OK, I gotta get it out – Sunday’s "sermon" has been bothering me...especially since the folks sitting in front of me were impressed. :rolleyes: I'm of 2 minds on emailing her......on the one hand, she - well, a lot of people take critcism as a personal attack. I don't know that I need that right now....on the other, I can't let unTruth go unanswered - especially if I have a good idea OF the answer.
The first thing that smacked me upside the head was her statement "Hebrews was written by an unknown preacher". Erm.......no. Mainly because there were NO "preachers" back then - I went to Easton's Bible Dictionary (I tried Strong's first, but all it did was point me to Scripture translations - not directly to the original for me to cross-check for myself.) The term usually used to describe an esteemed teacher is "Rabbi"...and, since the author is definately Jewish, and a learned one at that, that would probably have been the correct term. OPr, the more common "teacher". The word "preacher" came into use around 1175 - 1225....so, it's not the correct term to use here, in what - 40 AD-ish?
Anyway, I did some digging - we don't know exactly who wrote it, but we have quite a few candidates:
1. Paul himself; but - in all his other letters Paul identified himself, not this one, and this one isn't as bold as his letters normally are
2. Barnabas - who, as a Levite, was perfectly capable of writing it, and would have had the knowledge of the Torah to do so, and worked a lot with Paul
3. Apollos - who Martin Luther himself favored; he was a learned Jew, met Paul in Corinth, was taught about the Messiah by Priscilla and Aquila, and was perfectly capable of writing the Episitle, or
4. Priscilla and Aquila - scholars who promote them tend to lean towards Priscilla being the author; they were early Christians who settled in Rome (see the book of Ephesians)
So, she's right in that we don't know exactly who wrote it, but not in the use of the word "preacher". (And, I learned something. I remember in confirmation class that Paul was assumed to be the author. Huh. Learn something new every day! :grin:)
All right, you say - that's just semantics. Well, yes - and no. If you get one part wrong, what else is wrong?
The next thing in my notes is that Abram and Moses had "blind faith". Wha???? Not even. (This part I've covered in Torah Class, so I am armed for bear, here. I'll try to stick to the subject at hand. :grin:)
We'll start with Abram. For this one, you have to have working knowledge of the customs back then. It was very common for a "god" to talk to people via dreams and visions, so when YHWH spoke to Abram, he took it at face value (Remember now - Abram was PAGAN at this point! There WAS no such thing as a Jew, or even a Hebrew!). It was no big deal - "gods" spoke to people all the time. You had a strange dream? Some god was trying to communicate. Not it's fault you didn't understand! You had a weird dream that told you to move somewhere? You did it...and if you got your butt kicked, you just didn't do it right, or you had invoked the wrath of some other god. Sometimes things worked out right - but it was blind luck, not divine interference.
The difference with Abram? The God who spoke to Abram actually DID what He said He'd do. ALL THE TIME. In Gen. 16:7-21, you read about an interesting (and strange to us) ceremony - Abram killed some animals, divided the parts, and placed the pieces opposite each other. Why? Because this was the common way to seal a covenant among the peoples back then. The covenant was confirmed by the parties passing in between the animal parts....which happened in vs. 17! (Usually, both parties had to pass between - but this particular covenant was all on God - Abram didn't have to do anything.) BLIND faith? Nope - not at all! EVERYTHING God promised Abram happened, pretty much right after He said it would. Why WOULDN'T Abram have faith? He knew he was dealing with "the real deal"...not some fake, made-up god!
As for Moses......Moses is the ONLY human (Jesus WAS God, so He's different) whom YHWH spoke to FACE to FACE. (The Hebrew is "pe 'el pe" and can be translated as "mouth to mouth"; that is, it was a 2-way conversation). Moses was given power directly from God - he was told that whatever he said would happen, would happen just as if God Himself said it would. Whoa. That's...mind-boggling.
Moses was given the Holy Spirit - he was the ONLY person, except for Jesus, that that happened to until the Pentecost after the Resurrection. (Well....God did divide the Spirit when Moses complained about carrying the Israelites by himself, but the 70 leaders only got a portion - it appears that Moses had the full complement. See Numb. 11:10-17. Even then, Moses still had more than anyone else.)
So, again - "blind" faith? Where? Moses met YHWH at Mt. Horeb (remember the burning bush?). Moses was GIVEN God's name (back then, it was believed that if you knew a god's true name, you could control it. :snerk: Yeah....); he was given awesome power (Exodus 4: Heck, the WHOLE book of Exodus! :grin:). He KNEW Who he was dealing with - why wouldn't he trust or have faith??
:sigh: The rest of it was on signs....but, quite honestly, I tuned out. I was too flabbergasted at the wrong teaching coming from the pulpit to pay attention.
Now, before I’m accused of being too picky – we are supposed to weigh everything by Scripture. This particular lady has run up against Scripture before – she emailed a thing on why it’s OK to recite the Creeds – she was “concerned about the ‘descended into Hell’ part”. She came to the conclusion that yes, it's OK to recite the creed's; Jesus DID descend into Hell…which is flat out WRONG. (He told the thief on the cross Luke 23: 42-43 “tonight you will be with Me in Paradise”; He went and ministered to the people who had died before He came : 1 Peter 3:18-22 “ For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit, through whom also he went and preached to the spirits in prison who disobeyed long ago when God waited patiently in the days of Noah while the ark was being built...”; and look at 1 Peter 4:6 “For for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, that they might be judged according to men in the flesh, but live according to God in the spirit.”)
Add to this the fact that the Jews had no concept of Hell; they said the dead went to She’ol, but it wasn’t a place of fire and brimstone and eternal damnation occupied by demons, it was just a place underground. So……nope. I can’t say the creeds, because they are unscriptural….and we won’t even go into the “one catholic and apostolic church”(that’d be the 1 world religion mentioned in Revelations, and it ain’t Christ’s church!) :sigh:
Anyway...I've been working on this since Monday. There's other reasons I'm concerned over her interpretation of Scripture...but that gets personal, and I'm not going there. IF she brings it up, fine...if not, I don't need to dump it *here*.