"Whoever, then, annuls one of the least of these commandments, and teaches others to do the same, shall be called least in the Kingdom of Heaven; but, whoever keeps and teaches them, He shall be called great in the Kingdom of Heaven."
When I go to the grocery store to buy orange juice, apple juice, or grape juice, I really try to buy the juices not made from a concentrated form of the juice. I want the 100% pure orange juice - not something mixed with other juices - not something watered down, or broken down, or cut with other inferior products.
I want the good old 100% - no other version or reasonable facsimile will do! I want the full impact of the pure with all the inherent benefits!
The same thing with my movies. Call me old fashioned, but I enjoy the original versions of the classic movies better than some of the popular contemporary re-makes.
Perhaps they are made with a bigger budget, better sound effects, more amazing visual effects, and more grandiose marketing promises to deliver the story goods. However, often the story suffers to accommodate the sensational. The new seems like a cheap thrill of eye candy, lacking true heart - stripping the story of all the power once felt when viewing the original.
And, then there's literature! When I want to read the classics, I want the complete and unabridged version - not the re-written for the modern audience or "dumbed down" version.
Often, a new, abridged version spin on an old classic changes the story to some degree - and the meaning of the words written, altogether. Something just feels missing in these "updated" versions.
Then, there's the issue concerning our modern legislature. These "McServants" are often doing more to re-write history than to preserve the integrity of the original foundations laid . . .
Leaving us with a watered down Constitution that stands for nothing, but falls for everything.
In our text for today, there is the word "annul" which, in the Greek, is "luo". This means, "to dissolve, to water down, to break down." Our Lord warns us not to dissolve or water down His Word. We are not to break it down so much that we change the meaning, that it loses its intent, its context. He wants us to get the full benefits, the full impact in the reading and hearing of His Word. He doesn't want us to miss a thing. He doesn't want us to cut corners, to "dumb it down". He wants us to embrace the full council of God, the mind of God!
So, we must make every effort when we are preaching, teaching, witnessing, sharing - to get it right. When we feed our children, we give them nothing but the best - pure wholesome food. The same with our Bible teaching, preaching, witnessing. No cut corners, no revisonist history, no changing of meanings. In getting it right, we need to properly study and apply the Word. In order to do this, we must procure for ourselves the proper tools.
A good "word for word" translation of the Bible is a good place to start.
The translations that follow this principle is the King James Version, New King James Version, New American Standard Bible, and the English Standard Version. "Thought for thought" translations such as the New International Version, New Living Translation, the Century English Version, and others, are fine - but, I prefer the word for word in my personal studies.
In addition to your Bibles, may I suggest the use of a concordance with the original languages dictionary included.
Strong's Exhaustive Concordance by Nelson Publishers, or The Strong's New American Standard Bible Exhaustive Concordance by Zondervan Publishers are two of the best. They both include Greek and Hebrew dictionaries with their original meanings, not a rewritten one. With these tools we get the full benefit, the full impact of God's Word, based upon proper study of His Word, and not heresay.
"Study to show thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the Word of Truth."
II Timothy 2:15 KJV
In the New American Standard Bible, this portion reads:
"Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the Word of Truth."
When we get it right we can share it with others, we can teach others the right way, the correct way, which is the least we can do - and, nothing to be ashamed of.
How do you read? What do you think?
Sharing Not From Concentrate with Spiritual Sundays.