Tag Archives: paraphrase

The Contemplative New Testament: Luke 2

As a PhD candidate in Christian Origins, I spend a lot of my time in the Bible. What this means is that if you would trust a first year med student to operate on your brain, you will feel comfortable using these for your devotional life.  I have translated the texts with two main angles always in mind:  God’s Kingdom and Christian Spirituality.  I trust you will find these new paraphrases enlightening as you live out God’s counter-intuitive ways on earth as it is in heaven.
 

Luke 2.21-24

And when the eighth day arrived and it was time to make the “in God’s people cut” on his body, they named him Jesus.  The angel gave him that name even before he was placed in the womb.

So when that day of cleansing arrived, the day prescribed by the law of Moses, they led him up to Jerusalem and set him before the Lord.  They were following the Lord’s law closely: “Every firstborn that makes it through his mother’s body will be considered holy to the Lord.  Therefore give a sacrifice of two turtledoves or two young doves.

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The Contemplative New Testament: Luke 2

As a PhD candidate in Christian Origins, I spend a lot of my time in the Bible. What this means is that if you would trust a first year med student to operate on your brain, you will feel comfortable using these for your devotional life.  I have translated the texts with two main angles always in mind:  God’s Kingdom and Christian Spirituality.  I trust you will find these new paraphrases enlightening as you live out God’s counter-intuitive ways on earth as it is in heaven.
 

Luke 2.15-20

And after all of this the angels left them and went up into heaven.  And the herdsmen conferred with one another.  “We should go to Bethlehem and see about this sign,” they said.  According to the Lord, a baby is supposed to be there.”

And they left eagerly and sought out Mariam and Joseph and  the baby, which was lying in the manger.  And when they saw them there, they knew its significance, about the word given to them by the angels, and about this child.  And when the little family heard the shepherd’s report, they were amazed about it.   And Mary continued to add it all up in her heart. She joined their story up with the many amazing, but hidden, signs they had experienced.

And the shepherds returned to their fields giving glory and praising God for all that they heard and saw.  For it was all just as the angels had said.

The Contemplative New Testament: Luke 2

As a PhD candidate in Christian Origins, I spend a lot of my time in the Bible. What this means is that if you would trust a first year med student to operate on your brain, you will feel comfortable using these for your devotional life.  I have translated the texts with two main angles always in mind:  God’s Kingdom and Christian Spirituality.  I trust you will find these new paraphrases enlightening as you live out God’s counter-intuitive ways on earth as it is in heaven.
 

Luke 2.7-14

And there were shepherds in their fields.  It was the night watch.  They were dwelling there and guarding their sheep. And an angel of the Lord was sent to them.  And the glory of the Lord embraced them. And they trembled with a great fear.

So the angel spoke to them: “Don’t be afraid.  For behold, I bring news to you that will send rejoicing through your heart.  And it is for all the people. A sign of salvation has entered the earth, near you in the city of David. The Lord Messiah has come.

If you go there, you will find for yourself the sign: a baby swaddled and laying in a manger.

And suddenly out of nowhere there was with the angel a multitude of the hosts of heaven.  They were praising God and saying, “Everything is as it should be in the highest with God.  So let peace also be found on earth among humanity.”

The Contemplative New Testament: Luke 2

As a PhD candidate in Christian Origins, I spend a lot of my time in the Bible. What this means is that if you would trust a first year med student to operate on your brain, you will feel comfortable using these for your devotional life.  I have translated the texts with two main angles always in mind:  God’s Kingdom and Christian Spirituality.  I trust you will find these new paraphrases enlightening as you live out God’s counter-intuitive ways on earth as it is in heaven.
 

Luke 2.1-7

And the months passed.  And it happened one day that a message was delivered by Caesar Augustus.  He was taking a census of the whole world.

It was the first census ever before the one when Kurenios was ruling Syria.

And everybody packed their things to register, each to the city where his family came from.

And Joseph set off to register too.  He went with his fiancée Mary who was now eight months pregnant.  They set off from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth.  They went to Judea into a city of David, called Bethlehem.  They went there because Joseph was from that land and it used to be his father David’s.

And while they were there, Mary went into labor.  And she gave birth to her son, to the firstborn.  And she swaddled him and set him in a manger crib, because there was no place for them in the inn.

The Contemplative New Testament: Luke 1

As a PhD candidate in Christian Origins, I spend a lot of my time in the Bible. What this means is that if you would trust a first year med student to operate on your brain, you will feel comfortable using these for your devotional life.  I have translated the texts with two main angles always in mind:  God’s Kingdom and Christian Spirituality.  I trust you will find these new paraphrases enlightening as you live out God’s counter-intuitive ways on earth as it is in heaven.
 

Luke 1.57-80

And the time came for Elizabeth to have her child.  She brought forth a son. And the people that were living near her house and then her relatives heard that the child’s Lord showed great mercy to Elizabeth.  They rejoiced with her.

And when the eighth day came, they made the “in God’s people” cut on the child.  And they said, “we will call him Zachariah, after his father.”

And his Mother responded, “Not this.  He will be called John.”

And they said to her, “There is nobody in your family called John.”

And Zechariah heard them saying, “What should we call him?” And asking for a little tablet, he spoke while he wrote it: “His name is John.”

Everybody was amazed.  And he was able to speak again. And before he spoke any more words, he called out praises to God.

And all the neighbors were fearful.  And what happened in Zachariah’s family spread throughout the whole mountain of Judea.  All those who heard it treasured it in their hearts saying, “Who will this child be?  For the hand of the Lord is with him.”

And Zachariah, John’s father, was filled with the Holy Spirit, and holding John he prophesied saying,

“Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he sheltered us and made a way out of bondage for his people.  God lifted the horn of salvation for us from the house of his son David.  He made good on the promise of salvation he spoke through the mouth of his timeless prophet.  The message was twofold: First, he is making mercy with our fathers.  Second, he remembered his Holy covenant.  And what is our salvation? It means that we are saved from the hands of our enemies and from the hands of all who hate us.

In the covenant, he swore an oath to our Father Abraham for our day too, to embolden us out of the hands of our enemies, rescuing us for this reason: so that we might dedicate ourselves to worship him and be righteous before him.

And you boy, you will be called a prophet of the most high.  For you will serve as a prophet before the Lord in two ways: first, to prepare His way and second to give the knowledge of salvation to his people, which will come through the forgiveness of their sins and from the heartfelt mercies of our God.

And it is from those mercies that the rising dawn of salvation will choose to grace us.  It will give light to those sitting in darkness even in the darkness of death.  The sun will guide our feet to the path of peace.”

And the child grew and became strong in his spirit, and he was in the desert until the day of his making known to Israel.

 

The Contemplative New Testament: Romans 4

As a PhD candidate in Christian Origins, I spend a lot of my time in the Bible. What this means is that if you would trust a first year med student to operate on your brain, you will feel comfortable using these for your devotional life.  I have translated the texts with two main angles always in mind:  God’s Kingdom and Christian Spirituality.  I trust you will find these new paraphrases enlightening as you live out God’s counter-intuitive ways on earth as it is in heaven. (Note…this is dense and difficult passage.  Good luck!)
 

Romans 4.1-25

What therefore can we say using human thinking? Can we discover our father Abraham? For if Abraham considered himself righteous through works, he has pride.  And it is not from God.  For what does the writing say, “and Abraham believed in God and it was calculated as righteousness to him.”

For usually wages are not calculated according to grace but according to what is owed—to the one who works. And to the one who did not work: His faithfulness is calculated into righteousness through being faithful to the One who makes the ungodly righteous.

And David talks precisely about this. He blesses the happiness of the man who God considers righteous without works. “Blessed are those who stop their lawless ways.  And blessed are those whose sins are forgiven.  Blessed is the man whose life the Lord does not calculate as sinful.”

Is the person who leans upon his status as “God’s people” or even the one who leans upon his “not part of God’s people” status therefore somehow happy?

Therefore, how is it that we discover who is “in God’s people” or who is “not in God’s people” or “not in God’s people” but in “not God’s people”? Get it? Is it not by saying that faith was calculated to Abraham as righteousness?

For he received a sign in his flesh which was a seal of the righteousness of faithfulness.  The seal was literally sliced into his “not in God’s people” body part.  And this seal was righteousness for those also who received it and became fathers of God’s people, to those who were not part of God’s people.  But not only this, it also became righteousness to those who behaved, to those who sliced the sign on their “in God’s people part.” It was all because of the faithfulness of our father Abraham.  He is the father of all who are faithful as they move from “not in God’s people” to “in God’s people.”  Still with me?

Now, the agreement made for Abraham (or really to his offspring) was that he would be heir of the world. And this agreement was not through the law but through the righteousness of faithfulness.  For if the role of “heir” was accomplished from the law, then faith has been emptied and the agreement made void.

For the law works wrath and where there is no law there is no transgression.  This is from faithfulness, so that according to grace we verify the promise to all the offspring—the promise is not only by the works of the law but also through the substance of Abraham’s faithfulness.  Remember he is the father of all of us.

Just as it is written: “You have been made a father to many nations.”  It happened before the throne of Him in who you believed. It happened before God who pulls life out of the dead ones.  The God who can call out something from nothing. The God in whom the father of many nations pledged his faith, hope against hope.  The God who blessed him just as it was spoken to him, “just as it will be for your offspring.”

The pledge of faithfulness gets deeper.  And though he was not ill, he thought about his body (already nearly dead, close to a hundred years, it was).  And this isn’t even to mention the nearly dead body of Mother Sarah.

But even that did not cause him to be faithless about God’s promise. But faith welled up in him, as he gave glory to God.  He was filled. He chose this option because the powerful promise was given even to him.

Therefore, this was calculated to him as righteousness.  And it was not written for him only.  It was calculated to him and for us.  God will calculate righteousness to us, to those who are faithful.  And it will happen to us upon the resurrecting of our Lord Jesus from the dead.  He was given over because of our transgressions.  And he was raided for our righteousness.

The Contemplative New Testament: Luke 1

As a PhD candidate in Christian Origins, I spend a lot of my time in the Bible. What this means is that if you would trust a first year med student to operate on your brain, you will feel comfortable using these for your devotional life.  I have translated the texts with two main angles always in mind:  God’s Kingdom and Christian Spirituality.  I trust you will find these new paraphrases enlightening as you live out God’s counter-intuitive ways on earth as it is in heaven.
 

Luke 1.46-56

And Mariam said, “My Spirit praises the Lord.  And the beating of my heart rejoices in God my savior.  Why should I be filled so? Because a King has noticed the humility of his servant.  Take this as a sign to come:  From now on, all generations will count me blessed.  And the honor is all His.  The great and Mighty One did this to me.  His name is Pure and Precious.

His mercy comes to those who fear him, passing from generation through generations.  He has a powerful arm with which he has done mighty things in history.  To those who are prideful in the attitudes of their heart, he shattered them.  He brought down rulers from their thrones and lifted up the lowly.

He filled the hungry with good things and sent the rich away empty.   And most of all, He embraced his son Israel, remembering mercy.  It was a promise that inspired him.  A promise to Abraham, a promise to our fathers, a promise chiseled in eternity.”

Mariam remained with Elizabeth for three months.  And then she returned to her father’s house.