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JM Translation w WisSol

JM Translation w WisSol

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Published by James-Michael Smith

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Published by: James-Michael Smith on Sep 17, 2010
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09/16/2010

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The Wisdom of Solomon - Chapters 13-14
Read the following excerpt from this book, found in the Apocryphal writings, that was written by a Greek-speaking Jew around the time Paul wrote Romans:
Wisdom 13:1
- For all people who were ignorant of God were foolish by nature; and they were unable fromthe good things that are seen to know the one who exists, nor did they recognize the artisan while payingheed to his works;
2
but they supposed that either fire or wind or swift air, or the circle of the stars, or turbulent water, or the luminaries of heaven were the gods that rule the world.
3
If through delight in the beauty of these things people assumed them to be gods, let them know howmuch better than these is their Lord, for the author of beauty created them.
4
And if people were amazed at their power and working, let them perceive from them how muchmore powerful is the one who formed them.
5
For from the greatness and beauty of created things comes acorresponding perception of their Creator.
6
Yet these people are little to be blamed, for perhaps they go astray while seeking God and desiringto find him.
7
For while they live among his works, they keep searching, and they trust in what they see,because the things that are seen are beautiful.
8
Yet again, not even they are to be excused;
9
for if they had the power to know so much that theycould investigate the world, how did they fail to find sooner the Lord of these things?
10
But miserable, with their hopes set on dead things, are those who give the name "gods" to theworks of human hands, gold and silver fashioned with skill, and likenesses of animals, or a useless stone, thework of an ancient hand.
11
A skilled woodcutter may saw down a tree easy to handle and skillfully strip off allits bark, and then with pleasing workmanship make a useful vessel that serves life's needs,
12
and burn thecast-off pieces of his work to prepare his food, and eat his fill.
13
But a cast-off piece from among them, useful for nothing, a stick crooked and full of knots, he takesand carves with care in his leisure, and shapes it with skill gained in idleness; he forms it in the likeness of ahuman being,
14
or makes it like some worthless animal, giving it a coat of red paint and coloring its surfacered and covering every blemish in it with paint;
15
then he makes a suitable niche for it, and sets it in the wall,and fastens it there with iron.
16
He takes thought for it, so that it may not fall, because he knows that itcannot help itself, for it is only an image and has need of help!
17
When he prays about possessions and hismarriage and children, he is not ashamed to address a lifeless thing!
18
For health he appeals to a thing thatis weak; for life he prays to a thing that is dead; for aid he entreats a thing that is utterly inexperienced; for aprosperous journey, a thing that cannot take a step;
19
for money-making and work and success with his handshe asks strength of a thing whose hands have no strength!
14:1
Again, one preparing to sail and about to voyage over raging waves calls upon a piece of woodmore fragile than the ship that carries him!
2
For it was desire for gain that planned that vessel, and wisdomwas the artisan who built it;
3
but it is your providence, O Father, that steers its course, because you havegiven it a path in the sea, and a safe way through the waves,
4
showing that you can save from every danger,so that even a person who lacks skill may put to sea.
5
It is your will that works of your wisdom should not be without effect; therefore people trust their liveseven to the smallest piece of wood, and passing through the billows on a raft they come safely to land.
6
For even in the beginning, when arrogant giants were perishing, the hope of the world took refuge on a raft, andguided by your hand left to the world the seed of a new generation.
7
For blessed is the wood by whichrighteousness comes.
8
But the idol made with hands is accursed, and so is the one who made it-- he for having made it,and the perishable thing because it was named a god.
9
For equally hateful to God are the ungodly and their ungodliness;
10
for what was done will be punished together with the one who did it.
11
Therefore there will bea visitation also upon the heathen idols, because, though part of what God created, they became anabomination, snares for human souls and a trap for the feet of the foolish.
12
For the idea of making idols wasthe beginning of fornication, and the invention of them was the corruption of life;
13
for they did not exist fromthe beginning, nor will they last forever.
14
For through human vanity they entered the world, and thereforetheir speedy end has been planned.
15
For a father, consumed with grief at an untimely bereavement, made an image of his child, whohad been suddenly taken from him; he now honored as a god what was once a dead human being, andhanded on to his dependents secret rites and initiations.
16
Then the ungodly custom, grown strong with time,was kept as a law, and at the command of monarchs carved images were worshiped.
17
When people couldnot honor monarchs in their presence, since they lived at a distance, they imagined their appearance far away, and made a visible image of the king whom they honored, so that by their zeal they might flatter theabsent one as though present.
 
 22
18
Then the ambition of the artisan impelled even those who did not know the king to intensify their worship.
19
For he, perhaps wishing to please his ruler, skillfully forced the likeness to take more beautifulform,
20
and the multitude, attracted by the charm of his work, now regarded as an object of worship the onewhom shortly before they had honored as a human being.
21
And this became a hidden trap for humankind,because people, in bondage to misfortune or to royal authority, bestowed on objects of stone or wood thename that ought not to be shared!
22
Then it was not enough for them to err about the knowledge of God, butthough living in great strife due to ignorance, they call such great evils peace!
23
For whether they kill childrenin their initiations, or celebrate secret mysteries, or hold frenzied revels with strange customs,
24
they nolonger keep either their lives or their marriages pure, but they either treacherously kill one another, or grieveone another by adultery,
25
and all is a raging riot of blood and murder, theft and deceit, corruption,faithlessness, tumult, perjury,
26
confusion over what is good, forgetfulness of favors, defiling of souls, sexualperversion, disorder in marriages, adultery, and debauchery!
27
For the worship of idols not to be named isthe beginning and cause and end of every evil!
28
For their worshipers either rave in exultation, or prophesylies, or live unrighteously, or readily commit perjury;
29
for because they trust in lifeless idols they swear wicked oaths and expect to suffer no harm.
30
But just penalties will overtake them on two counts: because they thought wrongly about God indevoting themselves to idols, and because in deceit they swore unrighteously through contempt for holiness.
31
For it is not the power of the things by which people swear, but the just penalty for those who sin, thatalways pursues the transgression of the unrighteous!
Questions to consider:
1. How does this passage compare to what we read in Romans 1?2. What does the similarity between the two say about Paul’s background knowledge or Jewishworldview?3. According to Wisdom 13-14 and Romans 1, why is idolatry so wicked? What is the result of it?4. In Paul’s speech to the Athenians at the Areopagus (Acts 17:16ff), what common Jewishcritique of idolatry as found in writings such as Wisdom of Solomon does he proclaim?
 
33
The Letter of Paul to the Romans
Personal study translation by James-Michael Smith
 [available athttp://jmsmith.org/blog]
1:1
Paul, a slave of The Messiah Jesus,called as an apostle,set apart for the Gospel of God.
2
Which was promised beforehand through his prophets in the holyscriptures,
3
regarding his Son,(who was born from the seed of David with according to the flesh,
4
 appointed the Son-of-God in power according to the Spirit of Holiness by resurrection from the dead)Jesus the Messiah our Lord
5
(through whom we have received grace and apostleship for obedience of faith among all the Gentiles on behalf of his name)
6
in whom you also were called by Jesus the Messiah.
7
To all those in Rome who are God’s beloved, called as saints:Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesusthe Messiah!
8
First, I am thanking my God through Jesus the Messiah about allof you, because your faith is being reported throughout the whole world!
9
For God, whom I am serving in my spirit through the gospel of hisSon, is my witness that I am unceasingly remembering you
10
and I alwaysbegging in my prayers, if somehow now at last I may succeed by the will of God to come to you.
11
For I long to see you, so that I may share with yousome spiritual gift for your strengthening--
12
that is, that we may becomforted together by one another's faith, both yours and mine.
13
I do not wish you to be unaware, brothers [and sisters], that oftenI planned on coming to you (but have been prevented until now), so that Imay have some fruit also among you, just as [I already have] among therest of the Gentiles.
14
I am obligated both to Greeks and to barbarians, wise and foolish.
15
Thus my eagerness also to preach the gospel to you who are in Rome.
16
For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to all the believing, first to the Jew and also to the Greek.
17
For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faithfulness for faith, just as it is written,"
The righteous one by faith will live
." (Hab. 2:4)
18
For the wrath of God is being revealed from heaven upon allgodlessness and unrighteousness of people who are suppressing truth bytheir unrighteousness,
19
because what is known about God is visible bythem, because God has made it visible to them.
20
For since the creation of the world his unseen works—his eternal power and divinity—have beenunderstood and are being perceived. So that they are without excuse.
21
Because although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as Godor give him thanks. Rather, they were given over to worthlessness in their reasoning and their foolish hearts were darkened.
22
Claiming to be wise,they became foolish
23
and exchanged the glory of the imperishable God for a likeness-image of perishable humans or birds or quadrupeds or reptiles.
24
Therefore God gave them over in the desires of their hearts to rottenness,to the dishonoring of their bodies among themselves.
25
Whoever 
 
Intertextual echoes to Genesis 1:26-27in Romans 1:18-32
(Robert Gagnon)
Gen 1:26-27 Rom 1:23; 26-27A. God’s likeness and image in humans
(1) human (anthropos) likeness (homoioma) (3)(2) image (eikon) image (eikon) (2)(3) likeness (homoiosis) human (anthropos) (1)
B. Dominion over the animal kingdom
(4) birds (peteina) birds (peteina) (4)(5) cattle (ktene) quadrupeds (tetrapoda) (5)(6) reptiles (herpeta) reptiles (herpeta) (6)
C. Male-female differentiation
(7) male (arsen) females (theleiai) (8)(8) female (thelus) males (arsenes) (7)The point of these echoes
 
Idolatry and same-sex intercourse together constitute a frontal assault on the work of theCreator in nature
o
 
Instead of recognizing their creation in God’simage & dominion over animals
o
 
Instead of acknowledging that God made them“male and female”…
 
Those who had suppressed the truth about Godvisible in creation went on to suppress the truthabout themselves visible in nature.

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