Friday, May 27, 2011

How You Can Understand the Bible's "Contradictions"

Friday in the week of Easter 5
May 27, 2011

The Lord be with you

In Luke 10:25-28 we read:
    And behold, a lawyer stood up to put him to the test, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” He [Jesus] said to him, “What is written in the Law? How do you read it?” And he answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have answered correctly; do this, and you will live.”
In Galatians 3:10-11a St. Paul wrote:
    For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.” Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law…
It seems that Jesus and Paul disagree. It seems like Jesus is telling the lawyer to keep the Law and by doing so he will inherit eternal life. Yet is seems like Paul is saying keeping the Law is impossible and that no one inherits eternal life by keeping the Law.

To be honest, this apparent conflict runs through the Scriptures. I say “apparent” because there really isn’t a conflict. However to understand how these two biblical themes are not in conflict you need to have a proper distinction between Law and Gospel.

That distinction was the subject of thirty-nine lectures C. F. W. Walther gave in the evenings way back in 1884-1885. Those who listened took copious notes and those notes were published. Of course the lectures and notes were in German. In 1897 they were translated into English, and that English translation has been used ever since.

Recently the lectures have been retranslated, and the translator was given access also to Walther’s lecture notes. Therefore some transcription errors were correct. This new translation is available from Concordia Publishing House.

What sets this edition off is the extensive notes provided to aid the reader. It has maps, historical and biographical information, definitions, photographs, and much more. This edition normally sells for $29.99. Right now it is on sale for $19.99. That is a bargain for a book that will pay rich dividends for the rest of your life in aiding your understanding of the Bible and how to apply it in your life.

Click Here to go to the CPH page where you can learn more about the book and order a copy.

This is one of those book I believe should be read by every Christian.

Blessings in Christ,
Pastor John Rickert

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