Theology means the word (Logos) of God (Theo). Theology is important because words change how we thing about who we are.
The words we ingest change how we think; they frame our world and our identity. This is why the Christian must ingest the Word of God — it frames our identity and perspective. Without the Word of God, some other collection of words and memes will frame what we believe to be true.
I was at a Museum yesterday. The museum created a narrative within which one’s understanding of the that (unnamed) country is framed. This is exactly what the whole body of the Scripture is supposed to do for the Christian and their place in the world.
The museum was that country’s narrative of identity, meaning and place.
The Holy Scriptures are God’s narrative of identity, meaning, and place.
The museum had a wing dedicated to life in the sea millions of years ago — old bones and fossils. More interesting was the multimedia display of oceans ostensibly hundreds of millions of years old. Giant beast roaming the seas ate megalodans like chocolate kisses. It was fabulous. The lights were low, and shimmering waves appearing on the ceiling, as if you were underwater with life-like dinosaur-sharks projected on the walls. One understood our present through that imagined pre-historic past.
No one was there, of course. This was a work of fiction. But people believe it because we all need context to our lives.
After leaving the museum one may forget exactly how many millions of years ago this was supposed to of happened, but that wasn’t really important. And I don’t recall the name of the giant sea beasts that ate sharks for breakfast, but that wasn’t the point.
The museum framed how one understood oneself in relation to this this particular country and point in time. If you can frame a conversation — if you can control the narrative — the outcome of a conversation is foregone.
This is what a narrative does. It includes specifics but the grand schema — and mutual accepted set of assumptions — is more important than the details. Many in the Church have lost the Grand Schema of the Scriptures; they create tiny idols of specifics around a verse or two and allow the Narrative to be controlled by Satan’s teachers, prophets and priests. (Link)
Museums, theaters, magazines and books create meta-narratives. When we watch Star Wars we imagine we are part of that universe. Narratives (whether fiction or non-fiction) invade our mind in little ways to frame our expectations and understandings.
Humans are not terribly sophisticated. We believe the strangest things with virtually no evidence other than a convincing narrative, like an ancient sea world in the museum. Humans are intellectually limited and we don’t live very long (link) so must rely upon stories instead of our own fives senses. Therefore we acquire Grand Narratives (meaning, place and identity) from our story tellers, even when the story tellers swear they are just telling the truth, the facts and the reality.
National Geographic is one of the key story tellers of our atheistic civilization. It is all very slick, with lots of pictures and easy to read articles. We know we evolved over billions of years because that’s what we have been reading in National Geographic for our whole lives. And to question that body of writing (scripture is another word for writing) is to be a know-nothing in our culture.
Nobody was around millions of years ago. The distant past is a concocted story built upon assumptions that are built upon other assumptions. Humans trust our storytellers. Some would call it blind faith when the story comes from the Bible — but does National Geographic take any less faith? I think not.
And so back to the Scriptures — the Hebrew and Greek writings. Humans have been privileged to read and know the narrative of the Creator as He expresses it in a collection of writings known as the Bible.
So before you throw out the Bible as so much “religion,” understand that the narrative of National Geographic isn’t any less faith-based than the Bible — it’s just of a different religion, a religion that claims that it isn’t really a religion (just science and fact). LINK. Of course, that’s what the Ancient Egyptians believed too when the tore birds apart and looked at their intestines for clues about reality. And it’s what I say about the Bible narrative — it is Truth and fact as revealed by the Creator. I make the same claim as the writers/readers of National Geographic — they defend their fictional narrative and I defend His narrative. He was the Creator — he knows how it was all created. The writers of National Geographic invent from their own vain imaginations a fictional narrative of creation — the Big Bang!
The Greek Writings Do Not Replace the Hebrew Writings
The Bible does not divide itself into New and Old portions. The Greek scriptures do not replace Moses’ narrative in Genesis (written in Hebrew).
The writings, the Scripture itself, never refers to one set of writings as new and another as old. There is no where in Scripture that claims that one set of writings (Scripture) was replaced by another set of writings.
In other words, the page in your Bible between Malachi and Matthew that says “New Testament” is not part of the the Holy Spirit inspired Bible. It was inserted as a convention to divide one portion of writings (the Hebrew) from another (the Greek). The Hebrew were written before Christ was born and the Greek after Jesus rose from the dead.
Perhaps one would be more accurate to write: “the Semitic Scriptures” and then “the European Scriptures,” instead of the Old and New Testament scriptures.
(This is an aside. Perhaps the Great Falling Away is when the Europeans — the recipients of the Gospel of Jesus Christ — fell away from Christianity beginning with the Enlightenment/Darkening. Consider this.)
The Hebrew Scriptures remain authoritative for their purposes — the Law guides moral conduct in time on earth — the Ten Commandments remain the moral rule for every bloodline/nation. The Narrative of creation — revealed in the Hebrew writings and confirmed in the Greek — are never to go away. Heaven and earth will disappear, but the Word of God remains forever.
The Hebrew writings are written in Hebrew — not in Jewish. The Hebrew language long preceded the Jews just as the nation of the Hebrews long preceded the existence of the Jews.
From a Semitic Language to a European Language
(Hebrew to Greek)
After the Resurrection of Jesus Christ, Hebrew was abandoned as the language of the new scriptures. The Gospels and Epistles and the Revelation where written in a European language — the language of the Greeks.
This is a critical meta-narrative — this is an over arching structure that cannot be ignored. God chose, after the Resurrection of His Son, to use a European tongue to express the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
This is as fundamental as the Scriptures themselves.
It is largely ignored because must of us (those reading this article) don’t read Hebrew or Greek — the difference is invisible to us. But that by no means make it less important.
After all, the languages themselves belong to God — they originated from Him. Men were given new tongues at Babel — they didn’t sit down and invent them by themselves — they were gifted from God.
As historically significant as the fact of the Resurrection is, so to is the significance of the preference for a European language instead of a Semitic one. Something fundamentally different took place — God changed directions. He abandoned the language of a son of Shem and Eber and Abram and embraced the language of a son of Japeth — the Greeks.
This fact is as significant as anything in the Bible. Greek was the the delivery device of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the entire world. This is not by chance. If God targeting the sons of Japeth with the Gospel by (1) telling the Jews he would give the Vineyard to another nation, (2) send Paul to Europe and (3) writing the Bible in the foremost European language, then Europe has a destiny and place in God’s economy superior to the Jews.
It is insufficient to claim that God treats all peoples (nations/bloodlines) the same. The Vineyard was taken from the Jews and given to the Europeans.
No reading of the Hebrew Scriptures suggest that all people are equal in the sight of God — that just isn’t there. God wiped out every living thing except those on Noah’s boat — now is not the time to claim that God is an egalitarian. Some He hates and destroys; others He offers salvation. That has always been the case and that does not change under the New Testament.
Europeans were especially targeted for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, more so than any other peoples. If not, then how does one explain the shift from Hebrew to a European language?
Tongues are important. God created the languages and supernaturally gifted the folks at the Tower of Babel with new tongues. God repeat this soon after the Resurrection of Jesus Christ when the Holy Spirit descended upon the believers and they began speaking in all different kinds of human languages.
God owns the languages. He decided who spoke what and that was a key part of his control of human history. The impulse toward Babel — a united humanity in defiance of God — was thwarted by the introduction of a multitude of languages which aligned by bloodline. (Thus, the Children of Eber spoke Eber-ew).
EUROPEANS AS CHRISTBEARERS
The Europeans — as declared by the choice of a European language to carry out the written Gospel of Jesus Christ — become the chosen Christ bearers to the world. It is a huge blessing and a huge burden. Damned we are to reject His Grace. As were the Jews.
As Greek was not a random language for the Holy Scriptures, so the name of the Traitor was not a random choice.
The traitor of Jesus Christ was named Judas. Judas is the Greek form for the name Judah — he who was the father of the Jews, the tribes of Judah. It is said that he was from the territory of Judah, as opposed to the other apostles who came from Gallilee (of the Gentiles!). Judas is a representation of the rejection by the Jews of the Saviour, Jesus Christ. The Jews rejected their King Jesus Christ — so He rejected the Jews.
Not that all Jews are traitors — there was another Apostle name Judas, who went by the name Thaddeus, or Jude. The Christian Judas was a traitor to the Jews, and the Jewish Judas (from Judah) was a traitor to the Son of God. It can be no other way.
But Judas is by no means the only proof that the Jews rejected their rightful King.
My late mother once told me that “all the Jews (from all time ) would be saved because they are God’s chosen people.”
I responded, “you mean Judas will be saved? I recall that Jesus said it would have been if he had never been born.”
Mom’s eyes twitched. She re-stated her belief; she had a acquired a truth that would not be denied. There was nothing more to discuss on this matter. She channeled modern evangelical Christianity, and she was wrong.
Fritz Berggren, PhD