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Series: New Testament Eschatology

From time to time, I hear a lot about the early church’s understanding of the “end of the world” or their belief that the “Second Coming of Jesus” would take place within their generation. And it’s usually not in a very good light. “They were obviously mistaken,” is often the remark I hear most. I know it’s hard to imagine but what if we’re mistaken? What if we’ve misunderstood what they meant? I’m hoping that this series on some of the major statements from the New Testament about the “end of the world” will show that they weren’t mistaken in their understanding of the “signs of the times.”
Before we begin, however, let’s look at some terms that will have to be used. As most of you know, I try to refrain from using big “church” words. My reason for this is because those words are like suitcases where ideas and thoughts and understandings are packed into them. To explain the words would mean a long time spent unpacking the suitcases and explaining their contents. While such a pilgrimag…

My Thoughts on Titus 2.11

While reading through Keith Giles’ exceptional book, Jesus Unbound: Liberating the Word of God from the Bible, he quoted Titus 2.11 in a section about “sound doctrine” from the New International Version[1] —
For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.
The word “offers” jumped out of the page to me. I’ve never seen that before — God offering salvation. So I did what I’ve been doing lately and that’s looking up passages someone quotes or references in my new favorite translation, The Inclusive Bible (hereafter TIB). The TIB[2] translates Titus 2.11 as — 
The grace of God has appeared, offering salvation to all.
Hmm… How have I not seen this before?
Since the TIB is similar to the NIV, I thought I’d look up Titus 2.11 in other translations to see how they translated it. Here are a few of them:
CEB[3] — The grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all people. ESV[4] — For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, GNT[5] — For God has reve…

My take on Ephesians 1.18-19a

A friend asked me for my take on Ephesians 1.18-19a. I thought I’d share my response with you all. I hope you enjoy it!

Ephesians 1.18-19a (TIB):[1] I pray that God will enlighten the eyes of your mind so that you can see the hope this call holds for you — the promised glories that God’s holy ones will inherit, and the infinitely great power that is exercised for us who believe.
So there are a few things here. What initially jumped out at me was “the eyes of your mind” or “your mind’s eye.” The first thing that comes to mind here (no pun intended) is the idea of the “third eye” in some eastern practices. The “mind’s eye” represents the gateway to enlightenment; the ability to enter deeply into oneself thus accessing higher consciousness; the ability to engage with the Divine within oneself and within all life.
And added with that is “so that you can see the hope … ” In other words, this “hope” is not something we “literally” see; it must be “seen” by faith (i.e., with the “mind’s eye”). A…

Have I just found a Bible to supplant my favorite translation?

I recently “re-discovered” a Bible translation that I’d forgotten about — The Inclusive Bible: The First Egalitarian Translation. I’m not sure when this translation first came on my radar and I don’t remember why I didn’t look into it more closely then, but here we are. Since the copyright of The Inclusive Bible states one must ask permission before quoting from it, I reached out to them and was granted permission to use it! For that, I am very grateful.
“The Inclusive Bible is a fresh, dynamic translation into modern English, carefully crafted to let the power and poetry of the language shine forth — particularly when read aloud — giving it an immediacy and intimacy rarely found in traditional translations of the Bible.”
The Inclusive Bible was started by the Quixote Center, “a multi-issue social justice organization founded in 1976.” From their website:
The Quixote Center supports gender equality, including ordination for women; the civil rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and tra…