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to the jew and also to the greek.....

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  • to the jew and also to the greek.....

    Ever wonder why the writers of the New Covenant scriptures equated all gentiles as "greek" in so many verses?

    Most of the gentile congregations listed in the NCS (Newer Covenant Scriptures) are actually in Asia Minor (modern day Turkey) and not Greece, yet the Word says that Paul reasoned with the "jews and the greeks" in these Turkish cities.

    Did you ever wonder "If Rome was the ruler of the known world at that time, why weren't they called Romans instead of Greeks?"

    Why indeed? Because these verses aren't speaking of people who were born of greek heritage. The term "greek" refers to an intellectual perspective, namely Greek philosophical reasoning, or what we would call "humanism" today. When the Lord was speaking of the world system, He was speaking of greek humanism.

    Don't get me wrong. Greek philosophy has been of great benefit for human society because greek civilization defined the building blocks of democracy, representative government, and human rights. Even up to today, when we say that a nation is "civilized" what we are really saying is that they have been "hellenized", which is a syncronization of world societies under a greek philosophical perspective.

    Yet even secular greek humanism had/has a religious system based on Greek mythology and everyone at the time of Jesus was familiar with it because Alexander the Great conquored the known world and taught greek philosophy to every subjugated nation.

    The kingdom of Rome accepted this same mythological system and merely changed the names as Zeus became Pluto and so forth. For the purposes of this discussion, I will be dealing with the spiritual component which is encapsulated with greek philosophy no matter how much a secular humanist may wish to separate it. Frankly, Zeus has always been in competition with the God of Israel, YHVH.

    Recently I saw the remake of "Clash of the Titans" and was shocked at how closely the relationship between Zeus (Father God) and his son (Perseus) compared to what is taught about the relationship between Abba (The God of Israel) and His unique Son, Yeshua ben Yosef haNatzret (Jesus, son of Joseph from Nazareth).

    The "Greek Spirit" is the subject of a book being written by Pastor Jobst Bittner of Tubingen, Germany. In his book, he will exhaustively go through the entire history of the greek spirit starting with writings from some of the early Church Fathers; but I don't want to post a novel in this space so I will try to do summary overviews in the interest of being brief.

    So you'll understand where I'm coming from on this, I was an atheist who began studying the history of Christianity in 1989 to prove it was a religion based on myths and manipulation. What I found was that the Bible was 100% accurate but the way it was translated, interpreted, and lived out was often in contradiction to the actual scriptures themselves.

    After many intensive months of studying the scriptures to explain all the contradictions I was seeing in religion, I accepted God at His Word and made a profession of faith while driving down the highway without anyone witnessing to me and in spite of the church, believe it or not. The only theology I knew was from the book of Jeremiah where God says, "When you seek Me with your whole heart, you will find me".

    Over the last 20 years since then, I've been studying denominations and the differences in their theology and found that many Christians don't really know much about how they arrived at a particular theological position, and aren't willing to make an honest examination of it either. (That statement probably doesn't apply here, though)

    This could be a very long-running thread because the amount of information available fills a library quite easily. Most of that information is historical and outside of the bible.

    I'll take the subject in small bits and focus on small pieces of the much larger puzzle, but allow me to start by stating the premise:

    The original gospel message has been corrupted from the very beginning by tares growing up around the wheat. I believe we have nothing to fear from the absolute truth, even when it exposes areas where we have been mistaken and/or ignorantly wrong. Furthermore, we are each called to share a community of faith, which is not necessarily an institution with a hierarchy of men. In the community of faith, our leaders are recognized by their service to the body and not appointed merely on the basis of educational achievement.

    I believe we aren't saved by knowledge, though modern Christianity has been presented as a system whereby one must give mental ascent to a set of intellectual principles in order to be saved (a very greek concept). Biblically, the definition of faith is "strong trust" and has little to do with what one thinks, but with how they live daily.

    So I trust that it is entirely possible to be 100% wrong in what a person might think; and yet still be completely saved by grace through faith. This thread is not about attacking any particular denomination, nor is it about exalting one saint over another.

    This topic will mostly likely gore a few holy cows along the way, but I assure you that I am only seeking to discover the whole truth for the purpose of reform; and not simply rebelling against church establishment because I've got an axe to grind.

    As I make points, if you would like me to expand on any of them, please be specific and I'll do my best to address every objection and query. I'm not always able to get to an internet connection, but will be mostly stable for the next couple of weeks so this is a good time to get started.


    So....my next post is "Where did the Greek spirit begin?"
    Last edited by yod1948; 10-14-2010, 02:39 PM.
    8-)



    what? me worry?

  • #2
    Keep it coming! I'm very interested in this.
    Associate Director of Worship & Media at St. Simons Community Church .He is also the content curator and editor here at The Worship Community.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by yod1948 View Post
      What I found was that the Bible was 100% accurate but the way it was translated, interpreted, and lived out was often in contradiction to the actual scriptures themselves.
      I agree with you there for sure.

      I am looking forward to the next installment also.

      Comment


      • #4
        I would buy this book when you get it compiled and published. Very interested.

        One specific question I think you can uniquely address, I recently heard someone claim the concept of "worshiping on the inside" is a greek philosophy that doesn't make sense in Jewish understanding. Essentially the seperation of Physical and Spritual, is a predominantly greek thought.
        Last edited by travisvwright; 10-14-2010, 10:24 AM.
        I need pictures of your drummer in his booth/cage/room http://drummersbehindglass.com

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        • #5
          Originally posted by travisvwright View Post
          I would buy this book when you get it compiled and published. Very interested.

          One specific question I think you can uniquely address, I recently heard someone claim the concept of "worshiping on the inside" is a greek philosophy that doesn't make sense in Jewish understanding. Essentially the seperation of Physical and Spritual, is a predominantly greek thought.
          Yes, the greatest commandment according to Yeshua is:

          "Shma Yisrael, Adonai Eloheinu, Adonai Echad"

          Hear (and obey) O Israel, The Lord is our God, The Lord is One"

          The word "eloheinu" means "our Elohim". Whenever you see -im on the end of a word, it is plural as in seraphim, cherubim, etc, so the word "elohim" means God...but it is a plural form of the word. Hmmm....

          And the singlular form of the word "One" would be "yachid" but the bible uses the word "echad" which is the plural form of the word "one" as in when we are married we become "one". Hmmm again....



          This byword saying of the Jews (The Shma) is the summation of the Torah since long before Yeshua's advent. It is still recited in every synagogue today and yet within it is the notion that God is a plural being. Elohim is Echad.

          That's a roundabout way of saying that there is no separation of physical and spiritual, though the letters of the word "Kadosh" (translated as "Holy") literally implies being "separated from sin". If Elohim is Echad, then there is no separation of His physical being from His manifestation as a "Ruach" (which is translated as "Spirit" but also the word used for "Wind" or "Breath"



          The Greek Spirit = modern humanism


          In humanism, the center of the universe is the human. Our minds can reason away anything through an intellectual process of human "judgement" as if we are the center of all reason. Using this method the human mind is able to dismiss anything it can't understand. This is what Paul was talking about when he said, "The greeks require wisdom and the jews seeks a sign"
          He is saying that the greek (humanist) wants to understand how something works intellectually and the jew wants to see it done in action; and that is why preaching justification through a cross is foolishness to them.

          The Greek spirit produces skeptical spectators, the spirit of the sons of Zion produces interactive community. I believe everyone is looking for a community where they are appreciated and this why 12 men were able to change the world so rapidly.

          The gospel liberated people from tyranny wherever it went! In the Lord, everyone has value from the least to the greatest! The original community of faith liberated women in the greek world from being not much more than chattle to a place of dignity and honor, as well as elevating the family unit though homosexuality was considered completely normal to the greeks.

          If Jesus were to use the greek method of teaching His disciples, they would have sat in front of a blackboard with pen & papyrus for 3 1/2 years and received a diploma at the end of it. This may be a good way to absorb information but it doesn't necessarily produce "strong trust" (faith) so this was never the way of the sons of Zion. They learn by "Shma" which means to "Hear and obey" as they go. If you notice, almost every time Yeshua taught anything, He did it through an object lesson with many levels of teaching to expound within the simplest example.

          It's practically impossible to convey the depth of meaning Yeshua gave us without understanding the context and culture He came from. For example each letter of the hebrew language is itself a word picture that has numerical value AND a musical value....and every word in the hebrew language has at least a 3-letter root. So, it is accurate to say that every single word spoken by the hebrews has expanded meaning hidden within it, a mathmatical number, and a musical melody. This is not so for any other language in history.

          I believe anyone who has studied the bible and made a decision of faith has received this spirit of the sons of Zion but, for most of us, we are still at war with the skeptical greek spirit that has been passed down through religion since the good news went to Europe.

          Ok...I'm getting off-track here. Let me get back to the origin of the greek spirit.


          Pastor Bittner put a brief summation of that online a few years ago. Here's a link to it.

          The New Europe and the Spirit of the Sons of Greece
          Last edited by yod1948; 10-14-2010, 10:15 PM.
          8-)



          what? me worry?

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          • #6
            In Ezekial 28, the Word has a prophecy against the King of Tyre, but when you look at the description of this king it is the clearest description of Satan in the entire bible.

            Why is the king of Tyre compared to Satan?


            It was this king who had a daughter named "Europa" and it is this myth that was the foundation for the greco-continent known as Europe.

            She is the woman riding on the beast (Zeus manifested) and this is why the EU is using the woman riding a beast at the headquarters in Brussels. This symbol has ALWAYS been the symbol of Europe, even before the first advent of Yeshua.

            (here's a pic I just found on the web)
            http://www.lovethetruth.com/nwo/woma...u_brussels.jpg

            In the mythological foundation of greco-humanism, Europa was taken to a cave in Mt Ida on the island of Crete and then raped by Zeus. Greek philosophy was also born in the same cave and is mentioned by Plato in "The Republic". Alexander the Great went to this cave to make sacrifices to Zeus before beginning his military career.

            It is completely accurate to say that modern European culture was born in this cave on the island of Crete (which is also where the Phillistines came from)

            So we can further extrapolate (using greek reasoning LOL) that Europe is founded on greco-humanism and the worship of Zeus, and the continent is named after the daughter of this one whom Ezekial equates with Satan, the King of Tyre.

            This symbol of a woman riding a beast is often interpreted as being Rome, but that only works if you say Rome is a symbol of Europe.
            Last edited by yod1948; 11-24-2010, 11:49 AM.
            8-)



            what? me worry?

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            • #7
              Thanks for the additional posts.

              I went to the Netflix website to add "Clash of the Titans" to my queue so I could see more specifically how it relates to the discussion. I discovered it was already in my queue! Must have been an addition by my son since it's not my normal pick

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              • #8
                Yod... when you finish this as a complete thread here on TWC would you mind If I were to put this up on my blog. I am very much in agreement with you, and have been doing similar research, as you are much more knowledgable and advanced in your rersearch, I would like to share your knowledge with the readers of my blog. Excellent work my friend.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by matreames View Post
                  Yod... when you finish this as a complete thread here on TWC would you mind If I were to put this up on my blog. I am very much in agreement with you, and have been doing similar research, as you are much more knowledgable and advanced in your rersearch, I would like to share your knowledge with the readers of my blog. Excellent work my friend.

                  Sure but this is the never-ending thread. It really could go on past the rapture if we let it. ;-)

                  Like I mentioned, an "-im" on the end of a word denotes that it's plural....like Yerushalayim (Translated - Jerusalem)

                  Within the name of Jerusalem itself, it speaks of 2 Jerusalems (Literally means "City of Peace" but it is plural) and always has. Long before the Book of Acts, Jews spoke of the Jerusalem that comes down from above as the "new" Jerusalem.

                  Would it shock you to think of Yeshua as the local Rabbi of a very small village? In those days, a rabbi had no more authority than a local school teacher at the community center would today. This is why it shocked people that He spoke as one who had authority.

                  Today's rabbinic Judaism is based on a Rabbi-centric religion that the Pharisee's invented at Yavneh in 90 A.D. (after the Temple was gone), but in Yeshua's day the real authority was in the Saducees because they were the Temple Priests. All rabbis would have been counted as Pharisees, including Yeshua. This is why He was welcomed into their homes and constantly debating the scriptures with them.

                  The only Pharisees who had influence on society would have been Nicodemus and the 70 recognized local rabbis in a council known as the Sanhedrin. But again, they were no more than respected local teachers in the various community centers around Israel.

                  The Saducees and the Council of Pharisees (Sanhedrin) didn't officially recognize any authority of those hillbilly upstarts in Galilee, but it didn't seem to matter.

                  The people did.
                  Last edited by yod1948; 11-24-2010, 11:50 AM.
                  8-)



                  what? me worry?

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                  • #10
                    This is all new, but fascinating to me; i guess as a lifetime Baptist, I have been subjected to a lot of Greek-based Christian doctrine.
                    Keep it coming.
                    Tom

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                    • #11
                      Interesting post.
                      You may (or may not) find your line of thinking is similar to that of Brian McLaren in his recent book "A New Kind of Christianity." He argues there that much of the Christianity we have inherited has been strongly influenced by a Greco-Roman worldview which in turn owes a lot the classical Greek philosophy. I found his approach worthwhile although a bit overdone perhaps. (he tries to deconstruct a lot of things without doing much rebuilding). Also I've found the writings of N T Wright extremely valuable in more accurately situation Jesus and Paul etc in the context of first century Judaism.

                      Not familiar with the NCS translation, but I always thought the word Greeks was used because that was the predominant language/culture of the day in the broader Mediterranean world...

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                      • #12
                        Even up until today, the Jews have usually attached themselves to the world's great super-power and served as loyal ally. Every time Israel was destroyed, it happened as a result of not paying their taxes to the world's super-power.

                        The greek world invaded Israel during the inter-Testamental period after Malachi but before Matthew.

                        Alexander the Great came through Israel to conquor them but saw the High-Priest in a dream before he got there. Then, when he met the High Priest, he was shown where he was mentioned in the Book of Daniel so Alexander regarded the Jews as holy people and allowed them to continue the service of the Temple unabated.

                        Another thing that Jews have always done throughout history is to assimilate within the world system and prosper. This time was no different and many Jews were becoming quite comfortable within the new greek civilization and leaving the God of their fathers behind.

                        This was the catalyst for a new kind of religious zealism, called Pharisee. Really, the Pharisees started out as no different than what Christian conservatives are today. They were trying to stand in opposition to the onslaught that secular humanistic (greek) influence was having on society in Israel.

                        The Pharisees began coming up with rules designed to make sure that the faith of Israel remained pure from the influence of the world. Things like no celebrating Halloween, no dancing, no drinking...oh wait...wrong century but once they started making morality law, they kept doing it as if they were representing God.

                        After Alexander died, his kingdom was divided into 4 pieces and the Syrio-Grecian area was controlled by an ambitious General who called himself Antiochus Epiphenes (The Living God) and was, at first, also friendly to the Jews until things started going badly for his attempt to unite the kingdoms in a war with the king of the south, Egypt.

                        Then he began occupying Israel and the Jews weren't too happy about it and rebelled. So he demanded loyalty from the Jews and made laws that they must burn all torah scrolls and even eat pork to prove their worship of him.

                        He set up "the abomination that leads to desolation" in the Temple (a statue of Zeus) and began offering sacrifices of pigs to Zeus in the Holy of Holies.

                        In one village of the north, the local Priest was going along until one family rose up and killed the Priest and began the first known guerrilla warfare tactics against Antiochus. This small band of men were known as the Hasmoneans and led by Judah Maccabee who fought Antiochus and defeated the largest army in the world twice though outnumbered more than 9 to 1.

                        And here is where the Temple gets cleaned and corrupted at the the same time...

                        They regained control of the Temple and ran the syro-greeks out. The legend of how one day's supply of olive oil burned for 8 days (which was required for ritual cleansing of the Temple) is where we get the Hanukkah story from.

                        However, they (the Hasmonean dynasty) also set themselves up as the new Temple priests, and from then on the High Priest was a political office that could be bought. This happened about 150 B.C. and ensured that there would be corrupt leaders of the people when Yeshua was born because it ran in direct opposition to the Torah which says that all priests must be of the Tribe of Levi and the High Priest must be a son of Aaron through the direct line of Aaron's son, Eliazar. (numbers 20:26)


                        Though I can't prove it, there is enough evidence to suggest that the legitimate High Priest would have lived a monastic life among the Essene's in the Qumran desert. The Essene community was regarded as the legitimate holy men in Israel by the people.

                        One of the things the Essene's pioneered was a new ritual known as the "mikveh" or water baptism. Usually when you read the word "scribes" it's talking about an Essene because that is what they did constantly....write the scriptures and pretty much any prophetic writings of this day came from them also.

                        They lived a commune lifestyle of isolation from the big city. The care they took in translating the scriptures is why we have the Dead Sea scrolls. One of their ritualistic observances was that they would "mikveh" (ritual water baptism) to symbolically cleanse themselves of sin before taking a pen to write.

                        Writing a complete Torah scroll can take up to a year but if they missed even one letter at any point in the translation, the entire scroll was burned and they started the entire process over.

                        Anyone could be an apprentice among them but after 2 years, you either had to commit your entire life to them or leave permanently. Many believe that Yochanan (John the Baptist) came from here, which would explain why people thought of John as a holy man though he did not follow in the footsteps of his father, Zachariah, who was a Temple Priest.

                        That would also explain why the average Jew would accept a baptism for the remission of sin as being legitimate from this crazy man living in the wilderness.

                        By the way, he ate "locus" which is a fruit that grows on the locus tree, a sort of arabic chocolate thing.
                        Last edited by yod1948; 10-19-2010, 12:10 AM.
                        8-)



                        what? me worry?

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by baggas View Post
                          Interesting post.
                          You may (or may not) find your line of thinking is similar to that of Brian McLaren in his recent book "A New Kind of Christianity."

                          that is scary to me. I doubt that Mr McLaren and I come to the same conclusions.





                          Not familiar with the NCS translation, ..

                          That isn't an actual translation.

                          It's an anacronym I just made up instead of saying "New Testament" because I see the word "testament" as not fully conveying the meaning of the word "covenant"

                          Actually, the first thing I do when I get a bible is tear out the pages which say "Old Covenant" and "New Covenant" because God didn't put them there.

                          They were added by St Jerome about 400 A.D. by fiat of theology
                          Last edited by yod1948; 10-18-2010, 11:53 PM.
                          8-)



                          what? me worry?

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                          • #14
                            Just out of curiosity, why do you think the Holy Spirit caused the Scriptures pertaining to the New Covenant to be written in Greek rather than Hebrew (knowing full well that the Greek language itself would inherently carry some measure of Greek thought and worldview just in its grammatical structures and vocabulary)?

                            Alex
                            ...a man of few words, all carefully chosen (hopefully)

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by TheOldATrain View Post
                              Just out of curiosity, why do you think the Holy Spirit caused the Scriptures pertaining to the New Covenant to be written in Greek rather than Hebrew (knowing full well that the Greek language itself would inherently carry some measure of Greek thought and worldview just in its grammatical structures and vocabulary)?

                              Alex


                              an excellent question!

                              Ultimately it happened so the good news could go to the Nations. By this time there were certainly more Jews who spoke Greek in the world than spoke hebrew, too.

                              There is some reason to think that the Book of Matthew could have been written in Aramaic originally but the rest would absolutely be greek! But "what kind of greek?" is the question...

                              Are you familiar with yiddish? Yiddish is a Jewish-German tongue with a little Russian thrown in. A speaker of pure Deutch wouldn't completely understand it because he'd be unfamiliar with many terms without an explanation, but they could probably get the overall gist of what was being said.

                              In like manner, the NCS wasn't a pure greek but rather a mixture of koininia greek with new jewish-greek content and words. Many words were given new meaning, much like we do today with "Bad" meaning "Cool" and "Sick" meaning "Really cool".

                              For example we've all heard that "agape" is the unconditional love of God. But which Greek god would be described like that? This was a greek word where new content was given to it by Jews who were translating.

                              "Anointing" a King by pouring olive oil over his head was unique to Israel. They didn't do that in Greece, yet you've all heard that the greek word for "The Anointed One" is "Christos"

                              It was Jews in Alexandria Egypt who were translating the Tenach (Jewish Bible) into Greek (The Pentateuch) and first applied new content to the word "christos" because it originally meant "a substance rubbed in" as opposed to "olive oil poured on".

                              Cyrus, King of Persia and King David were also "Christos" (Anointed One) in the Pentateuch but Yeshua is "Moshiach" (Messiah) which is an entirely unique kind of "Christos".

                              So to answer your question, yes, it was a form of greek because that was the language of commerce in the world much like English is today. Yet there are quite a few things that one could miss if they tried to read these epistles as a purely greek document.

                              The original speakers being quoted (Jesus and the Apostles) were talking in Aramaic, a hybrid language of arabic/greek/hebrew idioms. This was translated into a jewish-greek and then Latin versions were translated from that. Then some translations went from Latin into German or English. Oy!?

                              I believe the Holy Spirit is able to guide us in all truth. I also believe that there was theological bias inserted into English (and probably other) translations unnecessarily. Not enough to diminish the power of God through the Holy Spirit, but enough to imply things that aren't necessarily accurate.

                              In other words, trying to understand the People & the Book through studying the greek language will certainly cause some confusion in the way you accurately pointed out.
                              8-)



                              what? me worry?

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