Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Colossians 2:14

Years ago, my friend Mike Olejarz, asked me to do a series on the Apostles' Creed. That was a major event in my life and sparked a series of teachings on defining what we believe or what one needs to believe in order to be saved. As such, when reading the Bible, I put a little "c" next to passages that define our theology. The "c" stands for "creed." I've continued this practice in my Spanish Bible. I have three Spanish Bibles, the basic Spanish equivilents to the King James, the NIV and the CEV (Contemporary English Version). The latter is a simplified English version that I believe has been oversimplified to a dangerous level. The Spanish version of this translation (TLA - Traduccion en Lenguaje Actual) is a better translation and I read it most of the time. Colossians 2:14 (TLA) says "The Law was against us, but God put an end to that via the death of the Messiah on the cross."

The CEV says, "God wiped out the charges that were against us for disobeying the Law of Moses. He took them away nad nailed them to the cross."

I like the TLA because it says that "the law was against us." I also like the creedal explanation that "God put an end to it through the means of the death of the Messiah on the cross." That's a good explanation of what we believe. In biblical translation, I believe that clarity is to be preferred over poetry and impact. ("The Message" is an example of a translation that emphasizes poetic beauty and emotional impact. Sometimes it's effective. Sometimes it's just odd.) The CEV does a nice job of catching the emotional impact of this verse when it says that God took the charges the Law of Moses had against us and "nailed them to the cross." That reminds me of Martin Luther nailing the 95 theses on the church door.

1 comment:

Chris Chowdhury said...

Your lesson on the Apostle's Creed is still very fresh in my mind. "I didn't make it. No, it is making me..."