the weblog of Alan Knox

Scripture… As We Live It #69

Posted by on Aug 30, 2009 in as we live it, scripture | 7 comments

This is the 69th entry in “Scripture… As We Live It“:

Therefore, confess your sins to one another to your pastor, and make sure that he will hold your confession in confidence, because you don’t want other people to think you are a sinner… (James 5:16a re-mix)


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  1. 9-1-2009

    I am a bit perplexed by your translation of James 5:16a. Being a recent seminary graduate with my M Div I went ot work translating this verse. Without a long dissertation I came up with:

    “Therefore confess ya’alls sins to one another, and ya’all pray on behalf of one another in order that ya’all may be healed.”

    The pronoun “you” is is all cases in this verse 2nd person plural indicating this is not only an address to the entire community but also that the entire community is at work with the complete community. OK there is more I could write but I will get off of my soap box now. What was your reason for changing the translation to confess your sins to your pastor. This seems to change the intent of the original.


  2. 9-1-2009


    Thanks for the comment. I think you missed the point of this series. I’m not translating these passages according to the Greek text. I’m translating them according to the way the church generally LIVES the texts.


  3. 9-1-2009

    I understand that but if in our translations we do not start with being true to the original text then how can we be assured we are not substituting our own meaning and desire for that of the original text.

  4. 9-1-2009


    I agree with you 100%. If I were going to teach this passage, I would translate it just as you did.

    The purpose of this post is to point out that we are not living according to what the passage says. Thus, the passage is “re-mixed” so that it matches what we actually do. No, that’s not the way we should attempt to live… which is the point of this series.


  5. 9-3-2009


    It’s a tongue-in-cheek translation to observe that the church at large is not obeying scriptures to their fullest, but layering a bunch of tradition on top of it and attempting to dogmatize debatable scriptures into hard-line ecclesiastical rule and process.


    I think you should put a disclaimer before each of these, as a friend of ours thought you were doing the same thing (and warned us away from your evil translations :-)).

  6. 9-3-2009


    Its interesting that your friend was willing to warn people that my translations were “evil” without reading the start of this series, and without contacting me. If we have something against a brother, aren’t we supposed to approach that brother? Perhaps that would be another good passage for this series. 🙂


  7. 9-3-2009

    ‘Twas a mutual friend that merely had a concern. I may have been a bit heavy-handed in a tongue-in-cheek kind of way by calling that friend’s description ‘evil’ – I don’t really remember what they said, but I do know that it was a huge misunderstanding of what you were trying to do. I immediately went to the first post in that series and saw what you were doing. No issues, from where I’m sitting.

    Anyways, you could think about this one for Matthew 18…

    15 “Moreover if your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault between you and him alone UNLESS IT REALLY GETS YOU ANGRY, IN WHICH CASE YOU ARE JUSTIFIED IN GOSSIPING OR HOLDING IT AGAINST YOUR BROTHER UNTIL THEY REPENT. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. IF NOT, THEY ARE OBVIOUSLY A WORTHLESS CAUSE AND NOT WORTH TALKING TO.