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Moviegoer, could you tell us a little of your progress with 1 Peter? :)
I began I Peter on July 5th, and I am currently at 67-72% on the three sections of chapter 1. I have to admit that it is very strange to go from a gospel to an epistle. So far, I don't understand the section breaks as much, but unlike Mark, I started Peter with no real previous knowledge other than what I have gleaned through reading the Bible straight through or sermons. Basically, I may recognize oft quoted verses, but before beginning, I wouldn't have been able to tell you the theme off the top of my head. So, as strange as it sounds, I feel like I am encountering Peter really for the first time.
As I told one of my friends, I have been challenged on my Christianese. There are words and phrases in Peter that are commonplace in the church, and their use in Peter has challenged me a little bit. For example, I normally think of the word salvation as the singular moment when a person comes to Christ... the moment they are saved. In I Peter 1, all three tense understandings are being discussed. You were saved, you are being saved, what you will receive when He comes again. This may seem like a minor technicality, but the fact that Peter writes this broadly to multiple churches and regions (and to us) means that it must be important.
Again, I haven't done any significant study of Peter yet, so my understanding is fresh and a little haphazard in my mind. I hope that by the time I get close to the end, I will have a better handle on what Peter (and most importantly) what God had in mind for us in giving the letter to His people.
Also, keep up the good work on Luke. I visited your blog after you posted the other day, and I gasped when I saw the 80 verse chapter. Mark 14 is close at 72 (I think), and the long chapters are very difficult to sort out in my brain.
Thanks for sharing what you have learned so far. That's really awesome. It's amazing that no matter how many times we've read a particular book/section of scripture, it comes across as so different when memorizing and meditating on it. 1 Peter is a great book. I look forward to hearing more about what you're learning!
God is merciful. It is great to know that there is always more to learn and love about Him - even in passages you think you know fully.
Dear Moviegoer and FinalAsgard,
(I say "dear" because you are both, after all, brothers in Christ, as fellow believers in Jesus Christ)
I read Moviegoer with great interest what you wrote, and thank you for your insights.
I appreciate that you mentioned, TMG, the tense understandings; I myself am trying to go slower in my own process here, and to notice more what is going on in the Greek.
For example, Luke 11:8. NASB uses the word "persistence". King James says, "importunity". ESV says "impudence", the NIV says "shameless audacity", in translating the Greek word, ἀναίδειαν, anaideian, which in the original Greek meant "shamelessness".
There is a broader lesson which Jesus is teaching us here regarding being persistent in prayer. (I'd strongly advise any who read this to read the whole passage in context). But anyway, I am trying to go a bit slower and to learn such lessons from the Greek or from commentaries, Bible teachers, etc.
It's also worth noting that this is the only occurrence of that Greek word in the Greek New Testament, Luke 11:8. https://biblehub.com/greek/anaideian_335.htm
I want to comment about the 80 verses of Chapter 1 of Luke: I began working on those sometime in the hazy past. I don't remember for sure what year it was, but it was well before I started this journey 3 months ago.
At the time I broke it up into maybe 4 or 5 passages, and that's how I did it. Now many of them are at 100%, and most of the rest are in the high or mid-90s.
HOWEVER, if a person breaks everything into smaller passages, it's also ideal to accompany that with moments when you rehearse or repeat or practice the entire chapter as a whole, to keep your feel of the whole chapter -- or to simply read using an old fashioned book, the whole chapter -- to keep the feel of the whole chapter in your mind and soul.
I wish to reflect a bit more on the Gospel of Luke. I'm treasuring this journey through Luke specifically as a person in my late 60s. As one gets older, you simply begin to think more, "Well, mathematically speaking, it's simply logical that the moment of meeting Jesus is much nearer than before". One becomes more confronted with the actual reality of that fact. For that reason I truly treasure so much, the words of Jesus in Luke. I treasure too all of Luke's intervening narrative, every word. But the words of our Lord Himself -- that one whom we will all meet -- and now here I will refer to Final Asgard's memorized epistle, Philippians -- Paul says there that every knee will bow and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (See Philippians 2:10-11).
I love our Lord Jesus, and I look forward very much to being in His presence in heaven. Pie in the Sky bye-and-bye? No, not in my opinion. I need to be more heavenly minded, I think, in order to be more earthly good (Colossians 3:2, set your mind on the things above)
As an old man, I am also long-winded LOL. Thank you for permitting me to take this liberty and share my long thoughts. Love our Lord and be devoted to Him.
"I need to be more heavenly minded, I think, in order to be more earthly good" I love that... This idea has actually been something I've been thinking of lately.
I just want to add to TheMoviegoer, I didn't even think to congratulate you on the 67 - 72% in the three sections of 1 Peter chapter 1. Well done! and we look forward to hearing more about it in the future.
It is fairly easy to get to the 70% mark on this site... it is the 80-100% that is really complicated. However, it really is about the process. In your earlier post, you mentioned your thoughts on Luke 11:8, and I believe that this is one of the great things about memorization. The focus provided by memorization leads to further study, meditation, contemplation, etc. and it just helps. My devotional life used to be very problematic. I would sit down to read and I would be overwhelmed by expectation. Kind of knowing that I should be doing something, but always feeling like I was now in some kind of special moment where I was supposed to have connection and revelation... I don't know. It is hard to explain. However, over the last two years, the focus of lengthy memorization has removed all of that. I no longer have time to worry about whether I am getting it right or getting something out of it. Yet, when I think about where it has taken me, my mind, my heart, etc., I know that it is good and helpful.
I love that you are digging into different translations and the Greek. My dad used to do that (he was a pastor and was pretty good at Greek and Hebrew), and his study was profoundly enhanced by knowing the language. I would come home from school and he would be surrounded by books. I would ask him what he was working on, and he would say, "you're not going to believe this, but the word x in the original Greek has multiple meanings, but we normally see it translated as x, but it can also mean y." His enthusiasm and joy of learning was awesome. You took me back a bit with Luke 11:8.
On a humorous note, I went to look up Luke 11:8 to get a sense of the verse you were mentioning, and I accidentally went to 11:18... and was totally lost.
Also, I agree with FinalAsgard. You're point about being more heavenly minded in order to be earthly good is really the heart of the Gospel. So often, we are driven by our performance and try to fix ourselves instead of focusing on Jesus and the Gospel. It isn't about improving, fixing ourselves, or what we do. Rather our attention should always be on what He has done. All action, obedience, work, etc. is informed by that.
I don't know, I hope this makes sense.
Yes, Moviegoer, all that makes sense, particularly the first paragraph where you described that "expectation" and then being freed from same by engaging in memorization ... I've had the same experience. Profound thanks.