Agrippa Almost Converted Acts 26:24-29

April 28, 2006

24 And as he thus spake for himself, Festus said with a loud voice, Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad.

25 But he said, I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness.

26 For the king knoweth of these things, before whom also I speak freely: for I am persuaded that none of these things are hidden from him; for this thing was not done in a corner.

27 King Agrippa, believest thou the prophets? I know that thou believest.

28 Then Agrippa said unto Paul, Almost thou persuadest me to be a Christian.

29 And Paul said, I would to God, that not only thou, but also all that hear me this day, were both almost, and altogether such as I am, except these bonds.


In this scripture Paul is preaching the gospel, according to the prophecy, to kings and to all the gentiles. Hearing, "king" Agrippa feels the spirit and is 
feels that he needs to say something to not that he is interested. He accuses Paul of insanity even though he knows he is saying the truth. When we get mad we are not rational and make accusations that are not serious. That's what Agrippa did when he called Paul mad. Paul sensed that and told the king that he was speaking words of truth and soberness. He also told Agrippa that he knew that he believed the prophets — meaning that he knew that he also believed the prophecied about Jesus.
Knowing that Paul read him openly told him honestly that he was almost converted. The reason Agrippa did not convert was because of his pride and because he cared
too much about what his servants thought of him. It is the reason most people won't repent and be healed.
The work goes on. I am glad Paul did not give up and gave us a great spiritual legacy to carry on. 


Jacob 6:11-12

April 19, 2006

11 O then, my beloved brethren, repent ye, and enter in at the strait gate, and continue in the way which is narrow, until ye shall obtain eternal life.

12 O be wise; what can I say more?

What can he say more? Be wise is such a good advice. My father told me to always look twice where Ii step so I don't step in some dog crap. I know it's funny but I can relate this saying of my father to this scripture. Jacob says pretty much the same thing, be wise so you can enter at the strait gate. To enter through it one has to always do more and more better himself/herself every day and always seek for truth. Paul has a great recommendation for this. It is found in Phil 4:8 

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.


Acts 17:20

April 17, 2006

(For all the Athenians and strangers which were there spent their time in nothing else, but either to tell, or to hear some new thing.)

I find this scripture funny because it is so out of the ordinary. It shows how Paul or Luke felt about the Athenians at that time. Also, like the Athenians in that time I see that many of us do the exact same. Instead of working out our salvation we tend to bussy our lives with trite things. Well for now i will try to do something productive and get back to work.

Full Exegesis Project on Ecclesiastes 3:1-15

April 11, 2006

In this section I will talk about what information I think is most important in translating this passage of scripture. For this translation to be successful the translator must regard the passage with utmost importance and should always review their work never assuming it’s done on the first try.

A good process for translation is to translate the passage into the target language, keeping in mind the above appendices, and then to ask someone else to do the translation of your text in the input language. Then a third person, in a meeting with the two translators, compares the original document with the two translations and check to see where meaning was lost. The changes should be documented and discussed. Remedies should be found so the meaning of the translation can stay as close as possible to the original. If the original meaning cannot be retained, it can be documented in the footnotes of the translation giving additional information on alternate meanings.

The translator should keep in mind that the input language of the document is not a modern day language, so it could be proper to try to use an older style language for the translation also.

The information that can easily be lost in this passage is the antitheses from the beginning of the passage. The one in charge of translating should pay close attention at the graph I have made in appendix B1. The words find their opposites on the other side of the branch passing in the middle through the key work “time”. These words should maintain their antithesis in the final translation. Also, the key word “time” should be translated. A translation of “A time to be born, and a time to die;” should not be translated in this fashion A time to be born and die. This translation looses the symmetry and parallelism of the original passage making it less strong.

The words “worketh” and “laboreth” (v.9) are very similar and in the translation they should be translated as different synonymic words and not the same word. The pronoun reference should be checked every time a demonstrative pronoun or a personal pronoun is found.

Also of a difficulty of translation is verse 11, care should be taken so that the meaning is not lost. A translator that speaks more than one language should see how other language translators have translated the same passage and see if that will help them.

The hardest things to translate are structures that don’t exist in the target language or expressions that do not transfer.

The stylistic patterns that should be used should be as close to the input text. Repetitions, parallel structures and chiasmus should be kept the same if possible in the target language. For a more detailed look at the parsing for this passage the translator can look at appendix E1. The parsing of the translated text should look fairly similar to the parsing above. This is another safeguard against the loss of meaning.

The verses that seem hard to understand are the hardest verses to translate. To better understand those verses the translators should take a break from translating and inform themselves as much as possible about the historical background of the author of the text. A short historical background with information about the author of the passage can be found in appendix A. All that information is pertinent because it can make a great difference in the translation of this passage. An understanding that the passage is pessimistic can help the translator render a more accurate translation.

In appendix C we see a color map of the passage. The colors represent the words that repeat themselves, the synonyms and antonyms in the passage. These words are important because they show visually some of the words that the translator should pay attention to. These words should be translated preserving their original functions. They are the voce of the text and if they are not translated right they make the passage bland.

The words that repeat themselves should be kept repeating in the translated document. Stylistically it is bad to have repetitions in a passage, but these repetitions are intentional and very important. These repetitions provide a constant in a world where everything changes. They might represent God’s firmness compared to a world that is in the like gale of wind.

The passive voice in the passage should be kept in the translation also. Passive voice keeps the subject hidden and lets the reader interpret it. This is important. I argue to say that the fact that the scriptures have many interpretations is a good thing. They make us think and ponder the messages that are harder to understand. While in this meditation the spirit can guide us to know something personal and relevant only to us. If the passages would be unquestionable we would have little to learn from them and little to learn on our own.

In the appendix D1 I have circled the most meaningful words. These words are also difficult to translate because they offer a wealth of interpretations. Appendix D2 shows the roots of those words in Hebrew and the multiple interpretations they could have. Verse one of the passage is full of meaning. Season, time, purpose and under the heaven are the key words here. They are all related to each other. Season shows the greater time scale when events happen in our life, time is the specific moment when we see the changes. Season shows the general way of things while time is more specific. Purpose is the reason why all these events happen in our life. There is a purpose in our life and we should attribute that purpose to learning to be more like God. Under the heaven is an expression that whenever used it refers to this earthly life only. It is here where these changes happen and where we are supposed to learn. In the life to come things will be different and for that we need to prepare now.

The translation of an ancient text is not easy but it is not without rewards. It is most wonderful to know that you have translated something and that you have kept the true meaning of that passage. The scriptures are the word of God and because of that it is so important that the meaning is kept. On a personal note the translator will have become an expert on that passage and will be able to teach it to others, which is a great privilege.

If you want to see the rest of the paper click on the pdf.


Acts 10:9-15

April 4, 2006

9 […]Peter went up upon the housetop to pray about the sixth hour:

10 And he became very hungry, and would have eaten: but while they made ready, he fell into a trance,

11 And saw heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending unto him, as it had been a great sheet knit at the four corners, and let down to the earth:

12 Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts of the earth, and wild beasts, and creeping things, and fowls of the air.

13 And there came a voice to him, Rise, Peter; kill, and eat.

14 But Peter said, Not so, Lord; for I have never eaten any thing that is common or unclean.

15 And the voice spake unto him again the second time, What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.


    This is passage always confused me a bit. Why you might ask?… well because this vision teaches Peter that the Gospel is ready to go to the gentiles. The Gospel has not been available for the gentiles until then, it was only for the Jews (house of Israel). But the gospel has been available to non-Jews before this. Acts chapter 2 is the chapter where the apostles receive the Holy Ghost and speak with tongues and convert many non Jews on the day of the Pentecost. Maybe I am wrong because all of those were gathered at the Pentecost festival from all over the world, but were of the Jewish faith. Also the Eunuch that Philip baptized was not a Jew.
    Anyway the Gospel was first preached to the Jews and then to the Gentiles. Cornelius seems to be the first one that received it. I am not sure what is up with the story of the eunuch, maybe he was a Jew also. If you know better say it in the comments. 

Ecclesiastes 3:1-15

April 3, 2006

1 TO every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

2 A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

3 A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

4 A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

5 A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

6 A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

7 A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep bsilence, and a time to speak;

8 A time to love, and a time to ahate; a time of war, and a time of peace.

9 What profit hath he that worketh in that wherein he laboureth?

10 I have seen the travail, which God hath given to the sons of men to be exercised in it.

11 He hath made every thing beautiful in his time: also he hath set the world in their heart, so that no man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning to the end.

12 I know that there is no good in them, but for a man to rejoice, and to do good in his life.

13 And also that every man should eat and drink, and enjoy the good of all his labour, it is the agift of God.

14 I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.

15 That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past.


This is one of my favorite scriptures because it shows that life is fleeting. It teaches us that no life is complete without these antithesiss. It also teaches me that you have to work hard and then enjoy the fruit of your labour. Also I love the part that says that everything that does is eternal.