- Question on Philippians 4: 10-13
Paul is writing to the Philippians while addressing some of the pressing issues of the new church. In the book of Philippians, Paul focuses on thanksgiving as important to the Church. Here is the paragraph of the verse: The structure of each sentence starts with the (I), thus reinforcing the individual aspects of the story. So what about the other grammatical arrangement of the essay? In many sentences, the subject and verb alone cannot express a complete idea. The idea only becomes whole with the help of verbs and other nouns. Different verbs are helped by different types of words or phrases but this will always follow the verb. Action verbs may take direct and indirect with subject compliments. In this verse, we take a look at once sentence that reads “I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me.” If it would be regular sentence, the verb “rejoice” would be active and the word “renewed your concern for me” also active. The sentence would read “I greatly rejoice in the Lord for renewing his concern for me.” Perhaps the other sentence that does not make much grammatical sense reads “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty”. Consider the repetition that comes with the word “know”. Making the subject verb agreement clear in the sentence would be “ I know how it feels to be in need and also in want.”
It would be important for Christians to take a deep look at the main theme that is exhibited on the last 3 verses of Philippians chapter 4. First, Paul would like the Philippians’ to understand that he is grateful for the gift of love. On the other hand, Paul would like to reinforce the argument that he was not particularly interested in the idea of money. The main idea here is contentment and is synonymous with the teachings of Acts of Apostle. The disciples and Christians of the time were taught to live full of faith and spiritual understanding. Even if material ways came in the way, they did not give in. I think this was one of the most important aspects of Paul’s message. The sacrificial aspects of the early Christians and their dedication to the truth are admirable.
Paul advices the Philippians that contentment comes for the anchorage of Christ. Even in the hardest times, Christians must understand that the divine love has always, and will always meet every human need. The value and the treasure that come from the joy of being protected by God is the greatest demonstration of love. I think that Paul’s message was to make the Philippians Church aware of the temptations from material comfort.
- .I Corinthians 12:31-13:13
According to Jose’ Chiu (2007), the theme of love is maintained in a different nature in chapter 13 verses 12-31. Some scholars have considered it a different or a continuation of the proportion of section 12:31:13. It could be correct for one to argue that 12:31 -13:13 is an antithesis of love and gifts. Contrary to love, gifts are devoid of virtue. Perhaps explaining why the eulogy of love contrasts with the mistaken attitude of a person ignorant of a spiritual needs, but with the gift themselves. In verse 13:13, love is mentioned a long with faith and hope, but hope is absent in the preceding verses 12:31- 12-13. Faith is also only mentioned in 13:2 and not in its official place. The palpable contradiction of vocabulary makes it difficult the unity of themes in the section of 12:31:13:13. The idea of love is maintained mostly through the use of repetition and with the emphasis of making love the active noun and verb in most situations.
- .Matthew 7:1-12
Scholars differ considerably about the arrangement of this segment of Mathew 7: 1-12. The problem is unrelated ideas which is perhaps most acute from verses 6-12. Verse 6 is detached independent login apparently unrelated to the preceding arguments. The verse is inserted for no special reason except as a saying of Jesus Christ. Verse 7-11 is yet another self contained unit having no connection with the materials that precedes or follows it. The first five verses deals with judgment while 7-12 attempts to deal with discernment of the necessary and appropriate action. There is no clear channel of ideas present in the verse which thwarts a reader attempts at following of a chain of progression of thought.
Perhaps one of the greatest lessons I have learned reading this scripture is the patchiness in the writing of the bible. I realize that the bible is a document that could have been written over a long period of times. Each of the segments might differ because they were written under different contexts and brought together in some sort of copy and paste. The apparent lack of progression in thought is enough evidence that while the publishers attempted, for the most part, to keep the themes connected; they often failed because of the difficulty or the loss of time.
Second, I learned that the problem of grammar or lack of correct punctuation thereof, is a result of translations. We must understand that the bible was not originally in English, it was in Latin. While I must give credit to every effort done by the translators of the good book, I must not fail to recognize the shortcomings coming out of different structures or patterns of writings. The result of such work is demonstrated in some of the ideas illustrated above.
John Chiu, First Cori 12-14: Literary Structure and Theology, Gregorian Biblical Books, 2007.
Talbert, Charles, Reading the Sermon on the Mount, University of South Carolina press, 2004
Father Callan’s Commentary on 1 Corinthians 12:31-13:13 Posted by Dim Bulb on September 16, 2012