Therefore I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercies, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices that are holy and pleasing to God, for this is the reasonable way for you to worship. Rom 12:1
Well, you didn’t think we would leave Romans 12:1 at this point and move on to 12:2, did you? There is too much in here to move on too quickly. I would like now to address the question as to how do you know where to dig in Scripture? There are some parts of Scripture that are plain and clear and obvious. So why would we want to dig anymore on those verses when it seems the surface reading yields to us all there is. How do you know where the good stuff, the buried treasure is? Ah good question. How do you do that? That is what we are going to look at with Romans 12:1.
I am sure I have told you before not to just use your favourite translation. For many of us there is one translation we like to use to exclusion of all others. If you can’t read the original text in Greek or Hebrew, having multiple versions to refer to is a big help. Using E-Sword you have the power of all the numerous versions you can load if you wish. I have 36 different versions loaded in E-Sword. When you click on the Compare button which is located in the bar of Version Choices at the top of your screen it brings up a comparison of the verse you are currently on in all the versions you have loaded. That is a very helpful tool to have. By using that tool you will see where the versions are different from one another. That is powerful.
Many people stay away from looking at the versions and their differences because it drives them crazy. The differences leaves them wondering which one is right? So they prefer not to know and to deal with one version. Wrong question to ask. It is not a matter of which one is right, each version is correct and is bringing out a nuance of the text. The original text at that point may have a multiplicity of meanings for any number of reasons. Maybe at the word level there are multiple meanings for one particular word. Maybe there is a difficult grammatical construction that could mean “this” or “that”. All of that comes out in the versions. So use them to help you know where to dig. We are going to do that now with Romans 12:1.
Using the versions you will get an idea of where to dig: watch carefully and learn. I have listed the words in the order found in the Greek New Testament. The English equivalents that follow each Greek word are the variants that come from the different versions in E-Sword. These give you an idea of the spread of meaning behind of the text. I have not listed every occurrence of a word in every translation. In many cases the same word is being used as in the case of τὰ σώματα ὑμῶν – your bodies, yourselves. Most translations have “your bodies”. I haven’t listed that multiple times but have listed each specific example once.
Παρακαλῶ – I urge, plead, beg, request, beseech, appeal, encourage, call upon
οὖν – Therefore, so, for this reason, as a result, then,
ὑμᾶς – you,
ἀδελφοί – brothers, brothers and sisters, friends, brethren
διὰ – in view of, through, because of, by, in view of all we have just shared
τῶν οἰκτιρμῶν τοῦ Θεοῦ – God’s mercy, the mercies of God, compassions of God, of God’s great mercy, about God’s compassion, God’s mercies, the mercy of God
παραστῆσαι – to offer, present, give
τὰ σώματα ὑμῶν – your bodies, yourselves,
θυσίαν ζῶσαν – as living sacrifices, a living sacrifice, living offering, sacrifices – living
ἁγίαν – holy, pure, dedicated to his service, dedicated to God, sanctified
εὐάρεστον – pleasing, acceptable
τῷ Θεῷ – to God, to him
τὴν – which is, that’s the way, this kind of (worship), for this is the way
λογικὴν λατρείαν ὑμῶν – your spiritual worship, reasonable service, reasonable worship, spiritual service, intelligent sacred service, worship appropriate for you, true worship
This then gives you an idea of the spread of meaning lying behind the Greek text and it shows how the various translations have handled the meaning. In most cases there is nothing startling. But there is one part in particular that requires some investigation. Which is it? Answer in the next Gem. In the meantime you can see for yourself how you can use the versions to show you where to dig. Which of the examples I have given you above would be the one we need to dig into?
“I can” joined with “I will” becomes “I did”. We seldom accomplish anything worthwhile without complete commitment.Paul de Jong
I am what I am today is because of His grace, and what I’ll be tomorrow is within His favour.Hanna Carol