(24) A Slight Digression on Notes and Translations
We ended last time at the end of the Sermon on the Mount (in Matthew 7), which is also the Sermon on the Plain (Luke 6), with segments from the sermons in Jerusalem too (Luke 12).
1. When you were in school, do you remember taking notes during lectures? What did your notes look like—neat compositions in straight lines down the page? Tangles of interconnected points with spiderwebbed arrows between them? Keynotes in bubbles connected by slant lines of text?
2. What about when you tried to organize your thoughts later: What did your notes look like then?
3. What do you think Matthew’s notes would have looked like?
a. What about Luke’s when he interviewed those who knew Jesus?
b. What about John’s as he planned out his gospel?
c. Do your notes always look the same, or do you take notes differently in different circumstances?
Does this help shed light on how the gospels end up being so “same, but different” when we read them?
4. When you imagine Jesus delivering a sermon, what kind of setting comes to mind?
5. Do you think the disciples took notes? All of them? Some of them? Or the listeners (the people Luke might have interviewed later)?
6. Do you think Jesus preached from notes?
7. Do you take notes on sermons in church? Why or why not?
Even if Jesus didn’t preach from notes, he preached from a very deep knowledge of the Old Testament, which leads to questions of our many “same, but different” translations…
8. Do you think Jesus quoted the Bible when he preached? (Read Matthew 5:17-18, 21-22, 27-28, 38-39)
9. Do you think Jesus quoted a favorite translation of the Bible?
10. What happens when we make one translation the only one we’ll accept? Why might it be good to have and use several translations? (And what was the equivalent in Jesus’ day?)
Do you remember John’s reference to “the first sign that Jesus did”? We’re moving on to the second sign next week, so read Luke 7:1-9, Matthew 8:5-13 and John 4:46-54.
1. What similarities do you notice? (Most scholars believe these describe the same event)
2. What differences do you notice?
3. Can you describe John’s first sign (the Wedding Feast at Cana) and his second sign (healing of the nobleman’s son) in one sentence each?
a. What stands out to you as the most significant fact in the story of the feast and this story of healing?