A New Translation of Matthew 18

Discussion in 'Spiritual Warfare' started by greenbaggins, Aug 20, 2018.

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  1. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    I would like to propound a new translation of Matthew 18:15-17, and exegete it. This translation is called "Everyone's Preconceived Notions Translation" (EPNT).

    15: If your brother sins against you, go and take up the matter with your close family, strictly among yourselves. If you keep him in the dark, you have already basically won the war.

    The idea here is that you need a united narrative against the brother or sister. After all, you don't want to be burdened with actually finding out the other side of the story. It would be very detrimental to your plans of vengeance to find out that the brother didn't even mean to hurt you. The other plus that this step provides is that you can get your family to be as angry as you are. This makes the problem almost unsolvable, and you haven't even progressed to the next step! Encourage your family to listen to your side of the story, and never tell them that there might be another side to the story. The idea here is a completely united front. You are a mind reader, and you have "discernment." This means that there is no possibility that there might have been miscommunication or misinterpretation. You understand the offending brother or sister much better than they understand themselves. After all, they should have had the same mind-reading abilities that you have, so that they would understand how badly you have been hurt. There is no need for communication, when we have mind-reading.

    16: But if you don't have enough people angry about the situation, tell the matter to your close friends, so that every case may be settled in your favor on the evidence of as many angry people as possible.

    It's not gossip, you see. You have a genuine interest in your truth being the narrative accepted by as many people as possible. You know what the truth is, and the truth will set you free, as well as imprison your victim at the same time. And after you have your family on your side believing the worst about that person, it will be much easier to convince your friends. It is vitally important at this point to keep the offender in the dark. After all, what you really want is to turn the whole world against him. If you don't have enough people angry at him, then it might backfire on you, since people might start asking you questions about whether your information is correct. Emotion is the key here. Make sure that your offended emotions are strong enough to over-ride all objections that anyone could possibly raise. That way, they will all be in pacification mode, and they won't spot the gaping holes in your case. After this part of Jesus' command is fulfilled, social media outlets for the airing of your grievance is optional, depending on whether you want your victim blackballed by the entire Christian community, or only your church.

    17: For the final step of your vengeance, report the matter to a trusted elder in the church. If it is an important enough matter, he will tell the rest of the session (and not the offender), so that your victim will be entirely alone. After that, it will be quite easy to treat the offender as you would a pagan or a tax-collector.

    Again, the key here is to get as many of the elders on board as possible before the victim even knows that there is a problem. That way, the victim will have no chance even to begin to have a fair hearing. Everyone will be turned against him or her, and you will have completely won your case without the enemy even firing a shot. This is reconciliation, the Christian way!
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
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  2. Joshua

    Joshua Administrator Staff Member

    I have a proposed amendment, involving the venting of said perceived offense over social media, to gain even more commiseration in one's cause.

    - P.S. - Thank God you're not like that publican who hurt you.
    - P.S.S. - Or, equally, thank God you're not like that Pharisee who hurt you.
  3. Taylor Sexton

    Taylor Sexton Puritan Board Junior

    This beats Matthew Henry by a long shot.
  4. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    I have added the social media bit, which is a vitally important part of this discussion.
  5. VictorBravo

    VictorBravo Administrator Staff Member

    Wow, Lane. You've nailed the essentials. Well done.
  6. Reformed Bookworm

    Reformed Bookworm Puritan Board Sophomore

    Dear, brother. I look forward to reading your exegesis. I am not trying to be critical, but should "you brother" be "your brother?" I just noticed that at first glance. Thanks for sharing!
    Last edited: Aug 20, 2018
  7. DTK

    DTK Puritan Board Junior

    Sounds like a translation born out of an experience. Hang in there, my brother! God in his own providence has ways and means by which correction of misdeeds comes.
  8. arapahoepark

    arapahoepark Puritan Board Graduate

    Good to know my secular work does things Biblically.
  9. timfost

    timfost Puritan Board Junior

    Lane goes Neo-Orthodox. ;)
  10. Ed Walsh

    Ed Walsh Puritan Board Junior

    I was going to give you a smiley face, but then again it's kind of sad isn't it. There is too much truth in your version.

    I always hear this chapter described as instructions for church discipline, and that is partially true. But that definition has always troubled me. For I am convinced that the primary lesson Jesus is teaching in the whole chapter is that we need to love each other dearly and forgive each other from the heart, or, we are in big trouble with our Heavenly Master as summarized in the last verse. "So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart."

    We have all been forgiven so much so let us not quarrel with one another over trifles. Life is too short.
  11. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    I think most Christians have experienced most or all of this sequence at some point in their lives, me included.

    It is, and amen to what you say here. However, one of the reasons I posted this is to illustrate how the little trifles become mountains all too easily by an ignoring of due process. If people are not concerned to keep the small things small, they will not remain small, human nature being what it is. At every step, the option exists to keep the issue small and deal with it while it is small. Failing to do that will automatically make the issue bigger.
  12. Contra_Mundum

    Contra_Mundum Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger Staff Member

    So, so, so, so, so very fresh, Lane! Who doesn't want a translation crafted for bias confirmation? There's no case of abuse of power, and delay of justice, that mob violence and rush to judgment can't fix, amirite?
  13. Ed Walsh

    Ed Walsh Puritan Board Junior

    I am not one to quickly think I know what God is doing, but let me tell you a quick and all too true story that took place in my church not too many years ago,

    Member Tom (not the real names) got a little out of joint by something elder Jim said to him about a year past. I know elder Jim as a gentle and somewhat introverted fellow. Tom began to stew over the offense increasingly and would have nothing to do with Jim. Jim, noticing Tom's behavior went to Tom one-on-one and asked forgiveness. But Tom would have no part of this. At that point, Jim, somewhat sheepishly, confided in me that there was an animosity building and that he did not know what more he could do. Soon it got to the point that if Tom and Jim happened to be in the same Sunday School class that Tom would leave in a huff. I also talked to Tom, but he only wanted to spread noxious talk about Jim. He became a man obsessed with hatred, and that hatred continued to fester. Several weeks later as I entered the meeting place, I spoke kindly to Tom, but the only thing on his mind was the irrational hatred he had for elder Jim. I had to pretty much ignore him as my wife and I continued to our seats. It seemed hopeless and very bizarre to see such anger over a word spoken over a year ago. That day, Tom went home and developed a pain in his stomach. His wife took him to the hospital where he quickly died from an aneurysm. Fear gripped all who were privy to the situation.

    The end.
  14. bookslover

    bookslover Puritan Board Professor

    Trying to decide if Lane is drinking too much or not enough! LOL
  15. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    I can help you there. I drink, on average, about 3-5 times per month, and always only one drink. So, I can't be drinking too much!
  16. Joshua

    Joshua Administrator Staff Member

    I'm not sure -short of a miracle- one can live on only 3-5 drinks per month, especially if it's not water. I am suspicious, now, of your translation.
  17. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    I have drink to drink of, which you know not. And how can you doubt my translation? It is the most accurate to life translation on the market.
  18. Joshua

    Joshua Administrator Staff Member

    Are you sayin' I wot not it (the drink to drink of, of which you speak/to which you referenced)?

    Let me rephrase, for clarity:

    Art thou saying wottest not I it? Sayest thou, "Ye wot not it'?

    Just what are you sayin'?
  19. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    On target, brother. I got the mystical Koolaid, which is the key to everlasting life, and which you obviously don't have, or you would never have questioned my translation.
  20. DTK

    DTK Puritan Board Junior

    You guys are going to "out Gnostic" the Romanists.
  21. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    David, I think you are giving me a little too much credit here. After all, they have Mariology. ;)
  22. DTK

    DTK Puritan Board Junior

    Point well taken.
  23. Stephen L Smith

    Stephen L Smith Moderator Staff Member

    Hey Lane, we have previously agreed that Vos was one of the greatest exegetes or the church, and that qouting Vos was a sign of advanced sanctification. So where are your Vos quotes defending your translation? :cheers2:
  24. Taylor Sexton

    Taylor Sexton Puritan Board Junior

    I believe I just saw a gauntlet flying through the air.
  25. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    Vos, from "The Pauline Concept of Reconciliation," in the Shorter Writings volume, page 363: "Because God has brought about the reconciliation in Christ, Christ himself is supremely interested in the attainment of the end for which it was designed. This being so, the appeal [for reconciliation] made by Paul is in reality an appeal made on behalf of, for the sake of, in the interest of, Christ." So there. That proves my own translation quite nicely, doesn't it? :p The "end for which it was designed" is what is proven by other passages in Scripture, especially Matthew 18 in the translation advocated above.

    Gauntlet caught. :cool:
  26. Stephen L Smith

    Stephen L Smith Moderator Staff Member

    Mr Copi says you have not successfully used Vos to defend your translation. Instead you have committed the equivocation fallacy :p :p
  27. greenbaggins

    greenbaggins Administrator Staff Member

    Mr. Copi also allows for the rigidly logical response: nyah, nyah.
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