The Way is a podcast of the Ephesus School Network.
Life isn’t fair. We all know it—we can see the unfairness around us. But, why is it that some people are born with a silver spoon in their mouth while others are born into abject poverty? And, why is it that some people, who should know better, go out of their way to make our lives miserable? Well, James doesn’t address the “whys” of our questions, but he does give us advice as to how to deal with these matters of inequality and injustice: we must be long-suffering like Job and the prophets. But, that doesn’t sound like any fun. Well, it isn’t However, there is Good News. The Bottom Line: Christ is standing in the doorway as the one who can set things right, and he is compassionate and merciful to those who are long-suffering.
Translations are good in that they help us read something we wouldn’t otherwise have access to. But, unfortunately, they can sometimes be misleading. Previously, we talked about how translators can impose their will on the text by what words they chose to use. And, as we’ve seen, this sometime obscures connections the original text was trying to make. However, there’s another problem with translations that we haven’t dealt with yet. What happens when the translator choses the right word, but our understanding of word’s concept is different than the original author’s? Today, James hits hard on the “rich.” But, do we understand being “rich” in the same way they did in the first-century? The answer is “no.” And, what about being “poor”? What does this mean? The Bottom Line: understanding the biblical text is more than just learning languages—it’s also diving into the culture of the ancient world.