Post 65 / The Next Language


 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil (Mat 6:13)…

This will be an exercise in discourse structure but also has good theological and practical value.

One of the most challenging aspects of oral translations such as we make is discourse level linguistics.  One aspect of this is the juxtapositioning of phrases.  The original meaning of phrases is couched in the linguistic assumptions that come with the order of the phrases.  Much of the Hebrew poetry in the Psalms and Proverbs is constructed with such dualisms.  The sequential order of each establishes focus and impacts meaning.

For instance, consider the three dualisms in the Lord’s Prayer (Matt. 6:9- 13):

Thy will in earth                                 as in heaven

Forgive us our debts                          as we forgive our debtors

Lead us not into temptation             but deliver us from evil.

I am not going to pretend to be an expert in Hebrew but I believe that what the Lord was really emphasizing in this prayer would be better expressed in English if the phrases were reversed.  Let’s illustrate with the last one.

Deliver us from evil (evil one)         as we come into temptation, (trouble, suffering)

Because English presumes cause normally precedes effect and focus/priority normally precedes secondary focus we tend to get hung up on the temptation because our discourse structure puts it in focus.  This is problematic with other Scripture that appears to contradict the suggestion.  James says,  “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man” (Jas 1:13 KJV)

I believe we can correctly pray for deliverance from evil.  I do not believe we can correctly pray that we will be delivered from temptation.  Temptation is a result of living in a fallen world as fallen human beings where evil is endemic.  As God’s children we can in faith pray for deliverance and expect to be delivered.

This has been an exercise in illustrating how careful we need to be in structuring the story of Jesus in different languages (and this is only a tiny piece of the discourse level mosaic).  For a fuller explanation I would recommend studying  Discourse Considerations in Translating the Word of God by Beekman and Callow.  This is an important reference source in our recordist training.

Meanwhile, I close with 1 John 2:14 (KJV): “I have written unto you, fathers, because ye have known him [that is] from the beginning. I have written unto you, young men, because ye are strong, and the word of God abideth in you, and ye have overcome the wicked one.”

The “wicked one” is the same Greek word used in the Lord’s prayer for evil.

As we pray for deliverance, let’s also remember to pray for the translation process that delivers the Gospel to all.

God Bless,

Larry DeVilbiss | Executive Director

Global Recordings Network USA

If you are interested in learning how to share links on social media
that will promote use of our recordings and the Gospel in general,
please phone Roland Heck at 951-216-9985.

Previous “The Next Language” posts
New Discoveries – Post 64
The Wall of Pain – Post 63
Is There a Place for the Gospel in Your Story – Post 62
The Love Pyramid – Post 61
Obsession – Post 60
Verb Tenses in Hebrews – Post 59
The Unseen Weapon – Post 58
The Gospel Arrives in Zapoteco:Elotepec – Post 57
Fishing – GRN Style – Post 56
A New Day in Mexico – Post 55
Seeking – Post 54
Pick Your Battles – Post 53
How Big Is Your God? – Post 52
A Muted Gospel? – Post 51
Dedication Service for Marcos – Post 50
Two Weeks, Two Months, Two Years – Post 49
What Will You Give to Jesus – Post 48
Special Assignment – Post 47
The Good and the Best – Post 46
How Many Languages Are There? – Post 45
Verifying Speech Varieties – Post 44
Those God Things – Post 43
Meet Notch, the Desert Cottontail – Post 42
The Lost Languages – Post 41
The Rest of the Yoke – Post 40
What About Those Last Languages – Post 39
A Yoke That Fits – Post 38
The Other Side – Post 37
It Is Finished – Post 36
On the Ground in Culiacan – Post 35
I Will Go With Thee – Post 34
Unseen Warfare – Post 33
God of the Gaps – Post 32
The Father of Faith Missions – Post 31
WAIT – Post 30
Our Ultimate Weapon – Post 29
What Are You Doing Here – Post 28
Recordist Training Course Update – Post 27
Still Shameful – Post 26
Numbers Update – Post 25
The Gospel and Idolatry – Post 24
Could Ye Not Pray – Post 23
John the Baptist and the New Normal – Post 22
Genesis of a Script – Post 21
Embena Experiences – Post 20
An Easter Like No Other – Post 19
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