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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

What Happens When Something in the Bible Does Not Line Up?

Hebrews 10 is what I was working through this afternoon while waiting for an appointment that did not happen.  Verse 16 gave me some problems.  The author mangles Jeremiah 31:33.  Having started my journey with Christ memorizing verses "word perfect" it is obvious that the writer of Hebrews does not feel that pressure.  He quotes the last two phrases of the verse quotes Jeremiah as, "I will put my laws upon their heart, and on their mind I will write them."  Jeremiah 31:33 says, "I will put my law within them and on their heart I will write it."  Different.
Ever get confused when parts of the Bible misquote other parts?  Thoughts at DTTB.
In a lot of cases when there is a difference in the Hebrew and what is quoted in the New Testament the reason is that the author is quoting from the Septuagint, the Greek version of the Old Testament, and not the Hebrew.  As it turns out, that is what is happening here, sort of.

In the Septuagint Jeremiah 31:33 says, and I am translating here, "…I will put my Law in their mind and on their heart I will write it."  Closer but still not the same.

So what do we do with that?

The writer does not follow the Hebrew and mixes up the Greek version.  If it is the case that the Holy Spirit inspired this, and I believe that is the case, what does that mean?

The way I resolve this is that I have to allow the Spirit to do what He wants with the text.  I have to deal with Jeremiah 31:33 in that context and Hebrews 10:16 in the context of Hebrews.  Others will see this as an error in Scripture.  I do not.

It is puzzling.  But the sense of Jeremiah’s words are carried forward.  I have to be OK with that.

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