9 There remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God.
10 For he that is entered into his rest, he also hath ceased from his own works, as God did from his.
11 Let us labour therefore to enter into that rest, lest any man fall after the same example of unbelief.
Hebrews 4:9-11 (KJV)
That rest – The argument presented by the author of the book of Hebrews isn’t new. In chapter 4, he explains that while there is one type of rest (the seventh-day Sabbath) there is also a final rest which is to come. Many Christians today use this to justify a spiritual Sabbath. And because there is a spiritual Sabbath, then there’s really no need to keep the literal seven-day Sabbath anymore… because, hey, we’re spiritual, right? Continue reading “Enter Into That Rest”
22 Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.
23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.
24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.
25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;
26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.
28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.
Ephesians 5:22-28 (KJV)
There’s no doubt that Paul was a great mind who resolved many of the issues relating to the Gentiles as they became newly grafted-in Israelites. His writings, when understood in proper context are filled with wisdom. But Paul was also a product of his culture. He was a Pharisee who knew the Talmud, including the Mishnah, and used the Oral Law in his own instructions. Continue reading “Paul Teaches the Talmud”
Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:
Jeremiah 31:31 (KJV)
New – To make sure we’re all clear, these are the exact words Yeshua is referencing in His speech to the Apostles during the last supper. He breaks some bread, drinks some wine, and establishes a new covenant. Continue reading “A Renewed Covenant – Part 2”
It is customary to blame secular science and anti-religious philosophy for the eclipse of religion in modern society. It would be more honest to blame religion for its own defeats. Religion declined not because it was refuted, but because it became irrelevant, dull, oppressive, insipid. When faith is completely replaced by creed, worship by discipline, love by habit; when the crisis of today is ignored because of the splendor of the past; when faith becomes an heirloom rather than a living fountain; when religion speaks only in the name of authority rather than with the voice of compassion — its message becomes meaningless.
Abraham Heschel, God in Search of Man
Continue reading “True Religion”
Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.
Deuteronomy 31:26 (KJV)
Book of the law – There’s considerable study in comparative analysis with the relationship of the Israelites to their surrounding cultures.* One interesting conclusion is that deity and kings never legislated actual law. This is difficult to comprehend and I may not do it justice here, but suffice it to say, covenant is different than law and it behooves us to understand how. Continue reading “Covenant or Law”
Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon?
Mark 6:3 (KJV)
Carpenter – Have you ever been to Israel? If not, then this verse probably holds no real challenge, but if you have, or have studied the environment, you might take issue with Yeshua’s occupation. Continue reading “An Impossible Occupation”
But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
Fool – What is the difference between “raca” and “fool” in this context? Why does one result in a different punishment from the other? Can you ascertain the difference from just reading the text in English? Of course not. You have to go further. It requires study. What is Yeshua really saying here? Continue reading “Relationship, Relationship, Relationship”
And he gave unto Moses, when he had made an end of communing with him upon mount Sinai, two tables of testimony, tables of stone, written with the finger of God.
Exodus 31:18 (KJV)
Two tables of testimony – The 10 commandments are amazing. They were written by the finger of God on two tablets of stone. The legend is that the stone was made of sapphire, the tablets were cut from a perfect cube measuring 18″ x 18″ x 18″, and that cube was split in half so that each of the commandments was 18″ tall by 18″ wide and 9″ thick. The writing from God was said to have gone all the way through the stone so that if one looked at it, you could see through the other side. But if you flipped the tablet over, it didn’t show the text in reverse as one might imagine, but showed the text the same as the front. Continue reading “Various Structures in the 10 Commandments”
10 There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, one that useth divination, a soothsayer, or an enchanter, or a sorcerer,
11 or a charmer, or one that consulteth a ghost or a familiar spirit, or a necromancer.
12 For whosoever doeth these things is an abomination unto the LORD; and because of these abominations the LORD thy God is driving them out from before thee.
Deuteronomy 18:10-12 (JPS)
When I explain that seeing the dead is not a good thing based on the example of Saul, the witch, and Samuel from 1 Samuel 28, some will counteract my argument with the New Testament example of Yeshua and the mount of transfiguration when He conversed with Moses & Elijah. Their example is given to justify interaction with the dead despite being completely forbidden in God’s law. Continue reading “The Difference Between Yeshua and Saul Regarding the Dead”
But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.
Jeremiah 31:33 (KJV)
Write it in their hearts – Comparative exploration would have us look at these words very differently than we do today. In John H. Walton’s book, he defines comparative study as: Continue reading “Written on the Heart”