I’m trying to learn Spanish and so I added a parallel Spanish Bible to my Olive Tree app. My goal is to read through the New Testament in Spanish. Even though I don’t understand everything yet, it helps me learn. There was a repeated verb I didn’t recognize. Llenar: to fill up. It was intriguing to me how often I saw it. On one side, Jesus kept being “filled with the Spirit” and on the other side, the city or the leaders kept being “filled with rage.” It’s fun how different details jump out with multiple languages and versions.
I originally downloaded the free Reina-Valera 1960, but since I have the vocabulary of a small child, I couldn’t understand much. Some consider it less usable Spanish, no matter how poetic.
I did some research and found brilliant advice to use a version that matches your English version. The Reina-Valera is free, but it aligns with the King James. Other than a few verses I memorized as a child, I don’t know that version well enough, even though I’ve been told it is the only valid version. While thinking about this, I learned an unfamiliar word: onlyism. It refers to believing that the King James is the only translation you should read. (I’m actually hesitant to use the word because I think it’s silly how we always need to catalogue and name people we disagree with.)
Onlyism makes me wonder if its believers accept translations in non-English languages—or if they think everyone should learn archaic English to be permitted to experience God’s word. And, maybe we should translate the Bible into other languages from KJV instead of the Hebrew and Greek… When my kids were little, we read about William Tyndale’s persecution for translating the Bible into English. A base and guttural language, in which a translation would permit “uneducated plow hands” to read God’s word. The horror.
Lest I get legalistic about legalism, I will concede that maybe some people should only read the KJV. I don’t know what specific path God has called them to walk. Two passages, James 4:17 and Colossians 2:16, have always left me with the thought that sometimes our paths will look different. Like Lucy’s admonition from Aslan in Prince Caspian, she was supposed to follow him across the gorge even if her siblings didn’t. If you’re called to do something, you may walk alone.
Perhaps in the wildness of following the Holy Spirit, we’d sometimes rather build outposts instead of continue through uncharted land. Then in the outpost (picking something we feel we can do) we defend it will all available artillery.
I think this might be how the pharisees lived. They couldn’t look for the Messiah in an unexpected way—but they could honor the Sabbath. Therefore, it was worth killing over.
Reading the Luke 6 passage makes me laugh. Placing grain from a stalk into your mouth is not more taxing than placing it from a plate to your mouth. Continue a few more verses and you see that the religious leaders singularly focus on whether Jesus will heal the withered hand on the Sabbath. They don’t give a thought to the life restored, or that the power “came out” of Jesus (see verse 19) so possibly it wasn’t work for him at all. They were just filled with senseless rage (NASB) that Christ healed on a particular day—a part of their religion they felt they could do a little more correctly than others.
When we’re busy defending our outpost, we can believe our path is a little more narrow. Our pain a little more intense. Our call, a little more refined. Our version, a little more pure.