Monday, February 23, 2009

Sermon Text for Sunday, March 1, 2009

This Sunday and continuing through March we will be conducting a stewardship emphasis. In both our small groups and worship times we will focus on "Lifestyle Stewardship" as we give "Praise for the Past, Faith for the Future."

Exodus 35:4-9, 20-29 (NKJV)

4 And Moses spoke to all the congregation of the children of Israel, saying, “This is the thing which the LORD commanded, saying: 5 ‘Take from among you an offering to the LORD. Whoever is of a willing heart, let him bring it as an offering to the LORD: gold, silver, and bronze; 6 blue, purple, and scarlet thread, fine linen, and goats’ hair; 7 ram skins dyed red, badger skins, and acacia wood; 8 oil for the light, and spices for the anointing oil and for the sweet incense; 9 onyx stones, and stones to be set in the ephod and in the breastplate.

20 And all the congregation of the children of Israel departed from the presence of Moses. 21 Then everyone came whose heart was stirred, and everyone whose spirit was willing, and they brought the LORD’s offering for the work of the tabernacle of meeting, for all its service, and for the holy garments. 22 They came, both men and women, as many as had a willing heart, and brought earrings and nose rings, rings and necklaces, all jewelry of gold, that is, every man who made an offering of gold to the LORD. 23 And every man, with whom was found blue, purple, and scarlet thread, fine linen, goats’ hair, red skins of rams, and badger skins, brought them. 24 Everyone who offered an offering of silver or bronze brought the LORD’s offering. And everyone with whom was found acacia wood for any work of the service, brought it. 25 All the women who were gifted artisans spun yarn with their hands, and brought what they had spun, of blue, purple, and scarlet, and fine linen. 26 And all the women whose hearts stirred with wisdom spun yarn of goats’ hair. 27 The rulers brought onyx stones, and the stones to be set in the ephod and in the breastplate, 28 and spices and oil for the light, for the anointing oil, and for the sweet incense. 29 The children of Israel brought a freewill offering to the LORD, all the men and women whose hearts were willing to bring material for all kinds of work which the LORD, by the hand of Moses, had commanded to be done.

For His Glory!
Pastor Joe

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Sermon Text for Sunday, February 22, 2009

Revelation 3:7-13 (NKJV)

To the Church in Philadelphia

7 “And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write, ‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”: 8 “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. 9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 11 Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. 12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name. 13 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’

For His Glory!
Pastor Joe

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sermon Text for Sunday, February 15, 2009

Revelation 3:1-6 (NKJV)
To the Church in Sardis

1 “And to the angel of the church in Sardis write, ‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. 2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. 3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. 4 You have a few names even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. 5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels. 6 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Bible Translations and Hermeneutics, Worship Workshop

Following are the notes from the most recent "Worship Workshop."

Bible Translations and Hermeneutics
Februay, 2009
Early English Translations
A complete translation of the Bible in English did not appear until the fourteenth century. The Latin Vulgate was the principle Bible used in the English church. John Wycliffe along with two associates produced an English version of the Bible which was based on the Latin.

During the sixteenth century there was an explosion of Bible translations. There are several factors that led to this proliferation of translations:
(1) The Renaissance with its recovery of classical learning (especially Greek).

(2) The fall of Constantinople and the westward movement of Greek scholars.

(3) The Hebrew renaissance (Hebrew editions of the Bible by 1448).

(4) The development of Gutenberg’s printing press (ca. 1540).

(5) The Protestant reformation with its emphasis on vernacular versions and theological emphasis upon Sola Scriptura (Scripture alone), provided a catalyst for new translations.

William Tyndale (1484-1536) stands above all the rest concerning English translations in the sixteenth century. His New Testament translation was based on the Greek text established by Erasmus in 1516. He never finished the complete Bible. He was strangled and burned because of his work in 1536.

The first complete English Bible was produced in 1535 by Miles Coverdale. This work utilized Tyndale’s NT and completed the OT in consultation with German and Latin sources. Coverdale’s Bible was the first to remove the apocryphal books (that were in the Vulgate).

The Authorized Version or King James Bible capped the series of translations begun by Tyndale (1611). Produced by a team of 54 scholars, the KJV became the Bible for English-speaking peoples for generations and a monument of the English language.

Why Is There a Need for Fresh Translations?
(1) Advancements in textual criticism.
Today we have many more early manuscripts that were simply not available before. For example, Codex Sinaiticus, early Greek papyri of NT documents, Dead Sea Scrolls, etc.

(2) Our knowledge of biblical languages has increased.

(3) The English language is continually changing. Updating translations to reflect contemporary usage of any language makes it easier to understand the Bible’s timeless message.

Modern English Versions Fall into Two Categories
(1) Revisions – based on a previous version.

(2) Translations – preserve the best of an earlier version while improving the work in light of new insight. They attempt to translate the original languages anew.

Another Consideration:
Some English translations are the work of a single person. For example, J.B. Phillip’s New Testament in Modern English and Eugene Peterson’s The Message.

Evaluating Translations
Criteria for Evaluation of a Translation
1. The Identity and Qualification of the Translators.
A committee offers a higher concentration of skills than one person.

2. The Underlying Textual Basis of the Translation.
Most modern translations opt for what is called a critical Greek text, reflecting an eclectic approach to textual questions. Usually this means some translations differ on the point of variations that are found in a text. A good translation will explain some of these variants.

3. The Theory of Translation Used by the Translators.
There is a “hermeneutic” to translation. The act of translation means that translator will make judgements based on his or her understanding of the original languages, the receptor language, culture, etc. Translators must overcome all these barriers while remaining faithful to the message of the original text.

Our English Bibles are translations from the original biblical languages of Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek. Among the things that a translator must be concerned with are what is known as “historical distance” and the “receptor language” in our case English

Historical Distance has to do with the differences that exist between the original language and the receptor language both in words, grammar, and idioms (or expressions) as well as in matters of culture and history.

Theory of Translation Each translator or team of translators must make a choice concerning how they will bridge the gap (the historical distance) between the two languages. It is usually a question of “degrees.” For example, should “lamp” be translated “flashlight” or “torch” in cultures where these serve the purpose that a lamp once did?

Three Theories of translation have been generally followed in bridging the gap between the original languages and the receptor language.

Literal or Formal Equivalency (“Word Correspondence”). The attempt to translate by keeping as close as possible to the exact words (Word Correspondence) and phrasing in the original language, yet still make sense in the receptor language. A formal equivalent translation will keep the historical distance intact at all points. This makes for a sometimes disjointed sounding and awkward translation as any interlinear Bible will show. The ASV and the NASB best represent this theory of translation.

Dynamic Equivalency (“Functional”). The attempt to translate words, idioms, and grammatical constructions of the original language into precise equivalents in the receptive language. A thought-for-thought translation. Such a translation keeps historical distance on all historical and most factual matters, but “updates” matters of language, grammar, and style. Meaning takes precedence over matters of structure and style. The question is, “how far can the translator go to achieve the equivalent effect yet still remain faithful to the text? The NIV and NLT are examples of this theory of translation.

Free (Paraphrases). The attempt to translate the ideas from one language to another, with less concern about using the exact words of the original. A free translation, sometimes also called a paraphrase, tries to eliminate as much of the historical distance as possible. Paraphrases are not translations and should not be treated as such. The Living Bible and The Message are representative of paraphrases.

What are some of the dangers of a paraphrase?
(1) May be taken as a translation by the person who does not know the difference.

(2) May reflect the theology of the person who did the paraphrase.
In evaluating modern translations know the theological perspective of the translators. Usually, it is best to use a translation from a team rather than an individual. Of course, it goes without saying that the Bible text is inspired not someone’s commentary about the text!

(3) Is not tied to the text. Goes back to our view of the text. If we are people who have a high view of the Bible and believe that God has revealed His will in His Word, then we want to know exactly what he said, not just a paraphrase of what he might have said.

Examples of Modern Translations and their Theory of Translation


Dynamic Equivalent

Phillips LB
The Message

Note: HCSB is called an “Optimal Equivalent: Seeks to combine the best elements of both formal and dynamic equivalence.

Tensions to Keep in Mind
Note: The following words are simply illustrative of each theory of translation. For example, because I have used the word "Commentary" to describe a paraphrase does not mean that it has no value as "Text." The two words are used to show that the farther one moves from a "Formal Equivalent" to a "Free" translation, the more one allows interpretation to color the translation.

"Dynamic" translations attempt to strike a balance between faithfulness to the biblical text on the one hand, while at the same time updating words into modern language.
Literal/Formal Equivalent


Practical Considerations
For Study, use several well-chosen translations. A good formal equivalency Bible is a must but supplement with a modern translation like the NIV. Use translations that differ for the same reason that you use commentaries that may differ from what you are used to.

For Daily Use and study you would do well to have a good literal or formal equivalent or dynamic translation with notes in the margin that reflect modern scholarship.

In Preaching and Teaching
(1) use one primary translation. Which one?
i. Personal preference

ii. Congregational expectations

(2) You may use different translations for different groups of people and for different occasions. If you provide an outline, print versions that are particularly useful.

For His Glory!
Pastor Joe

Monday, February 2, 2009


Below are the notes from the last "Worship Workshop" that was conducted on January 28, 2009.

January 28, 2009


Two primary ways:
1. Select a Scripture Passage
(1) You can usually determine the paragraph or thought divisions in your Bible. For help, use a study Bible or Bible commentary.

(2) It is usually best to choose a brief passage of Scripture that can be treated in a few minutes.

(3) You may find that even one verse of Scripture is adequate for a devotion. This is especially true of well know promises or Bible verses.
Examples: John 3:16; Romans 5:8; Galatians 2:21; Philippians 4:13

2. Select a Topic
(1) You might choose a particular topic of interest to you, then select a Scripture that supports your chosen topic or theme.
Examples: Love, Joy, Peace, Salvation, Heaven, Christian Fellowship, The Resurrection, The Cross, etc.

(2) A Concordance is especially helpful to discover Scriptures that deal with your topic.

(3) It is best to narrow or limit your topic. This will allow you to find supporting Scripture more easily and will give you a more manageable topic to present.
Example: The topic of “Peace” would be to broad to tackle in a few minutes. But the topic, “Peace in Times of Suffering” narrows the subject and makes it more presentable.


1. Find the main idea of the passage of Scripture you have selected.
The main theme of the text will reflect both the original meaning of the text and be stated in a way that speaks to contemporary audiences.
John 3:16 – “The Depth of God’s Love for Us”
Psalm 46:1-11 – “God Is Our Refuge in every Circumstance of Life.”
Galatians 6:1-5 – “Bear One Another’s Burdens!”
Philippians 4:6-7 – “How We Can Experience Freedom from Anxiety”

2. Test the validity of your main idea by examining the verses before and after your passage.
Resist taking a verse out of its original context. A text without context is pretext.
Example: Philippians 4:13 is found in the context of suffering.

3. Jot down your initial observations about the passage.
A helpful tool is to conduct an inductive Bible study of your passage. By asking questions (Who? What? Why? Where? When? How?) about your text, you will discover the particulars (induction) which will suggest truths (deductions) to share.

4. Use Bible commentaries, Bible dictionaries, and other tools to help give you insight into the passage.
There are a variety of Bible study tools in our church library.

5. Decide what truths you will share during your devotion.
Think in term of sharing thoughts that will help to explain and apply the passage.


1. Introduce and Read Your Scripture Passage
Example: Philippians 4:6-7

2. Introduce Your Topic or Theme
Example: “How We Can Experience Freedom from Anxiety”

3. Make Your Observations and Insights about the Passage
(1) All of us worry at times (provide examples).

(2) God wants us to pray about whatever causes us to worry.

(3) We are to thank God in advance for answering our prayer.

(4) The result of our bringing to God our worries is that we will experience God’s peace, peace that “transcends” (NIV) all understanding.

(5) I want to encourage you to bring to God whatever you are anxious about.

4. You may want to close with either a specific challenge and/or prayer of commitment, praise, or thanksgiving.
Example: “Close your eyes and think of one thing that is worrying you right now. Give that worry to God in prayer.” Close with a prayer thanking God for His peace.

For His Glory!
Pastor Joe

Sermon Text for Sunday, February 8, 2009

Revelation 2:18-19 (NKJV)

The Message to the Church in Thyatira

18 “And to the angel of the church in Thyatira write, ‘These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass: 19 “I know your works, love, service, faith, and your patience; and as for your works, the last are more than the first. 20 Nevertheless I have a few things against you, because you allow that woman Jezebel, who calls herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce My servants to commit sexual immorality and eat things sacrificed to idols. 21 And I gave her time to repent of her sexual immorality, and she did not repent. 22 Indeed I will cast her into a sickbed, and those who commit adultery with her into great tribulation, unless they repent of their deeds. 23 I will kill her children with death, and all the churches shall know that I am He who searches the minds and hearts. And I will give to each one of you according to your works.

24 “Now to you I say, and to the rest in Thyatira, as many as do not have this doctrine, who have not known the depths of Satan, as they say, I will put on you no other burden. 25 But hold fast what you have till I come. 26 And he who overcomes, and keeps My works until the end, to him I will give power over the nations— 27 ‘ He shall rule them with a rod of iron; They shall be dashed to pieces like the potter’s vessels’ — as I also have received from My Father; 28 and I will give him the morning star. 29 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.”’