Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Lost in Translation

Language is a funny thing. We can speak, but does that mean we said what we wanted to say?

Language is intended to communicate. But if the hearer doesn't get the message we intend, our communication wasn't successful.

Add on top of that talking to someone who speaks a different language. Communication gets difficult.

Scripture is sometimes like that.

Here are several examples of translations of Philippians 4:5:

"Let your moderation be known to all men. The Lord is at hand."
(King James Version)

"Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near."
(New International Version)

"Let all men know your forbearance. The Lord is at hand."
(Revised Standard Version)

Which of those translations communicates best to you?

The word that is translated "moderation," "gentleness," or "forbearance" can also be translated "yielding," "kind," or "right-minded" depending upon the context (according to Bauer's Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament). According to Strong's Concordance it only occurs one time in Scripture.

As I was reading about this word, the thought struck me:

- It is our task to find a way to translate the Gospel into language our friends and family can understand.
- It is our calling to live the Good News so that they hunger and thirst to know God.
- It is our privilege to show Christ through our attitudes, actions, and words.

What will people hear from your communication today?

May God help us today not to let anything get lost in translation of His Spirit to our world.

Grace & peace

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