Summer Language

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By the time you read this school will be out for most kids or very close to it. For kids summer begins on the last day school. But that is not really true  summer starts June 21st, the summer solstice, the longest day of the year. But that is not really true either for there still only 24 hours in that day. We just call the longest because it has  the most hours of daylight. On the June 21st sunrise will be at 5:41 and sunset will be at 7:46. But thats not really true either for the sun does’t rise or set. The earth just rotates so you can’t see the sun any more.

What does summer starting at the end school, the longest day and sunset all have in common? It is a linguistic device that in seminary we called language of accommodation. I said those things are not true but that is only in a technical sense. To a kid summer begins that last day school. Most people think of a day as daylight hours and not 24 hours. What is going on is that we are talking in way that is using agreed upon metaphors.

Why is this important? Because the language of accommodation is used in the Bible. So when studying the Bible you have to be very careful to look at what is being said based on the context of not just who is talking but on when. the Bible was written over a period of 4,000 years and involves many different cultures. Sure it has one author, God but He spoke to each group in their language.

For example in John 8:44 Jesus tells some people their father is the devil. Jesus does not mean that literally. Most people realize that but there are other places where the language of accommodation is more subtle. 1st Timothy 2:9 the word modest. Today people erroneously think Paul is contrasting revealing vs modest modern clothing. He wasn’t because none of the clothing we wear today even existed then. If you look at the whole verse it is a contrast of simple vs flashy and inexpensive vs expensive.

Those that know me know I believe every one needs to read their Bible regularly. As you read it listen to what is being said and think about the time period and the audience of that day. Find the principal God was teaching them and bring that principal forward to you.