God used a punctuation mark to speak to me recently. I’m certain of it. (Disclaimer: This post is about studying different translations of the Bible. I primarily use KJV, NKJV, and ESV.)
I’ve been meditating on various “rejoice” passages for a couple of days. Today, a verse in Philippians 4 took on a different meaning because of the mechanics used in the ESV.
Here’s the passage:
4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
All other translations have a period at the end of verse five and start verse six with a capital. But the ESV has a semi-colon at the end of verse five, and the first word of verse six is lowercase. To me, these subtle differences have big implications. I had previously processed “The Lord is at hand” in verse five as a warning; that we need to obey the first part of the verse because God is watching, or because Jesus is coming back. But a semi-colon at the end of verse five makes it clearer that verse six is a continuation of the thought. We shouldn’t be anxious about anything BECAUSE the Lord is “near in time or position.” Wow.
“The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.”
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