The current judicial exercise in ensuring a hard separation between religion and the federal or state governments has a fairly short history. It really dates to the last century when Justice Hugo Black resurrected a comment that Thomas Jefferson had made in reply to a letter from the Danbury Baptist Association. The Connecticut group had written to congratulate him upon his election to the Presidency in 1804. His use of the phrase â€œa wall of separationâ€ is its first occurrence in text in this land, and in its context it was used as part of his explanation as to why he had chosen not to call for a national day of fasting and thanksgiving as his two predecessors had done upon election. Justice Blackâ€™s appropriation of the remark was much more insidious.
I think about in-depth articles I would like to write. I would love to write a Revelation commentary. I would like to write about the apocalyptic prophets. But as great projects come to my mind, the end of the week comes and there is no time to fulfill these desires. But I do have time to quickly write about things that I notice in my biblical studies. For those that do not know, I am a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ in south Florida. There are many topics or concepts I wish to speak or write about, but often those ideas hit the “cutting room floor” for lack of time or lack of personal brain cells. Richard, the editor and founder of this site, has agreed to allow me to write a blog here. I want to use this blog to share the tidbits and gems from the scriptures that I discover which I find interesting.
For today, I want to share with you a website that I am really finding valuable for my studies. The site is www.nextbible.org. It is the NET translation of the scriptures. While the translation is useful, what is far more useful are the extensive translators’ notes. These translators’ notes are marked throughout the text so the reader can learn the original meaning of the Hebrew or Greek word. Further, the translator notes describe the reason for a particular English translation of a word or phrase over another. This has already been very helpful in my preparations for preaching on Ecclesiastes. It would be nice if all the Bible versions came with an accompanying book of translator notes, explaining why they decided on any given rendering.
While you are at this site, they also have a great study link. Click the study dictionary link on the left (or go to: http://net.bible.org/dictionary.php) and you can use multiple Bible dictionaries for any word. Rather than having to pull out multiple reference books or click repeatedly through the internet or Bible program, a user can get Easton’s, Smith’s, Nave’s, a lexicon, and ISBE all on one page. There are a couple hundred dollars worth of reference works to use for free in one click. Simply terrific! Thanks to the NET team for making these reference works available in a fashion that is easy to access.
I look forward to sharing my findings and questions from the scriptures with you.