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So, here’s what this is: I wasn’t sure if I understood the Bible correctly, so I decided to go through it backwards, verse by verse, and illustrate my impressions as I went. I’m also coming at it with zero context – forgetting everything I half-remember about the stories, and the interpretations, and the doctrine. This way I can be sure I won’t miss anything. I only want to see what’s really there.

“The grace of the Lord Jesus be with all. Amen.”

The “Amen” at the end is interesting, primarily because it comes at the end – of the verse, of the chapter, of the book, of the Bible. I’m assuming the first part of the verse is all that’s meant to be framed as a prayer, but I can’t be sure of that yet. I’ll remember this if anything crops up later (earlier) that I don’t understand.

From the rest of the verse, I know there’s a being named “Lord Jesus”, this being has something called “grace” associated with it, and that this grace is something that the author thinks everyone  (or in some manuscripts, all the saints) should have with them.

I don’t know about you, but I take a very different meaning from “grace be with all” and “grace be with all the saints” – the difference between unconditional love, and love for the in-group only. I don’t have any context yet, of course, but then we’ve only just begun (or in some manuscripts, ended).

The Bible I’m using doesn’t give me any more context for that footnote, and I won’t cheat and look for it elsewhere, but I already have lots of questions. Which manuscripts are more reliable? How can we know? Should I be worried that the very existence of multiple, contradictory interpretations prevents me from ever fully understanding the meaning of the text?

I’m sure humans can answer all my questions, but only with human answers. I’ll see if God’s Holy Word has anything to say on the subject. One verse at a time.

By the way, click here to purchase the Bible I’ll be using. If you’d like to follow along, and/or blog your own impressions, I would welcome the company.

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One Comment

    • Michael McNutt
    • Posted September 12, 2010 at 12:09 pm
    • Permalink
    • Reply

    Amen


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