Love Foolishly LO28272

From: AM de Lange (
Date: 04/22/02

Replying to LO28245 --

Dear Organlearners,

Judy Tal <> writes:

>( ... no one dared to come up with the obvious, ha?).

Greetings dear Judy.

Doing the obvious often requires courage and strength of character. I
honour and respect it in you.

>Since I never introduced myself, this might be
>just the time to do it ... properly :-):

Thank your very much. The few words with which you did it helps us a lot
to understand you better.

>This is IT - all the rest varies ... and varies ...

As Jan Smuts, father of holsim would have said "so gaan dit". Litteraly
its means "so goes it".

>I have a request to put here ... I don't know how but
>I do know what my request is ... so I'll "spitt it out" at
>once, and then write some appologetic explanations
>(that's how it is :-)
>I would ask you to teach me the New Testament.

A few months ago an Indian person asked me to teach him the Koran, well
knowing that I am a Christian also owning a Koran translated into
Afrikaans. Indians have a different culture than the Arabs and they are
not well conversed in the Arabic language unless they had been taught it
in an Islamitic school for Indians.

I think one of the main problems with an old original document written in
another language for another culture is how to understand it best for the
present time, language group and culture which one belongs to.

Let me say right from the beginning it is much sweat and much frustration
to do it all alone. On the other hand, the joy as well as metanoia with
which it happens in a "learning group" (the LO equivalent of a "study
group") diminish the sweat and frustration of those participating into
almost nothing. I speak with experience, having studied the Bible (Old and
New Testaments) alone for more than forty years and in study groups for
more than twenty years. The study group which I belong to the past ten
years has emerged into a "tacit LO" about four years ago. Since then every
hour on a Thursday evening has been sheer bliss for all of us. For
example, an ill member will get up from bed if possible, attend the study,
and then get back to bed again.

Four important things about the Bible are the following:
(1) It is a collection of many short books, written over a period
of some two thousand years, using several languages.
(2) The books have been written by ordinary people saying things
to ordinary people, driven by the Holy Spirit to say such things.
(3) There is an immense and complex paradigm shift between the
Old Testament (known among Jews as the Torah) and the New
(4) Jesus was not a Christian, but the Christ (the Greek is "christos"
which translates the Hebrew "messiah"=saviour). He said clearly
that not all those followers of the Christ who call themselves
Christians are Christains, but only those who do as the Christ
does. All the writers of the NT wanted to become like Jesus,
not replacing him like Simon Magus wanted to do, but following
the example which he set.

This is how our Bible "Leaning Group" (LG) does it. Our leader Ben buys
several commentaries whenever we get to a new book in the New Testament.
Such commentaries had been prepared on every book of the Bible by learned
people over the centuries. Many now exists on each book of the Bible. Ben
tries to get at least three -- one recently published, one dated earlier
the century of which a reprint is available and one going back to an
earlier century.

I have myself have several translations of the Bible, four major ones in
English (the great King James translation a must), one in modern Dutch,
one in German and two in Afrikaans. But most valuable to us is an
interlinear translation. It contains the best possible rendering (usually
the Nestle codex) of the original manuscripts of the New Testament, each
written in Greek. Underneath each Greek word the best rendering with an
English word, where possible is given. I also have a dictionary of Koine
Greek, the variant of Greek in which the NT has been written. I also have
an English as well as an Afrikaans concordance, a kind of index for every
word used in the Bible.

The other twelve members of the LG have only the recent Afrikaans
translation in front of them. But their inputs into the study is even more
important than Ben and my inputs. We deal with informations sources, but
they present their personal knowledge mastered over the years. They will
tell of incidents which helped shaped them, of certain pamflets which made
an impression on them (for having articulated what they know tacitly) and
of questions which they have, but which have not yet been answered.

The pace at which we work is about one verse or even less per meeting. The
reason is that we do not proceed to a new verse until everybody has made
peace with the verse under study. Almost every meeting we discover how
difficult it was for the translators to give a correct rendering in the
target language what was meant in the original Greek text. The reason is
that every language is drenched in the metaphors it uses and thus drips
with the culture sustaining that langauge.

The Greek-English Interlinear translation (together with the dictionary of
Koine Greek) gives us some idea of what was meant in the Greek text.
Sometimes the various translations would express a verse quite
differently. Then we know that we also have to proceed carefully with the
translation. We are painfully aware of the difference between the inner
personal knowledge of the NT writers and the external information which
they have produced for us. This is where the concordance comes in. We use
it to find all usages of a certain word by a NT writer. We study those
passages closely. We also study the usages of the same word by other NT
writers closely. The reason is that all of them worked together like one
family. (In LO terms, the first fifty years of Christianity, it functioned
like a LO.)

Why do we come together every Thursday evening? Our common purpose is to
experience the metanoia by studying together the Bible so closely. But our
common will is to become more like Jesus. We know of no better example
than the one set by Jesus. We will sometimes refer to the example set by
for example Buddha, the prophet Mohammed of the Islam religion or even
great figures in the history of the world like our own president Mandella
of lately, but in the end we have to conclude that Jesus embodied it all.

>when I wrote "teach" I had something specific in mind:
>actually I know that if I want to undertake learning
>the NT (is it ok?) I'll have to make a reasonable
>committment ... let it thus be 5 hours (half a day) weelky
>for four month (starting May 02).

I would rather suggest one hour a weekly day for four five times
four months (almost two years ;-). The reason is that you must
reflect upon what you have studied.

>in my close neighbourhood there's no resource
>to support such learning. I have my own copy,
>ut couldn't make myself just read it (that's how
>it is :-)

I would suggest that you still try to find a Bible study group among any
of the Christian denominations which might operate in your region. Ask
them whether you can join in provided they do not try to convert you to
their denomination. If you find such a group tolerant of your own personal
faith, you have found the best possible group to work with.

If you cannot find such a group, then try to find a book in which its
auther explains patiently with many references to the Bible why he/she
became a Christian. You as a novice need a friend on your journey and the
author of that book will become your friend. Look up every text which the
auther mentions and study it in its context rather than reading the NT
from the first chapter of Matheus to the last chapter of Revelations. I
would advise any novice to avoid any book with a study program and rather
stick to reading through the entire NT

If you cannot find such a book, then contact me privately and we will do
it together by email. But if your suggestion below works out some of my
suggestions will not be necessary.

I think that you feel lame to read the NT because your are already aware
how immense complex it is. In my reply to Fred Nichols I have tried once
again to explain how complexity can make one spiritually impotent by
suppressing one's mental free energy. One of the major reasons why their
had been so much splintering in Christianity, is that the complex message
of the NT had been simplified too much by the various factions. This
complex message have a simple final outcome -- to love God, to love every
human and to love the rest of nature unconditionally. But in the
simplification process this vital piece of information invariably got

>if you (?) could be kind enough to pick up a chapter
>(start somewhere) and tell us (?) what it says, then we
>(?) can discuss it's LO-relevance. if only we could
>keep this discussion in an adequate time frame so
>everyone can catch-up with the flow (well ... well ...
>it depends on the number of ctive participants and the
>length of their contributions ... we could give it a try
>- have a pilot :-).

You now suggested something which I wanted to do for a long time -- to
show how much information there is in the NT pointing to the functioning
of an LO. If nobody else starts doing it, then I will give it a try
myself. My biggest problem would be not to try and convert you. In doing
it, it will actually appear that I am trying to do it behind the curtain
of information. The only thing which I can offer, is that in 1970 I made
peace with my calling -- to teach authentic learning and to convert
nobody, even in that teaching.

>this is only a suggestion ... I'd love to hear your voices,

Me also.


I LOve LOoking at that which you and Jan are doing.

With care and best wishes


At de Lange <> Snailmail: A M de Lange Gold Fields Computer Centre Faculty of Science - University of Pretoria Pretoria 0001 - Rep of South Africa

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