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WHAT DID THE AUTHOR REALLY INTEND?
PROBLEMS OF RETRIEVING ORIGINAL MEANING
Translating Biblical Hebrew
EPILOGUE PRESENTED AS PROLOGUE!
At the end of this article, I say the following, but I feel that presenting it right in the beginning will set the tone for this article:
One faces a lot of challenges in the analysis of texts in classical languages. Linguistic tools help us, in many ways, to charter a course that would be most appropriate, taking into various factors such as sociological, cultural, historical, etc. However, it is also true that there is a possibility that one may be tempted to see the text from one's own world view, including theological and denominational underpinnings, and impose such views on the text. In the absence of clear nonverbal cues provided in the classical text, it is more difficult to clearly identify extralinguistic expressions such as sarcasm and irony. Grammatical constructions that may not be current in the various forms of the classical language pose special problems for the correct interpretation of the meaning of the text. Discourse analysis goes a long way in guiding us in the right path. Yet, individual lexemes are so laden with complex features and meaning that we may really not arrive at the one correct interpretation. Textual support from various texts may come to help us to narrow the possibilities.
1. A NOTABLE BOOK LINGUISTICS & BIBLICAL INTERPRETATION
The textbook, Linguistics & Biblical Interpretation, by Peter Cotterell and Max Turner, was helpful to me in understanding how meaning is affected by such elements as linguistics, grammar, co-text, context, discourse, and other such factors. I recognized how important and useful linguisitcs is for an interpretation and understanding of historical documents, and to correctly interpret the theological underpinnings of the Bible.
As I read the book, I often found myself agreeing with the authors, even calling to mind examples to illustrate their points. But, at other times, I disagreed with their opinions and observations.
2. ON THE MEANING OF WINKING: DOES GOD WINK AT OUR SINNING?
I would like to enumerate some of these. On page 14 of the text, in the section dealing with "gesture," the statement is made that, in the Scriptures, "Winking is 'always associated with sin.'" I disagree with this observation. In Paul's famous sermon on Mars' Hill, he makes the following statement- "And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:" (Acts 17:30 King James Version, KJV).
Surely, if every case of winking in the Bible were associated with sin, then we could say that, according to this verse, God Himself was guilty of sinning. Although other versions of the Bible substitute the word "overlooked" for the words "winked at," I believe that my point is still valid.
3. VARIOUS RENDERINGS FOR ONE INTENT: JUSTIFIED?
On page 47, the authors list a variety of renditions of Jesus' statement to His mother in John 2:4. Here are a few of them -
- King James Version (KJV): "Woman, what have I to do with thee?"
- Revised Standard Version (RSV):"O, woman, what have you to do with me?"
- New International Version (NIV): "Why do you involve me?'
The differences between these various renderings are striking and lead me to believe that the Greek text here must be either ambiguous or unclear. Are there many textual variations of this statement? Is the Greek here so questionable as to allow for such wide latitude in interpretation? The reference is brought up again on page 191, where the authors explain that this statement by Jesus is "a minor-pattern sentence which is exceedingly difficult to render into English." Indeed, some of the versions do not even translate Jesus' remark as a question, as seen below.
Jesus said to her, Woman, this is not your business; my time is still to come. (John 2:4 BBE)
"Leave the matter in my hands," He replied; "the time for me to act has not yet come." (John 2:4 WEY)
4. THE ROLE OF REGIONAL IDIOMS IN TRANSLASTING A CLASSICAL TEXT
Another observation that, as an American reader of the textbook, I couldn't help noticing, was the large number of distinctly British expressions or figures of speech used by the authors, many of which I had to guess the meaning of. Here are just a few samples - "bairn" (p. 85), "take coals to Newcastle" (p. 130), "tartan" (p. 149), "addled" (p. 156), "pouffe" (p. 172), and "holidays" when the actual (American) meaning would be "vacations" (p. 276). Some of these terms made it a bit difficult for this American reader to understand what the authors meant. Certainly I learned a bit of another interesting and colorful variety of English!
5. CORRECT INTERPRETATION USING SOCIOLOGICAL AND OTHER INFORMATION
On page 102, the authors give a series of excellent examples concerning how "careful historical, archaeological, sociological, and cultural-anthropological research" will assist in the understanding of many portions of the Scriptures. In my studies, I have found this to be very true. My appreciation of one very familiar New Testament story, the Prodigal Son, has been greatly enhanced by a better understanding of the First Century Jewish concepts of inheritance (Luke 15:12), their attitudes towards pigs (Luke 15:15-16), and manly decorum (Luke 15:20 - The father runs to greet his son.) and so on.
6. INTRICACIES OF A CLASSICAL LANGUAGE: GRAMMAR AND LEXEMES
On page 110, the authors of our textbook note --
Hebrew has an alternative to the adjective, namely, the construct state, a construction in which two nouns are linked together in such a way as to make the second function adjectivally: e.g. 'man-(of)-strength' (='a strong man').
This is, in fact, exactly what I learned in the seminary course "Biblical Hebrew I." The "Construct State" is dealt with on pages 43 to 47 in Weingreen's Grammar. It is a relatively simple grammatical concept, and it does explain how nouns in this construction can function as adjectives in Hebrew. I understand that such similar constructions are available in some classical languages like Sanskrit and Tamil, especially in pithy, classical poetry.
On page 120, the authors make the following point -
"[A] single lexeme may be used by a writer in different sentences with several quite distinct senses, and in relation to a range of the broader type of concepts."
7. THE USE OF THE WORDS GOD/god
This is something I have seen in the Scriptures. An example of this can be found in the use of the word for "God" in Exodus -
And I will take you to Me for a people, and I will be to you a God; and ye shall know that I am the LORD your God, who bringeth you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians. (Exodus 6:7 KJV)
And the LORD said unto Moses, "See, I have made thee a god to Pharaoh, and Aaron thy brother shall be thy prophet. (Exodus 7:1 KJV)
The word for "God" in Exodus 6:7, referring to Yahweh, and the word for "god" in Ex. 7:1, referring to Moses, are the exact same word in Hebrew - "Elohyim." And this is the case, although the meaning of this same word in each of these verses is so distinct.
The authors make a point on the bottom of page 134 that I, as a person who uses the King James Version of the Bible, have to come to appreciate and understand quite well.
The phenomenon of changing meaning commits us to the synchronic analysis of the language of any piece of writing we are examining. Older meanings may not be relevant, later ones almost certainly are not.
8. A CLEAR ILLUSTRATION: A REVERSE ANOCHRONISM
One of the clearest examples of this can be seen in the following verse from the book of Acts -
And from thence we fetched a compass, and came to Rhegium: and after one day the south wind blew, and we came the next day to Puteoli: (Acts 28:13 AV)
The modern reader of this verse might be inclined to think that the apostle Paul and his companions somehow obtained the use of a compass to assist them in their travels, but, of course, that would have been impossible since this device had not been invented yet! The first magnetic compasses are believed to have been used by Chinese and Mediterranean navigators to guide their ships in about the 1000's or 1100's. The phrase "fetched a compass" in 1611, when the Authorized Version of the Bible was first published, would have been understood to mean, "followed a circuitous course" (KJ21), "sailed around" (NASB), or "circled around" (NKJV), as it is rendered in more modern versions.
9. ESTABLISHING SENSES IN "DEAD" LANGUAGES
The authors make a note on page 141 about the "the complexity of the problem of establishing senses in 'dead' languages." An example of this can be seen in the book of Job. Can that which is unsavory be eaten without salt? Or is there any taste in the white of an egg? (Job 6:6 KJ21)
The story told in the book of Job, for a variety of reasons, is believed to have taken place before the time of Moses. One of the evidences of the antiquity of this book is the fact that the form of the Hebrew in which Job is written is very old. The word in Job 6:6 rendered above "the white of an egg" is actually an unknown word. It is an example of a word that has no known sense because the word is no longer used by or known to modern translators. "The white of an egg" is an educated, albeit inaccurate, guess at its meaning.
10. THE MEANING OF SON OF GOD: RESOLUTION VIA TEXTS
The truth of Jesus being the Son of God is the fundamental upon which Christianity rests. The question of interpreting this expression used in the Bible, both the Old and New Testaments, has received, naturally, a lot of attention.
In response section on pages 152-153 on the different ways of understanding the concept "Son of God," one of the most peculiar uses of this term in the Scriptures is found on the lips of Nebuchadnezzar.
24 Then Nebuchadnezzar the king was astonished, and rose up in haste and spoke, and said unto his counselors, "Did not we cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?" They answered and said unto the king, "True, O king." 25 He answered and said, "Lo, I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they have no hurt; and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God." (Daniel 3:24-25 KJ21)
One would certainly surmise that Nebuchadnezzar was not at all identifying the person in the fiery furnace as the one who would fulfill the Messianic promises contained in the Hebrew Scriptures. More likely, he was using the term in the sense of "a mortal granted immortality by the gods" (page 152 in the text by Cotterell and Turner under discussion).
I would disagree with the statement on page 153 that, for the Apostle Paul, "the sense 'Son of God' did not include such components as [pre-existent] and [sent to redeem], but that these were important for his broader concept of Jesus' divine sonship."
Paul, in the first chapter of Colossians, made it very clear that Jesus was both the pre-existent One and that He was sent to redeem.
13 He hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the Kingdom of His dear Son, 14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins. 15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature. 16 For by Him were all things created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or dominions or principalities or powers: all things were created by Him and for Him. 17 And He is before all things, and by Him all things consist. (Colossians 1:13-17 KJ21)
11. THE USE OF IRONY: PILATE, AGRIPPA, ET AL. HOW TO RECONSTRUCT IRONY?
The authors (Peter Cotterell and Max Turner) make an excellent point on page 188 regarding the use of irony in the Scriptures, citing I Cor. 4:8 as an obvious example. Two less obvious examples, and ones that I have, quite frankly, wondered about for years can be seen below.
37 Pilate therefore said unto Him, "Art thou a king then?" Jesus answered, "Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth My voice." 38 Pilate said unto Him, "What is truth?" And when he said this, he went out again unto the Jews, and said unto them, "I find in him no fault at all. (John 18:37-38 KJ21)
It would be helpful, if it were possible to know Pilate's tone of voice in his question to Jesus, in determining if it was a serious question or merely sarcasm, when he says to Him, "What is truth?"
27 King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest." 28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, "Thou almost persuadest me to be a Christian." (Acts 26:27-28 KJ21)
Here again, was Agrippa being sarcastic or sincere in telling the Apostle Paul, "Thou almost persuadest me to be a Christian"? Unfortunately, this is something we simply cannot know. The authors (Peter Cotterell and Max Turner) make a tremendously insightful statement on page 235, under the section dealing with "Discourse Indicators of Time," when they comment "The Greek language does not require that events in a discourse should develop linearly." Their case in point, Mark 6:14-28, has, for this very reason, always been difficult for me to understand. Rearranging the events in the passage in chronological order (pp. 235-236) was very helpful. Most Westerners, myself certainly included, tend to think of events in a linear/chronological fashion.
12. ROLE OF PRONOUNS IN INTERPRETATION
On page 236, under the heading "Personal Deixis," the authors note that in some cases in the Scriptures, "a pronominal form cannot be directly explicated from the text and recourse has to be made to some wider context." I can think of two instances, aside from the one cited in Acts 16:9-10, where this is the case.
For by grace are ye saved through faith, and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God - (Ephesians 2:8 KJ21)
When Paul says, "it is the gift of God," does the "it" refer to faith or salvation? A case could certainly be made from other Scriptures for either of these two possibilities. And there has been much debate on both sides.
22 Now it came to pass on a certain day, that He went into a boat with His disciples. And He said unto them, "Let us go over unto the other side of the lake." And they launched forth. 23 But as they sailed, He fell asleep. And there came down a storm of wind on the lake, and they were filling with water and were in jeopardy. 24 And they came to Him and awoke Him, saying, "Master, Master, we perish!" Then He arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water; and they ceased, and there was a calm. (Luke 8:22-24 KJ21)
I have often wondered exactly who were included in the pronoun "we" in the disciples' statement to Jesus "We perish!" Was it the disciples, but not Jesus, since they knew He was the Messiah and was not in danger of perishing, as they certainly were? Or did they believe that Jesus was in danger of drowning along with them?
The question is a relevant one for Bible translators, since in some languages, unlike Greek and English, a different word would be used in each case.
13 A PRACTICAL HELP
On page 244 of the textbook, I believe the authors mistakenly put "six" instead of "seven" in the following sentence - "Claus Westermann's Genesis 12-36, for example, sets out the commentary in a series of identifiable pericopae, each of which is then discussed under six headings, literature, text, form, setting, commentary, purpose, and thrust."
There are seven items listed in the sentence above, not six - "(1) literature, (2) text, (3) form, (4) setting, (5) commentary, (6) purpose, and (7) thrust."
14. THE PRESUPPOSITION POOL
On page 259, the authors give an excellent example of how the presupposition pool affects biblical interpretation.
The concept of the presupposition pool is important for biblical exegesis, since we may move from a perception of what is being said in a conversation to a recognition of what the speaker has already assumed to be in the pool and so has not overtly expressed. Thus in Matthew 19.16-30, Jesus tells his disciples: 'I tell you the truth, it is hard for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven.' The statement is greeted with astonishment (v.25) by his listeners. They were astonished, as probably any Jew would have been, because their presupposition pool included the belief that riches were actually a reward for righteousness.
This was, in fact, the common misconception of the Jews of Jesus' day.
The disciples respond in amazement, perhaps reflecting the Jewish tradition that equated riches with God's blessing.
The disciples were very surprised at Jesus' statement… They shared the common view of the time that riches were a sign of God's blessing.
15. IMPOSING DENOMINATIONAL VIEWPOINTS ON A NEUTRAL TEXT
I strongly disagree with the statement that the authors (Peter Cotterell and Max Turner) make on page 262 in reference to John 6, where they say, "The chapter has obvious eucharistic overtones." (Roman Catholicism and some Protestant denominations hold the view that "Jesus Christ is truly present under the bread and wine," in the physical material of bread and wine, while others hold the view that we partake in the Holy Communion, taking the bread and wine as a sign commanded by the Lord Jesus Christ.) The surmise of Peter Cotterell and Max Turner, the authors of this really insightful book, seems to me to be the personal point of view of these authors, and it reflects their own doctrinal interpretation.
Furthermore, to say that it is "obvious" is even more suspect. It certainly does not have "obvious eucharistic overtones" to me.
16. SUBTLE UNDERSTANDING
On pages 265-266, the authors make the following point -- "Conversations are obviously also limited by the linguistic competence of the participants." And then they cite I Cor. 3:1-2 as an example. Another example of this same point would be this statement of Jesus to His followers in the Upper Room Discourse - 12 "I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. 13 However when He, the Spirit of Truth, is come, He will guide you into all truth; for He shall not speak from Himself, but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak; and He will show you things to come. (John 16:12-13 KJ21)
The statement, "ye cannot bear them now" indicates their inability to understand the other things Jesus would have told them. (See Amplified and CEV.) This passage also underscores the need of the disciples for the guidance of the Holy Spirit to understand the truth.
On page 273, in discussing the story in Luke 7:36-50 of Jesus at the home of Simon the Pharisee, the point is made--"the Greek ... neatly illustrates the point that a question may be asked non-verbally and without even the paraphrase containing an interrogative." Another place in the Gospels in which we see this happening is in the story of the paralytic in Mark 2.
5 When Jesus saw their faith, He said unto the one sick with the palsy, "Son, thy sins are forgiven thee." 6 But there were certain of the scribes sitting there and reasoning in their hearts, 7 "Why doth this man thus speak blasphemies? Who can forgive sins but God only?" 8 And immediately, when Jesus perceived in His spirit that they so reasoned within themselves, He said unto them, "Why reason ye these things in your hearts: (Mark 2:5-8 KJ21)
In the passage above, the scribes did not address their questions to Jesus, but reasoned "in their hearts." Nevertheless, Jesus knew their thoughts, and so He addressed them. Yet the text is written so that we can easily follow what is happening on both levels. On page 279, in the introduction to the authors' exposition of the Nicodemus pericope in John, some statements are made that bring into view the important issues of biblical inerrancy and divine inspiration.
"The inclusion of the event here, by John, is particularly significant in that the event is either unknown to the synpotists, who do not even mention the name of Nicodemus, or deliberately omitted by them… Of course it would also be possible to argue that it simply illustrates John's ability to create fictitious conversation."
17. HOW TO DETERMINE HISTORICITY, CORRECTNESS, AND VALIDITY, ETC?
I wonder if this is really the opinion of the authors of our text. What is their means of determining historicity in the Gospel of John? What, consequentially, bearing does this have on the process of divine inspiration and the trustworthiness of Scripture? Is the accuracy of this account in John's Gospel really brought into question by the fact that none of the other writers of the Gospel accounts mention Nicodemus?
And if we surmise that this "simply illustrates John's ability to create fictitious conversation," then what other portions of the Gospel of John can also be branded as "fictitious"? Are we then to assume that anything in John's Gospel that is not mentioned in the Synoptic Gospels (some 93% of the Gospel of John, according to some estimates) is simply an invention of the beloved disciple? I certainly hope that this was not representative of Cotterell and Turner's regard for the veracity of the Gospel of John. On a less consequential note perhaps, there are some statements on page 280 with which I disagree - "The Nicodemus pericope in fact appears to end at verse fifteen, and what follows is the writer's own commentary on the role of the Son of man who has descended from heaven… Precisely how the actual conversation ended we do not know."
In fact, I have always thought that the conversation between Nicodemus and Jesus ends before verse thirteen.
And no man hath ascended up to Heaven, but He that came down from Heaven, even the Son of Man who is in Heaven. (John 3:13 KJ21)
Quite simply, how could Jesus tell Nicodemus that "the Son of Man ... is in Heaven" if Jesus was in Palestine conversing with Nicodemus at that moment? Because of this, I would say that Jesus' conversation with Nicodemus ends in verse twelve, and that John's commentary actually begins at the beginning of verse thirteen.
Later on in this same analysis of John 3, the authors of the book discussed here make another statement, which I believe to be a doctrinal interpretation - "... Jesus agrees to further the conversation by explaining his remark: Jesus amplifies his statement, '... unless one is born of water and the Spirit', and, as Haenchen comments, 'That can only refer to Christian baptism'" (p. 285).
The idea that Jesus' statement here in John 3 can "only refer to Christian baptism" reflects a strong doctrinal bias. That is not the only interpretation of this statement by Jesus. Here is another interpretation of Jesus' statement here in John 3:5.
Now what does it mean to be born of water and of the Spirit? There are those who think that to be born of water is a reference to water baptism. But this would be a strange expression if it did refer to that… As we saw in chapter 2, water is symbolic of the Word of God… There is a cleansing, sanctifying power in the Word… The Word of God is likened unto water again and again. We believe that 'born of water and of the Spirit' means that a person must be born again by the Holy Spirit using the Scripture.
18. THE USEFULNESS OF DISCOURSE ANALYSIS
Whether or not one agrees with the quote above that water in John 3:5 is a symbol of the Word of God, it shows that the meaning of Jesus' statement is subject to interpretation. On the other hand, I certainly agree with the opinion of the authors on page 287.
The application of discourse analysis to the Nicodemus conversation leads to a very different interpretation from those reached by more traditional methods.
Moreover, I believe that discourse analysis can be helpful in biblical interpretation not only here in John 3, but in many other passages as well. When the authors deal with "Affective Language" (pp. 294-299), they make this helpful observation- "The interpretation of passages such as this [Isaiah 40:2-4] requires the reader to distinguish between the literal meaning of the text and the figurative meaning of the 'same' text… The non-literal meaning can only be correctly discerned by those whose presupposition pool is that shared by the prophet himself" (p. 298).
A case in point, would be Jesus comment on the Via de la Rosa -
27 And there followed Him a great company of people, and of women who also bewailed and lamented Him. 28 But Jesus, turning unto them, said, "Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For behold, the days are coming in which they shall say, 'Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore and the breasts which never gave suck.' 30 Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, 'Fall on us!' and to the hills, 'Cover us!' 31 For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?" (Luke 23:27-31 KJ21)
The meaning of Jesus comment in verse 31 about the "green tree" and the "dry" was, for many years, a puzzle to me, since it is figurative. A modern paraphrase of Luke 23:31 gives this rendering - "If they act like this now when life is good, what will happen when bad times come."
Finally, in the section dealing with "Allegory" (pp. 311-3315) the authors suggest the following interpretation of Revelation 12:1-6.
"The woman, then, is Israel, more precisely Mount Zion, symbolizing Israel, who gives birth to the Messiah. Satan is determined to destroy the child but is thwarted by the resurrection-ascension, which places the Messiah beyond his power. There is a superficial problem here, in that in conventional history the story would read as if the child were snatched away to heaven immediately upon birth" (p. 315).
I would like to suggest a different interpretation of this same passage from Revelation, one that, perhaps, resolves the problem noted above with Cotterell and Turner's interpretation. I apologize for the length of this quote, but I believe it was necessary for the author to properly explain his interpretation.
Here we have three symbols: a woman, a child, and a dragon. The meaning of one is told in this chapter, the meaning of the second is given in another, and the third may be understood from these two…A woman in Scripture, in its broadest sense when used symbolically, always represents a church; this would include the saints of the Old Testament. (A wicked woman is an evil or false church.) This woman represents the visible church. A visible church includes all its members. There is an invisible church which consists only of the saved. Not all church members are saved. ... If the woman is a symbol, then the child is also a symbol. Logically, if the woman represents a large body of people, the visible church, then the child represents a smaller body of people which comes out of the larger body. The child is the invisible church. There is to be a birth, a sudden separation. This is a picture of the Rapture. The child is 'caught up' into heaven… We are told who the child is: 'Who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron.' This expression is used in the Bible to refer both to Christ and the saints. In Revelation it refers specifically to the saints…Rev. 2:26-27 ... Upon birth, the child is immediately 'caught up' into heaven to escape the dragon. This is accomplished with the aid of Michael and his angels who engage the forces of evil in a battle. It would seem that all the resources of heaven are required to accomplish the successful birth of the child… It has been thought by some that this woman represents Israel and the man-child, Christ. This is an impossible interpretation, for it would make a symbolic woman give birth to a literal child. That would be a monstrosity. Moreover, it cannot be said that Christ was 'caught up' into heaven to escape the devil. Jesus was not 'caught up' into heaven at birth but remained upon earth for thirty years or more. He suffered death at the hands of Satan's forces, and when He went to heaven, He was not 'caught up' but ascended slowly, deliberately, victoriously. Jesus ascended by His own power; the saints will be caught up by the power of God. This man-child did not ascend. He was 'caught up.' The symbol could not possibly apply to Christ. The Bible does not use symbols to prophesy past events. Symbols are for the purpose of prophesying future events.
Arthur Bloomfield, the author of the quote above, may have "solved" one problem only to create another (or others). But I will talk about these problems when another opportunity arises! Nevertheless, I have included Bloomfield's interpretation of Revelation 12:1-6 to provide an alternative to Cotterell and Turner's view, and to point out the somewhat problematic task of understanding allegory in the Scriptures.
20. TO CONCLUDE
To conclude, one faces a lot of challenges in the analysis of texts in classical languages. Linguistic tools help us, in many ways, to charter a course that would be most appropriate, taking into various factors such as socialogical, cultural, historical, etc. However, it is also true that there is a possibility that one may be tempted to see the text from one's own world view, including theological and denominational underpinnings, and impose such views on the text. In the absence of clear nonverbal cues provided in the classical text, it is more difficult to clearly identify extralinguistic expressions such as sarcasm and irony. Grammatical constructions that may not be current in the various forms of the classical language pose special problems for the correct interpretation of the meaning of the text. Discourse analysis goes a long way in guiding us in the right path. Yet, individual lexemes are so laden with complex features and meaning that we may really not arrive at the one correct interpretation. Textual support from various texts may come to help us to narrow the possibilities.
Bloomfield, Arthur E. All Things New: A Study of Revelation. Minneapolis: Bethany House Publishers, 1959.
Blomberg, Craig L. The New American Commentary: Matthew. 22 vols. Nashville: Broadman, 1992.
Cotterell, Peter, and Max Turner. Linguistics and Biblical Interpretation. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1989.
Hagner, Donald A. Word Biblical Commentary: Matthew 14-28. 33 vols. Dallas: Word, 1995.
McGee, J. Vernon. Thru the Bible with J. Vernon McGee, 5 vols. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Pub., 1983.
Morris, Henry M. The Remarkable Record of Job. Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1988.
Steyermark, Julian A. "Compass." The World Book Encyclopedia. 1964 ed
Strong, James. A Concise Dictionary of the Words in the Hebrew Bible with Their Renderings in the Authorized English Version. McLean: MacDonald Pub., 1980.
Turner, David. "Trinity Accelerated Studies Seminar on the Gospel of Matthew." August 6, 2003, Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Weingreen, J. A Practical Grammar for Classical Hebrew 2nd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1959.
AV - Authorized (King James) Version, public domain.
RSV-Revised Standard Version, Nashville: Holman Bible Pub., 1982.
NIV-New International Version, Grand Rapids: Zondervan Pub., 1985.
BBE-Bible in Basic English, 1965
WEY-Weymouth New Testament, 1912
KJ21-21st Century King James Version, Gary: Deuel Pub., 1994
NASB-New American Standard Bible, Chicago: Moody Pub. 1987.
NKJV-New King James Version, Nashville: Thomas Nelson Pub., 1982
NCV-New Century Version, Dallas: Word Pub., 1988.
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