Rome, Bible Translation, And The Oklahoma City Green Bible Collection -- By: Thomas P. Johnston

Journal: Journal for Baptist Theology & Ministry
Volume: JBTM 07:2 (Fall 2010)
Article: Rome, Bible Translation, And The Oklahoma City Green Bible Collection
Author: Thomas P. Johnston

Rome, Bible Translation, And The Oklahoma City Green Bible Collection

Thomas P. Johnston

Dr. Johnston is Associate Professor of Evangelism at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary Kansas City, Missouri


I want to begin by thanking David Green for his convictions regarding the importance of the Word of God.1 His generosity, as well as that of the Green Foundation, corresponds with the blessed man, whose “delight is in the law of the Lord, and in his law doth he meditate day and night” (Psa 1:2).2 It is with humility and respect that I offer these few words on the topic of “Rome, Bible Translation, and the Oklahoma City Green Bible Collection.” This paper is meant to explain the greater historical context within which the Green Bible Collection is birthed, as well as to consider its place in ongoing scholastic inquiry. Its value is deeply appreciated.

In his 1979 Apostolic address, “Mexico Ever Faithful,” Pope John Paul II explained that the Second Vatican Council (1962–1965) did not change the “essence” of the Roman Catholic Church:

The Second Vatican Council wished to be, above all, a council on the Church. Take in your hands the documents of the Council, especially ‘Lumen Gentium,’ study them with loving attention, with the spirit of prayer, to discover what the Spirit wished to say about the Church. In this way you will be able to realize that there is not—as some people claim—a ‘new church,’ different or opposed to the ‘old church,’ but that the Council wished to reveal more clearly the one Church of Jesus Christ, with new aspects, but still the same in its essence.3

The Church of Rome is therefore the same, not different or opposed to the old church. It still considers itself and only itself “the one Church of Jesus Christ.” As to use of the “old” and the “new,” John Paul II repeated this same idea in his 1994 encyclical, “Tertio Millennio Adviente: As the Third Millennium Draws Near.” He said “In the history of the church, the ‘old’ and the ‘new’ are always closely interwoven. The ‘new’ grows out of the ‘old,’ and the ‘old’ finds a fuller expression in the ‘new.’”4 This use of “old” and “new” appears to be a semantic puzzle, and perhaps it is. The old church has never changed, but when and where it has been necessary, it has adapted to a new environment. For example...

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