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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Sep 12 2012 7:30 PM

N.B. Mick?:
"I've never encountered Prov 8 as a template for John 1 before and I think this needs a bit of additional clarification in the FSB note."

c.      The logos of the Prologue and Jewish Wisdom Speculation. The closest conceptual parallels to the use of logos in the hymn from the Prologue of John are to be found in Jewish wisdom literature (Proverbs, Sirach, Baruch, and the Wisdom of Solomon). The various attributes and activities ascribed to wisdom in Jewish wisdom literature are ascribed to the logos in the hymn in the Prologue. The following table lists the more important of those parallels (Rochais 1985b: 175–80):

In the beginning was the word (logos) (1:1)
The lord created me (sophia) at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old. Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginnings of the earth. (Prov 8:22–23)
From eternity, in the beginning he created me (wisdom), and for eternity I shall not cease to exist. (Sir 24:9)

And the Word was with God (1:1)
When he established the Heavens, I (wisdom) was there, (Prov 8:27)
When he marked out the foundations of the earth, then I (wisdom) was beside him. (Prov 8:29–30)
With thee (God) is wisdom, who knows thy works and was present when thou didst make the world. (Wis 9:9)

All things were made through him (1:3)
For wisdom, the fashioner of all things, taught me (Solomon). (Wis 7:22)
With thee (God) is wisdom, who knows thy works and was present when thou didst make the world. (Wis 9:9)

That which came to be in him was life (1:3–4)
For he who finds me (wisdom) finds life. (Prov 8:35)
Because of her (wisdom) I shall have immortality. (Wis 8:13)

And the life was the light of men (1:4)
Wisdom is radiant and unfading. (Wis 6:12)
For she (wisdom) is a revelation of eternal light, a spotless mirror of the working of God, and an image of his goodness. (Wis 7:26)

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it (1:5)
Compared with the light she (wisdom) is found to be superior, for it (light) is succeeded by the night, but against wisdom evil does not prevail. (Wis 7:29–30)

He was in the world (1:10)
And I (wisdom) was his delight, rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the sons of men. (Prov 8:30–31)
She (wisdom) made among men an eternal foundation, and among their descendants she will be trusted. (Sir 1:15)
She (wisdom) reaches mightily from one end of the earth to the other, and she orders all things well. (Wis 8:1)

Yet the world knew him not (1:10)
No one knows the way to her (wisdom), or is concerned about the path to her. (Bar 3:31)

He came to his own (1:11)
Then the Creator of all things gave me (wisdom) a commandment, and the one who created me assigned a place for my tent. And he said, “Make your dwelling in Jacob, and in Israel your inheritance.” (Sir 24:10)
Afterward she (wisdom) appeared upon earth and lived among men. She is the book of the commandment of God and the law that endures forever. (Bar 3:37–4:1)

And his own received him not (1:11)
You (Israel) have forsaken the fountain of wisdom. (Bar 3:12; see also Prov 1:20–30)

But too all who receive him, … He gave power to become the children of God (1:12)
Though she (wisdom) is but one, she can do all things, and while remaining in herself, she renews all things; in every generation she passes into holy souls and makes them friends of God, and prophets. (Wis 7:27)

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us (1:14)
Then the creator of all things gave me (wisdom) a commandment, and the one who created me assigned a place for my tent. (Sir 24:8)
Afterward she (wisdom) appeared upon earth and lived among men. (Bar 3:37)


Both the logos of the hymn in the Prologue and wisdom in Jewish wisdom literature are with God in the beginning; both are involved in the creation of the world; both seek to find a place among humankind; both are within a Jewish tradition of speculation about the deeper meanings of the early chapters of Genesis. In addition, many of the parallels between the logos in the hymn and the figure of wisdom are found in passages which like the hymn are poetic in character (Prov 8:22–31; Sir 24). The parallels are not simply conceptual but also stylistic.


Thomas H. Tobin, "Logos", in , vol. 4, The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary, ed. David Noel Freedman, 353-54 (New York: Doubleday, 1992).

Okay the original is in 2 columns hence easier to read but I think you'll be able to decipher the gist.

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Re; Proverbs

8:22 His eternal generation: “The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way.” We must not understand the word “possessed” as implying that Christ ever had a beginning. God never existed without the quality or attribute of wisdom, and neither did He ever exist without the Person of His Son. The meaning here is exactly the same as in John 1:1: “In the beginning … the Word was with God …”

William MacDonald, Believer’s Bible Commentary: Old and New Testaments, ed. Arthur Farstad, Pr 8:22 (Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1995).

================

This insight of Augustine reminds us that in Jesus Christ are found “all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge” (Col. 2:3). The NT as a whole shares in the general movement of early Judaism toward a sapiential understanding of revelation (1 Tim. 3:15–16). For the NT, the Redeemer of all things is the incarnate Word or Wisdom, through whom the Father created all things (John 1:1–18; cf. Prov. 8; Col. 1:15–20; Heb. 1:1–14; 1 Cor. 1:24, 30). Moreover, the life and teaching of Jesus embody and advance the principles of OT wisdom.

Dictionary for Theological Interpretation of the Bible, ed. Kevin J. Vanhoozer, Craig G. Bartholomew, Daniel J. Treier and N. T. Wright, 850 (London; Grand Rapids, MI: SPCK; Baker Academic, 2005).

================

The key to any determination of the story order of 1:1–18 is the history of religions parallels. There is widespread agreement that the background against which the prologue should be read is the Wisdom myth of ancient Judaism (cf. Appendix). A list of specific parallels is instructive.
(1) Preexistence is common to both the Johannine Logos and Jewish Wisdom (John 1:1: “In beginning was the Word” // Proverbs 8:22; “The LORD created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old”; Sirach 1:4: “Wisdom was created before all things”; 24:9: “From eternity, in the beginning, he created me”).


(2) Both are said to be “with God” (John 1:1: “and the Word was with God” // Proverbs 8:30: “then I was beside him, like a master workman”; Wisdom of Solomon 9:4: “the wisdom that sits by thy throne”).

(3) Both are said to be divine (John 1:1: “and the Word was God” // Wisdom of Solomon 7:25–26: “For she is a breath of the power of God, and a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty; … she is a reflection of eternal light, … and an image of his goodness”).

(4) Both are described as the instrument of creation (John 1:3: “All things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made” // Prov 8:30: “I was beside him like a master workman”; 3:19: “The LORD by wisdom founded the earth”; Wisdom of Solomon 7:22: “wisdom, the fashioner of all things”; 9:1–2: “who hast made all things by thy word, and by thy wisdom hast formed man”).

(5) Both are called the source of life (John 1:4: “In him was life” // Prov 8:35: “he who finds me finds life”; Baruch 4:1b: “All who hold her fast will live”) and light (John 1:4: “and the life was the light of men” //Wisdom of Solomon 7:26: “she is a reflection of eternal light”; Sirach 24:27: “It makes instruction shine forth like light”; Baruch 4:2: “walk toward the shining of her light”).

(6) Neither can be overcome by darkness/evil (John 1:5: “And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it” // Wisdom of Solomon 7:29–30: “Compared with the light she is found to be superior, for it is succeeded by the night, but against wisdom evil does not prevail”). The parallels settle the translation problem of 1:5. In this context katelaben means “overcome,” not “comprehend.”

(7) Both continually come into the world (John 1:9: “The true light which enlightens every person was continually coming [present tense, periphrastic participle] into the world” // Wisdom of Solomon 6:13, 16: “She hastens to make herself known … she goes about seeking those worthy of her”; 7:27: “in every generation she passes into holy souls and makes them friends of God”; Sirach 24:6–7: “in the whole earth, and in every people and nation, I have gotten a possession. Among all these I sought a resting place; I sought in whose territory I might lodge”; 1 Enoch 42:1: “Then Wisdom went out to dwell with the children of the people”) and are in the world (John 1:10: “He was in the world” // Wisdom of Solomon 8:1: “She reaches mightily from one end of the earth to the other”). The parallels, together with the present tense (continually coming) in 1:9, point to a general revelation to all people. This idea would be compatible with other early Christians from Paul (Rom 1:19–20) to Justin (1 Apology 5).

(8) Both are rejected by humans generally (John 1:10b: “He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world knew him not”; 1:11b: “and his own people received him not” // 1 Enoch 42:2: “but she found no dwelling place. So Wisdom returned to her place and she settled permanently among the angels”; Baruch 3:20–21: “they have not understood her paths, nor laid hold of her. Their children have strayed far from her way”).

(9) Both create a relation with God among those who are receptive (John 1:12–13: “But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God; who were born not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God” // Wisdom of Solomon 7:27: “she renews all things; in every generation she passes into holy souls and makes them friends of God, and prophets, for God loves nothing so much as the man who lives with wisdom”; “because of her I shall have immortality”), saving humans (Wisdom of Solomon 9:18: “and were saved by wisdom”).

(10) Both appeared on earth and lived among humans, tabernacling among them (John 1:14a: “The Word became flesh and tabernacled among us” // Baruch 3:37: “she appeared upon earth and lived among humans”; Sirach 24:8, 11–12: “Then the Creator of all things gave me a commandment, and the one who created me assigned a place for my tent. And he said, ‘Make your dwelling in Jacob’… in the beloved city he gave me a resting place. So I took root in an honored people”).

(11) Both possess glory as monogenēs/unique (John 1:14, 18: “we have beheld his glory, glory as of the only son [monogenēs] from the Father … the only [monogenes] Son/God who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known” // Wisdom of Solomon 7:22, 25: “Wisdom, the fashioner of all things, taught me. For in her there is a spirit that is … unique [monogenēs] …. For she is … a pure emanation of the glory of the Almighty”).

(12) Both know God and make him known (John 1:18: “No one has ever seen God; the only Son/God who is in the bosom of the Father, he has made him known” // Wisdom of Solomon 8:4: “For she is an initiate in the knowledge of God”; 9:9–10: “With thee is wisdom, who knows thy works and was present when thou didst make the world, and who understands what is pleasing in thy sight and what is right according to thy commandments. Send her forth … that she may be with me … and that I may learn what is pleasing to thee”).


Charles H. Talbert, Reading John: A Literary and Theological Commentary on the Fourth Gospel and the Johannine Epistles, Rev. ed., Reading the New Testament Series, 71-73 (Macon, GA: Smyth & Helwys Publishing, 2005).

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<Prov 8> NEAR <John 1> This search came up with 409 results in 137 articles in 70 resources in my library. MY ONLY complaint would be that the search took 284.88 seconds.Smile

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Milford Charles Murray | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Sep 12 2012 8:53 PM

Thank you, MJ!                     *smile*                                Very much indeed!              You are appreciated!

                I look forward to studying this intensely and making it the subject of some deep meditation!

                                                    Peace to you!                  ...   and ....          Always Joy in the Lord!

Philippians 4:  4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand..........

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Wed, Sep 12 2012 11:59 PM

Thank you for this lot of material. 

MJ. Smith:
<Prov 8> NEAR <John 1> This search came up with 409 results in 137 articles in 70 resources in my library. MY ONLY complaint would be that the search took 284.88 seconds

408 results in 129 articles in 45 resources, but only 52,61 seconds - and it seems to me, Logos is running much faster on my machine since 4.6 Smile

However, these hits are often just long lists of bible references where creation or word or wisdom are mentioned in the bible. And although I must have read over it too sloppily in the past, of course all commentators on John 1 refer Prov 8 in passing, but on a less technical level this reads more like this:

"More generally in the Old Testament the Word of God is God in his powerful and effective action in creation (Ps. 33:6), deliverance (Ps. 107:20), and judgment (Ps. 29:3f.; Is. 55:11). It is the ‘Word of God’ who gives understanding to the prophets concerning the mind and will of God (cf. Is. 38:4; Je. 1:4; Ezk. 1:3). This thought of God’s illumination is developed and personified in the concept of ‘wisdom’, particularly in the book of Proverbs; cf. ‘The Lord brought me forth as the first of his works,… I was appointed from eternity, from the beginning, before the world began.… I was there when he set the heavens in place,… I was the craftsman at his side.… rejoicing in his whole world and delighting in mankind’ (Pr. 8:22–23, 27, 30, 31). - Bruce Milne "The Message of John" from BST Series

The specific claim from FSB was ""This first section of the prologue (vv. 1–5) functions as an interpretation of Gen 1:1–5 read through the framework of Prov 8:22–31." which in my opinion is something different and may have been informed by the AY article you cited. 

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Sep 13 2012 11:27 AM

NB.Mick:
The specific claim from FSB was ""This first section of the prologue (vv. 1–5) functions as an interpretation of Gen 1:1–5 read through the framework of Prov 8:22–31." which in my opinion is something different and may have been informed by the AY article you cited. 

Fortunately, I stay out of evangelical theological debates generally. What had caught my attention in this thread was the seeming surprise at what the FSB said and the reaction regarding the midrashic method - right or wrong the statement strikes me as reasonable. I agree that one still needs to test reasonable statements for truth or falsity. My goal was simply to show that the FSB concept was broadly available and hope by examples to weaken the negative evaluation of midrash. I would now also add the goal of observing that the FSB does not make an exclusive claim i.e. it does not claim that the prologue functions SOLELY as an interpretation ...so I would lean towards a three way cross-reference relationship between Genesis, Proverbs and John. Unfortunately, Logos notes don't even permit paired links let alone triplets.Sad

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Gary Osborne | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 7 2012 12:07 PM

Steven Langella:

Another question.  How does your commentary handle texts that have either a Reformed or Arminian interpretation?   I am sure you have both groups represented on your team?   Take for instance Romans 9.  Would your commentary give both sides of the position or would it lean toward one side more than another?   I personally am Reformed and do love to see both side represented.  Just wondering where Logos stands on this in their commentary on the Faith LIfe.   

 

I downloaded FLB last night and went to some of my favorite "proof texts" to see if the notes would take a centric approach on the Arminian/Reformed issues.  I'm sorry to report that was not the case at all.  Every one of the passages I looked up leaned heavily Reformed.  Most were not even close to even-handed.  Don't get me wrong.  I know it's nearly impossible to divorce oneself from such things, but honestly a few of the notes were over the top biased in that respect.  IMO, there wasn't even an attempt at some points to present both sides.

One of the worst, just as an example:

Heb 6:4-6

"There is no indication that the type of people depicted in this passage had a relationship with Christ prior to falling away from Him."

Wow!  Really?  NO indication at all?  That's just extremely biased.  And there is no counter-point to the Weslyan-Arminian position present at all, either there in chapter six or in the equally important Heb 3:12 passage. 

As I said, I checked a half dozen key passages where Arminians would stake out important soteriological ground and almost none of it was given equal space.

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DIsciple II | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 7 2012 12:40 PM

David Mullens:
How is Logos going to make everybody happy?
 

FSB editors are not going to be able to make everyone happy, but this is a new venture and I think their openness to  feedback is the right approach. 

I share some of the OP's concerns.  FSB is great for me, where I am at in my maturity in Christ and being able to deal with more liberal commentary, but I wouldn't recommended ti to a lot of Christians I know, this material wouldn't be helpful to them if they choose to unlock some of these resources - curiosity always makes you want to find out whats in the wrapped box  (and I think there is some marketing strategy behind this to get people to unlock more books; its not just about provided links to dig deeper; call my cynical if you like, maybe I am a little.)  I even think the LBD is a little bit to academically  or scholarly inclined at times for me to recommended it to the average person sitting in the church pew - its great for me, but I don't see how some of the material in LBD is going to be  beneficial for them.  So unless I know a person is inclined to dig deeper into the scriptures, really knows how so sort the chaff from the wheat when it comes to the liberal stuff , I wouldn't recommend FSB and LBD to them.

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Denise | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 7 2012 12:46 PM

Gary, how in the world did you find a quote like that? What an interesting gem.

You don't even have to know any theological background or read the NT text to say 'Huh?'

(I've no interest in the various 'theological' positions, though the Damascus Document does speak to these verses.)


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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 7 2012 12:47 PM

Gary Osborne:
I downloaded FLB last night and went to some of my favorite "proof texts" to see if the notes would take a centric approach on the Arminian/Reformed issues.  I'm sorry to report that was not the case at all

Gary,

we have seen the editors of FSB are open to suggestions and may change or expand their notes in updates to the FSB. One way to tell them is sharing these notes and your concerns in Faithlife group FSB users. We know that FSB editors such as Mike Grigoni actively interact there. I have raised the problematic wording of this sentence, and I would like you to share your concern for other passages, too.

Gary Osborne:
I checked a half dozen key passages where Arminians would stake out important soteriological ground and almost none of it was given equal space.

This is very unfortunate, as FSB claims to adhere to a general broad evangelical consensus view and not follow reformed partisanship. Surely all of the writers have their own confessional view, but we have been told that the editor's panel would straighten out such things.

Mick

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Gary Osborne | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 7 2012 12:58 PM

Never mind.  I may have been reading it wrong thinking there had been a quick update.  Now I'm not as sure.  Perhaps it's the same. 

 

 

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Rich DeRuiter | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 7 2012 1:10 PM

NB.Mick:
we have seen the editors of FSB are open to suggestions and may change or expand their notes in updates to the FSB.

Quite true. For example, I made a suggestion related to the treatment of Genesis 6 from merely one perspective, and the article was trimmed back quite a bit and the alternative included as an alternative, but fairly represented (IMHO).

I recently wrote to them about their interpretation of Genesis 9:22 (the sin of Ham), which seems to me to be, while thoughtfully written, still somewhat idiosyncratic. I expect that someone in Logos will look at my comments. I don't pretend to know what they will do with them, but I'm confident that they'll look at them.

The FSB wants to be more inclusive than it is, but needs and welcomes feedback from users. Sometimes authors are not aware of the assumptions they bring to the text, even when it might seem obvious to one who takes care to be theologically precise.

If you want to write a thoughtful and respectful suggestion regarding incorporating alternate interpretations of these key texts, you can do so at this email address: editor [at] logos dot com (address intentionally obscured to prevent spam bots from stealing it). (BTW, you can also write a philippic diatribe against what you've found and send it to the same email, but it's not as likely to get positive results Wink.)

 Help links: WIKI;  Logos 6 FAQ. (Phil. 2:14, NIV)

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Milford Charles Murray | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 7 2012 1:13 PM

Well-written, Richard!!                       Thank you!                           *smile*

                                                                                                                                Peace to all!         .. and Joy in the Lord!

Philippians 4:  4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. 5 Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand..........

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NB.Mick | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 7 2012 1:43 PM

Richard DeRuiter:

NB.Mick:
we have seen the editors of FSB are open to suggestions and may change or expand their notes in updates to the FSB.

Quite true. For example, I made a suggestion related to the treatment of Genesis 6 from merely one perspective, and the article was trimmed back quite a bit and the alternative included as an alternative, but fairly represented

We may see an example of this in this thread. the discussion of John 1 now reads: This first section of the prologue (vv. 1–5) functions as an interpretation of Gen 1:1–5 read through the framework of Prov 8:22–31 (see note on Prov 8:22). This exegetical technique resembles a method of Jewish exegesis called midrash. A midrashic interpretation typically begins with a text from the Pentateuch and explains it through allusions to a text from the Prophets or the Writings. John begins with a quotation that invokes the context of Gen 1:1–5 with its imagery of creation by divine word and opposition between light and darkness. His interpretation centers on the Word as Creator and bearer of divine light. Genesis 1:1 and Proverbs 8:22 both use the Hebrew word reshith (usually translated “beginning”), and the larger context of both passages is God’s creation of the universe.

The "resembles" is reworded from a passage the OP bolded to focus his critique. The last sentence has been added for clarification. We see that the "interpretation read through the framework" sentence, which probably carries a lot of the idea of the whole 2nd level explanation here has not been changed. The whole interpretation is on the second level, but on first level we'll see a link to "Jesus as Wisdom" - this thematic article by Michael Heiser explicitly discusses the John 1 and Prov 8 controversy with the Arians at the Nicean Council.

 

 

 

 

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Michael Grigoni | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 7 2012 2:23 PM

 

Gary, thanks for your comments. We’ll look at the note you’ve brought to our attention. I encourage you to send any additional feedback you may have to editor [at] logos [dot] com.

Richard and NB.Mick, thank you both for your comments as well. Gary, my hope is that the examples they’ve cited demonstrate our efforts as editors to continue enhancing and improving the FSB note content based on user feedback. We look forward to hearing from you.

 

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Michael Grigoni | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 7 2012 2:26 PM

And Richard, yes, we have received your email on the note at Genesis 9:22. We didn't have time to address your feedback prior to the release of last week's update, but we certainly will for the next one.

For those wanting more information, you can read about the recent update to FSB here.  

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 7 2012 7:22 PM

There are numerous things that have come up in this thread that warrant comment...I will focus on just a couple. First, and briefly (I spoke to this in a post from about a year ago), "midrash" is a Hebrew word that has a meaning of its own--essentially it means "to study".That word, like many concepts in Judaism, has been hi-jacked by rabbinical use (which can easily be called misuse). Judaism, which is NOT the religion of the OT, has a specific thing in mind when the word is used, and it is far more limited than the word's simple dictionary definition. To summarize, rabbinic midrash is a rigid methodology for developing commentary...commentary which can unearth occasional gems and produce many stink-bombs.

I find it humorous...and sad...that the OPer keeps referring to "Evangelical" as though the word itself is sacrosanct. When I encounter comments such as, "I don't think that perspective is Evangelical", my initial reaction is to say, "Maybe it isn't, and perhaps that's because it's TRUE!"

In a similar vein is the "is it Arminian or is it Reformed" argument. Again, if it's TRUE, the answer is probably "neither". I don't know if Logos gave FSB as much thought on the so-called "negative" side as was warranted...but I certainly hope they did. They have unquestionably opened up a massive can of worms. Frankly, I think that might be a good thing, and for one 900-pound-gorilla of a reason: the Bible is a book that suffers fools poorly.

If you can't face up to and deal squarely with the Himalayan difficulties of Scripture on the one hand and the absurdly fanciful reptilian-Jesus-from-Mars conspiracy theories on the other (not to mention the Jesus Seminars, Coptic scraps, archaeological "proofs", and scientific "evidences"), YHWH has no interest in you. Not so different is running from a different perspective of Scripture than the one you've coddled in blissful seclusion. In His sight, that is akin to Saul staying in his tent while Goliath taunted outside. The Bible is HARD and DIFFICULT for a REASON! It is written in prophetic code to cull the half-hearted and those who want to dodge the struggle this whole recipe called life is designed to provide. That mentality results in "rapture" theology...the desire to be told smooth things...and avoid tribulation. It results in Bart Ehrmans...who managed to make it to post-graduate adulthood without having to come face-to-face with "bible contradictions" and "serious textual controversies"...and as a result lost his faith.

If a person is chased away from Truth by a lie...YHWH says the one telling the lie AND the one told the lie will die. That means something--YHWH HOLDS THOSE WHO DON'T FIND TRUTH GUILTY EVEN IF THEY WERE MISLED. Isa. 9:16-17 So guess what...allowing ANYTHING to push you off the path of truth and righteousness is YOUR fault...whoever "you" happens to be.

But wait!!! Scripture says there's "simplicity in Christ"!!! Yes, and simpletons will interpret that however they see fit...but they ought to keep Prov. 1:32 in the forefront of their mind. Also, if the Bible is so simple even a child can understand it, why is there such dispute about its contents? The truth is, YHWH spoke His will CLEARLY...then said He was going to send false prophets that teach lies to see if people really do love Him. The man of lawlessness and the "strong delusion" are the prime fulfillment of that promise. Absurdities like "once saved, always saved" are the result. It allows people who have no clue what happened on the cross to say "what you say doesn't change what happened on the cross". The people to whom Yeishuu`a replies "I NEVER KNEW YOU" call themselves Christians...and they think they are. Some own Logos software, and some will never read a Bible...because they don't have to--they've been told they have eternal security.

My point here is that one person's Evangelical Truth is another person's rank heresy. In the end the only opinion that matters is YHWH's. That means that rather than run from "different opinions" about what the Bible says, we boldly engage and destroy what is false. Midrash is one extremely useful tool in that endeavor. If you don't know that, it isn't midrash's fault. FSB will force people to come to terms with the unfamiliar. Plenty will be rabbinic (or protestant or catholic or adventist or mormon) mush. On rare occasion that unfamiliar thing that you've never heard before in your creed-coddled life...may be Truth.

1 Cor. 14:29 "...let folks speak, THEN JUDGE."

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MJ. Smith | Forum Activity | Replied: Sun, Oct 7 2012 10:33 PM

David Paul:
rabbinic midrash is a rigid methodology for developing commentary

I suggest that individuals read

  • Shai Cherry's The Torah Through Time http://www.logos.com/product/9073/the-torah-through-time
  • or the "fundamentalist" Between the Lines of the Bible, Exodus: A Study From the New School of Orthodox Torah Commentary
  • by Stephen M. Wylen
  • or History of Biblical Interpretation, Vol. 1: From the Old Testament to Origen by Henning Graf Reventlow and Leo G. Perdue

for a more realistic evaluation of midrash methodology.

Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev: "To be a theologian means to have experience of a personal encounter with God through prayer and worship."

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Rosie Perera | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 8 2012 12:20 AM

Steven Langella:
But I am also very protective over those I am trying to influence and want to make sure they are not led down some wrong trails that could cause confusion and doubt that God's Word is actually GOD"S WORD and not flawed man's words.

At some point you've also got to entrust those you are "trying to influence" to God and let him lead them by his Spirit to truth, using you and whoever else these friends of yours encounter along the way in their spiritual journey, including authors they encounter through reading. You might at times be mistaken on one point or another, so taking a protective paternal role over these people might actually be shielding them from finding out something which you might, at this stage in your growth, find troubling, but which God wants to lead them into. So hold on loosely. Teach and explain and encourage them to love God above all, but then also trust the Spirit of Truth to guide them into all truth. And be open to learning yourself along the way as you accompany these learners.

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David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 8 2012 1:08 AM

MJ. Smith:

David Paul:
rabbinic midrash is a rigid methodology for developing commentary

I suggest that individuals read

  • Shai Cherry's The Torah Through Time http://www.logos.com/product/9073/the-torah-through-time
  • or the "fundamentalist" Between the Lines of the Bible, Exodus: A Study From the New School of Orthodox Torah Commentary
  • by Stephen M. Wylen
  • or History of Biblical Interpretation, Vol. 1: From the Old Testament to Origen by Henning Graf Reventlow and Leo G. Perdue

for a more realistic evaluation of midrash methodology.

By all means, read the resources MJ mentions...but don't be too mollified by her "realistic" assessment.

The following is from Wikipedia:

The original purpose of midrash was to resolve problems in the interpretation of difficult passages of the text of the Hebrew Bible, using Rabbinic principles of hermeneutics & philology to align them with the religious & ethical values of religious teachers. This method of interpretation was eventually expanded 'to provide scriptural pretexts to justify oral tradition.'

The Wikipedia quote above is taken from the website below.

http://virtualreligion.net/iho/midrash.html

Using Tanakh (and the Apostolic writings, for that matter) to elucidate Tanakh is good midrash. Justifying oral tradition is BAD midrash

There is good midrash and there is bad midrash. You don't have to be Jewish to engage in the practice and being Jewish doesn't make you better at it...nor does being a rabbi. For rather obvious reasons, being a rabbi may hinder the value of the midrash. That said, some rabbinic midrash is quite insightful. (There tends to be an all or nothing perspective that Christians take toward things Jewish, i.e. regarding Judaism. They either dismiss everything as worthless or believe they have almost divine insight. Neither is true. Judaism, like Christianity, is a manmade religion and subject to the foibles and frailties of man.) As I summarized in my post above, midrash as a tool and a method is extremely valuable to Biblical understanding...if it is GOOD midrash.

Btw, I fellowship at a congregation called Beit Midrash (House of Study).

Posts 4772
David Paul | Forum Activity | Replied: Mon, Oct 8 2012 1:30 AM

Rosie Perera:

Steven Langella:
But I am also very protective over those I am trying to influence and want to make sure they are not led down some wrong trails that could cause confusion and doubt that God's Word is actually GOD"S WORD and not flawed man's words.

At some point you've also got to entrust those you are "trying to influence" to God and let him lead them by his Spirit to truth, using you and whoever else these friends of yours encounter along the way in their spiritual journey, including authors they encounter through reading. You might at times be mistaken on one point or another, so taking a protective paternal role over these people might actually be shielding them from finding out something which you might, at this stage in your growth, find troubling, but which God wants to lead them into. So hold on loosely. Teach and explain and encourage them to love God above all, but then also trust the Spirit of Truth to guide them into all truth. And be open to learning yourself along the way as you accompany these learners.

Well said.

Does this sound almost daunting? Good...get used to it...because this is the kind of mindset needed to find truth.

Posts 13368
Forum MVP
Mark Barnes | Forum Activity | Replied: Tue, Oct 9 2012 6:47 PM

Andrew Mckenzie:

FSB editors are not going to be able to make everyone happy, but this is a new venture and I think their openness to  feedback is the right approach. 

I share some of the OP's concerns.  FSB is great for me, where I am at in my maturity in Christ and being able to deal with more liberal commentary, but I wouldn't recommended ti to a lot of Christians I know, this material wouldn't be helpful to them if they choose to unlock some of these resources - curiosity always makes you want to find out whats in the wrapped box  (and I think there is some marketing strategy behind this to get people to unlock more books; its not just about provided links to dig deeper; call my cynical if you like, maybe I am a little.)  I even think the LBD is a little bit to academically  or scholarly inclined at times for me to recommended it to the average person sitting in the church pew - its great for me, but I don't see how some of the material in LBD is going to be  beneficial for them.  So unless I know a person is inclined to dig deeper into the scriptures, really knows how so sort the chaff from the wheat when it comes to the liberal stuff , I wouldn't recommend FSB and LBD to them.

That's exactly my view.

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