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Vol.  10  No. 3 March 2008  Page 20
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Since You Asked By Louis Rushmore

Names may be included at the discretion of the Editor unless querists request their names be withheld. Please check our Archive for the answer to your question before submitting it; there are over 1,000 articles in the Archive addressing numerous biblical topics. Submit a Question to GGO.

Louis Rushmore

Repented Enough?

My question is, in the fruit of repentance before baptism, how does one know how much he has repented of when his sins are so many? …But, I keep wondering now if I had repented enough before my baptism. Now knowing more about repentance, and that it’s also a change of “conduct” (not just a change of mind), I try to think back and see if my conduct had changed before my baptism. Today, I try to tell myself that the Lord saved me, knowing that I still needed a fuller knowledge of “repentance,” but for some reason, I still keep having doubts about whether I’m saved… Anthony Grigsby

    The child of God can know that he knows that he is saved; there is no reason for the Christian to harbor doubts about his or her salvation. “And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments” (1 John 2:3). The fact that a child of God may sometimes have doubts about salvation does not necessarily mean that he is not saved, only that he needs to know about scriptural assurances of salvation.

    John the Baptist called upon the religious leaders who appeared at the site of his preaching and baptisms to “bring forth therefore fruits of repentance” (Matthew 3:8) because there was neither any profession nor demonstration by them of their willingness to amend their sinful ways. The Saducees and the Pharisees were unaffected by John’s divine message, and they were discernibly impenitent. They neither exhibited sorrow for sin nor repentance that leads to salvation.

    The repentance that people express when implementing the plan of salvation in their lives differs from merely sorrow and leads to the salvation of the soul. “For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death” (2 Corinthians 7:10). Repentance carries with it the idea of purposing to turn from one’s sinful ways (though the follow through is often more difficult). Though one may enumerate his various sins from which he repents, Scripture does not require that. Repentance is a disposition of mind to submit one’s will to the will of God in all things¾a sort of blanket submission that includes all one’s sins, known and unknown.

    The Christian life is a work in progress! We do better as we learn better. What we may affectionately refer to as God’s second law of pardon provides the ongoing forgiveness of sins for Christians when they sin (Acts 8:22; 1 John 1:9). We can know that we know that we are saved as long as we obey the author of eternal salvation (1 John 2:3; Hebrews 5:9).

Why the Differences in Translation?

I will be teaching Job 38-42 in our adult Sunday School class. In preparing for this class I studied the LXX, the ESV and the NIV. Verse 36 in the LXX reads as follows: And who has given to women skill in weaving or knowledge of embroidery? ESV: Who has put wisdom in the inward parts or given understanding to the mind? NIV: Who endowed the heart with wisdome or gave understanding to the mind. Our versions are about as different from the LXX as one could ever hope to find? Any rational reason for the difference in translations? Thank you. Ken Heflin

    Students of the Bible who have observed various translations of Job 38:36 have also observed the disparity between some of those translations. Albert Barnes prefaced his treatment of this verse by saying: “There is great variety in the interpretation of this passage.” The following translations illustrate this variety of translation: “And who has given to women skill in weaving or knowledge of embroidery?” (Septuagint or LXX); “Who hath put wisdom in the inward parts? or who hath given understanding to the heart?” (KJV). “Who has put wisdom in the mind? Or who has given understanding to the heart?” (NKJV). “Who has put wisdom in the clouds, or given understanding to the mists?” (RSV). The question, naturally, is why such variety in translation.

    One commentary notes that most of our English translations correspond to the Hebrew text (Jamieson, Fausset and Brown). The Septuagint, of course, is a translation from Hebrew to Greek, after which rendered into English. However, the difficulty in translation appears to relate to defining the original language words properly within their specific context. Yet, the message is not altered by the difficulty of translating here.

The meaning of the two basic words in this verse — “inward parts” and “mind’’ — is uncertain. These two words are rendered clouds and mists elsewhere. The root meaning of the former is probably “cover over” or hidden, i.e., hidden or inward parts; and the root significance of the latter is perhaps “to look out,” i.e., in the sense that men can draw meanings from observing. Regardless of these difficulties, Yahweh is asking Job whether or not he can understand the workings of His wonderful creation. (Strauss 404)

The message of God’s supremacy is clearly understood throughout the volume, and here, too.

Works Cited

Barnes, Albert. Barnes’ Notes. CD-ROM. Seattle: Biblesoft, 1997.

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary. CD-ROM. Seattle: Biblesoft, 1997.

Strauss, James D. The Shattering of Silence: Job, Our Commentary. CD-ROM. Joplin: College Press, 1976.

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