Keep it coming! I'm very interested in this.
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 at 02:39 PM.
what? me worry?
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.
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 at 10:24 AM.
"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 at 10:15 PM.
what? me worry?
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)
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 at 11:49 AM.
what? me worry?
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
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 at 11:50 AM.
what? me worry?
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.