Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Study to show yourself approved

Have you heard that verse, study to show thyself approved? I use the King James for a reason, because the word "study" is found primarily in the King James.

Give diligence to present thyself approved unto God, 2 Tim 2:15 (ASV)

Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, 2 Tim 2:15 (ESV)

Work hard so God can approve you. 2 Tim 2:15 (NLT)

Concentrate on doing your best for God, work you won't be ashamed of 2 Tim 2:15 (MSG)

So why do we know it as study? If you look at the Greek Word σπουδάζω can be translated as study, endeavour, labor, be diligent, etc. So how should we read this verse? Are we studying or working, laboring or examining.

Here is what I think. We have often separated study from working. We learn things sometimes that we never use. I studied a lot of Geology in High School, and don't use any of it. There are things we have all learned, and studied and don't apply.

If we examine the entire verse in the King James, it states:
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Tim 2:15 (KJV)

We study to rightly apply the word of truth to our lives. We are diligent to be Holy before God. It's not enough to just know, Jesus said not to be just hearers but doers of the word. Study, by all means study and read and know the word. Without the word, we will be ashamed when our works are examined. We study and know the word so that we can apply it to our lives.

Let me add my own translation. Be diligent in your study to show yourself to a Holy God, as a worker who doesn't need to hide his work, correctly applying the word to his life. 2 Timothy 2:15 Dan Barnes version.

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