CONVERSATIONS.

Hey Guys, here is some eavesdropping into a conversation I am part of it…check it out for more context: http://www.geneveith.com/emerging-church-leader-is-observing-ramadan/_3153/comment-page-2/#comment-67006

The Aramaic and the bible. there are copies. there are resources. the Septuagint (the current bible we claim as “sola scriptura” is not the most relevant one to the time and culture of jesus). again, not the only one who has access to these resources. there are many online lexicons in aramaic. jesus spoke the language of the streets, his language, which was semitic.

i sort of agree on the objective and subjective. but then the presumption is that human beings (subjective beings who have been known to get it wrong; the OT is filled with people who have got it wrong) somehow are able to miraculously obtain objective truth. this is a logical fallacy. this is where we think we have the truth, and because of our need for labels (ask a psychologist “why we think we need labels?” interesting conversation; we THINK we need them to make us feel in control. its not at all about theology, truth, or doctrine. again language and semiotics we have abused in our long history of an institutionalized faith where we all wear straight jackets of our own design called theology. yet, in the language of jesus when he says “it is finished” would be more like Bravhearts scream for “freedom”. Jesus isn’t going to ask what theology or doctrine or denomination we each hold to when the New Jerusalem comes here. he won’t. he is going to ask to everyone, do you believe I loved you?! (Great stuff on this by Brennan Manning). We need to get away from assurance as the saviour. we need to get away from this idea that we OWN truth. we don’t. All truth is God’s truth. WHEREever that may be. conversations like this presume that there is one-way to decode truth.

Jesus isn’t all-inclusive towards the “church” of his day. in fact reading the parables from the aramaic, almost every one of them he is having a go at the church. at us. why. because we, like them of old, are exclusive with our words attitudes. pharisees would actually have a law where you had to wear certain colored robes each day. this is what jesus is against, this archaic constrictive form of truth. and thinking they own it. again, jesus is inviting us to get lost. and like Nicodemus be “born again” (not the theological statement we have made it to be)…it means to rediscover our innocence in Him. again, do some research on salvational theology, which is about where 95% of our current views on christianity came from. see you say things like i am ignoring much of what jesus taught. here’s a question: do you sleep in the same bed with me? are you in my head? are you presuming to know my thoughts better than me? see this is the very attitude jesus castigated (matthew 23)…jesus didn’t mean to make some airtight religion that when spoken of ooozes with arrogance, like some of the language here. you presume to know what is right and what is truth as if you are jesus himself. but, you might not have realized is that in all of your defense you are being subjective. again, ask a logician to read this conversation. we need to be okay with being subjective and not afraid of not having all truth. the word path that jesus uses (jn 14:6) is the aramaic word whereby we get the idea of relationship, and he is using the metaphor that we travel with him by getting to know him. by sharing with him. not by colonializing and bastardizing truth in the name of control and personal subconscious safety, which is what theology tends to get it self into. we don’t own anything. this is the problem. again, the verse on paul and peter are within a specific context, time, and space. we tend to use them to create theologies that somehow are supposed to fit in our time, context, and space. we need to take them for what they are…people trying to live out what THEY believe the best they know how and God helping them to do it, not condemning them, not forcing them to do or believe anything, the word commandment in the Hebrew is something that someone WANTS to do. very different from our westernized version. plus, the commandments were for the jews. the noahide laws were for all mankind. i use this, because we need to recapture from their angle and their time…there are really good resources out there that do this…

# 27 August 2009 at 11:35 am
Comment #40 Tickletext said:
I don’t know, George. All these “we musts” and “we have tos” and “we need tos”–you’re being awfully dogmatizing here.

# 27 August 2009 at 12:43 pm
Comment #41 george said:
it depends on how you choose to receive them. like the word repent now doesn’t mean what it meant in the days of jesus. it wasn’t connected with the idea of sin. but a heart change, which can be INFERRED to mean sin. repent was an invitation to see the world different. dogma as is has no more shelf-life then the latest electronic device. when i use “must” it is an invitation not a mandate. repent wasn’t a mandate, it was an invitation. jesus didn’t run after everyone and demand that they repent, he offered it to them. i offer the same. the problem is when we go around, like in this response, trying to prove whos’ right and what is wrong. i know i don’t have it all right. i dont’ want to have it all right. i wouldn’t need god then. and we should be willing to set our theologies, doctrines, truths and dogmas on the floor and walk away from them and still be able to maintain a relationship with the Divine. Jesus even uses the word near in reference to the Kingdom, which actually renders as “inside”. We find God by searching for him. by asking questions. when he was 12 in the temple. he was doing what rabbi’s were doing. except he wasn’t the jewish age in which most of them do the questioning and challenging. there is a tendency to live out another version of christianity of our own making that tends to exclude the very people we are meant to chase after. i believe in knowledge, i believe in truth. i just don’t believe they end in christianity. they don’t end anywhere. again, john 14:6 is raped of its context when its put into abusive use of stating that Jesus was making a conflactury statement. he wasn’t. he was willing to step back and let us all take his message to the world. when he left for home, he didnt leave them another handbook on ‘how to get it right’ and ‘how to do it perfect’ because he wasn’t afraid of us getting it wrong. why are we?

# 27 August 2009 at 1:10 pm
Comment #42 Z said:
If the Bible is “God breathed”, do you think God would allow it to get so far from ‘the original Aramaic truth he meant us to grasp’? No challenge here, just curious myself, frankly.

Ironically, just had this conversation today.

I think it is good to question what I am writing here and do some extra-research, but this is what I have gathered about this.

I think it is important to realize that scripture was written within a particular culture, time, context and mindset and audience. God knew this. The writers were aware of it. I also think it is important to look at the phrase “god-breathed” in context of paul’s letter to Timothy. If something isn’t wrestled with it is dead, there is no life. no breath. paul is playing on greek metaphor here. he is saying we must wrestle, not just accept scripture. for when we wrestle (bind and loose), it is then that god is there among us, or “god-breathed”.

see, i think god is bigger than the bible.but i also think we have to be realistic that people are involved in this process of getting the bible where it is, even now. humans. and with that realization comes the apparent reality that we have to wrestle with, which is that maybe what we have now isn’t what they had then. this isn’t a new theory, our church fathers have been wrestling with this as well for ages. but, it is important to see that, for example, the time the gospels were written there was a rift between judaism and christianity (this can be seen in the book of Galatians) and so there is a writing style that is coduscive to this mindset. and so jesus is seen as being killed by the jews (which is true, in part), but, there is also a reality that jesus and pilate were buddies like Matthew seems to portray. there would have been anywhere from 3,000-5,000 crucifixions a week. jesus to pilate would have been a number. but since there was this rift, Matthew embellishes on a legend that was floating around then about this ‘possible’ conversation Jesus and pilate had. hope that makes sense.

i think god isn’t nervous how wrong we get it. i think he is more concerned that we as his creation connect with him.

there is a great set of books by Bart Erdhman on this topic that Amazon has for cheap.

george said:
Hey Z!

Good stuff. thanks for that. again, i think it can be dangerous to presuppose that John 14:6 that Jesus is supporting Calvinism (a closed systematic theology). I recently asked a NT professor if he thought that when Paul was writing scripture if he intended or knew it was one day going to be “fought” or discussed over, he said “no”. I am inclined to agree with someone who has spent their life studying this.

the views on Pontius Pilate didn’t start with me, they were part of a history channel expose which were iterviewed by historians, archeaologists, and yes ‘conservative’ theologians who all agreed that the story of pilate isn’t as is written as we have today. i am not quoting myself here, i am quoting people who have dedicated their lives to this stuff. sometimes, it seems easier to flippantly toss aside even the opinions of those we might look upto to fit what we might be comfortable with. this is where it is dangerous. having said that, i think it is imperative that we wrestle with scripture. there is a metaphor in the OT that the Rabbi’s would use to encourage their disciple that wrestling, doubting, challenging scripture are things that we should do, it is the story of Jacob and the Angel. Again, not my words, a Rabbi’s. We have to see scripture from its time and place and understand that not only is the bible god-breathed, but we are all and creation god-breathed. the word is nooma. its a great one! i think jesus would have shared in someone else’s religious experience. i don’t think he would have been afraid to share in the life and faith of another because he was that sure of his own convictions. maybe thats what this is all about, not theology or doctrine or even truth, but that most of us aren’t sure of what we believe, so we love others with one eye open…hmmm….

The commentaries from Rabbis’ were people who lived in the life of Jew, and who practiced and studied the same things as Jesus. And it was there renderings I believe we should start listening to more and more. They lived the very life Jesus lived. For example, huge portions of the Old Testament are written in Hebrew style (not American–not from a literally enlightened position)…they were dripping with metaphor. rich in word-pictures. for example the creation story isn’t literal. in hebrew, the word for adam is plural. the snake wasn’t satan. the snake was a metaphor for the mind…so basically it is a story of how all men have given into to their own compulsions and thoughts. yet people will fight over it tooth and nail as if it is literal. (1) how do we know, we weren’t there (2) we claim to supercede their culture with our own? interesting.

Where is the verse that DIRECTLY states that we shouldn’t FAST with other people in other religions? (I mean verbatim)…there isn’t one. there are pastors and speakers who skew verses to fit their own view of God and truth though. i can show you many verses where jesus says we need to love (agape; sacrifice) for one another. give up things. maybe even our comfort-levels that WE not God have created. Again, people look to the Bible as the ultimate authority on all things christian and God. yet, God, Jesus and John say that God is bigger than scripture. in fact, he even breaks his own rules several times, especially with Ezekiel the prophet. he tells him to touch dung, ezekiel says no because god told him in the 613 commandments not to. god tells him to do it anyway. see scripture isnt about making a theology, it is about understanding that these are a collection of stories that were written to show how others responded to God through their lives. and how we can do the same. we are all still writing the “bible”. it didn’t end with 66 books. if it is then God as an author must have retired a long time ago.

Again John 14:6, Jesus was responding to Thomas. He wasn’t building a theology of eclusivity. He was answering a question. and we take that to mean something that is might have never meant to mean. how can we be okay with that? jesus was responding to a question and he was doing it in a jewish way. using jewish rhetoric. it would be like you asking me: “where do you live?” (which in the language of then is what Thomas is essentially asking) and me saying: “I don’t live anywhere. I am everywhere” ..and again the words path, way, truth are all saying the same thing…that it is about realizing that jesus is the path. not the “way”…but we all walk a path. choose a path. and the deeper you go, the deeper into the path you become. jesus is saying it is not about where i am going, it is about how you choose to live your life. and you can if you so choose live this life with me. it wasn’t a forced conversation that ended with some prayer that wasn’t birthed in scripture (the sinners prayer was historically started in the 1600’s)…it was a conversation. that is where we should have left it long ago.

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