Thursday, December 13, 2012

From the Mouths of Pagans! (X-mas has nothing to do with Christ)

Though the pagans adapted some of what came from the true God and real history to their own culture and twisted it, Christians have also adopted some things from the pagan culture and slapped a holy name on it, sadly enough. Discernment is necessary and advised. To the unbelievers out there, learn the difference! To the Christians out there, X-mas has zero to do with Christ. Dragging his name into it is an option, but it doesn't mean it's right or that it makes sense in the least. I am not judging anyone's stance with God nor their eternal salvation for celebrating holidays. I am simply telling the truth about them. Take it or leave it.

Did the pagans borrow these customs from the bible? Or did Christians borrow these customs from the pagans? Seriously.


Saturday, December 1, 2012

Does Hebrews 1:10-12 prove that Yeshua is Yahweh?

In Hebrews chapter 1 ,verses 10-12, the author quotes Psalm 102:25-27, and most Christians use it as proof that Yeshua is creator and hence Yahweh, conflating him with the essence of the One God who he called "father" and "my God' and "greater" and "the only one good" etc, ultimately rendering all such sentiments from Yeshua as only words to be qualified or misused to their very death. Even though the milk of the word should have already easily established for them that the father alone was creator in Genesis (Mal. 2:10), they decide to misuse Hebrews where the author says:

Hebrews 1:10 “In the beginning, Lord, you laid the foundations of the earth,
    and the heavens are the work of your hands.
11 They will perish, but you remain;
    they will all wear out like a garment.
12 You will roll them up like a robe;
    like a garment they will be changed.
But you remain the same,
    and your years will never end.”

The fact is that the writer of Hebrews quotes Psalm allright, but he quotes the Septuagint version and not the Hebrew. And there is a difference! In the Hebrew text, the one supplicating to Yahweh is still supplicating to Yahweh from verse 24 on. In the Septuagint, however, Yahweh begins to answer the one who has been praying from verse 24 on. And it is this version the writer of Hebrews quotes! The writer of Hebrews apparently views the suppliant as the Messiah. I think this proves without a doubt that even though the words said in Hebrews 1:10-12 could apply to Yahweh in one fulfillment, they could apply to Yeshua in a separate one.

 It is common for the writer of Hebrews to apply OT texts that formerly were applicable word for word to people like David and Solomon to Yeshua in separate applications and fulfillments and never because he's a person of their essences, of course. (2 Sam 7:14, Heb. 1:5, Ps. 45:6, Heb. 1:8) So it shouldn't be any wonder that he would do the same thing with creation scriptures because there is an old one and a new one. And, lo and behold, which one is the context of Hebrews 1? Well, we have, in context, the "inhabited earth to come" (2:9), "the last days" (1:2), and a "kingdom"(1:8), etc. How apropos considering that in the context of Psalm 102 in the LXX (which is what Hebrews is quoting), we have “the generation to come” and "the people that shall be created" (v. 18) Really, nothing more should have to be said. It's obvious Yeshua is agent of the new creation. Isaiah 51:16 sheds light. Here Yahweh says prophetically:

"I have put My words in your mouth and have covered you with the shadow of My hand, to establish the heavens, to found the earth, and to say to Zion, 'You are My people.'"

Even trinitarian bias commentaries would have to admit this is about a "new economy under the Messiah."

Barnes' Notes on the Bible says about the text:

"It refers to the restoration of the Jews to their own land; to the re-establishment of religion there; to the introduction of the new economy under the Messiah, and to all the great changes which would be consequent on that. This is compared with the work of forming the heavens, and laying the foundation of the earth. It would require almighty power; and it would produce so great changes, that it might be compared to the work of creating the universe out of nothing. Probably also the idea is included here that stability would be given to the true religion by what God was about to do permanency that might be compared with the firmness and duration of the heavens and the earth."

If trinitarians were consistent (and generally they cannot possibly be while at the same time maintaining a trinity), they would be able to apply such reasoning consistently with the texts in Hebrews as well. It seems odd and kind of sad that they can reason in Isaiah, but not in Hebrews. I guess I can only make an appeal to consistency in reasoning. Quite frankly, Isaiah 51:16 could interpret Hebrews 1:10-12  for you. In which case I would again refer you to trinitarian scholars and commentaries that easily recognize a new creation there! Trinitarians also pretend to care about context, yet won't acknowledge it in some of the new creation passages. Wonder why?

A couple questions that may come to mind though when this alternative view is made known are:

How could Yahweh say in the LXX , in Psalm 102:23 & 24, "tell me the fewness of my days. Take me not away in the midst of my days?" Well, given that in context there is a "set time" (verse 13) where He will "have mercy upon Sion", Yahweh is simply asking the suppliant to acknowledge the shortness of this set time and not to summon him when it is but half expired. (For more on that, see “Heb. 1:10-12 and the Septuagint Rendering of Ps. 102:23” by B.W. Bacon.)

Another common question is:

If the texts are about a new creation, how could such ever be "changed"? Considering the poetic, as opposed to literal, sound of the texts, at least to me personally, I'm not sure this even needs to be answered because poetry isn't to be taken literally. However, as the biblicalunitarian website notes, there is a "heaven and earth of the Millennium, the 1000 years Christ rules the earth, which will perish (Isa. 65:17; Rev. 20:1-10), and then the heaven and earth of Revelation 21:1ff, which will exist forever. " In addition, Anthony Buzzard notes that "Even the millennial age of the future will be replaced by a further renewed heaven and earth (Rev. 20:11; 21:1)."

There are some brothers and sisters out there who share my essential beliefs but who would disagree on my view of these texts. There are at least two other views from the biblical unitarian community that are probably worth at least considering and noting, but this is the one I think is right, though I'm not dogmatic and won't pretend these others don't make good points worth at least considering. I will explain and provide links for the other two views below. :-)

Here's a better video than this one in agreement with this view:

The second possible view is that these texts are about the father and not Yeshua at all.

From the biblicalunitarian website:

 "Although we ascribe to the explanation above(and they're speaking of the same view I presented in this blog, basically), a number of theologians read this verse and see it as a reference to the Father, which is a distinct possibility.  Verse 10 starts with the word “and” in the Greek text, so verse 9 and 10 are conjoined.  Since verse 9 ends with, “Your God has set you [the Christ] above your companions by anointing you with the oil of joy,” these theologians see the reference to “the Lord” in the beginning of verse 10 as a reference back to the God last mentioned, i.e., the Father.  Norton explains this point of view:

"Now the God last mentioned was Christ’s God, who had anointed him; and the author [of the book of Hebrews], addressing himself to this God, breaks out into the celebration of his power, and especially his unchangeable duration; which he dwells upon in order to prove the stability of the Son’s kingdom…i.e., thou [God] who hast promised him such a throne, art he who laid the foundation of the earth. So it seems to be a declaration of God’s immutability made here, to ascertain the durableness of Christ’s kingdom, before mentioned; and the rather so, because this passage had been used originally for the same purpose in the 102nd Psalm, viz.  [Author uses KJV] To infer thence this conclusion, “The children of thy servants shall continue, and their seed be established before Thee. In like manner, it here proves the Son’s throne should be established forever and ever, by the same argument, viz., by God’s immutability.” (Norton, Reasons, pp. 214 and 215)

Theologians such as Norton say that as it is used in the Old Testament, the verse shows that the unchanging God can indeed fulfill His promises, and they see it used in exactly the same way in Hebrews: since God created the heavens and the earth, and since He will not pass away, He is fit to promise an everlasting kingdom to His Son."

I would also like to personally add that in surrounding scriptures like Hebrews 1:5-7 and 2:5-8 there are OT passages about the father reapplied to the father again in Hebrews here. So it wouldn't be far fetched in the least in this context to see Hebrews 1:10-12 the same way. It's very possible. Since the writer switches back and forth from talking about the Son and the Father so much. As noted before, this isn't the view I subscribe to while at the same time being open minded about the possibility.

Here's a youtube with this particular view presented pretty well! He doesn't start talking about verse 10 till about 6 and a half minutes in:

The third view could be summed up by saying that what is said of Wisdom in the OT could be reapplied poetically to Yeshua in the New because he became to us "wisdom from God."

From Gary Fakhoury:

"So here (in Heb. 1:10-12) we are confronted with a choice. We can believe the writer is contradicting both himself and the vast body of clear scriptural teachings that YHVH alone made the worlds, or we can conclude that v. 10-12 is yet another example of the writer seeing something in an OT passage which illuminates Christ in some important sense, even though every detail of the passage does not apply literally to Jesus. But in what sense does he see Christ in Ps. 102?

 First, as we’ve noted, the NT teaches that Jesus is the embodiment of God’s creative wisdom, that “hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages” which was “established from everlasting, from the beginning, before there was ever an earth,” in that “The Lord by wisdom founded the earth…” (I Cor. 2:7; Prov. 8:23; 3:19). Thus Christ,the embodiment of creative wisdom, can be truly said to be “in the beginning, (laying) the foundation of the earth” (v. 10)."

full pdf (it would be great to read the context):

I suppose even if the NT authors had passages like Proverbs 8:22-31 in mind when writing Hebrews 1:10-12 then they were simply recognizing how Christ has become that same wisdom that God created the world in.(Prov. 3:19, Jer. 10:12) Yahweh gave fruition to a plan known as the Messiah before he even made the world, again. (1 Pet. 1:20, Rev. 13:8 ) And this plan was his "wisdom" for the reconciliation of the world unto himself.(2 Corinthians 5:19) Christ at last became that *wisdom* in these last times(1 Cor. 1:30,1 Cor. 2:6,7) ,and so, again, represents (and actually fulfills to perfection and completion) what was there from the beginning.God creating in his wisdom becomes God creating in Christ because Christ became the wisdom of God. Simply stated, again, Yeshua "has become our wisdom sent from God."(1 Cor. 1:30) The father's wisdom came to life and manifest in Christ's flesh at the proper time, as opposed to some literal spirit named Wisdom crawling into a womb to become a man. To quote Karen Armstrong (from A History of God:From Abraham to the present:the 4000 year quest for God, p. 106):

"When Paul and John speak about Jesus as though he had some kind of preexistent life, they were not suggesting he was a second divine "person" in the later trinitarian sense. They were indicating that Jesus transcended temporal and individual modes of existence. Because the "power" and "wisdom" he represented were activities that derived from God, he had in some way expressed "what was there from the beginning." These ideas were comprehensible in a strictly Jewish context, though later Christians with a Greek background would interpret them differently."

 I do believe it would make sense that when Yeshua became Yah's "wisdom", what was said of "Wisdom" could be reapplied to Yeshua in the NT. Because he "became" that Wisdom, not because he was named such in the OT as a second person of Yah's essence. It was a pattern for bible writers to apply OT truths to Yeshua in the NT. Functions that he fulfilled, ones that he was made and given. Also,foreshadowings and prefigurings that he became. Do you think that halted with Wisdom? I personally don't. I don't think this is necessarily the case in Hebrews however given the kingdom (as opposed to the Genesis) context. Just something to ponder though considering the Hebraic poeticism and personification, and subsequent fulfillment in Christ, of Yahweh's word and wisdom.

Again, not the view I personally think is most likely, but at the same time I won't readily discount or discard it.

Some of this is explained further here:

15 Questions for Evolutionists!

A thoughtful playlist from youtube user CMIcreationstation.

The accompanying webpage:

15 Questions for Evolutionists