Enoch Walked Faithfully with God

January 4, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Posted in Devotional thoughts, English Bible Translations | Leave a comment

My reading in Genesis yesterday struck me as interesting.  Chapter 5 is a Bible-trivia nut’s haven, with its list of men who achieved some outlandish ages.  However, the note that reverberates over the entire chapter, in spite of these men’s ages, is death.  Eight times we are reminded, as I titled a sermon once, “He Lived a Gazillion Years, and then He Died.”  However the shocker and, I believe, emphasis of the chapter is Enoch, who, instead of dying, walked with God.  Here I love what the NIV2011 did with that statement; they added the word faithfully.  “When Enoch had lived 65 years, he became the father of Methuselah.  And after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked faithfully with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters.  Altogether, Enoch lived 365 years.  Enoch walked faithfully with God; then he was no more, because God took him away.”  (21-24 NIV2011 – Identical to the NIV1984 except for that addition)  The added word gives a good and necessary emphasis.  It reminds me of the theologian who said the Christian life must be “a long obedience in the same direction.”  Christianity is not a flash in the pan emotional experience or a short lived belief, nor is it a “that happened to me once” religion.  It is a faithful walk over many years.  As we go through 2012 may we practice that long obedience in the same direction – that faithful walk with God whatever the year may bring.

On a translation note, this is where a looser thought-for-thought translation has an advantage over a strict word-for-word.  It can bring out a richer meaning, which, in some cases may be closer to the original idea.  Or, in the very least, can spark a deeper thought in the reader.  I’ll give my vote to the NIV in this case.

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