Why I’m using the Holman Christian Standard Bible


Baptist, Benoni, Crystal Park, Crystal Park Baptist Church, dynamic equivalence, English Standard Version, ESV, formal equivalence, gender neutral language, GNB, Good News Bible, HCSB, Holman Christian Standard Bible, King James Version, KJV, NASB, New American Standard Version, New International Version, New King James Version, NIV, NKJV, optimal equivalence, translation

Photo by Tom Cocklereece

Hey there church,

I hope I find you well this morning? It’s getting colder in Johannesburg and we’ll be starting to fire up the heaters in morning services very soon.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been reading the Bible. “Ah”, you might say, “I kinda expected that from my pastor” :). Yes you should, but what I’ve been reading has been a little different and I wanted to tell you about it.

I’ve been concerned about which Bible we use as a congregation. You may have noticed, we’re a diverse bunch of people. Lots of kids who generally read out of the Good News Bible. Lots of foreigners (I love that Crystal Park is the melting pot of Africa) and second language English speakers who generally read out of the New International Version. And the rest? They generally read out of the English Standard Version, King James Version and New American Standard Version.

Now I’m all for diversity, but something’s changed. The New International Version has changed their translation policy to include more gender neutral language. This might not seem a big deal, but think about the way we preach – verse by verse, line by line – we really care about what the original author meant to say to his original hearers. This changed policy is a step too far away from the original language. We need to consider our options.

I received a Holman Christian Standard Bible a few weeks ago. I’ve read the Pentateuch, the Old Testament books of history and long portions of the New Testament since then. I’m impressed. I’ve also done a detailed word study of Colossians 4:2 – 6 and 7 – 18, asked the translators questions and gotten back satisfactory answers.

Maybe you’d like to know a little more about this translation? Well English translations can be simplified into three basic categories: formal, dynamic and optimal equivalence. What does that mean?

The English Standard Version, King James Version and New American Standard Versions are formal equivalence translations. They’re word-for-word, literal translations, and seek to preserve the original language by representing each word of the translated text with an equivalent word so we can see what the original author wrote. I favour this for myself and recommend Bible students to study out of one of these translations.

Translations like the New Living Translation and the Message are called dynamic equivolence translations. They are thought-for-thought and try to capture the meaning of the text more than the form. At Crystal Park Baptist Church we don’t generally encourage people to use these (even though I know some of you do… and yes, I know they’re sooo easy to read).

The HCSB uses optimal equivalence. By that they mean that a literal translation is used when possible, but when clarity and readability demand they’ll opt for an idiomatic translation, the reader can then access the original text through footnotes.

If you’re a visual person I tried to capture the thinking above in the chart below:

Baptist, Benoni, Crystal Park, Crystal Park Baptist Church, dynamic equivalence, English Standard Version, ESV, formal equivalence, gender neutral language, GNB, Good News Bible, HCSB, Holman Christian Standard Bible, King James Version, KJV, NASB, New American Standard Version, New International Version, New King James Version, NIV, NKJV, optimal equivalence, translation

So what’s going to change? I’m so excited to begin preaching through the book of Acts from the 2nd of June. I’m planning to use the HCSB from then. Add to that, the weekly memory verses in the pewslip will be out of the HCSB from now on.

I visited CUM Books in Eastrand Mall last week and they sell HCSB’s at reasonable prices and I checked Christian Book Discounters and they’ve got them available on their website. When we can get hardcover copies at reasonable prices we’ll stock them at church too.

the Penrith's, Mark Penrith

Got questions? Come speak to Gideon or me. I’m sure we’ll release an Elder’s Questions and Answers in the next few days.

In Christ and for His glory alone,

Mark

Nkosi sikelela, thina lusapho lwayo – Pastor to Pupils


From Pastor to Pupils

Presenting the National Anthem in a School environment

Crystal Park Baptist Church

This is our church’s local area evangelism board. It shows our primary evangelistic outreaches. Over and above the schools and the police station we also go door to door on Sundays. Click image to enlarge.

I love South Africa. I want to make a difference in my country but I’m not always sure where to start. More than anything I desire to see revival in my land, my nation turning to the one, true God, faith in Jesus Christ His Son, a repentance, which is a turning away from sin and a turning to Him. It is to that end I strive.

Crystal Park Baptist Church has established great relationships with the schools and the police station in our area. In the last three blog spots (see bottom of this post for links) I’ve spoken about going to our local High School once a week and the local Primary School too. We also go to the relief parade at our local police station every Tuesday morning and address the officers and members going off and coming on shift.

In the following set of articles I briefly describe the devotionals that we’re currently presenting to the schools and police station in our area. We work line by line through the national anthem at the primary gathering or assembly. The Gospel goes out each week, which is what the church wants, and the school or police station benefits because currently nation building and the national anthem are in the spotlight. We’ve been attending to this ministry for the last year and have begun to see much fruit.

Again, this is a work in progress and I’ll be most grateful if you gave me feedback.

Lesson 4

Lord bless us, We are the family of it – Nkosi sikelela, thina lusapho lwayo.

The forth line, ‘Nkosi sikelela, thina lusapho lwayo’, translates to ‘Lord bless us, We are the family of it’.

In the second half of the Book of Acts, the apostle Paul goes from city to city in the Roman world preaching the Good News of the Gospel, that while God is Holy and separated from sin, and while man is sinful and therefore separated from God, God made a plan, He sent His Son Jesus Christ into the world to save sinners. Jesus paid the price we could not and so, if we believe in Him, trust upon His finished work on the cross rather than our own efforts, repent from our sin and turn to Him, we will be saved.

So Paul is going around the known world teaching this Gospel to whoever would hear it and in Acts 17 we find him in Greece, in the capital city, Atheans. And here he addresses the crowd. I want to to hear part of his sermon:

Acts 17:22 – 27,

22 Then Paul stood in the middle of the Areopagus and said: “Men of Athens! I see that you are extremely religious in every respect. 23 For as I was passing through and observing the objects of your worship, I even found an altar on which was inscribed:

TO AN UNKNOWN GOD.

Therefore, what you worship in ignorance, this I proclaim to you. 24 The God who made the world and everything in it—He is Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in shrines made by hands. 25 Neither is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives everyone life and breath and all things. 26 From one man He has made every nationality to live over the whole earth and has determined their appointed times and the boundaries of where they live. 27 He did this so they might seek God, and perhaps they might reach out and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us.

Three things about the text above (I’m a Baptist, we do everything in threes):

Number 1, at any school, police station, hospital (or any other place I can think of… your church?) if you ask the following question you get a delightful answer, “How many nations are represented here this morning?” At the police station this morning there were Englishmen, Afrikaaners, Zulus, Pedis (biggest smile on the planet when I acknowledged him), Xhosas… God did that. If we’re a rainbow nation it’s because we serve a God who is creative by nature and without limit. What an awesome God He has revealed Himself to be.

Number 2, Maybe even more amazing to me is that the creative diverseness that occured in the station house this morning is no accident, rather God, as the sovereign ruler of the universe, determined the times, place and people who were there collected. Sure in the strictest sense the meaning of this passage is a little broader than that but it doesn’t exclude the providence of God to bring together a specific people at a specific place and specific time. As Paul says in another place, “Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments and untraceable His ways!”

Number 3, God is not doing all this for nothing. He has a plan. He has a plan to save sinners. And it’s not a small plan. He plans to save nations! Another apostle, John, when describing what heaven looks like says this, “After this I looked, and there was a vast multitude from every nation, tribe, people, and language, which no one could number, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were robed in white with palm branches in their hands. 10 And they cried out in a loud voice: Salvation belongs to our God, who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!”

God’s is the creator, planner and saver of the nations. Let the nations be glad! Amen!

Previous lessons can be viewed here:
Nkosi sikelel’ iAfrika – Lesson 1
Maluphakanyisw’ uphondo lwayo – Lesson 2
Yizwa imithandazo yethu – Lesson 3

Churches in my city I would happily attend


Looking for a church in your area were the preaching is expository, the pastors are switched on and the doctrine is sound? These are the 9+ churches I’d attend. Click on any of the colored markers or hit the ‘View Larger Map’ tag.

I’m really picky. If I know you and you’re not on the list it’s probably because I don’t know you well enough or because… well… you’re not a Calvinistic, Dispensationalistic, Lordship Salvationistic, Pre tribulational, Pre millennial, elder led, discipline practicing, believer baptising, fully dunking, expository teaching, Fundamentalistic, Cessationistic, Substitutionaryily Atonementistic… church. Towards the end I was just making stuff up;). The list is supposed to be polemic and I’ll be happy to hear about other churches I may have missed below.

A Penrith Update ∙ July/November 2011


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Mark, Liezl, Kaitlyn, Kathryn, Penrith, Crystal Park Baptist Church, Newsletter

A Penrith Update ∙ July/November 2011. Click image to link to PDF. Click here to check out previous newsletters.

A Penrith Update ∙ May/June 2011


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Mark, Liezl, Kaitlyn, Kathryn, Penrith, Crystal Park Baptist Church, Newsletter

A Penrith Update ∙ May/June 2011. Click image to link to PDF. Click here to check out previous newsletters.

Notice to believers in Crystal Park: Sunday Afternoon at the Movies (via Crystal Park Baptist Church)


Hey there, if you’re around the Crystal Park area on the 26th we’re watching movies at the church at 15:00.

See you there.

Notice to believers in Crystal Park: Sunday Afternoon at the Movies Join us for Sunday Afternoon at the Movies. Click the image to enlarge. Hey there, Everyone likes movies, popcorn and Coke. Well once a month, at Crystal Park Baptist Church, you're invited to Sunday Afternoon at the Movies. See you there on Sunday, 26th of June, 15:00 – 17:00. [googlemaps http://maps.google.com/maps/ms?t=h&hl=en&ie=UTF8&msa=0&msid=212156666480496914115.0004918cd3dd7768a62bb&ll=-26.1333,28.3663&spn=0,0Read More

via Crystal Park Baptist Church

RFC: Questions and Answers – Deacons


I’ve been quiet. I’ve been busy. I wish I had more time to blog because there’s so much to talk about. Anyhow, such is life.

We’ve been going through 1 Timothy at Crystal Park Baptist Church this year. 16 sermons in and we’re going to be starting chapter 4 this week. So a few Sundays back we broached the question of deacons: Who are they and what do they do? The Questions and Answers below is a summary of our thinking. Take a look, feel free to comment. Below is an extract of our church constitution relevant to the deaconate.

Deacons

To find out more about Crystal Park Baptist Church click here. Click the image to enlarge.

Diaconate

15.1 The Church may, from its membership, elect deacons who, at the time of election, will be:

15.1.1 over 21 years of age;

15.1.2 in membership not less than 6 months

15.2 The number of Deacons shall not be less than 2 and the number of deacons other than Secretary and Treasurer not be more than 4.

15.3 A Deacon shall hold office for two consecutive years and shall be eligible for nomination for a further two year consecutive period, but thereafter will only be eligible for nomination after a period of one year has elapsed.

15.4 Nomination for the office of Deacon shall be submitted in writing to the Church Secretary duly signed by the nominee, proposer and seconder not later than eight days prior to the meeting when the election shall take place.

15.5 The names of all nominees shall be made known at all services on the Sunday prior to the date of the meeting at which the election shall take place. This shall be done by announcement and by the posting of the names on the Church Notice-board.

15.6 In the event of a vacancy occurring in the office of Deacon such vacancy may be filled in the aforesaid manner at a General Meeting, but only for the unexpired period of the previous incumbent’s term of office.

15.7 Voting shall be by ballot.

15.8 Only nominees receiving more than two-thirds of the votes of members present shall be elected to fill the vacancies.

15.9 There shall not be an office of life-time Deacon.