04.600 --> 01:18:09.400
is for, you have much bigger problems than not understanding dogs and cats or the shape of the

01:18:09.400 --> 01:18:17.960
earth. Scripture is not a list of facts. It is not a list of things that just exist for their own

01:18:17.960 --> 01:18:23.720
purpose. It was God revealing himself and his work in the universe. And so when God says that

01:18:23.720 --> 01:18:30.600
he separated the waters of love from the waters below and formed the dry land, that's it. When

01:18:30.600 --> 01:18:36.280
he says waters, does that mean H2O or does that mean some other sort of liquid form? I don't know

01:18:36.280 --> 01:18:44.600
and I don't care. I don't need the chemical reaction chain from two parts hydrogen, one part

01:18:44.600 --> 01:18:50.840
oxygen, down to everything that exists on the planet in order for me to be able to believe

01:18:50.840 --> 01:18:56.600
that what scripture says is true. Because that's not what it's there for. What I know is that God

01:18:56.600 --> 01:19:02.680
revealed it. God took credit for doing the work and then God gave it to us. And so all I have to

01:19:02.680 --> 01:19:10.360
do is believe God and trust, yeah, you did it. And here I am. And I'm on a globe. I am on a sphere

01:19:10.360 --> 01:19:15.480
that's twirling through space, all along with every other sphere in space. And they're all spheres

01:19:15.480 --> 01:19:22.040
and they're all twirling. That's how it all works. Everywhere at every scale, from the electron shell

01:19:22.040 --> 01:19:27.160
to the galaxy, it's the same pattern over and over again. The Earth is not the exception.

01:19:27.160 --> 01:19:34.280
We are part of a whole universe that God created to testify to His glory. We don't need to use the

01:19:34.280 --> 01:19:39.800
Bible and we shouldn't have the instinct to try to use the Bible to disprove reality. You're going

01:19:39.800 --> 01:19:47.080
to end up being Gnostic if you do that. Reality is real at the risk of an absurd tautology, but like

01:19:48.040 --> 01:19:53.480
what more can you say? You have a physical body. Everything that we have, everything that we observe

01:19:54.120 --> 01:19:58.600
is either a trick and there are things that we've talked in the past about visual

01:20:01.240 --> 01:20:05.960
gotchas where your mind is tricking you, where your eye sees one thing and your brain is piecing

01:20:05.960 --> 01:20:11.880
stuff together. Those sorts of illusions are also part of reality, like light does weird things,

01:20:11.880 --> 01:20:16.680
our brain does weird things. That's not an assault on the fact that something is real.

01:20:16.680 --> 01:20:20.600
It just means that things are sometimes weird and complicated, but that's also,

01:20:20.600 --> 01:20:26.280
it's still part of created reality. You're correct. We did explicitly ignore it

01:20:27.320 --> 01:20:33.240
for this very purpose because firmament doesn't mean anything. It's referring to

01:20:33.880 --> 01:20:38.760
the same thing that is used and said in all the other translations. In other words,

01:20:39.320 --> 01:20:43.960
mean the same thing. There's stuff. There's material. It's talking about the material world

01:20:43.960 --> 01:20:51.240
and I don't need to have above and below separated either spherically or as a series of layered

01:20:51.240 --> 01:20:57.800
pancakes in order to have the correct view. Scripture is an accord with creation. God gave

01:20:57.800 --> 01:21:05.160
us both and they both testify to his glory. We have another question here that is about

01:21:05.160 --> 01:21:11.080
some of the issues we've covered with regard to Christian nationalism and the Jews,

01:21:11.080 --> 01:21:15.640
and the request is for additional reading material. Now, I could give a very long list

01:21:15.640 --> 01:21:22.360
at this point, but I think we'll keep it short. Relatively speaking, considering what I'm about

01:21:22.360 --> 01:21:29.640
to recommend is probably five or 6,000 pages worth of reading. So relatively short, but I'll

01:21:29.640 --> 01:21:35.240
include in the show notes some links. The books that I would initially recommend reading some of

01:21:35.240 --> 01:21:43.960
the best options, the most accessible options, that are just really statements of, I won't

01:21:43.960 --> 01:21:49.800
necessarily say fact with no caveats because I don't agree with Soltz and Itzan on everything.

01:21:49.800 --> 01:21:57.160
He's one of the authors here, but these are very solid works that have great material in them,

01:21:57.160 --> 01:22:01.160
even if the authors themselves are not perfect, which of course, there are no perfect authors

01:22:02.120 --> 01:22:07.640
except for the author of Scripture. So the books I would recommend would be 200 Years Together by

01:22:07.640 --> 01:22:14.520
Soltz and Itzan, The Gulag Archipelago also by Soltz and Itzan, and The Jewish Revolutionary

01:22:14.520 --> 01:22:21.640
Spirit by E. Michael Jones. Now, E. Michael Jones is a Papist. He has terrible, terrible views when

01:22:21.640 --> 01:22:27.160
it comes to Luther and the Reformation, but they're exactly what you expect. So skip over

01:22:27.160 --> 01:22:32.040
those sections, read them and laugh, whatever it happens to be. Otherwise, his analysis is fairly

01:22:32.040 --> 01:22:38.040
good. So those are probably good starting places, and if you want additional reading materials,

01:22:38.040 --> 01:22:44.440
feel free to send another comment or email, and I can provide additional links. But those are

01:22:44.440 --> 01:22:54.520
good places to start. We have another question then about helping those with mental disabilities

01:22:55.400 --> 01:22:59.160
to understand Scripture and the Christian religion.

01:23:01.480 --> 01:23:05.000
We touched on this a little bit earlier when we mentioned the small catechism. Now, I don't mean

01:23:05.000 --> 01:23:10.120
to say that the small catechism is specifically for those with developmental disabilities,

01:23:10.120 --> 01:23:16.520
for those who are mentally retarded. But at the same time, it is designed to be

01:23:16.520 --> 01:23:22.280
comprehensible to little children. And while little children are not mentally retarded,

01:23:22.280 --> 01:23:29.000
because they will eventually grow up and mature and gain capacity, they are actually roughly

01:23:29.000 --> 01:23:34.200
the mental equivalent of those who are adults and are mentally retarded. That is why sometimes,

01:23:34.200 --> 01:23:41.160
in the psychological literature and elsewhere, you will compare an adult with disabilities

01:23:41.160 --> 01:23:48.600
to a child of a certain age. This is, you know, a child that is an exemplar of what children

01:23:48.600 --> 01:23:54.280
are supposed to be at that age. And so an adult may have the mental capacity of a five-year-old.

01:23:55.320 --> 01:24:00.280
And so the small catechism is a good starting place because it is aimed at children. So those

01:24:00.360 --> 01:24:06.440
with these disabilities, with these limitations, will, to some degree, be able to better understand

01:24:07.000 --> 01:24:12.760
the material as presented in the small catechism. And as I mentioned earlier, if you know only the

01:24:12.760 --> 01:24:19.080
small catechism because it is a statement of the Christian religion from Scripture that is

01:24:19.080 --> 01:24:24.600
sufficient for saving faith, know the small, obviously, yes, you still have to have faith.

01:24:24.600 --> 01:24:31.720
I'm not saying if you just know the material. We've gone over the different kinds of belief

01:24:31.720 --> 01:24:36.040
before, noticia, ascensus, and fiducia. You must have fiducia, but that is a gift from God.

01:24:36.600 --> 01:24:42.360
And one of the ways God gives that is through the word. And the small catechism presents the word

01:24:42.360 --> 01:24:48.040
in a way that is readily comprehensible. In fact, even some Roman Catholic missionaries

01:24:48.040 --> 01:24:53.160
will hand out the small catechism because there is no better version. It is the best

01:24:53.800 --> 01:25:00.760
short statement of the Christian religion. And so start there. But I would also be remiss if I

01:25:00.760 --> 01:25:10.760
didn't mention that back when the LCMS was a more serious church body. And ironically, the publication

01:25:10.760 --> 01:25:17.320
date is 1969. So not everything that came out of the 60s was truly awful. But there's a book

01:25:17.320 --> 01:25:22.680
that was put out. You've probably seen a meme of it if you've been in Christian online spaces for

01:25:22.680 --> 01:25:31.080
particularly long time. And the book is helping the retarded to know God. This is back when we had

01:25:31.080 --> 01:25:38.200
people who were very concerned about reaching the neighbor, about reaching their neighbors

01:25:38.760 --> 01:25:44.760
with the gospel, with the word of God. And one of the concerns is, how do you reach those who

01:25:44.760 --> 01:25:51.080
cannot truly comprehend the material you are presenting? And so I'll link to that book as well.

01:25:51.080 --> 01:25:56.200
But the small catechism is really where you start with this because anyone can understand the small

01:25:56.200 --> 01:26:00.520
catechism. And let's say you're working with someone who is profoundly retarded,

01:26:01.480 --> 01:26:07.960
someone who's in that category of mental disability. There are many good Christians

01:26:07.960 --> 01:26:15.560
who fall into that category. Because again, faith is a gift from God, and he promises to give that

01:26:15.560 --> 01:26:22.040
with his word. Teach them the word, speak the word to them, the rest is not up to you.

01:26:22.840 --> 01:26:28.360
It's not dependent on you. God can work with that person as easily as he can work with you.

01:26:28.360 --> 01:26:33.160
And with regard to God, you are no different from that person because the space between you and God

01:26:33.160 --> 01:26:41.880
is still infinite. You are profoundly retarded with regard to God. So if God can work faith in you

01:26:41.880 --> 01:26:46.760
with his word, he could do the same thing for someone with whom you cannot really interact,

01:26:46.760 --> 01:26:53.000
someone you cannot teach. So don't worry about it. Do what you are able to do with the materials God

01:26:53.000 --> 01:27:02.040
has given us to do those things. God will do the rest. It's the same as early on in Lutheranism,

01:27:03.160 --> 01:27:09.720
there was a big concern about, well, how do we reach the death? And this has been an ongoing

01:27:09.720 --> 01:27:14.920
concern for Christians and various traditions and denominations since the beginning. Because what

01:27:14.920 --> 01:27:21.800
does scripture say? Faith comes by hearing. Well, the death can't hear. So how do we reach the death?

01:27:22.440 --> 01:27:27.400
And so this has been a very big concern in the church. Of course, if you can teach them to read,

01:27:27.400 --> 01:27:31.560
they can read the word and that is hearing it internally as it were. And so you can still,

01:27:31.560 --> 01:27:37.400
yes, of course, receive faith by reading the word. But these are legitimate concerns for Christians.

01:27:38.840 --> 01:27:42.760
If you take God's word seriously, if you take his promises seriously,

01:27:42.760 --> 01:27:48.600
because he says faith comes by hearing, well, how do we reach those who can't hear in that sense?

01:27:48.600 --> 01:27:53.160
Well, we reach them by teaching them to read so they can hear the word internally

01:27:53.160 --> 01:27:57.560
when they read the word. How do we reach those who are profoundly retarded? Well, we rely

01:27:58.200 --> 01:28:03.320
on God's promises to be present in his word when it is taught rightly. And so

01:28:04.360 --> 01:28:09.960
we speak the word to these people and we depend upon God's promise. We trust in his promise

01:28:09.960 --> 01:28:16.760
that the Spirit will be present, that faith will be bestowed on these children or disabled adults,

01:28:16.760 --> 01:28:24.040
because the work ultimately is God's not man's. And I would only add that such a task should be a

01:28:24.120 --> 01:28:29.880
source of joy and not one of doubt or concern. As Corey said, God's going to do the work,

01:28:29.880 --> 01:28:35.240
so if you have someone who's profoundly retarded, you tell them that Jesus loves them,

01:28:35.240 --> 01:28:40.040
that Jesus made them just as he made you. They understand good and bad no matter how

01:28:40.040 --> 01:28:44.040
retarded they are. They understand when they do something bad, they get in trouble,

01:28:44.040 --> 01:28:50.520
just like we all get in trouble. And you can teach whatever you are able to teach them about

01:28:50.520 --> 01:28:56.600
forgiveness in those contexts and say, Jesus loves you and forgives you too. And that's the gospel,

01:28:56.600 --> 01:29:04.760
that's it. The Christian life is not intellectual ascent to a big list of rules and ideas.

01:29:05.480 --> 01:29:15.640
It is submission to God's love at the risk of sounding like a Muslim. It's simple. And so it's

01:29:15.640 --> 01:29:21.400
God's gifts to all of us. And it's a blessing to be able to share your faith with someone who's been

01:29:21.400 --> 01:29:27.400
baptized. And again, that's part of the reason we did the episode on baptism. When you have the

01:29:27.400 --> 01:29:33.160
confidence that they have received the Holy Spirit in that, you don't have to doubt that God is on

01:29:33.160 --> 01:29:40.680
both sides of the transaction. God is in them receiving God's word from your lips, strengthening

01:29:40.680 --> 01:29:43.720
and preserving their faith unto life everlasting.