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  • What are you talking about?

    2011 - 02.20

    definitions plural of def·i·ni·tion (Noun)1. A statement of the exact meaning of a word, esp. in a dictionary.
    2. An exact statement or description of the nature, scope, or meaning of something.
    The Free Dictionary

    Dads who think about the true meaning of things can help their children clarify issues . Through relying on the feelings and impressions evoked by words, instead of their real meaning people are often lead to wrong conclusions. The misunderstandings can be about the seemingly most familiar and basic of terms. For instance what is evil? what is faith? what is love? Love, faith, evil all words found in scripture but what do they mean?

    Translations

    As a starting point lets consider what translation you are using when instructing your children. While there are discussions that can be had regarding the accuracy of translations of the Bible, I think there is a fundamental question that Dads need to consider. “Can your children understand the translation they are hearing or listening to? Are the words out of date or too complicated?” Misunderstandings can arise when we interpret a word according to modern usage, when over time the word has changed its meaning since the time it was used in a given translation. In such cases you may need a word study booklet to make sure the word is properly understood according to the time it was used for the translation. For words that are too complicated you may need a dictionary. It is well to keep in mind that often translations are written for different educational levels.

    There are several ways to clarify the meaning of bible words. One is to read the same passage in several translations. Another is to use a concordance or Nave’s Topical Bible to look up passages using the same word. Finally you can purchase a word study book from a Christian book seller.

    What Things Really Mean

    Words are meant to communicate concepts. Sometimes we use a certain word that has a dictionary meaning. However some words have a history or philosophy attached to them. Sometimes the style of literature in which a word appears affects how it should be understood. This is where the deep thinking may come in. Towards this end I am refrencing several discussions which I think will be helpful to fathers as they consider what is being talked about when certain words are used.

    http://www.thingsrevealed.net/origevil.htm
    A good discussion on the concepts related to understanding evil and how the Bible presents evil. The question of evil in the world is one that your children are likely to struggle with. What is it? Why does it exist?
    http://www.godandscience.org/apologetics/professor.html

    An interesting exchange that explores an attack of your child’s faith that they are likely to encounter in high school or college. They should have and understanding of the issue in junior high if possible.

    Understanding what is really taking place can be hindered by not understanding the manners and customs of a people. Also not distinguishing between the various types of literature found in the scripture can lead to misunderstanding. To help in these area I would suggest that you obtain a book regarding bible manners and customs. For instance I have, “The New Manners and Customs of Bible Times” by Ralph Gowers published by Moody Press in 1987. To aid in understanding the various types of bible literature, I have found the classic book, by Gordon Fee and Douglas Stuart titled “How to Read the Bible for All Its Worth” to be helpful. In this regard you may find the following video interesting http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OX3kewIuI3Q.

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