Saturday, April 2, 2022

Have You Heard of Kenneth Wuest?

Good Saturday morning to you! This morning during my Bible time, my English version of choice was one you've probably never heard of. 

I hate it when people open a book on its spine, don't you? 

Kenneth Wuest taught Greek at Moody Bible Institute until his death in 1962. His book The New Testament: An Expanded Translation seeks to bring out the richness and force of the original text. He claimed it was neither a paraphrase nor an interpretation but he was probably wrong on both counts. Nevertheless, I hope you will consider using it to supplement whatever Bible version you currently use for Bible study. 

This morning's passage was John 15, where Jesus tells us he is the true vine. 

As someone who is thinking about planting a vineyard, I love the imagery used here. Here's how Wuest translates John 15:1:

I, in contradistinction to anyone else, am the vine, the genuine vine, and my Father is the tiller of the soil.

Wordy? Yep. Accurate? I'd say yes. Wuest is trying to bring out some of the nuances of the Greek text for non-Greek readers and he does a very fine job of it:

I, in contradistinction to anyone else = the Greek word egō.

the vine, the genuine vine = emphasis in Greek is sometimes accomplished by post-positioning the adjective, as we find here. A very nice touch.

the tiller of the soil = the Greek word used here is geōrgos (Eng.: George) and its etymology goes something like this: one who works (ōrgos) the land (ge). The term could just as well be translated "farmer" or (in this context) "gardener." Either way, the metaphor brings out the vital connection between Christ and believers. 

Our Lord is not only our Savior. He is our Sustenance. There are those who claim to be under the blood who do not feed on the bread. Need we wonder why the church is so sick? May the word of God be our daily bread. May we stop thinking that the Spirit-filled life, the victorious life, is something irregular and occasional instead of the normal experience for those who abide in Christ.