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The Six Strangest New Testament Verses
Catholic Exchange ^ | April 18, 2013 | STEPHEN BEALE

Posted on 04/18/2013 6:52:25 AM PDT by NYer

When we think of strange verses in the New Testament, the fantastic visions of Revelation immediately leap to mind. But Revelation isn’t the only place. From weird words used by St. Paul to the trance of St. Peter, here are six of the strangest verses in the New Testament.

Acts 10:11-12 – The Ecstasy of St. Peter

And he saw the heaven opened, and a certain vessel descending, as it were a great linen sheet let down by the four corners from heaven to the earth: Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts, and creeping things of the earth, and fowls of the air.’— Douay-Rheims translation (Unless otherwise noted, as here, Scripture quotations will be taken from The New American Bible, Revised Edition)

This reads like something lifted right out of Revelation, but there it is in Acts. In this trance, which Peter experiences, a voice tells him to kill and eat the beasts. Peter refuses because they are unclean—but he is urged to do so three more times, then the mysterious vessel vanishes. This vision has traditionally been understood to be a turning point in the history of the early Church—when St. Peter understood that the temporal laws of the Old Testament, like the ones on circumcision or unclean animals, were no longer binding. In other words, the gospel was for the Gentiles as well as the Jews. (This interpretation is certainly supported by the next chapter, where St. Peter defends himself against charges of having a meal with uncircumcised men.)

Acts 26:14 – ‘It is hard for you to kick against the goad’

Put simply, this verse doesn’t make much sense and the context only makes it stranger. St. Paul is recalling what Christ said to him on the road to Damascus. Immediately before the above sentence is the famous chastisement we all know: Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? The mystery deepens further when we learn that the kicking the goad phrase comes from a secular Greek poet named Pindar. (Click here to read it.) It is in the context of the original poem that the phrase starts to make sense—Pindar writes that it is futile to resist a god. Kicking the goad is an apt metaphor for this, as a goad is a rod used by a herder to guide cattle. (In fact, the Greek word for goad, kentron, has another meaning—the sting of a bee, or other creature, which certainly is another richly provocative metaphor for how Christ wounds our souls with heavenly love!) Now, it may seem scandalous that Paul quotes Christ as using a phrase from a secular poet—one that, moreover, is in the context of ancient Greek pantheism—but this comes hand in hand with the fact that the entire New Testament was originally written in Greek. It should come as no surprise that phrase and sayings from the ancient tongue would make it into the text as well.

Galatians 5:12 – ‘Would that those who are upsetting you might also castrate themselves!’

Well, this is a bit disturbing. Some translations put it more politely as mutilate. Others speak of a wish that the ones who persecute the faithful readers of this letter would simply cut themselves off. Either way, this verse poses an interpretative dilemma for us: aren’t we supposed to love our enemies, not wish self-harm on them? The Haydock Bible Commentary sees this as figurative language for excommunicating persecutors from the Church. But there’s a deeper meaning here, which St. John Chrysostom peels away for us in his commentary on the epistle. He notes that the chapter begins with a discussion about why circumcision—a requirement of the old law—is no longer necessary because of the Cross. (This makes sense after reading Acts above.) He suggests that there are some Galatians who believe circumcision still necessary, having fallen under the influence of the Manichean heresy, which held the body to be evil. So, according to Chrysostom, Paul is speaking in sarcasm, urging them to not stop at circumcision, but mutilate themselves completely.

Ephesians 6:14 – ‘So stand fast with your loins girded in truth’

This is the famous chapter which describes all the spiritual armor we need in our battle with Satan and sin. We are told righteousness is our breastplate, which seems fitting since that covers our hearts. Faith is our shield, salvation our helmet, and the Spirit our sword—again these all make sense. But why are our ‘loins girded with truth.’ This is not an area of the body we normally associate with truth—perhaps the head, heart, or even the eyes, but not the loins. The first clue, according to Chrysostom, is the verb ‘gird.’ This tells us, he says in a homily, that we sinners have been loose in life and ‘dissolved in … lusts.’ Girding our loins ensures we aren’t tripped up by the ‘garments entangling our legs’ but can move freely in Christ. As for the loins, perhaps we don’t give them as much credit as they are due. Chrysostom explains: “They are, as it were, a foundation, and upon them as the schools of the physicians tell you, the whole frame is built. … the foundation alike of the parts both above and below.” If we are founded in the truth, Chrysostom concludes, we cannot fall spiritually, because truth comes from above, not the earth.

Philippians 3:2 – ‘Beware of the dogs!’

No, St. Paul did not have a traumatic childhood experience with a dog. So what is he talking about here? We can surmise there must be a spiritual meaning to this, since the next phrase in the verse warns against evildoers. So, who are the ‘dogs’? This, according to commentators, is a colloquialism for the Gentiles. The Haydock Bible Commentary explains further: “The Jews called so the Gentiles; and St. Paul now applies it to those among the Jews who spread false doctrine, who privately snarled and publicly barked against the true apostles.”

Philemon 1:7 – ‘The bowels of the saints have been refreshed by thee, brother’ (Douay-Rheims)

Some translations render bowels as hearts, so where did the other translators get ‘bowels’?—a word repeated two other times in this one-chapter epistle. Well, for one thing, it’s a faithful translation of the original Greek word, splangkhnon, which does have the primary meaning of ‘bowels’ or ‘intestines.’ This can include the heart but it just as easily refers to other internal organs, like the kidneys. Here a dictionary helps us sort things out (this is from the lexical resources on GreekBible.com): “[T]he bowels were regarded as the seat of the more violent passions, such as anger and love; but by the Hebrews as the seat of the tenderer affections, esp. kindness, benevolence, compassion.”


TOPICS: Apologetics; Catholic; Evangelical Christian; Theology
KEYWORDS: nt; scripture
Stephen Beale is a freelance writer based in Providence, Rhode Island. Raised as an evangelical Protestant, he is a convert to Catholicism. He is a former news editor at GoLocalProv.com and was a correspondent for the New Hampshire Union Leader, where he covered the 2008 presidential primary. He has appeared on Fox News, C-SPAN and the Today Show and his writing has been published in the Washington Times, Providence Journal, the National Catholic Register and on MSNBC.com and ABCNews.com. A native of Topsfield, Massachusetts, he graduated from Brown University in 2004 with a degree in classics and history. His areas of interest include Eastern Christianity, Marian and Eucharistic theology, medieval history, and the saints.
1 posted on 04/18/2013 6:52:25 AM PDT by NYer
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To: netmilsmom; thefrankbaum; Tax-chick; GregB; saradippity; Berlin_Freeper; Litany; SumProVita; ...

Ping!


2 posted on 04/18/2013 6:53:26 AM PDT by NYer (Beware the man of a single book - St. Thomas Aquinas)
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To: NYer
Wherein were all manner of fourfooted beasts, and creeping things of the earth, and fowls of the air

If this happened in Kenya, then I know whose birth it announced.

3 posted on 04/18/2013 6:55:44 AM PDT by laweeks
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To: NYer
This vision has traditionally been understood to be a turning point in the history of the early Church—when St. Peter understood that the temporal laws of the Old Testament, like the ones on circumcision or unclean animals, were no longer binding. In other words, the gospel was for the Gentiles as well as the Jews. (This interpretation is certainly supported by the next chapter, where St. Peter defends himself against charges of having a meal with uncircumcised men.)

No it's not! This vision was strictly about gentile Christians coming into the church. Previous to this they weren't.

Peter says this vision means this:

Act_10:28 Then he said to them, "You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

Peter was laboring under a Jewish TRADITION that considered gentiles unclean. God showed him they were not and gave them his holy spirit:

Act 10:44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit fell upon all those who heard the word.
Act 10:45 And those of the circumcision who believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because the gift of the Holy Spirit had been poured out on the Gentiles also

The next chapter shows this again as Peter explains his vision to the elders and the subsequent giving of the spirit:

Act 11:17 If therefore God gave them the same gift as He gave us when we believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?"
Act 11:18 When they heard these things they became silent; and they glorified God, saying, "Then God has also granted to the Gentiles repentance to life."

It was all about the Lord giving his spirit to gentiles and had nothing to do with clean or unclean food as the "traditional" interpretation says.

4 posted on 04/18/2013 7:00:38 AM PDT by DouglasKC
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To: NYer

If you were to list 10 or 20 of the most powerful or thought-provoking Bible passages, which ones would you list? Here is our list at Faith Facts:

https://www.facebook.com/Faithfacts.org


5 posted on 04/18/2013 7:08:20 AM PDT by grumpa
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To: NYer

None of those seem remotely strange. Do you think he is a freelance writer and needs to turn in a certain number of articles in order to eat each month..?


6 posted on 04/18/2013 7:09:02 AM PDT by aMorePerfectUnion (Gone rogue, gone Galt, gone international, gone independent. Gone.)
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To: NYer

Vision of animals in a sheet:
This appears to be is coorelated to Peter being a fishermen and catching all kinds of things in his net.

gird:

This appears to be correlated to John 13:17 wherein Jesus ties a cloth garment around his waist, i.e., girds his loins prior to the washing of the feet of the apostles.

A goad is a metal-pointed stick used to drive an unruly ox when pulling the plow. Modern ones are called cattle-prods that shcok the cow like a small taser.

cf The Letters of Peter Damian: 91-120,


7 posted on 04/18/2013 7:26:20 AM PDT by bunkerhill7 ("The Second Amendment has no limits on firepower"-NY State Senator Kathleen A. Marchione.)
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To: NYer

Luke 18:8 - I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?”


8 posted on 04/18/2013 7:27:25 AM PDT by MeneMeneTekelUpharsin (Freedom is the freedom to discipline yourself so others don't have to do it for you.)
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To: All
Related thread:
The 9 Most Badass Bible Verses
9 posted on 04/18/2013 7:34:14 AM PDT by Alex Murphy ("If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all" - Isaiah 7:9)
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To: DouglasKC

re: “It was all about the Lord giving his spirit to gentiles and had nothing to do with clean or unclean food as the “traditional” interpretation says.”

The point of the vision to Peter was just what God said it was: “Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.” “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.” The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”

The Lord knew Peter would hesitate about going to a gentile with the Gospel, let alone enter a gentile’s home (and a Roman soldier at that). The “clean and un-clean” animals was relevant in that Peter tells Cornelius:

“You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean. So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection.”

Note that when it was clear that Cornelius, and other gentiles in his home, began speaking in unknown languages - a sign to Peter that these people not only were filled with the Holy Spirit, but that they had also received God’s salvation, just like the Jews, notice that Peter did not tell them that they had to begin following Old Testament Law.

But, there is another, much clearer passage in Acts that completely refutes this idea that Gentile Christians were to follow all the Old Testament laws:

Acts 15:5 - “Then some of the believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees stood up and said, “The Gentiles must be circumcised and required to keep the law of Moses” . . . Peter got up and addressed them: “Brothers, you know that some time ago God made a choice among you that the Gentiles might hear from my lips the message of the gospel and believe. God, who knows the heart, showed that he accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as he did to us. He did not discriminate between us and them, for he purified their hearts by faith. Now then, why do you try to test God by putting on the necks of Gentiles a yoke that neither we nor our ancestors have been able to bear? No! We believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved, just as they are.”

The decision of the Apostles at Jerusalem were to follow Peter’s recommendation that, “It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God. Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, from sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.”

Notice later in that same chapter that the Apostles agreed with Peter’s recommendations, and note that in the letter sent to the Gentile churches, they merely “requested” that the Gentiles follow these extremely light suggestions. There was not order to them to follow the Levitical law in its entirety at all, except about animals strangled or eating blood.


10 posted on 04/18/2013 7:35:21 AM PDT by rusty schucklefurd
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To: NYer
Then in the Old Testament there is the story of Solomon and the two prostitutes who both claimed to be the mother.

In the King James version, it says, "The spake the woman whose the living child was unto the king, for her bowels yearned upon her son..."

I think another one of the older translations has "her bowels were moved upon her son."

11 posted on 04/18/2013 7:59:33 AM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: aMorePerfectUnion

Agreed. They all seem pretty obvious, or at least verses that could be easily understood with the help of a one-volume commentary. Most seem to be explained by their context.


12 posted on 04/18/2013 8:05:37 AM PDT by Mr Rogers (Liberals are like locusts...)
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To: NYer

“Having your loins girt about - The “girdle, or sash,” was always with the ancients an important part of their dress, in war as well as in peace. They wore loose, flowing robes; and it became necessary to gird them up when they traveled, or ran, or labored. The girdle was often highly ornamented, and was the place where they carried their money, their sword, their pipe, their writing instruments, etc.; see the notes on Matthew 5:38-41. The “girdle” seems sometimes to have been a cincture of iron or steel, and designed to keep every part of the armor in its place, and to gird the soldier on every side.”

“Beware of dogs - Dogs in the east are mostly without masters; they wander at large in the streets and fields, and feed upon offals, and even upon corpses; compare 1 Kings 14:11; 1 Kings 16:4; 1 Kings 21:19. They are held as unclean, and to call one a dog is a much stronger expression of contempt there than with us; 1 Samuel 17:43; 2 Kings 8:13. The Jews called the pagan dogs, and the Muslims call Jews and Christians by the same name. The term dog also is used to denote a person that is shameless, impudent, malignant, snarling, dissatisfied, and contentious, and is evidently so employed here. It is possible that the language used here may have been derived from some custom of affixing a caution, on a house that was guarded by a dog, to persons approaching it. Lenfant remarks that at Rome it was common for a dog to lie chained before the door of a house, and that a notice was placed in sight, “Beware of the dog.” The same notice I have seen in this city affixed to the kennel of dogs in front of a bank, that were appointed to guard it. The reference here is, doubtless, to Judaizing teachers, and the idea is, that they were contentious, troublesome, dissatisfied, and would produce disturbance. The strong language which the apostle uses here, shows the sense which he had of the danger arising from their influence. It may be observed, however, that the term dogs is used in ancient writings with great frequency, and even by the most grave speakers. It is employed by the most dignified characters in the Iliad (Boomfield), and the name was given to a whole class of Greek philosophers - the Cynics. It is used in one instance by the Saviour; Matthew 7:6. By the use of the term here, there can be no doubt that the apostle meant to express strong disapprobation of the character and course of the persons referred to, and to warn the Philippians in the most solemn manner against them.”

Both from Barnes, available online here:

http://deeperstudy.com/link/commentaries.html


13 posted on 04/18/2013 8:09:29 AM PDT by Mr Rogers (Liberals are like locusts...)
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To: Mr Rogers

Someone with a decent vocabulary, some familiarity with the world and a thoughtful mind would have come to the same conclusions as the author. It’s only a surprise to Catholics since studying the Scriptures isn’t a regular part of their religious life.


14 posted on 04/18/2013 8:58:03 AM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: grumpa

You left out:

John 5:30

John 5:19

John 5:36

Luke 22:42

Phillipians 4:18-20

Acts 7:55

There are a lot of thought provoking verses, no?


15 posted on 04/18/2013 9:08:06 AM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: rusty schucklefurd

A minor correction. You said it was Peter’s recommendation, but in actuality it was James you quoted who, at the end of the discussion, declares “wherefore my sentence is...” and delivers the following text. I’ll also add to the point by noting that these recommendations were designed to avoid offense with those who were weak, but had no binding force against our liberty. As Paul said, all things are lawful unto me, but not all things are expedient. And then he tells believers to eat whatever is set before them at a feast, only abstaining if those who presented it declare it is sacrificed to an idol, for their sake so you do not appear to compromise the Gospel.


16 posted on 04/18/2013 9:33:20 AM PDT by Greetings_Puny_Humans
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To: bunkerhill7
Modern ones are called cattle-prods that shcok the cow like a small taser.

Being a redneck boy, growing up in the presence of other redneck boys, I can testify that the shock from a bull prod is in no way to be considered 'small'. ; ) Just sayin'.

17 posted on 04/18/2013 9:48:45 AM PDT by roamer_1 (Globalism is just socialism in a business suit.)
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To: roamer_1

it ain`t gonna kill ya like cop taser.


18 posted on 04/18/2013 10:05:42 AM PDT by bunkerhill7 ("The Second Amendment has no limits on firepower"-NY State Senator Kathleen A. Marchione.)
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To: roamer_1

it ain`t gonna kill ya like cop taser.


19 posted on 04/18/2013 10:05:57 AM PDT by bunkerhill7 ("The Second Amendment has no limits on firepower"-NY State Senator Kathleen A. Marchione.)
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To: 1010RD
It’s only a surprise to Catholics since studying the Scriptures isn’t a regular part of their religious life.

Nailed it in one.

20 posted on 04/18/2013 10:12:52 AM PDT by Alex Murphy ("If you are not firm in faith, you will not be firm at all" - Isaiah 7:9)
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To: rusty schucklefurd
The point of the vision to Peter was just what God said it was: “Then a voice told him, “Get up, Peter. Kill and eat.” “Surely not, Lord!” Peter replied. “I have never eaten anything impure or unclean.” The voice spoke to him a second time, “Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.”

Peter never ate. If it's your position that God wanted Peter to eat unclean animals then Peter disobeyed the Lord.

Again Peter TELLS us what the vision meant to him. He TELLS us what the Lord showed him:

Act_10:28 Then he said to them, "You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

That's ALL that God showed him in the vision. That's ALL that Peter told anyone else.

I understand that people ADD their interpretations to God's purpose, but hey, I can't stop that.

Another point..this vision happened anywhere from 10 to 15 years AFTER the death of Christ. What did Peter say?

Act 10:14 But Peter said, "Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean."

Peter was with Jesus Christ when he was walking on earth. Peter was personally taught by Jesus Christ. Peter knew Jesus Christ. Peter knew what Jesus Christ taught. Since Peter never ate anything unclean after Christ died it's clear that Jesus NEVER taught against his own food laws.

Anything else is simply addition to scripture.

21 posted on 04/18/2013 10:14:20 AM PDT by DouglasKC
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To: NYer

Strange?????

Why are these verses strange? They should not be strange to anyone who has even a limited knowledge of the entire bible.

What I find strange is that someone finds them strange. Unless, or course they have no idea what contextual reading is all about.


22 posted on 04/18/2013 12:09:43 PM PDT by lupie
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To: NYer

Strange?????

Why are these verses strange? They should not be strange to anyone who has even a limited knowledge of how to read the entire bible.

What I find strange is that someone finds them strange. Unless, or course they have no idea what contextual reading is all about.


23 posted on 04/18/2013 12:12:41 PM PDT by lupie
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To: NYer

Better look @ All of Genesis 6, it’s pretty wierd too.


24 posted on 04/18/2013 12:40:19 PM PDT by US Navy Vet (Go Packers! Go Rockies! Go Boston Bruins! See, I'm "Diverse"!)
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To: 1010RD

1 Peter 3:19-20


25 posted on 04/18/2013 12:51:48 PM PDT by Pan_Yan
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To: 1010RD

1 Peter 3:19-20


26 posted on 04/18/2013 12:51:54 PM PDT by Pan_Yan
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To: US Navy Vet
Better look @ All of Genesis 6, it’s pretty wierd too.

The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.

That's a fun one for pure speculation.

27 posted on 04/18/2013 12:54:43 PM PDT by Pan_Yan
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To: Pan_Yan
The Nephilim were on the earth in those days—and also afterward—when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown.

Lot's of strange verses like that...would be great to know the truth!

28 posted on 04/18/2013 1:08:44 PM PDT by DouglasKC
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To: Pan_Yan

Good one.

Acts 2:37-38


29 posted on 04/18/2013 3:23:02 PM PDT by 1010RD (First, Do No Harm)
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To: Greetings_Puny_Humans

re: “You said it was Peter’s recommendation, but in actuality it was James you quoted”

You are exactly right. Thanks for the correction.


30 posted on 04/18/2013 4:54:06 PM PDT by rusty schucklefurd
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To: DouglasKC

Why are you trying to tell Catholics what they believe?

Go away, please.


31 posted on 04/18/2013 5:22:41 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: DouglasKC

re: “Peter never ate. If it’s your position that God wanted Peter to eat unclean animals then Peter disobeyed the Lord.”

Look, DouglasKc, if you want to follow the Levitical dietary laws and the Sabbath laws, go right ahead. The problem is when you start saying that following those laws are required for salvation.

Two points about the passage you quote in Acts. First, I agree that that passage alone does not say anything about whether or not Christians are supposed to follow the Levitical dietary laws. That wasn’t the point of the vision. The point of the vision was that whatever God calls clean, is clean - regardless of Peter’s previous instruction. The animals in the vision were obviously “unclean” according to Levitical law. God told Peter to kill and eat them. Peter refused each time. God’s message to him was the same each time, “Don’t call unclean what I have call clean.”

Two, you know for a fact that God didn’t really mean it when He told Peter to “kill and eat” those unclean animals? I see no reason to not take God at His word that He really meant what He said to Peter.

As I said previously, I really don’t think that was the point of the vision, but at the same time I wouldn’t interject my own view that God didn’t mean what He said.

As to the Levitical dietary laws, you still haven’t responded to Acts 15 and the Apostles telling the Gentiles that they did not need to follow all the Old Testament/Levitical laws. I’ve already gone through that passage with you. It’s pretty clear and not difficult to understand. If you want more passages, Paul goes into the subject somewhat in some of his letters.

The point of the Law was to teach us about our sin and to point us to Christ. It doesn’t mean that those laws aren’t relevant or unimportant - but, they cannot save. Only Christ as God the Son, “Emmanuel”, God come to us in the flesh, God become man - only He and what He did for us on the cross can save us from God’s wrath and the guilt of our sin.

If that Law could save then there was no need for Jesus and His sacrifice.

So, follow those laws if you want, but more importantly, you better make sure you believe in the right Jesus. It is what you believe about Him that either saves us or condemns us. There are a lot of false Christs and Jesus’s running around.


32 posted on 04/18/2013 5:26:11 PM PDT by rusty schucklefurd
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To: rusty schucklefurd; Salvation
That wasn’t the point of the vision. The point of the vision was that whatever God calls clean, is clean - regardless of Peter’s previous instruction. The animals in the vision were obviously “unclean” according to Levitical law. God told Peter to kill and eat them. Peter refused each time. God’s message to him was the same each time, “Don’t call unclean what I have call clean.”

This has nothing to do with whether or not I want to follow God's food laws for not. It has to do with what scripture actually says and means.

What's happening in this case is that you're adding a primary meaning to what Peter said the vision meant. You're adding a primary meaning to what he told others his vision meant.

God told Peter to kill and eat them. Peter refused each time. God’s message to him was the same each time, “Don’t call unclean what I have call clean.”

Okay, let's look at scripture for a minute:

Act 10:15 And a voice spoke to him again the second time, "What God has cleansed you must not call common."
Act 10:16 This was done three times. And the object was taken up into heaven again.
Act 10:17 Now while Peter wondered within himself what this vision which he had seen meant, behold, the men who had been sent from Cornelius had made inquiry for Simon's house, and stood before the gate.

THREE times the sheet was raised and lowered. Then God says "What God has cleaned though must not call common" (New King james). And then on his porch are THREE men. Peter starts to get it.

The fact that God used animals to make his point is relevant, but not not for the reason you think.

Act 10:14 But Peter said, "Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean."
Act 10:15 And a voice spoke to him again the second time, "What God has cleansed you must not call common.

Note that in verse 14 Peter says he's never eaten anything "common" or "unclean". They are two different greek words...koinos and akathartos. Koinos, translated here as "common" In scripture the inherent "uncleaness" of the animals that God designated as not edible (Leviticus 11, Duet 14) is "akathartos", not "koinos". This can be verified by looking in the LXX, or the Septuagint, and looking at what word is used to refer to those animals in Leviticus 11 and Deut 14.

"koinos" though was different. It meant "ritually unclean". In the case of meat it meant meat that was otherwise clean (not akathartos) that somehow had become ritually unclean (koinos). In jewish tradition (NOT scripture) koinos was VERY important. It's why there are so many kosher laws (again most of these are not scriptural).

What the jews had done was to make gentiles "koinos". They had a disdain for gentiles because they considered them "koinos", ritually unclean. It's hard to convey how deep this went into their culture but it was huge. It was illegal for Jews to even hang out with gentiles.

Act 10:28 Then he said to them, "You know how unlawful it is for a Jewish man to keep company with or go to one of another nation. But God has shown me that I should not call any man common or unclean.

It wasn't AGAINST scripture for Jews to keep company with gentiles. It was against their man made rules.

So what did God tell Peter? He told Peter that what God cleansed, he should not call "common".

But akathartos is there still. Even IF you believe this was about animals, then akathartos is still here.

The vision is what the vision was.

It had nothing to do with food. This is and was an evolved tradition...even as the article point out:

"This vision has traditionally been understood to be a turning point in the history of the early Church"

It's tradition you believe this...it's not scriptural. I can't and won't argue tradition because it's not tangible. But scripture is another matter and if you choose to discuss that I'll be glad to engage.

33 posted on 04/18/2013 6:49:31 PM PDT by DouglasKC
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To: Salvation; DouglasKC
Why are you trying to tell Catholics what they believe?

He wasn't, directly. Not that that makes his assertions entirely proper.

The only difference seeming argued would be the potentially problematic retention of dietary laws remaining in effect for Jews, even as under Christ non-Jews were no longer to be considered unclean in themselves, for reason of not being Jewish. Yet in Hebrew religious law there was preexistence of consideration and guidelines towards wayingfaring strangers and sojourner's among them. How those strangers were to abide in regards to dietary laws specifically, I'm not well versed in...but I'm sure it's been argued in more than one way.

Go away, please.

But I don't like spam

34 posted on 04/18/2013 7:45:48 PM PDT by BlueDragon (drinking tea leads to right wing racism. gospel according to chrissy the sissy matthews)
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To: DouglasKC
I'm not sure how the emphasized portion of the below, is or can be established;

without reliance upon assumption that Peter carried forward with himself, to the end of his days, his own Hebrew traditions in regards to what he himself could or could not eat.

That assumption may be correct enough, but how do we prove it?

I suppose it may make sense for him to have done so, if we look towards his own ministry towards the Jewish diaspora of his own times? In that carrying forward their own traditions while among them, and privately too (for integrity's sake) could arguably avoid offending his own tribesmen (Jews) while he preached Christ crucified as divine fulfillment of Law, avoiding the labeling of Christ as over-turner of Law, or as outlaw as He was accused by [many] Jews of being.

Beyond that, which is admittedly assumption, what then?

35 posted on 04/18/2013 8:06:33 PM PDT by BlueDragon (drinking tea leads to right wing racism. gospel according to chrissy the sissy matthews)
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To: BlueDragon
Since Peter never ate anything unclean after Christ died it's clear that Jesus NEVER taught against his own food laws.
without reliance upon assumption that Peter carried forward with himself, to the end of his days, his own Hebrew traditions in regards to what he himself could or could not eat.

I'm not sure I understand your question but I'll try to answer based on my assumption of what it is.

Most scholar believe the Acts 10 vision took place 10 or 15 years after the death of Christ.

In the vision Peter says to the Lord:

Act 10:14 But Peter said, "Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean."

Unless he's lying we have to take what he says as the truth. This is 10 to 15 years ago after Christ died and Peter still has never eaten anything common or unclean (koinos or akathartos).

Hope that helps...

36 posted on 04/18/2013 8:46:16 PM PDT by DouglasKC
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To: DouglasKC

10 or 15 years? Never heard that one.


37 posted on 04/18/2013 8:49:20 PM PDT by BlueDragon (drinking tea leads to right wing racism. gospel according to chrissy the sissy matthews)
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To: DouglasKC

Beyond the 10-15 years (if that be so) what of the rest of Peter’s life after that? Wouldn’t one need face there is only assumption to go on, afterwards?


38 posted on 04/18/2013 8:50:45 PM PDT by BlueDragon (drinking tea leads to right wing racism. gospel according to chrissy the sissy matthews)
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To: BlueDragon
Beyond the 10-15 years (if that be so) what of the rest of Peter’s life after that? Wouldn’t one need face there is only assumption to go on, afterwards?

Looking forward at chapter 11 of Acts Peter recounts the vision, the visit from the gentiles and the giving of the holy spirit to others. He never mentions to them that somehow God had rendered "akathartos" animals (inherently unclean for people) "clean".

It never comes up as an issue in Acts either. There's no hint of controversy. This was (and is) a biblical mandate from the Lord God, written down in scripture. If any of the disciples would have begun munching on pork chops there would have been a HUGE controversy. Compare that to circumcision which was a huge issue.

Consider this also:

Rev_18:2 And he cried mightily with a loud voice, saying, "Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and has become a dwelling place of demons, a prison for every foul spirit, and a cage for every unclean and hated bird!

Most believe Revelaton was written around 90 AD, about 60 years after the death of Christ. Note the derogatory reference to "unclean and hated bird". Unclean here is "akathartos"...or inherently unclean...the same type of unclean that the Lord forbid people to eat.

There are also future prophecies of concerning the word of the Lord:

Isa 66:16 For by fire and by His sword The LORD will judge all flesh; And the slain of the LORD shall be many.
Isa 66:17 "Those who sanctify themselves and purify themselves, To go to the gardens After an idol in the midst, Eating swine's flesh and the abomination and the mouse, Shall be consumed together," says the LORD.

Peter was well aware of this. There's more but this post would take a long time but it makes a good study to read about "unclean" spirits (akathartos) and how clean and unclean food are a parallel for that.

Hope it helps and take care...

39 posted on 04/18/2013 9:20:14 PM PDT by DouglasKC
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To: DouglasKC
uh, I'm aware enough of the passages you cite.

The trouble is:
That still leaves us in the realm of assumption concerning Peter adhering to Hebrew dietary laws to the end of his days. I could agree that it is reasonably possible he did so, perhaps even necessary as much for reasons I've touched upon, as any other.

I guess I'm looking for some confession, not the basis for the assumption, which I already touched upon from that different angle.

It's good to keep track of one's own assumptions. Although accounting for the basis for the same is called for, having that overwhelm the recognition that one is operating under assumption, can lead to arguing assumption as fact. So take care.

40 posted on 04/18/2013 9:43:44 PM PDT by BlueDragon (drinking tea leads to right wing racism. gospel according to chrissy the sissy matthews)
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To: BlueDragon
That still leaves us in the realm of assumption concerning Peter adhering to Hebrew dietary laws to the end of his days. I could agree that it is reasonably possible he did so, perhaps even necessary as much for reasons I've touched upon, as any other.

Let me add one more thing.....a small correction. Peter did not adhere to Hebrew dietary laws. Most of the dietary laws of the jews or the hebrews consisted of a plethora of man made rules and regulations. Peter did try to distance himself from those but struggled as Paul recounts in Galatian 2.

I think it's good to question assumptions also...which is why I believe as I do!

Take care and thanks for a good discussion.

41 posted on 04/18/2013 10:10:43 PM PDT by DouglasKC
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To: DouglasKC

re: “It wasn’t AGAINST scripture for Jews to keep company with gentiles. It was against their man made rules. So what did God tell Peter? He told Peter that what God cleansed, he should not call “common”. But akathartos is there still. Even IF you believe this was about animals, then akathartos is still here. The vision is what the vision was. It had nothing to do with food.”

Ok, I agree with you that the primary purpose of the vision was about people, not food. I stated that to you in my last post. However, a secondary meaning of the vision is that the principle of what God calls “clean is clean” still relates to the Levitical dietary laws and Jewish “kosher” traditions. As I said before, if we only had this passage that spoke to clean, unclean, common foods, then I would say that, “yes, this passage in and of itself does not prove that we are not to observe Levitical dietary laws”. But, the passage does adhere to the principle that what we eat may be better or worse from a health perspective, but it doesn’t make us any more right with God.

Jesus spoke of this principle: “Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, because it does not enter his heart, but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods? (Mark 7:19).”

Paul also taught, “I know and am convinced by the Lord Jesus that there is nothing unclean of itself (Romans 14:14). Therefore he could conclude, Therefore let no one judge you in food or in drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. . . Since you died with Christ to the elemental spiritual forces of this world, why, as though you still belonged to the world, do you submit to its rules: “Do not handle! Do not taste! Do not touch!”? These rules, which have to do with things that are all destined to perish with use, are based on merely human commands and teachings. Such regulations indeed have an appearance of wisdom, with their self-imposed worship, their false humility and their harsh treatment of the body, but they lack any value in restraining sensual indulgence.(Colossians 2:16-23).

So, while the Acts 10 vision story does not by itself prove that dietary laws are irrelevant, taken in context with other New Testament teaching, we do see the principle implied in the Acts 10 passages.

And, you still have not spoken to the decision by the Apostles in Jerusalem in Acts 15 to not require the Gentiles follow all the Levitical laws regarding circumcision and dietary laws.

But, beyond all of this, as I mentioned, arguing over the dietary stuff is small potatoes in contrast with WHO the person of Jesus is. It is what one believes about HIM that determines whether one is saved or not.


42 posted on 04/19/2013 7:37:25 AM PDT by rusty schucklefurd
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To: rusty schucklefurd
Jesus spoke of this principle: “Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him, because it does not enter his heart, but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods? (Mark 7:19).

Look, I don't mean this to be insulting or derogatory, but what you're doing is repeating an old justification. There a a few scriptures, lifted out of context, that purport to show that Christ did away with the very same food laws he created. This is a prime example and when looked at in context you can see that:

Mar 7:19 because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?"

Before getting to this what is it about? Clean and unclean foods or something else?

Mar 7:2 Now when they saw some of His disciples eat bread with defiled, that is, with unwashed hands, they found fault.
Mar 7:3 For the Pharisees and all the Jews do not eat unless they wash their hands in a special way, holding the tradition of the elders.
Mar 7:4 When they come from the marketplace, they do not eat unless they wash. And there are many other things which they have received and hold, like the washing of cups, pitchers, copper vessels, and couches.
Mar 7:5 Then the Pharisees and scribes asked Him, "Why do Your disciples not walk according to the tradition of the elders, but eat bread with unwashed hands?"

The context, the argument, the discussion isn't about clean and unclean meats which are a biblical command by the Lord Jesus Christ. It's about NOT WASHING HANDS IN A TRADITIONAL MANNER BEFORE EATING.

In other words, they're angry because Jesus and his disciples did not WASH according to tradition of men.

Mar 7:15 There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man.

Remember "koinos" and "akathartos"..ritually unclean versus inherently unclean? The Pharisees were hyper sensitive about making themselves "koinos". The figured if they didn't do these washings EXACTLY right that a little piece of dirt or something "akathartos" (inherently unclean) would get on the clean food they were eating and thus make them "koinos"...or ceremonially unclean which would require an elaborate ceremony and timeframe to remedy.

Mar 7:19 because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?"

Christ was saying that the Pharisees were super sensitive about being contaminated by whatever. He was saying that these little specks of whatever they were worried about would be pooped out anyways.

The MAIN lesson was that the Pharisees were SO wrapped up IN TRADITION and that they had elevated these HUMAN TRADITIONS over GODLY THINGS. They had so focused on the HUMAN TRADITIONS that they had ignored their spiritual condition.

Mar 7:21 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Mar 7:22 thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit,
lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.
Mar 7:23 All these evil things come from within and defile a man."

43 posted on 04/19/2013 8:37:56 AM PDT by DouglasKC
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To: DouglasKC
"The MAIN lesson was that the Pharisees were SO wrapped up IN TRADITION and that they had elevated these HUMAN TRADITIONS over GODLY THINGS."

The Pharisees wanted a greater expansion of the list of unclean things and practices because they owned and charged admission to the ritual baths that one had to take to approach the temple. It had little to do with Scripture or tradition, but a lot to do with Jesus' driving the money changers out of the temple and healing the sick. Some historians say that the real reason the priests had Jesus killed was that He was bad for business.

Peace be with you.

44 posted on 04/19/2013 8:46:13 AM PDT by Natural Law (Jesus did not leave us a Bible, He left us a Church.)
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To: Natural Law
The Pharisees wanted a greater expansion of the list of unclean things and practices because they owned and charged admission to the ritual baths that one had to take to approach the temple. It had little to do with Scripture or tradition, but a lot to do with Jesus' driving the money changers out of the temple and healing the sick. Some historians say that the real reason the priests had Jesus killed was that He was bad for business.

Thanks for that information...I haven't studied it in depth so I can't contribute much. I remember at the that the Sadducees controlled certain things and the Pharisees other. I forget who presided over temple ceremonies.

I was basing my arguments on the words of Jesus and how they had elevated their tradition over scripture.

45 posted on 04/19/2013 8:52:20 AM PDT by DouglasKC
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To: DouglasKC

re: “Look, I don’t mean this to be insulting or derogatory, but what you’re doing is repeating an old justification. There a a few scriptures, lifted out of context, that purport to show that Christ did away with the very same food laws he created.”

DouglasKc, you are correct that context of any passage is important, and you are also correct that the question at hand was the one the Pharisees put to Jesus about them not washing their hands ritualistically. However, it is possible that Jesus went beyond the scope of their orginial question. I have found that there is tremendous disagreement among Biblical scholars (Christian and non-Christian) about the meaning of that final phrase “thus purifying all foods”. Some say that Jesus did not speak that phrase, that it was an insertion by Mark. Others say Jesus Himself said it. Those that say Jesus said it take the passage to mean that He was only referring to the body eliminating waste material from the body and that, thus, washing or not washing according to the “traditions” was of no consequence to one’s spiritual condition.

Those that say Mark inserted the comment, that he was saying that Jesus not only was referring to the washing/not washing question from the Pharisees, but that Jesus was also saying that all foods had no spiritual effect on the person - that it was what was it was what proceeded from a man’s heart that made him “clean or unclean” - therefore, Mark said that Jesus was declaring all foods are clean.

This “Markian” view is emphasized for clarity in several translations of that text. For example:

New International Version (©2011)
For it doesn’t go into their heart but into their stomach, and then out of the body.” (In saying this, Jesus declared all foods clean.)

New Living Translation (©2007)
Food doesn’t go into your heart, but only passes through the stomach and then goes into the sewer.” (By saying this, he declared that every kind of food is acceptable in God’s eyes.)

English Standard Version (©2001)
since it enters not his heart but his stomach, and is expelled?” (Thus he declared all foods clean.)

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?” (Thus He declared all foods clean.)

King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)
Because it entereth not into his heart, but into the belly, and goeth out into the draught, purging all meats?

Holman Christian Standard Bible (©2009)
For it doesn’t go into his heart but into the stomach and is eliminated.” (As a result, He made all foods clean.)

NET Bible (©2006)
For it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and then goes out into the sewer.” (This means all foods are clean.)

GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995)
It doesn’t go into his thoughts but into his stomach and then into a toilet.” (By saying this, Jesus declared all foods acceptable.)

American Standard Version
because it goeth not into his heart, but into his belly, and goeth out into the draught? This he said , making all meats clean.

English Revised Version
because it goeth not into his heart, but into his belly, and goeth out into the draught? This he said, making all meats clean.

Weymouth New Testament
because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and passes away ejected from him?” By these words Jesus pronounced all kinds of food clean.

So, depending on how one sided with the question of whether Jesus was speaking or Mark’s insertion of a comment, determines how one interprets that verse. So, for the sake of argument. I will withdraw the Mark 7:19 passage in favor of more clear passages that support my contention that Gentile Christians were NOT required to follow Levitical dietary laws, nor Jewish traditions. That would leave Acts 15 and Paul’s remarks in several of his letters.


46 posted on 04/19/2013 12:20:16 PM PDT by rusty schucklefurd
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