Re: Translation, etc.

On Fri, 15 Jul 1994, Ken Hall wrote:

> Anyone,
> from any walk of life, if she or he has the Spirit of God living within
> them, therefore has the Author and thus the actual Writer of the words
> of the Bible no matter what language it happens to be translated into.
> We cannot consult with the original human writers of the Word.  We
> can, however, consult immediately and directly with the original Divine
> Writer of the Word--and to me, that is better by far.

Lovely sentiment, Ken, but there are practicalities, which I know about
directly as someone of Pentecostal background (with appreciation and
indebtedness, but also with some critical awareness of potential
problems).  Specifically, as old-time Pentecostals would say:  "How do you
tell the difference between the Holy Ghost and heartburn?"  That is, when
you consult the "Spirit" directly and ask "God" to tell you the meaning of
the text, bypassing the efforts of careful exegesis and the witness of
Christian tradition and scholarship, how do you know the answer you think
you hear is really God, undeflected and undiluted by your own
personality/background/culture/neuroses, etc.??
	It's this kind of "Spirit-directed" interpretation of scripture
that characterized "David Koresh" and the Waco bunch, right?  So, let's
beware of the dangers of spiritual hubris, and humbly learn from those who
can benefit, check and profit our reading of scripture.  
Larry Hurtado, Religion, Univ. of Manitoba