Superfluous #1

Thursday, June 9, 2022

“For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you: For I know the forwardness of your mind, for which I boast of you to them of Macedonia, that Achaia was ready a year ago; and your zeal hath provoked very many” (2 Corinthians 9:1,2 KJV).

What does “superfluous” mean?

One recurrent complaint lodged against the King James Bible is that it is “hard to read.” Such a grievance likely stems from a mindless echoing of a sales pitch heard from a translator or publisher of a modern English version. Instead of seeking a Bible that is “easier to read” (the original Hebrew, Aramaic, and Greek languages read just as difficult!), we need to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ as our personal Saviour so the indwelling Holy Spirit can then teach us! Though the Scriptures have been habitually reworded via the aid of “textual criticism” (over 100 times!), it has come at the cost of sacrificing God’s spiritually-mature words. An “easy-to-read” version is simply “God’s Word” corrupted by natural-man thinking. Holy Writ should be handled far more reverently.

Let us take, for instance, the King James term “superfluous” in today’s Scripture. What does it mean? Of course, at the very least, we could look for the definition in a dictionary. However, a more profitable approach would be to take a concordance and see if the Bible uses the word in other verses, and if those passages would shed any light on today’s Scripture. Studying and comparing verses is the mature Christian’s method to spiritual enlightenment and growth.

We find “superfluous” also appears in Leviticus 22:23, in the context of animal sacrifices offered according to the Mosaic system: “Either a bullock or a lamb that hath any thing superfluous or lacking in his parts, that mayest thou offer for a freewill offering; but for a vow it shall not be accepted.” Be careful to recognize how “superfluous” sits in opposition to “lacking in his parts.” Obviously, “lacking” indicates the absence of something that should be present; therefore, “superfluous” is the other extreme, the presence of something that should be absent. Read verses 17-25, how deformities in or injuries to animal bodies render them inadmissible for vow offerings.

Thus, “superfluous” means excessive, unnecessary, extra….