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Does the Bible mean what it says?


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As part of Biblefresh celebrations of the anniversary of the King James Bible this year, Wycliffe Bible Translators have run a series of evening classes, helping people to engage more with the Bible.
In November, Margaret Sim - a translation consultant working in Africa - spoke about irony and metaphor in the Bible, whether it's there and how we approach it. Her talk was entitled 'Does the Bible mean what it says?'

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Does the Bible mean what it says?

  1. 1. Does the Bible mean what it says? Margaret Sim
  2. 2. MetaphorGenesis 49:9-27„I know that after I leave savage wolves will come among you and will not spare the flock.‟ Acts 20:29 (NIV)
  3. 3. Metaphor„Go tell that fox, “I will drive out demons and heal people today and tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal.”‟ Luke 13:32 (NIV)
  4. 4. Metaphor – HoseaHosea – the whole book!• Particular examples 7:4-9,11-12„Ephraim mixes himself with the peoples, Ephraim is a cake not turned‟. Hosea 7:8 (ESV)
  5. 5. Metaphor – Revelation„Look, the Lamb of God!‟ John 1:35 (NIV)Revelation – the whole book!
  6. 6. Metaphor - Revelation„And one of the elders said to me, “Weep no more; behold the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” And between the throne and four living creatures and among the elders I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.‟ Revelation 5:6
  7. 7. IronyA new definition: echoing what someone has said but distancing from that belief.
  8. 8. Irony„And he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition!‟ Mark 7:9 (ESV)
  9. 9. Irony1 Kings 22:5-23, particularly 11-17
  10. 10. Irony„ “Come to Bethel and transgress; to Gilgal, and multiply transgressions; bring your sacrifices every morning, your tithes every three days, offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving of that which is leavened, and proclaim freewill offereings, publish them; for so you love to do, O people of Israel,” declares the Lord God.‟ Amos 4:4-5 (ESV)
  11. 11. Irony„He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”„But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.”„And he answered, “It is not right to take the children‟s bread and throw it to the dogs.”„She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters‟ table.”„Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.‟ Matthew 15:24-28 (ESV)
  12. 12. Irony – Corinthians„Already you have all you want! Already you have become rich! Without us you have become kings! And would that you did reign so that we might share the rule with you!‟ 1 Corinthians 4:8 (ESV)„For there must be factions among you in order that those who are genuine among you may be recognised.‟ 11:19 (ESV) „There are bound to be groupings among you; that‟s how the genuine ones among you will stand out, I suppose.‟ (New Testament for Everyone)
  13. 13. Irony – Corinthians„For you gladly bear with fools, being wise yourselves! For you bear it if someone makes slaves of you, or devours you, or takes advantage of you, or puts on airs, or strikes you in the face. To my shame, we were too weak for that.‟ 2 Corinthians 11:19-21 (ESV)
  14. 14. Worldwide there are more than 300 million people without a single verse of Scripture in their own language. The vision of Wycliffe Bible Translators is that all people will have access to the story of God‟s love – the story of the Bible – in the language they truly understand.