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Andrew Fincke
09-23-2009, 01:38 PM
Is it ethical to open the laptop and activate Bible Works during the service? People glared at me when I did so, as if my key plunking disturbed their sermon snooze. The screen partially blocked my view of the preacher - at least his midriff, which was already obscured by the pulpit. Visible to him was the top third of the laptop cover peeking out over the back of the empty pew in front of me, and he probably thought I was surfing the web. Actually I was checking his exegesis; and after getting the Hebrew and Greek versions of Psalm 130 side by side on the screen, I refuted a key point in his sermon. (The Hebrew of verse 6 is obscure, the Greek contradicted him about the watchers' relief in the MORNING). He said the closing prayer, and the guy next to me glared impatiently as I unloaded the computer from the four bags under which I had it propped on my lap and shut down Windows. The battery was practically dead.

Adelphos
09-23-2009, 01:44 PM
Is it ethical to open the laptop and activate Bible Works during the service?

Why don't you just ask the preacher?

Trent
09-23-2009, 03:01 PM
The humble opinion of one preacher. . .

Using BibleWorks (or another tool, for that matter) to catch the preacher in exegetical errors strikes me as more than a potential breach of decorum, it strikes me, frankly, as somewhat hostile to preacher.

Engage your Pastor in conversation about the text -- that's a preacher's dream -- but follow-up on your hunches when you get home. Call your Pastor on Monday morning, but when you're in worship on Sunday listen to God's Word to you. (How well can one really hear, if one is busy raising objections)

By the way, the exegetical "error" you suggest the preacher made, does not strike me as an egregious one -- cut the poor preacher some slack!

Andrew Fincke
09-23-2009, 03:15 PM
Sorry, I forgot to finish. When I walked out the back, I shook the preacher's hand and complimented him on his sermon (on the delivery). He smiled. I didn't mean to give the impression that I stood up during the sermon and criticized him. Had I done that, all the stuff on my lap -including the computer - would have fallen on the ground. Or, with laptop in the left and pointed, waving finger in the right I could have made my point before the ushers ushered me out. Furthermore, my former pastor - when he heard about the incident - supported the pastor's exegesis. But 130:6 is clear in the Greek: The watchers watched until the evening - that is the 9 to 5 shift - and went home for dinner. They didn't watch until daybreak and breathe a sigh of relief that no nighttime invaders had made it (so the preacher).

Adelphos
09-23-2009, 03:46 PM
But 130:6 is clear in the Greek: The watchers watched until the evening - that is the 9 to 5 shift - and went home for dinner. They didn't watch until daybreak and breathe a sigh of relief that no nighttime invaders had made it (so the preacher).

What makes you think the Greek is correct here, especially when the LXX is all over the place in the Poetic books, as well as other places?

Because the preacher chose to preach on the Hebrew does not make his exegesis wrong. It is the Greek that is certainly wrong.

Furthermore, as was already mentioned, your attitude on the matter leaves a lot to be desired. Why would you even waste your time going to a church simply so you could topple the preacher's theme? Sounds like the problem lies more with yourself than the preacher.

spitzerpl
09-23-2009, 04:13 PM
Is it ethical to open the laptop and activate Bible Works during the service?

I agree with others that the Pastor should be asked. If someone wants to use a laptop or netbook during a service I believe it should be as discreetly as possible (actually on your lap and as low as possible), that you should sit in the very back to disturb as few people as possible, and if you notice it being a disturbance to others close it down.

Jim Wert
09-23-2009, 05:09 PM
Seems to me there are two issues being discussed in this thread.


Is it courteous to use a laptop in a service (in the seats rather than on the platform, I assume). Or is it threatening, distracting, etc.
Is one allowed, during the service, to question what is happening, what is being said.

On issue 1, I would suggest that it is no more intrusive than the ubiquitous intrusion of laptops into all other aspects of life. Rather than being threatened, I would hope that the preacher would welcome the indication that someone is engaging the text, or the preacher's ideas.

On Issue 2, the preachers I most respect and love are the ones that welcome both my affirmation and and my challenging. I preach rarely; when I do I really value the "are you sure that..." responses.

If you can use BibleWorks, or your Bible, during a service and still hear, do it with God's blessing. And even if you are distracted, I suspect that God can still speak to you in your tangent. Though it might be courteous to apologize to the preacher. Especially if you apologize when you daydream or snooze off.

--Jim

Andrew Fincke
09-23-2009, 08:21 PM
Dear Adelphos,
Your attitude - "It is the Greek that is certainly wrong" - contradicts not only the raison d'etre of Bible Works - to promote dialogue between and engagement with the versions - but also the fundamental tenet of the Christian faith: the inerrancy of the Bible. If Billy Graham were preaching today, he would surely be using Power Point, and the listeners would be submerged in tears not because of their miserably sinful condition, but rather due to the complexities of Bible Works propped on their laps-.

jimofbentley
09-23-2009, 08:23 PM
The problem isn't so much the use, or non-use, of Bible Works during a worship service. If you were "glared at" by someone else in the congregation, it is probably because they thought you were:

1) being disrespectful to the pastor
2) being a distraction to others
3) being a "know-it-all snob" by using a computer instead of a book like everyone else
4) not paying attention and playing "Age of Empires" instead

In respect to the "Greek", one must remember that the "Greek" is as much of a translation as the "English", and although the translators may have been closer in time and culture to the authors of the Hebrew text, it doesn't mean that they were better at translating the Hebrew text or understood the meaning of the Hebrew text more than someone today.

There are times - many times - when they clearly got it wrong. And there were times when it is clear that they were "guessing" as to what a passage meant.

Finally, as a pastor, I have had people who spent the entire service trying to "catch me out" so as to show off their superiority in some area - and didn't really listen to the message for something to encourage them in their faith and discipleship.

So, if I can make a suggestion. Turn off your computer. Listen carefully. Be challenged and encouraged in your faith. Then, get a copy of the sermon and check out the fine exegetical points later at your liesure.

Adelphos
09-23-2009, 08:45 PM
Dear Adelphos,
Your attitude - "It is the Greek that is certainly wrong" - contradicts not only the raison d'etre of Bible Works - to promote dialogue between and engagement with the versions - but also the fundamental tenet of the Christian faith: the inerrancy of the Bible. If Billy Graham were preaching today, he would surely be using Power Point, and the listeners would be submerged in tears not because of their miserably sinful condition, but rather due to the complexities of Bible Works propped on their laps-.

Even though your answer is virtually a complete non-sequitur, BibleWorks does not assert that the Greek is correct. Furthermore, there are an innumerable company of translators who have asserted that the Greek is wrong, and thus you should take your own medicine and look up how many versions in BibleWorks follow the Greek. Let me save you the trouble...

With the sole exception of the DRA, and not including the two LXX versions which don't pretend to consider the Hebrew, ALL of the English translations assert that the Greek is wrong.

Once again -- because we've had this conversation before -- you have set yourself up as superior to a whole horde of translators -- to ALL the translators, in fact -- that are represented in BibleWorks, excepting only the aforementioned.

Like I said, the Greek is certainly wrong. Nor do you appear to know how confused the LXX is in the poetical passages of Scripture.

Those who have stuck to the Hebrew in this verse have maintained the integrity of God's written Word.

Andrew Fincke
09-23-2009, 10:46 PM
Dear Adelfos,
The Hebrew of the verse (Psalm 130:6) is obscure. The pastor thought he had a nice little uplifting psalm to spill out and overlooked the pitfall. By the way, the Ge'ez (ancient Ethiopian) and the Armenian - to name a few - are translations of the Greek. So is the Syrohexaplar (or the other way around - the Greek of it).
Dear Jim of Bentley,
"At my leasure"?!! Souls are perishing, and the wrong words are coming out of the pastor's mouth! But thanks for the advice about self-edification.

Adelphos
09-23-2009, 11:14 PM
The Hebrew of the verse (Psalm 130:6) is obscure.

No, the Hebrew is not obscure, at least not with regard to the time of day. In that respect, the Hebrew couldn't be clearer. Perhaps you just simply don't know what boker means.

You also apparently have a very selective memory, as I notice that you have completely disregarded the fact that a virtual horde of translators testify that you are wrong, as I demonstrated in the previous post.

Naturally, I can understand why you won't confront that. Yes indeed, I can understand very, very well why you won't confront that.

You are not only clearly way off base with regard to the meaning of the Scriptures here, but you are likewise way off base for nitpicking the preacer on a passage that enjoys near universal support for his view.


The pastor thought he had a nice little uplifting psalm to spill out and overlooked the pitfall.

If I had any doubt about your motives before, this statement removes it. I think everyone can see your motives without difficulty now.

And based on these statements of yours, it is clear that in God's eyes it is the preacher who went away justified, and you who went away condemned.

ingosorke
09-23-2009, 11:33 PM
Andrew, buy your pastor a copy of Bibleworks . . . October . . . Clergy Appreciation Month! ;)

Ingo

jimofbentley
09-24-2009, 12:09 AM
Andrew, buy your pastor a copy of Bibleworks . . . October . . . Clergy Appreciation Month! ;)

Ingo

"Clergy Appreciation Month"! What a good idea.

Of course, last week for my birthday one of the ladies in the church bought two birthday cakes (one chocolate, and then when she remembered that some people couldn't eat chocolate - she bought another).

I never felt more "appreciated" than by that kind gesture.

bkMitchell
09-24-2009, 12:56 AM
Actually I was checking his exegesis...

Greetings Andrew,


It appears that some congregants weren't very happy about the Laptop, but then again maybe they were just curious? They might also be Bible works users, too! In case they were upset you can always bring along(these would not add to much weight to those four bags):



(1) A reasonable priced and nice sized
(it also functions as a portable exegesis checker)

HEBREW/GREEK BIBLE
ISBN: 9781862281165




(2) large typeface, but higher price and it's larger

The Koren Reader's Tanakh
ISBN-13: 9789653010758

(3) If you have text critical tendencies
(Hebrew/Greek)
Biblia Sacra Utriusque Testamenti
ISBN-3438052504


or




(3)An LXX
ISBN-10: 1598561804

None of those need batteries:D!

As long as you aren't cheating using BW in Bible study is probably ethical, but if you are;
Stop cheating and Start reading...

Andrew Fincke
09-24-2009, 08:08 AM
Hey, Ingo, you've got an idea!
The pastor has his laptop on the pulpit and spends his time pacing back and forth between the two screens on either side of the apse (most churches have them for display of the hymn-words) taking care not to trip over his robe. The Greek is on one screen, and the Hebrew is on the other. But that would take some coordination between the prgrammers and the pastor, since BW displays versions side by side on one screen, not on multiple screens. An additional screen could drop down in the middle to give the NIV for those unversed in the languages. I can leave the computer at home and get my sermon snooze. Or I'll stay awake and watch Adelfos explain Psalm 130:6!

bobvenem
09-24-2009, 08:57 AM
If you're wanting BW at church, there isn't much you can do other than bring a laptop.

However, if you want digital, try an iTouch or smartphone (I have both). eSword has a Pocket PC version which I have used for years, and Mantis Bible Software is available for the iTouch. Not as in-depth as BW, to be sure, but good enough for an original language fix (and both come with the old ISBE).

Additionally, if you have wi-fi or internet access in the church auditorium, and your pocket device has a web browser, you might want to try PC Anywhere (or some other program); I was able to access my home copy of BW via my iTouch (though navigation on the small screen is, well, challenging).

Jay W.
09-24-2009, 09:15 AM
Was it unethical to have a laptop open during a sermon? No... At the same time the question needs to be asked, "What was the impact it had on the ability of others to worship in spirit and in truth?"

I'm still wondering what the theme of the sermon was. Somehow that got lost in a "gottcha moment."

Greg Crawford
09-25-2009, 01:17 AM
Is it ethical to open the laptop and activate Bible Works during the service? People glared at me when I did so, as if my key plunking disturbed their sermon snooze. The screen partially blocked my view of the preacher - at least his midriff, which was already obscured by the pulpit. Visible to him was the top third of the laptop cover peeking out over the back of the empty pew in front of me, and he probably thought I was surfing the web. Actually I was checking his exegesis; and after getting the Hebrew and Greek versions of Psalm 130 side by side on the screen, I refuted a key point in his sermon. (The Hebrew of verse 6 is obscure, the Greek contradicted him about the watchers' relief in the MORNING). He said the closing prayer, and the guy next to me glared impatiently as I unloaded the computer from the four bags under which I had it propped on my lap and shut down Windows. The battery was practically dead.

Hey Andrew, I'd suggest that in the replies you have received you have the answer, although it may not be readily apparent. Someone has jumped in to attack you with particular venom, but playing the same game as you, namely, to get one-up on the preacher; or in the second case, on you. The points made in debate over the Hebrew versus the LXX are besides the point. How does it feel to have someone doing that to you? Can you see that you might become like that? Is that what you want to be? Is that how the Church should be?

How on earth did the early Church get by without Bibleworks? :) My guess is that many early churches used the LXX for worship. As for the LXX version of Psalm 130, it probably covered those who worked the night shift as well.

spitzerpl
09-25-2009, 02:24 PM
Galatians 6:1-5

Kimba
09-25-2009, 03:19 PM
This is the Bible that I bring to church.

http://www.apostolicbible.com/print.htm

Since I am learning Hebrew as slowly as one can and still make progress I am restricted to the Greek. What is great about this Bible is that it has an Analytical Concordance in the back so I can trace words through the NT and LXX. It does not require batteries and is no bigger than those mega study Bibles.

Would I like to bring Bibleworks to church -- in a heartbeat, but there is no room, to have it adequately up and running and for me it is too much like a video game.

On the rare times when the message does not agree with the Greek, my Greek professor told all of his students when you hear "Thus Saith the Greek" and it does not, just bite your tongue and keep your mouth shut.

Andrew Fincke
09-27-2009, 08:55 AM
Bibleworks a "video game"? Hmmmm. What game are you playing? Russian roulette? I did keep my mouth shut. Until now. The problem with Psalm 130:6 is that it's elliptical. Adelfos and the pastor want it to read: "My soul pants for the Lord more so than night watchmen yearn for the morning, guarding for the morning", but in fact the Hebrew has: "My soul for the Lord, more so than watchmen for the morning. guarding for the morning". The verb lacks, and "more so than" is just one Hebrew letter - mem - which could have a whole other signifcance. "Watchmen" and "guarding" are the same word, that also means "dregs" and as such appears at Psalm 75:9, where its context is drunken revelling. In that sense, the mem joins "dregs" to form the missing verb: "drinking the dregs" The diligent watchers breathing a sigh of relief at the onset of dawn and completion of a job well done (so the preacher) turn into drunken revellers sucking up the last bit of wine before falling asleep. The Greek is much more uplifting: "My soul hoped on the Lord from the early morning watch until night, from the early morning watch". The final phrase seems to belong to the next verse, and that's why Bibleworks gives the two verses together (assuming you're not in Browse mode, that has running text).

Adelphos
09-27-2009, 12:08 PM
Adelfos and the pastor want it to read: "My soul pants for the Lord more so than night watchmen yearn for the morning, guarding for the morning", but in fact the Hebrew has: "My soul for the Lord, more so than watchmen for the morning. guarding for the morning".

By your own admission the Hebrew does not contain the word, or even the idea, of night in this passage, which was your original argument.

Nor are you entirely correct in your assertion. You seem to keep forgetting that it is not merely me and your pastor who want to read the Hebrew this way, but virtually all other translators as well, with the exception of one or two out of a whole horde.

Why are you not able to admit this, especially when it is an indisputable fact? Hmmm....

Here are the versions in BibleWorks which agree with me and your pastor...

ASV, BBE, CJB, CSB, DBY, ERV, KJV, NET, NAU, ESV, GNV, GWN, JPS, KJG, NAB, NAS, NIB, NIRV, NIV, NJB, NKJ, NLT, NRS, PST, RSV, RWB, TNIV, TNK, WEB, YLT, BSP, COV, KJ6, NWT.

That's 34 versions of multiple translators who agree with me and your pastor and who disagree with you.

Once again I ask, why do you keep avoiding this truth? Hmmm...

Once again I ask, why do you keep denying that the Hebrew is not obscure with regard to the time of day, in that the Hebrew clearly posits morning in both clauses? Hmm....

Moreover, when one reads the Hebrew in context, taking the previous verse with this one, it isn't really obscure at all. The Hebrew text itself has no verse divisions, and this verse clearly follows in context with the preceeding verse.

In short, this verse is really no more obscure than an equative sentence, which are positively legion in the Tanach.

If we went by your methodology, thousands of passages would be at the mercy of the Greek, or some other benchmark. For example, take Numbers 26:4 --


"Take the sum of the people, from twenty years old and upward; as Jehovah commanded Moses and the children of Israel, that came forth out of the land of Egypt."


The italic portion is not in the Hebrew, but that it belongs in the English virtually everyone agrees upon, and yet, this is no less obscure than is your attempt at Psalm 130:6.


In fact, examples like this are overflowing throughout the Hebrew text.


Accordingly, based on the actual evidence, your poor, ignorant pastor got it right, even though that fact interrupts and spoils your trapping him in a pivotal breach of the sheep's trust.


Again, I keep wondering why you avoid admitting that the vast, vast majority of Bible translators agree with me and your pastor.


Could you please explain why you keep avoiding this?


Thanks.

drquantum
09-27-2009, 03:14 PM
Bibleworks a "video game"? Hmmmm. What game are you playing? Russian roulette? I did keep my mouth shut. Until now. The problem with Psalm 130:6 is that it's elliptical. Adelfos and the pastor want it to read: "My soul pants for the Lord more so than night watchmen yearn for the morning, guarding for the morning", but in fact the Hebrew has: "My soul for the Lord, more so than watchmen for the morning. guarding for the morning". The verb lacks, and "more so than" is just one Hebrew letter - mem - which could have a whole other signifcance. "Watchmen" and "guarding" are the same word, that also means "dregs" and as such appears at Psalm 75:9, where its context is drunken revelling. In that sense, the mem joins "dregs" to form the missing verb: "drinking the dregs" The diligent watchers breathing a sigh of relief at the onset of dawn and completion of a job well done (so the preacher) turn into drunken revellers sucking up the last bit of wine before falling asleep. The Greek is much more uplifting: "My soul hoped on the Lord from the early morning watch until night, from the early morning watch". The final phrase seems to belong to the next verse, and that's why Bibleworks gives the two verses together (assuming you're not in Browse mode, that has running text).

Who cares whether the Greek is "so much more uplifting"? Is God's Word required in every instance to be "uplifting"? Your comment is akin to what those who prefer "The Message" compared to actual translations - "The Message makes me feel much better than the NASB", but it's a more extreme problem. My example is a statement about preferring a paraphrase vs. a translation. In your case, it appears that you're voicing a preference for a translation over the God-breathed text.

Andrew Fincke
10-04-2009, 10:04 AM
That's why I began the thread with the question "Is it ethical (to use Bible Works in Church)?" Adelfos' point: "That's 34 versions of multiple translators who agree with me and your pastor and who disagree with you." raises the question: Should a pastor be held accountable for errors made during a sermon when those errors are revealed through examination of the original sources with the help of computerised tools? And what about mem + "guarding", which in Hebrew also means "wine-dregs"? Does the conglomerate word משמרים* suggest that the watchmen were drunken to the point of drinking the dregs, as the writer earlier suggested? Or rather that they were engaged in the Biblically sanctioned activity of siphoning out the wine sediment with the goal of achieving a beverage suitable for the next day's wedding reception? Compare John 2:1-10, though the final verse of that pericope implies that the amateur chemists did indeed partake of their product.
*Evan-Shoshan, "A New Dictionary", 1389 has for שמר piel "remove the dregs from wine, siphon out, purify". The piel participle "removing dregs" is משמר, and those engaged in this activity are משמרים. The piel משמרים (pointed meshamrim) appears at Jonah 2:9 (2:8 in the NIV) in connection with the whale vomiting up Jonah, while at Psalm 130:6 משמרים is pointed mishomrim, which means - so Adelfos and the pastor and the 34 versions - "more so than watchmen". The sense "regurgitating" at Jonah 2:9 is supported by its object "nonsense, worthless refuse", to which Jonah - in reverence to his saving God - compares himself. The sense "siphoning out the dregs" is attested in the Mishna tractate "Sabbath".

Andrew Fincke
10-04-2009, 06:04 PM
If Adelfos objects, "Why are you confusing Jonah 2:9 with John 2:9? Apart from the similarity of the book-names the two have nothing to do with each other", let him examine the facts. That the Jonah pericope comprises 11 verses and the John pericope only 10 is due to the habit of English Bibles since the sixteenth century of cropping one verse - the one describing the whale's meal - from Jonah 2 and moving it to the end of chapter one. Acquiescence to the logical demand that the Jonah pericope begin with the whale's feast and end with his regurgitation thereof, restores Jonah 2:1-11 to its rightful place as forefather of John 2:1-11. Specifically, the watchmen (שמרים) turned wine-distillers (משמרים) of Jonah 2:9 provide the DNA for the the deacons (διακονοι) turned wine-drawers (ηντληκοτες) of John 2:9. Hebrew scholars among you will notice that what's left after the distilling/watching - חסדם "their mercy" (ελεος αυτων) according to Jonah 2:9 - corresponds to what's left after the night of watching/distilling - החסד "the mercy" (το ελεος) according to Psalm 130:7. "Mercy" appeared in the text when ελαιας "olive" was confused with ελεος. Since the wine-presses were also used for olive-pressing, some of the latter mixed with the former and fell to the bottom as sediment. John's "water-drawing" refers to the accessing of the clear liquid (wine) devoid of the submerged olive remants.

Sansom48
10-04-2009, 11:15 PM
Dear Brothers,
I don't mean to meddle, and perhaps even debating writing anything is going to far, only you will be able to tell. Not having looked at the text I can see both sides of the argument only so far, however, I have done this on purpose not wanting to immediately take one side or the other. In the end, the origin of this question was about proper use of BW in a church, more specifically a church service, but it quickly turned into something entirely different. Even reading through the posts again, I can't say who escalated this to the point at which it is now, however, I can say that it is at a point when it will get you nowhere. Both sides seem to have stagnated at their points, and each knew post just seems to be a reiteration, or the bringing out of a new point that does not significantly change any outcome from where I can see. Adelphos, I have much respect for you, I have not been here on the forums long, but have read much of what you have written, I don't always agree but respect what you have to say and enjoy the different perspective, but I only see anger brewing in this conversation, perhaps I am misreading, but if other post are any indication of it, others are misreading the same way I am. Andrew, I do not know you and have not read, outside of this thread, anything you have written. I think the question you originally posed was honest and I respect the question. I will say that whether or not you agree with your pastor or Adelphos, at the very least, I am hopeful that you realize this question can be answered in different ways and your pastor may not be as absentminded as you think. I do think it is always best to put the best possible construction on those kinds of matters.

PS. as many others have suggested, I do not see an immediate problem with BW in church services as long as it is not hindering you from hearing the Word of God. However, I think the problem may come with your pastor and the people in the church, what good does it do you if you fight for your computer in church and chase others away, whatever you do, do it in love of and for the betterment of your church.

Andrew Fincke
10-05-2009, 02:02 PM
Dear Sansom,
As for the annoyance of fellow worshippers at my laptop - it may have been all imagined. Certainly no one said anything, and the pastor was all smiles in the narthex. In any case, if there is a next time, a front pew will be my residence, and a piece of paper will be taped to the laptop lid. When the machine is up and running, the pastor won't even see me - at least not my face - but rather a laptop-lid with the words "BW-7" glaring him in the eyes!

ingosorke
10-05-2009, 02:09 PM
Upgrade, Andrew, upgrade. At least make the paper say BW 8! :)

kpurcell
11-06-2009, 09:17 AM
To answer your original question, you should ask the pastor/preacher. But if it was me, I do not have a problem with using a laptop in church so long as it is silent and not distracting to anyone around you. Second, if you ever found an error in my exegesis I would want you to come to me in private and share it with me at which point I would try to publicly say that I was in error and either share the correct interpretation and possibly even give credit to the one who did it. A humble, God-honoring, bible believing preacher should his people are paying close enough attention and are attuned enough to find his erros so long as they humbly and privately share them after the fact.