Tuesday, January 20, 2015

binding and loosing as blank check

Dan Martin:

A recent discussion after church reawakened a long-time concern regarding the popular interpretation of Jesus’ instructions regarding dealing with conflict, recorded in Matthew 18:15-20.
This is a glaring example of translators’ neglect (whether deliberate or inadvertent is not mine to judge) of very elementary grammar, which has resulted in both the assumption of inordinate and unwarranted power/authority on the part of people who consider themselves to be in positions of “leadership”, and abject fear and submission on the part of those deemed their “underlings” – neither of which, may I remind you, is a category instituted or approved by Jesus himself (see Mt.23:7-12).
In the vast majority of English translations of the passage familiarly labeled “binding and loosing” (v.18), Jesus’ words are interpreted as if those two terms were cast in the future tense, and therefore amounted to a “blank check” enabling “church authorities” to hand down a decision that will be confirmed unquestionably “in heaven”. In our large collection of English translations, I have found only two (Charles B. Williams -1956, and Clarence Jordan – 1970) besides my own, where any effort has been made to convey accurately that those words are NOT future, but perfect passive participles. I find it interesting that both of these, like my own work, were translated by individuals, and not by committees hired by institutional hierarchies!
This grammatical error should have..
from Discernment vs. Decision,
continued here

See related posts on this blog here

Rob Bell on binding and loosing: "the Bible is a difficult book"

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hey, thanks for engaging the conversation!