What's the truth of 1 John 2? Are you of Christ?

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  • C McC Mc Posts: 3,625

    As I said before, it was the benediction at the end of the service. It was on a college campus where they taught Greek. It was "announced beforehand...to give the students and opportunity to hear part of a Greek text".

    Thanks, Wolfgang, for the two websites for audio Greek text readings. CM

  • MitchellMitchell Posts: 586


    CM, In terms of Greeco-roman education I concur that the majority of the disciples would have been or seemed unlearned but in terms of the Torah, I highly doubt it. For unlike the medieval Catholic church in which supposedly only the monks or priest could read, it was a religious requirement for all Jews to memorize and to read the scriptures (Pirkei Avot 5:21). [I know this part of the Mishnah was most likely written after the events discribed in the NT but at the same time I believe that the Mishnah perserves many of the sayings, beliefs, and practices of an earlier age)

    In Luke 4:17-21 Jesus is called to read from the scroll because everyone assumed that even a poor unlearn son of a Masion/carpenter could read from the Scrolls. The people, however, marveled and Jesus' understanding of passage not that he was able to read the passage!

    However, even if the disciple were unlearn it does not mean that Christians today must strive to be unlearn anymore than Christians today should all take up the job of a fishermen because some the disciples were fishermen.

    BUT have said the above I also want to say Thank you for your posts CM. I may disagree with you on the point mentioned above, however, I want you to know that appreciate much of the rest of what you wrote.

    Can one gain and have an understanding on English literature from a Japanese translation of it? Yes, of course! Just as one gain an understanding of Japanese literature in an English translation. This I hold to be true of the Holy Scripture. One (and many more) can gain an understanding of Scripture from it's translation in any number of modern languages including modern English, too.

    However, I find it unbelievable that paid professional/expert teachers of Holy Scripture would not have put in the effort to learn the original language(s) of scriptures. For me such a situation is an oxymoron.

    For by the same token I have never met one claiming to be an expert in Japanese literature nor of English literature that could not read the languages of those literatures! And, here were are speaking mostly of secular literature.

    Also, in my short life I have yet to meet a Rabbi nor a chazzan(Cantor) for that matter who could not read classical Hebrew. Such individuals may or may not have known modern Hebrew, but I believe one would be hard-pressed to find one that did not know classical Hebrew to at least the upper intermediate level.

    Yet, it is common to find Christian Ministers/Preachers/Bible teachers who hold claim to having something superior to the law of Moses/Judaism without the ability to read the NT scriptures in the original. And then for me what is even more unbelievable is that this phenomenon is accepted as norm (and the even encouraged) in much of western protestant (some of the eastern Orthodox Churches hold different point of view in regard ecclesiastical languages).


    Bill I do not want to hurt your feelings nor do I mean to step on your toes as I do not have you in mind personally. However, this particular phenomenon in western Christianity is something that I find shocking, unbelievable, and unfathomable. It is something that just does not make a lot of sense to me.

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 2,022

    @Mitchell posted:

    However, I find it unbelievable that paid professional/expert teachers of Holy Scripture would not have put in the effort to learn the original language(s) of scriptures. For me such a situation is an oxymoron.

    Your term "paid professional/expert teachers of Holy Scripture" is likely clearer to you than it is to me, Brian. I know I am paid, and I teach the Bible, but I don't consider myself a "professional" or "expert" teacher. I am trained and skilled, but in a general way. My seminary education was to me akin to a liberal arts degree in ministry, in which the Bible was but one of several foci. Yes, we covered the Bible, but we also also covered pastoral counseling, church history, church music, and the practical aspects of ministry. I don't consider myself a professional or expert in ANY of those categories any more than I consider myself an expert in economics just because I majored in economics (and political science) as an undergraduate.

    I certainly think that professors of Biblical studies would be fluent in the original languages - those folks I consider paid professional experts in the Bible. I don't think, however, that local church ministry - the teaching I did this morning in my Sunday group, for example - requires the same facility with languages as do seminary or Bible college professorships. More important, in my 37 years of ministry I have not found such facility necessary. And finally, as I noted previously, if language facility is needed to engage the biblical text, the utility of daily devotional reading to untrained laypeople is in great doubt.


    Yet, it is common to find Christian Ministers/Preachers/Bible teachers who hold claim to having something superior to the law of Moses/Judaism without the ability to read the NT scriptures in the original. And then for me what is even more unbelievable is that this phenomenon is accepted as norm (and the even encouraged) in much of western protestant (some of the eastern Orthodox Churches hold different point of view in regard ecclesiastical languages).

    What connection do you believe exists between what I *think* you regard as a faith claim ("having something superior to the law of Moses/Jerusalem") and the ability to read the NT in its original languages? Can a person - clergy or laity - lay claim to the Gospel without being able to read it in its original languages? Do you think one's claim on or understanding of the Gospel is in consequential ways diminished without language skills?


    Bill I do not want to hurt your feelings nor do I mean to step on your toes as I do not have you in mind personally. However, this particular phenomenon in western Christianity is something that I find shocking, unbelievable, and unfathomable. It is something that just does not make a lot of sense to me.

    You're expressing your views on an issue on which you and I happen to disagree. My feelings are therefore neither at risk nor in play (but thanks for your concern). I welcome your views and appreciate the authenticity of your passion.

  • MitchellMitchell Posts: 586

    @Bill_Coley posted: I know I am paid, and I teach the Bible, but I don't consider myself a "professional" or "expert" teacher. I am trained and skilled, but in a general way. My seminary education was to me akin to a liberal arts degree in ministry, in which the Bible was but one of several foci.

    Bill thank you for the above explanation.

    @Bill_Coley posted: I certainly think that professors of Biblical studies would be fluent in the original languages - those folks I consider paid professional experts in the Bible.

    I agree with you here

    @Bill_Coley posted: if language facility is needed to engage the biblical text, the utility of daily devotional reading to untrained laypeople is in great doubt.

    As, noted before Just as one can gain an understanding of Japanese literature in an annotated English translation of Japanese literature. So, too can one gain an understanding of the Biblical text from translations, study Bibles, and Bible dictionaries.

    @Bill_Coley posted: Can a person - clergy or laity - lay claim to the Gospel without being able to read it in its original languages? Do you think one's claim on or understanding of the Gospel is in consequential ways diminished without language skills?

    Of, course they, the very first Christians understood the Gospel message for numerous years before they could completed NT canon.


    @Bill_Coley posted: What connection do you believe exists between what I *think* you regard as a faith claim ("having something superior to the law of Moses/Jerusalem") and the ability to read the NT in its original languages?

    Throughout my life have encountered a number of people who held to a particular ideology that the NT is somehow more inspired than the Hebrew Bible and that should ignore wording of the masoretic text in place of the interpretation the NT writers give it for some how according to this ideology no one can understand the Hebrew Bible without the NT??? At least this is the message that was usually directed at me for some reason. I though well is the NT is so superior in such an ideology then why do not these same individuals treated the NT with even more care and more study than people have treated the Masoretic text?

    I am not projecting this ideology into your writing for you never once made such a claim. However, this supersession theology is the 'faith claim' that I am talking about.

  • C McC Mc Posts: 3,625

    Brethren,

    Let's not lose track of the OP. This is to "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Tim 2:15). It a prerequisite to get the most out of 1 John 2.


    # 4. There is the problem of a cultural gap. 

    Many of the things in the Bible took place in a culture different from ours. Scripture describes, mentions, or alludes to customs and practices we do not understand. A case in point. e.g.

    An Indian was selling religious and health books in Sweden and was invited home for a meal. When he was being served food he politely remarked, "Thank you. That's enough." His Swedish host stopped putting food on the guest's plate. The Indian left the house after the meal still hungry for he did not have enough to eat. According to Indian custom, a guest is supposed to say, "Thank you. That's enough" as an act of courtesy when food is being served to him. The remark is not meant to be taken seriously for the guest expects to be served more food.

    The host also will ignore the remark and will continue to heap more food on the guest's plate. In this incident, not knowing the custom of each other caused a slight misunderstanding between a Swede and an Indian. Knowing the culture and customs of Bible times can help to understand its messages. -- CM

    A source to look for in your logos library below:

    -- Freeman, J. M., & Chadwick, H. J. (1998). Manners & customs of the Bible (p. iii). North Brunswick, NJ: Bridge-Logos Publishers. Gainesville, Florida, 32614 USA

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 2,022

    @reformed posted:

    As, noted before Just as one can gain an understanding of Japanese literature in an annotated English translation of Japanese literature. So, too can one gain an understanding of the Biblical text from translations, study Bibles, and Bible dictionaries....

    Of, course they, the very first Christians understood the Gospel message for numerous years before they could completed NT canon.

    We have more common ground on these matters than I initially believed.


    Throughout my life have encountered a number of people who held to a particular ideology that the NT is somehow more inspired than the Hebrew Bible and that should ignore wording of the masoretic text in place of the interpretation the NT writers give it for some how according to this ideology no one can understand the Hebrew Bible without the NT??? At least this is the message that was usually directed at me for some reason. I though well is the NT is so superior in such an ideology then why do not these same individuals treated the NT with even more care and more study than people have treated the Masoretic text?

    I share your consternation with the idea - which I too have encountered - of the superiority of the NT. My experience with it has come in the form of assertions that Hebrew Bible texts can't be understood without the NT's witness, whether as to a specific passage or to the subject matter addressed in that passage. I revealed a bit of my reaction to the idea, for example, in posts where I asked what the fulfillment of a prophecy looked like to the prophet who first made it. In my view, that's a question far too seldom explored.


    I am not projecting this ideology into your writing for you never once made such a claim. However, this supersession theology is the 'faith claim' that I am talking about.

    Thanks, but at no time did I take any of your critique personally.

  • C McC Mc Posts: 3,625

    Bill, you said:

    @reformed posted:

    As, noted before Just as one can gain an understanding of Japanese literature in an annotated English translation of Japanese literature. So, too can one gain an understanding of the Biblical text from translations, study Bibles, and Bible dictionaries....

    Of, course they, the very first Christians understood the Gospel message for numerous years before they could completed NT canon.

    You replied: We have more common ground on these matters than I initially believed....

    Bill, YOU SHOULD HAVE ADDRESSED MITCHELL AND N O T MR. REFORMED, IN YOUR LAST POST ABOVE. Mitchell wrote:

    As, noted before Just as one can gain an understanding of Japanese literature in an annotated English translation of Japanese literature. So, too can one gain an understanding of the Biblical text from translations, study Bibles, and Bible dictionaries.

    In response to your statement:

    @Bill_Coley posted: if language facility is needed to engage the biblical text, the utility of daily devotional reading to untrained laypeople is in great doubt.

    Besides, back to the OP. CM

    PS. Reformed hasn't POSTED anything in this entire thread. CM

  • MitchellMitchell Posts: 586

    @Bill_Coley posted: I share your consternation with the idea - which I too have encountered - of the superiority of the NT. My experience with it has come in the form of assertions that Hebrew Bible texts can't be understood without the NT's witness,

    Yeah, such an ideology treats the NT as if it was some sort of commentary of the OT/Hebrew Bible. However, being that the NT fails to quote every verse not to mention book of the Hebrew Bible this ideology (at least to me) is clear fallacious in nature.


    @Bill_Coley posted: for example, in posts where I asked what the fulfillment of a prophecy looked like to the prophet who first made it. In my view, that's a question far too seldom explored.

    If the above is true it is a sad predicament. I also hold a similar view that the meaning of an OT/Hebrew Bible text must be the same meaning that was originally intended. The modern application of the passage may or may not vary, but the text can not mean something today that it did not mean when it was first written. To get around this concept some appeal to a spiritual or esoteric interpretation, other hold to the deal meaning/dual fulfillment ideology.

    @Bill_Coley posted: We have more common ground on these matters than I initially believed.

    I am happy to hear or rather read the above! It may be because we both have had and probably still have some sort of interaction with the broader restoration movement that no doubt has had some affect on our thinking. Although my experiences (and or adventures) are probably the twilight zone version of yours.

    @C_M_ posted: Let's not lose track of the OP. This is to "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Tim 2:15). It a prerequisite to get the most out of 1 John 2.

    Okay CM! I will be happy to. I am happy for this little rabbit trail or pit stop and do not regret it one bit so I thank you for this starting this thread. Back on topic...

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 2,022

    In my previous post I inadvertently credited Brian's (@Mitchell) comments to @reformed. My mistake. My previous post continued a helpful and insightful exchange I was having with Brian, but the errant citation at the top of the post obviously did not reflect that fact.

    Please accept my apology, both of you, for the confusion my mistake created.

  • C McC Mc Posts: 3,625

    Bill,

    No apology is necessary. It's an obvious mistake. We're good here. Hey, it happens to the best of us every now and then. CM😉

  • MitchellMitchell Posts: 586

    @Bill_Coley posted: Please accept my apology, both of you, for the confusion my mistake created.

    Thank you Bill for the thought! However, no apology need as it was mistake/slip of hand.

    @Bill_Coley posted: My previous post continued a helpful and insightful exchange I was having

    I feel the same way about our exchange and I am very thankful for it. It was eye opening. There are still a number of things I would like exchange ideas on with you at least at some point.


    Grace and Peace

  • Bill_ColeyBill_Coley Posts: 2,022

    @Mitchell posted:

    Thank you Bill for the thought! However, no apology need as it was mistake/slip of hand.

    Thanks for the grace!


    I feel the same way about our exchange and I am very thankful for it. It was eye opening. There are still a number of things I would like exchange ideas on with you at least at some point.

    Excellent. Let's find way(s) to continue the dialogue.

  • C McC Mc Posts: 3,625
    edited February 4

    Sidebars aside, back to the main thing:

    Ancient cultures varied for over a vast some of time, the student of Scripture must cross the cultural gap. One must be armed with a proper understanding of the culture to "rightly divide the Word". To communicate God’s Word more effectively to people, it is important for to know one's audience -- their values, assumptions, and beliefs to speak more specifically to their situation.

    There needs to be a should recognize not only the continuity in redemptive history but also the discontinuity between the biblical era and the present. CM

    Source:

    -- Greidanus, Sidney. The Modern Preacher and the Ancient Text: Interpreting and Preaching Biblical Literature. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1988. pg. 159

  • WolfgangWolfgang Posts: 2,569

    And I thought this thread was about learning the truth that is stated in 1 John 2 .... has anyone - beside me in the first initial posts - actually written about this in this thread?

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