Vol. 11 No. 12 December 2009
By Donald R. Fox
I am thankful for aids such as Webster’s Dictionary of English words. I am a terrible speller; I have to look up the same words over and over again. I marvel at those youngsters that participate in these national spelling bees. The judges in our national spelling bees need a standard, and that standard is our English dictionary. We understand that some of our English words can be spelled differently. Some words are considered archaic. Archaic words belong to an earlier English-speaking period. Our dictionary is the standard for the proper spelling, usage, definition and pronunciation of our English words.
Have you ever heard of one denying the fact that the English dictionary is a standard? We all understand alike our English alphabet, do we not? Further, we have “Tables of Weights and Measures,” and these also are considered a standard. Who in his right mind would deny that 12 inches equals one foot? Cautionary Note: “Good dictionaries or encyclopedias will accurately describe all of the ways an English word is used today. But our English dictionaries can fail miserably to inform us about the message in our English Bibles. Why? Translators select English words to accurately convey an idea from the original languages of the Bible into English. Unfortunately, many times our English words carry additional meanings foreign to what the biblical word meant. It is these additional English meanings which can create havoc” (Barry Newton. “Please, Not Webster’s Again.” Forthright Magazine, November 18, 2009. https://www.forthright.net/).
Using the dictionary as an example of a standard, I affirm that the Bible, the Word of God is our standard for what we believe as Christians. All we know about the Godhead, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, we have learned through the Word of God, the Bible. All we know about what God requires of mankind, we have learned through the Bible. The New Testament gives us God’s plan of salvation for us mortals. We learn through the New Testament the answer to the question, “What must I do to be saved?” We learn about the church, the body of Christ, and how to worship our God. We learn how to live the Christian life and die without fear of the beyond. We also learn that the Word of God, the Bible, will be the standard that judges us. No other documents and/or creed books, written by mere man, are needed.
The New Testament of Jesus Christ,
When Obeyed, Will Cause Man to Repent of Sin
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight: but all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do” (Hebrews 4:12-13).
“God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high” (Hebrews 1:1-3).
“And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).
“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works” (Revelation 20:12).
Conclusion: In this essay, we have used the dictionary as a standard for the spelling of English words, etc. In using this illustration, we also used a spelling bee as an example of how the dictionary is the authority to determine the correct spelling, etc. With that illustration in mind, we ponder, what if a youngster misspelled a word and then challenged the judge that used the standard, the dictionary. What if the judge showed the contestant the correct spelling using the dictionary? However, the spelling bee contestant said, “Well, I feel in my heart, my whole being, that I am right.” Would that affirmation change the outcome of the judge’s ruling? Application: Many feel that they are right in the sight of God, and yet, they refuse to obey simple commandments contained in the Word of God. I will let you determine the answer, using the Bible as your standard, whether one can be right before God while refusing to obey the Word of God.