Friday, August 28, 2009

Bart Ehrman has a Ph.D in New Testament

It is important, I think, to realize that the Bible has a wide range of answers to the problem of suffering b/c this realization reveals the problem of thinking that the Bible has one simple answer to every issue. Many people in our world take a smorgasbord approach to the Bible, picking and choosing what suits them and their views without acknowledging that the Bible is an extremely complex and intricate concatenation of views, perspectives, and ideas. There are millions of people in our world, for example, who suffer social estrangement b/c of their sexual orientation. Some of this social alienation originates among simpleminded Bible believers who insist that gay relationships are condemned in Scripture. As it turns out, that is a debated issue, one on which serious scholars disagree.
But apart from that, this condemnation of gay relations "because the Bible condemns it" is a case of people choosing to accept the parts of the Bible they want to accept and ignoring everything else. The same books that condemn same-sex relations, for example, also require people to stone their children to death if they are disobedient, to execute anyone who does any work on Saturday or who eats pork chops, and to condemn anyone who wears a shirt made of two kinds of fabric. No special emphasis is placed on one of these laws over the others - they are all part of the biblical law. Yet, in parts of society, gay relations are condemned, while eating a ham sandwich during a lunch break on a Saturday workday is perfectly acceptable.

(Source: Bart Ehrman, "God's Problem", 2008, p. 17)
(Which is the book I'm reading right now.)

36 comments:

Christoph said...

Shows you that having a PhD doesn't mean too much these days.
Maybe he can say those things because the parts he mentions are from the OT, and he's only got a PhD in NT...

Rhology said...

Well, you'd think that he'd at least know the rudiments of the Epistle to the Hebrews...and Mark 7...

Lucian said...

As if the answer to his unclarities isn't made crystal clear in the Bible: John 8 and Acts 15.

Seth said...

Hold on there fellas...
Errman er, Ehrman's point is headed in the wrong direction for sure, but Mark 7, John 8, and Acts 15 aren't cases against his argument. That is, unless you take them totally out of their scriptural context and/or fit them into a predetermined (traditional) interpretation. You wouldn't do that right? Sola Scriptura?

Rhology said...

Mark 7 certainly is.
But keep in mind that Lucian is...sorta off. And a very bizarre Eastern Orthodox.

Seth said...

Mark 7 is about "rejecting the commandment of God in order to establish your tradition". The Ehman quote only mentioned actual bible-laws. John 8 is not against stoning, it is against unjust 'justice'. Acts 15 is about not crushing the fragile new converts with a long and foreign to-do list.

Can't say how bizarre Lucian actually is, unless I reference my own bell-curve life as the normal case.

Rhology said...

Seth,

I meant the part in Mark 7 about food, after v 13.

Lucian said...

John 8 is not against stoning, it is against unjust 'justice'.

But there can be no 'just justice' because, when You deem Yourself just (against someone else: in this case, the whore), You become the Pharisee (who justified himself against the publican) and was rejected: it's the Christian `catch 22`. Even the Old Testament said that God desires the return of the wicked, and not his death, that he might live.

Acts 15 is about not crushing the fragile new converts with a long and foreign to-do list.

So, in other words, all of Paul's epistles about the Law not even being able to justify Jews are now null and void, and were only meant to be true for a short period of time, and the Judaizers were the winers in the long-run. (Seriously)

Lucian said...

If John 8 would be against unjust justice, then Jesus would've been the first to throw the stone, since He truly had no sin -- but that's not what we see Him do.

Seth said...

I meant the part in Mark 7 about food, after v 13.

I'll take the liberty to grill you like we've been doing to the EOdoxers.

I'm not sure what this has to do with Ehrman's ham sandwich. The context is about whether neglecting to wash your hands makes your food unclean which in turn makes your person unclean. Jesus is actually providing a proper interpretation of the biblical law. Jesus says no, (1) the hand washing thing is not biblical it is a tradition of men, (2) in God's design food does not have the latent ability to render one unclean because (a) it is what comes out (thoughts and actions) not what goes in the mouth that makes one unclean, (b) even if you eat something unclean your body is designed to purge it anyways, (c) note Lev. and Deut. food chapters say the 'foods' are unclean, abominable, and detestable, but there is nothing about them rendering a person unclean. (3) Context... the parenthetical tag in some versions of v.19 cannot be taken out of context. Or shall 1 Cor.6:12 be invoked when I justify murdering my enemy with "All things are lawful for me."

Seth said...

Lucian,

If John 8 would be against unjust justice, then Jesus would've been the first to throw the stone, since He truly had no sin -- but that's not what we see Him do.

Jesus is certainly merciful here - and he is the only one fit to judge perfectly. That said... Justice... what is Moses' command regarding adultry? How is the charge to be verified as true? Who is the ruling body? Who is included in penalty? If she was caught in the act, where's the dude? Where shall this sentence take place? Think Miranda rights, bro.

Lucian said...

The text says caught in adultery, so at this point You're the one stretching way over backwards to prove Your view (i.e., You're begging the question). You also seem to not be able to see the forrest because of the trees.

Rhology said...

Seth,
I'm still not sure we're on the same page. Here's the text of Mark 7:

12...you no longer permit him to do anything for his father or his mother; 13 thus invalidating the word of God by your tradition which you have handed down; and you do many things such as that.”

(--break in the action--)

14 After He called the crowd to Him again, He began saying to them, “Listen to Me, all of you, and understand: 15 there is nothing outside the man which can defile him if it goes into him; but the things which proceed out of the man are what defile the man. 16 [“If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”]
17 When he had left the crowd and entered the house, His disciples questioned Him about the parable. 18 And He said to them, “Are you so lacking in understanding also? Do you not understand that whatever goes into the man from outside cannot defile him, 19 because it does not go into his heart, but into his stomach, and is eliminated?” (Thus He declared all foods clean.) 20 And He was saying, “That which proceeds out of the man, that is what defiles the man...


Thus He declared all foods clean. Ham sandwiches are food. See what I'm saying now? :-D

Seth said...

Lucian,

You're the one stretching way over backwards to prove your view

Only to point out that haphazardly tossing around John 8 and Acts 15 doesn't even touch the mess in Ehrman's world.

Seth said...

Rhoblogy said:
I'm still not sure we're on the same page. Here's the text of Mark 7

Yep, that's what I was referencing. So continuing...

Thus He declared all foods clean. Ham sandwiches are food. See what I'm saying now?

This is where we are not on the same page, I believe:

(1) what constitutes food?
(2) what does clean/unclean mean?

Application: (a) did Jesus declare the tires on my car clean to eat? They are a petroleum product, made of plants and animal matter, which are food - tires are food. (b) if your carrot swipes, squishes against, and is imprinted by your shoe bottom, it need not be washed off - Jesus has declared it clean, right?

justfinethanks said...

Not that this is my fight or anything, but I was always taught in scripture class (Go Lions!) that the "ham sandwiches are okay to eat" passage was in acts 10:12-15

12 In it were all kinds of four-footed animals of the earth, wild beasts, creeping things, and birds of the air. 13 And a voice came to him, “Rise, Peter; kill and eat.”
14 But Peter said, “Not so, Lord! For I have never eaten anything common or unclean.”
15 And a voice spoke to him again the second time, “What God has cleansed you must not call common.”


This took place three and half years after the crucifixion of Jesus. If Jesus himself declared ham sandwiches just peachy to munch on, why exactly did Peter still adhere to the old dietary laws during the interval? (Which is implied by the fact that he protests when God implores him to eat the food) Did he just forget?

Lucian said...

Well, Seth, I guess if Ehrmann is so messed up, then nothing I'll ever say to him will make him change his mind. What that guy needs is a Bible-believing Christian that's just as messed up as he is in his convoluted ways of thought to "seth" him on the right path. :-)

Rhology said...

jft,

B/c Peter didn't understand it yet. He still didn't, years later - see Galatians 2.

Seth,

Why would I want to eat a carrot I stepped on? Just b/c all foods are clean doesn't mean I suddenly have a hankering for fried cockroaches with blackberry jam and lime juice.
And what does that have to do with its ceremonial cleanness? What do you think Mark and Jesus were referring to?

Seth said...

Lucian,

I dont' seem to be on his list of manuscript reviewers either...

Rhology,

B/c Peter didn't understand it yet. He still didn't, years later - see Galatians 2.

When in doubt assume the Apostle is confused and not me - not my preferred approach.

(1) Galatians 2: Paul doesn't chastise him for his choice of entree (I once heard Swindoll preach Peter had "ham on his breath"). Paul says it was for drawing away from gentiles in fear of the circumsision party (who taught that gentiles were intrinsically unclean).

(2) Acts 10-11 says nothing about actually eating the unclean species - rather Peter tell the story twice and the interpretation was that it was OK to go to Cornelius house even though he was a gentile.

(2a) Peter probably wouldn't have been eating ham at Cornelius' house anyways v. 22 - "Cornelius, a centurion, an upright and God-fearing man, who was well spoken of by the whole Jewish nation..." 'God-fearers' being almost-proselytes embraced most Jewish practice (say, short of full Temple participation and circumcision).

And what does that have to do with its ceremonial cleanness? . Also Mark 7:

Right to the point! (1) These conversations are never about whether or not to eat ham or cockroaches. They are about whether failing to follow Pharisee, Sadduccee, Essene, or other man-made regulation excludes a person from fellowship with God (such as the exclusivist view that touching a gentile, let along going to his house, renders you unclean). Jesus gives an emphatic NO! (2) Our bible readings (Mark, early Acts) are of observant Jewish guys in observant Jewish parts of Israel, with heavy influence by ultra-observant Jews. You couldn't just go down to the market deli and pick up a ham sandwich. The text can use 'food' loosely, but it is in the context of their culture - the implication is stuff that is fit for the altar. This wouldn't be the case in say, Corinthians or Romans, where the discussions are on food dedicated to idols.

Seth said...

Re: go down to the market deli...

For instance, today Israel is intentionally a secular nation - way more liberal than 1st century Israel. At McDonald's there is no option for a bacon cheeseburger. In religious Jerusalem, it is extremely rare to find a restaurant that serves both meat and dairy. No hotels, even in extremely Sodom-like Tel Aviv will serve non-Kosher food.

Rhology said...

I'm sorry Seth, I'm honestly not seeing what you're saying.

When Mark 7 says "He thus declared all foods clean", you are saying that Jesus means that NOT all foods are clean and therefore permissible to eat?
Thus it is sinful to eat ham?
That is IS in fact what passes into a man that makes him unclean?

Also, I have to question your application of vv 1-13 to the latter part of Mark 7. I put those time markers in boldface for a reason - the chapter covers two or even three diff events, over the course of two or more days.

Seth said...

When Mark 7 says "He thus declared all foods clean", you are saying that Jesus means that NOT all foods are clean and therefore permissible to eat?

All foods that were designed for consumption (e.g., Gen. 7:2) are clean and don't require "extra" purification. Species not designed for consumption are not involved in Mark 7 - Jews in a Jewish Israel didn't consider them an option for 'food'. If you invite me over for food, I'm not even thinking that a bag of broken-glass will be the main course (although some people eat broken glass).

Thus it is sinful to eat ham?

General uncleanliness is not sinful. And it is not a sin to become temporarily unclean. Otherwise wives would have been in sin every time they menstruated, or it would have been a sin to bury a dead relative. Ignore the Sadducees and note the equal consequences in the scripture.

That it IS in fact what passes into a man that makes him unclean?

No more than having a nocturnal emission makes a man unclean. (Even to the non-observant, a shower and change of briefs seems appropriate). Temporary uncleanliness is not the same as intrinsic uncleanliness. Despite what a man touches or ingests, he is not nor does he become intrinsically unclean.

the chapter covers two or even three diff events, over the course of two or more days.

Sure, but the context doesn't change from life in Jewish Judea to life in pagan Corinth in that time frame. Whether or not to eat escargo was not a pertinant issue to these Jewish crowds. The choice to ostracize gentiles (including proselytes) or to abide by a particular religious sect's regulations was, however, very relevant.

Rhology said...

OK, so in the psg, and please correct me if I'm wrong; I'm trying to understand what seems to me a very strange position:

"defile him" = make him temporarily unclean. Which is not a sin.
Taken today, my ceremonial uncleanness is based on the atonement of Christ. So this would not be a relevant concern for me, right?

See, it really seems like "defile him...are what defile the man" are SIN - see v. 21-23 -
21 “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, 22 deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. 23 “All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man.”

This is not temporary uncleanness, like menstruating.

Jesus' whole point is about SIN, not uncleanness - "19 because it does not go into his heart".
Or if you will, instrinsic uncleanness. I think YOU'RE mistaking His context here. Yes, of course Jesus was Jewish and believed in the OT, but He defines specifically what He means here.

Am I sinning if I eat broken glass? In one category, I'd be abusing, for no good reason, the body God gave me, so yes. But the same is not true of escargot or ham.

What is the final cash value of what you're saying here? Is "eating a ham sandwich during a lunch break on a Saturday workday" sinful?

Seth said...

Taken today, my ceremonial uncleanness is based on the atonement of Christ. So this would not be a relevant concern for me, right?

Correct, whether or not you are 'ceremonially' or 'physically' unclean, you can still have fellowship with God through Christ. You are not limited by Temple constraints.

[sin+defile]: This is not temporary uncleanness, like menstruating.

Correct.

Jesus' whole point is about SIN, not uncleanness

Yes, but the religious-folk of His day were erroneously blending the two. That's why the context overlaps.

Am I sinning if I eat broken glass? In one category, I'd be abusing, for no good reason, the body God gave me, so yes.

But broken glass is obvious. Another analog might be is smoking a sin? A post-bible example of the ramifications of 'ceremonial cleanliness' is the Black Plague. Jews avoided many of the contaminated things (rats, stagnant public water, infected swine) and were less affected. Thus, the RCC accused Jews of poisoning the Christians wells and murdered thousands and destroyed many Jewish cities.

What is the final cash value of what you're saying here? Is "eating a ham sandwich during a lunch break on a Saturday workday" sinful?

It depends. (1) That ham touches your mouth and stomach and is expelled is not a sin. Choosing to eat it *might be* a sin. (a) Spiritual: Recall, there was nothing physically wrong with the fruit of the tree of good and evil but there was a spiritual reason that God did not elaborate on. God simply said do not eat the _____. (b) Physical: This likens to is it a sin to smoke? It is not completely clear why the prohibitted animals are unclean. We could speculate about some (bottom-dwellers, carnivores, urinating through pores) but the negative effects are not so obvious as why broken-glass is harmful.

(2) Saturday workday: It depends on how you define work! Also, the principal "life trumps letter-of- law" is in effect. What constitutes 'rescuing an ox from a ditch' in our society? Perhaps having to pay the mortgage counts, or maybe not. The NT leaves the detail work open to interpretation, which is why Acts 15 only gives 4 commands as starters. If we are in Christ, the Law is not working against us, rather it testifies of His Perfection. We are free to explore righteousness without condemnation.

Rhology said...

Jews avoided many of the contaminated things (rats, stagnant public water, infected swine) and were less affected.

Fair enough. I don't eat much shellfish for similar reasons.


Choosing to eat it *might be* a sin.

I'd like to know when you think it might be a sin?
If you ask me, it's if it causes a brother to stumble - 1 Cor 8, Rom 14. Otherwise, ham out. If you want.


God simply said do not eat the _____.

But in this case, He said "it's OK to eat the ____ (ham)".


It is not completely clear why the prohibitted animals are unclean.

Well, sure, but it's like you said - God said don't.
But that was for a specific reason, human-wise - it was a matter of ceremonial cleanness. But our ceremonial cleanness is now totally governed by whether we are justified before God by grace thru faith.

Seth said...

I'd like to know when you think it might be a sin?

For me it would be a sin if I knew what it was but chose to eat it anyways. God will have to be the judge for someone who doesn't know, or knows but inteprets differently. I am quite versed in the traditional Christian interpretations, but just think they are wrong. Sure, we can apply 1C8 and R14 here. However, it will not cause me to stumble if you eat ham. I know that you are not invoking certain passages as a license to sin.

But in this case, He said "it's OK to eat the ____ (ham)".

I could not disagree more!

ceremonial cleanness

You assume that the OT can be divided into categories. Probably three, right? Moral, civil, and ceremonial. I am not in favor of this categorization. Though superficially practical, I feel it misunderstands and thus misrepresents the divine purpose of the Law by: (a) undermining its authority in convicting of sin, and (b) selling short its authority in revealing the perfect detail of God's righteousness and holiness.

*Note - these issues are certainly not a test of brotherhood for me. I don't think less of someone who differs.

Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Psalm 2:11

Lucian said...

Seth,

stop confounding proselytes with Jews. (The differences still exist today). And the NT makes it clear that Peter ate unclean meats with the Gentiles, and behaved two-faced at the Council, so Paul had to rebuke him first.

Seth said...

Lucian,

If I thought your last statement reflected the actual case, I wouldn't have spent so much space arguing against it, now would I?!?

Rhology said...

Seth,

I still don't think I'm following you. WHY is it a sin for someone to eat ham, TODAY?

You take issue with my threefold division of the OT Law.
Heb 9:13The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. 14How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!

So...I am perfected by the blood of Christ and can "approach the throne of grace with confidence", or "Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus" (Heb 10:19), with no other condition. Yet isn't it the case that the commandment not to murder still applies? Against adultery?

This merely holds the Law in its proper place. To break the ceremonial law, in OT Israel, would incur civic punishment, but only if the law were broken. But under Jesus' blood, there is no way for me to break said law, b/c Jesus has died for that and I can approach Him in worship, clothed in His righteousness. That's not the same as the moral law.
I think it DOES hold its full authority in full view. I can never get ceremonially holy enough, let alone in my behavior from day to day. And the blood of bulls and goats can never take away sin. My invitation to approach God was bought with a DEAR price, one I know I can never pay, and that's the point. So I think your characterisation is shortsighted.

*Note - nor do I, and I'm not going to go Norman Community on you either.

Seth said...

WHY is it a sin for someone to eat ham, TODAY?

For me? Because I am not a Dispensationalist nor do I follow reform's Covenant Theology. I believe that the Laws reflect the unchanging character of God, even the weird nuanced ones. That doesn't mean how one walks them out is always clear or even possible.

Yet isn't it the case...that still applies

No one was EVER atoned for or justified by ceremony. The Law demanded blood (Lev. 17:11) but this could not be accomplished by the blood of bulls and goats, which can sanctify a person for [a future, Heb. 9:10] purification (Heb. 9:13) but never had the power to "perfect the conscience of the worshipper" (Heb. 9:9).

Ceremony is a shadow of the real thing. If I see your shadow only when you are around the corner, and then you turn the corner and I see you, it doesn't make your shadow disappear. If I were really looking for you however, I'd look up at the real thing when I got the chance. But the shape of your shadow is still the same.

there is no way for me to break said law, b/c Jesus

No, that is a form of antinomianism. Rather, you are covered by His blood, via unwarranted grace until you are fully regenerated (new Spirit plus new glorified body). Until then, He fulfils the necessary requirements that you cannot keep - i.e., perfection and appeasing God's wrath against unrighteousness. Being offered covering from the penalty is not the same as there being no penalty. Note, Heb. 10:14 "he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified." I'm just citing Reform theology, which teaches justification by imputation or the crediting of righteousness to one who is not currently righteous. It is RCC theology teaches 'infused' righteousness.

civil, ceremonial, moral

That you state something as one of the categories doesn't convince me that it is one to the exclusion of the others. We can never get ceremonially, civilly, or morally high enough - so what's your point?

Lucian said...

Seth,

if You're whole thing is based on contradicting well-known realities, then I guess there's ultimately no point to it.

Rhology said...

Seth,

OK, I'm sorta getting it...

I believe that the Laws reflect the unchanging character of God, even the weird nuanced ones.

Fine and good. But how is it that they remain applicable TODAY?
For example, I'm going to stick with my reductio and ask about Temple worship. The Temple is gone, right? Right.
So, the priest would go in "year after year with blood that is not his own" to make atonement. And yet...the atonement is already made. There's no foreshadowing to be done anymore. As you said, we're not looking at the shadow anymore, we're looking at Christ.

Maybe if you could also flesh out what you mean by the defilement caused by, say, menstruation, to the sin that Jesus refers to Mark 7. Just to be clear, I know better than to think I know the OT even close as well as you do, but I don't think your exegesis of Mark 7 holds up. There's a reason Jesus continues on at the end of the psg to tell us what He means. The defilement He's talking about is SIN - all sorts of ugly ones, too.
But here you come along and tell me that, in fact, sthg that passes into my mouth CAN defile me (or, more specifically, you). You just finished saying that if you ate ham, you'd've committed a sin. But what does that have to do with what proceeds OUT FROM you, like Jesus says in Mark 7?

As for your smoking example, for one thing, I'm unsure what to think about it, but if I were to tell someone it's a sin, it wouldn't be b/c it's "abuse of your temple" or sthg like that; it would be b/c it's an addiction for most smokers and a serious waste of money of which you're a steward, and it would be up to you to examine yourself and know whether you're in good shape on that score or not.


No, that is a form of antinomianism.

Well, I certainly don't want to tread on that ground. But since those laws are fulfilled in Christ, the only way they're relevant to me is as instruction in OT theology and further illustration of the heinousness of sin (if the sacrifice of Christ Himself weren't bad enough for me). To continue to try to follow these laws of offerings and such exactly as given in the OT and to bind that on the conscience of the Christian would be to misunderstand the nature of the fulfillment in Christ, it seems to me.
But perhaps that's not what you're saying, and if it's not, I invite correction as you have time, and apologise in advance for my misconceptions.


We can never get ceremonially, civilly, or morally high enough - so what's your point?

That's a fine point.
Maybe, let me ask it like this - violation of the law forbidding homosexual sex is obvious. How would one go about breaking, say, the law of the arrangement of the showbread, TODAY? How would one break the law of the high priest's going into the Most Holy Place once a yr?

Thanks for taking the time. The gears in my head are grinding and grinding, albeit slowly.

Seth said...

Alan,

Ditto on thanks for the time. Its good to talk through these topics for me also, haven't done it in a while! Apologies, this is long. I'll do it in three chunks.

But how is it that they remain applicable TODAY?

Some cannot be applied today, but that doesn't nullify them. I admit this is not easily resolved and I don't complete understand it. You mention the Temple. Scripture tells us it is not gone forever. (1) The final Antichrist performs the 'abomination of the desolation' in the Temple (Mt 24:16). You can't desecrate something that doesn't exist and isn't sacred. Who will run this 3rd Temple? Perhaps Christian Levites? Dunno. (2) Zech 14:19 Feast of Tabernacles is observed in Jerusalem after the return of Christ. (3) Zech 14:21 "And every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holy to the LORD of hosts, so that all who sacrifice may come and take of them and boil the meat of the sacrifice in them." Holy pots? Sacrifice?? Doesn't have meaning outside of 'ceremonial law'. (4) Ez. 40+ Measurements of the Temple during the Restored Kingdom (there will be fishing in the Dead Sea). Ez. 46: The "Prince" offers a burnt offering of lambs and a ram?? How's that work? (5) Again in the Restored Kingdom in Isaiah 66:15-23

15For behold, the LORD will come in fire, and his chariots like the whirlwind, to render his anger in fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. 16For by fire will the LORD enter into judgment, and by his sword, with all flesh; and those slain by the LORD shall be many.17Those who sanctify and purify themselves to go into the gardens, following one in the midst, eating pig's flesh and the abomination and mice, shall come to an end together, declares the LORD. 18"For I know their works and their thoughts, and the time is coming to gather all nations and tongues. And they shall come and shall see my glory, 19and I will set a sign among them. And from them I will send survivors to the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, who draw the bow, to Tubal and Javan, to the coastlands far away, that have not heard my fame or seen my glory. And they shall declare my glory among the nations. 20And they shall bring all your brothers from all the nations as an offering to the LORD, on horses and in chariots and in litters and on mules and on dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the LORD, just as the Israelites bring their grain offering in a clean vessel to the house of the LORD. 21And some of them also I will take for priests and for Levites, says the LORD. 22"For as the new heavens and the new earth that I make shall remain before me, says the LORD, so shall your offspring and your name remain. 23 From new moon to new moon, and from Sabbath to Sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me, declares the LORD.

So, I don't understand it all, but though the ceremonies are gone now, they are coming back in full force. Our theologies must match that somehow it is okay for offerings, clean vessels, priests and levites, and a sacrificing Prince to exist in the Kingdom. One resolution is to "spiritualize" the prophecies, so that there isn't an actual physical meaning to them. I do not interpret this way.

Seth said...

You just finished saying that if you ate ham, you'd've committed a sin. But what does that have to do with what proceeds OUT FROM you, like Jesus says in Mark 7?

I am not inclined to believe that all sins are equal. All sins are punishable by death. But I think slandering, making false oaths, lying, are the weightier matters of the law. But as Jesus says in Luke 11:42, "For you tithe mint and rue and every herb, and neglect justice and the love of God. These you ought to have done, without neglecting the others." Cleanliness is a very misunderstood thing in the Church. Although uncleanliness is not equal to sin, it does hinder our ability to worship. For example, it is not a sin if we are watching TV and a commercial for Girls-Gone-Wild comes on. We flip the channel or leave the room, but the image is still burned in our mind. Our eyes and minds have been defiled, but we did not sin. If I intentionally choose to watch it after you leave, would you accept my excuse that I watched, but did not lust?

As for your smoking example

I agree. I've used a very similar approach.

Seth said...

But since those laws are fulfilled in Christ

Fulfilled does not mean done-away-with or irrelevant. You perfectly fulfilled the regulatory requirements for your various OU degrees. But the material you learned, the techniques, methods, philosophies (for good or bad!) still remain. But correct, you have no need to go back and redo the classes over again - it is assumed you are competent in the material. (1) We need not offer a sin sacrifice to teach us the lesson that some day God will provide a perfect sacrifice that cleanses our conscience and satisfies justice. But the "lessons" of the sin-sacrifices are not just about forgiveness for sin, they are about repentance, how sin causes a loss of life, how costly it is to be good standing with God, how an innocent being is paying the price for me, etc. etc. (2) Not all sacrifices are sin-sacrifices. A thanks offering is a barbecue for your family, dedicated to the Lord. A burnt-offering is a gift to the Lord, where you get nothing back, just because He has blessed you in abundance. Christ has not "fulfilled" these things - their meaning perpetuates our entire lives. Not having a Temple with an altar, just changes the direct application, and we're forced to treat them symbolically.


the law of the arrangement of the showbread, TODAY

Excellent question! By baking leavened bread in my unsanctified oven, declaring the bread to be the Showbread of the LORD, and then feeding it to the dogs. I've reviled the holiness of the instructions for the Bread, offered a "strange" offering, and wrapped up by dishonoring the good name of Showbread. Another example, the Law prohibits "experimenting" with ingredients of the incense for the altar ofincense. I'll give the perfect example of a group reviling, defiling, and dishonoring the "ceremonies" of the LORD: Mormons. They've created their own priesthood, ordained unqualified priests, perform unmandated ceremonies, and do it in the name of the "True Priesthood".

Lucian said...

the law of the arrangement of the showbread, TODAY

Might this answer Your question?