Deeper and deeper into studying the language of the Bible
by Tom Brennan
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The deep end of the pool in Bible study
Christian TV: does that bring to mind endless televangelists, some of them very good teachers and preachers, but many seem much too slick (bad haircuts and gaudy furniture on the set)? Most of the general public doesn't' even know that there is such a thing as “Christian TV”. Dish, cable and now the internet have opened up unbelievable new access to programming of all kinds (and much of it of a kind no one should watch).
Recently I discovered on the internet “God's Learning Channel”. Located in Texas,this online and satellite network features programming unavailable elsewhere including video on demand of most of their programs. Since most of my study resources are web based (I live and work on a ranch), I gave it a test drive. To my growing amazement and knowledge base, there is real gold there. In particular is a series of programs on the concept of Hebraic Roots, studying the world of the first century when Jesus brought into this world the redemption we were dying for. The Hebrew concept of thinking and realizing the world around them was immeasurably different from the way the Greeks,Romans and we ourselves see reality. When you think it over carefully, the early church was already seeing different teachers spin off parts of Yeshua's mission into their own particular ideas. Even Paul said that there were people in the churches he planted that were following the teachers not the Messiah. Perhaps the most damaging and best known of these new sects were the Gnostic who placed entirely different meanings to Yeshua's words and added their own ideas. The recent controversy over the National Geographic article on the Gospel of Judas (he never write one, please stick to geography,thank you !) is the best known example. The Edict of Milan whereby Constantine allowed the previously persecuted Christians to now be the state sanctioned religion of the Roman Empire began an adaptive and assimilation process where the church added Roman types of structure, practices, holidays and even adaption of some pagan practices (now Christianized) into the liturgy and lifestyle believers.
Our Bible today is often published in “updated” and specially edited versions to fit into issues we face. There are versions for personal application, lifestyle, missions, etc. The Basic Bible has had different emphases placed upon it for the reader. Much of this grows out of the Reformation and the growth of denominations, each separating due to a disagreement or influence on an issue which the members felt to deserve a new congregation. How different this is from Abraham, Isaac, Jacob,Joseph, Moses,the Prophets and Yeshua. They knew One God, spoke one language of worship, and knew one Law. Today's rediscovery of the “ancient methods” is a growing movement to return to a time where the Word was understood in a way that everyone could grasp. Ancient Hebrew had an agricultural and biological understanding, it was a concrete language. Remember the parables Yeshua taught ? Almost all had an agricultural understanding. The Pharisees and Sadducees who had “revised” the Law had spent so much time reading, revising, studying, debating etc. that they had lost touch with the soil and flocks ( the classic city people versus farm folk comparison). They didn't understand what Yeshua said because they preferred their own meaning to God's.
Several teachers stand out on GLC, Brad Scott of Wildbranch Ministries. His concept of Agri-Bio Linguistics is intriguing and draws a student deeper and deeper into the gold mine of the Word.Avi Ben Mordechai delves deep into word meanings and the concept that the Bible is an intricately interwoven, inspired work. You cannot isolate sections all relate to one another. Avi is direct, friendly and challenges you to "check it out for yourself", as the Bereans did and were rewarded for doing so. The further away we traveled from God's inspired words by adding our own spins, versions, interpretations etc. the more we could read into it and get around His commandments and Law. Rationalizing has never been so easy as it is now. We have an emerging church, prosperity gospel, liberation theology, social gospel, liberal and conservative congregations, even the Unitarian Universalists who have a place for pagans and Wicca in their “fellowships”.
Maybe its time to get back to our roots before the concrete sets over them and hardens. Our goal is to make our lives relevant to the Bible and not the other way around. Check it out: www.ptcbglc.com/
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