Wednesday, December 28, 2022

Take Care da Sheeps!

Quiet! Did you hear that? It's the sound of Y members ooh-ing and aw-ing at my prodigious lifting skills. 

This is called a "waiter curl." Only if you've ever waited tables are you permitted to perform it. Since I once waited tables in Waikiki, I qualify. I know what you're thinking: That's only a 25 pound dumbbell. Judgy much? It's not like I want to become the next "Rock," you know.

If there's one thing I love more than lifting it's Bible study, and since I am still rummaging through the book of Acts maybe I can share with you another surprising thing I ran across today. It's from Paul's speech to the Ephesian senior pastor elders. 

Observe the underlined term. The KJV -- the Bible I grew up with -- renders it as "feed the church of God." "Feed" represents poimainein, to "tend as a shepherd." See the metaphor? The translators of the NASB and the CSB did: "shepherd the church of God." You could also say, "be shepherds of the church of God" (NIV/GNT). Ask any farmer: the idea of "shepherding" involves more than feeding. Add in the notions of tending, guiding, caring for, and protecting, and you get the idea. Hence, in my opinion, both the KJV and the ESV ("care for") are a bit guilty of under-translation here. And, since Paul is describing the work of pastors/elders/overseers here, I might add the idea of hard work. In fact, the verb Paul uses in 1 Thess. 5:12 to describe pastoral leadership (kopiaō) "conjures up pictures of rippling muscles and pouring sweat" (Stott, The Message of 1-2 Thessalonians, 119). I'm not sure about the "rippling muscles" part, but I do know that farming (and pastoring) is hard work. The Greek term can even refer to backbreaking labor. 

Anyhoo, I'd like to see the metaphor of "shepherding" retained in our translations if possible. You know, like we find in Hawaiian Pidgin:

You guys gotta take care da church guys jalike one sheep farma take care his sheeps. 

Oh yeah!