Tag Archives: Hebrews

Time for the “Book Review”

The book most recently read was entitiled “The Idea of Israel in Second Temple Judaism” by Jason A. Staples.

I would highly recommend this book for the clarity of the terms for “Israel”,”Jew” and “Hebrew”. I would also recommend any book about this subject, you would be surprised by how some things in the scriptures will clear up for you when reading things.

This is another example, where we can get ourselves going down the wrong road with our ‘asuming’ definition of something and you find out the statement you say, is not factual. There are many things as christians that we mean to go back and do some research on terms, definition, stories, paradigms, allegory,literal, types, metaphors, and parables! I recommend that we all do it!

Staples does a very good job of detailing what the people, inside and outside of ‘Israel’ , What prophets meant by their usage of each word, and when it changed to a subset of one, or vica versa. It was very informative to the understanding of even within the ‘Jewish’ community in which they were apart of. Within these three definitions of this said ‘group’ it would change when an event happened to one or all of the group. Depending on when the word Israel was used in could be meaning just the northern tribe, or it could mean both the northern and southern tribe, Judah. This was used in knowing of the original setup, but also of the reuniting of them both in the eschatology of Israel, and their prophets.

A added bonus of this book, was a subset of a theme that was carried out in the telling of the story of these three terms. It was the underlining story of the “Covenant Theology” laced throughout the telling and believing ‘Israel’ that they would ‘all’ be brought back together as one. It is this, that brought me even more assured on what covenantal Theology of God’s desires for All to be “ONE”.

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Coming together……

This is a loaded statement.

It is because of the verse that says to the effect that We all should continue to come together in Hebrews 10.25. The verse is as follows- 25. not forsaking our own assembling together, as the custom of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as ye see the day drawing nigh.

This is the foundation statement that is holding up the institution of the ‘church’ of today. This is where we will start to show that this is going down a rabbit hole to nowhere.

One of my favorite words in situations like this is the word ‘context’, Context is where you find the true definition of a storyline. One of the biggest mistakes of christian apologetic’s is ‘cherry pickin’ a verse out of context, let alone out of background of a story. Let’s start with the part of the background of a story. The background of this story in Hebrews 10 is one that in history is in turmoil and uncertainty.

Our stage is in the Roman Empire where everyone and everything is under scrutiny of their rule. People and institutions and religions are being ransacked to have them comply with their rule. This also includes the Jewish world and the new Christianity that was being born. It was a threat. One of the ways of ‘confining’ the issues of a problem is to send it away. This is exactly what the roman law did, they sent as many Jews and Jewish and gentile christians out of the area or even out of the region as possible. It was a way to dispel the thought of problems of the future.

It was in this transition of dispelling of people, that the christians were being exiled to other places, not just one place, but multiple places around the kingdom, and out of the realm of influence of romans to give the problems to someone else. It is in this transaction that the story evolves in its statements.

Chapter ten starts with the telling of the old covenant’s unfulfilling salvation to it’s people and that God has now given it the new covenant thru Jesus Christ in setting them free from such a slavery of a covenant, to a one of freedom in Christ. God written in our hearts and actions are now the way that we live to be Christ like, to be a temple, filled with His Spirit for all the world to be. It is this charge that God gives us, to be a representative of Him. It also leads us to the fact that it is to be done no matter where we are at. Whether we are in this city or that city, we are to be Christlike, meeting with our other Christ like neighbors, lifting them up and being there in their time of need in whatever reason that it is. God is in Us. We are in Him. Stand firm and forthright in being the Eternal Purpose of God in all the World. It will soon be everyone around us to all say to each other, We are ONE in Christ, Christ is one in Us! Hallelujah, and Amen!!

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Filed under Kingdom of God