Sunday, March 8, 2015

Knox vs. The Message: Third Sunday of Lent (John 2:13-25)

I am going to continue this series of comparing one of the Sunday readings from the lectionary, using the Knox Bible and The Message.  While done in different ways, I think both Knox and Peterson desired to make the Bible more accessible to the average reader.  Let's see if they were successful. I hope your Lent has been blessed thus far.

The Knox:
And now the paschal feast which the Jews keep was drawing near, so Jesus went up to Jerusalem.  And in the temple there he found the merchants selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting at their trade.  So he made a kind of whip out of cords, and drove them all, with their sheep and oxen, out of the temple, spilling the bankers’ coins and overthrowing their tables; and he said to the pigeon-sellers, Take these away, do not turn my Father’s house into a place of barter. And his disciples remembered how it is written, I am consumed with jealousy for the honour of thy house. Then the Jews answered him, What sign canst thou shew us as thy warrant for doing this? Jesus answered them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up again. At which the Jews said, This temple took forty-six years to build; wilt thou raise it up in three days? But the temple he was speaking of was his own body; and when he had risen from the dead his disciples remembered his saying this, and learned to believe in the scriptures, and in the words Jesus had spoken.

The Message:
When the Passover Feast, celebrated each spring by the Jews, was about to take place, Jesus traveled up to Jerusalem. He found the Temple teeming with people selling cattle and sheep and doves. The loan sharks were also there in full strength.
Jesus put together a whip out of strips of leather and chased them out of the Temple, stampeding the sheep and cattle, upending the tables of the loan sharks, spilling coins left and right. He told the dove merchants, “Get your things out of here! Stop turning my Father’s house into a shopping mall!” That’s when his disciples remembered the Scripture, “Zeal for your house consumes me.”
But the Jews were upset. They asked, “What credentials can you present to justify this?” Jesus answered, “Tear down this Temple and in three days I’ll put it back together.”
They were indignant: “It took forty-six years to build this Temple, and you’re going to rebuild it in three days?” But Jesus was talking about his body as the Temple. Later, after he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this. They then put two and two together and believed both what was written in Scripture and what Jesus had said.
During the time he was in Jerusalem, those days of the Passover Feast, many people noticed the signs he was displaying and, seeing they pointed straight to God, entrusted their lives to him. But Jesus didn’t entrust his life to them. He knew them inside and out, knew how untrustworthy they were. He didn’t need any help in seeing right through them.

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