Tag Archives: ; Apostles

Acts – Ends of the Earth

16 Oct

Thanks to those guys who put in questions out of my sermon on Acts 1 on Sunday night.  Here are my thoughts on a couple of them:

 1. Is it wrong to keep re-translating the bible? Some would argue we’re twisting Gods word.

I take it this is more a question in the light of our move to the Holman translation at church.  Though it is relevant to Acts also, because we saw that it is the Apostles witness in the New Testament that points us to Christ.

The short answer is, no it isn’t wrong to keep translating the Bible, In fact we need to keep doing it.  The Bible was originally given by God in Hebrew (Old Testament) and Greek (New Testament) with a little bit in Aramaic.  So, if we want to read it we need to do one of two things: learn those ancient languages or rely on a translation by people who know those languages.  But the thing is that over time our own language changes.  Some words mean different things in English than they did 300 or even 30 years ago.  So once in a while we need to look at a new translation.

More than that, sometimes people have different reading abilities.  So it is appropriate to have different translations.  The key point though is that even if translations might differ over the most accurate way to translate a particular word, none of the core message of the Bible is ever in dispute.  So while I might recommend the Holman translation I am happy for anyone to read the NIV, ESV, NRSV, NASB etc As long as we read the Bible in a language we can understand!

 (You might also like to see my earlier article on why we are moving to the Holman)

 

2. What about when others are referred to as apostles in the NT?

Great question.  I made the point that there are no more Apostles after the 12 (including Matthias) and then Paul.  They are the ones entrusted by Jesus with the incredible task of being witnesses to him of what they heard and saw Jesus do and teach.  However, there is a reference to Barnabas as an ‘Apostle’ in Acts 14:14 and he is not one of the 12?  How does that work?

This comes about because the word ‘apostle’ refers to someone who has been sent.  In that sense there are lots of apostles, as many people are sent for specific jobs.  In Acts 13:1-4 Barnabas and Paul are sent by their church and the Holy Spirit for a specific mission.  That is the sense that they are referred to as apostles in Acts 14:14 – men sent to preach Jesus.  In that sense we have lots of apostles (with a little a) but the point is that there no more Apostles (with a capital) who are explicitly sanctioned and given authority by Jesus.

Phil Colgan