The Most Important Single Word in the Bible (2)
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2. THOUGHTS AND WORDS:
"Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth". (Gen.1:26)
"Let the wicked forsake his way; and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto YaHWeH, and He will have mercy upon him: and our Elohim, for He will abundantly pardon. For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith YaHWeH". (Isa. 55:7-8)
"Many, O YaHWeH my Elohim, are your wonderful works which you have done, and your thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto you: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered". (Ps. 40:5)
WRITING CHARACTERS ARE THE BUILDING-BLOCKS OF WORDS:
The Hebrew ALEFBET (Greek; Alphabet) consists of 22 characters (letters). This word is made up of two Hebrew words, Alef and Bet, and are the names of the first two characters of the alphabet. Put together as a single word, Alefbet is the name and therefore represents the entire spectrum of characters used to form all the thousands of words in the original Scriptures. In English our alphabet consists of 26 characters. These 22 Hebrew characters were used to write the entire Scriptures consisting of literally hundreds of thousands of words.
WORDS ARE BUILDING-BLOCKS (bricks). THOUGHTS ARE THE MATERIAL FROM WHICH THESE BUILDING-BLOCKS ARE MADE:
The purpose of words are to communicate a message. A word consists of several of these alefbet characters. Each word has a meaning. In other words, it carries within it a specific thought. For example, if I think of something specific like a HOUSE, or a COMPUTER, or a TABLE or DOOR, you will have no idea what I am thinking about. The moment that I identify my thought by naming the thing that I was thinking about, then you would also think about the same thing. When I say to you; "TABLE", you will in your mind see a table. Words therefore identify thoughts.
Often when we are travelling, or just sitting together in silence enjoying each other's company, my wife would ask me; "What are you thinking about?" Then there would be a further moment of silence while I translated the thoughts that I had been thinking into words. Then I would speak those words, and she would then know what I had been thinking. Even in our minds, our thoughts are based on words - usually the words of our mother-tongue.
Communicating with an infant is very difficult. How often have mothers not exclaimed in exasperation to their crying infant; "If only you could talk and tell me what is bothering you!" Babies do think, probably not very coherently, but they have no way of communicating their thoughts because they do not yet have a vocabulary of words into which to translate their thoughts.
Ons hemelse Vader het jou onsettend lief. Here are seven words of my mother tongue – Afrikaans, that I have just been thinking. Our English- speaking friends, who do not live in South Africa, will read these words and most probably not have a clue what I have communicated. With those words I certainly have communicated an extremely important message. But in order for you to understand that message, it would first have to be translated into English. A good translation would be one that carries the exact meaning over into English. Therefore only a person who understands both Afrikaans and English would be able to accurately translate those words. For the curious, the translation is; Our heavenly Father loves you immensely. The word ‘onsettend’ has been translated accurately as ‘immensely’, however if you looked up the meaning of that word in an Afrikaans/English dictionary you would find that it meant terrible, awful, dire. If I had used any one of those words in my English translation, it would not have carried over my thoughts accurately. In fact, it would have given a meaning almost contrary to the original meaning. But because I understand Afrikaans idiom, I was able to convey my Afrikaans thoughts faultlessly into English. More about the importance of idiom in a later article.
It is impossible for any person, even those who are closest to us, to know exactly what we are thinking unless we reveal our thoughts to them in either spoken or written form. The only Person who can read our thoughts is YaHWeH Himself.
"O YaHWeH, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thoughts afar off". (Ps. 139:1-2)
We could never read another person’s thoughts. We could never ever read the thoughts of the Almighty YaHWeH. But the amazing truth is that He has revealed His thoughts to us and caused them to be written down as the Scriptures. What is even more amazing is that although we do not in the least deserve His good thoughts, that is exactly what they are – “good thoughts”.
"For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says YaHWeH; thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end". (Jer. 29:11)
It is interesting that of all of the Creator's creatures, man is the only one who communicates by means of spoken and written words. This is most probably one of the reasons why the Creator, prior to creating man, spoke these words; "Let us make man in our image..." We have been created in His image because He created us with the same ability He has of communicating thoughts with words.
Adam was given the great responsibility of naming every living creature. (Gen.2:19-20) In other words, man also develops the language that the Creator gave him. Living languages are not stagnant. They develop and change as time goes on. That is why it is so important to regularly have new translations of the Bible. However, as we have seen above, translations can and have been tampered with in order to deceive.
In part 3 we have a look at Satan’s strategy to deceive.
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