Jesus the master of the paraphrase.

I have just finished reading Eugene Peterson’s book; “Eat this Book” In the reading of this book there were times I was really encouraged, there were a few times I was a little bored and there were a few times I felt the knife of the Lord cutting away the dead flesh of my heart as I was rebuked.

One of the areas of faith that I was encouraged the most; was in how I went about reading the Bible. For Peterson, the Bible isn’t a book that we are to know; rather the Bible is a book we are supposed to live.

How often do we hear people talk about the hypocrisy of Christians and the Church? We read, hear and perhaps even see Christians willing to talk the talk… but perhaps not so readily being willing to walk the walk?

I know there are many who like the Message Bible. There are many who don’t. And there are many who have never read it, nor intend to do so for various reasons; some of those reasons being based on its heretical paraphrase nature.

I have been spending time the last few weeks working through the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew. In regards to the topic of paraphrases; it struck me from Matthew 7 :12…

So in every thing, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the law and the prophets.

Jesus himself was and is the master of the paraphrase and that is exactly what the Sermon on the Mount is; its a paraphrase of the Old Testament.

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About Craig Benno

I'm an average aussie guy who has lived perhaps a not so average life.
This entry was posted in Eugene Peterson, New Testament, Old Testament, personal devotions and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Jesus the master of the paraphrase.

  1. T.C. R says:

    Okay, but how is the Sermon the Mount a paraphrase of the OT?

  2. Craig Benno says:

    Hi T.C.

    The main thrust of the OT law and the ministry of the prophets was about how the people were to live; towards God and with and towards one another. The religious leaders of the day were putting onerous demands on the people in their interpretation of the OT.

    Jesus in the Sermon on the Mount talks in such a clear manner which comes out in Matt 7 26-29 where the people were amazed because he taught as one who had authority.

    The purpose of the paraphrase is to bring to light the understanding of the main thrust of the Scripture to the hearer / reader.

  3. T.C. R says:

    Fair enough. What is your definition of “paraphrase”? Trying to understand you better here. 😉

    • Craig Benno says:

      When I use the term “paraphrase” I use it loosely as the term used to describe something in another language or in a way that is easily understood. Take the experience I once had of preaching to a Korean congregation through a translator. The translator didn’t say word for word what I said; rather he spoke in a way that made my points clear to their understanding.

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