Friday, January 06, 2006

The Best Bible Commentary

Four pastors were discussing the merits of the various translations of the Bible. One liked a particular version best because of its simple, beautiful English. Another preferred a more scholarly edition because it was closer to the original Hebrew and Greek. Still another liked a contemporary version because of its up-to-date vocabulary.
The fourth minister was silent for a moment, then said, "I like my mother's translation best." Surprised, the other three men said they didn't know his mother had translated the Bible. "Yes," he replied. "She translated it into life, and it was the most convincing translation I ever saw."

Instead of discussing translation preferences, this pastor reminded them that the most important focus should be learning God's Word and doing it. That was the top priority of Ezra's life. As a scribe, he studied the Law, obeyed it, and taught it to the Israelites (Ezra 7:10). For example, God commanded His people not to intermarry with neighboring nations who served pagan gods (9:1-2). Ezra confessed the nation's sin to God (9:10-12) and corrected the people, who then repented (10:10-12).
Let's follow Ezra's example by seeking the Word of God and translating it into life.

The best commentary on the Bible is a person who puts it into practice.

This devotional from the Daily Bread, 1/6/06, struck a chord with me. About 50% of the time, I'm bent towards a more intellectual approach to Christianity and the Bible. The other 50% of the time I'm bent towards a more simpler, practicle approach. Both have their place and both are good. But the lesson re-iterated today is, the best bible commentary is a person who puts it into practice. Without putting the bible into practice, neither approach is any good at all.

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