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Hebrews13;- Finishing the race

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posted on Mar, 31 2017 @ 05:13 PM
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The epistle to the Hebrews was written to Jewish Christians, perhaps to a specific Jewish church.
The message of the letter is that Christ has brought “completeness”.
That is, God is making available, through him, a much greater and more decisive revelation than anything they have received from him previously

This argument comes to a climax in the tenth chapter, where the writer shows how the self-offering of Christ has brought forgiveness of sin.
He has “entered the heavenly sanctuary” on our behalf.
For this reason, his readers should not allow themselves to fall away from their commitment to Christ, and their trust in what he has achieved for their benefit.
They must remain firm in their faith.

He backs up this conclusion, in the eleventh chapter, by showing how the men and women of the Old Testament were acting at every stage in the strength of their own faith.
His readers need to be conscious of that “cloud of witnesses” (ch12 v1).
They are “witnesses”, because they offer testimony about what can be achieved through faith, and about the importance of faith even under the old covenant.
They are also “witnesses” in the sense that they are watching the later generation follow in their footsteps (which implies, of course, their continuing existence).

This implied “arena” suggests a “race-winning” metaphor, though the victory in this race depends only on completing the course.
Obviously the runners need to discard the encumbrance of superfluous weight, which in this case means the burden of sin.
They can be inspired by the example of Jesus, who has preceded us along the same course.
He was the pioneer of our faith and has also perfected it [TELEIOTES].
He endured the cross and the shame that went with it, keeping his eye in the joy awaiting him at the “finishing line”, and now sits down in the presence of God waiting for us to join him (v2).

His example, in enduring hostility from sinners, is particularly important in encouraging our own endurance in the struggle against sin or against hostility.
We cannot claim to have resisted sin to the point of death, as he did.
Meanwhile, instead of being discouraged by this struggle, we should understand it as the exercise of fatherly discipline.
God is treating us as true sons, and so he trains us, by means of discipline, in just the way that any loving father would.
In earthly life, only the bastards, who don’t matter, are neglected and allowed to follow their own wild course.
Our discipline is beneficial, in the long-term, because the end-result is holiness and righteousness (vv4-11).

Therefore (returning to the race metaphor) they should keep an eye on one another and support one another, so that nobody is allowed to fall behind out of weakness.
For if anyone falls back into unbelief or sin, there is a danger that his example might affect others.
They should be fearful of the precedent of Esau, who threw away his chance of an inheritance, and was never able to recover his original privileged state (vv12-17).

The writer then draws a contrast between the two covenants, to impress upon his readers how much they have gained.
The first covenant was a covenant which brought only judgement. Therefore it was announced to the Israelites at Sinai with alarming sights and sounds, with gloom and tempest, with a loud trumpet, and with a voice which terrified those who heard it.
Whereas their own journey “out of Egypt” has brought them not to Sinai, but to “the city of the living God”.
It has brought them the prospect of assembling in the presence of God, being made just and “perfect” [TETELEIOMENON].
It has brought them to Jesus, who is neither Moses nor Abel.
For while Moses declared judgement, and the blood of Abel spoke in a demand for judgement, the “sprinkled blood” of Jesus speaks with an offer of Peace, in the true sense of the word (vv18-24).

Esau missed out only on the old covenant, but that was bad enough.
The lesson of the above comparison is that rejection of the new and better covenant would be even more worthy of punishment than a rejection of the lesser version.
God promised in Haggai that he would shake heavens and earth “once more” (Haggai ch2 v6).
The “shaking” implies that something will be removed, and we need to understand that this will include the arrangements of the old covenant.
But this “shaking” will be happening once and once only, which amounts to a promise that something else will remain permanently.
Namely “the kingdom which cannot be shaken”.
That is what we have reached (vv25-28).

The main purpose of this letter has been to dissuade these Jewish Christians from detaching themselves from the Christian community.
Among the pastoral afterthoughts added on at the end of the epistle, the writer puts the case that it would be more appropriate, in fact, for them to detach themselves from their association with the Jewish law.
This argument begins with the counsel that they should respect the leaders who originally taught them the gospel of Christ, and imitate their faith.
Which includes, by implication, holding fast to their teaching (ch11 v7)
Jesus Christ is “the same yesterday and today and forever”.
The moral of that observation is that the teaching about him should be unchangeable in the same way.
Therefore they should not allow themselves to be led away by “diverse and strange teachings”.
The adjectives imply that he is not, at this moment, talking about the attraction of the Jewish law as such.
But they are likely to be speculations inspired by the Jewish law, since they appear to place a spiritual value on dietary restrictions, and they need to be countered by stressing the importance of God’s grace (vv8-9).
Therefore the answer to both sets of temptations is to get away from the Jewish law mind-set of gaining God’s approval by rules and regulations.

With this in mind, he returns to his old theme that the Christian covenant offers a better and more complete sacrifice than the old covenant.
He refers to the fact that even the priests, under the old covenant, could not consume the flesh of the atonement sacrifice (as they consumed a portion of most other sacrifices).
He does not make use of the possible contrast that Christians are able to “feed upon” Christ, though it may be at the back of his mind.
Instead, he moves in a different direction.
He picks up the detail that the unconsumed bodies of the atonement sacrifices were taken outside the camp altogether.
And it is also true that the crucifixion, by which Jesus sanctified his people, took place literally “outside the gate”.
That is our cue.
In following Jesus, we need to go and join him outside the “camp” of the Jewish community, ready to share the abuse which they piled upon him (vv10-13).

“Here we have no continuing city” (v10). It is very tempting to see an allusion to “The eternal city”, a description of Rome which was already in use at the time.
However, the context and the whole argument of the letter make it clear that the real intended contrast is with Jerusalem.
The physical city, and the loyalties which it entails, should have no hold over us, because we are waiting for “the city which is to come”.

We have an allegiance to Christ which detaches us from the old allegiance to Moses.
And the God who raised Christ from the dead will give us all the help we need to remain faithful (vv20-21).




posted on Mar, 31 2017 @ 05:40 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

No such thing as JEWISH CHRISTIANS LOL.

And Hebrews are Phoenicians, Canaanites.

It is no small wonder that none of them to this day would read a letter that anyone can see was not addressed to them, unless it was some sort of comedy skit.

Those people may ALSO be as deluded as the Christians, but I give them credit for not falling for any of these stories/scams.

No amount of talking or praying has or will ever change that, just more politics as usual.

The smartest ones of those bloodlines have moved so far beyond any of those books they only look to the signposts therein to see when the next scheduled B.S. is incoming from "On High".

Meanwhile they cower in fear that they may not be right, imagine that , ANGELS, DEMONS, GODS, all trapped in the same garbage cycles , all used up by politics, none of them ever gaining the freedom they have ALL been promised by their own captors, who have been fed the same lies by THEIR captors, and so on endlessly up the chain.

Time to do something real and bypass all of the master student scenarios, and do some REAL QUESTIONING, but oh noes, that would be EVIL right ?




posted on Mar, 31 2017 @ 05:46 PM
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originally posted by: ParasuvO
No such thing as JEWISH CHRISTIANS LOL.

You made the same objection in one of my previous Hebrews threads. I dealt with it at the time, but I suppose you didn't understand the answer.
ALL the first Christians were Jews. The twelve, and Paul himself, for a start. They were born and brought up as Jews, and they became followers of Christ. Such people were Jewish Christians. The church in Jerusalem was probably almost entirely of that origin.
Many scholars, including my favourite commentator,believe the letter was addressed to and read by that church. They were Jewish Christians.

P.S.I've just found my reply to your March 18th post;


Jewish Christians certainly did exist at that time. The "twelve apostles" were Jews by birth and upbringing, and they were Christians after the Resurrection. Paul was a Jewish Christian. All the first converts in Jerusalem were Jews- the story of Peter and Cornelius in Acts ch10 marks the moment when Gentiles began to be accepted. The church in Jerusalem was probably a church of Jews rather than Gentiles- Jews who believed in Christ- that is, Jewish Christians.
So I don't know on what basis you are making those denials. History disagrees with you.

So please try to grasp this point. I don't want to have to make the same explanation every time.


edit on 31-3-2017 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 31 2017 @ 08:39 PM
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The Bible is historically inaccurate.

Stop acting like it is accurate, reliable and comprehensive.

Also likely that whoever wrote the Epistle you quote from aimed it at the Hebrews (you see, not Jews) as they were the underclass at the time in that area and therefore ripe to seek out something different. After all, the grass is always greener (though obviously the Christians who have been gradually expunged from Israel and the wider middle east weren't playing the long game that the Ashkenazi were).




posted on Apr, 1 2017 @ 01:48 AM
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originally posted by: mersaultdies
Also likely that whoever wrote the Epistle you quote from aimed it at the Hebrews as they were the underclass at the time in that area and therefore ripe to seek out something different.

You are wildly guessing from the name at the top of the letter. It's actually necessary to read the letter itself (or intelligent explanations like the OP) in order to understand what is going on.
This is not about "seeking out something different". The people addressed are Christians already. The writer is arguing to prevent them from slipping back into mere Judaism, the religion in which they were brought up.


(you see, not Jews)

The word "Hebrews" is not in the text of the letter. The title is an editorial addition, presumabky made when the New Testament letters were first collected together.
As I observed above, as is evident from reading the letter and/or my threads on this letter, they are in danger of slipping back into pre-Christian Judaism. They are Jews.


Stop acting like it is accurate, reliable and comprehensive.

I have no intention of obeying your instructions on that point. You will just have to learn to live with these threads, because they will keep coming out.



posted on Apr, 1 2017 @ 07:45 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Great post D ...I am putting this slightly off topic to the OP but fits the larger faith . Its about the parallels in the old to the new and shows Gods greater plan and how Christ was central to it . I have to laugh when people would say the Bible history is in error .As if secular history is some how correct and accurate . any how thanks for the thread and if you get a bit of time this vid is worth checking out ...



posted on Apr, 1 2017 @ 07:47 AM
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a reply to: the2ofusr1
Thank you for that link.
I have a "God of Hebrews, God of the Old Testament" thread in my files, which will be coming out next week.



posted on Apr, 1 2017 @ 12:07 PM
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Incidentally, the thread on the Old Testament "men of faith" (ch11) can be found at this location;
The rollcall of Faith


edit on 1-4-2017 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 3 2017 @ 05:08 PM
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originally posted by: mersaultdies
The Bible is historically inaccurate.

Many historians would disagree. And you gave no reason to doubt their expertise or honesty. Even though regarding many of those again, there may be sufficient reason to doubt their honesty in relation to specific theological subjects, but again, you didn't give much reason for any consideration of your opinion/belief. (the word "opinion" is a synonym for "belief", if you're not used to my comments, I often use a / when using synonyms as reminders to those who are allergic to some words such as "faith/belief" and "absolute/certain").
edit on 3-4-2017 by whereislogic because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 4 2017 @ 07:32 PM
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originally posted by: DISRAELI

originally posted by: mersaultdies
Also likely that whoever wrote the Epistle you quote from aimed it at the Hebrews as they were the underclass at the time in that area and therefore ripe to seek out something different.

You are wildly guessing from the name at the top of the letter. It's actually necessary to read the letter itself (or intelligent explanations like the OP) in order to understand what is going on.
This is not about "seeking out something different". The people addressed are Christians already. The writer is arguing to prevent them from slipping back into mere Judaism, the religion in which they were brought up.


(you see, not Jews)

The word "Hebrews" is not in the text of the letter. The title is an editorial addition, presumabky made when the New Testament letters were first collected together.
As I observed above, as is evident from reading the letter and/or my threads on this letter, they are in danger of slipping back into pre-Christian Judaism. They are Jews.


Stop acting like it is accurate, reliable and comprehensive.

I have no intention of obeying your instructions on that point. You will just have to learn to live with these threads, because they will keep coming out.



I'm not wildly guessing at anything, though I appreciate the irony in your making that statement. I have read the 'letter' and the post. What I am merely saying is that you do not know who wrote the text nor when it was written, yet you act like you do. You interpret it as being directed at 'Christians' but do not know it as the case.

It is, however, a fact that Hebrews were not in charge of Levantine society in between the time that Jesus was around and the time when the text was written. Even if the core audience for this particular text was already following early Christian teachings my point was in relation to their being Hebrews and their position in society. It is also known that many Hebrews were not following the teachings of the Rabbis and were still Pagan at this time.

To finish off, I dispute that you know who wrote the text, when they wrote it, how much it had been altered before being collected into the bible and why you feel the need to interpret it in the first place. I hope you understand that had an entirely different set of writings been collected into the bible you would be similarly be worshipping them as the teachings of God.



posted on Apr, 4 2017 @ 07:38 PM
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originally posted by: whereislogic

originally posted by: mersaultdies
The Bible is historically inaccurate.

Many historians would disagree. And you gave no reason to doubt their expertise or honesty. Even though regarding many of those again, there may be sufficient reason to doubt their honesty in relation to specific theological subjects, but again, you didn't give much reason for any consideration of your opinion/belief. (the word "opinion" is a synonym for "belief", if you're not used to my comments, I often use a / when using synonyms as reminders to those who are allergic to some words such as "faith/belief" and "absolute/certain").


You are correct I didn't give much reason for my belief. I didn't realise that when making an obvious statement someone would dispute it. I do not any historians who believe that what is written in the bible actually happened.

If you mean it discusses some things that did happen and some of the names and places are real then of course you are right. If you mean that it is a truthful depiction of events I can't get with that.

Finally, many of the more 'religious' parts of the bible are clear and obvious plagiarisations of older religious myths and themes.



posted on Apr, 5 2017 @ 01:45 AM
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originally posted by: mersaultdies
You interpret it as being directed at 'Christians' but do not know it as the case.

The whole argument of the letter is "You should not give up being Christians". That is what identifies the intended readers as Christians.
It is not urging them to start following Jesus. It is urging them to continue following Jesus. Anyone who reads the letter with any due care and attention will grasp this point.

It is, however, a fact that Hebrews were not in charge of Levantine society in between the time that Jesus was around and the time when the text was written. Even if the core audience for this particular text was already following early Christian teachings my point was in relation to their being Hebrews and their position in society.

I did not claim that they were in charge of Levantine society, and nothing in my argument depends on that assumption.
It is well-known that the Jews and the other peoples of that region were living under Roman authority, and any Jews who had become Christians would have been a despised minority even among the Jews.

To finish off, I dispute that you know who wrote the text, when they wrote it, how much it had been altered before being collected into the bible

It is obvious from the arguments being used that the text was written by a Christian. It is obvious from the preservation of the letter that it was written by a Christian with enough prestige that the early church found the text worth preserving and collecting with other authoritative texts. Apart from that, I made no claim to know any of those things, and they are not relevant to the case.

I dispute why you feel the need to interpret it in the first place.

A member's motives for starting a thread are not normally, strictly speaking, part of the thread topic.
Suffice it to say that this is an exercise in Biblical theology, being presented in the theology forum where it belongs.

I hope you understand that had an entirely different set of writings been collected into the bible you would be similarly be worshipping them as the teachings of God.

Gwendolen (glibly); "Ah, that is clearly a metaphysical speculation, and like most metaphysical speculations has very little reference at all to the actual facts of real life, as we know them"
The Importance of Being Earnest, Act 1 (Oscar Wilde)

As to your last point; when I start a thread relating to a specific portion of the Bible, general issues about the Bible as a whole are not part of the thread's topic.


edit on 5-4-2017 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 5 2017 @ 06:52 AM
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A lesson on NT text by Dan Wallace







 
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