Between these two there is a great gulf fixed. We do not see that either admits of any compromise. They are fundamentally different in a priori assumption, in method of approach, and in final conclusion… The Hebrew system starts with God. The only true wisdom is Knowledge of God. ‘The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.’ The corollary is that man can never know himself, what he is and what is his relation the world, unless first he learn of God and be submissive to God’s sovereign will. The Greek system, on the contrary, starts from the knowledge of man, and seeks to rise to an understanding of the ways and Nature of God through the knowledge of what is called ‘man’s higher nature’. According to the Bible, man had no higher nature except he be born of the Spirit. We find this approach of the Greeks no where in the Bible. Prof. Norman H. Snaith “Distinctive Ideas of the Old Testamen
Abraham Joshua Heschel (January 11, 1907 – December 23, 1972) was a Warsaw-born American rabbi and one of the leading Jewish theologians and Jewish philosophers of the 20th century.
In our culture, we have commercialized everything, including Christianity. We no longer preach the Gospel, heal the sick, cast out demons and make disciples – we market tapes, booklets and trinkets. We make music, not to worship God, but to sell CDs. Evangelists are selected because they "know how to get the dollars in the door" or "attract the crowds" or "get the numbers up." Ministerial power has been commercialized and politicized as much as that of regular politicians. Christian publishing houses publish celebrity Christian books – not because they are well written, or because they say something important – but because they will sell and make money for the company.In the days when Jesus’ Kingdom movement was known as the "Sect of the Nazarenes" (Acts 24:5,14), being a "Christian" was about relationship with God and with fellow man (Matthew 22:36-38; John 13:34-35). In the centuries since, we have de-emphasized relationship, and at the same time have intellectualized, politicized and commercialized the "faith once for all delivered." These three deleterious influences have radically changed the nature of the Church. The spirit of anti-Judaism and later anti-Semitism has done much to destroy the original personality of the believing community. This explains why it is so difficult for many to understand either Testament.
Gratitude: The story of the death of the sons of the Rabbi.
This is common in the liberal – read Lutheran for example church & common amongst the general publlc – thus religion is seen as in opposition to science which is supposedly based on reason and logic.
Matthew 8:5-13 (New International Version) 5When Jesus had entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, asking for help. 6"Lord," he said, "my servant lies at home paralyzed and in terrible suffering." 7Jesus said to him, "I will go and heal him." … 13Then Jesus said to the centurion, "Go! It will be done just as you believed it would." And his servant was healed at that very hour.Luke 7:1When Jesus had finished saying all this in the hearing of the people, he entered Capernaum. 2There a centurion's servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. 3The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant. 4When they came to Jesus, they pleaded earnestly with him, "This man deserves to have you do this, 5because he loves our nation and has built our synagogue." 6So Jesus went with them. He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: "Lord, don't trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. 7That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word, and my servant will be healed. 8For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and that one, 'Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it." 9When Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following him, he said, "I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel." 10Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well.
Another very clear example of this type of thinking is as follows. According to Deuteronomy 4:12 it was the LORD who spoke to Israel “out of the fire” to give them His Law at Sinai. It is said to be the LORD’s own voice that they heard. Yet several Scriptures reveal the speaker to have been an angel. Stephen says that “he [Moses] was in the assembly in the wilderness, with the angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai” (Acts 7:38). He told the Jews, “You have received the law that was put into effect through angels, and have not obeyed it” (v. 53). Paul also says, “The law was put into effect through angels by a mediator [Moses]” (Gal. 3:19). Hebrews 2:2 only serves to confirm this point, saying that the message (the law) was “spoken by angels.” This is no contradiction. The LORD did not literally speak “out of the fire.” An angel spoke. However as the agent of the LORD the angel is treated as the LORD. It is as if the LORD actually spoke.
Therefore, the key to understanding many of the difficult or even apparently unintelligible passages in the gospels is to be found not primarily in a better understanding of Greek, but in retroversion to and translation of the Hebrew behind the Greek (made possible by the often transparently literalistic translation methods of the Greek translators).
“The Hebrew knew he did not know all the answers. His position was ‘under the sun’ (Ecc. 8:17), so hiswords were few (5:2). He refused to over-systematize or forced harmonization on the enigmas of God’s truth orthe puzzles of the universe. He realized that no one could straighten what God has made crooked (7:13). Allthings, therefore, did not need to be fully rational. The Hebrew mind was willing to accept the truths taught onboth sides of the paradox; it recognized that mystery and apparent contradictions are often signs of the divine.Stated succinctly, the Hebrews knew the wisdom of learning to trust in matters that they could not fully understand.“
Next – circumcision as an example of heart
Take, for example the issue of ‘circumcising a male child on the 8th day’ vs not working on the Sabbath. (Jn 7:23). The ‘Oral Torah’ had established the principle that if a child’s eighth day from birth fell on a Sabbath, then the circumcision took precedence and the man performing the circumcision was permitted to carry his medical implements (i.e. to do work), through the town on the Sabbath. If however, the child was ill on the child’s eighth day after birth, and the first day the child was well enough to be circumcised was the Sabbath the circumcision should not now be performed on the Sabbath. This rule was sensible and considerate and found a good compromise or solution to two potentially conflicting ordinances of Moses. Yeshua does not appear to condemn this ‘rule’ at all, but rather to point out that those living by it were really hypocrites if they then tried to condemn Yeshua for healing, not just part of a man (the act of circumcision), but healing the whole man. Here we see that it is the attitude of the heart that matters. Yeshua was not abolishing this rule for Jewish believers but illustrating the mindset that leads to this rule being followed but for the ‘right’ reasons (it the same way that Yahweh blesses the ‘cheerful’ giver. 1 Cor 9:7).
"Our Father, Our King" (Avinu, Malkenu) a heart-to-heart, person-to-person communication with the King of the Universe. Thus praise, petition and thanksgiving characterize Jewish prayer. Jews for the day when the Lord would be One and His name One in all the earth, when the whole world would recognize the God of Israel as King. In that great day, Zechariah reports, we will all go up to Jerusalem to celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles (Sukkot) at the Hour of Yahweh. In that great Messianic age, no longer will there be a need for the redemption of Passover or the giving of the Torah at Pentecost, but the thanksgiving of Tabernacles will continue even greater than before. The Shema, which contains two texts from Deuteronomy and one from Numbers (Deuteronomy 6:4-9; 1 1:13-21; Numbers 15:37-41 ) is prescribed for prayer twice daily. The bowing motion you may have observed in an Orthodox Jew praying, for instance, at the Western Wall, is an aid to and a reflection of the prayer's earnestness and intensity. The tallitor prayer shawl pulled up over his head is to help block out any distractions; he in audience with the Sovereign of the World, and his undivided attention is required. The right attitude is essential-one that is appreciative and respectful, joyous and reverential. "Don't begin your prescribed prayers if you are sad, downcast or in a bad mood," say the Rabbis. "First sing some songs or hymns; lift your spirit so you can pray with joy." He is Melekh Ha Olam, King of the Universe.
Question 1: Hint: (Matthew 22:36-38; John 13:34-35). relationship with God and with fellow man – the2 tabletsQuestion 2: The TrinityQuestion 3: Free-will – choice; consequence of the sin of Adam
Care for the seed of eternityThe meaning of the Sabbath is to celebrate time rather than space. Six days a week we live under the tyranny of things of space; on the Sabbath we try to become attuned to holiness in time. It is a day on which we are called upon to share in what is eternal in time, to turn from the results of creation to the mystery of creation; from the world of creation to the creation of the world. He who wants to enter the holiness of the day must first lay down the profanity of clattering commerce, of being yoked to toil. He must go away from the screech of dissonant days, from the nervousness and fury of acquisitiveness and the betrayal in embezzling his own life. He must say farewell to manual work and learn to understand that the world has already been created and will survive without the help of man. Six days a week we wrestle with the world, wringing profit from the earth; the Sabbath we especially care for the seed of eternity planted in the soul.Abraham Joshua Heschel, The Sabbath: It meaning for modern man.. (New York: The Noonday Press), 1951, pp. 10, 13.
Living truth - the Hebraic Mindset
Feast of Tabernacles, Heart of David Ministries, Gold Coast 2010Pdf version @ www.circumcisedheart.info
“The aim of Hebrew religion was Da’athElohim (the Knowledge of God); The aim of Greek thought was Gnothiseauton (Know thyself).
"The distinction …arises from the difference between doing and knowing. The Hebrew is concerned with practice, the Greek with knowledge. Right conduct is the ultimate concern of the Hebrew, - right thinking that of the Greek.
The Hebrew thus extols the moral virtues as the substance and meaning of life; the Greek subordinates them to the intellectual virtues…the contrast is between practice and theory, between the moral man and the theoretical or intellectual man.“ • Prof William Barrett
Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel: "The Greeks learned in order to comprehend. The Hebrews learned in order to revere. The modern man learns in order to use"
We want a religion of utility techniques we can apply situationally to get into, or out of, some situation. techniques for understanding, systematizing and structuring the "prophetic timetable" so that we can know "what’s going to happen next, Some want to know so they can have something to market to other Christians who want to know! 1 Tim 6:5 … people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.
We seek "Christian" techniques for • inner healing, • outer healing, • exorcism, • financial prosperity, or • for receiving spiritual power.This way of thinking is alien to the Hebrewmind.Question 1:So what should being a ‘Christian’ be about?Hint: (Matthew 22:36-38; John 13:34-35).
The whole Bible, the New Testament as well as the Old Testament, is based on the Hebrew attitude and approach… “ Prof. Norman H. Snaith “Distinctive Ideas of the Old Testament
For years all the disciples of Yeshua were Jewish. The New Testament was entirely written by Jews (Luke being, in all likelihood, a Jewish proselyte). The very concept of a Messiah is nothing but Jewish. Finally, Yeshua himself was Jewish - was then and apparently is still, since nowhere does Scripture say or suggest that he has ceased to be a Jew. It was Jews who brought the Gospel to Gentiles. Shaul (Paul) , the chief emissary to the Gentiles was an observant Jew all his life. Indeed the main issue in the early Church was whether without undergoing complete conversion to Judaism a Gentile could be a Christian at all. The Messiahs atonement is rooted in the Jewish sacrificial system; the Lords Supper is rooted in the Jewish Passover traditions; baptism is a Jewish practice; and indeed the entire New Testament is built on the Hebrew Bible, with its prophecies and its promise of a New Covenant, so that the New testament without the Old is as impossible as the second floor of a house without the first. Thus although the Gospel message is for Jew and Gentile equally, the context of Messianic faith is Jewish (or Hebriac). - Paraphrased from David Stern’s ‘The Restoration of the Jewishness of the Gospel
Western Approach Hebraic ApproachLife analyzed in precise categories. Everything blurs into everything else.A split between natural & supernatural Supernatural affects everything.Linear logic Contextual or "block" logic"Rugged Individualism" Importance of being part of groupEquality of persons Value comes from place in hierarchiesFreedom orientation Security orientationCompetition is good Competition is evil (cooperation better)Man-centered universe God/tribe/family-centered universeWorth of person based on money/material Worth derived from family relationshipspossessions/powerBiological life sacred Social life supremely importantChance + cause & effect limit what can happen God causes everything in his universeMan rules nature through understanding and applying God rules everything, so relationship with God determineslaws of science how things turn out.
Western HebrewAll that exists is the material The universe is filled with powerful spirit beingsLinear time divided into neat segments. Each event is new. Cyclical or spiraling time. Similar events constantly reoccur.History is recording facts objectively and chronologically. History is an attempt to preserve significant truths in meaningful or memorable ways whether or not details are objective facts.Oriented to the near future Oriented to lessons of historyChange is good = progress Change is bad = destruction of traditionsUniverse evolved by chance Universe created by GodUniverse dominated and controlled by science and God gave man stewardship over his earthly creation.technology Accountability to God.Material goods = measure of personal achievement Material goods = measure of God’s blessingBlind faith Knowledge-based faithTime as points on straight line ("at this point in time…" Time determined by content ("In the day that the Lord did…")Power over others achieved through business, politics and Power over others is structured by social patterns ordainedhuman organizations. by God.
Experience Truth Jesus/Yeshua was no theologian in the Western sense. The Hebrew prophets and their followers did not simply think truth they experienced truth.
Everything is theological! “It is forbidden to a man to enjoy anything of this world without a benediction, and if anyone enjoys anything of this world without a benediction, he commits sacrilege” Babylonian Talmud, Berakhot 35a The Rabbi’s consider that to not enjoy every legitimate pleasure is in essence to be an ingrate before the Master of the Universe! (compare with 1 Cor 10:31)
A Contradiction? Ceremonialism and ritualism alone do not meet God’s requirement for a good life.Amos 5:21 I hate, I despise your feasts, and I take no delight in your solemn assemblies.22 Even though you offer me your burnt offerings and grain offerings, I will not accept them; and the peace offerings of your fattened animals,I will not look upon them.23 Take away from me the noise of your songs; to the melody of your harps I will not listen.
Psalm 5110 Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. 11 Do not cast me away from Your presence, And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, And uphold me by Your generous Spirit. 13 Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners shall be converted to You. 14 Deliver me from the guilt of bloodshed, O God, The God of my salvation, And my tongue shall sing aloud of Your righteousness. 15 O Lord, open my lips, And my mouth shall show forth Your praise. 16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering. 17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart— These, O God, You will not despise. 18 Do good in Your good pleasure to Zion; Build the walls of Jerusalem. 19 Then You shall be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, With burnt offering and whole burnt offering; Then they shall offer bulls on Your altar
Truth is to be experienced, deed matters more than creed. The biblical writers often use vocabulary which is highly colorful, dynamic, and action-centered. They tell the story of a people on the move, a people who approached living with boldness, drive, and expectation…Israel followed a ‘God-on-the-move,’ and they were ‘his movable treasure’ (Ex. 19:5) The Hebrews: an energetic, robust, and, at times, even turbulent people.
‘Faith’ in the church today: In todays common view influenced by Greek dualism, faith is a mystical, non-rational thing, not related to reason. It is the act of believing something, of holding to a set of propositions, despite evidence that may contradict it. How "hard" we believe something becomes a measure of the strength of our faith. According to this view, questioning ones beliefs is seen as doubting, and is strongly discouraged. The act of believing something becomes morally virtuous, and to risk rejecting one or more propositions is seen as risking ones faith. The intellectual or mystical knowledge of God becomes the focus of our salvation. Faith, therefore, is seen to be in opposition to reason.
Further ‘recent’ evidence How have the Qumran Scrolls and archaeological of recent times overturned conventional wisdom? The discovery that Hebrew was the primary spoken and written medium of the majority of the Jews in Israel during the time of Jesus and that Jesus therefore did most if not all of his teaching in Hebrew (not Greek or Aramaic).
Archaeologists unearthed part of a first-century limestone sarcophagus cover with the Hebrew inscription “son of the High Priest” (benhaCohenhaGadol). Jewish teachers of first-century from both Galilee and Judea ordinarily passed on their teachings in Hebrew. For example, parables were preserved in Hebrew. ShmuelSafrai writes, “The parable was one of the most common tools of rabbinic instruction from the second century B.C.E. until the close of the Amoraic period at the end of the fifth century C.E…. All of the parables are in Hebrew. Amoraic literature often contains stories in Aramaic, and a parable may be woven into the story; however the parable itself is always in Hebrew, There are instances of popular sayings in Aramaic, but every single parable is in Hebrew. (AS are those of Yeshua) Hebrew also was typically chosen for written accounts of Jewish religious significance, as evidenced by post-biblical writings such as Ben Sira, and 1 Maccabees (according to consensus).
The Jewish historian Josephus describes an incident that took place during the siege of Jerusalem (War 5:269-272). Josephus relates that watchmen were posted on the towers of the city walls to warn residents of incoming stones fired from Roman ballistae. Whenever a stone was on its way, the spotters would shout “in their native tongue, ‘The son is coming!’” (War 5:272). The meaning the watchmen communicated to the people was: Ha-even ba’ah (the stone is coming). However, because of the urgency of the situation, these words were clipped, being abbreviated to benba (son comes). (This well-known Hebrew wordplay is attested in the New Testament: “God is able from these avanim [stones] to raise up banim [sons] to Abraham” (Luke 3:8) The wordplay (and pun) that Josephus preserves is unambiguously Hebrew. This wordplay does not work in Aramaic.
Hebraisms - often abstract thoughts/immaterialconceptions conveyed through material or physicalterminology:— look is to lift up the eyes (Gen. 22:4)— be angry is to burn in one’s nostrils (Ex. 4:14)— disclose something or reveal something is to unstop one’s ears (Ruth 4:4)— have no compassion is hard heartedness (1 Sam. 6:6)— stubborn is stiff-necked (2 Chr. 30:8; Acts 7:51)— get ready or brace yourself is gird up your loins (Jer. 1:17)— to be determined to go is set one’s face to go (Jer. 42:15, 17; Lk. 9:51)
A very important Hebraism - Agency In Hebrew thought, the “first cause” is not always distinguished from “intermediate” or “secondary” causes. The principal is not always clearly distinguished from the agent, the one commissioned to carry out an act on behalf of another. Sometimes the agent, standing for the principal, is treated as if he or she were the principal him or herself, though this is not literally so. Principal and agent remain two distinct persons but they act in complete harmony. The agent acts and speaks for his principal.
Jesus healing the centurion’s servant Matthew speaks of a conversation between the centurion himself and Jesus (Mt. 8:5-13). Luke tells us that the centurion did not in fact come personally. He sent some “Jewish elders” and then some “friends” to Jesus with his requests (Luke 7:1-10).
Jesus questioned - who might sit next tohim in his Kingdom? Mark gives us the impression that James and John themselves personally asked whether they might sit next to Jesus in places of royal authority (Mk. 10:35- 40). Matthew tells us that in fact it was the mother of Zebedee’s children who actually made the request to Jesus (Mt. 20:20-23)
The burning bush: The LORD God spoke out of the burning bush (Deut 4:12) Acts 7:30; 38 Stephen clarifies that it was an angel who spoke with the voice of Yahweh. Acts 12:7 vs 12:17 – Peter in prison - v17 ‘God’ (not the angel) had led him act of the prison.Question 2: If this Hebraism had been well understood, what very significant doctrine may not have been developed?
Flusser argues that: the original accounts of Jesus life were composed in Hebrew (as one might conclude anyway from early church history); the Greek gospels which have come down to us represent a third or fourth stage in the written transmission of accounts of the life of Jesus; Luke was the first gospel written, not Mark;
"Concepts were expressed in self-contained units or blocks of thought. These blocks did not necessarily fit together in any obviously rational or harmonious pattern, particularly when one block represented the human perspective on truth and the other represented the divine. The Hebrews, however, sense no violation of their freedom as they accomplish Gods purposes. Marvin Wilson ‘Our Father Abraham’
The last shall be first and the first shallbe last:Matt 19:27-30 Then Peter said in reply, See, we have left everything and followed you. What then will we have? Jesus said to them, Truly, I say to you, in the new world, when the Son of Man will sit on his glorious throne, you who have followed me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or lands, for my names sake, will receive a hundredfold and will inherit eternal life.But many who are first will be last, and the last first.
God makes us act and yet wechoose our actions: Ex 8:15 But when Pharaoh saw that there was a respite, he hardened his heart and would not listen to them, as the LORD had said.vs Ex 7:3 But I will harden Pharaohs heart, and though I multiply my signs and wonders in the land of Egypt,
God is the maker of evil; He is wrathful and yetHe is the maker of good; He is merciful:Isaiah 45.7I form light and create darkness,I make well-being and create calamity,I am the LORD, who does all these things.vsHabakuk 3:2O LORD, I have heard the report of you,and your work, O LORD, do I fear.In the midst of the years revive it;in the midst of the years make it known;in wrath remember mercy.Question 3:One of the biggest questions of all: Why does God permit/make evil?
Yeshua is the Lamb of God andalso the Lion of Judah:John 1:2929 The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world!vs Rev 5:5And one of the elders said to me, Weep no more; behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.
The end of unbelievers (Hell) is describedas ‘utter darkness’ and a ‘lake of fire’.Jude 11-13 Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaams error and perished in Korahs rebellion.These are blemishes on your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, looking after themselves; waterless clouds, swept along by winds; fruitless trees in late autumn, twice dead, uprooted;wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.Rev 19:20 And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.
God determines who is ‘saved’ and whoisn’t and yet we can choose himJohn 6:37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.Deut 30:19-20 I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.Jn 6:44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.
You can find your life but in doing so youwill lose it! Mat 10:39 Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.
And in that time there will be neither hunger norwar, neither jealousy nor competition, but goodness willspread over everything. And all the delights will be ascommon as dust. And the whole world will have no otheroccupation but only to know the Lord. And thereforeIsrael will be great sages, and knowers of secretthings, and they will attain a knowledge of their Creatoras far as the power of man allows, as it is written, For theearth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as thewaters covers the sea (Isa. 11:9) (Maimonides, YadhaHazaqa, Shoftim, HilkhotM’lakhim 11-12)
When you are weak you arestrong! 2 Cor 12:10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
If you lift yourself up you will be lowered but ifyou lower yourself you will be lifted up! Luke 14:11 For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.
The Messiah is the Prince of Peaceand yet he comes with a sword.Matt 5:9: Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.Isaiah 9:6-7 For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called …. Prince of Peace.Matt 10:34 - 36 “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a persons enemies will be those of his own household.
Preaching of cross is foolishness …1 Cor 1:18-19, 26-29 For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. For it is written, I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.26 For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth.27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;28 God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are,29 so that no human being might boast in the presence of God.
Dealing with fools? Prov. 26:4 Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him yourself. Prov. 26:5 Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own eyes.
Not always easy: Rom 14:22 … Blessed is the one who has no reason to pass judgment on himself for what he approves. (see CEB Cranfield ‘Romans’ p352)
Conclusion: Hellenism/Greek mindset ‘Know yourself’ rather than ‘know God’ In contrast to the Greek view that the highest human experience was knowledge, to a Hebrew scholar like the Apostle Paul, moral beauty and righteousness was the highest human experience. In todays common view influenced by Greek dualism, faith is a mystical, non-rational thing, not related to reason.
Faith is a posture of the hearttoward God. The heart of the believer will seek knowledge of God at some level. Knowledge is not irrelevant. But it will be an outworking of the heart of faith rather than a prerequisite for it.
Circumcising a male child on the 8th dayvs not ‘working’ on the Sabbath Considered an act of ‘healing’ Jn 7:23 Oral Torah – normally circumcision took precedence If unwell though and child now well and it is the Sabbath then ‘no customary work’ takes precedence Yeshua though healed the ‘whole man’ Look at the mindset involved – not about rules but loving HaShem and His instructions
Dualism Greek dualism has also led to the loss of community, to the exaltation of the individual. Human beings were created to be social. Our true and most complete meaning is derived from and experienced through our relationships with God and with other human beings (Mark 12:28-34).
Mishnah saying: “He who destroys a single life is considered as if he has destroyed the whole world, and he who saves a single life is considered as having saved the whole world” (Sanhredrin 4:5).
The Body of MessiahWe see Paul calling us to the Jewish sense of corporate identity in hisfamous ‘Body of Messiah’ dissertation (1 Cor 12).Our challenge is to recognize the great error of church history indisconnecting from its Jewish foundations. The times we live in nowinvolve much uncertainty, pessimism, rootlessness, dishonesty and greatchange.We need not be rootless – As Paul tells us in Romans 9-11, the ‘root thatsupports us’ is the godly living faith of Israel.This is our foundation, it is to know the God of history, Israel’s history.Hebrews 11 tells us a beautiful summary of the people of Israel and theirtrust in God.
Our challenge … True faith is faith in action, Faith that is evidenced by obedience to God. Fulfilling the two greatest commandments Fulfilling the Ten Commandments
May you all embrace life, enjoy the blessings that the Almighty has bestowed upon you and constantly thank Him for all that comes your way because regardless of your comprehension of it, God can and will use it all for your benefit if you love Him. Use the talents that He has given you to glorify and honour Him and so draw others to Him as they see joy in your life in good times and bad. Thank you. Shalom!
Principles of Jewish Prayer:1. In Jewish prayer there is no trace of magic, incantation or vain repetition.2. an outpouring of the soul.3. congregational and community orientated.4. focuses on the Kingdom of God.5. God is acknowledged as Personal.6. God is acknowledged as Powerful7. reminds us of great truths about God8. references many Biblical texts and allusions.9. a daily duty.10. is a disciplined activity.11. is a focused devotion.12. spoken in Hebrew.
Questions:1. So what should being a ‘Christian’ be about?2. If this Hebraism had been well understood, what very significant doctrine may not have been developed?3. One of the biggest questions of all: Why does God permit/make evil?4. What example of ‘block logic’ has impacted you; either enlightened or challenged or encouraged you?