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?"