Friday, September 14, 2012

School Time



For he hath made him to be sin for us,
who knew no sin; 
that we might be made the righteousness of God
in him.
1 Corinthians 5:21

Do you realize just how complicated that sentence structure is??  I who adamantly (and foolishly) declared that diagramming sentences was for the old days have changed my mind. Actually, diagramming sentences can really help one to understand the old Black Book, the beloved King James Bible. Beloved to whom, you ask?  To me. Because it's the only Bible that sounds like God is speaking, and not a scholar or my next door neighbor or a bum off the street. (They were astonished at his doctrine, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Mt. 7) But that's a topic for another time, and there have been other times already for posts about that.  

As I was saying.  The first comma that appears in the above verse is critical, for it identifies Jesus as the one "who knew no sin". Without that comma Jesus was only made to be sin for those of us who knew no sin, and that just doesn't work, because there's not one soul who knew no sin. That would make salvation available to no one, and that would make absolutely vain Jesus's coming to this cesspool of sin to bring redemption.  Wow, every jot and tittle (and comma) IS important!

So I was going to try to diagram that verse, to show that "who knew no sin" modifies "him", and not "us".  But do you know what happens when you plug that verse into a sentence diagramming software?  "Who knew no sin" gets connected to "us". Ah, don't believe everything you see on your computer monitor.  As best I can tell, the correct diagram would look something like this:


Except that I can't figure out where "in him" goes, because that is referring to Christ ("him"), who was made sin for us....  So if you know any grammar experts, I'd be grateful to have them share their expertise in this instance.  And what do you do with semi-colons? Are the two clauses diagrammed as two separate sentences?  Normally they would be joined with a dotted line, but in this case one of the clauses is dependent.  So I invented that part of the diagram. The rules for sentence structure were made up after the Old Book was written in English.  It is not bound by today's grammatical rules. And as G. V. Carey observed many years ago, punctuation is governed "two-thirds by rule and one-third by personal taste."  

School is in full swing here.  The first day was not very smooth -- that seems to be a tradition here -- but since day two we have done swimmingly.  I am so pleased with my students who have worked ahead tackling decimal place values or algebra (again), memorizing however temporarily the Egyptian dynasties (to what purpose, we shall see), and reading chapters ahead in the text. I am particularly tickled at the change in the two students who were recently saved, who have suddenly gained more interest in the wisdom of the Bible. It certainly does help to know the Author personally.

One of the delights (and sometimes frustrations) of homeschooling is that we can take a little break any time we need one.  This week we have beloved company, and who can think about school work?  Yesterday we traveled to Duluth with our pastor and his wife.  It was an absolutely beautiful day on Lake Superior.  Today, garage sale-ing, a bit of fishing, and maybe a free hot-dog at Customer Appreciation Day downtown.  Let's see, that would be coursework in making change/detecting a good purchase (both good life skills), and later, some socialization.  Next week, we'll be hitting the books again.  Oh, and Alison is going to take her driver's permit test.  :)  Happy day!

Doesn't Emily look like she has grown up a bit?


1 comment:

  1. I've never been good at diagramming sentences, but I see their value, especially when trying to understand a Bible verse. Hooray for eager Bible students!

    ReplyDelete

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