I have great respect for those people who can argue the minutiae of the Bible. I’m not one of them. I guess I’m pretty much the Cliff Notes kind of Christian. But I can’t help being impressed by those folks who have delved so deeply into the Bible that they are able to discuss even the tiniest bits of the Bible with great intelligence, insight, and scholarship. Sigh … I’ll never be one of them.
On the other hand (you knew that was coming), sometimes it seems hopelessly ridiculous to me. Like, somewhere along the line, those great minds have missed the point or aren’t seeing the forest for the trees.
At one time, I was doing some light research for a piece I wanted to write and wandered the internet to see what I would find. It can be quite a journey, following links. It can lead to brightness or deep, dark places. But mostly, depending on the traveler, there’s a lot of brightness to be found and I discovered a deep conversation and discussion and debate about this sentence: Luke 23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. The big debate was about … the comma!
Now, I get it; two different things are at work depending on where the comma is. If one reads the verse, as shown above, Jesus is saying on that particular day the thief will be with Him in paradise. However, if the comma before ‘today’ is supposed to go after the word ‘today’, that means that on that particular day, Jesus is telling the thief that at some time in the future he will be with Jesus in heaven. The discussion included mention that the original texts don’t have punctuation and so the translators decided how the statement should read.
I’m laughing at the memory; I spent a lot of time that day, following the debate, following the thought processes of these detail oriented people. And then it occurred to me – what difference does it make if the thief goes today or some day in the future? The important message is – the thief was going to be in paradise with Jesus! He recognized Jesus’ kingship and Jesus welcomed him. Isn’t that why the story is important? So that folks know even those who have committed crimes, done bad things, can come to know Jesus, follow Him, and hope for heaven?
Jots and tittles. I’m a ‘big picture’ kind of girl.