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Posted By: RayK A real human sacrifice under Jewish Law - 12/12/03 03:16 AM
The following is just a meditation... nothing more.

From King David through to the Babylonian exile, all the Kings of Israel, all those who sat on the throne, were Son�s of David. Appointed by the last king (who himself has held the title Son of David prior to asending the throne) a next Son of David would be appointed by the last Son of David. Not necessarily the first born son in time (Nathan was born first in time but Solomon born the 10th prince of David was appointed by David as the Son of David and next to ascend the throne) . For the term Son of David means more to the modern ear if we say the First Prince out of all other princes. And each Son of David had the duty to appoint out of all his sons and nephews - that First Prince, that finest fruit, who would ascend the throne next after himself.

In Matthew's traces of the Sons of David ("This is the generation of Jesus Son of David") Matthew lists Jeconiah as the last legitimate Davidic prince to actually sit upon the throne of Israel. Dragged into exile in Babylon, his own son Salathiel never occupies the throne and dies childless therefore Jeconiah appoints Zerrbable (a nephew by the line of Nathan) as the next Son of David and the only legitimate prince whom has divine right to ascend the throne after him.

From the exile in Babylon on - no other proper Son of David occupies the throne of Israel. No other Son of David is coroneted as king. Untill Jesus, corenated by Pilate, unon the cross by his legal proclaimation "This is the King of the Jews".

Beginning with the return from Babylon and the rebuilding of the Temple� just in the same way as the Second Temple would never house the holy objects (the Ark, the Rod of Aaron, the cup of manna, the original book of Genesis and the tablets of the Ten Words, etc..) the throne of Israel was never again occupied by a legitimate Son of David. Instead, over the many years to Christ - foreign powers appointed puppet kings and Israelite generals and powerful Jewish family staged coups.

The way to remove a �house� from authority - is to slaughter its males. And so it was often that when some Israelite (non-Davidic) slaughtered his way into power by killing all males of the �house� in current power - a princess, a daughter of David, who could be traced to the Davidic line and blood - would be left alive and forced to marry the son of the illegitimate king, by which, a son by the marriage would cement the �house� of the illegitimate king to legitimacy. In other words that �house� would be grafted into the Davidic line when her son became King.

Thus it apparently was the Caiaphas (a son-prince of Herod and may have been what we call a nephew) was the offspring of a legitimate daughter of the House of Levi whom had been wed into the House of Herod. Making Caiaphas a legitimate High Priest.

During the years between Babylon and Christ - it was not safe to be publicly known as the Son of David. Many of these Son�s of David as recorded by Mathew - had been hunted down and killed so as to remove any threat to the �house� in power. Therefore the Son of David would appoint the next Son of David - in secret - the record being kept only by those in the Temple still loyal to the Davidic line.

Therefore, it was shocking, that Jesus, called himself in public - the Son of David� because it meant that only he - had legitimate claim to the throne on which Herod (son of Herod the Great) sat. It was - bold to say the least.

Thus, being publicly recognized as the Son of David brought about the social possibility that a popular revolt against Herod and the Roman occupation - a revolt which would sweep the legitimate Son of David to the throne - might just happen. In fact day by day - this possibility became more real and Jesus gained in public recognition.

In the mind of human politics, such a revolt, would not only dispose those who were in the seat of Jewish authority, but according to their own methods - would probably result in a bloodbath carried out by the population to cleanse Israel. While the Zelots thought this could be successful (they had already resorted to murder) those in authority who knew the power of Rome saw this type of event as the end of Israel and a slaughter of the Jewish people as Rome ended the �Jewish question� once and for all. It would be the end of Israel as a nation - and a horrible end to those now seated in plush positions of Jewish power.

If we stand in the position of Herod and Caiaphas - and use their eyes - we can understand it when Caiaphas convinces powerful member of the Sanhedrin that it is expedient that one man die in order to save the lives of the nation. If the population swept Jesus onto the throne via revolt - surly the whole sale slaughter of Jews by a Roman army would take place. And the most dangerous moment would be when Jerusalem began to fill up with Jews from of outlaying cities like Galilee who were not as loyal to the current political rules in Jerusalem. Religious fervor would be at a pitch and the garrison of Atonia would be far outnumbered. Therefore Jesus must be arrested in secret and as quickly as possible once he showed up. His trial must be private and in the dead of night (which was illegal under Mosaic Law) and his execution quick. So that no suspicion would fall on the house of Herod - it would be better that the murder be preformed by the Romans (Jewish authorities were bared from performing executions during occupation anyway) - and seemingly in upholding Jewish Law.

What strikes me - when I read John 18:14 - is what words John uses to describe Caiaphas� logic. John (who knew Caiaphas in some personal way) has Caiaphas say : �It is expedient that - one man - to-die - on behalf of the (Jewish) people.�

What strikes me is that through the word �on behalf of the people� - Caiaphas is describing - a human sacrifice. One innocent man scarified in blood in order to bribe the gods. Caiaphas is saying that it does not matter if Jesus if is guilty of anything - what matters is that he must be murdered - as a blood sacrifice - for the sake of the Jewish people.

Not since long past in Israel�s history had a king (without High Priest authority) resorted to human sacrifice� when Israel faced an invading horde at its walls and the King has his on sons blood sacrificed upon the altar in efforts to turn the tide of battle in his favor. But now - here it was - the High Priest of Israel actually authorizing human sacrifice - again. Not since Abraham and Isaac - had Israel seen authorized human sacrifice where a legitimate prince and heir to the throne be sacrificed. And all animal sacrifices after Isaac pointed back to Isaac and forward to Christ.

To that end - scholars were sent out to try and trip Jesus up in public. Word traps were laid and sprung in effort to manufacture public evidence that would justify the arrest and death of Jesus the blasphemer. Jesus - did not fall into a one even at the same time as he told the culprits exactly what they were trying to do and why.

But the point of shock here is that the legitimate High Priest in authority (legitimate through his mother) had called for a human sacrifice to be made. No longer a heifer, a goat, a pigeon, a ram� but a human.

His own legitimacy (Caiaphas) made the human sacrifice of Jesus - legitimate. Immoral, an abomination, and repugnant to any sane person - the sacrifice of Jesus Christ was - a REAL human sacrifice under the Law and a human sacrifice authorized by the High Priest himself. This give reality to Peter and Paul when they claim in the epistles that Jesus was a real - sacrifice under Jewish Law.

I have noted elsewhere the striking parallels between the sacrifice of Isaac and the sacrifice of Jesus.

Just a meditation on a portion of the NT.
-ray
Dear Ray,

I was going to suggest that you write a book.

But I see you already have! smile

Thank you for sharing this!

Alex
Dear Ray,

Very, very interesting thoughts.....deep, too.

I really enjoy gaining new insights into the mysteries of our faith, and you gave me a lot to chew on.

I have a concern, though. Since, as we know, official Jewish teaching has never allowed human sacrifices, this "sacrifice" concept has to be approached very carefully. When I first read it, it came across as being able to be taken as anti-semitic, perhaps implying to some people that Jews as a people would have deemed human sacrifice as a valid application of their law....thereby making Jews out to be an evil nation.... although I really don't think you meant it that way, and your basic point sounded very interesting.

I'm extra touchy...being of Jewish ancestry on one side of my family.....

I don't feel like you said something wrong....I'd just like to hear it phrased differently so it isn't taken wrong....please forgive me if I am too critical....(I enjoyed your thoughts!)

Unity In Christ
Posted By: RayK Re: A real human sacrifice under Jewish Law - 12/13/03 05:12 AM
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Originally posted by Unity In Christ:
Dear Ray,

I have a concern, though. Since, as we know, official Jewish teaching has never allowed human sacrifices, this "sacrifice" concept has to be approached very carefully.
I see your concerns.

It is only a loose meditation... which I do not have the inclination to research further... And I do not present it as something I am sure of or convinced of in all aspects or that I even know how to express properly.

Certainly Peter and Paul saw the crucifixtion as a real sacrifice and not just a poetic or romantic thing. I may have expressed something that touches on that - or maybe not. I don't really know myself. I do know that in the mind of Caiaphas it was a human sacrifice and perhaps all murders are just that - a human sacrifice to the 'gods' of the murderer.

Rest assured that in my mind the particular evil of Herod, Caiaphas, Pilate, and those of the crowd who felt in like ways - were obviously a minority and not some sort of genetic evil of all Jews. If there was any sin of the majority it is the same sin in all cultures - apathy which can be swayed by the most shallow wind. While there most certainly is a place in the spiritual life for apatheia (spelling) there must also be a place for - passion. May the Good Lord at each moment grant us each that we should be in at the time.

It is we Chritians whe are grafted onto the vine of Moses. The Davidic King of the Jews is our King.

In the mere fact that Caiaphas felt that the number of those who would like to have seen Jesus ascend the throne were such a great number as to actually pose a real threat to the Jerusalem garrison - making his own plans for the arrest of Jesus to be under cover of darkness when most were sleeping - fearful not to ignite the spark that would burst forth the revolt - seems to me to indicate that those who actually would have sympathy for the actions of Caiaphas were small indeed.

At the trial in front of the Sanhedrin� Caiaphas almost lost the momentum of his kangoroo court to the members when Jesus claimed to be �I AM� himself - to the effect that Caiaphas had to quickly and violently pull attention away from the debate (which was perhaps about to turn in Jesus� favor) by shouting �Blasphemy!� and ripping his robes. Caiaphas - usurped the trial. He could not take the chance that if it was allowed to proceed - Jesus might be found innocent and in consequence actually be who he said he was. The vote of the Sanhedrin was not cast that day. Perhaps it was his right, like when Peter spoke up at the First Council and debate ended on his decision. I imagine some author must have examined this.

I do know that under Jewish Law at the time, no blaspher was put to detah unless he uttered the unspeakable name of God (Yahweh or I AM) which is further proof that Jesus did call himself I AM at the trial. The trial was also invalid because there wer not two witnesses - another reason why Caiaphas had to invoke blasphamy. It seems singificant to me that while Jesus was aware of and foiled all other 'word traps' - when Caiaphas set him up with his question "Are you the Son of God" - Jesus - ran - into this one. Eyes wide open. Not only did he already know what Caiaphas was setting him up for - but he spoke his name clearly (I AM). The 'hour' had come.

I know that it was illegal for the Sanhedrin to meet at night (exactly how in details I do not know) and I wonder if the trial itself was invalid. Because the Sanhedrin members did not vote. I imagine that the proper protocol would have been for the members to vote and then the High Priest would either confirm and approve that vote - or - deny it forcing them to further debate and to vote again. Exactly how that worked I do not know and I am only guessing.

Let us examine the minds of the Sanhedrin members.

It is clear that a minority would have voted for Jesus (which member was it that had the awesome guts to put Jesus� body in his own tomb?). If I remember correctly at least two member of the Sanhedrin secretly met with Jesus toward the end and they would not have done that if there were the only two on the Sanhedrin who were attracted to Jesus - it would have been too dangerous - for if the planed outcome of Caiaphas were all �put to bed� and it was assured that all other members would vote as Caiaphas wanted - they would be viewed as traitors. So they must have had the human comfort that others in the Sanhedrin were either sympathetic toward Jesus or were at least undecided and not in Caiapashs� pocket.

Another minority would have voted against Jesus simply because Caiaphas wished it and that would assure their continued favored position while at the same time fearing the demise of the nation if it were allowed to continue up to the point of a hopeless revolt against Rome.

And it seems to me that the majority were undecided. It was the sway of the majority that Caiaphas feared when Jesus made the shocking announcement that he himself was the great �I AM�.

In any event � nothing matters to me but a man�s heart - and I reserve all my hatred for - carnival midgets.

(kidding! Just kidding! oh! someone is going to hold me to account for that joke!).


-ray
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Originally posted by RayK:

"Rest assured that in my mind the particular evil of Herod, Caiaphas, Pilate, and those of the crowd who felt in like ways - were obviously a minority and not some sort of genetic evil of all Jews. If there was any sin of the majority it is the same sin in all cultures - apathy which can be swayed by the most shallow wind."
[/QB]
Yes, that's the kind of clarification I wa thinking of.....Thanks, Ray...

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"It is we Chritians whe are grafted onto the vine of Moses. The Davidic King of the Jews is our King."
[/QB]
Yes, yes, Go, Ray, Go!
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"In any event � nothing matters to me but a man�s heart - and I reserve all my hatred for - carnival midgets."
[/QB]
Ray, How could you???

Unity In Christ
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"Rest assured that in my mind the particular evil of Herod, Caiaphas, Pilate, and those of the crowd who felt in like ways - were obviously a minority and not some sort of genetic evil of all Jews.
Sadly, I share in that evil every day.

John
"Vine of Moses"? That is an interesting term, but in the words of Linus (Van Pelt), "I know there's a lesson in this somewhere, but I can't remember what it is."

Originally posted by Ray:

"What strikes me - when I read John 18:14 - is what words John uses to describe Caiaphas� logic. John (who knew Caiaphas in some personal way) has Caiaphas say : �It is expedient that - one man - to-die - on behalf of the (Jewish) people.�

What strikes me is that through the word �on behalf of the people� - Caiaphas is describing - a human sacrifice. One innocent man scarified in blood in order to bribe the gods. Caiaphas is saying that it does not matter if Jesus if is guilty of anything - what matters is that he must be murdered - as a blood sacrifice - for the sake of the Jewish people."

Ray,

Of course, the point the Evangelist is making here is how "prophetic" are the words of Caiaphas.(John 18:14 is refering back to Caiaphas' address to the Sanhedrin, cf. John 11:49-52) In his mind, Caiaphas saw the death of Christ as a means to prevent further Roman intervention, but the greater prophetic word is that the death of Christ would ensure life not only for the "nation", but for many throughout the world and for many throughout time.
Posted By: RayK Re: A real human sacrifice under Jewish Law - 12/15/03 04:22 AM
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Originally posted by Deacon John Montalvo:
but the greater prophetic word is that the death of Christ would ensure life not only for the "nation", but for many throughout the world and for many throughout time.
Yes. Quite right.

-ray
Dear Ray,

And here I thought that a "real human sacrifice under Jewish law" was a handsome young Jewish man who didn't become either a doctor or a lawyer!

Alex
Posted By: RayK Re: A real human sacrifice under Jewish Law - 12/16/03 02:03 AM
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Originally posted by Orthodox Catholic:
Dear Ray,

And here I thought that a "real human sacrifice under Jewish law" was a handsome young Jewish man who didn't become either a doctor or a lawyer!

Alex
I will tell you that when I do go to confession it is crowded in thier because I bring my Jewish lawyer... most time he is able to knock my penance down to just one Hail Mary.Ah... you have got to love tha changes of Vatican II.

(this was humor).
-ray
smile cool :rolleyes: biggrin smile

Unity In Christ
P.S. smile smile smile

Unity
Dear Ray,

There was a Jewish father who sent his son to a Catholic school.

When they found out about it, his relatives and friends said, "What did you do? He'll forget his identity! He'll even forget about Yom Kippur on the fifth!"

The worried father then wired his son a message: "Don't forget Yom Kippur on the fifth!"

His son wired his dad back saying: "Dad, I know nothing about horse-racing, but if you want to put some money for me on Yom Kippur in the fifth, I'll say three Hail Mary's for you!"

Alex
Posted By: BradM Re: A real human sacrifice under Jewish Law - 12/17/03 03:10 AM
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Originally posted by Deacon John Montalvo:
In his mind, Caiaphas saw the death of Christ as a means to prevent further Roman intervention, but the greater prophetic word is that the death of Christ would ensure life not only for the "nation", but for many throughout the world and for many throughout time.
I just read this and remember it applies:


Isaiah 49:1-2,5-6 (NAB)
  • Hear me, O coastlands, listen, O distant peoples. The LORD called me from birth, from my mother's womb he gave me my name.
    He made of me a sharp-edged sword and concealed me in the shadow of his arm. He made me a polished arrow, in his quiver he hid me.
    For now the LORD has spoken who formed me as his servant from the womb, That Jacob may be brought back to him and Israel gathered to him; And I am made glorious in the sight of the LORD, and my God is now my strength!
    * It is too little, he says, for you to be my servant, to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and restore the survivors of Israel; I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.

* Note: The Servant's vocation will be not only the restoration of Israel but the conversion of the world; cf Luke 2:32.
Dear Ray,

Once again, I read your posts with baided breath. Thank you.

You have shown well for what Jesus' blood was spilled (the life of the nation and the life of the world). And, of course, "life" and "blood" in Hebrew are practically the same word, or share the same root, at a minimum.

I remain fascinated by the parallel with Isaac, not only since my own son is "Isaak" (not the Patriarch, but the Confessor celebrated on the 30th May), but because of the possible parallel with Jesus as High Priest.

If it is true that installation of a new order of High Priest brings a new covenant, can we say:

The Abrahamic Covenant and High Priest Melchizedek parallel the New Testament Covenant and the High Priest Jesus Christ?

Is each new covenant necessarily accompanied by a human sacrifice?

The sacrifice of Isaac to finalize the Abrahamic Covenant and the sacrifice of Jesus to finalize the Christian/New Testament Covenant?

I hope that I am making sense with my query.

With love in Christ,
Andrew
Posted By: RayK Re: A real human sacrifice under Jewish Law - 12/20/03 08:45 PM
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Originally posted by Andrew J. Rubis:
The sacrifice of Isaac to finalize the Abrahamic Covenant and the sacrifice of Jesus to finalize the Christian/New Testament Covenant?

I hope that I am making sense with my query.

With love in Christ,
Andrew
Sure, you make sense, I am just not sure how to answer.

Ah.. See.. it just popped into my mind.

Let us take an example.

Let us say that you are a composer. A Mozart� and let us look at your composition.

You sit - mind open to inspiration - and something comes to you. You begin to hear it in your hear and you mind does some arranging in order to bring it out. As your mind does this - you write it down note for not from your mind as your mind examines that inspiration.

The part of the mind - is to be true to the inspiration. The minds work is to bring it out to your inner ears � and the part of your hands are to play it out here - in the world of the senses - and so your score it on paper.

A true item of art work echoes within us. It is not just sounds to our ears but it is like a string on and instrument that when plucked causes the strings near it to vibrate in sympathetic harmony - just as something within our own spirit and emotions echoes something which is much more than just �sounds� that the ear hears.

Truthfully - we can pick up a recording of Mozart and hold it up and say �Here is Mozart�s song.� and we would be right. But if we had the recording and the written score side by side on the table - between the two it would be more right to pick up the written score and say �Here is Mozart�s song� then it would to pick up the recording and say that.

Now - between the written score (made by Mozart) and that experience that Mozart has of his song in his own mind = which would be more properly - �Here is Mozart�s song.� ? Since the score is essentially a copy of the original hearing of it that was in Mozart�s mind - we must say that what Mozart experienced in his mind when he wrote the score out - is �Here is Mozart�s song.� Are you following me so far?

Since the score is the exterior and physical copy of what exists in Mozart�s �ears of the psychological mind� - and what he heard and arranged in his mind is but a copy of that higher inspiration he was experiencing in his person (that most interior �I�) - then what is really most properly the �song� is that experience of it as inspiration of which the mind is simply a tool used to bring it out into the external.

Now - let me show you that one more time in another way.

The Ark of the Covenant.

Generally when we say The Ark of the Covenant - we mean the golden box within which Moses place holy objects. The word Ark means �container� - so its meaning is �Container of The Covenant�. Let us look at this for a moment.

It was the way of things at the time that the king of a nation sat upon a throne. Within the seat of that throne was stored a written Covenant - and agreement of sorts between the King and his people on how each was to act - the King in his governing and the people in being governed. It was no less and in fact the same with the golden Ark of the Covenant in as much as it to was a throne and seat (the Mercy Seat) except no human sat upon it - instead - a cloud of mystery descended upon the seat. The was the Shekina (translated meaning the mysterious presence of God). This presence was Providence� Providence was the King of Israel and the presence of Providence was what was enthroned upon the seat of the Ark.

The Ark (golden box and seat) of the Covenant (the Container of the Covenant) held within it the stone tablets upon which was written something and to prevent these tablets from breaking or wearing away the gold covered interior they were incased in a frame of wood. This frame of wood was also called �The Ark of the Covenant�. meaning the Container of the Covenant. What the wooded frame encased was the stone tablets - and these stone tablets were called The Ark of the Covenant (the Container of the Covenant) and upon these stone tablets were the writing and that writing itself was called The Ark of the Covenant (The Container) �. A bit litle the Russian dolls which are one inside the other huh?

Now so far - we have identified the REAL - Ark of the Covenant - as whatever was written on the tablets. Whatever it was written there - was the agreement between the King (Providence) and the people governed (the Jews of Israel). A kind of �If you act so and so then I will act so and so.� - a Covenant meaning a voluntary agreement where both parties will act in agreed upon ways and acting in these ways comprising the - governing and its benefits.

Now just as the REAL music of Mozart is what the written score represents and not the paper or the ink itself - in the same way what was written on these tablets (�I will act so and so and you will act so and so��) - the Covenant itself is not the tablets or the word symbols scratched into it - but the real life - doing - of the �You act so and so and I will act so and so..�.

Just like our example of Mozart - the doing of this covenant is not in the physical acts - nor in the psychological mind - but exists and originates in the spirit - the person - and most explicitly - in the will. Or will to live this covenant may be expressed from the will outwards and express itself in our physical acts (ceremonies, clothing, talk, actions) but as we all know the performance of physical acts and talk etc.. are not necessarily - in themselves - the expression of that will. And often seem to be but are not.

OK.. Now - back to your question.

Scripture, when read in context, records only one human sacrifice that is bound to the covenant. The crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. That event IS the covenant in full real life - action. That is the point of all of John�s book of Revelations - which book uses Jewish traditions and prophecy - and traces the fall of Adam - the history of Israel - and ends with the decent of the New Jerusalem being the self same event of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Notice that the new heavens and new earth come about during earthquakes and the raising of the dead etc� which description fits to a T the description that John gives in his gospel for the immediate events of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Daniel and Ezekiel begin the �coming of the son of man� and John - using what words and images they used - completes the coming of the son of man - in the historical event of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

The crucifixion of Jesus Christ - is foreseen - within the Old Testament. It is not guessed at nor predicted (in the way we might predict the outcome of a boxing match of football game). It is actually witnessed in some real way by these prophets who wrote about it. I concur with some of the early fathers who tell us that in the old testament (old testimony of witness) that they are portions written by the prophets that display the fact that what they wrote was in oracle (written verbatim of what they heard) and can be none other than Jesus Christ �speaking� to them about Jesus� own experience of his own crucifixion and resurrection. Witness the prophet Hoesa (mis-spelled) who was paid 30 pieces of silver while being a bad Shepard and God�s voice said to him �Throw it away - throw it on the temple floor for it is the slave-price which they paid for me!� and it is fact that the 30 pieces of silver paid to Judas was the cost of a slave - paid in order to seal the betrayal upon Judas� head as to make false legal record that they had purchased a slave from Judas and THEY were innocent of the fact that it was Jesus of Nazareth. By this it appeared on record that Judas did the deed - and not they - they were but the victims of Judas� - �plans�.

Back to our question at hand.

As I have shown you (I think you had read it) the sacrifice of Isaac - appears in Genesis - and Genesis is a cosmogony. It is not �history� as we would write it. It is rather what is behind history and animates what we call history (which to us is the physical events played out in time). Genesis is to history what Mozart is hearing in his head compared to what Mozart scores on paper to be played.

In the narration of Genesis - Isaac - IS scarified (a burnt offering) and dies - to be resurrected again three days later beside the Well of Living Waters (the Hebrew meaning of the name of the Well). And Isaac�s resurrection becomes the type of all - Temple ceremonies and Temple sacrifices (if we look at history). The narration of the sacrifice of Isaac is - itself - but a reflection of the event it reflects - which is the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

There is only - one - covenant. Moses wrote about it and Jesus lived it. And what Moses wrote about was Jesus living it. To someone �stuck� upon the experience of the events of the senses as being all there is to reality - this makes no sense� how can something that did not yet happen be present to someone before it takes place??

What is this - one - covenant - ? - that Jesus ended the Jewish historical exclusivity to - and brought to the other nations (the gentiles) ?? It is this - �He who does the will of my father - is my brother - mother - sister - and co-heirs to heaven with me.�

And back we go to �what is this will - of God� and we go to the Ark of the Covenant - that the Will of God is the governing - and that governing is done via the will of Providence - which John identifies as the same thing as the Word - through which all things come to-be. That Word - being the person resurrected Jesus Christ Himself.

Confused? No need to be. It is all rather simple in as much as Providence (which we today call - reality and divorce from God) is a person. And all events which come to you each day are authored and arranged by this Person with the one simply intention to form you (by the hammer of experiences) into an image (since we are talking about Will then the �images� is to be of the same-will) as God. But since we have free-will - our part is a cooperation. It MUST be a cooperation. It must become at some point - a knowing cooperation (because we must know something - in order to knowingly cooperate with it).

No. There is only one covenant - expressed several ways (witnessed to)� and only one human sacrifice bound to it. Yet - in a way - that sacrifice must extend into us - in some way. We will be called upon by �reality� and its situations and events for occasional sacrifices (discomfort) while we are cooperating with the Will of Providence. Providence (as well as reality) is an - experience - a human experience - and not a set of rules that should be analyzed and turned into a law book of mental rules that we physically act out. In this way salvation or sanctification - is a coming-to reality more and more - ands in as much as Providence is available to every human - sanctification and salvation is not the exclusive privilege of any particular social church membership. See? - how ridiculous and what a waste of time that to seeks ones only holiness in �my doctrine is better than your doctrine� when no-doctrine unless one is already living a life of cooperation with Providence. All churches that look to Christ - are members of the body of Christ. � stones in the invisible Temple building. Each having a roll to act just as the hand has its roll - and the foot its roll - and the head its roll - etc. Isn't it St. Paul who said how foolish it is for the hand to wish it were a foot?

Reality is the best therapy of the spiritual life. Reality - a person - is certaintly the best thing we can conform to. And we need not setup complicated rules for this - it (Reality) does the work for us if we only offer some cooperation. We need not know high intellectual arguments and doctrines all we need to is let God do his work on us and have some type of willing cooperation. The cisk man need not know all the compunnds present in some medice - all he need do is take the medice and he gets well. A saint does not spend his time learning to argue doctrines withe better elequence - he is rather more concerned day by day with his conscience as regards situations of daily events.

By the way - it is the narration of the events of Isaac that are being looked at when Jesus was saying that scriptures spoke about him rising in 3 days. Isaac is the prophecy of the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus - par excellent. It is no wonder that all physical Temple ceremonies were patterned after Isaac and in that way figured what Isaac was patterned after. Jesus.

This is my opinion on the matter and that does not mean that I successfully live it myself. I hope my answer - made some sense to you. This is all written about in Caussade�s book Abandonment to Divine Providence and by some saints (Conformity to God�s Will by Saint whatshisname) and most especially by the Doctor�s of The
Church.

I am 'attempting' to make an audio of Abandonement to Divine Providence - and perhaps add some comentary in order to 'translate' it up to our modern concepts. Put it in 'plain' words for us today.

-ray
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In the narration of Genesis - Isaac - IS scarified (a burnt offering) and dies - to be resurrected again three days later beside the Well of Living Waters (the Hebrew meaning of the name of the Well). And Isaac�s resurrection becomes the type of all - Temple ceremonies and Temple sacrifices (if we look at history). The narration of the sacrifice of Isaac is - itself - but a reflection of the event it reflects - which is the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Ray, Would you mind explaining what you mean here?

Scripture clearly states that Isaac was not actually slain...that Abraham was stopped from doing that, and a ram was offered in Isaac's stead...
Posted By: RayK Re: A real human sacrifice under Jewish Law - 12/22/03 06:59 AM
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Originally posted by Unity In Christ:
Ray, Would you mind explaining what you mean here?
Yes - what you write is the assumption (become 'gospel truth' of the English based translations since the 17th century (when the English translations began).

The lack, at the time, was they thought they were translating a history as they would write it. Something almost entirely from a physical view of events. However Genesis (Bereshith or 'generation') is a cosmogony which is something they knew nothing about except a little of the Greek and a smatter of Egyptian which they viewed as entirely fanciful or pagan myth (made up). They also lacked the further knowledge of Hebrew we now have and they did what was human - they translated from the experience of their own lives - in Western Europe - with little knowledge of daily Jewish life at the time the things were written. What they did was a - start - and we are grateful - the trouble enters when these translations become �The Word of God� and an idol by which men build rules for themselves and these rules now take the place of God. In any event of that argument let us move on. In the same way I gave example of Mozart and his written score - the bible in translation has become �The Word of God� in stone and a trusted rule by which to measure and judge other things (for example doctrine or if Peter�s bishopric had been given some type of leadership). It is an old argument that the scriptures are simply the testimony of witnesses (as inspirited as they were) and scripture is secondary to the church that wrote them just as the author of a letter is more to be trusted as to the meaning of the letter than someone who lives far away and of another time and culture who happens to read the letter. These things only make sense and are inline with Council teachings. In any event - John�s gospel tells us what the Word of God is - it is a living Providence - and the bible is only the �Word of God� secondarily to that. Just like the Ark of the Covenant was more so the meaning of the tablets and far less the golden box that contained them. These things are called such by virtue of what the contain - but each has its limitations compared to the original article. It is the Word of God (Jesus Christ alive and among us in the expression of Providence) that John identifies that has with him the fullness and meaning of scripture - far less our own reading and trying to figure it out by our own social based experiences.

In any event all that�

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�Cosmogony itself speaks to us of the origins of the universe and its makeup, not in order to provide us with a scientific treatise but in order to state the correct relationship of man with God and with the universe. Sacred Scripture wishes simply to declare that the world was created by God, and in order to teach this truth, it expresses itself in the terms of the cosmology in use at the time of the writer. The sacred book likewise wishes to tell men that the world was not created as the seat of the gods, as was taught by other cosmogonies and cosmologies, but was rather created for the service of man and the glory of God. Any other teaching about the origin and makeup of the universe is alien to the intentions of the Bible, which does not wish to teach how heaven was made but how one goes to heaven.�
John Paul II, Address to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences on 3 October 1981.
Quite right. Genesis as a cosmogony does not teach how creation came about in its mechanics - knowing that might satisfy our scientific curiosity - but that does not help us at all with �getting to heaven�. The purpose of Genesis is to teach us how it is that we turn away from God and how it is that we turn back to God. How we as individuals (and as whole humanity each one) turned away from Providence (God�s governing of reality) to our own self-Providence. Our exile from the All-Providing of the spiritual Eden - to the self-Providing with the sweat of our brow (by our own labor).

Dozens of reliable commentators - Jews and early Christian - having known something of its structure and interpretation - have said that it is has a symbolic (spiritual) depth. It would take too much space to quote too many of them � so I will just quote a few who can be trusted. These quotes are from people much closer to biblical antiquities than we are and we are foolish to dismiss them (as scholars of today often do). We are far better off saying to ourselves �These people knew something! And it is up to me to find out how he meant what he said!� I am sure you are aware that most scholars of today dismiss completely the idea that Moses himself wrote all of Genesis (as early Jewish and Christian tradition claims) and believe that Genesis is instead a patchwork of plagiarized myths and legends. (J&P theory). Yet even Jesus claims on the road to Emmaus that Moses wrote Genesis (�beginning with the book of Moses and then all the prophets - Jesus explained to them�. Etc..). Scholars have a tendency to dismiss what they do not understand - and most in biblical research do not understand neither the structure nor the purpose of a cosmogony. But it is also true that it has not helped in one bit that Genesis has been taken a shot at by so many people who have found some unusual aspect of it and gone to town with that as if decoding a document left on earth by aliens (for example: Bible Codes - a complete misunderstanding of the methods that scribes at that time checked their copies).

�They are all the same one day repeated to complete the number six or sevenfold, namely, the six-fold principles of the works of God and the seventh principle of His rest." [ Saint Augustine - The City of God ]

"For by his most conspicuous and brilliant word, by one command, God makes both things; the idea of mind, which speaking symbolically he calls heaven, and the idea of sensation, which by a sign he named earth."
[Philo - Allegorical Interpretation, 1 IX, 22 speaking about the line regarding God creating the heavens and earth.]

Josephus tells us about the narrations of Genesis that the meaning of the �first story of creation� (the 6 days) was known by only a few and that with the second narration �Moses begins to speak philosophically�� because it IS a philosophical (we would call it theological in as much as it subject includes the actions of God) and it was written in the form of philosophy at its time - which is - a cosmogony.

I could add to this list Moses Maimondies, Origen, Pseudo-Dionsys, Saints Peter and Paul when they explain some of the �figures� of Genesis, Gregory of Nyssa, Maximus the Confessor - and many more. But it should suffice the Roman Catholic that the Papal Institute of Biblical Studies recognizes Genesis as a cosmogony that displays a literal meaning, a moral meaning, and a spiritual meaning (RE: The Catholic Catechism on the meaning of scriptures).

Genesis is a cosmogony in ennead form. A form very similar to what early form of �wisdom� writing which the earliest Eastern monks called a �Century.�

Genesis is a spiritual history of The Jews - and not a physical history of events as we would write it. Exactly what that means I do not have the space to say.

In any event - Back to Isaac.

The narration of a cosmogony has a literal outer shell. It is a mnemonic for remembering the narration. And the translators were right to try and preserve that literal narration. Of course once you take the original out of the language it was written in - you have taken away most everything but - the outer shell. And if you did not know what a cosmogony was in the first place nor how a cosmogony is structured - then you are left with only an outer shell which display peculiarities in the text� and it would seem to you to be your job to - smooth - the text for a better translated literal meaning.

If one knows what a cosmogony is, what its purpose is, and one has the ability to research the language, and one has trusted commentaries who recognized portions of it - then one can begin to - somewhat - restore its meaning. Of course - any explanation of its restored meaning to people who do not have the same research and knowledge of the Hebrew and early Hebrew customs - the explanation is mostly without anchor in that person - and mistaken translation which has long ago become sacristant - will tend to remain.

If Abram actually existed at all - it is mostly a mote point - in as much as it is the spirit of Abram which is important. �High Spiritual Father� is the personification of his name. His spirit in us all - is that which fathers the rest in us. All begins with Faith - and that is what Abram personifies. Faith - in place of sure intellectual knowledge. Sara is the same as faith (in the intellect) and she is Hope in the will (motivation). Just like Adam and the �woman� (Ish and Ishsa in the Hebrew) Abarm and Sara have a name change (Abraham and Sarah) dome by adding �ah� to each name - there are reasons these things happen in a cosmogony and they relate to changes - is us. In any event� Isaac (the son of the Promise) - did you every do the math? At the time that the English text said that Abram put Isaac on his shoulders and walked up the mountain - Isaac would have been more than 33 years old! And Abram something past 100! (Abram was 88 when Hagar bore Ishmael and 99 when Sara became with child, Sarah dies at 127 and Ishmael is 13 when Abraham was 99 - this makes Isaac 33 and Abram well past 100). The day I see a 33 year old man being carried up a mountain by an old man past 100 - you can shoot me. There is obviously something wrong with the common translation of this narrative as - history.

Imagine! Sara in her 80�s when she became pregnant with Isaac. She said herself how ridiculous it was to give a child to an old woman with dried up breasts. In fact - she expresses that God was �mocking her� - had made a mockery of her. And THAT is the real meaning of Isaac�s name (it is right there in the Hebrew text just the same as the meaning of Noe�s name is right near his name) - its meaning is something like �God has mocked me.� or something like �God mocks me�. It is certainly not �I laughed� or �laughter� or whatever mistake the original English translators made and other translators perpetuate. Sara (in the narration) does not laugh at all - she sorrows at how this dried up old woman would be mocked by others by having a baby at her age.

�And Sarah said �God has made a mockery of me - and everyone who hears of it will laugh at me.�� - that is more accurate. Isaac�s name means �God has made a mockery of me.� and here is the origin of the prophetic nature of the fact that Jesus would be made a mockery. (Is it Isaiah who said he would be mocked??) anyway�

In the narration - Abram and Isaac go up the mountain (hill, mound, rock, etc..) and only one comes down - Abram. Now there are many things in the Hebrew which I shall skip over - but note this� when God says �Let not your hand harm the boy.� the meaning in the Hebrew is �You don�t do it - I will do it.� We assume that God stopped Abrams hand and the boy remained unharmed - when in the Hebrew the meaning is that God tells Abram that Abram is not to kill the boy - God will officiate the sacrifice - God himself will do it.

Now I certainly can�t convince or prove to you what I say is true - in so short a space. Especially because it goes against what some to-be-trusted authorties have said about it. So I will only be able to make you wonder� perhaps.

In the Letter to The Hebrew - Peter talks about the sacrifice of Isaac. In, Peter is speaking to Jews about the Temple and Temple ceremonies. And Peter clearly portrays the Old Testament, and especially Genesis, as signs and prophetic pre-figures of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. And then Peter zeros right in to Isaac being the most notable pre-figure of the sacrifice of Jesus. All these things Peter is talking about are connected. The sacrifice of Isaac is that which all Temple ceremonies were patterned after - and Isaac himself is patterned after - the sacrifice of Jesus Christ (ground zero).

As Peter relates he says �Wherefore indeed from one there became, and having died also, as many as the stars of the heavens in multitude�� which is to say �from one (Isaac) and him having died also! Came as many as the stars of heaven��

Check the Greek. The English translators insert something like �having been as good as dead� because they felt they had to smooth the text to collaborate the way they translated the story of Isaac. But the Greek clearly give it that Peter believes that in the narration of Isaaac - Isaac dies. (Hebrews 11:11-12) And so it is - because in the Hebrew of the narration of Isaac - Isaac does die. A burnt offering. And it is God (not Abraham) who takes his life. And when Sarah hears of it - she dies of a broken heart. In the narration Isaac is the one buried in the tomb that Abraham purchases (I think, I can�t remember, but I think Sarah and Isaac are both placed in the tomb)� and three days later - he is alive again because of the �living waters� (the name of the well).

Here - in the narration of Isaac - is the prophetic pre-figure of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ - here in what all Temple ceremonies are patterned after - and that is WHY and what Peter is telling them in the letter to the Hebrews. That is - that all Temple ceremonies actually point - through Isaac - to the death and resurrection of Jesus. So it is time to leave the �imitation� behind and get onto the real thing - Jesus Christ.

And to boot - line 17 �By faith has-offered-up Abraham [the] Isaac {when] being tested.�

The Greek word for �has-offered-up� is specifically a burnt sacrifice, a burn oblation. The meaning here is that the motivation was done by faith - and the deed was done 'has-offered-up'. Past tense - completed. It does no say or mean that Abraham's did not need to complete the act because his faith or intention was enough. It says that his motivation was faith (believeing that something which logic tells you can not be - can actually come to be by the power of God).

If Abraham killed his only son through Sarah - how then could God fulfill his promise to make future son's of Abraham - through Isaac?? Can a dead Isaac have sons? THIS is the item where Abraham had faith... that somehow - God could do what he said (as many as the stars) even as Isaac would die before he has fathers even one son.

Twice now in Hebrews Peter is sure of himself �has died� �was offered up in burnt oblation� - and Peter continues �and his only begotten-son was offered up..� - making it here three times where Peter is dead sure that the deed - was done.

And line 18: �as to whom it was spoken - �In Isaac shall be called to thee they seed.� reckoning that even from [the] dead to-raise was-able God.� - What dead? Isaac - dead.

My apologies to a ton of Christian scholars who believe that Isaac walked away alive and only the intend was necessary as a sign of faith. I believe that Peter knew much better than they know - what the narration of Isaac was about and how to read it and it is clear by redundancy that Peter read it as Isaac having - died.

The apostles faced the same - situation. How whould Jesus father an entire church - and be King of Isarel as the messiah - when he had just died on the cross and is even now buryed in a tomb!??

I hope I have tied all of the Letter to the Hebrews together for you. Temple cerimonies, the death and resurrection of Isaac, the death and resurrection of Jesus - and leaving the imitation behind for the - real thing.

This of course is my opinion. If you would like to read my research paper on it - let me know. It has much more detail.

-ray
Posted By: RayK Re: A real human sacrifice under Jewish Law - 12/22/03 02:23 PM
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Originally posted by Unity In Christ:
Ray, Would you mind explaining what you mean here?
(an additional note)

to be included with the above is the fact that the priesthood of the Temple derives from the priesthood of Abraham and the sacrifice of Isaac - and as Peter said in Hebrews - it is imperfect now that Jesus Christ had been revealed as the son of God.

The revelation to the Jews through angels (meaning oracles, prophecy, divination through Urim, the budding of the Rod of Aaron, etc�) and those things of the Moses dispensation were imperfect echoes of Jesus Christ - and now that Jesus Christ had come to the Jews and been crucified and resurrected by God - these imperfect things had done their part (pointed to Jesus Christ) and should be left behind - for the real thing (Jesus Christ) which they were based upon as leading up to.


The priesthood of the Temple was based upon and derived from the priesthood of Abraham and his sacrifice of Isaac - an event which is part of the cosmogony of Moses.

The physical or literal possibility of the literalness of any actual physical history of that event (Abram sacrificing Isaac) is not a concern of the text. The Hebrew language is perfectly capable of recording history properly and accurately - and the narration of the biblical event here treated - is not written in that historical form (although English translators try to bend it to be that way). It is rather written in the literary style of a cosmogony and is to the prophets and to Jesus Christ himself (explained on the road to Emmaus �beginning with the book of Moses (Genesis) and then all the prophets - Jesus explained to them about his death and resurrection�) - it is to them a prophecy of mocking, sacrifice, and resurrection - of the Son of Man (Jesus� human nature).

Does this mean that the narration of Abraham and Isaac has no physical and historical reality ? no it does not mean that. It simply means that - compared to its spiritual meaning - any physical and historical or literalness - is far secondary to the text and used to give full understanding to to its primary meaning - the spiritual meaning.

Now it is probable that several people reading this will say "this is contrary to what the fathers of the church have taught" and my reply will be that the magisterium of the church has not guaranteed any of the opinions of these early fathers on Isaac. But if you are looking for the 'mind of the church' on the narration of the sacrifice of Isaac - then the interpretation of Jesus and Peter should be the start of it and any opinion too far away from Jesus and Peter begins to lose its root in the mind of the church no matter by whom held or how long.

This is the way I see it.
-ray
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�Let not your hand harm the boy.� the meaning in the Hebrew is �You don�t do it - I will do it.� We assume that God stopped Abrams hand and the boy remained unharmed - when in the Hebrew the meaning is that God tells Abram that Abram is not to kill the boy - God will officiate the sacrifice - God himself will do it.
I believe Isaac's life was "redeemed" by the blood of the ram, by one who died in his stead....I believe this is a type of our own redemptions, where we are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, Jesus, who died in our stead.

I don't want to argue, but I don't agree, and I think your teaching sounds dangerous. Do you have any backing from scholars and the Church on this interpretation?
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"and three days later - he is alive again because of the �living waters� (the name of the well)."
Ray, what method are you using to interpret the Scripture? May I ask you to explain more about the "translation" of Scripture you are using...and the "code" you are using to decipher its meaning?

I'm very concerned here.....

Unity In Christ
Posted By: RayK Re: A real human sacrifice under Jewish Law - 12/23/03 05:20 AM
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Originally posted by Unity In Christ:
[QUOTE]
Ray, what method are you using to interpret the Scripture? May I ask you to explain more about the "translation" of Scripture you are using...and the "code" you are using to decipher its meaning?

I'm very concerned here.....

Unity In Christ
Codes ??
You use 'codes'??

Don't use codes - that is not safe at all in my opinion - but suit yourself.

For the Hebrew language of the Old Testament and the Greek for the New you can use �Bible Works� as very reliable and comprehensive. A great interlinear Greek is The Revised Standard Version published by Marshall. A good start in Hebrew is the Kregel Interlinear Hebrew-English Old Testament (Genesis-Exodus). Of course there are reliable Jewish sources for the Hebrew language for research purposes, after all it is their language, including Moses Mainonides Guide for The Perplexed which is well respected (however it is difficult for the novice as well as Puedo-Dionisus is difficult for the novice),

A wonderful treatment of just the Narration of Noah is A Study Of The Interpretation Of Noah and The Flood In Jewish and Christian Literature by Jack P. Lewis. It is the most comprehensive study I know and gives every existent church father on the meaning of Noah, as well as tons of early Jewish commentary and much more. An epic work - but hard to find. Good luck. No you can�t borrow my copy.

For those just beginning I recommend these sources�.
Augustine treats of Genesis in his City of God, Gregory of Nyssa treats of portions within his �Life of Moses�, Jesus, Peter and Paul treat many pre-figures of Genesis in the New Testament and they can be trusted but unfortunately are often not by modern scholars. Many of the published line of �Western Spiritual Classics� on early Church fathers are valuable for research.

There are several reliable online Biblical research Journals starting with this one http://www.bsw.org/index?l=71
http://www.bsw.org/index?l=72

For the understanding of early monastic Wisdom literature you might consult a Cistercian library or publications because The �Century� form comes down to us from the Thebans (the first Chrstian desert fathers) through what is now the Cistercians. The Century form died out in Northern France many moons ago but good examples of its use remain in such as Symon The New Theologian and Maximus the Confessor. Stay away from Nostradamus who uses a corrupted form to hide his Alchemy.

One might also try the publications from The Journal of Ecclesiastical History and their publication �The Transmission by The English Carthusians of Some Late Midieval Spiritual Writings� but Eastern based Wisdom literature was disappearing by then.

For the study of cosmogony in general you might consult the Yale Egytological Studies series and especially James P. Allen�s �The Philosophy of Ancient Egyptian Creation Accounts� - but you should be well grounded in the traditional Church resources before examining this one. Mr. Allen can be reached at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York where he is a curator.

Many early church documents that came out of Alexandria (where the first catechetic school was established by Mark) are valuable. Here is a fairly good online resource and it is free http://www.ccel.org/

No doubt you already know about Philo and Josephus. Philo gives an exhaustive exposition of Genesis as he understood it. �The Works of Philo� translated by C.D. Yonge and published by Hendrickson is comprehensive and very economical for study and reference purposes as regards Philo�s opinions. Josephus on Genesis is valuable for the common understanding of Genesis by the teir of priesthood he was in - not that Joephus was a wiz-kid at studies. But he was sincere. The church preserved the Philonic writings because Eusebius of Caesarea labeled the monastic ascetic group of Therapeutae and Therapeutrides, described in Philo's The Contemplative Life, as Christians, which is highly unlikely. Eusebius also promotes the legend that Philo met Peter in Rome. Jerome (345-420 CE) even lists him as a church Father.

One of my most valuable books is the writings of Saint Anslem - and his items on Genesis - but I doubt you will find any copies at all. It is long out of print. I do not lend that one out. Anslem held the Chair of Philosophy after Thomas Aquinas.

For details of Jewish Temple ceremonies there are several Christian and Jewish resources but for general purpose of study for the novice the book �The Temple and its Services� by Endershim is very good and well respected. His first hand research was asounding. He is considered a valable asset not only by good Christian scholars but Jewish scholars as well. His efforts have preserved many details of Temple service that would have been lost by now. While I may not have spelled his name correctly (it has been a long time) I believe reprints are available and I saw it somewhere on the net for free too. If I remember correctly Endrshim was of the strongest opinion that Temple services were patterned on Isaac and ultimatly through that to Christ. Of course he was not the only one who had come to that result.

A wonderful novice book for understanding the Old Testament is �Understanding The Old Testament� (imagine that!) by Bernard Anderson and published by Prentice-Hall. I believe it is a standard seminar used book.

For those things which are Catholic resources let yourself be guided by some knowledgeable Catholic priest in good standing. For those things which are Orthodox resources let yourself be guided by a knowlegable Orthodox priest in good standing - and give yourself plenty of time. Years.

There are a ton more reliable resources but they also take years and are too many to list here. There are also tons more foolish books and opinions that will just confuse the heck out of one and mislead one into someone�s personal opinion who has a personal stance to justify - but if one sticks close to the Magisterium of the Church and stick close to those whom the Church herself uses as reliable - he should be safe. How anyone might use these resources and their results are entirely in their own hands. Again, stay away from �codes� and Kaballah and occult - and sift everything through the Magisterium of the Church where the Church has decided to make pronouncement. Without that one will be drifting without anchor. Disregard most modern books on Genesis published by smarty-pants and go back to the origin. With some dedication and sincerity and humility (trust the Magistrium) anyone may make relatively safe progress. Any Christian should do his part of the cooperation in his own spiritual formation and this type of study is great food for meditation and prayer and a wonderful protection to keep one safe from some common misconceptions that he will be pressured to comform to. Oh - yes - cooperation with daily Providence is essential - that is what it is all about.

Needless to say - my opinions regarding Genesis are my own and open for discussion by being posted here. No one is required to believe them. If they concern anyone then they can be ignored which is much safer. It is not nessesary for faith. There is much value to the commonly believed interpretation and it takes no research to gain from it.

Cheers.
-ray
Posted By: RayK Re: A real human sacrifice under Jewish Law - 12/23/03 07:26 AM
Some times we all forget a bit that this is a discussion board where it is OK to bring up topics for discussion and it is OK to present an argument for a view point. Discussion is expected. Even brisk discussion.

I do not think that anyone should really base his faith on the contents of a discussion board nor judge anyone elses faith by the contents of a discussion board which discussion does not substitute for authoritive teaching nor proper education.

Just reminding myself.

Let us all (myself included) not take ourselves too seriously.

I hope, that from time to time I raise items for consideration and and thought and further research and study by those intereted in progress in the early history of scriptural interpretation and study. I would guess that most time I do not. But I do enjoy people who differ and present challenge and civil argument for another view.

-ray
Ray,

From an Eastern perspective the Septuagint is definitive. The Hebrew translation does not have (or should not have) any bearing on our interpretation of scripture.

Fr. Deacon Lance
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Codes ??
You use 'codes'??

Don't use codes - that is not safe at all in my opinion - but suit yourself
No, I don't use a code, but I thought that you were using one.....

It sounded like you thought that a non-literal understanding came from using some special "code" or method of interpreting Scripture.....

Hey, Ray, I don't want to cause an offense...but I really can't understand where the Bible even implies some of the things you say....

Wishing you a happy, joyful, Holiday season.

Unity In Christ
Posted By: RayK Re: A real human sacrifice under Jewish Law - 12/23/03 07:36 PM
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Originally posted by Deacon Lance:
Ray,

From an Eastern perspective the Septuagint is definitive. The Hebrew translation does not have (or should not have) any bearing on our interpretation of scripture.

Fr. Deacon Lance
I am not sure what you are saying here that the �Hebrew translation� does not have any bearing on the interpretation of scriptures. The Hebrew is the original scripture here and the Septuagint is the translation. You seem to be speaking as if the Hebrew is a translation of the Septuagint.

What I think that I should understand from you is that - the Eastern Church�s interpretation of the Septuagint translation of the Old Testament - supercedes any other Jewish translation or any Jewish interpretation of the Old Testament - for the Eastern Church.

Yes? This is what you meant for me to understand?

This kind of policy works pretty well in the Roman Catholic church where she is very clear through the Magisterium about what portions of scripture she has chosen to be definitive in the interpretation of.

I do not think that you meant to say that the Hebrew language, or Hebrew sources, or Jewish interpretation of the Old Testament - have had any bearing on the Eastern Church interpretation of the Old Testament as if one could be completely divorced from the other.

All that seems reasonable to me.
-ray
Ray,

Yes, but also:

The Septuagint is from the 3rd century B.C., the Hebrew Masoretic text is from the 9th century A.D. The Masoretic text is not the original Hebrew text. The Septuagint is a more accurate translation of the original Hebrew texts of the same era and I think the Dead Sea Scrolls bear this out. Also it is the Septuagint that is quoted by the New Testament authors. This reason alone ends the debate for the Eastern Church. The Byzantine Church objects to using the Masoretic texts for liturgical purpose let alone Theology.

Fr. Deacon Lance
Posted By: RayK Re: A real human sacrifice under Jewish Law - 12/23/03 11:54 PM
Quote
Originally posted by Deacon Lance:
Ray,
The Septuagint is from the 3rd century B.C., the Hebrew Masoretic text is from the 9th century A.D. etc...
Fr. Deacon Lance
OK.. I see what you are saying. Thanks for that clarification.

Cheers.
-ray
Posted By: Jakub. Re: A real human sacrifice under Jewish Law - 12/24/03 01:47 AM
Fr. Deacon Lance & Forum members,

In what regard does the Eastern Church hold on the Latin Vulgate, in comparison to the Septuagint ?

I read somewhere that the Psalms in the Vulgate are very close to Septuagint.

Hope this is inline with the thread.


james
Posted By: RayK Re: A real human sacrifice under Jewish Law - 12/24/03 03:33 AM
Quote
Originally posted by Unity In Christ:
[QUOTE]
It sounded like you thought that a non-literal understanding came from using some special "code" or method of interpreting Scripture.....

Wishing you a happy, joyful, Holiday season.

Unity In Christ
Well - only in the sense of understanding what portions of it are what kind of literature and how that style literature helps one to determine how it should be read, and gives context to interpretation and meaning.

For example - most of the prophets often use a standard style of Hebrew poetry in many places. In the English translations it is almost impossible to delineate what portions are poetry, what portions dialog between the prophet and God, and what portions are the prophet encouraging or explaining things to the people. Some English translations now make attempt to delineate the poetry and some English translations still do not. I do not know how the Septuagint treats these sections. It is easier to determine who the speaker is when one knows the Hebrew custom of structure of dialog used.

Some of the books are apocalyptic in style (Example: Daniel, Ezekiel, Revelations). Some are historic chronicles (example: Kings and Chronicles) some are personal letters (the Epistles) some are concerned with laying down social laws (like Leviticus) some are Wisdom literature (Ecclesiastes, Proverbs, etc) some are Liturgical literature meant to be used in Temple services (Psalms) some are about spiritual growth (Song of Songs, Job, etc..) and arose within the different school of the prophets or communities like Quarum.

And the gospels of course are the personal experiences of the apostles having been with Jesus Christ as well as being a historical chronicle - but the historical chronicle of the gospels is secondary to the personal experience of Jesus that the apostle had - so anyone expecting to read them as totally accurate historical cronicals will have difficulty and find discrepancies while missing their intent and purpose. In the worst case they may get frustrated and dismiss the gospels as inaccurate and contrived myth and propaganda.

Genesis is the only cosmogony while Revelations is somewhat related to Genesis by having a similar literary structure. It seems plain that the misinterpretation of these two books have caused the most trouble within Chritianity as a whole. Literal? Historical? Figurative? Allegorical? Predictive of future events in history? divorced from the culture within which these were written and what type of literature thay are and the methods appropriate to what type of literature they are - makes the misinterpretation of these two books inevitable. Compounded by the tendency for people to think that their savation depends upon haveing faith in a particular interpretation - than it can seem tp them to be a failure of faith not to adhere to that particular interpretation embraced by thier church or group. Leading to divisions of the body of Christ - all done in the name of the Holy Spirit and God. Each one beliving that they are the group being faithful to God.

It is common human sense that each book is read a bit differently by knowing what style of literature it is and what the pupose of that style of literature is. I would not call this the use of codes (knowing its sturcture and purpose) while I would say that there are methods appropriate to it that have to do with its structure, language and purpose. As example a letter usually begins with a personal salutation and greeting and then moves into the subject of the letter and closes with more personal chatter. Spiriual treates like Job usually begin by setting up a situation that seems very historical in fact but is only related to actual historical fact in degrees - the purpose of the book is not its historical crnology or record so the author may change some of these details to better fit the purpose of the book.

As far as the Hebrew text - well yes there are rules and �methods� to follow and to be aware of and personal choices to be made when translating any language to another.

I find that most people without any real research or study - just assume that the books of the Old Testament are arranged in chronological order (first this happened and then this happened and next this happened) and of course they are not arranged that way but rather into three sections according to subject, which three sections are themselves further divided into three or four more division of subjects. I expect that the Septuigant follows these divisions.

My personal opinions of the details of the narration of Isaac or Peter�s letter to the Hebrews or what the ceremonies of the Temple represented - do not contradict the theology of the Church and in many areas confirm and lend context to the theology of the Church. Yup - it may not be easy to see that through my yaking of so many dry details.

In the Roman Catholic world - the theology of the Church, while united to scriptures in many ways, does not depend upon scriptures and the Church does not mold herself to anyone�s or any group�s particular understanding, interpretation, or translation of Scriptures. At one time it was tied to the Latin translation for reasons to have a common translation amoung the many languages used in the Roman Catholic world. Cuurently there is an American Roman Catholic Bible in English but when the Vatican quotes scriptures in its offcial documents it mostly uses the Revised Standard version for it more internationaly understood English.

In the Roman Catholic world scriptures are secondary to the theology of the Church. An expression and witness of that theology - but not the origin or definitive factor of that theology. In the Roman Catholic world the Church, and specifically the Magistrium and Councils, are the origin of theology as guided by the presence of Christ. So the research and study of scriptures does not carry with it any inherent threat to Church theology, doctrine or faith.

I do now understand from this discussion, a bit better, some Eastern churches views of scripture as they differ from the Roman Catholic view. And priviledge to spend time with some well educated Orthodox clergy who do fantastic biblical research within the biblical languages and cultures of the time - I am now more aware of why Orthodox biblical scholars are careful with what they say in public and are such a tight knit community amoung themselves.

I assume that each biblical veiw is appropriate for each church community.

Thanks and Peace to you my good friend and the good Deacon - who do discuss - and make me think.

-ray
Hi Ray,

Quote
In the Roman Catholic world scriptures are secondary to the theology of the Church
I'm not certain what you are trying to state here??? Scriptures can't be secondary to the Church's theology, though of course, the Church was here before the New Testament Scriptures were written. The Church is able to tell us authoratively what certain passages of Scripture mean, and to help guide our understanding of all of Scripture, though she generally seems to leave us a lot of leeway in interpretation.

Our Church's teachings are based on SCRIPTURE AND TRADITION....are they not?

Anyway, back to the topic of "codes".....I was reading on your personal website....and you talk about "Ennead"....????

Quote
Thanks and Peace to you my good friend and the good Deacon - who do discuss - and make me think.
Thanks for your friendly words, Ray....

Peace....

Unity In Christ
Posted By: RayK Re: A real human sacrifice under Jewish Law - 12/26/03 06:33 AM
Quote
Originally posted by Unity In Christ:
Thanks for your friendly words, Ray....

Peace....

Unity In Christ
Well I have noticed a bad habit of mine that is easiy misconstrued.

When I write - I write like the stuff I often read. I use "you" in a generic way which means - anyone... but the reader can easily take it to mean himself personally.

So I went over my last post and changed many 'you' to 'one' as in generic like I mean.

Christmas Day! What and I doing here??

Christ is born!

-ray
Posted By: RayK Re: A real human sacrifice under Jewish Law - 12/26/03 04:08 PM
Quote
Originally posted by Unity In Christ:
Hi Ray,

Quote
I'm not certain what you are trying to state here??? Scriptures can't be secondary to the Church's theology, though of course, the Church was here before the New Testament Scriptures were written. The Church is able to tell us authoratively what certain passages of Scripture mean, and to help guide our understanding of all of Scripture, though she generally seems to leave us a lot of leeway in interpretation.

Our Church's teachings are based on SCRIPTURE AND TRADITION....are they not?

Anyway, back to the topic of "codes".....I was reading on your personal website....and you talk about "Ennead"....????

[QUOTE]
Thanks and Peace to you my good friend and the good Deacon - who do discuss - and make me think.
Thanks for your friendly words, Ray....

Peace....

Unity In Christ
Allow me to carry on this discussion by replying in an order. We can deal with what a cosmogony is in Genesis and the ennead structure later. It is really a bit simple as a form of literature. I will only say here that if one were to wish to write a book then he would follow the form appropriate to a novel

Cover
Cover page with the name of the book and author in huge letters.
Dedication page (if it is dedicated to anyone)
Preface if there is one
Introduction
Body separated in chapters.
Closing chapter which is a summary or conclusions drawn.
Index
Bibliography

It is a form and structure which we are so used to that we make no note in mind that it exists. Each section of this form gives a context to what is written in that section. For example we would not read the bibliography section as if we were reading a chapter in the body. A book of poetry has its own form to follow - a legal document has its own form to follow. A personal journal has its own form to follow. Decades ago the form of a personal letter in the English speaking countries was very strict. For example to read a personal letter written in Colonial times - the form is followed very strictly - the salutation (�Dear Esquire so and so�) the greeting follows - then the body of the letter and most of the time written in the third person.. Etc.. The Epistles of the apostles mostly follow forms of letter writing commonly used in surrounding cultures of that time. There are differences between the letter to the Hebrews (using a Jewish structure for the letter) and say the letter to the Romans (which follows the Roman letter structure and form. Suffice it to say for now that a cosmogony is simply a common form and structure used 2000 years before Christ. All Semitic tribes used it as did the Egyptians, Romans and the Greeks. The Greeks used it longer than anyone else (Plato�s Dialogs are in ennead form and so are Plotinus� theses.

Theology�.

Both the Eastern Churches and the Roman Catholic church agree on the definition of �theology�.

�theo� = God
�ology� = body of knowledge.

Meaning knowledge that belongs to God. God�s knowledge.

As such - theology is reserved for the Trinity alone. God may give that knowledge but man can not attain to it by the use of human reason.

For example �God is a Trinity�. This fact had to be revealed by God. In fact the doctrine that God is a trinity is nowhere laid out in the Old or New Testament. None of the apostles speak the word �Trinity� even once. The Trinity is a theological truth that was defined by Council - long after the apostles. We can see evidence of God being a Trinity in the New Testament when Jesus speaks about the Father The Son and the Holy Spirit and himself and God being �one� - but we can see that evidence precisely because we already have knowledge of the theological doctrine of the - Trinity.

So theology in the strictest senses is an - act done by God where God himself reveals knowledge that human reason cannot come to on its own. Neither by thought, analysis or reasoning. Theology is fact that God is a Trinity. The fact of seven sacraments. The fact that the Eucharist is the very body and blood of Jesus Christ, etc�

In the churches of the East, a Theologian is given to someone in whom it has been clearly displayed that their unity with Christ has enlightened them. For example Symon the New Theologian. This title is akin to the Roman Catholic title of �Doctor of the Church�. In both East and West - a theologian does not - produce theology. Neither by learning, nor study of even scriptures. Theology is reserved to an act of the Trinity.

Once given� theology becomes available knowledge. For example� that God is a Trinity has been given through Council - long long ago. It has been revealed already. So we can learn that fact through the church and then study how that fact is applied within the church and its teaching and the life of the church and its members.

So the study of theology (theologia) is the study of that body of knowledge which God alone has revealed and has given to the church through the defining and confirmation of it by Councils - and it is knowledge that human reason cannot attain to on its own. The Church�s teaching comes from and is based upon its theology.

The study or the reading of scriptures is the study of - economy (oikonomia) or the evidence or witness (Testament or written testimony of witnesses) of the actions of God as displayed in the world.

Scripture does not contain theology (remember our Eastern definition of theology being a revelation to the human mind - an act of God within a human). While one may say �scripture contains theology because it tells us there is a God.� that is not true because to know that there is a God can be attained through human reason.

Theology is independent of scriptures and not dependent upon any translation, understanding, or interpretation of scriptures. Theology may be evidenced in scriptures if one already knows some theology of the church - but it cannot be derived from scriptures and it cannot be produced in the mind through the reading or study of scriptures. Therefore the Church may explain scriptures and tradition in light of the Church�s theology - but the churches theology is not derived from scriptures or traditions.

Again� theology is that body of God�s own knowledge which has been revealed - and cannot be attained to by the use of human reason alone. That is why the East says that theology is reserved to the Trinity alone and is best treated in silence (meaning human reason cannot attain to it). But as I say, once revealed it becomes knowledge we can learn and discuss and study in the aspects of how it informs the Church and is taught and lived by the church and its members. In the West - someone who makes this his study is called a theologian - but again - the theologian does not produce theology or derive it from scriptures or reasoning etc.

The Church may use the tools of scriptures and tradition (economy) to give witness to theology (God is Trinity, the statements are seven, etc..) but since the scriptures and tradition are - economy - and do not contain theology - the church uses these both to teach Christian morality and spirituality.

That scriptures may contain not only a literal level, but may contain a moral and spiritual and an allegorical meaning at the same time - should be no surprise to anyone. Since the time that Liturgy (the Mass) was established - it has been the practice that during it - the Lectionary is read. Before there was a New Testament - that reading consisted of just reading from the Old Testament (of course) and after the New Testament was made cannon then the Lectionary might include a reading from the gospels also. The reading are given as read and it is the literal form that we initially understand. Through the reading - we envision the events and the action taking place in the reading. We begin then, with the literal level. After that - the priest begins the sermon and draws from the literal readings some moral or spiritual lesson which he explains as it applies to us today in our normal lives. While it is true that today a priest may go off on his own and make his sermon about things that are not directly derived from the Sunday reading just done - in the early Church the �sermon� was always drawn from the readings.

In the Eastern Church and the Roman Catholic Church - the readings (the Lectionary of the Sunday) are always associated on a moral or spiritual level. The reading are not taken from scriptures at random. So while there may be no literal thread or connection between the reading - there will always be moral or spiritual connection between the readings. That is - each of the three readings will have the same spiritual or moral meaning.

So while some people say that there is only one meaning to scriptures and that is a literal meaning - they have become unconscious to the fact that the Church herself gives first the literal meaning (reading it), and then the moral or spiritual meaning as it applies to us today - of portions of scriptures - each Sunday.

The tradition of explaining the moral, spiritual or allegorical meaning of portions of scriptures carried over from Jewish Synagogue services. In the gospels we see Jesus, at synagogue, being sleeted to read the Lection (I think it was a portion of Isaiah) and then explain it (�Today - this has been fulfilled.�). They were surprised at his explanation ! But it was the proper thing to do as the explanation of that daily reading was, as it still is today, an explanation of how the scripture reading has moral or spiritual application - today. So it is plain to see that is exactly what Jesus did �Today - this scripture is fulfilled.�

In summation: Theology is that knowledge of God (God�s own knowledge) that has been directly revealed. It is knowledge that can not be attained, deduced, or reach of figured out by human reason. And we call the study of that knowledge (as it is already known by the church) as Theology. And it is entirely independent from scriptures (but since we know most if it so well we automatically see evidence of it within scriptures).

The Churches teaching of theology may be evidenced within the economy of scriptures - but is not derived nor based on that witness (scriptures) or the witness of tradition.

The witness or testimony of a fact - is always secondary to the fact itself.

And so scriptures is always secondary to the Church�s theology - which theology is not contain in, derived from, or obtained from - scriptures - but is rather a direct revelation of enlightenment to the human mind and becomes the theology of the Church when it is declared such by Church Council.

Private revelation is not theology. Only revelation declared by the Church becomes - theology and guaranteed.

People (others) have made these things much more complicated than they are.

Thank you for the further opuortunity to express my opinion and to think about this stuff.

If you agree with most of this, I will try to find you other reliable resources to learn about what a cosmogony and an ennead form - are - and how used in Genesis. I really do not feel that I am a propepr resource to learn that from. My research papers were posted on the net for others intereted in that subject of study but I find that too many people of the general public are comeing there and they are not really prepaired for that study. My site will son contain audio on Cussade's Abandonment to Divine Providence instead and my research papers go to another restricted site.


-ray
Hi Ray,

I spoke too quickly regarding Theology,and without enough research. I apologize. I think your statements are closer to correct than mine in this regard..... although I must admit that I still need to read more of the early fathers, the Catechism of the Catholic Church, and others of the good old and new reliable sources.

My fear about ennead as a method isn't that is is a "structured" way of laying things out....or that it goes beyond the literal interpretation of Scripture..... that sounds fine to me....after all, one must look beyond the outer structure of the Psalms to see Christ's passion portrayed, etc.

My fear,(perhaps based on ignorance),is that "ennead" is too close to the character-analysis tool, "enneagram," which is highly suspect according to the Vatican.

Since you mentioned unusual interpretations of Scripture, ones I had never heard of before, (Isaac being raised from the dead on the third day....etc.) I was afraid you were laying things out according to a "code" and reading into them intentions which the inspired authors may not have had. I also wondered if you knew of any of the Church fathers who held the same interpretation.

I am willing to be told that I misunderstand your position entirely, but I really do want to know more about where these Scripture understandings are coming from, because, sometimes, in trying to gain extraordinary insight, we may miss the truth.

Thank you for the dialog.

Unity In Christ
Posted By: RayK Re: A real human sacrifice under Jewish Law - 12/27/03 04:37 PM
Quote
Originally posted by Unity In Christ:
but I really do want to know more about where these Scripture understandings are coming from, because, sometimes, in trying to gain extraordinary insight, we may miss the truth.

Thank you for the dialog.

Unity In Christ
I can see how you might be worried that 'ennead' is a bit sound alike for 'enneagram' - I assure you they have nothing in common. The enneagram is malarky and the ennead is an accedemically recognisied form of ancient literature which was also used by several desert fathers and monastic communities of the early church.

Perhaps it would be good for me to make clear to reads in here - that my opinion regarding Isaac - is that no human life was taken. It is not a historical account in the way we assume it is. The human life taken was Jesus Christ - and the narrative of Isaac is a �pre-figure� of that sacrifice. For me to say �Isaac - died� is to say that according to the Hebrew of the narration - and according to Peter of the Epistle to the Hebrews - the sacrifice was completed and Isaac died within the context of the narration and its purpose.


Quote
�sometimes, in trying to gain extraordinary insight, we may miss the truth.�
I learned a long time ago that Providence = reality. It is - what is - and there is nothing to fear from reality or truth. And so a dedication to both is good - but may be difficult at times when you find yourself in the minority. Which difficulty alone does not necessarily mean that is it up to one to �upset the apple cart�. There are times when upsetting the apple cart just does no one any good including ones-self. That is called prudence I believe.

My �insights� into scripture (and I will readily admit I occasional have them otherwise I would not be posting �hard things� here on occasion and facing the occasional blasting I sometimes get for it) my insights as they are - are not extraordinary at all. My attraction to the stories of Adam and Eve etc� goes back 30 years or so. Reading such spiritual luminaries such as Saint Gregory of Nyssa (Life of Moses) has always been food for my soul. The early desert fathers such as John Climacus, etc.. So it became a hobby of mine to research and study many of the early fathers - and to study the cultures within which the Old Testament and New Testament arose. There is nothing out of line in this - many people study the New Testament Greek and a study of that necessarily includes portions of these cultures. This type of study gives �flesh� to the �bones� - in other words fills in the human backdrop in which these things took place. It is unavoidable that one then begins to understand these cultures more and one can place himself �in the shoes� of the gospels and come to understand better (in human ways) some of the events. I believe it was Saint Paul who advises that the study of scriptures - is good.

There are some who are very satisfied with their own interpretation of scriptures (where ever that came from) and dislike any changes to it. I am not saying that you yourself are like that. I am speaking in general. I have never been like that. For me to hear Arch Bishop Sheen or Bishop Kallistos Wares speak about events in scriptures and fill in the blanks and background - fascinates me and settles peace in my soul at the same time. These �insights� from such as these remain etched in my mind. I have almost - a �photographic� memory for them. Arch Bishops Sheens tapes are very old now and I first hear them 30 years ago - but I still pull them out at least once a year and lay on my bed in complete silence and soak them up all over again.

Much of what I �give� in my posts such as Isaac - is really me just re-presenting something originally presented by someone such as Arch Bishop Sheen, or Endershim, or from some of the wonderful authors I have read (most of them recognized and well respected by the either the Roman Catholic Church or the Orthodox Church) and adding more details that I have myself found, over time, that has confirmed the original presentation (such as what Simon�s nick-name must have meant - remember that discussion?). So if people do not agree with me and even a few thing me weird and in �danger� - that does not bother me too much. I can well stand being �alone� in my opinion because of knowing myself where and with whom these things ordinate. And I realize that it is the tendency of human nature to be resistive and beware of biblical views that are not commonly held. So I do not really blame anyone who is suspicious of my views. I know full well also that I am not a writer - and so I often do not explain well and my posts are easily misconstrued.

If you are interested in how Genesis is a cosmogony and what that means to a reading of Genesis - I can point you to some good reliable sources in order to begin to research such a thing - but I myself would not, nor should not, be the one to �teach� anyone about such a subject. I believe some what, that you yourself have the capability to research and understand many of the aspects of advanced biblical research - knowing that I do that you well understood Erick Fromm (not an easy task). Fromm is not 100% correct but to grasp him takes a good study and good mind. Which you have.

If you are interested in what the ennead structure is I can probably give you good reference to begin to study that also. It is related to a cosmogony but that is not its exclusive use as the Coptic desert fathers and many of the early Greek fathers used it at times for monastic literature.

There are some great - and reliable - resources available over the net. Biblical research journal and such. I myself am assisting the Orthodox Church to launch a major web site for the advancement of Orthodox biblical research - which has as it members many internationally recognized Orthodox professors (they are not called Theologians in the Eastern Church). My assistants and friendship with them is not an endorsement of my own views. We are drawing together brilliant minds and spirits of Orthodox biblical research from around the world� Lebanon, Palestine, Canada, the US, far places - for the first time in history. I am proud to be the only Roman Catholic (so far) associated with this effort. So I can tell you for a fact that the Eastern Churches (at least Orthodox) biblical research and the study of Hebrew, Aramaic, etc� as well as the traditional study of the Greek of the NT - Jewish culture and Roman culture of biblical times - is vibrant and alive. I am privileged as a Roman Catholic - to be invited to attend Orthodox seminars on biblical research that have knocked my socks off with how well done and insightful they have been. They are spiritual food - indeed. So I have first hand experience at the underlying unity of the Catholic and Orthodox worlds. Truth and reality - is not the exclusive possession of any one man nor group.

With this post - I have probably said too much about myself. But I would make me happy to see you more involved in biblical research and study. You may be already (for all I know)� which would also make me happy because I recognise your own capability to do well and grow spiritually.

I have always said, there was something about you that I liked� but please do not ever come to agree with me too much - you are my most worthy challenge to my views and I thank you for that and the discussions it engenders. There is not much discussion that I could have if everyone agreed with me or - said nothing.

-ray
Posted By: RayK Re: A real human sacrifice under Jewish Law - 12/28/03 02:40 AM
I suppose an excellent reference for Genesis being a cosmogony would be this which I happen to come across just today - which is only one reference in the early fathers - as to the fact that Genesis is that form of early literature called a cosmogony. This was not a special knowledge to these fathers - it was a given.

Title: NPNF2-05. Gregory of Nyssa: Dogmatic Treatises, Etc. Creator(s): Gregory of Nyssa Schaff, Philip (1819-1893) (Editor) Print Basis: New York: Christian Literature Publishing Co., 1886

Quote
�But nature, from our previous remarks, appears not to be trustworthy for instruction as to the Divine generation,--not even if one were to take the universe itself as an illustration of the argument: since through its creation also, as we learn in the cosmogony of Moses, there ran the measure of time, meted out in a certain order and arrangement by stated days and nights, for each of the things that came into being: and this even our adversaries' statement does not admit with regard to the being of the Only-begotten, since it acknowledges that the Lord was before the times of the ages.�
Hi Ray,

Thanks for your clarifications. I have done very little research on such subjects as Ennead and Cosmogony....so I have very little basis for arguing or even asking much on these subjects right now.

I am not a "Bible Scholar" but I have been reading the Bible frequently, and at times intensely for about 20 years....

My main interests in religious studies are:

Eucharist, Church Authority, Papacy, Eastern and Western unity, apologetics, and understanding the types and figures of the Old Testament, and how they relate to their fulfillment in Christ and Christianity.

The last of these, is where our paths cross.....

Personally, I believe that the Old Testament prefigurements can be understood both literally and symbolically.

For example: Isaac really carried wood up the mountain for his "sacrifice," and Christ carried the wooden cross for His sacrifice......

I believe that the type is fulfilled in Christ, but that the Isaac incident is also a true happening in history.

This is my understanding, but I would certainly defer to the Church should she find me in error.

Are we at all on the same wave-length?

Unity In Christ
Ray,

Your Biblical exegesis is amazing.

Is there any type of correlation between Sarah and Mary? I feel there is some type (well, many types) of parallels, but I can't pinpoint them. While reading your posts a couple of days ago, suddenly many similarities between the two women and their places in history popped up in my head, but for some reason now I can't remember what they were for the life of me.

Logos Teen
Ray,

I looked up the Greek in Hebrews 11:11-12. It goes something like:

Quote
" (11) Pistis kai Sarrha autos lambano dunamis eis katabole sperma kai tikto *when she was* para kairos epei hegeomai ho pistos epaggello (12) Dio gennao *there* kai apo heis kai tauta nekroo *so many* kathos ho astron ho ouranos ho plethos kai hos ho ammos ho *is* para ho thalassa cheilos anarithmetos.
Which, using the KJV, is rendered: "(11)Through faith also Sarah herself received strength to conceive seed, and was delivered of a child when she was past age, because she judged him faithful who had (12) therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable."

Which literally translates into something like: "(11)Through reliance upon God/moral conviction also, Sara herself attained, by a miracle, to conceive an offspring and to give birth/produce *when she was* near/in the vicinity of a proper time/age since she considered him trustworthy who had professed/announced (12) consequently was born/procreated *there* even of a man who was dead/subdued *so many* as the constellations of the heavens in large number, and as the innumerable [particles of ] sand which is on/at/by the seashore."

*Asterisks imply that the word was inserted by English translators to make the text flow more smoothly. Words with asterisks on either side are not in the Greek original.

And yes, I'd agree with Ray that the text seems to imply that Isaac (the one who was born/procreated) died (who was dead). The KJV version says "as good as dead," but the Greek original simply uses "dead" (nekros).

However, I am totally lost when the author speaks about the stars in the sky and the sand on the beach. Apparently he's drawing a parallel between the huge numbers of stars and sand particles and something else, but I don't understand what it is or why it's relevant to the rest of the passage.

Logos Teen
Hi Logos Teen,

It's nice to hear another voice entering this dicussion.

I've never heard that Scripture interpreted that way. I have always believed that when the passage in Hebrews said "he who was dead" or "he who was as good as dead" it referred to Abraham's being of an age where one would think he could no longer father offspring.....

In other words, Sarah was past age....and Abraham was as good as dead (as far as bringing forth decendendants)....and yet miraculously from this couple came Isaac.

Do the Church Fathers say anything on this point? How is it usually interpreted?

As to the sand of the sea and the stars...I think it refers to the great number of Abraham's decendants.

Unity In Christ
Posted By: RayK Re: A real human sacrifice under Jewish Law - 12/31/03 05:03 AM
Teen of the Incarnate Logos�

Interesting name .. It means Providence or Creating-Word which God speaks and which became flesh. If you look up Logos as used by the Greek philosophers (where John borrowed it from) Logos is the reasoning and governing (intelligence) that God exercises upon created things and events. That governing is heaven itself (not a place but a government in the sense of all things being totally subject to the governing of a King).

Quote
Which literally translates into something like: "(11)Through reliance upon God/moral conviction also, Sara herself attained, by a miracle, to conceive an offspring and to give birth/produce *when she was* near/in the vicinity of a proper time/age since she considered him trustworthy who had professed/announced (12) consequently was born/procreated *there* even of a man who was dead/subdued *so many* as the constellations of the heavens in large number, and as the innumerable [particles of ] sand which is on/at/by the seashore."
Interesting.

Marshall interlinear Greek/English (a word for word transliteration) has...
Quote
By-faith also her-self Sara power for conception of-seed received even beyond time of-age, since faithful she-deemed the[one] having promised. Wherefore indeed from one there-became, and that also having died, as the stars of heavens in multitude as the sands by the lip of the sea innumerable.
This seems to say that Sara received the power to conceive seed even though she was too old to do so by nature. A miraculous conception as has been noted by some early commentators. And because of that birth (Isaac) there became generation as innumerable as the stars and the sands of the sea shore.

The interesting thing is the insertion, the modifier� �and that[one] also having died� with clear meaning that the generation which is as innumerable as the stars came after Isaac an event of Isaac�s death. The author add it as an exclamation. Having-died and generating all these after the event of death - seems to speak of a resurrection (which is not uncommon in either the Old Testament nor the New - Lazareth resurrected before Jesus resurrected - however Lazareth died again and Jesus does not). Several people resurrect to die again in the Old Testament. Apparently Isaac (whatever he represents) was the first.

Quote
By faith has offered-up Abraham Isaac being tested, and the only-begotten was-offered-up the-one the promises having undertaken, as to whom it was spoken....
Interesting about that line is �offered-up� which is a specific Greek term meaning a burnt-offering. Offered up as a burnt offering. The Greek term �has� indicates an act - completed. Done. Past tense. So if Isaac died - he died in flames of the altar. As I said, Abraham was told not to use the knife himself. If this were a real human sacrifice as they were done throughout early history - the victim would have been killed first by knife - and then the fire started. It was certainly practical that you did not want the victim twitching himself involuntarily off the altar because of the pain of the flames.

May I remind you this here is a cosmogony and any historical fact is secondary to what the author wish to give to us as its primary meaning. You are - supposed - to notice the oddness and wonder about it.

Quote
In Isaac shall be called to-thee a seed, reckoning that even from dead to-raise was able God.
�Even from dead to-raise� no question that is a resurrection and it refers to the Isaac who �having died� still became the father of generations innumerable. The Greek word �reckoned� used here was a word used in accounting which means to �credit�. So this means that Abraham credited to God the power to rise the dead. He had faith that God could raise the dead. But having faith does not necessarily mean that ones body agrees and so our human nature can still be very upset with things even as our mind holds to faith.

Here are the essential parallels. I am certainly not the first to notice them.

Both Isaac and Jesus conceived miraculously.

Isaac is named �God mocks me or God makes of me a mocking� and Jesus is �mocked� by the crowd as well as the suffering servant of Isaiah being the subject of mocking. In as much as it is God�s will that Jesus suffer - it is God himself making Jesus be mocked.

Both are described as only begotten sons who will have generation as countless as the stars.

Both were offered as sacrifice.

In as much as the Jews were �sons of Abraham� then it is like Abraham (the Jews) who preformed the sacrifice. They sacrificed their own son through whom the promise was to be fulfilled.

Both are described as a burnt-offering.

It is to be understood with both - that it was God himself who preformed the sacrifice.

The test of Abraham was not if he would do the sacrifice of killing his own son - but how to believe God about his promise to Abraham of �generations innumerable� through Isaac - if died before having seed??

The test of the apostles was - how could Jesus build a church - when Jesus apparently ended up dying on the cross and lay now �stink� in the sealed tomb?? All the forensics of death present.

To Abraham God said �Because you have done this and NOT spared your son� your only son� that in blessing I will bless you� etc.. etc..�

In any and all cases referring to Isaac in the Old and NT - not once does any of the original authors indicate �almost� as if� faith was good enough and Isaac was spared��. All speak to the effect that Isaac actually died - and also went on to father generations. Resurrection plain and simple.

Translators have had difficulty with this in several ways. Most obviously, translators know little about a cosmogony its structure and purpose. First - it does not seem reasonable for the literal narration in as much as Isaac appears alive later with Amibiecth. Secondly - the idea of human sacrifice in connection with Jews is aberrant and against Jewish law. In as much as Genesis is written as if it were historical fact - than the translators did as well as can be expected to maintain the narration even while they could not carry over the peculiarities of the Hebrew text and still maintain a reasonable and literal narration well within other languages. A choice had to be made and highlighting the literal or narrative is the right choice.

Of course, throughout history there has been division between those who take certain text of scripture literally and those who take the same text figuratively with emphasis on the spiritual meaning. And of course there are those who go off the deep end by going into wild and unfounded allegory. Either extreme can be a bit of a danger at time. So it is only good and reasonable that scriptures are secondary to the theology of the church.

The Jews of Jesus� time claimed that literal generation from the seed of Abraham made Abraham their father - to which Jesus claimed that the literal generation (being a physical and genetic descendent of Abraham) mattered not and what mattered was having the same faith that Abraham exhibited. This is all the more poignant when it came time for Jesus to die - and the faith required of the disciples during his own crucifixion and death would be the same faith that Abraham �reckoned to God� when Isaac died (�reckoning that even from dead to-raise was able God�). It is easily overlooked but it is clear the way Jesus himself took the text of Isaac. In a comparison of opinions on what the text of Isaac means - I know which I would tend to want to understand better - the opinion of Jesus and Peter.

But of course, examining these views must be done with reason. One of the other oinion has no impact upon theology (nothing changes there). And to hold too tightly to one of the other �pole� does one not much good at all. In both versions the spiritual point (the only point that really matters) is for us to be like Abraham in our faith as Abraham was in his faith - he is our spiritual model.

Further interesting in the Hebrew is that Abraham is told �Your are not to harm the boy - yourself.� and Abraham looks up to see two things that are one thing (that is how the text puts it). He looks up and sees the presence of God (which Hebrew word can mean God himself or the presence of God as an angel). Which presence in Genesis and Exodus is usually represented as a form of fire and smoke (think of Mt Sinai and the pillar they followed in Exodus or the fire and smoke as a burning brazier which passed between the two halves of the calf carcass to seal the covenant).

This is NOT a material presence in anyway you read it. It is not the physical presence of a ram. And the second thing about what he saw he calls it an �under-ram�. Which in Hebrew signifies that this young/male/under-ram was the REAL sacrifice and Isaac was the �copy�. So did Abraham see a ram? No - he saw the presence of God which was at the same time the real sacrificial item. Exactly what that is yet - gets described also.

Now I know I will hear argument of this but I will present it anyway.

This �presence of God� which is generally associated with fire in the Old Testament - this REAL sacrifice of which Isaac was only the imitation or copy of - appears with thorns - about his head. The Hebrew word used is �head� and that is modified by the word which indicates a thorn bush. What Abraham �sees� is the presence of God in the form of fire and this presence has a head in association somehow with a thorn bush and this presence will be the RAEL sacrifice of which Isaac is the symbolic copy.

The traditional translation assumes that the thorns about his head suggest that this ram is caught within a thorn bush. A reasonable assumption for one expecting this narration to be grounded in a physical and literal way. But rather than smoothing over the peculiarities of the text we should rather take note of them as they are.

So Abraham looks up and sees the Real sacrifice - which is somehow the presence of God - is usually associated with fire - and has about its head - thorns. Do we know anyone else like that?

The Hebrew literally says that this under-ram that Abraham sees is �in the place of Isaac�. Which the translators in assuming the narration so far to mean �instead of� in the sense of Isaac gets up and the ram takes his place. But the Hebrew actually means just what it says, that is, to be placed in the same place as Isaac. It is quite a different thing if I were to ask you to place the salt shaker on the table in the stead of the pepper shaker - or if I were to ask you to place the salt on the table in the same place as the pepper shaker.

The image given in the cosmogony is that this presence of fire now comes on Isaac and consumes Isaac (a burnt oblation as Peter says it). It was not Abraham�s hand which completed the sacrifice but the presence of God which completed the sacrifice.

It is significant that Jewish Misnah sources (explanation of scriptures) agree that Isaac was consumed by fire. It is said that the wood on the altar was so wet from the tears of Abraham and Isaac - that it could not be ignited by a natural fire and so the fire was supernatural.

In as much as I will not be presenting a bibliography of source - what I say here remains only a possibility (noted by others and I concur) of the Hebrew text. But the fact that all Temple sacrifices were patterned upon the event in the cosmogony of Moses of the sacrifice of Isaac - is solid fact. Temple ceremony looked back upon the sacrifice of Isaac just as the sacrifice of Isaac looks forward to the sacrifice of the Son of God identified in the NT as Jesus.

All this remains a curiosity and my own opinion on matters. Good for personal meditation but not a teaching one way or the other by the Church.

-ray
Thank you, Ray. You've certainly deepened my perspective of the similarities between Isaac and Jesus.

However, I was actually inquiring as to possible similarities and parallels between Sarah and Mary, besides the fact that both were the mothers of Isaac and Jesus. I feel there are many paralells, but the only one that comes to mind right now is that Sarah was the Mother of the Jewish People/Nation and Mary is the Mother of the new People of God.

Logos Teen
Posted By: RayK Re: A real human sacrifice under Jewish Law - 01/01/04 10:59 PM
Mary and Sara??

I have never looked at that. You seem to have found some that I never looked at... and they seem quite legitimate.

Do you see more?

I am not sure what the name Mary represents. In Hebrew I think it would have been Miriam (same name as Moses' sister?? wife - I can remember which) all Jewish names have a meaning... all Arabic names have a meaning.

Certainly Mary was a 'laughing stock' because of the pregnancy with Jesus. Joseph almost �put her away� because of it but, not knowing what to believe of do - he did not want to bring more public attention to her and then the angel told him not to fear the situation. So no doubt people talked about her in a mocking way behind her back. There she was - a Temple virgin - plus a direct descendent of David through Nathan - and to be found with child that Joseph knew nothing about! Tisk tisk tisk, �A miraculous pregnancy - indeed!� I am sure they would have thought.

Both experience the presence of an angel which announced to them the miraculous seed. Both were told that the child to be born was a child of �the promise� and through him generations would come to God.

What do you see?

-ray
Ray,

Yes, Mary's name was actually Miriam (MRYM), which means either means "to rebel," "bitter," or "to be fat." Some actually believe "to be fat" really means "beautiful," since this quality was supposedly the essence of beauty to the Semites.

Miriam was Moses' and Aaron's sister.

I'm not sure what other similarities I see. I saw more a couple of days ago, but they've totally escaped my mind. I'll have to think about it. Any more thoughts on your behalf are much appreciated.

Logos Teen
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