Skip to comments.On This Rock
Posted on 03/18/2007 6:29:20 AM PDT by markomalley
In order to continue His work on earth and lead all peoples to eternal salvation, Jesus established one visible and hierarchical Church. It is very clear from the continual preparation of the Jewish people in the Old Testament and then with the precise act of Jesus in Cesarea Philippi, that God willed to found one Church as a visible, hierarchical, living, and continuing authority, to teach, govern, and sanctify in his name. It is no less clear that Jesus appointed the Apostle Simon the fisherman as the visible head of His Church. Even as He conferred the authority, Jesus changed Simon’s name to Peter; i.e., “rock.” The name “Peter” had never existed prior to this divine event in Cesarea Philippi.
Trials and tribulations will always be a part of the Church because it is not merely a human entity. The Church is the Mystical Body of Christ, and Satan will continue to attack it until the Second Coming. Perhaps history will judge our age as presenting the most formidable challenges the Catholic Church has had to face, although it is true that there have been other dramatic moments in the history of the Church.
The Catholic Church is the only institution in human history that has continually survived its own problems and failures. As G.K. Chesterton once said, this is true, "because it has a God Who knew His way out of the grave." Jesus assures us of His continual presence and protection: "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it" (Mt 16:18).
Rather than becoming discouraged, angry, or even rebellious during a difficult time of trial, we must stand fast through prayer and fidelity. We must always pray for our Church, and always trust that God will deliver us from all evil.
Unity in the Catholic Church is damaged when Catholics, be they clergy or lay people, deviate from the deposit of faith, either through an unhealthy attachment to the past or a detrimental deviation, in the name of progress, from authentic Church teaching and discipline. Both postures tear away at the garment of unity.
Every member of the Church is obligated to obey every teaching of the Church. Matters regarding faith, morals and discipline are not subject to personal interpretation.
We live in a moment of history when many openly defy the authority of the pope. We need to persevere, at times under very difficult circumstances, in the exciting adventure of fidelity. With God's help and the maternal protection of Mary, the Mother of the Church, at the end of our earthly existence we can repeat the sounding words of St. Paul: "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith" (2 Tm 3:7).
Many years ago when I was in high school and college, I too did a lot of discussing and debating. I too had many religious opinions, many of which were erroneous and unfounded. I debated other issues than the hot-button issues of today; nevertheless, I too struggled with obedience or disobedience to the pope. Thankfully, through the patient and loving guidance of a college professor who became a true life-long friend, I was able to openly search for the truth through deep prayer and sincere study, and I found it. I know that this truth is Jesus and all that His Catholic Church teaches. I love this truth very much and I will never leave it behind again, even if I have to stand alone with the pope, whoever he may be.
To leave behind the relativism that Cardinal Ratzinger spoke about before his election as Pope Benedict XVI, and fully embrace truth and charity, has been the most exciting and liberating event of my entire life. So, I truly do understand all of the debate, all of the discussion, and even all of the anger. I have been there, and I have left all of that behind only to find profound joy, peace and freedom in the Church that I have given my entire life to.
The only solution for the problems that we face as a Church in America is to get back to basics and rediscover the same Jesus that Peter encountered: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Mt 16:17). We must begin again by truly living as disciples of the Lord and living the Gospels with renewed authenticity. True Christianity will set us free.
You make two strong statements in your post. (1) The Rock is a special sacred name of God, which is omitted for one reason or another from the Greek Septuagint, (2) Hebrew is a sacred language.
First, the word rock (whether the Rock or the rock) is most commonly used as just a 'rock.' The same word (tzuwr), the very same word except with a definite article (indicating a proper name, not a noun) is used for God in two instances in the MT."
The observant Jews go out of their way to not spell out the name God and when not using the substitute "Lord" they use a dash G-d so as not to mention God's name in vain!
Can you imagine what would happen if the word tzuwr (rock) were truly considered a holy name for God (holier than Lord)? Why the Jews would be 'blaspheming' left and right and the name would have to be spelled as tz-wr so as to avoid using His name in vain.
Second, you write Nevertheless, Greek is not superior to Hebrew. And the Jews would be quick to point out that if God wanted to speak the Torah to Moses in Greek or any other language spoken in Egypt or elsewhere, that is what He would have done.
It doesn't surprise me that the Jews consider their Hebrew language 'holy.' But there is no biblical reference to support that claim. In fact, many ancient nations considered themselves 'holy' believing they were on the side of their deity and so would their language also be 'holy.'
You are right that the Jews would point out that if God wanted to speak Greek to Moses He would have, but the plain fact is that people claim God speaks in whatever the language is of the person who claims to receive messages from God. I am sure Pat Roberts 'receives' his messages from God in American English! And God spoke Hebrew to Moses and to Paul because they were Jewish! Plain and simple, and not because hebrew is 'holy.'
We could just as easily say that God realized that some of His people forgot their language in Alexandria and Asia Minor and wanted to speak to them in Greek! Hence, the LXX was born by the will of God!
And again I am reminding you that despite whatever language the Jewish people learn or speak in the diaspora or as a result of their being Hellenized, on matter of Jewish law the Torah the Hebrew language alone is considered sacred.
The Apostles apparently considered the LXX was Scripture, since they quoted from it so extensively, and never once made a comment that LXX was somehow 'inferior.' Would Christ be quoted as using 'inferior' sources or, God forbid, anything less than Scripture?
The Essenes withdrew to avoid the rampant Hellenization of the Jews!
The Essenes withdrew because of their disagreement with the Jerusalem Temple authorities. Judaism was split into various sects. In fact, the Sadducees, who controlled the Temple, considered only the Torah as 'canon.' If the Essenes were trying to escape Hellenization, why are there Greek texts in Qumran, and why do some of the Hebrew texts agree with Greek Septuagint texts?
I do believe the translators in both cases didnt do the Spiritual meditation and physical research necessary to understand the Hebrew word concepts.
The Gospels suggest otherwise. The Apostles never write "according to LXX, which is a profane source, this is what Isaiah says...but the correct Hebrew version says this." No, they quote straight from the Septuagint.
Just as someone will remark that not everything Christ taught is in the Bible, what's in the Bible is sufficient and represents what God waned us to know.
We could equally say the same thing about the OT: if God wanted us to read the MT He would have quoted from it, and not from the LXX, therefore we must presume that the LXX provides everything we need to understand the NT that relates to it.
That is a problem with every single translation from Hebrew
We could use the same argument then for translating the NT from Greek into various 'profane' languages.
The point is simply this: once we have uncovered a specially announced Name of God we are wise and prudent to hallow that Name
The you are running into a possibility that someone down the line will begin to worship rocks.
Moreover, you have no proof that the LXX is a faithful translation from the non-MT Hebrew!!!
Except that it is the OT preferred by the Apostles. More importantly, the proper name the Rock is used by Paul to describe Jesus.
Okay. So is God referred to in the Hebrew OT twice. In fact it is Paul who asserts that God spoke in the Hebrew tongue/dialect. What other language/dialect would He have addressed Paul?
But none of that evidence can illuminate you because you have said on other threads that you consider Paul to be Gnostic and somehow discredit him because he was taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ by direct revelation (Gal 1:11-20) rather than by flesh and blood when the working of God's direct revelation is the very reason Jesus named Peter "rock":
Rather I find those who close their eyes and pretend not to see what is glaringly obvious to be the ones who are not illuminated by the evidence in front of them.
Peter may have realized that Jesus is the Messiah at that point but he was not ready to teach the Gospel yet. There is a difference between a grain of revelation, and everything being revealed as Paul claimed, in an instant.
There is evidence that despite this narrative, Peter did not shout "I told you so!" when the women told him that the tomb is empty. No, he and John ran like mad to make sure it was true! And St. Thomas, the conscience and the courage of all, admitted to his doubts.
And in Acts 1:6, the Apostles ask "Lord, is it at this time You are restoring the kingdom to Israel" indicating that their idea of the 'messiah' was still very much Jewish. [there is also a varying account on Judas' death, but that's another thread].
As for Jesus calling Peter 'the rock,' Peter was hardly the rock. The revealed truth about Christ was the type of rock of faith on which the Church would be built, and that kind of faith will be empowered with the keys to loosen and bind on earth as it is in heaven. We all know that Peter was not the most dependable 'rock solid' among them. But that's why Christ said that the last shall be the first and the first last. Empowerment works.
Any chance they meant Pteros?
But before we do, there are a few points Id like to get into the record.
Jews do not casually write any Name of God. This practice does not come from the commandment not to take the Lord's Name in vain, as many suppose. In Jewish thought, that commandment refers solely to oath-taking, and is a prohibition against swearing by God's Name falsely or frivolously (the word normally translated as "in vain" literally means "for falsehood").
Judaism does not prohibit writing the Name of God per se; it prohibits only erasing or defacing a Name of God. However, observant Jews avoid writing any Name of God casually because of the risk that the written Name might later be defaced, obliterated or destroyed accidentally or by one who does not know better.
The commandment not to erase or deface the name of God comes from Deut. 12:3. In that passage, the people are commanded that when they take over the promised land, they should destroy all things related to the idolatrous religions of that region, and should utterly destroy the names of the local deities. Immediately afterwards, we are commanded not to do the same to our God. From this, the rabbis inferred that we are commanded not to destroy any holy thing, and not to erase or deface a Name of God.
It is worth noting that this prohibition against erasing or defacing Names of God applies only to Names that are written in some kind of permanent form, and recent rabbinical decisions have held that writing on a computer is not a permanent form, thus it is not a violation to type God's Name into a computer and then backspace over it or cut and paste it, or copy and delete files with God's Name in them. However, once you print the document out, it becomes a permanent form. That is why observant Jews avoid writing a Name of God on web sites like this one or in BBS messages: because there is a risk that someone else will print it out and deface it.
Normally, we avoid writing the Name by substituting letters or syllables, for example, writing "G-d" instead of "God." In addition, the number 15, which would ordinarily be written in Hebrew as Yod-Heh (10-5), is normally written as Tet-Vav (9-6), because Yod-Heh is a Name. See Hebrew Alphabet for more information about using letters as numerals.
For ye have heard of my conversation in time past in the Jews' religion, how that beyond measure I persecuted the church of God, and wasted it: And profited in the Jews' religion above many my equals in mine own nation, being more exceedingly zealous of the traditions of my fathers.
But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother's womb, and called [me] by his grace, To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood: Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.
Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days. But other of the apostles saw I none, save James the Lord's brother.
Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not. - Galatians 1:11-20
The Qumran sect's origins are postulated by some scholars to be in the communities of the Hasidim, the pious anti-Hellenistic circles formed in the early daysof the Maccabees. The Hasidim may have been the precursors of the Essenes, who were concerned about growing Hellenization and strove to abide by the Torah.
Archeological and historical evidence indicates that Qumran was founded in the second half of the second century B.C.E., during the time of the Maccabean dynasty. A hiatus in the occupation of the site is linked to evidence of a huge earthquake. Qumran was abandoned about the time of the Roman incursion of 68 C.E., two years before the collapse of Jewish self-government in Judea and the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem in 70 C.E.
The chief sources of information for the history of this fateful time span are the Qumran scrolls and the excavations, but earlier information on the Essenes was provided by their contemporaries: Josephus Flavius, Philo of Alexandria, and Pliny the Elder. Their accounts arc continuously being borne out by the site excavations and study of the writings.
The historian Josephus relates the division of the Jews of the Second Temple period into three orders: the Sadducees, the Pharisees, and the Essenes. The Sadducees included mainly the priestly and aristocratic families; the Pharisees constituted the Jay circles; and the Essenes were a separatist group, part of which formed an ascetic monastic community that retreated to the wilderness. The exact political and religious affinities of each of these groups, as well as their development and interrelationships, are still relatively obscure and arc the source of widely disparate scholarly views.
The crisis that brought about the secession of the Essenes from mainstream Judaism is thought to have occurred when the Maccabean ruling princes Jonathan (160-142 B.C.E.) and Simeon (142-134 B.C.E.) usurped the office of high priest (which included secular duties), much to the consternation of conservative Jews; some of them could not tolerate the situation and denounced the new rulers. The persecution of the Essenes and their leader, the teacher of righteousness probably elicited the sect's apocalyptic visions. These included the overthrow of "the wicked priest" of Jerusalem and of the evil people and, in the dawn of the Messianic Age, the recognition of their community as the true Israel. The retreat of these Jews into the desert would enable them "to separate themselves from the congregation of perverse men (IQ Serekh 5:2).
A significant feature of the Essene sect is its calendar, which was based on a solar system Of 364 days, unlike the common Jewish calendar, which was lunar and consisted Of 354-days. It is not clear how the sectarian calendar was reconciled, as was the normative Jewish calendar, with the astronomical time system.
The sectarian calendar was always reckoned from a Wednesday, the day on which God created the luminaries. The year consisted of fifty-two weeks, divided into four seasons of thirteen weeks each, and the festivals consistently fell on the same days of the week. A similar solar system was long familiar from pseudepigraphic works. The sectarian calendar played a weighty, role in the schism of the community from the rest of Judaism, as the festivals and fast days of the sect were ordinary work days for the mainstream community and vice versa. The author of the Book of Jubilees accuses the followers of the lunar calendar of turning secular "days of impurity" into "festivals and holy days" (Jubilees 6:36-37).
The Essenes persisted in a separatist existence through two centuries, occupying themselves with study and a communal way of life that included worship, prayer, and work. It is clear, however, that large groups of adherents also lived in towns and villages outside the Qumran area.
The word Essene isnever distinctly mentioned in the scrolls. How then can we attribute either the writings or the sites of the Judean Desert to the Essenes?
The argument in favor of this ascription is supported by the tripartite division of Judaism referred to in Qumran writings (for example, in the Nahum Commentary) into Ephraim, Menasseh, and Judah, corresponding to the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and the Essenes. As the Essenes refer to themselves in the scrolls as Judah, it is quite clear whom they regarded themselves to be. Moreover, their religious concepts and beliefs as attested in the scrolls conform to those recorded by contemporary writers and stand in sharp contrast to those of the other known Jewish groups.
In most cases the principles of the Essene way of life and beliefs are described by contemporaneous writers in language similar to the self-descriptions found in the scrolls. Customs described in ancient sources as Essene-such as the probationary period for new members, the strict hierarchy practiced in the organization of the sect, their frequent ablutions, and communal meals-are all echoed in the scrolls. From the Community Rule: "Communally they shall cat and communally they shall bless and communally they shall take counsel" (IQ Serekh 6:1). Finally, the location of the sect is assigned to the Dead Sea area by the Roman historian Pliny the Elder.
Although this evidence is accepted by the majority of scholars as conclusive in identifying the Essenes with the Qumran settlement and the manuscripts found in the surrounding caves, a number of scholars remain vehemently opposed. Some propose that the site was a military garrison or even a winter villa. The scrolls are viewed as an eclectic collection, neither necessarily inscribed in the Dead Sea area nor sectarian in nature, perhaps even remains of the library of the Temple in Jerusalem. Other scholars view the texts as the writings of forerunners or even followers of Jesus--Jewish Christians--who still observed Jewish law.
Well, there are now over 30,000+ Protestant denominations each teaching differently. Perhaps if each of these denominations could each self appoint themselves as a President of the US, that would certainly clear things up and bring more order to this country.
Perhaps employees could appoint themselves General Managers and several could be running around teaching a different process to the other employees. I imagine that would be quite profitable?
One would have to be extremely liberal in theology to think God's intention was disordered when the OT and NT teaches us quite the contrary. I find it quite sad that some cannot see this simple connection.
I'd hate to see a discussion of the Lord's Prayer on this site or "Do this in Memory of Me."
The first Protester, Luther wanted to throw out the book of Revelations because he didn't see it as "revealing" and so the sad unrevealing "mysteries" to some continues.
Time to get out the Rosary. Happy Lent!!
Thank you, AG. Thank you also for the post on the Essenes. Most informative, yet don't miss the opening line "they are postulated to be..." As for Paul's 3 years, he doesn't say what he was doing for those 3 years. the book of Acts contradicts his claim that he went to Arabia before going to Jerusalem.
I stand corrected on the reasons the Jews don't write God but G-d. Thank you.
Thanks for everything. May God bless you.
Perhaps not the name, but the word "peter" does originate in the Hebrew Scriptures.
For me, Galatians 1:11-20 is a whole testimony, from "But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man" through "Now the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not" and thus I do read it as Paul's testimony that he spent 3 years in something of a "sabbatical" wherein the Holy Spirit directly revealed the Gospel of Jesus Christ to him.
May God ever bless you, dear kosta50! I look forward to your future posts here or elsewhere on the forum - and especially, to meeting you "on the other side" if not in this life first.
What would God, a real God, need with an earthly hierarchal cabal of heir-lings?..
God didn't need Moses to raise his arm to part the Red Sea or to speak to Pharoah or to bring water from the Rock.
He didn't need Sarah to give birth to Isaac>Jacob/Israel.
He didn't need Mary to give birth to Jesus Christ.
He didn't need David to put Goliath down.
He didn't need to make Peter important in any way.
And so on - over and over again - throughout Scripture.
God, of His own will, chooses to permit us to be involved in His Creation - this heaven and earth as well as the one to come.
Good post, I look forward to a reply.
I think I'll be waiting a while though.
Very, very Orthodox indeed. And kindda self-evident.
As to its being self-evident, yes indeed - however we mortals tend to miss the forest for the trees. We suffer from an "observer problem." LOL!
I saw that. First, the majority is not always right (I would wager just the opposite). More importantly, if something is postulated, it cannot be accepted as conclusive. There is a logical disconnect. There is no such thing as a "conclusive postulate." Assumption without proof is no proof. To treat is as such is an oxymoron.
Most of Christianity uses the government of Isreal layed out in the old testament as a model in many things as a model of certain "church" functions, titles, and proclivities.. Other functions are borrowed from the heathen like the regrettable Queen of Heaven in some places..
Isreal told Moses they wanted a KING like the nations around them at the times.. NO.. DEMANDED a King like the nations around them.. The government that God proscribes for Isreal was a renegade government.. because of their demands.. not according to what God would have done.. Nobody knows what that would have been..
As Jesus told Pontius Pilate he was a King of another place not of this planet.. That was quite a revelation right there.. went over Pilates head though.. Dimensional Physics had not even been invented or thunk up yet..
Really.. some people seem to think God is a moron or disabled in a spiritual wheel chair needing help.. and have no idea they themselves are impediments.. not helps to God at all..
I really appreciate Alamo-girls "vision" of a proper stone in the building of God is a DIAMOND allowing the free flow of Gods(light) thru it.. OR if the best you can be is a ruby or amethist or emerald well then, GOD BLESS YOU TOO.. its the light that counts anyway not the reflection or refraction..
One of my favorite stories: Biblical "scholars" work on the presumption that prophesy cannot occur. Thus when they find a reference to a verifiable bit of history, they date the manuscript after that date. (I love ancient manuscripts, BTW.)
They did that with the book of Enoch which they presumed was written after Herod because it referred to him - was probably composed by Christians since it referred to "The Elect One" i.e. Jesus Christ. yada yada.
Then they found Enoch in the Dead Sea Scrolls and - lo and behold - the fragments carbon-dated as far back as 200 B.C. So something had to change.
But of course they cannot give up their working premise, so it must have been their interpretation that was in error. LOL!
What would God, a real God, need with an earthly hierarchal cabal of heir-lings?..
= = =
GREAT WONDERFUL REDEMPTIVE QUESTION.