In academic circles, documenting your sources is critical when writing. It promotes clarity and precision, and it gives credit where credit is due.
Entire industries have been built around the style and format guides that define systems for proper citation. And it makes sense. By acknowledging where information comes from, respect is shown for the intellectual work of the shoulders a writer is standing on. It also serves to strengthen the foundations of those scholars that will follow by showing the links in the chain of conversation that allowed them to arrive at their conclusions.
Style guides help people document sources of evidence. They help writers ascribe credit to creators.
Psalm 29 is an interesting study of the flavors of words.
By flavors, I’m suggesting that choosing to use a particular word or phrase in a given passage can lead to a different taste than if the translators had used an alternate word or phrase.
For example, the first verse of the Psalm:
Give to the Lord, you heavenly beings. Give to the Lord glory and power.
Psalm 29:1 GWT
Ascribe to the Lord, you heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.
Psalm 29:1 NIV
“Give” suggests we’re either transferring to God new glory and power or that we are providing him more of what he already has.
“Honor” suggests we’re acknowledging that God already has glory and strength, or that he has already done something particular with the glory and strength he already has.
But the word “ascribe” suggests that we are using God’s glory and strength as a launching point, and are acknowledging who the creator of that glory and strength is.
And that is reflected as well in the last verse of the Psalm:
The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.
Psalm 29:11 NIV
It is, in fact, God’s own strength that he has given to us.
Today, read Psalm 29 to help you grasp the power of our God. Then give God the credit for what he has created and blessed us with.
Ascribe to the Lord, you heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength. Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness. The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord thunders over the mighty waters. The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is majestic. The voice of the Lord breaks the cedars; the Lord breaks in pieces the cedars of Lebanon. He makes Lebanon leap like a calf, Sirion like a young wild ox. The voice of the Lord strikes with flashes of lightning. The voice of the Lord shakes the desert; the Lord shakes the Desert of Kadesh. The voice of the Lord twists the oaks and strips the forests bare. And in his temple all cry, “Glory!” The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord is enthroned as King forever.The Lord gives strength to his people; the Lord blesses his people with peace.
Psalm 29 NIV