Acts tells us of a time where leaders spoke to Peter and John and told them not to share Jesus.
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You be the judges! As for us, we cannot help speaking about what we have seen and heard.
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In these situations, we have to listen to our ultimate leader. At the end of the day, God is our true ruler. Isaiah reminds us of this by saying "For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; it is He who will save us.
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The Bible calls on Christians to respect our leaders, and one way we can do so is by praying for them. This is good, and pleases God our Savior, who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth. For government workers need to be paid.
They are serving God in what they do. Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and government fees to those who collect them, and give respect and honor to those who are in authority. Nowhere in Scripture do we have the directive to spend our energy, our time, or our money in governmental affairs. Our mission lies not in changing the nation through political reform, but in changing hearts through the Word of God. In a scene meant to recreate his reading of the Law to the assembled returned exiles in Jerusalem Nehemiah 8 , Ezra is portrayed as reading not the Law but the Bible—starting in Genesis where modern Jewish and Christian Bibles begin.
Scholars argue over the messy details of when, where, how, and in what order the books that now appear in the Jewish Tanakh and Christian Old Testaments were written, collected, and deemed authoritative. A similar critique could be made of the New Testament exhibit, a seated film experience.
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The museum curates a unified character—a sloppy conflation of three biblical figures—as the framing narrator of the New Testament, apparently in order to unify the narrative. With the story of Paul, the film takes creative liberties to include extra-biblical tradition. Yet the film portrays Paul as a Christian martyr, thereby adopting a church tradition about the apostle that developed outside of texts that became canonical. Visitor buy-in: check. Only then do visitors reach the third floor, the history section, and the exhibits that contain the majority of the actual ancient artifacts.
Whether intentional or not, the museum provides an extensive interpretive frame for visitors before they ever see a MOTB-curated manuscript. The interpretive placards that accompany ancient manuscripts make attempts to recognize diversity and messiness that biblical scholars insist on when thinking about history and scripture together.
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The exhibit is not without problems, however. It is sure to be critiqued, for example, for its implicit assumption that the Christian, Protestant Bible is normative. A diversity of canons is recognized, but that diversity is articulated accidentally, I suspect in language that implies deviation from a desired norm. Punctuating the entire floor are prominent overhead purple banners containing only the English text of select single verses from biblical texts.
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Yet none of these verses in their historical and literary contexts refer to the Bible as modern people know it—and certainly not any version of a Christian Bible. Their experience is conditioned by what the MOTB gives them to see. The purple banners of biblical texts surround the visitor with particular ideas about the Bible. The Bible is the word of God. The Bible is inspired.
American Standard Version If any man thinketh himself to be religious, while he bridleth not his tongue but deceiveth his heart, this man's religion is vain. Douay-Rheims Bible And if any man think himself to be religious, not bridling his tongue, but deceiving his own heart, this man's religion is vain. Darby Bible Translation If any one think himself to be religious, not bridling his tongue, but deceiving his heart, this man's religion is vain. English Revised Version If any man thinketh himself to be religious, while he bridleth not his tongue but deceiveth his heart, this man's religion is vain.
Webster's Bible Translation If any man among you seemeth to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, but deceiveth his own heart, this man's religion is vain.
Weymouth New Testament If a man thinks that he is scrupulously religious, although he is not curbing his tongue but is deceiving himself, his religious service is worthless. World English Bible If anyone among you thinks himself to be religious while he doesn't bridle his tongue, but deceives his heart, this man's religion is worthless. Young's Literal Translation If any one doth think to be religious among you, not bridling his tongue, but deceiving his heart, of this one vain is the religion;.
Psalm Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from deceitful speech. Psalm I said, "I will watch my ways so that I will not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth with a muzzle as long as the wicked are present. Luke Pay attention, therefore, to how you listen.
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Whoever has will be given more, but whoever does not have, even what he thinks he has will be taken away from him. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to control his whole body. Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers. Young's Literal Translation If any one doth think to be religious among you, not bridling his tongue, but deceiving his heart, of this one vain is the religion; Study Bible Hearing and Doing … 25 But the one who looks intently into the perfect law of freedom, and continues to do so—not being a forgetful hearer, but an effective doer—he will be blessed in what he does.
Treasury of Scripture If any man among you seem to be religious, and bridles not his tongue, but deceives his own heart, this man's religion is vain. James Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: James For in many things we offend all.