Friday, July 24, 2015
From the Sources
Lots of people claim to believe the Bible. Some even claim to have read it. But most are ignorant of the different types of material in the Bible, when the various "books" were written, who wrote them, or what the Bible actually teaches.
Everyone without exception, including those who read the Bible literally and believe the Bible contains no error of any kind and is God's unchanging word to the world, takes the bits and pieces from the Bible which suits them and ignores other bits and pieces which doesn't fit into their theology.
"From the Sources" will be an occasional study in which we do little more than quote from the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament; from the actual sources.
You might be surprised.
[Note: Quotations are from The New English Bible]
Leviticus 3:12-17 - This section of Leviticus discusses how to deal with animals brought as sacrifices to the Lord.
If a man brings a goat as an offering to be sacrificed to the Lord, the fat from the entrails, the two kidneys, and all the other fat must be burned as a pleasing odor to the Lord.
v. 17 - “The priest shall burn this at the altar … All fat belongs to the Lord. This is a rule for all time, from generation to generation wherever you live: you shall not eat any fat or any blood.”
[Notice there’s no disclaimer about a later human sacrifice by a certain Jesus which would nullify this “rule for all time.”]
So, you must obey if you care about pleasing God.
Matthew 5:17ff - Jesus said, “Do not suppose [as St. Paul taught] that I have come to abolish the Law and the prophets; I did not come to abolish, but to complete. I tell you this: so long as heaven and earth endure, not a letter, not a stroke, will disappear from the Law until all that must happen has happened.”
That’s pretty clear. Those who do not keep the entire law will, Jesus says, “have the lowest place in the kingdom of Heaven, whereas anyone who keeps the Law, and teaches others so, will stand high in the kingdom of Heaven."
If you are a Christian, you must ask yourself if you’ve been keeping the Law. And you cannot claim that Paul said his Christ superseded the Law and the Law was no longer in effect, because Paul, nothing more than an itinerant preacher, cannot nullify the teachings of Jesus, the Lord!
We'll find another surprise as we go along. Paul wrote several of the earliest books in the New Testament. The Gospels were created a generation or more later. Paul knows essentially nothing about Jesus' life and ministry and shows no interest in it. Which is probably one reason there are so many contradictions between what Paul taught and what Jesus taught. Of course, Paul never met Jesus and never knew him and the Gospels hadn't been written when he was wandering the Mediterranean preaching about his "Christ," so he was at a disadvantage.