Hand-written-letter2


CLEBTqUVEAAQEBhFirst things first, let’s clear this cloud once and for all.

“Obedience is thicker than blood” – Mathew 12 49:50 (The Message).  

We see this phrase everywhere.  For the information of all, there are several versions of the bible and I have picked out a few and the particular verse which is said to contain the phrase “Obedience is thicker than blood.So let’s see what Mathew 12 :50 has to offer:

“New International Version
For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

New Living Translation
Anyone who does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother!”

English Standard Version
For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

Berean Study Bible
For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven is My brother and sister and mother.”

Berean Literal Bible
For whoever shall do the will of My Father who is in the heavens, he is My brother and sister and mother.”

New American Standard Bible
“For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.”

King James Bible
For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For whoever does the will of My Father in heaven, that person is My brother and sister and mother.”

International Standard Version
because whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

NET Bible
For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
“For everyone who does the will of my Father who is in Heaven, the same is my brother and my sister and my mother.”

GOD’S WORD® Translation
Whoever does what my Father in heaven wants is my brother and sister and mother.”

New American Standard 1977
“For whoever does the will of My Father who is in heaven, he is My brother and sister and mother.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
For whosoever shall do the will of my Father who is in the heavens, the same is my brother and sister and mother.

King James 2000 Bible
For whosoever shall do the will of my Father who is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

American King James Version
For whoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

American Standard Version
For whosoever shall do the will of my Father who is in heaven, he is my brother, and sister, and mother.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For whosoever shall do the will of my Father, that is in heaven, he is my brother, and sister, and mother.

Darby Bible Translation
for whosoever shall do the will of my Father who is in [the] heavens, he is my brother, and sister, and mother.

English Revised Version
For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, he is my brother, and sister, and mother.

Webster’s Bible Translation
For whoever shall do the will of my Father who is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.

Weymouth New Testament
To obey my Father who is in Heaven–that is to be my brother and my sister and my mother.”

World English Bible
For whoever does the will of my Father who is in heaven, he is my brother, and sister, and mother.”

Young’s Literal Translation
For whoever may do the will of my Father who is in the heavens, he is my brother, and sister, and mother.’ “

1576836738And of course, The Message –

Obedience is thicker than blood. The person who obeys my heavenly Father’s will is my brother and sister and mother.”

So, among the 25 versions of the Bible, only one version supports the “Obedience is thicker than blood” theory.  Who translated the bible into “The Message” version?  Well, Wikipedia states –

“The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language was created and translated by Eugene H. Peterson and published in segments from 1993 to 2002. It is an idiomatic translation of the original languages of the Bible.”

Wikipedia further elaborates ” An idiom is a phrase or a fixed expression that has a figurative, or sometimes literal, meaning. 

What does the bible scholars say about this translation of the Bible?

Comparison to other translations

The Message was translated by Peterson from the original languages. It is a highly idiomatic translation, using contemporary slang from the US rather than a more neutral International English, and it falls on the extreme dynamic end of the dynamic and formal equivalence spectrum. Some scholars, like Michael J. Gorman, consider some of Peterson’s idiomatic renderings unconventional.”

What does Peterson himself consider about his version of the Bible?

“Although The Message is used commonly in congregations, Peterson stated his uneasiness with this in a Christianity Today interview:

“ When I’m in a congregation where somebody uses [The Message] in the Scripture reading, it makes me a little uneasy. I would never recommend it be used as saying, “Hear the Word of God from The Message.” But it surprises me how many do.

So the translator of “The Message” bible  Eugene H. Peterson is uneasy of his own translation and as he said would never recommend it to be used during scripture reading.

‘Nuff said.

References:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Idiom

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Message_(Bible)

http://www.biblestudytools.com/msg/matthew/passage/?q=matthew+12:35;matthew+12:50

http://biblehub.com/matthew/12-50.htm

While going over subjects on “spiritual abuse” I chanced upon an article by  Shawn Nelson in Geeky Christian published on Feb 2, 2015. In part he states:

Spiritual abuse is not a widely discussed topic. It occurs when a leader manipulates people to achieve selfish goals. Most abusers are unaware of the harm they inflict. Internal factors contributing to an abusive environment are: Christians wanting to trust their leaders; not wanting to be disloyal; not wanting to be “a problem”; and accommodating abuse because they become invested. A likely external factor in the rise of spiritual abuse is our culture’s obsession with results and an insatiable “thirst for more.There are two types of spiritually abusive leaders: insecure leaders use power to protect themselves; narcissistic leaders seek to accomplish some great cause for validation and self-worth. Narcissistic leaders are fueled by narcissistic followers who also find value from belonging to a great cause. Signs of an abusive system are: power-posturing; distorted loyalty; people are being used; unhealthy centrality of the pastor; an elitist attitude; inability to discuss concerns; and people being labeled as divisive for raising valid issues. Those trapped in abusive systems can either flee or fight.

“Spiritual abuse seems to be getting more attention in recent months with the highly visible implosion and closure of Mars Hill Church. For possibly the first time, Christian pastors are considering whether the practices they have come to accept are in fact producing spiritually abusive environments. Every major church leadership expert seems to be forced to provide an opinion of what went wrong. This … is an attempt to glean from the writings of “spiritual abuse pioneers” Johnson, VanVonderen, Blue, Fehlauer, et al., to help make sense of why Mars Hill imploded so quickly. It is an academic perspective to be considered alongside the myriad of other opinions being offered.

What Is Spiritual Abuse?

Abuse in its broadest sense is using or treating something in an improper way. The result of abuse is harm. There are many kinds of abuse. Physical abuse is physically treating somebody improperly resulting in physical harm; emotional abuse happens through emotional means resulting in emotional damage; spiritual abuse is performed through some “spiritual” means and damages a person spiritually. Any type of recognized “spiritual” leader can be spiritually abusive (e.g., fortune tellers, psychics). In a Christian context, spiritually abusive leaders can include pastors, televangelists, Bible teachers, mentors, disciplers, ministry directors and counselors.

The harm caused by spiritual abuse is the byproduct of selfish “ministry” activity. Therefore a good definition of spiritual abuse should include the aspect of selfishness. One clever acronym does this: Spiritual A.B.U.S.E. is Acting spiritual to Benefit oneself by Using Self-centered Efforts to control others. A good formal definition is:

“Spiritual abuse can occur when a leader uses his or her spiritual position to control or dominate another person. It often involves overriding the feelings and opinions of another, without regard to what will result in the other person’s state of living, emotions or spiritual well-being.”

 Spiritual abuse is when a Christian leader causes injury to others by acting in a self-centered manner in order to benefit themselves.

lead_large

Mark Driscoll, former pastor of Mars Hill, faces an uncertain future. Resurgence/Flickr

The writer cites one example of a downfall of one promising religion, the “Mars Hill Bible Church.”

In a related article  – “How a Megachurch Melts Down
What the dissolution of one of America’s fastest-growing churches means for evangelicalism.”
it states:

“Two years ago, Mars Hill Church was the third-fastest growing large church in the country. Its original location in Seattle had spawned 14 other branches in five states, and 13,000 people attended weekly services at which founding pastor Mark Driscoll’s sermons were projected on large screens. Thousands more connected with the church online, and Driscoll and his wife Grace wrote a guidebook titled Real Marriage that hit #1 on the New York Times best-seller list in January 2012.

In hindsight, that year was the pinnacle for Mars Hill. Now it’s all over. Driscoll resigned a few weeks ago after a leave of absence that begin in August. And last Friday afternoon, Mars Hill Church announced online that it will dissolve by January 1.”

So, a leader with narcissistic behaviour in the long run tends to implode and brings down his organization with him. How do we define narcissistic behaviour?

“Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD)

People with Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) may appear arrogant, with an inflated self image and disregard the feelings of others… Personality disorders are a group of conditions that affect people’s thoughts, behaviours and emotions in long-term negative patterns that occur in all areas of life.

The nature of Narcissistic personality disorder (NPD) symptoms means it’s hard for people suffering the disorder to realise they have a problem. When you believe you’re better than everyone else, why would you think there’s anything wrong? It is often the family or loved ones who are most aware of this problem and suffer the consequences.

Key symptoms include:

Inability to listen to others.
Fantasising about power, beauty and success.
Exaggerating achievements and abilities.
Superiority, specifically towards people perceived as ‘lower’ in status.
Lack of awareness regarding others.
Social withdrawal.
Inflated sense of entitlement.
Obsession with class and status.
Exploiting others for personal gain.
Lacking empathy, especially for perceived weaknesses.
Strong desire for control over relationships.
Envy for those perceived as being of a higher status.
Inability to admit wrongdoing.
Distant, practical manner in regards to personal relationships.
Believing that others are envious of them.
Severe anger if orders or directions are not followed by others.
Can ‘write friends off’ permanently over small or imagined issues.
Expecting constant praise and recognition for achievements.
Unrealistic goal setting.

So what are the effects arising from Narcissistic Personality Disorder

“Physical Effects – Narcissistic personality disorder can impact one’s physical health. These are some physical effects that may be experienced:

Suicidal ideations
Increased risk of abusing drugs or alcohol
Aggressive behavior
Arrogant behavior or attitude

So to you my dear EVM, and maybe also your knights of the round table, I ask you this, “Have you been to a doctor lately?”

References:

http://geekychristian.com/spiritual-abuse/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mars_Hill_Church

http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/11/houston-mark-driscoll-megachurch-meltdown/382487/

http://www.mindhealthconnect.org.au/narcissistic-personality-disorder-npd

http://www.addictionhope.com/mood-disorder/narcissistic-personality