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Religion Forum Research Project: God is the Rock
Various | January 25, 2007 | Alamo-Girl

Posted on 01/25/2007 10:49:26 AM PST by Alamo-Girl

The premise to uphold or debunk: (a) That the name of “Rock” was specially announced as a name for God in the Torah (Deut 32:1-4) and that (b) the name has been erased and/or lost in certain translations and thus (c) has had an effect on how Christians understand certain passages in Scripture.

Give ear, O ye heavens, and I will speak; and hear, O earth, the words of my mouth. My doctrine shall drop as the rain, my speech shall distil as the dew, as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grass: Because I will publish the name of the LORD: ascribe ye greatness unto our God. [He is] the Rock, his work [is] perfect: for all his ways [are] judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right [is] he. – Deu 32:1-4

We were hashing these things out on another thread here on the Religion Forum. But the thread is huge and has many sidebars and interest changed to more pressing matters – plus we were not on the “radar” of the forum as a whole. It is my hope that other posters here will have information and insight – whether Biblical archeology or theology or language – that will shed some additional light on the subject.

Translations:

English from Hebrew (Masoretic)

[He is] the Rock, his work [is] perfect: for all his ways [are] judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right [is] he.

tsuwr po`al tamiym derek mishpat 'el 'emuwnah `evel tsaddiyq yashar

English from the Greek (Septuagint)

As for God, His works are true, and all His ways are justice. God is faithful and there is no unrighteousness in Him; just and holy is the Lord.

English from Latin (Vulgate)

The works of God are perfect, and all his ways are judgments: God is faithful and without any iniquity, he is just and right.

Dei perfecta sunt opera et omnes viae eius iudicia Deus fidelis et absque ulla iniquitate iustus et rectus

Background on the Hebrew:

Tzur is Hebrew for "rock". It is also used here:

For who [is] God, save the LORD? and who [is] a rock, save our God? – 2 Sam 22:32

Tzur alone and with other word phrases is among the Biblical names or titles of God.

Biblical and Talmudic Names for God

Another common title of YHWH is "the Rock" (Deuteronomy 32:4,18, 1, 7; I Samuel 2:2; II Samuel 22:32; Isaiah 44:8; Psalm 18:32), thus comparing Him to a high crag on which one finds refuge and safety.

That God is the Rock has not been lost in Judaism, e.g. “Rock of Ages” (Ma’oz Tzur) is the favorite Hanukkah Song.

Nor has it been lost among Christians who have long used the King James Translation which was faithful to interpret literally the Hebrew word tzur to mean Rock instead of God or Mighty One as it is translated in the Septuagint.

Ironically, the Christian hymn Rock of Ages is among their favorites.

The name for God is used in several places in Deuteronomy 32 and 2 Samuel 22 but also appears throughout the Psalms and in Isaiah.

In Isaiah 30:29 and Habbukak 1:12 it is translated in the King James Version to mean Mighty One like in the Septuagint - but everywhere else that I have found it is “Rock”.

The Vulgate omits the name altogether in Deuteronomy 32:4

Why is it important?

From the Jewish perspective

Of all the possible errors a translator could make, missing one of the names or titles of God has to be “right up there.” Rock is one of the common names for God but nevertheless important to Judaism.

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.

The Torah is unlike any other manuscript, God breathed and supreme as Christ underscored here:

For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled. – Matt 5:18

Jewish tradition holds that the Torah existed before the world, that every letter of it is a living creature and that altogether it, too, is a name of God. It is their – and by their hand to the world – greatest gift (since they don't receive Christ.) It is also their mission.

Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. - John 4:22

To me, not translating tzur literally Rock in the Septuagint - is in fact "erasing" a name of God. Moreover, it is not in the Vulgate at all in Deu 32:4.

From the Christian perspective:

The name of God is crucial to all Christians. It is our first plea in the Lord’s prayer:

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name….

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, [even] to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. – John 1:11-12

I am come in my Father's name, and ye receive me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive. – John 5:43

I have manifested thy name unto the men which thou gavest me out of the world: thine they were, and thou gavest them me; and they have kept thy word. – John 17:6

And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we [are]. While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture might be fulfilled. And now come I to thee; and these things I speak in the world, that they might have my joy fulfilled in themselves. – John 17:11-13

Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth; And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father. – Philippians 2:9-11

His eyes [were] as a flame of fire, and on his head [were] many crowns; and he had a name written, that no man knew, but he himself. And he [was] clothed with a vesture dipped in blood: and his name is called The Word of God. – Revelation 19:12-13

Surely the name “God is the Rock” will continue to be important in eternity. The Deuteronomy passage is in the “Song of Moses” which will be sung in heaven:

And I saw as it were a sea of glass mingled with fire: and them that had gotten the victory over the beast, and over his image, and over his mark, [and] over the number of his name, stand on the sea of glass, having the harps of God. And they sing the song of Moses the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying, Great and marvellous [are] thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true [are] thy ways, thou King of saints. Who shall not fear thee, O Lord, and glorify thy name? for [thou] only [art] holy: for all nations shall come and worship before thee; for thy judgments are made manifest. – Rev 15:2-4

And Christ used the term Rock in two very important passages. If one misunderstands the Rock to mean something common or someone other than God, then it can lead to error.

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. – Matt 7:24-25

And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed [it] unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. – Matt 16:17-18

Peter and Paul were both Jews – they did not miss the point that God is the Rock as we can see here.

Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; And did all eat the same spiritual meat; And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ. – 1 Cor 10:1-4

Unto you therefore which believe [he is] precious: but unto them which be disobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offence, [even to them] which stumble at the word, being disobedient: whereunto also they were appointed. – 1 Peter 2:7-8

What is lost when “God is the Rock” is lost?

To me, the most far reaching loss is in seeing Peter as the Rock in Matt 16:17-18 instead of God. Not that he isn’t “a“ rock but – at the very most, accepting that God is the Rock - his position in Christianity could be no more than Abraham’s in Judaism.

Hearken to me, ye that follow after righteousness, ye that seek the LORD: look unto the rock [whence] ye are hewn, and to the hole of the pit [whence] ye are digged. Look unto Abraham your father, and unto Sarah [that] bare you: for I called him alone, and blessed him, and increased him. – Isaiah 51:1-2

IOW, the foundation of Christianity is God, the Rock. Both the reference to Abraham and to Peter were drawn on top of that name not in lieu of it.

Moreover, I assert that receiving the knowledge that “God is the Rock” can improve our understanding the Old Testament and increase our joy.

As an example, consider the following passage understanding that God is the Rock, that Jesus was smitten, that the Living Water is the Spirit (John 4, 7:38):

Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not?– Exodus 17:6-7

Or perhaps this one:

And the LORD said, Behold, [there is] a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen. – Exodus 33:21-23

Here’s where the debate stands at this time:

Defense of the Vulgate/Septuagint:

The rebuttal so far is that the Septuagint chronologically precedes the Masoretic text, that the original Hebrew from which the Septuagint was translated is no longer available (as far as we know to this date.)

I have not yet received a defense for why the Vulgate omits the term altogether.

Rebuttal to the defense

As to antiquity, Deuteronomy is the second most copied book at Qumran (Dead Sea Scrolls) – 33 copies, second only to Psalms. Some are copied in fragments like literature, poems or hymns. However, generally speaking, carbon dating of manuscripts at Qumran establish true antiquity of copies at several centuries B.C.

The Institute for Biblical & Scientific Studies does not mention any change to the Masoretic Text needed with reference to Deuteronomy 32:1-4. However, although we do have a non-MT Hebrew version of Deutoronomy 32 from cave 4, 4QDt(q) – it only contains lines 37-43. So we cannot read anything into an omission here in comparing the Dead Sea Scrolls to the Septuagint (LXX.)

But as to the faithfulness of the Torah itself there is no question. As I have much personally testified, the indwelling Spirit authenticates Scripture and leads us into Truth. (John 14, 15):

God [is] a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth. – John 4:24

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, [they] are spirit, and [they] are life. – John 6:63

For a good summary of the antiquity of the Torah manuscripts, from IBSS :

The basic Hebrew text is called the Masoretic Text (MT), which is named after a group of scribes in the ninth century that preserved the text and added vowels and punctuation marks. The original Hebrew just had consonants, but a few consonants functioned as vowels. No one would know how to pronounce the Hebrew words unless vowels marks were added. This is a great help in understanding the text. (Hebrew Bible)

There were three different tasks of copying the OT. The Sopherim wrote the consonantal text. The Nakdanim added the vowel points and accents. The Masoretes added the marginal notes. An example is the Kethib (what is written) and Qere (what should be read). There are over 1,300 of these. The vowels of the Qere were written in the text of the Kethib. There are three different systems of vowel pointing, the Babylonian, Palestinian and Tiberian which the Masoretes created. The marginal notes called Masora were mainly written in Aramaic and were like a concordance.

Before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls the Nash Papyrus was the oldest known witness to the OT which dated to the first or second century AD. It contained the decalogue. The second oldest were the Cairo Geniza fragments (about 200,000) which date to the fifth century AD (See Princeton Geniza Project). Most of these are in the Cambridge University Library and the Bodleian Library at Oxford. Today the oldest known text of the OT was discovered in 1979 in tombs across the Hinnom valley from Jerusalem. The text is the benediction of Aaron (Numbers 6:24-26) written on a silver amulet from the 7th century BC (Hoerth 1998, 386).

The oldest surviving manuscript of the complete Bible is the Codex Leningradensis which dates to 1008 AD. A Facsimile edition of this great codex is now available (Leningrad Codex 1998, Eerdmans for $225). The BHS (Biblia Hebraica Stuttgartensia) follows this codex. The most comprehensive collection of old Hebrew manuscripts is in the Russian Public Library in St. Petersburg formerly called Leningrad. Another important text is the Aleppo Codex which is now in Jerusalem. The HUB (Hebrew University Bible) follows the Aleppo Codex. The Isaiah and Jeremiah editions are now available. For a more detailed study see The Text of the Old Testament by Ernst Wurthwein and Textual Criticism: Recovering the Text of the Hebrew Bible by P. Kyle McCarter, Jr.

The Nash Papyrus dating has been pushed back to approximately 200 BC (Hebrew manuscript collection - University of Cambridge Cambridge University Library) Like the DSS, it contains fragments of Deuteronomy, but not the one we are seeking here.

Nevertheless, the Jews always understood their responsibility to keep the Torah:

Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish [ought] from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you. – Deu 4:2

Other resources for Lurkers:

The Hebrew Alphabet wrt the history of the signs and the care in forming letters in Holy Scriptures.

Ancient Hebrew Translation Project - wrt the translation of poetic form v mechanical v literal

I have also been researching the pseudepigraphra to see what extra-Biblical ancient manuscripts might have to add to the discussion. So far I have found two which may be interesting:

1 Enoch 96:2 refers to the righteous rising into the cleft of the rock. Fragments of this book were found at Qumran and carbon date to about 200 BC. The scholars suggest these passages were added though in about 100 B.C. The scholars believe the original language was Hebrew and/or Aramaic.

Testament of Moses which is supposed to be a summary of Deutoronomy, but is very fragmented and the parts which would address the name, the Rock, may be missing. The scholars dispute the age of the manuscript but put it somewhere between 168 BC and 135 AD. The bearing it may have (if any) to this discussion is that Moses instructs and assures Joshua to protect the Scriptures (last part of chapter 1) in a manner that suggests there will be another find like the Dead Sea Scrolls as we get closer the Christ’s coming:

… I am going to sleep with my fathers. But (you) take this writing so that later you will remember how to preserve the books which I shall entrust to you. You shall arrange them, anoint them with cedar, and deposit them in earthenware jars in the place which (God) has chosen from the beginning of the creation of the world, (a place) where his name may be called upon until the day of recompense when the Lord will surely have regard for his people.



TOPICS: Ecumenism; General Discusssion; Theology
KEYWORDS: peter; protestant
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Thank you in advance for your assistance in exploring this issue!


1 posted on 01/25/2007 10:49:27 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: betty boop; Quix; hosepipe; xzins; .30Carbine; P-Marlowe; blue-duncan; Forest Keeper; ...

Pinged in case you are interested in this research project.


2 posted on 01/25/2007 10:50:20 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Buggman; XeniaSt; Alamo-Girl

Did you ping these two torah fanatics?

:>)


3 posted on 01/25/2007 10:53:04 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and proud of it! Supporting our troops means praying for them to WIN!)
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To: BibChr; Calvinist_Dark_Lord; Alamo-Girl

These two are greek experts....I'm not sure about their Hebrew, but who knows. In any case, they're both very knowledgeable.


4 posted on 01/25/2007 10:55:03 AM PST by xzins (Retired Army Chaplain and proud of it! Supporting our troops means praying for them to WIN!)
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To: xzins; XeniaSt; Buggman

LOL! I got Buggman but said to say I missed XeniaSt. Thank you for pinging them!


5 posted on 01/25/2007 10:55:39 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: xzins

Thank you again, I missed both of them! Sorry about that.


6 posted on 01/25/2007 10:56:09 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Alamo-Girl

Another great A-G post. Thanks.


7 posted on 01/25/2007 11:26:58 AM PST by onedoug
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To: onedoug

Thank you oh so very much for your encouragements!


8 posted on 01/25/2007 11:28:42 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Alamo-Girl

Not sure how my limited language skills can contribute.

But humbled and happy to read and comment in my usual . . . style.


9 posted on 01/25/2007 12:41:19 PM PST by Quix (LET GOD ARISE AND HIS ENEMIES BE SCATTERED. LET ISRAEL CALL ON GOD AS THEIRS! & ISLAM FLUSH ITSELF)
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To: Quix

Your insights will be much appreciated, dear brother in Christ!


10 posted on 01/25/2007 12:44:06 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Alamo-Girl

Thanks thanks.

May get back to it this evening. AT the college now with lunch and shortly back to pottery.


11 posted on 01/25/2007 12:45:44 PM PST by Quix (LET GOD ARISE AND HIS ENEMIES BE SCATTERED. LET ISRAEL CALL ON GOD AS THEIRS! & ISLAM FLUSH ITSELF)
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To: Alamo-Girl
Matthew. 16:18 And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this Rock I will build my church,

One method of Hermeneutical understanding of Matthew 16:18
is to do a word study of all the scriptures which were then known
as the Holy Word of G-d when Y'shua spoke these words.
This will allow one to understand that all of the Holy Word of G-d
was inspired by YHvH; the whole counsel of G-d.

The only conclusion that one can come to unless you are
predisposed to believe in man's tradition over the Holy Word of G-d
is that Y'shua was speaking of himself as the "Rock "
e.g.

Genesis 49:24 But his bow remained steady, his strong arms stayed
[Or archers will attack...will shoot...will remain...will stay] supple,
because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob,
because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,

Deuteronomy 32:3 I will proclaim the name of the LORD. Oh, praise the greatness of our God!

Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock , his works are perfect, and all his ways are
just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.

Deuteronomy 32:15 ..... He abandoned the God who made him and rejected the Rock his Saviour.

Deuteronomy 32:30 How could one man chase a thousand, or two put ten
thousand to flight, unless their Rock had sold them, unless
the LORD had given them up?

Deuteronomy 32:31 For their rock is not like our Rock , as even our enemies concede

Deuteronomy 32:32 Their vine comes from the vine of Sodom and from the fields of Gomorrah.
Their grapes are filled with poison, and their clusters with bitterness.

1 Samuel 2:2 "There is no-one holy [Or no Holy One] like the LORD;
there is no-one besides you; there is no Rock like our God.

2 Samuel 22:2 He said: "The LORD is my Rock , my fortress and my deliverer;

2 Samuel 22:3 my God is my Rock , in whom I take refuge, my shield and the
horn [Horn here symbolises strength.] of my salvation.
He is my stronghold, my refuge and my saviour — from violent men you save me.

2 Samuel 22:32 For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God?

2 Samuel 22:47 "The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock ! Exalted be God, the Rock , my Saviour!

2 Samuel 23:3 The God of Israel spoke, the Rock of Israel said to me:
'When one rules over men in righteousness, when he rules in the fear of God,

Psalm 18:31 For who is God besides the LORD? And who is the Rock except our God?

Psalm 18:46 The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock ! Exalted be God my Saviour!

Psalm 19:14 May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.

Psalm 42:9 I say to God my Rock , "Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?"

Psalm 78:35 They remembered that God was their Rock , that God Most High was their Redeemer.

Psalm 89:26 He will call out to me, `You are my Father, my God, the Rock my Saviour.'

Psalm 92:15 ..... "YHvH is upright; he is my Rock , and there is no wickedness in him."

Psalm 95:1 Come, let us sing for joy to the LORD; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.

Psalm 144:1 Praise be to the LORD my Rock , who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle.

Habakkuk 1:12 O LORD, are you not from everlasting? My God, my Holy
One, we will not die. O LORD, you have appointed them to
execute judgment; O Rock , you have ordained them to punish.

b'shem Y'shua
12 posted on 01/25/2007 1:44:12 PM PST by Uri’el-2012 (you shall know that I, YHVH, your Savior, and your Redeemer, am the Elohim of Ya’aqob.”Isaiah 60:16)
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To: Alamo-Girl

Wowsers!


13 posted on 01/25/2007 2:33:30 PM PST by Mad Dawg ("It's our humility which makes us great." -- Click and Clack, the Tappet Brothers)
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To: XeniaSt

Thank you so very much for your insights, XeniaSt!


14 posted on 01/25/2007 7:39:16 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Mad Dawg

LOLOL! I'm hoping you'll have some comments for us!


15 posted on 01/25/2007 7:39:47 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Alamo-Girl
Proverbs 30:4 Who hath ascended up into heaven, and descended?

Who hath gathered the wind in his fists? Who hath bound the waters in his garment?

Who hath established all the ends of the earth?
What is his name, and what is his son's name, if thou knowest?

b'shem Yah'shua

16 posted on 01/25/2007 9:02:52 PM PST by Uri’el-2012 (you shall know that I, YHVH, your Savior, and your Redeemer, am the Elohim of Ya’aqob.”Isaiah 60:16)
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To: XeniaSt

Beautiful! Thank you!


17 posted on 01/25/2007 9:11:21 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Alamo-Girl

It is a very well set up thread and a putting on display of Christ, and of the gifts He has imparted to thee. Thank you for the ping. I have nothing to add but praise.


18 posted on 01/26/2007 2:18:15 AM PST by .30Carbine
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To: .30Carbine

Thank you so much for your encouragements, dear sister in Christ!


19 posted on 01/26/2007 6:48:41 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Alamo-Girl
And Christ used the term Rock in two very important passages. If one misunderstands the Rock to mean something common or someone other than God, then it can lead to error.

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock. – Matt 7:24-25

And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed [it] unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. – Matt 16:17-18

INDEED! INDEED! INDEED!

As an example, consider the following passage understanding that God is the Rock, that Jesus was smitten, that the Living Water is the Spirit (John 4, 7:38):

Behold, I will stand before thee there upon the rock in Horeb; and thou shalt smite the rock, and there shall come water out of it, that the people may drink. And Moses did so in the sight of the elders of Israel. And he called the name of the place Massah, and Meribah, because of the chiding of the children of Israel, and because they tempted the LORD, saying, Is the LORD among us, or not?– Exodus 17:6-7

Or perhaps this one:

And the LORD said, Behold, [there is] a place by me, and thou shalt stand upon a rock: And it shall come to pass, while my glory passeth by, that I will put thee in a clift of the rock, and will cover thee with my hand while I pass by: And I will take away mine hand, and thou shalt see my back parts: but my face shall not be seen. – Exodus 33:21-23

INDEED, INDEED, INDEED.

THE ROCK is used throughout Scripture. And, even in Revelation where the foundations of the New Jerusalem are precious rocks and even the gates living wrought rocks.

It seems that our ROCK is a rock . . . afficianado. Perhaps it's His penchant for solid foundations.

And He HIMSELF is THE MOST AND TRULY ONLY SOLID ETERNALLY SOLID FOUNDATION . . . for anything.

Given Peter's denial and looking at the waves and sinking . . . apart from the faith God imparted to Peter--strengthening his backbone . . . anything built on Peter; ANY TRUST of Peter at all--would have been fool hardy. Even walking in that faith, Paul still had to bat him into shape a bit here and there.

God throughout Scripture and history has used flawed, fallible critters called humans and His kids. But HE HAS MADE IT ABUNDANTLY CLEAR that the only redeemable aspects that were useable were those He HIMSELF imiparted to, infected with, injected into said flawed critters.

AND, even with the God imparted, enlivened inner workings of Holy Spirit--the arm of flesh is STILL subject to error and nonsense. It is still not to be leaned on; still not to be glorified; still not to be trusted; still not to usurp; still not to be elevated. The arm of flesh is basically dangerous.

Oh, great edifices are still built by the flesh. Witness the TV ministries of some folks. More so, witness the great political edifices. Tumbleweeds build a great flashy fire full of sparks and fun. But it's over in a twinkling.

God is determined to have a people refined by the refiner's fire. And as demonstrated in the fiery furnace of old, Only THE ROCK will see us through; be with us in such fiery furnaces.

20 posted on 01/26/2007 7:55:28 AM PST by Quix (LET GOD ARISE AND HIS ENEMIES BE SCATTERED. LET ISRAEL CALL ON GOD AS THEIRS! & ISLAM FLUSH ITSELF)
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To: Quix; Alamo-Girl; .30Carbine; hosepipe
It seems that our ROCK is a rock . . . afficianado. Perhaps it's His penchant for solid foundations.

And He HIMSELF is THE MOST AND TRULY ONLY SOLID ETERNALLY SOLID FOUNDATION . . . for anything.

This is absolutely the main point to be grasped, IMHO. For this ROCK is the Logos, and the Alpha and Omega, of all creation. To not stand on this ROCK is to be suspended in mid-air, subject to the vagaries of blowing winds (e.g., "opinions") that carry us hither and yon to ultimate destruction.

Matt 7:24-25 says it better:

Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

The world is as it is because of its foundation in this ROCK; we are as we are likewise because of our foundation in this ROCK. To reject this ROCK is a consummate act of sheer ingratitude, and perilous to ourselves; for everything scatters in the end, save what stands firmly on this ROCK.

My two-cents' worth -- hardly up to Alamo-Girl's astonishing eloquence, but my very humble testimony nonetheless.

Thanks so much for writing, Quix!

21 posted on 01/26/2007 10:13:42 AM PST by betty boop (Beautiful are the things we see...Much the most beautiful those we do not comprehend. -- N. Steensen)
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To: Alamo-Girl
Simply wonderful, Alamo-Girl! Thank you ever so much for your eloquent testimony -- and the dedicated research that obviously went in to pulling all this together.

May God ever bless you, my dearest sister in Christ!

22 posted on 01/26/2007 10:16:06 AM PST by betty boop (Beautiful are the things we see...Much the most beautiful those we do not comprehend. -- N. Steensen)
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To: betty boop

Thanks for your kind words.

Indeed you are, as usual, greatly correct.

I believe, as Scripture indicates . . . by Holy Spirit's ongoing sustaining power . . . creation remains . . . structured vs disintegrated. I suspect it's at the subatomic level or beyond our comprehension--the level.


23 posted on 01/26/2007 10:31:35 AM PST by Quix (LET GOD ARISE AND HIS ENEMIES BE SCATTERED. LET ISRAEL CALL ON GOD AS THEIRS! & ISLAM FLUSH ITSELF)
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To: Quix; Alamo-Girl; .30Carbine; hosepipe
...creation remains . . . structured vs disintegrated.

Hi Quix! It is a very ancient insight, predating the Incarnation by some five centuries, that for there to be a universe, there needs to be two things (or rather, two underlying principles): that which stays ever the same, and that which is capable of changing. The insight is as old as Heracitus, the great Greek philosopher of permanence and flux. The insight is directly analogous to the first and second laws of thermodynamics: i.e., (1) the conservation of matter/energy, and (2) the law of (increasing) entropy.

What does not change in our universe is the Logos: the Alpha and Omega -- the beginning of all that there is; and its teleology, or end, purpose or goal. Other than that, everything changes; evolution under law can be accommodated. Which is why I do not accept that evolution is a "random" process. What is under law cannot be said to be developed randomly.

I'm not sure I've expressed this very well. If not, I'll hear from people I'm pretty sure!

Thanks so much for writing, Quix!

24 posted on 01/26/2007 10:46:29 AM PST by betty boop (Beautiful are the things we see...Much the most beautiful those we do not comprehend. -- N. Steensen)
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To: betty boop

Thanks for the ancient perspective and insights.

I think the popular notion of Darwinian evolution is bankrupt wholesale but that's another issue, topic.

I think that the FOUNDATION/substrate/fabric of reality

THAT GOD IS

IS ABSOLUTELY necessary for the diversity and the changes in diversity that we observe. Otherwise, diversity would be too diverse to collect into recognizable clusters of anything.

Kind of like on another thread . . . infants need the stable security of parents and being held lots by parents . . . in order to explore and expand, GROW in diverse ways.


25 posted on 01/26/2007 10:54:20 AM PST by Quix (LET GOD ARISE AND HIS ENEMIES BE SCATTERED. LET ISRAEL CALL ON GOD AS THEIRS! & ISLAM FLUSH ITSELF)
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To: Alamo-Girl
Well, fine, I guess I'll be the fly in the ointment.

Matthew 16 is really pretty clear. Christ says, speaking to Peter, "You are "Rock" (Petros in Greek; Kepha in Aramaic) and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it, and I will give to you the keys of the kingdom of heaven ...")

Except for the brief digression whose subject is the church, the subject of the whole sentence is Peter, Cephas, "rocky". If Christ wanted to emphasize in this passage that he himself is the rock to the exclusion of all others, he picked a rather strange time to rename Peter, "rock", and a rather strange mode of speech which left that concept not only unspoken, but not even vaguely implied.

And no, he was not renaming Simon "pebble". He was speaking Aramaic, where Simon's new name was Kepha, "rock". And even if you (against all available historical evidence) think that two first century Palestinian Jews would have spoken Greek to each other, "Petros" is merely "petra" ("rock") switched to a masculine declension.

I think that the descriptive "rock" for God (or anyone else) is intended to emphasize God's utter dependability and trustworthiness, two qualities which Jesus was attempting to encourage Peter to embrace ... ultimately with success.

And I would further say that the position of Peter within Christianity is not that of Abraham in Judaism. It's considerably less, closer to the position of Aaron in Judaism, even down to becoming a temporary traitor in a time of crisis.

26 posted on 01/26/2007 11:20:00 AM PST by Campion ("I am so tired of you, liberal church in America" -- Mother Angelica, 1993)
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To: Quix; Alamo-Girl
THAT GOD IS ... IS ABSOLUTELY necessary for the diversity and the changes in diversity that we observe. Otherwise, diversity would be too diverse to collect into recognizable clusters of anything.

I so agree, Quix! Sheer randomness without a guide to the system would play out as maximum entropy -- or heat death -- of the system. With a guide to the system, randomness is constrained to produce the kinds of actual living entities that we observe all around us. Things change, but purposefully.

My view FWIW. Thanks so much for writing!

27 posted on 01/26/2007 11:53:06 AM PST by betty boop (Beautiful are the things we see...Much the most beautiful those we do not comprehend. -- N. Steensen)
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To: Quix
Thank you oh so very much for sharing your testimony and insight!

Truly it thrills me that God has used so many flawed people to serve His will - whether Abraham, Moses, David, Peter, Paul - even a little "no name" like me gets to be a part of the body of Christ!

The Spiritual leaning I have is that that too is a message to us: to God be the glory!

28 posted on 01/26/2007 11:53:32 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: betty boop
Sheer randomness without a guide to the system would play out as maximum entropy -- or heat death -- of the system. With a guide to the system, randomness is constrained to produce the kinds of actual living entities that we observe all around us. Things change, but purposefully.

Beautifully said, dearest sister in Christ!

That's a keeper!

29 posted on 01/26/2007 11:55:58 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: betty boop
For this ROCK is the Logos, and the Alpha and Omega, of all creation. To not stand on this ROCK is to be suspended in mid-air, subject to the vagaries of blowing winds (e.g., "opinions") that carry us hither and yon to ultimate destruction.

Oh so very true! Pity those who are caught up in the winds.
30 posted on 01/26/2007 11:57:18 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: betty boop

Thank you oh so very much for all of your encouragements and especially your blessing! May God bless you in all ways.


31 posted on 01/26/2007 11:58:25 AM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Campion
Thank you so very much for your contribution and participation in this research project!

I am curious to know the Catholic view of the importance of a Name for God vis-à-vis the Jewish view.

I am also curious to know why the name “God is the Rock” was omitted in the Vulgate (Deuteronomy 32:4)

I’d greatly appreciate it if you could share anything you have on those points as well.

32 posted on 01/26/2007 12:08:12 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Alamo-Girl
Comparing some verses in different translations in my bible software E-Sword they just about all translate this "The Rock".

Example Deut 32:4

Only 3 translations [all paraphrase bibles] use "The Lord" or "God". All the other OT Translations including the KJ use "The Rock." These include NASB [the one you will given upon entering heaven, just kidding], NIV, and the Message.

This article seems to be sayings that only the KJV gets it right as "The Rock."

It is called fact checking vs omitting the truth to teach something. Too bad as "The Rock" is a wonderful Name of God.

33 posted on 01/26/2007 12:28:23 PM PST by free_life
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To: Alamo-Girl
Excellent breakdown! Very thorough and clear. The only thing I would add would be a little more detail on the Matthew 16 account. Here is an excerpt of my own...

In Matt. ch. 16 at the beginning of the chapter the Pharisees and Sadducees were tempting Jesus to prove himself. Jesus warns his disciples against them.
Then in verse 13, Jesus asks his disciples who people say that He is.
Then in verse 15 Jesus asks his own disciples who they say that He is.
Verse 16 Simon Peter is the only one to apparently answer, "Thou art Christ, the Son of the Living God." Verse 16 Jesus praises Simon Peter, and says that flesh and blood (or physical proof that the Sadducees and Pharisees sought) didn't reveal it to him, but "my Father which is in Heaven."

Verse 18 could possibly be read that Jesus is calling Peter the rock upon which his church will be built on, but another reading could be acceptance as Jesus as Christ without proof (faith) is what Jesus will build his church on.

Combine this with all of your other "God is the Rock" data, along with the fact that Mark, Luke and John only record Peter saying that Jesus is the Son of the Living God, and nothing about Peter being the foundation of the church, you don't see Peter as being the Rock that Christ's church is based on. Surely if this was the main imphasis of the conversation, the idea would have been re-iterated in the other Gospels or Epistles, but the rest of Scripture is completely silent on Peter being "the Rock."

Sincerely
34 posted on 01/26/2007 12:39:23 PM PST by ScubieNuc (I have no tagline. I wish I did. If I did, it would probably be too long and not fit completely on t)
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To: free_life
My bad! Thank you for clearing that up!

I was only checking the KJV on the other thread, looking at the oldest translations, trying to figure out how the Name for God got lost in translation. We traced it back to the Septuagint - but I failed to mention that there are many faithful translations that retain the name, God is the Rock.

35 posted on 01/26/2007 12:42:19 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: ScubieNuc

Thank you so very much for your encouragements and especially for sharing your testimony and research!


36 posted on 01/26/2007 12:43:53 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: betty boop

Thanks for your kind words.

I agree with your analysis of the 'system.'


37 posted on 01/26/2007 7:10:58 PM PST by Quix
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To: Alamo-Girl

Amen.

To God be the glory.


38 posted on 01/26/2007 7:53:24 PM PST by Quix
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To: ScubieNuc
Mark, Luke and John only record Peter saying that Jesus is the Son of the Living God, and nothing about Peter being the foundation of the church

John doesn't record the incident at all, but attests to Petrine primacy in a different way (John 21:15ff). Luke also has a passage attesting to Petrine primacy (Luke 22:31-32).

Mark has none. Tradition indicates that Mark was closely associated with Peter. It is likely that his gospel was closely based on Peter's recollections, and would not have made anything special of Peter out of Peter's own modesty.

39 posted on 01/26/2007 8:36:42 PM PST by Campion ("I am so tired of you, liberal church in America" -- Mother Angelica, 1993)
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To: Alamo-Girl
I am curious to know the Catholic view of the importance of a Name for God vis-à-vis the Jewish view.

Of course we know of the immense respect that our Jewish forebearers have for the Holy Name of God. I'd say we probably make a bigger deal out of the name we know that God took when he came to redeem us through his death: Jesus.

I am also curious to know why the name "God is the Rock" was omitted in the Vulgate (Deuteronomy 32:4)

Probably the most dependable suggestion is to wait until you get to heaven and ask St. Jerome yourself. :-)

What does the Septuagint say, and are there any variant meanings for the Hebrew words in the Masoretic?

40 posted on 01/26/2007 8:41:11 PM PST by Campion ("I am so tired of you, liberal church in America" -- Mother Angelica, 1993)
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To: Quix

Amen!


41 posted on 01/26/2007 9:39:12 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Campion
What does the Septuagint say, and are there any variant meanings for the Hebrew words in the Masoretic?

The translations and the root Hebrew and Latin are posted at the top of the article. I wasn't able to figure out how to make the Greek letters appear for the Septuagint one though.

There has been no variation that I can find in the translation of Deuteronomy 32:4 from the Hebrew. The Dead Sea Scroll pre-Masoretic Hebrew version of Deuteronomy 32 from cave 4 is a fragment and does not have that particular line.

Nevertheless, all of the translations over the millennia from the Hebrew are consistent (AFAIK) in interpreting that as a Name of God, i.e. "the Rock". No variation except for the Septuagint and the Vulgate.

The preceding verses announce it as a name.

The Name of God, the Rock, was apparently first lost in the Septuagint Translation. It was translated to "As for God, ".

The Latin Vulgate dropped it altogether.

All of the research so far is captured in the article.

42 posted on 01/26/2007 9:50:11 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Campion; Alamo-Girl; .30Carbine; hosepipe
I am also curious to know why the name "God is the Rock" was omitted in the Vulgate (Deuteronomy 32:4)

Me too; but I think Campion is right: We'll have to get to heaven and ask St. Jerome himself.

Pope Benedict XVI speaks of "God is the Rock" as follows:

The faith should keep us in a constant attitude of humility before God, indeed of adoration and praise. In fact what we are because we are Chistians, we owe solely to Him and to his grace. Our radical belonging to Christ and the fact that "we exist in Him" should give us an attitude of total confidence and immense joy. Our Christian life therefore stands on the most stable and safe rock imaginable. And from this rock we draw all our strength.


43 posted on 01/27/2007 11:28:24 AM PST by betty boop (Beautiful are the things we see...Much the most beautiful those we do not comprehend. -- N. Steensen)
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To: betty boop
What a beautiful quote! Thank you so much for sharing it, a perfect addition to the research material!

It does indeed declare the Deu 32:4 Name for God, God is the Rock! So where the translation evidently failed, the truth of the matter did not.

Praise God!!!

And truly if this investigation cannot tell us what happened in the translation, then I will indeed ask St Jerome when I get there.

44 posted on 01/27/2007 12:17:59 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Alamo-Girl
It does indeed declare the Deu 32:4 Name for God, God is the Rock! So where the translation evidently failed, the truth of the matter did not.

I wonder about something, dear Alamo-Girl.... As you may know, the last major redaction of the Catechism of the Catholic Church (1994) was carried out under the auspices and authority of one Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, who now goes by the name of Pope Benedict XVI. Maybe he might want likewise to revisit the Vulgate take on Deuteronomy 32:4? Especially as it seems clear how profoundly he understands that "God is the Rock." When we send him our book, maybe I should add a petition to this effect?

(Funny thing is, though Catholic by theology, my preferred biblical text is King James. The Vulgate just never "rang" or "sang to me" like the King James version.... Go figure!)

45 posted on 01/27/2007 9:34:24 PM PST by betty boop (Beautiful are the things we see...Much the most beautiful those we do not comprehend. -- N. Steensen)
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To: betty boop
I thank that is a splendid idea, dearest sister in Christ!

It was obvious from his first encyclical that Pope Benedict has a heart for Christ, thus I truly believe he would want to clear up something like this.

Oh, and the King James Version is my favorite too - though I have many. The words are melodic to me.

46 posted on 01/27/2007 9:45:20 PM PST by Alamo-Girl
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To: Campion
John doesn't record the incident at all, but attests to Petrine primacy in a different way (John 21:15ff). Luke also has a passage attesting to Petrine primacy (Luke 22:31-32).

Wow! I truly don't see how you read in those passages Jesus saying anything along the lines of Peter having "primacy." What you do find is Jesus warning Peter of denying Jesus three times (Luke 22:31-32), and Peter responding to Jesus, after His resurrection, "I phileo you" three times (John 21:15 and following).

Mark has none. Tradition indicates that Mark was closely associated with Peter. It is likely that his gospel was closely based on Peter's recollections, and would not have made anything special of Peter out of Peter's own modesty.

If the Pope came and told you directly to lead your churches High School Sunday School, would you do it and proclaim how you had the authority to do so? If you didn't proclaim it, so that people would know where you got your authority, do you see where problems would arise? Besides, most of your support comes from oral tradition and guesses.

All in all, you have only one verse, when read outside of the overall context, that seems to support Peter as the "rock" of the Church. Pretty weak, I'd say.

Sincerely
47 posted on 01/28/2007 1:35:53 PM PST by ScubieNuc (I have no tagline.)
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To: Alamo-Girl; Dr. Eckleburg; Quix
Moses struck the rock twice and was not allowed to enter the promised land.

Numbers 20:7 And HaShem spoke unto Moses, saying: 9 And Moses took the rod from before HaShem, as He commanded him.

10 And Moses and Aaron gathered the assembly together before the rock, and he said unto them: 'Hear now, ye rebels; are we to bring you forth water out of this rock?'

11 And Moses lifted up his hand, and smote the rock with his rod twice; and water came forth abundantly, and the congregation drank, and their cattle.

12 And HaShem said unto Moses and Aaron: 'Because ye believed not in Me, to sanctify Me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this assembly into the land which I have given them.'

Jesus is the Rock, from which living waters flow

Jon 4:13

Jesus answered and said unto her, "Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: 14but whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life."

The rock that Moses struck was flinta rock of water and a rock of fire. Co-incidence?/ I think not. (LOL)

De 8:15

Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint;

Ps 114:8

Which turned the rock into a standing water, the flint into a fountain of waters

48 posted on 01/28/2007 1:55:03 PM PST by 1000 silverlings
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To: 1000 silverlings

Indeed.

Thanks.


49 posted on 01/28/2007 2:32:45 PM PST by Quix (LET GOD ARISE & HIS ENEMIES BE 100% DONE-IN; & ISLAM & TRAITORS FLUSHED)
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To: Alamo-Girl; Dr. Eckleburg; Quix
The Stone Edition Torah translation of Deut 32:4, which is part of The Song of Moses

"When I call out the Name of HaShem, ascribe greatness to our God

The Rock!"

50 posted on 01/28/2007 2:35:53 PM PST by 1000 silverlings
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