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To: Alamo-Girl
AG, I love your posts, but I fear that this will lead to sour grapes, and that's the last thing I desire. So, if you wish to continue, I will gladly oblige, hoping that our agreeing to disagree will prevent any negative feelings.

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 didn’t 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.

41 posted on 03/19/2007 4:04:15 PM PDT by kosta50 (Eastern Orthodoxy is pure Christianity)
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To: kosta50
I also very much enjoy your insights, dear kosta50. And I agree that you and I can part ways agreeing to disagree.

But before we do, there are a few points I’d like to get into the record.

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!

Actually, they say this is a misunderstanding. They do to avoid the Name of God being erased.

The Name of God (Jewish Virtual Library)

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.

Also, on the amount of time which elapsed during which Paul received the Gospel of Jesus Christ – you said an instant:

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.

But here is Paul’s claim – 3 years (emphasis mine):

But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man. For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught [it], but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

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

You objected to my claim that 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 should have been more precise and provided this source reference:

Dead Sea Scrolls (Jewish Virtual Library)

The Essenes

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.

As for the rest of it, we can part with the usual respectful disagreements about Greek/Hebrew, Paul, the Holy Spirit, Revelation, etc. See you around on the most interesting threads, kosta50!

45 posted on 03/19/2007 10:01:38 PM PDT by Alamo-Girl
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