How can God, who is holy and just, use evil men to fulfil his purposes in the world? This question is the main topic of the prophecy of Habakkuk. The book is therefore unusual in that it deals with the prophet’s challenge to God rather than God’s challenge to his people.
“How can God, who is holy and just, use evil men to fulfil his purposes in the world? This question is the main topic of the prophecy of Habakkuk. The book is therefore unusual in that it deals with the prophet’s challenge to God rather than God’s challenge to his people.” (Pages x–65)
“The previous verb means ‘to cry for help,’ whereas this one means ‘to cry out in distress or horror.’” (Page 70)
“The verse is speaking of complete economic disaster, but it does so in the specific terms of the economy of Palestine.” (Page 136)
“‘for a herald to carry it with speed,’ and in niv, ‘so that a herald may run with it.’ The majority of modern translations take the meaning to be ‘so that a man may run while reading.’ That is to say, the message is to be plain enough that one will not have to stop and peer at it, but can read it while still running. In this respect it would be like a large modern advertisement beside a main road. tev expresses this interpretation well: ‘so that it can be read at a glance.’ Other ways of saying this are ‘so that it can be read easily’ (njv) or ‘so that one can read it easily’ (nab). This interpretation is the one recommended to translators.” (Page 90)
“It implies that the problem has been troubling the speaker for a long time already.” (Page 69)
What if you were responsible for translating God's Word into a language that never had a Bible before? Can you imagine the burden you would feel to do a good job?
God takes His Word pretty seriously, and you would certainly do everything in your power to make sure that you were not putting words into God's mouth, but that you were providing a text that clearly communicated God's Word as closely to the original as possible.
This challenge to understand the heart of the original Scriptures, in order to put the original text into a new language, was the impetus for the United Bible Societies to create handbooks for Bible translators working on this very thing. The United Bible Societies' Handbook Series is a comprehensive verse-by-verse guide to understanding exactly what is being communicated by the author in the original Scriptures.