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Offline Wycliffes_Shillelagh

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How I Understand the Bible
« on: Mon Mar 05, 2018 - 00:55:12 »
Once upon a time, I received a Christian education, and they taught us to divide the books of the Bible into categories - law and history, poetry and prophets, gospels and acts.  Later, they taught us methodology for interpreting - analytical, grammatical, historical.  And, to be honest, it is simply too much muss and fuss.  The idea ought to be to simplify and understand, not to make it more complex and difficult.

With age and experience, I have simplified my outlook, and I'd like to share my current paradigm for interpretation.  I hope it helps someone.  There are two basic dichotomies I look at:

1.  Prophets and Priests

There are really only two groups of people who wrote Biblical books - the prophets and the priests.  The prophets communicate from God, to man.  The priests are meant to communicate from mankind, to God.  What a difference it makes, which one is speaking!  And, how the two clash!  The prophets were persecuted, and stoned.  The priests, most often, were the ones throwing the rocks!

The prophet is inspired.  His message, being straight from God, is God's honest truth.  His concerns are justice, and judgment.

The priest can claim no such thing.  He is mortal and fallible.  He may be mistaken, or afraid to speak the truth, or worse.  He may be political, prone to spin history, omit the ugly bits, and make himself and his comrades look squeaky-clean, when they are in fact rather filthy.

So, then... as you read, who is speaking?  Is it a prophet, or is it a priest?

2.  Two Nations

The Bible is commonly thought to be the history of a single nation called Israel, which people are called Hebrews, or Jews.  After some years in study, I have come to realize that this is incorrect. 
The Bible is the history of 2 nations.  The two share a common ancestry, and were unified for a short time, but they started out as two groups, and they ended up as two groups.  The short time they were united was the exception, and not the rule.

The two nations are Judah (aka Jews, Jerusalem) and Ephraim (aka Samaria, Jeshurun).

Israel started out with twelve tribes, but from the beginning, 2 dominated - Judah and Ephraim.  Israel himself (Jacob) had two wives, and Judah carries the banner for one, while Ephraim for the other.  The other tribes fall in line behind them, in two factions, from Genesis on down to Kings.

The two factions were united when Saul was proclaimed king and captain of the army.  David and Solomon ruled after him over the united kingdom.  When Solomon died, the two split back apart, with Solomon's son retaining Judah, and Ephraim seceding, with most of the tribes following him.  You can read the story in 1Kings 11.

Most importantly, though - God sanctioned the split.  God treated the two separately.  He dealt with them separately.  The two are separate in both history and prophecy.

Ephraim was judged by God for unfaithfulness, divorced (Jer 3), and God brought the Assyrians to destroy the nation, in roughly 900BC.

Judah was chastened by God for unfaithfulness many times, notably when God brought the Babylonians to exile her for a time, but God has brought them back to Jerusalem again and again.  They were neither divorced, nor destroyed, as Israel was.

When the prophets speak, they prophesy of one, or the other.  In prophesy, Ephraim is dead, dried bones, she is "not my people" and "not a people."  But she is prophesied to be revived, resurrected, and re-married to God.  Judah, by contrast, is God's perpetually-unfaithful wife, whom he sends away, but brings back.

Who, then, is being written about?  OR to whom is Scripture addressed?

I find that all of Scripture falls in line, and makes sense, once these two questions are asked and answered.

-Jarrod

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How I Understand the Bible
« on: Mon Mar 05, 2018 - 00:55:12 »

Offline Kenneth Sublett

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Re: How I Understand the Bible
« Reply #1 on: Mon Mar 05, 2018 - 11:14:23 »
Unknown and perhaps unknowable to the PRIESTLY CLASS is that the Assembly of Christ is built upon or educated by the Prophets and Apostles.
For the purposes of the kingdom of Christ He defines Holy Scripture as the PROPHETS and other prophecies "Concerning Me."
In my aware years of my 87 plus experience, I have never known a preacher or elder who seemed aware of the Prophets other than to quote some cute verse as preamble to their OWN
substitute for Scripture.

I can still remember the first memory verse my mother taught me:

Prov. 22:1 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.

If God turned the Jews over to worship the starry host (Acts 7) no one seems alert enough NOT to use the Jew's worship of the starry host rather than the Creator of the host.




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Re: How I Understand the Bible
« Reply #1 on: Mon Mar 05, 2018 - 11:14:23 »

Offline Kenneth Sublett

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Re: How I Understand the Bible
« Reply #2 on: Tue Mar 06, 2018 - 13:53:40 »
Alexander Campbell brought on himself untold wrath when he wrote His Sermon on the Law,.

http://www.piney.com/Alexander.Campbell.Sermon.on.the.Law.html

It would be hart to find, even within Churches of Christ who quote the text that God DID NOT COMMAND king, kingdom, the temple, slaughter of innocent animals, priests or Levites to make the lambs dumb before the slaughter.

Other than the consensus of the historic "Church Fathers" the only exception to the rule has been Burton Coffman:

Coffman's Commentary

https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/1-samuel-8.html

Speaks for the total Bible view that Israel's rejection of God as King, Judge and Priest set the stage for their later repudiation of Jesus Christ in order to keep the evil Temple-System like all other nations. Remember that the clergy was still seeking a king "like the nations" and had not a hint of looking for a Spiritual King, Prince and Mediator:

The great Cambridge scholar, Henry McKeating, has the following comment on this passage from Hosea:

"Hosea is not only antagonistic to the northern kings but to the monarchy as such. The monarchy is powerless to save the nation. Israel was wrong to ask for a king. Her punishment was that she got what she asked." 7: Henry McKeating, Amos, Hosea, and Micah (Cambridge: University Press, 1971), p. 148.

Coffman: "We are aware that it is popular among many able commentators today to make apologies for Israel's monarchy and to apply what the Scriptures plainly say about it to some specific monarch, Saul, for example, as did Dummelow, or to the kings of Northern Israel as did Hailey;
but it is the conviction of this writer that
Israel was totally and completely wrong in asking a king and that this rejection of God (that is what the text calls it) contained embryonically all of the later sorrows of the Chosen People.

Throughout the whole history of Israel, there were very few monarchs who even tried to serve the Lord. Solomon was to be blamed for the division of the kingdom under his son, because the people simply rejected the excesses of Solomon; and yet, even after God took the monarchy away from them, the nation wanted nothing in heaven or on earth as much as they wanted the restoration of that scandalous Solomonic empire.

It was this, more than anything else,

that motivated their rejection of God Himself,
finally and irrevocably,
in their rejection of God's Son, Jesus Christ the Holy One.

Go down the list of Israel's kings, David, the very best of all of them, was an adulterer and a murderer; and he also corrupted the worship of God by two sinful things:

(1) his initiating the events that led to the building of the temple (the den of thieves and robbers in Jesus' times); and

(2) his introduction of instruments of music into the worship of God. We do not have the space here to outline all of the misdeeds of Israel's shameful monarchy,

but it is clear enough that God's disapproval of the monarchy was no late thing, applicable only to the phantom kings of Ephraim's final years, but it rested upon the monarchy from the very beginning of it as outlined in this chapter.

If God had ever approved of it, He would never have taken it away from them! Nevertheless, God accommodated to the sinful conduct of His people and in many specific instances blessed the kings of Israel,


MY STUDY

http://www.piney.com/First-Samuel-Eight.html

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Re: How I Understand the Bible
« Reply #2 on: Tue Mar 06, 2018 - 13:53:40 »

Offline Wycliffes_Shillelagh

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Re: How I Understand the Bible
« Reply #3 on: Wed Mar 07, 2018 - 13:28:32 »
Hi Ken,

I haven't read Campbell much if at all, but (in spite of his apologies for his own sermon) he got it right the first time round, it seems.

But let's not blame Moses.  The Pentateuch gets all lumped together as "Moses," but it's really 1 book of Moses' prophecy (Deuteronomy) and the rest is an amalgamation of works that the priests tried to cobble together after-the-fact into a history that wouldn't make them look entirely wicked.

Not saying there isn't worth there.  But it's mostly peeking through the holes of that veil the priests tried to hang in front of it, slipping past the censors.  Had the guides not been quite so blind, they might have done a better job of shutting up the keys from the rest of us, but I suppose their incompetence is our gain.

Jarrod

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Re: How I Understand the Bible
« Reply #3 on: Wed Mar 07, 2018 - 13:28:32 »
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Offline Kenneth Sublett

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Re: How I Understand the Bible
« Reply #4 on: Wed Mar 07, 2018 - 14:19:31 »
No, it is not Moses' fault. I believe that He wrote or "compiled" the history and the law after Israel rejected God at Mount Sinai.  The Law did not command what God later imposed or allowed to happen when the elders (most often) rejected God's rule and wanted a king Like the nations.  Isaiah 1; Jeremiah 7 and many others prove that God did not COMMAND that to which He abandoned people.  The traditions of the elders or Jewish fables are warned about.

The Israelites wanted to destroy the "owners" by their own power but the Prophets understood the motive:

Ezek. 20:31 For when ye offer your gifts,
        when ye make your sons to pass through the fire,
        ye pollute yourselves with all your idols, even unto this day:
        and shall I be enquired of by you, O house of Israel?
        As I live, saith the Lord God, I will not be enquired of by you.
Ezek. 20:32 And that which cometh into your mind shall not be at all, that ye say,
         We will be as the heathen, as the families of the countries, to serve wood and stone.

Acts 7 says that God turned them over or abandoned them to worship the starry host.  I can't understand the mystery which never permits theologians to asjk WHAT DID THEY DO TO INVITE GOD TO SEND THEM TO CAPTIVITY AND DEATH IN BABYLON.

They promote the PATTERNS the Civil-Military-Clergy abandoned by God as THEIR pattern for what they call "worship observations" claiming a holy spirit person as their authority to violate clear teachings.

My thesis, for which I have collected several proofs and lots of secular beliefs, is that Jesus was sent to find a little flock of LOST SPIRITS and take them out of the World, kosmos, ecumenical or the kingdom of Satan. Maybe we are lost in space as pilgrims and sojourners in a very hostile world.

Luke 21:25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars;
        And upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;
Luke 21:26 Men’s hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth:
        For the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
Luke 21:27 And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory.
Luke 21:28 And when these things begin to come to pass,
        then LOOK UP, AND LIFT UP your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.

At the first advent the rulers were ignorant and murderous because they did not Listen to the Prophets being read each week.

At the second advent pseudo scholars are Purpose Driven to keep the Word from being READ by vocational elders.

If it doesn't rain tomorrow we plan to do cemetery plots and funeral plans. We have some years I think but we have concentrated on divesting everything but a house and plan that all the kids will just have to attend the funeral. We just did the memorial for our 57 year old eldest daughter and that makes you sing "this world is not my home" even if all of the churches I once supported are teaching what they call a christian World View.  They will be left behind--soon we pray.


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Re: How I Understand the Bible
« Reply #4 on: Wed Mar 07, 2018 - 14:19:31 »



Offline Wycliffes_Shillelagh

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Re: How I Understand the Bible
« Reply #5 on: Wed Mar 07, 2018 - 16:13:00 »
I believe that He wrote or "compiled" the history and the law after Israel rejected God at Mount Sinai.
Deuteronomy reads as a book of prophecy, with Moses as the prophet.  Moses delivers God's message to the people, including the only 10 laws given by God.  He spells out the rewards and punishments, makes them recite it all, and then foretells their failure.

Genesis through Numbers are a patchwork quilt by comparison, and I don't think Moses had much to do with it.

With regards to the derivation of the Scriptures, I would point out the duplicate histories of Kings and Chronicles.  One belongs to Judah, and the other to Ephraim, clearly.  Most scholars say this is because they had a common source.  I think the opposite.  There were two separate books from the beginning, and the priests decided at a late date to merge the two.

I say that to say this.  The same redaction occurs in Genesis - Numbers.  Starting with Abraham, the text looks to be the synthesis of two similar but differing historical accounts.  The secular scholars have Documentar-ied it to no end.

So then, if there were two books and two nations from the beginning, why is it presented as a joint history?  I suspect the scribes in the king's court were trying very hard to portray something as unified, which was in reality more of a loose confederation, or uneasy alliance.

If it doesn't rain tomorrow we plan to do cemetery plots and funeral plans. We have some years I think but we have concentrated on divesting everything but a house and plan that all the kids will just have to attend the funeral. We just did the memorial for our 57 year old eldest daughter and that makes you sing "this world is not my home" even if all of the churches I once supported are teaching what they call a christian World View.  They will be left behind--soon we pray.
I am sorry to hear it.  No parent should ever have to bury a child.

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Re: How I Understand the Bible
« Reply #5 on: Wed Mar 07, 2018 - 16:13:00 »

 

     
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