Hebrew Worldview Compared to the Greek

We live in a Greek-based society under a Greek-structured government and taught according to the Greek-model of education. It’s no wonder that we view the world from the Greek paradigm.

This effects every facet of our lives, and directly influences our interpretation of scripture. But did you know there’s a Hebrew world view? There’s a mind set that is shared among the writers of the Bible that differs substantially from our current day viewpoint. I’d like to address the more obvious differences below.

Hebrew View Greek View
Order

This applies especially to the idea of creation. Everything God created was good and purposeful. It had order.

Chaos

The Greek idea of creation originated with the concept of gods waring amongst themselves while humanity was merely a byproduct. This eventually evolved into another theory called the Big Bang – another moment of chaos.

Purpose

There is purpose behind everything God does. We also are created for a purpose.

Accident

Everything is the way it is by accident.

Mystery

God is mysterious and deep. His wisdom is perplexing and His actions, powerful.

Magic

The world plays with illusion and magic.

Obedience before knowledge

Israel is called to first obey, and through obedience knowledge will come.

Knowledge before obedience

The world desires to know why first, then if we like the answer, we’ll obey.

Authority granted

All authority is granted by God. Yeshua himself is a perfect example of this.

Control

The world seeks control and takes it by their own hands.

Kairos time

Kairos is the unexpected moments. These are the times in which God works. The Hebrew focuses on the event, not on it’s timeframe.

Chronology

Greek views are concerned with chronology and making sure the order of events is perfect.

Rest

God provides rest through the Jubilee, the 7-year sabbatical, the weekly day of rest (Sabbath), and ultimately through His Son. In Hebrew, the new day begins when the sun goes down, and we go to sleep. So we begin each new day in rest.

Frenzy

The world is a rat race where individuals must move fast to ‘keep up’ with everyone else. The day begins when we wake up and start rustling about to get to work.

Manages the vertical relationship

The most important relationship is that between you and the Father in heaven. If you put your efforts there, then He will manage your horizontal relationships (wife, kids, friends, work associates, etc.)

Manages the horizontal relationships

The world focuses on your relationships in the world.

Love is sacrifice

The word for love in the New Testament is ‘agape’. Classical Greek never really focused on this word. It’s about sacrifice of yourself, of your needs, of your desires, for the sake of others.

Love is passion

In the Greek view, love is about passion. People begin to collect and acquire those things they love (ie. moments in photos, collector’s items, cars, tools, Facebook friends, etc.)

Theocracy

God set up a theocratic system of government. He placed a group of priests in charge of the people.

Democracy

The Greek system of government is democracy.

Law established by Lawgiver

In the Hebrew worldview God is the Lawgiver. Man cannot question, nor does he have the authority to disobey the law.

Law established by people

The Greek worldview places the law in the hands of the people. They are the one’s to decide which is right and which is wrong.

Education for the best

The Rabbinical way is to teach those who excel. Push the best forward in education so that they are the one’s best suited to learn the details of Torah and pass it on.

Education for all

The Greek view demands education for all. “No child left behind.” is the call of our government. So education is dumbed down to help the uninterested ones.

Teacher picks students

The Rabbinical system has the Rabbi choose his student. Yeshua chose his disciples by uttering the rabbinic term “Follow me”.

Students pick teacher

In the Greek world, the students choose which teacher they want and often times look for the most lackadaisical teacher from which to learn.

Conversion is action

In Hebrew, you are known by your fruits. Your actions speak to whether or not you’re converted. Are you obedient?

Conversion is cognitive

In Greek, conversion is a cognitive process. If you just believe in Yeshua, then that is all that matters. Well, we know even the devils believe in Yeshua.

Importance on what we do

The importance is on what we do. The actions performed carry all the weight.

Importance on how we think

It’s more important on how we think. This is why so many churches display their doctrines which begin “We believe…”. They are concerned more about their cognitive view rather than their actions.

Prayer prepares for what comes

The Hebrew man prays that God prepare him for what may come. He understands that events are out of his control, but to be firmly rooted in the Word will help him endure.

Prayer to control events

The Greek man prays for safety from events that may happen, or relief from what is currently happening. It is about controlling that which cannot be controlled.

What you’re sent to do

The Hebrew minded parent doesn’t ask their child what they want to be when they grow up, but rather they ask their child, “What has God sent you to do?”

What you want to be

The Greek parent will encourage their child to seek that which they desire. The world teaches that the child can do anything they want.

Denying

The Hebrew life is about denying one’s self for the benefit of others.

Indulgence

The Greek life teaches to indulge one’s self with rewards and self gratification.

God chooses the ordinary

Throughout the Bible we read how God chose the ordinary people to accomplish the most difficult tasks. These are the people God looks to.

World chooses the famous

The world glorifies the famous and chooses the most appealing to the public.

Humility

A Hebrew is taught humility. One must be humble in life.

Pride

The Greek is taught to be proud of accomplishments and be proud of culture, heritage, gender, etc.

Truth based on reliability

The Hebrew knows God’s Word is truth based on it being reliable. Taking into account the history of God’s relationship with His people and relying upon His promises.

Truth based on certainty

The Greek individual seeks certainty in God’s Word and takes measures to prove things against the scientific method or otherwise. Apologetics is a big part of this.

Compassion

In Hebrew thought, God is compassionate. Though trials may come, God is merciful and loving to see us through to the end.

Protection

In Greek thought, God is about protection. We seek God that He may protect us against trials and tribulations.

Courage

The Hebrew finds courage in God as he struggles forward in life to fulfill the Creator’s will.

Caution

The Greek seeks caution and is much less adventurous.

Holy

God is holy, holy, holy. He is separated from us and our sin, and this is why we need our High Priest, Yeshua to convene on our behalf. We too are called to be holy and set apart. It’s not about being perfect, but being obedient and useful for God’s will.

Perfect

The Greek world strives for perfection. This is the goal.

Recognize we have trouble

A Hebrew recognizes that trouble will come no matter how obedient we may be. This is how God exercises our faith and commitment.

Tranquility

The Greek seeks tranquility and focuses on it as the reward for his service.

Restoration

In the Hebrew worldview it’s about restoration. God is working within us to bring us back to the Garden of Eden. We should be restored in His image.

Repair

In the Greek, we are broken and in need of repair.

Let go

The Hebrew let’s go of suffering and tribulation allowing God to exercise His compassion.

Make do

The Greek’s view is to make do with what you have. If life gives you lemons, make lemonade.

Active waiting

Hebrews actively wait for the return of Yeshua and His final redemption. Actively waiting is the process by which there is a reliance and trust upon His promises, but action performed on our end continually.

Intervention

The Greek view would have man wait passively for Yeshua to come as an intervention in his life.

Work is worship

Our work is worship in Hebrew thought. Everything we do is a form of worship to our Father.

Work or worship

It is either work or worship in Greek thought. 5 days a week a man works, and on Sunday he worships.

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