Real Bible Study

from Volume 1, April 2016, page # 29

by James G Landis

While seeking to write out the “Plow Boy Version” of the passage from I John (pg. 20), I encountered the word, “propitiation” in the KJV. This word presented several challenges. What did the word mean? How could I put it in simple language that everyone would understand?

I studied several different translations and wrote down a definition that I thought sounded pretty good. Jesus is the One who took God’s wrath against our sins upon himself and brought us into fellowship with God. 

In the editing process, Brother Mike Atnip called my definition into question. He said, “We could have a long discussion about propitiation, but your definition is a general Protestant definition.” Brother Mike then gave a shorter and simpler definition that satisfied me better than the first one. Jesus is the one sacrifice that brought us peace with God.

This example illustrates one of the best methods of real Bible study. Take a passage of Scripture. Write out your own Plow Boy Version of the passage as you understand it. Then get together with another friend who has written out his own interpretation of the same passage. Compare your writing and where you differ. You may have several friends together, but keep the group small, no more than four or five.

As I understand it, it was out of this very kind of Bible study that the Anabaptist movement was born. Ulrich Zwingli, Felix Manz, Conrad Grebel and a few others met regularly together to study the New Testament in the original language. It was a firm desire to understand the true meaning of the Scripture that convicted them and impelled them to put it into practice.

Giving The True Meaning

from Issue #1, April 2016, page # 27

by James G. Landis

Anabaptist Voice does not claim to be a scholarly paper. Neither do we claim to be competent translators that can speak with authority on Bible meanings based on a knowledge of Hebrew and Greek.

However, we do believe that those Anabaptists who want to know the truth can understand the truth of the Word. Anabaptist Voice affirms that the Scripture is inspired and that it has the authority to govern the life of the believer.

Since Anabaptist Voice is dedicated to furthering the truth of the Scripture for those of simple faith, we will always attempt to use a simple rendering of the Scripture. This is not dependent on one translation or the other. We will always seek to use a simple, straight-forward rendering of a Scripture without designating it as being from one version or another. It may even be in the writer’s own words. It is the meaning of the passage that we seek to convey.

Hence, writers will not attach a version to any quotation of Scripture, but give only the chapter and verse where it may be found. And if any error be found in our rendering by diligent brethren, we urge anyone to write us and instruct us in the way of God more perfectly.

This policy for Anabaptist Voice does not attempt to say what translation or version is best for your church. We are not saying that your congregation should conduct its worship services in English, French, German, Spanish, Swahili or any other language. That choice and the version or versions you use is a local decision with which we have no argument.