January 8th 2010

Proofreading

“All of this makes us even more certain that what the prophets said is true.  So you should pay close attention to their message, as you would to a lamp shining in some dark place.  You must keep on paying attention until daylight comes and the morning star arises in your hearts.  But you need to realize that no one alone can understand any of the prophecies in the scriptures.”

2 Peter 1:19-20 (CEV) 

Sometimes when I am typing one hand settles on the wrong keys and the words that result are like gobbledegook!  I thought that this was what had happened when someone sent me the following message: 

I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid, aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, manes it  deosn’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are.  The olny iprmoatnt  tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can  be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae  the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a  wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas tghuhot slpeling was ipmorantt! 

Or, I thought, perhaps a severely dyslexic person’s message?  But it was actually a deliberate message that shows the amazing capacity of the mind to unscramble and decipher misspelled words.  

Recently a spelling mistake in one of these day by day studies was missed by all of us who saw it before publication.  The one who checked it for doctrinal integrity missed it, the proofreader missed it, and I missed it when preparing and uploading it onto the website.  It was the word your and the ‘r’ was missing.  It was still a word, so ‘spellcheck’ did not pick it up.  The rest of us skipped over the word because we expected it to say that.  

If we are not careful this can happen when we read the Bible too.  We see what we expect, or want to, or have been used to seeing.  This is where reading several translations can be helpful.  Because the words are slightly different, we actually read the words that are there instead of the words we have seen so many times and expect to see. 

There is another kind of ‘proof’ reading of the Bible, called ‘proof-texting’, and this is when a verse is taken out of context to prove a point.  We believe something and so when we see certain words that prove what we believe, we discount, ignore or skip over things that do not fit with our belief. 

We need to prove all things and hold fast to that which is good (1 Thessalonians 5:21), but let’s be careful not to proof-read the Bible! Instead, let the Holy Spirit lead us into all truth (John 16:13). 

Prayer

What an amazing mind you have given us, Lord.  But without your Holy Spirit leading us into all truth, we can easily read into your words our own interpretation.  Guide and lead us as we read, not proof-read, the Words of Life.

Amen 

Study by Nancy Silcox 

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