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Bible quote lost in translation

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I read your weekly newspaper and greatly appreciate being kept abreast of important news within the Jewish communities of South Africa and Israel.
by John Lübbe (retired Professor and HOD of Semitics, Unisa), Pretoria | Jun 07, 2018

I was angered by the insert on page 2 of your edition dated 18-25 May 2018 concerning the leader of the Democratic Alliance and his participation in Heritage Day celebrations.

The authors of the poster that appears in that article are clearly attempting to drive a wedge between the Jewish community and Evangelical Christians, most of whom (to my knowledge) are staunch supporters of Israel and fully comprehend the machinations of Hamas in Gaza.

They hoped by means of a manipulated passage from the New Testament section of the New Living Translation to effect this social fracture. The said passage is misquoted and misunderstood in historical context.

The main issue of the passage is that there was opposition from Jewish leaders to the preaching of the Gospel. I challenge these misguided souls to explain the modern-day prohibition preventing the public preaching of the Gospel in Islamic countries of the Middle East, although such preaching and teaching takes place in Israel today.

Should the authors of the poster require clarification, I would welcome them to my Bible study groups or to join me on study tours that I lead to Israel. In the interim, I would advise them to consider the original Koine Greek in which this Pauline letter was composed, as well as the conditions of Nero’s empire for the Jewish community of that period.

These linguistic and historical facts will place this misquotation in a new light. Rather than skew the past, could we please concentrate on the present?

 

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