Just one word completes this Scripture.
"Restore unto me the joy of __ salvation"
Now, a drum roll as you scroll down..
OK, unless you answered "Your" (or "Thy"), play this:
Why do so many (American evangelical types anyway) answer not just the wring answer..
but an answer that is the exact opposite to the right answer?
(Excursus : "In England, they drive on the ______ side of the road).
The right answer has been there all along; no debate. Check the Book.
It's "Thy salvation" or "Your (as in God's) salvation."
It's not "my salvation."
Never has been mine; it's Thine.
A quick Googling betrays how widespread this error is:
You can find hundreds...oops, thousands..of devotionals and sermons online which get it wrong!
Often from great, well-meaning folks (who fell into the same trap I once did).
Just one example:
- 'the words of Psalm 51:12, “Restore unto me the joy of my salvation"... link
I think there are at least three reasons why this happens.
1)As you have noticed, "Thy" rhymes with 'my.' That may account for some of this phenomenon.
And this might account in part for the phenomenon of #2.
And of #3, actually..
Of course, this only happens in English.
(and Elizabethan English, at that)..
2)In the West...and in evangelicalism...we are vulnerable to an individualistic "me and Jesus" worldview. So it's easy to assume it says "my salvation," as that phrase is already embedded in our Christianese. I doubt that anyone ever talked about Jesus as a "personal Savior" until we created the language for it. So we talk about "my salvation," or "my salvation story."
When the Bible uses the phrase "my salvation," it is almost exclusively in the context of "The God of my salvation" or "God is my salvation".... Godward-focused.
2 Sam 2:36,
Ps 27:1. 51:14, 62:2, 62:6, 88:1,
I was thrilled to see that one of the folks online who got it right, not only was a student at Asbury Seminary the same time I was...
....but one of the few I found (only!!) who offered some good insights about the "Thy" vs "My" trap:
-- the KJV, verse 12 reads, “Restore unto me the joy of Thy Salvation.” “Thy” means “Your” in modern English. At times, I still prefer the King James Version, but in this verse, it causes me to stumble in two ways. One,
nobody speaks in the 17th Century King’s English anymore.
And two, I often misquote the verse as, “Restore unto me the joy of mysalvation.” The Joy is the Lord’s. As I have Jesus in my heart and life, Ihave joy. His Joy not mine. - Randy Bain, Oakland UMC, link
"Restore unto me the joy of my salvation"?
Sing along..or not..starting at the 1:11 mark:
I'm glad to note that Keith Green, who was no theological slouch, got his song right!:
There you have it.
I must say I was delighted that so many of my Facebook friends got this right!
You will remember that this Scripture was David, crying out to God after being busted over the
affair with Bathsheba, not asking God to restore the joy of his salvation; for he knew better than anyone that had no salvation, and no joy, without God.
Now read, pray, or sing it below, and see how it feels.
You may note, in the NIV version below, shows up a fourth reason:
all along David prays "my"s:
"my iniquity," my sin"...
But that is not to set us up to predict he'll say "my salvation."
In fact the only want out of my problems is Thy salvation..
"My way is not Yahweh,\" as a wise saint (Brian Dodd) once said...