The Old Fool introduced subscribers to his last blog by saying that it was only one word, but not the last word about biblical sexuality. The second word came by telephone from a friend and brother who is concerned that Jesus might be misunderstood when I said that he expected dedicated disciples to act as though they hated their families.”
The link in the blog led to Luke 14:25-26 NIV which reads as follows: “Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said:“ If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple.”
My friend is far more scholarly than I. He is a mentor who influences me greatly. I lack scholarly training, but the internet gives me tools for Bible study. If you follow the link to Bible Hub you will learn that the Greek word miséō is No. 3404 in the Strong’s Concordance and that the it occurs 41 times in the New Testament usually translated with some form of the word “hate.”
Also, I learned on the Bible Hub that miséō means properly, to detest (on a comparative basis); hence, denounce; to love someone or something less than someone (something) else, i.e. to renounce one choice in favor of another.The Bible Hub shows that in Luke 14:25-26 miséō is consistently translated as “hate” by 19 of the 22 New Testament translations on the Bible Hub.
Only three translations attempt more nuanced translations: The God’s Word Translation translates miséō as “are not ready to abandon;” World’s English Bible translates miséō as “doesn’t disregard,” New Living Translation states “you must hate everyone else by comparison.” My question is: Why did not more translations of the Greek word give nuanced translations that would convey what we think Jesus really meant by what he said.
My friend had this second question for me: What made you think that the College Mennonite Church will not split, but will choose a third way? My hopeful words in the blog were based on the good feeling usually generated by a communion service. We don’t easily commune with those from whom we are about to split.
Since my first responses to the Anabaptist Renewal Circle, I have started listening to a series of workshops by Marshal Rosenberg on nonviolent communication. Rosenberg may consider some of what I said as not helpful violent language. I am sorry if that is what happened. I want to speak from my heart to our need for love, unity, and peace. The kindly Old Fool does not want to pass judgement nor do I want to stop asking questions from my heart. Please help me not to be what you don’t like about me, and to be helpful by being what you do like about me.
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