|REFERENCE: THE ORIGINAL GREEK OF SCRIPTURE AND THE NEW
|A striking feature in all this writing is that it was done
in the street language of the day, the idiom of the playground and marketplace. In the
Greek-speaking world of that day, there were two levels of language: formal and informal. Formal
language was used to write philosophy and history, government decrees and epic
poetry. If someone were to sit down and consciously write for posterity, it would of
course be written in this formal language with its learned vocabulary and precise
diction. But if the writing was routine-shopping lists, family letters, bills and receipts-it
was written in the common, informal idiom of everyday speech, street language.
- And this is the language throughout the New Testament.
Some people are taken aback by this, supposing that language dealing with a holy God and
holy things should be elevated-stately and ceremonial. But one good look at Jesus-his
preference for down-to-earth stories and easy association with common people-gets rid of
And that is why the followers of Jesus in their witness and preaching, translating and
teaching, have always done their best to get the Message-the"good news"-into the
language of whatever streets they happen to be living on. In order to understand the
Message right, the language must be right-not a refined language that appeals to our
aspirations after the best but a rough and earthy language that reveals God's presence and
action where we least expect it, catching us when we are up to our elbows in
the soiled ordinariness of our lives and God is the furthest thing from our minds.
Eugene H Peterson.
|COMMENT BY PAUL SHEEHAN: 30.04.2004
The good news is........we do not have to live in sin anymore. The good news
is.............Jesus is coming soon...... ..............2 Timothy 2:19, Psalm 7:11-13.