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Was There An Original Hebrew Matthew

The Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown
The Truth Network Radio
August 12, 2021 4:20 pm

Was There An Original Hebrew Matthew

The Line of Fire / Dr. Michael Brown

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Is it true that there is an original Hebrew Gospel of Matthew, and if so, do we have it today? That's 866-34-TRUTH. Here again is Dr. Michael Brown.

7884. Any Jewish related question of any kind whatsoever. Glad to take your call.

Of course, if you differ with me on something, if you want to challenge me on a point that I've made, by all means give us a call. Okay, you may have heard the claim that this new translation of the Gospel of Matthew is based on the original Hebrew text or the original Hebrew Matthew has been discovered or something like that. That's bogus. We do not have an ancient original Gospel of Matthew in Hebrew. We simply do not have that.

It does not exist. However, there are many ancient traditions in the early church that reference either a Gospel that Matthew had written in Hebrew or the Gospel of the Hebrews in Hebrew or a collection of sayings of the Lord that Matthew had put together in Hebrew and that may or may not have been identical with our Gospel of Matthew. Most would say no, it's not the same as that. And we have later medieval manuscripts, so you're talking many many centuries after the writing of the New Testament in Hebrew, that were some by the church but others by the rabbinic community in their interaction with Christian missionaries and wanted to refute them so that they could have Matthew in their in their own academic language Hebrew. They translated it into Hebrew and there are some who claim that within those manuscripts there are hints of the early original Matthew. So I want to try to sort this out but but first and foremost let me say this again. If anyone claims that their translation is based on the original Hebrew Matthew they are wrong. They are either pulling the wool over your eyes or they themselves have been misled. But we do not have an original Hebrew Matthew. You say well do we have like ancient copies like we have of the we don't have the original Greek New Testament the the original books in Greek we have copies of copies and and and you can trace it far back yes that's true we don't have anything like that with this we don't have something we can go back to the first or second or third or fourth or fifth century and say ah here the actual Hebrew text we don't have that all right some would try to argue that when Hebrew is mentioned and actually means Aramaic but let's let's just take it at face value and say that it's referring to Hebrew here's what we do know from ancient traditions and I was checking to see what was available online so that I could refer you to certain sources to look at afterwards to study a little bit more deeply and it turns out that the article on Wikipedia has a lot of decent information there's a lot that it's missing but it has a lot of decent information so we're actually gonna go there and then to a couple of other online sources in more recent years George Howard a New Testament scholar this going back a few decades now put out a book on the Hebrew gospel and the the original Hebrew Matthew and speculating on that and looking at a medieval source and saying hey does this contain part it was a rabbinic source so a translation by the rabbis but perhaps it contains some of the original Hebrew Matthew and then that became popularized for a wider audience by the Karaite scholar Nehemia Gordon that's why you've heard about this more and they're both good scholars who do serious work the question is how far do we go with these things how do we evaluate them so let's look over on Wikipedia again not where I'd normally go as an academic source but there's some reliable information so it says this first major section basis of the Hebrew Gospel hypothesis Papias and the early Church Fathers so it says the idea that some or all of the Gospels were originally written in a language other than Greek begins with Papias of Hierapolis so he is someone that was in close proximity to John the Elder with someone saves the same as the Apostle John some of the early witnesses there was overlap in their lives and it says in a passage with several ambiguous phrases he wrote Matthew collected the oracles logia sayings over about Jesus in the Hebrew language perhaps alternatively Hebrew style and each one interpreted them as best as he could so again some have said when he said Hebrew he actually meant Aramaic which was the language of the Hebrews and there are arguments that can be made for that others would say no at that point in time when you said that you meant Hebrew so let's just take it as meaning Hebrew others would say well it means in Hebrew style but because other early church leaders attest to a gospel of the Hebrews or seeing a gospel of the Hebrews or a Hebrew Matthew or some connection like that and they'll actually even quote from it at times then that would say okay something did exist something certainly did exist the question is how does it relate to our Matthew that we have in Greek today and how much of it can be reconstructed those are the questions to ask so as you scroll down a little bit in the Wikipedia article it mentions some quotes by Church Fathers Matthew who is also Levi this is Jerome speaking so Jerome is now late for 35th centuries Matthew is also Levi and who from a public and came to be an apostle first of all composed a gospel of Christ in Judea in the Hebrew language and characters for the benefit of those of the circumcision who had believed who translated after that in Greek is not sufficiently ascertained moreover the Hebrew itself is preserved to this day in the library at Caesarea which the martyr Pamphilius so diligently collected I also was allowed by the Nazarenes so these were messy ancient messianic Jews Jewish followers of Jesus who used this volume in the Syrian city of Berea to copy it then Jerome so 382 he shall all being a Hebrew wrote in Hebrew that is his own tongue and most violently while things which were eloquently written in Hebrew were more eloquently turned into Greek and then Irenaeus so second century wrote Matthew also issued a written gospel among the Hebrews in their own dialect and it says that he then says that the Ebionites they were heretical Jewish group that believed in Jesus that they used that as well and then origin so early third century first to be written was by Matthew who was once a tax collector but later an apostle of Jesus Christ who published it in Hebrew for Jewish believers so there are a number of traditions attesting to that I want to go to another website early Christian writings calm and it has a section on the gospel of the Hebrews so we have this attestation that Matthew wrote a gospel in Hebrew was it just the sayings of the Lord many would argue know that that phrase there from Papias actually is referring to a whole gospel a whole book so it could be that he passed on in Hebrew original sayings of Jesus and and and put them out as a source it could also be that it's saying he wrote a whole gospel in Hebrew so let's let's take it at the maximum that he wrote a Hebrew gospel is that the same as the gospel of the Hebrews that's also mentioned and if so do we have that today so let's look at a couple more quotes that are found here oh let's see okay so Irenaeus let's look at this one a little more depth Irenaeus but the Ebionites so the Ebionites denied the deity of Jesus and rejected teachings of Paul the Ebionites use only that gospel which is according to Matthew and repudiate the Apostle Paul calling him an apostate from the law then he says for the Ebionites who use only that gospel which is according to Matthew are convicted out of the very book is not holding right views about the Lord a Clement of Alexandria even or also in the gospel according to the Hebrews is written the saying he that wondereth shall reign and he that reigneth shall rest that's the saying that we don't have anywhere else elsewhere unattested Clements also this for those words have the same force as these he shall not cease from seeking until he find yet having found he will be amazed and having been amazed will reign and having rained will rest so where's this saying come from it's attested elsewhere as going back to Jesus but we don't have it any of our current Gospels origin says this and if any except the gospel according to the Hebrews where the Savior himself saith even now did my mother the Holy Spirit take me by one of my hairs and carried me away into the great Mount Tabor he will be perplexed etc so Jesus speaking about his mother the Holy Spirit is that a heretical concept even though spirit can sometimes be feminine is that a heretical concept which would then tell you this is one of the heretical Gospels and there were many such the early church so anyway there there are lists some years back in the 90s I really researched this in depth and got all of the original sources that I could find there's actually a compilation of all of the early church leaders and what they had to say about Jewish believers about a gospel of the Hebrews about a Hebrew Matthew so here's what we know there was at least one Hebrew gospel that some of the early church leaders had seen and here and there they'll refer to it where it seems to clarify a discrepancy for example in Matthew 23 critics will often point out that when Jesus speaks about the Zechariah son of Barakiah being martyred that that's the wrong name that's being used there that's referring to to the Zechariah in Zechariah chapter mention Zechariah chapter 1 not the Zechariah who's martyred in 2nd Chronicles 24 so that's a mistake and it proves that Jesus misspoke or Matthew miss wrote or scribes got it wrong etc and yet you have some attestation from early church leaders saying no the original said something different the original was in harmony what was read in the Hebrew Bible that'd be interesting the time you Gordon has pointed to places and George Howard has pointed to places and some of the medieval manuscripts that differ from the Greek we have in a way that would not make sense unless there was some other source behind it but this is all speculation this is all speculation what we do know is that is the Matthew that we have is preserved in Greek and many scholars who believe that there was an original Hebrew Matthew say yeah that was one thing and it's not the same as our Greek Matthew that that we're talking about two separate sources here so all I'm saying is it's complex we know that there was at least something back then that others had seen connected to Matthew in Hebrew there was also the gospel of the Hebrews is that separate or the same and then their medieval manuscripts so many many many centuries later that that seemed to have some different readings we don't know where they came from do we have an original Hebrew Matthew no we don't we don't we don't and did it underlie the Greek Matthew we have we don't know it's the line of fire with your host dr. Michael Brown your voice of moral cultural and spiritual revolution here again is dr. Michael Brown what beautiful harmony with beautiful words that he keeps Israel in either slumber nor asleep may the Lord fulfill the desire of the hearts of those religious Jewish men as they sing about the God whom they deeply want to please may God reveal his grace and goodness and truth to them in fullness so I pray for each of us eight six six three four truth it is thoroughly Jewish Thursday eight six six three four eight seven eight eight for any Jewish related question of any kind my joy to take your calls so you say well where does this leave us you've told us a lot but you really haven't told us anything definitive well we don't know anything definitive because it's based on interpretation of sources and even those few words and fragments that I've read you know little quotes here and there and and a few others could have been read they're interpreted in quite a few different ways in fact there are different ways of reading them and understanding them but again at most there was an original Hebrew gospel that Matthew wrote that was widely circulated and that was kept in preserve for centuries and was used by early Jewish believers even if Aramaic was their spoken language or Greek was their spoken language sacred writings were primarily written in Hebrew now the Talmud the Mishnah is is Hebrew the Talmud is primarily Aramaic but still the the Bible writings of the Dead Sea Scrolls this this continues the tradition of Hebrew as the sacred language and to this day even in places where where Hebrew was not spoken for centuries and centuries Hebrew was still the sacred language of the Jewish people for study so this would this would make perfect sense again most scholars the whose works I've studied over the decades do not believe that the Matthew that we have in Greek today is a translation from the Hebrew they believe it's written in Greek as the original language so that would mean either Matthew wrote something that was different in Hebrew again if if we're saying that he wrote them both that he wrote something different in Hebrew one scholar has tried to associate that with the so-called Q source again this is all speculation because we don't actually have this but but a large collection of teachings of Jesus and life of Jesus that other gospel authors drew on there's a tremendous amount of scholarship here and a tremendous amount of ink that's been spilled writing about this but but please understand this if you read popular books about this or wow this has been discovered this is definitive take it all with a grain of salt take it all the grain of salt there are things we can be very dogmatic about things we can be fairly sure about and things that we have more questions about so I'm all for the wondering and the speculating for example an argument that would be raised by a George Howard or in the hem you Gordon would be that you have word plays Hebrew word plays in in the Hebrew gospel again one of the medieval manuscripts and and they're quite a few of these over the centuries but you have some word plays in a document that purportedly was a translation from the Greek or whatever language the rabbis were working with into Hebrew from Matthew now if they didn't believe Matthew was inspired and if they were trying to are you against Matthew why would they have these nice little word plays that's normally a translator that's trying to bring out the beauty of the original those are fair questions to ask oh could that have preserved in an earlier tradition and these manuscripts preserve early traditions it's speculation it's fascinating and I've I've used ancient testimony for example in a in a video refuting rabbi tovia singer regarding Matthew 23 I've said hey here's an early attestation from the early church saying though the original just said this and then later scribes added this but the original just said this in Hebrew that's because we actually have a quote from an early church leader attesting to it it's not later speculation interestingly the later manuscripts the the later medieval Hebrew Matthews the ones I've looked at anyway correspond to the Greek not to the alleged original Hebrew so that raises questions about the authenticity of the later manuscripts maybe they are just translations from the Greek or from whatever language the rabbis were working with as has been assumed over the over the decades so it's something to study to look at to consider but please don't do these two things one don't think well the Greek New Testament we have is unreliable though that's how God preserved it for us better preserved than any book in the ancient world that's how God preserved it for us and from a thousand different angles we know that if not all of it originally written in in Greek the vast bulk of it originally written in Greek so don't mistrust the Greek New Testament that God gave us that's one two don't believe anyone who tells you that their new translation is based on the original Hebrew or Hebrew and Aramaic sources we do not have those and three don't buy into any theory that now changes in dramatic ways the meaning of New Testament text based on an alleged original Hebrew which doesn't even exist don't fall into those three errors just warning that I can tell you dogmatically everything else study look into fascinating it's six six three four truth all right we'll stay on the subject Craig in Louisville Kentucky welcome to the line of fire hey dr. Brown thank you for having me on sure actually we've spoken before but I appreciate you bringing up the issue and Craig are you are you on it sir are you are you on your phone speaking to me directly on your phone I am on my phone yeah okay got it it's not on speakerphone or anything else because just a little hard okay yeah just a little hard to hear you and I want to make sure that all of our listeners can hear you clearly so we'll give you absolutely that's better that's definitely better yeah go ahead okay so yeah so I followed the work as well and so like so for instance when you're bringing up the workplace or the Hebrew word puns I agree that it's not concrete evidence that Matthew was written first but so for instance in Shem toes Hebrew Matthew there are seven word puns and one of those seven is the same word pun that exists within the green which is Petra Petra yep right but I guess my concern about this whole topic is that I could see how Protestants Catholics Eastern Orthodox would be adverse to considering if Matthew was written in Hebrew first simply because the copy that we have now that exists or the number of copies that we have now that exists now that possibly could have dated to before a Greek yes so so here's the thing and I just got to jump in somehow the the I wanted to allow you to get that out but with respect to our listeners somehow the phone connection was still very weak and it was very difficult to hear so we try to be sensitive to everybody's ears of course so none of this touches on that subject whatsoever in other words we don't have any ancient sources that in writing that predate our Greek copies of Matthew none and we know that the early church constantly quotes from the Greek Matthew so so no one's doubting the authenticity of that when when the Gospels were recognized as canonical when when the early church would would be reading them regularly in their services when they were looked at and believed to be apostolic it was the Greek Matthew so no one's disputing that was there also a Hebrew Matthew maybe maybe but that which was and that would have been used by by groups of Jewish believers some who are mainstream and some who are heretical but nobody's disputing that the early church had a Greek Matthew that's not up for debate no one no one is in the early church is saying oh we don't have the original we can't find the original Hebrew Matthew all we have is this this lousy Greek translation no the the one they're quoting from and and and the the what would be called the Greek fathers as opposed to Latin fathers the Greek fathers are quoting the Greek Matthew as we have it today as the Bible so that's not in dispute as for the word plays well that one that you mentioned in Matthew 16 with with Peter and Petra so so rock little rock a piece of the rock whatever that's important to understand in other words it would make sense to translate it like that into Hebrew to convey what the Greek wordplay was that one would make perfect sense it would be odd if there were Hebrew word plays when there wasn't one in the Greek why would the rabbis do that but there are other answers but but again thank you for the call because it enables me to reinforce this there is no disputing the authenticity of Matthew's Greek gospel there is no question that when the early church leaders are quoting from it in Greek and when the early church is recognizing it as as part of this new canon of Scripture with Mark and with Luke and with John etc and with Paul's writings that that's the book they were talking about was there also a Hebrew gospel and if we could find that would it be of interest as well to compare to look at the two absolutely that would be amazing and wonderful but it doesn't take away for a split second from the authenticity or scriptural verity of Matthew in Greek hey thank you for the call much appreciate it it's six six three four truth is the number to call we'll be right back on the other side of the break taking your Jewish related questions and calls and comments it's the line of fire with your host dr. Michael Brown get into the line of fire now by calling eight six six three four truth here again is dr. Michael Brown praises to the God of Israel in Hebrew Michael Brown welcome to thoroughly Jewish Thursday if you have a Jewish related question of any kind Hebrew related related to Israel today related to messianic prophecy Jewish background to the New Testament anything at all give me a call eight six six three four truths so a headline from Haaretz so one of the leading historic and of course famously left-leaning publications in Israel but just reporting the news here Israel now quarantines all arrivals from US and 41 other countries says arrivals to Israel have to self isolate for at least seven days and return at least two negative covert tests and anyone found breaking quarantine will be subject to a 5,000 shekel fine us earlier this week added Israel to its highest covert risk level due to Delta variant spike in cases okay so as we're trying to sort this out on the one hand Israel really did a lot to get the vast amount of its population vaccinated in many ways said hey we're getting back to life as usual and then no sooner was that happening that the Delta variant began to spread and now there were concerns about where that's heading and with the first wave of vaccines that that wouldn't be as effective against the Delta variant etc so all I can say is the plot thickens if you missed the broadcast yesterday we open the phones for the entire broadcast for you to call in and give your views pro or calm with regard to the vaccine and my official view which I posted on Twitter and Facebook earlier today remains the same do the research ask God for wisdom talk to people that you respect get their opinions and make an informed decision you say dr. Brown what have you done personally that's my personal choice so why don't you tell everyone because I don't think that I have the right to influence you with my personal choice because this is your life there's your family is your job in terms of decisions that you're making and I simply do not have sufficient expertise here I'll go out on a limb all the time when it's appropriate when I feel confident about something it's risky but if I'm confident I'll do it and I I'm involved in controversy day and night there's not a day that goes by probably online that not a minute those goes by that someone's not attacking me for something I believe or said I've got millions of words out there in print millions of words out there on the air where I'm staking out positions but I do not have a position to stake out here and again and something like this when someone might just say well dr. Brown we respect you or Mike you know we we literally choose an example my personal choices here are my personal choices if something happens where where I change that view right I want to shout from the rooftop a warning against vaccines or shout from the rooftop everybody get vaccinated I'll do that obviously I don't like the government pressure I know pro-vaccine people that don't like the government pressure but I'm simply reporting to you update from Israel you say well what would happen if if to take a tour to Israel everyone's required to be vaccinated on the tour group and how would you handle that we'll cross that bridge when we come to it we'll cross that bridge when we come to it all right eight six six three four truth interestingly enough and I'm gonna go to your phones momentarily when I post it my position on Twitter one woman responded with you're the smartest man on social media I said yeah the less I say the smarter I appeared to be yeah and the less less times you put your foot in your mouth all right eight six six three four truth let's go to Adam in Montreal welcome to the line of fire hey dr. Brown how are you doing today doing well thank you yes so I just have a quick question on Deuteronomy chapter 28 so coming from a you know Pentecostal background and oftentimes you hear evangelists preach out of Deuteronomy 28 very enthusiastically and I just like to know how you rightly interpret that chapter are we to apply it primarily to Israel and how would we apply it to also New Testament you know New Testament believers as well yep and and friends I apologize for some of the quality of the phone call sometimes there's just an issue that comes up and we are doing our best to resolve it but Adam thank you for the question it's a very important one Deuteronomy 28 which lays out the blessings and the curses for obedience to the Torah blessings for obedience curses for disobedience and in keeping with ancient Near Eastern customs and in harmony with Leviticus 26 the curses are much longer than the blessings devastatingly so it's always overwhelming for me to read those listen to them on audio on the Bible devastating to hear those words because the curses are so overwhelming all right how did these apply to us as believers today on the one hand to the extent that there are principles God wants us to follow following those good principles will bring blessing neglecting those good principles will cause us to miss out on blessing in other words if you live by the book of Proverbs on average if a million people live by the book of Proverbs on average the vast majority will live longer than the ones who flaunt the wisdom of the book of Proverbs look at Deuteronomy 28 the same way because we are not under the law in that sense we are not under the curse of the law Messiah took that curse for us and we stand justified by his works not by ours so look at it as a principle as opposed to a literal being under this that's number one number two understand that we are in this world and not of it it is different than Israel which stood as the lead nation we often for our obedience will be hated and rejected and will suffer so in terms of outward prosperity while there are principles from Proverbs that apply generosity hard work those things bring prosperity often in a New Testament setting or obedience causes sacrifice persecution opposition so we have to apply things accurately and fairly as for Israel Israel is not living under the benefits of the New Covenant through the cross Israel has not received God's grace through the Messiah and therefore to the extent that Israel flaunts God's Word in God's ways there will be judgment that comes as a result of that this is especially what ultra-orthodox Jews would believe in the early days of Hitler's rise to power when he began to persecute Jewish people and began to to pass like the Nuremberg laws and other things and restrictions on their freedoms there were leading ultra-orthodox rabbis of the day who said this is because we Jews especially the secular German Jews and others have flaunted God's laws and this is judgment on us now the idea that the Holocaust was divine judgment on disobedient Jews is considered utterly utterly abhorrent by the vast majority of Jews today and even many religious Jews would not hold to that in light of the horror and the madness of what took place but look at it again on larger principles is God dealing with the Jewish people explicitly as if they were under the Sinai Covenant I would say no because grace has come through the cross and ultimately the issue is accepting or rejecting the cross however the same larger principles apply and and that Jewish people that seek to be God honoring and God fearing can expect longer life and health say than those that flaunt his laws and commands it's something last point as far as how God has dealt with Israel over the centuries under Sinai Covenant or not it's a discussion that I've never really had with other messianic Jewish leaders but I'd be curious to know where they all stand on this maybe one day I'll do a show just focused on that thank you sir for the question eight six six three four truth let us go to Anthony in Des Moines Iowa welcome to the line of fire hi dr. Brown how are you doing well thank you my question isn't I've been kind of curious about this for a long time and I know you've got a good answer for me as we get the different information from Scripture regarding what we call the end times we learned that the temple in Jerusalem must be rebuilt before Jesus returns now my question is since the temples are from the Old Covenant time so to speak and when Jesus died and was resurrected he established a new and better covenant what is the connection right so number one off the top of your head could you give me any verses that that indicates you that the temple must be rebuilt before Jesus returns I don't have scripture in front of me I know that I've I know that I've read it okay I know that it's scriptural but I just don't have in front of me dr. Brown I thought you would perhaps you would know what yeah yeah certainly so the reason I ask it is it's not quite as explicit as many think I do expect it to happen personally and it's based on the Olivet discourse so Matthew 24 mark 13 Luke 21 which on the one hand speaks of the destruction of Jerusalem in the year 70 AD so roughly 40 years after the the death of Jesus and his resurrection but it also speaks of the events at the end of the age it's kind of like a mirror image again at the end of the age which would suggest that there is a temple that's been built as well we know other passages speak of a Jewish Jerusalem the end of Matthew 23 and Zechariah 12 and then in second Thessalonians 2 it says the Antichrist the man of sin will set himself up in the temple of God as God now you could say well that's metaphorical for the church is the temple but I believe it's the literal temple in Jerusalem so this is something that is important to Judaism I do not believe it's important to God in terms of atonement sacrifice as you said the once and for all sacrifice has been completed at the cross there is not a need for bulls or goats to take away sin the blood of Messiah has been applied in the heavenlies to get us eternal redemption so this is something that is important for Judaism this is something that will tie in with with end time and time deception and time seeking etc how it could actually happen the temple be built where the current dome on the rock is and Al-Aqsa mosque and all that there's debate as to how that would unfold some claim there's another location for the temple that that I don't believe but it's not important sir in God's sight for our atonement or relationship with God it's important for the fulfillment of prophecy and for the full cycle of things and then for Jesus to come back at the culmination of that but it's not for our benefit our forgiveness our atonement thank you sir for the question it's the line of fire with your host activist author international speaker and theologian dr. Michael Brown your voice of moral cultural and spiritual revolution get into the line of fire now by calling eight six six three four truth here again is dr. Michael Brown Jerusalem still matters Jerusalem still matters pray for the salvation of the lost sheep of the house of Israel pray for God's purposes for Jerusalem which will also mean blessing for the nation's God cares about the whole world but let's understand this he chose Israel to bring the Messiah into the world through this nation he brought the Messiah into the world to bring the knowledge of God to the nation's and he has not forgotten his promises to Israel join us as we are on the front lines of outreach to the lost sheep of the house of Israel yes it's terribly insulting for for me to use that term in the eyes of religious Jews and others that say they're not lost sheep of course from their perspective I'm I'm an idolater I'm following a false God and leading people astray so we have very very deep differences and we each speak them with tears but we continue to pray for God to open hearts and minds for Yeshua the Messiah to be revealed thank you all of you who stand with us in prayer all of you who help us financially thank you your gifts your prayers are helping us reach Jewish people every single day with the good news of the Messiah around the world and in Israel a couple headlines for you just FYI this stuff free for you to know how about this Times of Israel reports rabbi of New York City LGBTQ synagogue to rejoin US Religious Freedom Commission so President Biden picks Sharon Kleinbaum longtime leader congregation Beth Simcha Torah for panel that works advance international freedom of belief so on the one hand I can understand the logic in choosing a lesbian feminist rabbi to work for religious freedom because it takes a lot of freedom to recognize someone like that right on the flip side from so I understand the Biden perspective from my perspective it's abhorrent number one because God is opposed to lesbian and homosexual practice especially for a spiritual leader and number two the LGBTQ community is constantly coming against the rights of believers to hold to what they do and challenging not just the validity of our beliefs but our right to hold to those beliefs so so this to me is one of the decisions that grievous although I pray for this woman to really come to know the God of Israel one other interesting thing going on with President Biden's administration and this is a political calm reports this Biden's highest-ranking Muslim nominee mired in GOP blockade so the the row over Delaware said has brought hardball tactics to a lower profile Senate committee not known for fielding charges about xenophobia and anti-israel bias so there are concerns not that this man's a Muslim Muslims are welcome to serve in our in our administration in various ways and can be elected and appointed so be it we have a free and diverse society but he has alleged connections with anti-israel-muslim groups or an anti-israel-muslim group within America hence the protest to his appointment just some news I thought I'd share with you on Thoroughly Jewish Thursday okay back to the phones we go to Chris in Raleigh North Carolina welcome to the line of fire doing fine thanks my question is would be Orthodox Jews typically take a literal understanding of Genesis and more specifically the first chapter with regards to creation they they tend to read it differently in terms of not normally asking those questions it's just it's kind of an interesting thing you do have some of the most most religious that will will all hold to a young earth idea and and the world is less than 6,000 years old and the dating of 57 81 where we are in that the river you're on the Jewish calendar that that is actually the literal counting back to Adam etc but there is widespread Jewish interpretation that understands these opening words brush it for all of him as a shaman beta are it's not as in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth but as when God began to create the heavens and the earth of our hearts I taught over vogue of a kosher help in a tone rule here Merrick effort open am I am and then this is an ongoing clause and at that time the the earth was formless and void and the Spirit of God or a wind from God was was hovering over the face of the ward is very Yoma Elohim II or and then God said that there'd be light so it's not even claiming to be from the beginning but it's just there are different mindsets in approaching scripture and how it's read and even though some talk about the intersection of science and Genesis 1 most don't so it's just it's this different mindset and because it's being read for different purposes in other words it's all about Torah it's all about God's relationship with Israel so for example the question that you know it starts Rashi the most famous commentator when he starts commenting on it he quotes from someone else saying actually we should have started next to this 12 where God gives the first Torah laws to Israel why does it start here and it's to show that God is the Creator and that the nations of the world don't have the right to the earth God does and if he wants to drive out one people and given other people their land he can do that so again it's approach from a different angle and what would you make of the word yeah I think it's often translated to firmament or I think it's in verse chapter 1 verse yes so so we the the word is you know firmament is actually speaking of something with substance and in other words conceptually you could have it say it in cognate languages in the ancient Near East they could be kind of like a beat out piece of metal you know that's in other words that that that's that's what the word could literally mean but it's not a conception there that there was a piece of metal but that there was there is something of substance separating the waters from above in the waters from beneath and then when the quote windows of heaven would open it would it would bring an opening there and the rain would come down there are many many other pictures that are given in the Hebrew Bible in terms of how the universe is ordered which would make you say okay is this meant to be taken literally or is this observational etc but in that very first chapter God said he placed the Sun the moon and the stars inside of the firmament I mean wouldn't you know when you look at I guess biblical cosmology if you take a little literal interpretation it seems to suggest a flat non-rotating earth with the Sun the moon the stars inside the firmament is that something that you would hold as you know as being true to take that little interpretation that way perhaps you have other references you know to the hood of the world you know the circle of the world and you know is that just looking at the horizon or is it saying that that that the earth is spherical and then you have in job that God hangs it on nothing and some symbol that's just a poetic picture but you could find you know Psalm 11 other pictures that give different descriptions but there's no question that if you want to read it in a strictly literal way for sure the the ancient world anyone that had any scientific observation believed that there's someone around the earth right you know and it doesn't scripture say that the Sun rejoices like a like a bridegroom coming out of his chamber in it yeah in Psalm 19 yeah absolutely right right so here's what you have to understand that was universally believed in the ancient world right in other words all any literature that we have from anywhere in the ancient world it was it was geocentric and the Sun everything goes around the earth so if the Bible revealed that actually the earth goes around the Sun everyone for thousands of years right up until the you know the Galilean times would have thought that the Bible was wrong so that's why I've always said it's not there to teach us science so that's what you have to realize it and in other words if you're saying well I'm struggling with this now or not that you're struggling but if someone said I'm struggling based on what we know about science we'll go back a thousand years and if the Bible said it right everyone would have said what can't be true then in Moses day and Isaiah's day in the days of Jesus in the days of Augustine and you know I mean right up until roughly get to the time like Calvin that you know everyone would have thought it was wrong so it's not there to teach us those things it's there to teach us about God and how he orders the universe and how he sets things in motion certain ways etc and a lot of it is based on observational language and we just have to accept look to this day we talk about the Sun setting and the Sun rising you could you know check you know ask Google or Siri whatever what time does the Sun set today or what time does the Sun rise but that was that was the the understanding so absolutely if you read it in that way it will contradict science today in many points for sure yeah I was gonna say you know if if we take the word at face value and as the inspired Word of God it it seems like you'd wanna you'd want to do just that you wouldn't want to put any other interpretation of the times so to speak on onto the word you just let it say what it meant like you know you mean but you have to ask but here but Chris here's the key thing why was it written why was it written what was the purpose it wasn't to teach us science that was never the purpose of it so you have to go back to why it's written what's the purpose of a cosmology what is the rest of the Bible do with these accounts it points to who God is it points to how he orders his universe it points to his victory over the powers of chaos and then if you really want to do kind of a micro analysis of how so much of it parallels the building of the tabernacle and the building of the temple I mean with explicit Hebrew repetition and imagery and I mean one thing after another after another after another then you realize there's much much more going on here so to me I'd say dig deeper don't read it as a 21st century person looking back at what the Bible says look at it as to why it was written what it meant to the biblical writers how these things are referred to in the rest of Scripture and then make application then it speaks to us just as powerfully today as it ever did hey let's continue this conversation another day God bless friends remember go to the website ask dr. Brown dot org check out all the resources waiting for you and pray about joining our support team another program powered by the truth Network
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-09-15 23:05:35 / 2023-09-15 23:22:07 / 17

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