Wednesday, February 21, 2007,6:17 PM
Biblical Interpretation, Language, and the Big Picture
Historical/theological rant to follow...

The books I've been reading recently have caused me to think about how vital the big picture is. I say this somewhat tongue-in-cheek because I fully admit that I don't have the big picture on everything or the full picture on anything. But through reading books that take the time to give the broad historical and theological perspective, its hard not to get frustrated with arguments that don't look at the big picture.

As some may recall there were some, shall we say, interesting discussions on this blog a few months back regarding Biblical interpretation. The anonymous critics were claiming that there is no such thing as Biblical interpretation and we who claim there was were all deceived by Satan. Good times. Recently as I was reading Hagar, Sarah, and their Children I was struck again by the absurdity of that claim. Besides the interpretive perspectives presented in the book on the story of Sarah and Hagar (from Christian Jewish, Muslim, Feminist, and Womanist viewpoints), the editors gave a brillant overview of the history of the interpretation of their story. Even though their story is a narrative (and supposedly straightforward history), there exists a wide variety of interpretations. Throughout the ages the motives of both Sarah and Hagar have been interpreted, reinterpreted, and then interpreted some more. Even by the Apostle Paul in Galatians. I'm sorry, but a "literal" (meaning here, the interpretation done by those who don't believe in interpretation) reading of the story in Genesis does not give you Galatians 4:25 - "Now Hagar stands for Mount Sinai in Arabia and corresponds to the present city of Jerusalem, because she is in slavery with her children." - that takes interpretation. And if it was good enough for the Apostle Paul... And it didn't stop there. There is a whole tradition of Jewish Midrash on this story (an interpretative approach that assumes the validity of multiple interpretations). Some of the early church fathers took the Hagar and Sarah story to refer to monogamy, chastity, and asceticism. Luther and Calvin had their own assumptions about what Sarah must really have felt/meant. The list goes on. It was fascinating (and at times appalling) to read those interpretations, but what really struck me was the necessity of the historical perspective. It is so easy to get stuck in one's own tunnel vision if one refuses to engage the big picture (and yes, that is a lesson I am still learning).

On a different topic, my recent reading of Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World by Nicholas Ostler has made me even less sympathetic to the English only proponents. The idea that English needs to be made a national language or passing laws to ban the use of other languages in certain towns or businesses has its own issues (racism, classism, and fear to name a few), but such views also seriously lack a grasp of the big picture. Even if one ignores the fact that we used pre-emptive war to steal this country from people whose languages we are now trying to ban, we forget what a pitifully short history English has had. It is doubted by historians if English would have ever have developed as a language in its own right is the Plague hadn't of wiped out most of the Norman speakers in what is now England. A coincidence of the rich who lived in towns being wiped out and the poor who cobbled a language from their combined ancestors and overlords and lived isolated on farms survived. Compared to the histories of Egyptian, Sanskrit, and Chinese, English is very new to the scene.

I personally don't get the mentality that there is pride to be had and defended in the language one was taught in the cradle. It is one among thousands. But for an egotistical society driven by competition and the need to chant mindlessly "We're number 1! We're number 1!", language is just one more thing to fight about. This is of course nothing new. The Greeks despised anyone who couldn't speak their language. The Spanish Crown (against the advice and pleading of the Priests) insisted that the natives in the "New World" learn Castilian since they couldn't understand matters of faith and manners of life otherwise. We've all heard (and laughed) at the stories of French trying to keep itself pure. I was fascinated by these quotes by Ostler regarding the French language, "In the seventeenth century, French power and influence in Europe reached their height... as all nations do when they enjoy pre-eminence, the French began to look for some particular virtues that could explain their success. Increasingly, they saw evidence of excellence in their language itself." and "It was especially in the areas of Europe with least cultural self-confidence that the elite set a high value on fluency in French: Sweden, Poland and above all Russia.. French became established as the language of polite society." (p.409-410). And that hubris remains to this day, and has been caught by the English speakers.

I don't even want to get into the whole KJV only English is God's chosen language to spread His word in the end times claim. But the ignorance of people as to the brief history of this language is absurd. People really do believe that Jesus spoke English or at least think English sprung fully formed out of God's mouth. In a discussion in one of my liguistic/intercultutral studies/missions classes about proscriptive verses descriptive grammar in English, a man actually argued that English can never change because it has never changed. I wished I could have broken out with something like - "Hwæt! We Gardena in geardagum,þeodcyninga, þrym gefrunon,hu ða æþelingas ellen fremedon. Oft Scyld Scefing sceaþena þreatum." (the opening to Beowulf in Old English) or "How grett glorious Godd, thurgh grace of Hym seluen, And the precyous prayere of Hys prys Modyr, Schelde vs fro schamesdede and synfull werkes, And gyffe vs grace to gye and gouerne vs here, In this wrechyd werld, thorowe vertous lywynge, That we may kayre til Hys courte, the kyngdom of Hevyne." (our lywynge in middle English poetry). No, of course English has never changed...

If people had a bit of perspective, a glimpse of the big picture, would such hateful and hurtful programs like the English only ones ever be introduced? I know I'm naive and idealistic, but I just wish people could see how small these petty arguments are in light of the big picture.

Rant over for the moment. Or perhaps, fittingly, I should end with Caliban's words to Prosperso - "You taught me language; and my profit on't/ Is, I know how to curse."

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posted by Julie at 6:17 PM ¤ Permalink ¤


8 Comments:


  • At 2/24/2007 07:32:00 AM, Blogger James Souttar

    Julie, are there really Christians who believe in the supremacy of English? This was quite a surprise to discover. Especially since I get the sense that many people are, finally, beginning to take an interest in the language Christ spoke - and what this means for the unbderstanding of his message.

    The language of KJV has great beauty and majesty - having been brought up on it, I love it dearly - but it's also necessary to recognise that it is a very poor translation of the Greek of the New Testament. It almost completely fails to understand key concepts that Jesus used: Charis, Aletheia, Zoe... and gives us watered down, sentimental versions (such as the 'Faith, Hope and Charity' of Corinthians).

    Whether indeed the Greek of the New Testament is already a translation of the Aramaic that we know Jesus spoke as a first language is another issue. I'm of the opinion that he was a polyglot, switching between Greek, Aramaic, Hebrew and probably even some Latin, as the occasion demanded. (Certainly the apochryphal Gospel of Thomas shows him switching between Semitic and Hellenistic idioms quite freely).

    Whatever language he did speak, however, he most certainly never intended some of the things we have come to believe of the Gospel message because of the way they were rendered into English. The Kingdom of Heaven is a good example - the Aramaic 'Malkuthah' we know he used in the Lord's prayer is simply 'Kingdom'. Heaven, with it's association of 'the heavens' (i.e. the sky, 'up there', etc.), is an Anglicism. And no matter how many times he states that the Kingdom is here and now, within us, we are still preached to about a Kingdom of 'then' - 'out there' somewhere.

    We've touched on some of these things on abwoon - but it's quite a challenging discussion (not for the authors of the chick tracts - delightful as they are in their graphic intensity and almost comically literal interpretations of the Gospel message).

     
  • At 3/05/2007 10:27:00 AM, Blogger elman

    Please bear with my comment as it is long. I just noticed that my post might have insights about your post.

    Sunday, March 04, 2007

    Do you know your God?

    One of the wisdom I learned through our Presiding Minister, brother Eliseo Soriano, is to know, search and learn about my God first. Because knowing God, makes me realize my limitation as a human being, my obligations, and responsibilities. I learned to read the scriptures so that I will have the wisdom and understanding to differentiate the Word of Truth from inventions made by man.

    One of the inventions, even you can notice, is the title false prophets use. Their followers address them opposite of what Jesus taught:

    Matthew 23
    8But you, do not be called ‘Rabbi’; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. 9 Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10 And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ.

    So, Jesus said to them and their likes:

    15 “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel land and sea to win one proselyte, and when he is won, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves.

    37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! 38 See! Your house is left to you desolate; 39 for I say to you, you shall see Me no more till you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the LORD!'

    How about you? Do you know your god? Do you know God? Can you distinguish inventions preached by your ministers, priest, pastors, preachers, teacher, etc?

    1 Juan 4:8 Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.

    Is it enough to believe that you know your God because you love your neighbor, or your wife, or your family etc.?

    1 Thessalonians 5
    16Be joyful always; 17pray continually; 18give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
    19Do not put out the Spirit's fire; 20do not treat prophecies with contempt. 21Test everything. Hold on to the good. 22Avoid every kind of evil.

    I have read a blog by Julie Clawson on her post entitled, "Biblical Interpretation, Language, and the Big Picture," and ended up saying, "If people had a bit of perspective, a glimpse of the big picture, would such hateful and hurtful programs like the English only ones ever be introduced? I know I'm naive and idealistic, but I just wish people could see how small these petty arguments are in light of the big picture.Rant over for the moment. Or perhaps, fittingly, I should end with Caliban's words to Prosperso - "You taught me language; and my profit on't/ Is, I know how to curse."

    Now, what I am insinuating here is that, no matter what the language used in the bible, as long as you interpret the bible in you own understanding, you will surely fall into the ditch together with the group you are leading.

    What is our responsibility as Christians? We should not be a blind follower. We should test everything and hold to the truth and avoid every kind of evil. Now those who wanted to ban all other language in favor of english are those who have no understanding of the Scriptures. What does the scripture say about having different languages? What does God wanted to impart about this?

    The author mentioned: "And if it was good enough for the Apostle Paul... And it didn't stop there. There is a whole tradition of Jewish Midrash on this story (an interpretative approach that assumes the validity of multiple interpretations). Some of the early church fathers took the Hagar and Sarah story to refer to monogamy, chastity, and asceticism. Luther and Calvin had their own assumptions about what Sarah must really have felt/meant. The list goes on. It was fascinating (and at times appalling) to read those interpretations, but what really struck me was the necessity of the historical perspective. It is so easy to get stuck in one's own tunnel vision if one refuses to engage the big picture (and yes, that is a lesson I am still learning)."

    Let us here first what Peter said about Paul;

    II Peter 3:15-17 And consider the patience of our Lord as salvation, as our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, also wrote to you, speaking of these things as he does in all his letters. In them there are some things hard to understand that the ignorant and unstable distort to their own destruction, just as they do the other scriptures. Therefore, beloved, since you are forewarned, be on your guard not to be led into the error of the unprincipled and to fall from your own stability.

    Now, is it a wonder to hear other writers interpreting the scripture about sarah and hagar the wrong way?

    Paul said:
    2 tim 3:13 But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 15 and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

    Know first who's giving the interpretation. We have been forewarned by Jesus Christ in the book of Matthew about false prophets. What is the sign of a false prophet? Let us hear what Jesus said: Matthew 24 :4-5 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

    You might have noticed that most of the denominations that calls themselves christians or born-again, not to exaggerate but some even call themselves, born-again-christians! They use the name of Jesus Christ as their groups' name. You can give an example if you want to of those groups nowadays!

    Second, Jesus foretold too that: Matthew 24:24-25 For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect. Behold, I have told you before.

    This becomes the primary doctrine of the false prophets to attract people. These charismatic gifts were then used to draw people away from the kingdom of God! Same as those writing their own inventions and fighting for something they do not even understand! But, do not worry, if we where forewarned by Jesus, of course, He gave instructions too so that we will be able to distinguish a false prophet from that of sent by God and Jesus Christ?

    John 7:17-18 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.

    Revelation 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

    Therefore, it is the doctrine of those speakers that we should be critical about if what they say is true or their invention. Is it in the bible? Is it logical and biblical?

    Paul also gave a warning and said: Galatians 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

    Unfortunately, some people, some individual, even if they read the verses I mentioned, this is what they do:

    2 Timothy 4:3-4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

    I did not say that miracles and wonders will not occur in the church anymore but it is not the primary doctrine that we should use to attract people in believing the word: 2 Timothy 2:15 diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth.

    Those who do not handle the word of truth accurately are false prophets. They keep on tagging themselves as an apostle and offers miracles because they have established their own church. These anti christs have not reached the understanding about the composition of the church and to where a person should be affiliated with to become a Christian. It is the Church of God as mentioned by Paul where we should be affiliated. The church has been existing even before. It is the church where Paul belongs to, the body where Jesus Christ is the head. You can find there already the apostles, prophets, miracles etc:

    1 Cor 12:28-30
    And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues.
    Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?
    Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues[a]? Do all interpret?

    All I am saying is that, since we have access to the bible, let as be critical and be biblical minded of what people say whether it be: "one nation, one language," miracles, salvation, etc. Because through the doctrine that they shall preach, they shall be known if they are correctly dividing the word of truth or not.

    Paul said: Hebrew 5:11-14 We have much to say about this, but it is hard to explain because you are slow to learn. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God's word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.

    Hebrews 6:1-2 Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death,[d] and of faith in God, instruction about baptisms, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. And God permitting, we will do so.

    Jesus said in Luke 21:32-36, I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.

    Now, who will teach you about God? Who can give you the information about Him?

    Romans 10:
    12For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."

    14How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them? 15And how can they preach unless they are sent? As it is written, "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!"
    16But not all the Israelites accepted the good news. For Isaiah says, "Lord, who has believed our message?" 17Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. 18But I ask: Did they not hear? Of course they did: "Their voice has gone out into all the earth, their words to the ends of the world." 19Again I ask: Did Israel not understand? First, Moses says, "I will make you envious by those who are not a nation; I will make you angry by a nation that has no understanding." 20And Isaiah boldly says, "I was found by those who did not seek me; I revealed myself to those who did not ask for me."

    Jesus said in Luke 21:32-36, I tell you the truth, this generation will certainly not pass away until all these things have happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. Be careful, or your hearts will be weighed down with dissipation, drunkenness and the anxieties of life, and that day will close on you unexpectedly like a trap. For it will come upon all those who live on the face of the whole earth. Be always on the watch, and pray that you may be able to escape all that is about to happen, and that you may be able to stand before the Son of Man.

    Going back to what Jesus warned the apostle, even to us who wants to follow his commandments, about the false prophets that will show great signs and wonders, what did Apostle Paul said about it? Paul said, If God allow, we will do so. Have not you noticed that Paul has written so much about the doctrines and what Christians should do in the house of God which is the Church of God? And this is what I am inviting you to learn about.

    As I am too a student of the True Word of God, may I refer you to our website where there are clips about our doctrine, found in the bible, as discussed by our Presiding Minister, Brother Eliseo Soriano. If you have slower connection, you can visit http://www.angdatingdaan.org/. To God be the glory!

     
  • At 3/05/2007 04:51:00 PM, Blogger Julie

    elman - thanks for visiting and for your response.

    Part of my point though was that there is no "right" answer in biblical interpretation. All interpretations are influenced by the cultures of philosophies of men. We discover meaning and truth through those interpretations.

    Take the Hagar and Sarah example - in the bible there are two separate interpretations of it (the historical account and Paul's allegory). Is one more right or more true than the other? I think not - they both hold truths of different kinds.

     
  • At 3/06/2007 12:17:00 PM, Blogger elman

    Hi julie, let me just remind you that the bible itself will interpret the scriptures contained therein, not you or anyone.

    I disagree with your first statement. Let me correct it by saying that "there is no "right" answer in anybody's interpretation if not interpreted biblically. Let the bible interpret itself. Paul's interpretation is biblically correct.

    Yes, all interpretations are influenced by the cultures of philosophies of men. That's why up to now, many were lead to the idealism and false interpretation of the law. But who will discover the meaning and truth of the scriptures? Of course those who received that gift to understand. It is not the intelligent who is given the wisdom and understanding but those with divine guidance, those that were called!

    Your statement is correct when you said: "Take the Hagar and Sarah example - in the bible there are two separate interpretations of it (the historical account and Paul's allegory). Is one more right or more true than the other? I think not - they both hold truths of different kinds."

    But since your way of comparative analysis of how Paul interpreted the Sarah and Hagar instance does not necessarily mean that other people can interpret it too! What I mean is that it does not follow that should other misinterpret the Word of God, Paul might have misinterpreted it. Do not compare Paul to those false teachers. Those interpreters now, who the bible calls false prophets, has distorted the scriptures.

    Paul's interpretation came from God! Paul has heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell! You will know this should you have read the bible fully.

    Let just refresh your memory about Paul being the Apostle to the Gentiles. I have made a post about it:

    Tuesday, February 27, 2007

    The Last Apostle based on the Bible

    Galatians 1:8 But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.

    Hebrews 3:1-6
    1Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;

    2Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house.

    3For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, in as much as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house.

    4For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God.

    5And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after;

    6But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.

    This is the question: Are there still apostles in the church today? Nathan then gave foolish statements. Why did I say so? Let me just highlight what he said from "The Pulpit" under the post Peter, Paul, and Murray? (Part 1)

    1. There are at least five reasons why I believe there are no longer any apostles in the church today
    2. (and in fact have not been since the death of the apostle John).
    3. We’ll unpack these reasons over the next several days.

    All of Nathan's statement are erroneous, biblical speaking or based on the bible!

    I wonder what the outcome will be of this discussion? The author should have said that Jesus Christ is the Apostle and the High Priest that Christians profess! Then the readers, even the author, have been saved from all errors that will result from these pre-conceived ideas they discussed. But do not worry, let me justify my statements biblically speaking. Let us therefore discuss the biblical truth!

    Let us read from the bible.
    Titus 3:9-11 9But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.
    10A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject;
    11Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

    Definitely, Paul is an Apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God and Jesus Christ:
    1 Timothy 1:1-7 1Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,
    2To Timothy my true son in the faith:
    Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

    And this is his warning against false teachers of the Law in the same verse:

    3As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer 4nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God's work—which is by faith. 5The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk.
    7They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.

    One thing more, do you know that Paul has heard inexpressible things, things that man is not permitted to tell? But he never boasted about this as he even said that he is even the least of the Apostles:
    1 Corinthians 15:7-18
    7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born.
    9For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.
    10But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them— yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.
    11Whether, then, it was I or they, this is what we preach, and this is what you believed. 12But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?
    13If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.
    14And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.

    Also, Peter has introduced Paul:

    II Peter 3:15-17
    And consider the patience of our Lord as salvation, as our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, also wrote to you, speaking of these things as he does in all his letters. In them there are some things hard to understand that the ignorant and unstable distort to their own destruction, just as they do the other scriptures. Therefore, beloved, since you are forewarned, be on your guard not to be led into the error of the unprincipled and to fall from your own stability.

    Now, who is the Apostle of this times? Has the apostleship ended nowadays? Let us not listen to any writer or to anyone in this forum or post but rather let us seek the bible:


    Isaiah 34:16
    Look in the book of the LORD and read: No one of these shall be lacking, For the mouth of the LORD has ordered it, and his spirit shall gather them there

    Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

    Isaiah 1:18-20 18Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 19If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: 20But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

    2 Timothy 4:3-4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

    Ecclesiastes 10:1 — "Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savor: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honor."

    Revelation 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

    My point is, the author has no knowledge of what he is talking about and his statements stink! Let us not stick from our own understanding but rather seek the book of the Lord for answers. They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm.

    1Tim 1:7 And those who wanting to be teachers of the law, but without understanding either what they are saying or what they assert with such assurance.

    But, it is correct to say that those man calling themselves apostles nowadays are the anti christs. They keep on tagging themselves as an apostle because they have established their own church. These anti christs have not reached the understanding about the composition of the church and to where a person should be affiliated with to become a christian. It is the Church of God as mentioned by Paul where we should be affiliated. The church has been existing even before. It is the church where Paul belongs to. You can find there already the apostles, prophets, etc and they are our Apostles including Paul, they were ahead of us on this times. Now, Jesus is the last Apostle. I dare anybody to say otherwise.

    1 Cor 12:28-30
    28And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues.
    29Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles?
    30Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues[a]? Do all interpret?

    The author of the debate created a discussion that no one will benefit from. Since, like other discussions outside the church, it shall be left hanging and turned out to be a meaningless talk. But now, thanks be to God, you learned who is the Apostle of this times and the future world. It is Jesus Christ. Paul stated this according to the wisdom givem to him by the command of God and Jesus Christ. Search in the bible and you'll find this answer. You need to be a member of the Church of God as well, as the foundation has been laid down already. For more information go visit www.theoldpath.tv

    Should I be wrong on what I said, I ask for forgiveness and may I refer you to our website where there are clips about our doctrine, found in the bible, as discussed by our Presiding Minister, Brother Eliseo Soriano.

    Click LINK for more


    Posted by elman

    Labels: ANG DATING DAAN - THE OLD PATH, english, Journal - Talaarawan, someone said it too

    1 comments

    Friday, February 23, 2007
    Do we need a Preacher or a reader of the bible in this times?

    Ecclesiastes 10:1 — "Dead flies cause the ointment of the apothecary to send forth a stinking savor: so doth a little folly him that is in reputation for wisdom and honor."

    Am I disrespectful if I said that a blind who leads a blind will both fall into the ditch? Is the bible correct by saying, that the falling will happen should the blind leads a blind?

    You still have time to ponder and read more and pray that God will lead you to the old paths where the righteous walks and guided by the spirit. Jeremiah 6:16 states: Thus says the LORD: Stand beside the earliest roads, ask the pathways of old Which is the way to good, and walk it; thus you will find rest for your souls. But they said, "We will not walk it."

    And I want to add this: And those who wanting to be teachers of the law, but without understanding either what they are saying or what they assert with such assurance, 1Tim 1:7. I am not adding insult to injury but rather stating that the bible is frank to its readers.

    A person who gives sermon to a group of people, it is not enough to say that, "I do not know." People look up to this leaders' for guidance. So let me end this comment with some verses from the Bible: But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: 1 Peter 3:15. A preacher, a teacher, a reader, or whoever guides a student of the bible should always be ready to give an answer to every man that asks a reason of the hope that is in you. Look in the book of the LORD and read: No one of these shall be lacking, For the mouth of the LORD has ordered it, and his spirit shall gather them there, Isaiah 34:16.
    While 2 Peter 3:15-17 (KJV) warns that: 15And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you; 16As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction. 17Ye therefore, beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.

    Best of all, do we need a Preacher, or a reader? A preacher for me says of what he thinks is best, from his point of view and pre-conceived ideas and will usually say, "I do not know," or point finger to something to explain the reason why he does not understand. But a reader says, based on Rev 1:3, Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

    For those of you who has questions which cannot be answered by your pastors, preachers, priests or anyone that ministers in your church, you just need to seek out from the book of the Lord. You know what, I am also a student of the Word of God. It is just that I took the initiative to answer what you lack based on the bible. And those things I know, I learned from our Presiding Minister in the Church.

    I ask for forgiveness for I might have not stated the other necessary verses needed in this discussion so allow me to refer you to our website where there are clips about our doctrine, found in the bible, as discussed by our Presiding Minister, Brother Eliseo Soriano at www.angdatingdaan.org
    ("ang dating daan" is a tagalog phrase which means: the old path)

    Let me challenge you julie to first disregard what you learned from other people's point of view and your pre-conceived ideas about the Bible. Since up to now, I understand that you are somehow questioning the bible's validity.

    If you believe in the bible somehow, it is time to be realistic. The bible may have many translations, in english, filipino, etc., but what is the status quo? Many philosophers, preachers, teachers, etc., has come out from every parts of the world but what they did was to manipulate people in believing in their own interpretation. They have distorted the scriptures.

    The bible is still existing because it is the only reference God has given to us, human beings who are also mentioned in the prophesy.

    Revelation 1:3 Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

    I, as a member of the church of God preached by Paul in the bible, is now challenging you to think biblical and logical.

    Isaiah 34:16. Look in the book of the LORD and read: No one of these shall be lacking, For the mouth of the LORD has ordered it, and his spirit shall gather them there


    Isaiah 55:8 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.
    Isaiah 1:18-20 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool. 19If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land: 20But if ye refuse and rebel, ye shall be devoured with the sword: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.

    2 Timothy 4:3-4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

    John 7:17-18 If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself. He that speaketh of himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him.

    It is the doctrine that every Christian must learn and have to be able to distinguish and fight the false prophets. Do not be deceived by those who distort the bible. Paul is a part of the bible that completes it while the false prophets will distort the bible.

    If the message I am imparting to you is still unclear, I invite you to our website www.angdatingdaan.org ; and first learn of the basics of the scriptures by knowing first the God that we know based on the Scriptures. Once you have learned this and the other doctrines based on the bible, by the grace of God, I hope that we will be able to help in the spreading of the True Word of God. To God be the glory!

     
  • At 3/06/2007 12:19:00 PM, Blogger elman

    2 peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

     
  • At 3/06/2007 06:16:00 PM, Blogger Julie

    thanks for the sermon and your interpretation of the Bible. You obviously think your interpretation is the right one and label it as "biblical". More power to you man.

     
  • At 3/06/2007 10:04:00 PM, Blogger elman

    I do not think it is a sermon nor were based on my own interpretation. As you said, let as look at the "Big Picture!" When I say biblical, it means that it shall never contradict on what is written in the scriptures. All what I said is supported by verses in the scriptures.

    You know, I stop relying on my own understanding one point of my life, I stop listening to the philosophers you mentioned, I stopped listening to the Pope and to anybody saying that what they preach is the Truth. I did not push for what I know.

    Why should I study the bible with bible scholars? Where in fact they too confuse their views from one to another?

    I started searching for the Almighty God, the God of Israel. There, I begin. Of course, I am still a student of the Word of God but what I can say, I am ready to eat meat, as milk is for babes. I am now able to distinguish if one say a verse and interpret it the other way around.

    If you think you are confused of what is written in the bible, humble thyself. But that does not stop there, if you will just read my previous comments, you will know that I did not interpret the bible, it is part of what you will learn so as not to depart from the truth.

    My signature is still open I think, you can reach me there or you can visit www.angdatingdaan.org

    Anyways, you are reading other writers, why not visit our website too just to be fair? All you have to do is be open minded. Paul did the same right? To God be the glory!

     
  • At 7/21/2007 10:32:00 PM, Blogger elman

    Hi! Julie,

    It's me again. I have commented a lot from some of your previous posts and I don't want that the group that I belong to be judged according to what I said. Thus, may I just invite you to our Presiding Minister, Brother Eliseon Soriano's Blog at:

    esoriano.wordpress.com

    Thanks for the space and God willing that we grow in the Truth.

    Elman

     

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